Social Media

Appeals Court: Trump Can’t Block People On Twitter

Reuters reports: A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday upheld a 2018 lower court ruling that said President Donald Trump could not block people from following him on Twitter. The court found that the First Amendment does not permit Trump “to exclude persons from an otherwise‐open online dialog because they expressed views with which” he disagreed. The White House, Justice Department …

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Facebook To Ban Misinformation On Voting, US Census

Reuters reports: Facebook Inc will ban ads that discourage people from voting ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, according to its second annual Civil Rights Audit published on Sunday. The social media giant has been used to spread misinformation about previous elections. Facebook pledged to put its new “don’t vote” policy prohibition into effect in the fall, before the …

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Twitter To Post “Abusive Behavior” Disclaimer On Posts By World Leaders That Will Stay Up In “Public Interest”

CNN reports: Twitter plans to place a disclaimer on future tweets from world leaders that break its rules but which Twitter decides are in the “public interest,” the company said in a blog post Thursday. This policy change could face its most prominent test in President Trump. Trump has repeatedly tested Twitter’s community standards with his regular tirades on the …

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Reddit Quarantines Pro-Trump Forum Over Threats Of Violence Against Police Over Oregon GOP Walkout

The Daily Beast reports: Reddit quarantined the “The_Donald” subreddit on Wednesday, citing threats made on the popular forum for Trump supporters against law enforcement officers. The new quarantine was brought on by anti-police threats posted on The_Donald. Some users had apparently encouraged violence against law enforcement, angry that officials in Oregon were trying to bring back GOP state senators who …

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YouTube Tests “Hiding” Comments On Its Mobile App

The Daily Beast reports: In a software tweak first spotted by a developer forum, YouTube is toying with eliminating the comments section that accompanies videos on its mobile app. As it stands now, comments appear when a user scrolls below a video’s sharing buttons and “Up Next” recommended videos. The change would significantly downgrade the prominence of comments on the …

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Bank Of England Backs Facebook Cryptocurrency

The BBC reports: Bank of England Governor Mark Carney gave Facebook’s proposed digital currency Libra a cautious welcome in a major speech on Thursday. He said it could substantially lower costs and increase financial inclusion, but needs regulation. Mr Carney also announced that non-banks will be able to hold Bank of England accounts. And he highlighted climate and sustainability concerns. …

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Facebook Unveils Plan To Launch Its Cryptocurrency

Axios reports: After nearly a year of speculation, Facebook has finally unveiled its plans to create a cryptocurrency, which will be called Libra and debut in 2020. With more than two billion users, Facebook is arguably better positioned to roll out a global digital currency than any other company, government, or organization. That’s also a source of concern over how …

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YouTube CEO Apologizes To LGBTQ Community

Axios reports: YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki apologized Monday to members of the LGBTQ community who were offended by the company’s response to antigay comments by Steven Crowder aimed at Vox journalist Carlos Maza. At the same time, she defended the company’s handling of the issue. YouTube has been under fire for a variety of issues, including the spread of hate …

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YouTube Demonetizes Anti-LGBT Channel (For Now)

The Daily Beast reports: YouTube unleashed massive confusion and satisfied apparently no one with its handling of Steven Crowder’s homophobic campaign against a gay journalist on Wednesday. The company will “demonetize” Crowder, a far-right performer, for harassing Vox reporter Carlos Maza. The announcement was a partial reversal from Tuesday, when YouTube said it would not take action against Crowder. After …

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YouTube Bans White Supremacists, 9/11 And Sandy Hook Truthers, Holocaust Deniers, Other Extremists

Vox reports: YouTube is finally banning content that promotes white supremacist views on its video platform. But it will still permit videos it classifies as “borderline,” which isn’t clearly defined, as well as a host of other problematic content. The Google-owned platform said on Wednesday that it’s updating its hate speech policy to prohibit “videos alleging that a group is …

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Russian Trolls Earned Big Ad Bucks With 2016 Meddling

NBC News reports: The effort by a Russian internet deception factory to manipulate American public opinion during the 2016 election was better planned and executed — and also more lucrative — than previously understood, according to a new analysis of nearly 10 million tweets by a leading cybersecurity firm. The operation by the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency amounted to …

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YouTube Under Fire For Allowing Anti-LGBT Hate Speech

The Washington Post reports: Carlos Maza, a video producer for the news site Vox, said the harassment began about two years ago. Steven Crowder [screenshot above], a right-wing commentator and comedian, had begun to call out Maza’s sexuality and his race — Maza is gay and Latino — in some of his videos on YouTube. And last week, Maza said, …

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Twitter Researches Allowing White Supremacists To Use Their Platform So That They Can Be “De-Radicalized”

Vice News reports: Twitter is conducting in-house research to better understand how white nationalists and supremacists use the platform. The company is trying to decide, in part, whether white supremacists should be banned from the site or should be allowed to stay on the platform so their views can be debated by others, a Twitter executive told Motherboard. Vijaya Gadde, …

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Trump Camp Scouts New Alt-Right Twitter Rival

Politico reports: They’ve been banned from Facebook, purged from Twitter and blocked from Instagram. Some of them have been barred from setting foot on the continent of Australia. But you can still find them all on the fledgling social media network Parler. Parler has carved out a niche among these banned right-wing influencers — like Gavin McInnes, Laura Loomer and …

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Twitter Bans Anti-Trump Krassenstein Brothers [VIDEO]

The Daily Beast reports: Twitter has permanently banned prominent anti-Trump brothers Brian and Ed Krassenstein, alleging that two of the biggest stars of #Resistance Twitter had broken the site’s rules about operating fake accounts and purchasing fake interactions with their accounts. “The Twitter Rules apply to everyone,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement. “Operating multiple fake accounts and purchasing …

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Instagram Expands Blocking Anti-Vaccination Hashtags

New Scientist reports: Instagram is cracking down on misinformation about vaccinations by blocking hashtags that include verifiably false information about the subject. Phase one of the crackdown involved removing hashtags promoting overt medical misinformation about vaccines — such as #VaccinesCauseAutism or #VaccinesCauseAIDS, both of which have been debunked by leading public health organizations. Now, Instagram says it is looking to …

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Facebook Co-Founder: It’s Time To Break Up Facebook

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes writes in a NYT op-ed: Mark’s influence is staggering, far beyond that of anyone else in the private sector or in government. He controls three core communications platforms — Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — that billions of people use every day. Facebook’s board works more like an advisory committee than an overseer, because Mark controls around …

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Verizon Seek Buyer For Tumblr After Ruining It

The Verge reports: Verizon is seeking a buyer for Tumblr, the blogging platform it acquired along with other Yahoo assets in 2017. The Wall Street Journal reports that Verizon has approached other companies in recent weeks that could be potential new homes for Tumblr. The platform hosts 465.4 million blogs and 172 billion posts, according to its about page. The …

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Facebook Cracks Down On More Extremists, Bans Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones, Laura Loomer, And Others

The Washington Post reports: Facebook said on Thursday it has permanently banned several far-right figures and organizations including Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, Infowars host Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Laura Loomer, for being “dangerous,” a sign that the social network is more aggressively enforcing its hate speech policies under pressure from civil rights groups. Facebook had removed the …

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Facebook Unveils Major Redesign, Focuses On Groups

The New York Times reports: Mark Zuckerberg declared last month that he planned to shift Facebook away from being a public town square and to private communications. Now the chief executive is rolling out the first in a series of changes to achieve that. On Tuesday at its annual developer conference, Facebook unveiled a redesign of its mobile app and …

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