Archive for the ‘Internet Social Media’ Category

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naih hungary data censor logo Hungary’s Data Protection Chief has proposed new legislation which would enable social media platforms to ban people from their services only with a compelling reason, while also granting the right to Hungarian authorities to review the decisions.The head of the Hungarian Data Protection Authority (NAIH), requested a regulation on social media at a meeting of the Digital Freedom Working Group, according to which community profiles can only be suspended for compelling reasons. Also, according to Attila Péterfalvi, Hungarian authorities should have the right to review these decisions.

The justice ministry’s digital freedom committee aimed at improving the transparency of tech firms has penned a letter to the regional director of Facebook asking whether the company’s supervisory board complied with the requirements of political neutrality and transparency in its procedures, Justice Minister Judit Varga said:Péterfalvi said:

I made the suggestion of establishing a Hungarian authority procedure in which the Hungarian authorities would oblige Facebook to review unjustified suspensions so that freedom of expression would remain free indeed.

Twitter proves that there is a liberal elite silencing the right

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Black Round w/USA Q - Where We Go One We Go All Sticker Twitter’s threat to shadowban accounts and hashtags linked to the pro-Trump QAnon movement has merely validated followers’ fears that they are being controlled by a liberal elite.The US conspiracy theory (really an ecosystem of interlinked conspiracy theories) is centered around the cryptic disclosures of a supposedly high-ranking government employee going by the moniker Q.

The supporters believe that the eponymous Q is posting coded messages online to inform Trump’s supporters about a secret war against the right, and preparing them for an imminent event in which the president overthrows the evil cabal and imprisons its members.Generally they believe that Donald Trump is fighting against a secretive and evil global cabal, members of which include former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the billionaire liberal philanthropist George Soros, who both have been hate figures for the American political right for many years.

Twitter’s thread vowing to take further action on QAnon activity across the service induced a collective persecution-complex orgasm across the Q community, who mostly interpreted the deplatforming threat as an admission that QAnon was every bit the threat to the ruling power structure they’ve always believed they were.

The company warned some 150,000 accounts will be affected by the new rule, implying that sharing QAnon content is behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm. Tellingly, they didn’t cite any specific incidents, and mainstream media that have reported on the ban don’t seem to care what harm has in fact resulted from the fevered speculation over cryptic Q breadcrumbs.

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itv logo Journalism is taking a massive revenue hit in the face of nominally free news circulated via social media. And traditional mainstream broadcasters are a little aggrieved that they are held to higher standards, and a more expensive, regulatory envirnoment, compared to their internet competitors.Now three of Britain’s largest broadcasters are calling on ministers to introduce new laws to even up the playing fields by requiring more regulation and censorship for social media news dsitribution. Of course the broadcasters site that old chestnut of supposed  ‘fake news’ to justify the increased regulation.

In a joint letter published on The Times website, the heads of ITV, Channel 4 and Sky say that statutory regulation of online advertising is necessary, and urgent, given the scale of harm supposedly currently being caused to consumers.

Dame Carolyn McCall of ITV, Stephen van Rooyen, Sky’s chief executive for the UK & Europe and Alex Mahon at Channel 4, home of the appalingly biased progressive propaganda bulletin called Channel 4 News, say that laws should be enacted urgently to hold online platforms and online advertisers to the same high standards as television channels. The broadcasters called for these new laws to be backed up with large fines that meaningfully incentivize major online platforms to comply with the rules.

The group were perhaps on firmer ground in noting that the internet companies had effectively stitched up the online advertising market. But again the broadcasters tried to justify calls to challenge the is advertsing status quo by citing misinformation as if the silly stories about 5G and coronavirus were bringing civilsation to its knees. The trio suggested that Facebook and Google’s dominance in the digital advertising market is the cause of the “epidemic of disinformation” and wrote that “statutory regulation of online advertising is necessary, and urgent, given the scale of harm currently being caused to consumers.”

They also argued that Google and Facebook should “bear the responsibility for the advertising they carry and liability for harmful or misleading ads” as broadcasters and claimed that their advertising models “reward and amplify many of the very types of content that the government wants to see tackled.”

Brands demand that Facebook censors news that offends identitarian sensitivities.

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stop hate for profit logo Facebook has said it will start to label potentially harmful posts that it leaves up because of their news value. The move comes as the firm faces growing pressure to censor the content on its platform.More than 90 advertisers have joined a boycott of the site, including consumer goods giant Unilever on Friday. The Stop Hate for Profit campaign was started by US civil rights groups after the death of George Floyd in May while in police custody. It has focused on Facebook, which also owns Instagram; and WhatsApp. The organisers, which include Color of Change and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, have said Facebook allows racist, violent and verifiably false content to run rampant on its platform.

Unilver said it would halt Twitter, Facebook and Instagram advertising in the US at least through 2020.

