Social Media

Trump Loses Appeal To Keep Blocking Critics On Twitter

The Washington Post reports: A federal appeals court in New York on Monday let stand a ruling that prevents President Trump from blocking critical voices from the Twitter account he uses to communicate with the public. The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit denied the Trump administration’s request to revisit an earlier holding that Trump violated the …

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Man Charged With Terrorism For Virus Facebook Post

USA Today reports: A Louisiana man has been arrested after allegedly making a social media post that claimed Rapides Parish Sheriff’s deputies had been ordered to shoot on sight those suffering from the coronavirus. Waylon Allen Bailey, 27, of the 3800 block of La. Highway 112, was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center on one count of terrorizing, according …

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YouTube To Allow Ads On Clips About Coronavirus

TechCrunch reports: YouTube today announced a change in policy regarding the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Previously, YouTube’s advertising guidelines prevented monetization of videos that included more than a passing mention of the coronavirus as part of its “sensitive events” policy. The policy is meant to protect advertisers from being associated with videos about things like mass shootings, terrorist acts, armed …

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Facebook Bans Ads For “Medical Face Masks”

CNBC reports: Facebook late on Friday announced it is temporarily banning ads and commerce listings selling medical face masks as the company continues to grapple with the reaction of its users to the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Facebook Director of Product Management Rob Leathern announced the change in a Friday tweet.  “We’re banning ads and commerce listings selling medical …

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Facebook AI Tool Detects 6.5 Billion Fake Accounts

The Verge reports: Facebook is opening up about the behind-the-scenes tools it uses to combat fake account creation on its platforms, and the company says it has a new artificial intelligence-powered method known as Deep Entity Classification (DEC) that’s proved especially effective. DEC is a machine learning model that doesn’t just take into account the activity of the suspect account, …

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Twitter Tests Disappearing Feature Called “Fleets”

Buzzfeed News reports: On Wednesday, Twitter will begin testing a feature, called “Fleets,” that will allow you to post photos, videos, and text that disappear after a short period of time. If it sounds familiar, that’s because it’s nothing other than the long-awaited debut of stories on the social platform. When Snapchat invented stories in 2013, people loved the way …

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Pope To Catholics: Try Giving Up Trolling For Lent

Reuters reports: During Lent, Catholics are called on to give up something, like sweets. On Wednesday, Pope Francis added a modern twist to the list of things to quit during the season and beyond: insulting people on social media. The pope made his appeal to tone things down while speaking to tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square …

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Twitter Bans Dozens of Pro-Bloomberg Spam Accounts

The Hill reports: Twitter announced Friday night that it is suspending 70 accounts that posted content supporting Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign, saying the messages violated its company rules. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, has launched an expansive social media campaign to buoy his White House bid. One prong of the strategy involves hiring temporary employees to launch …

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Massive Bot Army Behind Climate Denialist Tweets

The Guardian reports: The social media conversation over the climate crisis is being reshaped by an army of automated Twitter bots, with a new analysis finding that a quarter of all tweets about climate on an average day are produced by bots, the Guardian can reveal. The stunning levels of Twitter bot activity on topics related to global heating and …

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Twitter Tests New Way To Flag Lies And Disinformation

NBC News reports: Twitter is experimenting with adding brightly colored labels directly beneath lies and misinformation posted by politicians and public figures, according to a leaked demo of new features sent to NBC News. Twitter confirmed that the leaked demo is one possible iteration of a new policy to target misinformation it plans to roll out March 5. In this …

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FB Cancels Annual San Francisco Confab Over Virus

The Washington Post reports: Facebook announced Friday that it would cancel a summit it had planned to hold at San Francisco’s Moscone Center in March. “Out of an abundance of caution, we canceled our Global Marketing Summit due to evolving public health risks related to coronavirus,” Anthony Harrison, a Facebook spokesman, said. The annual event brings together Facebook employees from …

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WhatsApp Hits 2B Users Amid FTC Antitrust Scrutiny

Variety reports: WhatsApp now has more than 2 billion users globally, according to Facebook — and the company says it “will not compromise” on the messaging app’s end-to-end encryption, despite warnings from law enforcement officials. WhatsApp, which Facebook acquired for $19 billion in 2014, uses strong crypto to keep information sent over the service private, “helping protect you from hackers …

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Twitter Bans Pro-Trump Site Over False Virus Claims

CBS News reports: The financial website Zero Hedge is now barred from Twitter after publishing an article relaying a conspiracy theory that a Chinese scientist might be to blame for the coronavirus outbreak. Zero Hedge on Friday wrote that Twitter had notified the site that it had violated the social media platform’s “rules against abuse and harassment.” That followed a …

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Hillary Clinton: Facebook Intends To Reelect Trump

The Atlantic reports: Facebook is, in a sense, the world’s first technocratic nation-state—a real-time experiment in connecting humans at massive and unprecedented scale, with a population of users that eclipses any actual nation, nearly as big as China and India combined. It’s also an institution with gigantic levers at its disposal to affect the lives of its user-citizens. Facebook knows …

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Facebook OK’s Large Lie-Filled Pro-Trump Ad Buy

Popular Information reports: Facebook is allowing a major pro-Trump Super PAC, the Committee to Defend the President, to run ads with lies. The Committee to Defend the President, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, is one of the “two biggest non-party outside spenders of this cycle.” Since Saturday, the Committee to Defend the President is running multiple ads that …

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Twitter Sorry For Ads Targeting Homophobes, Nazis

The BBC reports: Twitter has apologised for allowing adverts to be micro-targeted at certain users such as neo-Nazis, homophobes and other hate groups. The BBC discovered the issue and that prompted the tech firm to act. Our investigation found it possible to target users who had shown an interest in keywords including “transphobic”, “white supremacists” and “anti-gay”. Twitter allows ads …

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Mark Hamill Quits Facebook With Jab At Zuckerberg

MarketWatch reports: The Force isn’t strong with Facebook anymore. OG “Star Wars” star Mark Hamill quit the social network on Sunday, accusing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg of turning to the Dark Side of capitalism. The actor who originated the iconic role of Luke Skywalker in the original “Star Wars” trilogy announced his Facebook boycott on Twitter, where he condemned Zuckerberg …

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TikTok Overhauls Content Rules After Growing Criticism

Wired Magazine reports: Whereas Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have developed lengthy policies covering hundreds of circumstances, TikTok provided a short list of bullet points addressing only the most extreme content. Amid growing scrutiny over censorship and its Chinese ownership from regulators, the company has pledged that more transparency would be forthcoming. Now, it’s here. On Wednesday, TikTok released a comprehensive …

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Facebook Bans “Deepfake” Videos Ahead Of Election

The Associated Press reports: Facebook says it is banning “deepfake” videos, the false but realistic clips created with artificial intelligence and sophisticated tools, as it steps up efforts to fight online manipulation. The social network said late Monday that it’s beefing up its policies to remove videos edited or synthesized in ways that aren’t apparent to the average person, and …

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Iranian General Had Taunted Trump On Social Media

The Washington Post reports: Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq early Friday, wasn’t just an infamous terrorist organizer and one of the regime’s most powerful officials — he was also one of President Trump’s social media antagonists. International experts have long known of Soleimani as the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force …

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