Social Media

Apple Approves Parler’s Return To Their App Store

CNN Business reports: Apple has approved Parler’s return to the iOS app store following improvements the social media company made to better detect and moderate hate speech and incitement, according to a letter the iPhone maker sent to Congress on Monday. The decision clears the way for Parler, an app popular with conservatives including some members of the far right, …

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Twitter Bans James O’Keefe For “Platform Manipulation”

The Daily Dot reports: James O’Keefe, the controversial founder of the conservative outlet Project Veritas, was suspended from Twitter on Thursday. O’Keefe, who boasted more than 900,000 followers, claimed in a post on Facebook that the suspension was linked to his recent reporting on CNN. In a statement to the Daily Dot, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed that O’Keefe had been …

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Facebook Tests Video Speed Dating For “Kind People”

The Verge reports: Facebook is testing a video speed-dating app called Sparked. The app, which requires a Facebook profile to create an account, is developed by the company’s NPE Team, Facebook’s in-house group that works on experimental apps. You can view the Sparked webpage here, where it describes the app as “video dating with kind people.” It also promises no …

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FB Oversight Board To Consider Reinstating Trump

Politico reports: Facebook’s oversight board is expected to rule in the coming weeks on whether to uphold or overturn Trump’s indefinite suspension from the platforms, which the company imposed after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots over fears he might incite further violence. So far, the panel of scholars, lawyers and other outside experts has bucked Facebook’s judgment in five of …

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YouTube Flops In Moves Meant To Thwart Hate Speech

The Verge reports: Google says it has blocked several terms associated with hate speech from being used as ad keywords on YouTube videos. The move follows a report by The Markup, which found that advertisers could search for terms like “white lives matter” and “white power” when deciding where to place ads on YouTube. Google says it does not publicly …

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Texas AG Sued For Blocking His Critics On Twitter

The Texas Tribune reports: A group of Texans and a free speech advocacy group are suing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in federal court, accusing him of unconstitutionally blocking nine people on Twitter for criticizing him or his policies on the platform. The lawsuit also argues that being blocked from viewing Paxton’s tweets is a violation of the First Amendment …

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Twitter Won’t Let Natl Archives Revive Trump Tweets

Politico reports: Twitter will not allow the National Archives to make former President Donald Trump’s past tweets from his @realDonaldTrump account available on the social media platform, the company told POLITICO on Wednesday, in the latest display of Silicon Valley’s power over communications channels used by the U.S. government. The statement came as the National Archives and Records Administration has …

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SCOTUS Boots “Moot” Case On Trump’s Twitter Blocks

The Washington Examiner reports: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a case challenging former President Donald Trump for blocking people on Twitter. The case is one of the last Trump-era lawsuits to be tossed after the president left office. The court earlier this year declined a case alleging that Trump had violated the obscure emoluments clause of the Constitution through …

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Hacker Leaks Personal Info On 533M Facebook Users

The Insider reports: A user in a low level hacking forum on Saturday published the phone numbers and personal data of hundreds of millions of Facebook users for free online. The exposed data includes personal information of over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the US, 11 million on users in …

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TX Senate Approves Bill To Outlaw Social Media Bans

The Texas Tribune reports: The Texas Senate early Thursday approved a bill that would prohibit social media companies with at least 100 million monthly users from blocking, banning, demonetizing or discriminating against a user based on their viewpoint or their location within Texas. Senate Bill 12, sponsored by GOP state Sen. Bryan Hughes [photo], was approved after 2 a.m. Thursday. …

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Facebook Zaps Lara Trump’s Interview With Trump

Fox News reports: Facebook removed a video of an interview with former President Trump conducted by his daughter-in-law Lara Trump, saying any content “in the voice of Donald Trump” would be scrubbed from the social media platform. Facebook permanently banned the former president from their platform in January after the Capitol riot. On Tuesday, Lara Trump, a Fox News contributor, …

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Ex-CEO: Mercer Tricked Bongino Out Of Parler Shares

Salon reports: Pro-Trump pundit, conservative media tycoon and self-proclaimed Parler investor Dan Bongino was apparently tricked into being promised shares of Parler by investor and conservative mega-donor Rebekah Mercer, according to former Parler CEO John Matze. This allegation is within a new lawsuit claiming that Bongino and Mercer used bullying and intimidation to take away Matze’s shares in Parler when …

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Lewandowski: Trump’s Social Media Platform Will Be “Built From Scratch” Without Support From Amazon

“This is going to be launched in the next three to four months, and it’s going to be an interactive communication tool, whereby the president will be able to post things to it, and people will be able to repost and communicate directly with him.  “The platform that the president is building is not going to rely on Amazon, or …

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Parler Users Revolt Over Site’s “Snitching” To The FBI

As I reported earlier this week, Parler has sent a letter to Congress claiming that they alerted the FBI to over 50 posts inciting violence ahead of the Capitol riot. They did this in response to a inquiry into their financing. Parler has now posted to the letter to their official account and it’s not being received well. Mashable reports: …

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Axios: Trump In Talks With Existing “Upstart” Platform

Axios reports: Donald Trump has been in talks with no-name app vendors as he contemplates partnering with an existing platform to create his own social media network, according to sources familiar with the private discussions. Driving the news: Among the social networking apps the former president and his digital adviser Dan Scavino have homed in on is a relatively unknown …

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Sanders “Uncomfortable” With Trump’s Twitter Ban

Axios reports: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told New York Times podcast “The Ezra Klein Show” Tuesday he doesn’t feel “particularly comfortable” with Twitter permanently banning former President Trump from the platform. In the interview, Sanders was asked about criticisms from some conservatives that liberals had become “too censorious.” Sanders responded by saying Trump “is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, …

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Security Researchers: No Threat To US From TikTok

The Daily Beast reports: A team of cybersecurity researchers who analyzed TikTok’s code found no evidence of “overtly malicious behavior”—and determined the app collects about as much user data as Facebook.  Citizen Lab cautioned that there may still be security issues that didn’t crop up during the analysis, but they remain unaware of any “immediate security issues with TikTok.”  The …

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Facebook Took Down 1.3B Fake Accounts In Q4 2020

Posted today to Facebook’s corporate blog: Let’s start with fake accounts. We take a hard line against this activity and block millions of fake accounts each day, most of them at the time of creation. Between October and December of 2020, we disabled more than 1.3 billion of them. We also investigate and take down covert foreign and domestic influence …

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Facebook To Launch Instagram For Kids Under Age 13

Buzzfeed News reports: Executives at Instagram are planning to build a version of the popular photo-sharing app that can be used by children under the age of 13, according to an internal company post obtained by BuzzFeed News. Current Instagram policy forbids children under the age of 13 from using the service. According to the post, the work would be …

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Teen Gets 3 Years In Hack Of Celebrity Twitter Users

The Washington Post reports: A Florida teenager who was involved in the high-profile and massive hack of Twitter last year has reached a plea deal with prosecutors and will serve three years in a juvenile facility, followed by three years of probation. Graham Ivan Clark, now 18, was the “mastermind” of the so-called “Bit-Con” hack, authorities said, and one of …

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