In a speech on Friday, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg defended the firm’s record of taking down hate speech. But he said the firm was tightening its policies to address the reality of the challenges our country is facing and how they’re showing up across our community. In addition to introducing labels, Facebook will ban ads that describe people from different groups, based on factors such as race or immigration status, as a threat. He said:

A handful of times a year, we leave up content that would otherwise violate our policies if the public interest value outweighs the risk of harm. Often, seeing speech from politicians is in the public interest, and in the same way that news outlets will report what a politician says, we think people should generally be able to see it for themselves on our platforms.

We will soon start labelling some of the content we leave up because it is deemed newsworthy, so people can know when this is the case.

He added that Facebook would remove content – even from politicians – if it determines that it incites violence or suppresses voting.

French constitutional council strikes down recent internet censorship law passed by parliament

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Conseil Constitutionnel logo French internet censorship law suuposedly targeted at hate speech on online platforms has been widely deemed as unconstitutional by France’s Constitutional Council, the top authority in charge of ruling whether a new law complies with the constitution. It won’t come into effect as expected in the coming weeks.The original law said that online platforms should remove within 24 hours illicit content that has been flagged. Otherwise, companies will have to pay hefty fines every time they infringe the law. For social media companies, it could have potentially cost them many millions of dollars per year.

And of course illicit content means anything that would be considered threating or insulting, such as death threats, discrimination, Holocaust denial etc.

But the Constitutional Council says that such a technical list makes it difficult to rule what is illicit content and what is not. Due to the short window of time, online platforms can’t check with a court whether a tweet, a post, a photo or a blog post is deemed as illicit or not. When you combine that with potential fines, the Constitutional Council fears that online platforms will censor content a bit too quickly.

The government said it would respond to the criticisism and change the law accordingly.

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reddit logo Reddit Ireland has taken the decision to shut down in the early hours of the morning, to limit content posted from the US during daytime hours there.Moderators said having to check every comment on the group had pushed them to breaking point. The page is now seeking to expand its team of moderators and add filters that can spot posts that require censorship.

In a post on the page, which has 280,000 members, it said:

We’re taking the very difficult decision today to shut down Reddit Ireland temporarily between midnight and 08:00 each day in order to stem the flow of racist/extremist content which is being posted at these times.

Reddit said it would install software to racist comments including common phrases used against traveller communities and any other minority groups.

An irresponsible judgement about GDPR or an accurate judgement based on an irresponsible law…

Court tells grandma that she should have registered as a data controller and produced a risk assessment document before posting a picture of her grandchildren on social media.

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gdpr logo The GDPR is a reprehensible and bureaucratic law that is impossible to fully comply with, and dictates an onerous process of risk assessments that are enforced by inspection and audits. It is not the sort of thing that you would wish on your grandmother. So the law makers built in an important exclusion such that the law does not apply to the processing of personal data by a natural person in the exercise of a purely personal or household activity.But now a Dutch court has weighed in and decided that this important exclusion does not applying to posting family pictures on the likes of Twitter.

The court got involved in a family dispute between a grandmother who wanted to post pictures of her grand children on social against the wishes of the mother.

The court decided that the posting of pictures for public consumption on social media went beyond ‘purely personal or household activity’. The details weren’t fully worked out, but the court judgement suggested that they may have taken a different view had the pictures been posted to a more restricted audience, say to Facebook friends only. But saying that such nuance doesn’t apply to Twitter where posts are by default public.

The outcome of the case was that the grandmother was therefore in the wrong and has been ordered to remove the pictures from her social media accounts.

But the horrible outcome of this court judgement is that anyone posting pictures of private individuals to Twitter must now register as a data controller, so requiring submission to the full bureaucratic nightmare that is the GDPR.

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twitch logo Twitch has introduced a new PC censor in the following blog post: Keeping our community safe and healthy is a top priority for Twitch. Today, we’re excited to announce the formation of the Twitch Safety Advisory Council, which will support the growth of our community moving forward.

The Safety Advisory Council will inform and guide decisions made at Twitch by contributing their experience, expertise, and belief in Twitch’s mission of empowering communities to create together. The Council will advise on a number of topics including:

  • Drafting new policies and policy updates
  • Developing products and features to improve safety and moderation
  • Promoting healthy streaming and work-life balance habits
  • Protecting the interests of marginalized groups
  • Identifying emerging trends that could impact the Twitch experience

This group is composed of online safety experts and Twitch creators who have a deep understanding of Twitch, its content, and its community. When developing this council we felt it was essential to include both experts who can provide an external perspective, as well as Twitch streamers who deeply understand creators’ unique challenges and viewpoints. Each member of the council was carefully selected based on their familiarity with the Twitch community and their relevant personal and professional experiences.

We are excited to work with this talented group to make Twitch the best place to grow and foster a community. The creation of the Safety Advisory Council is just one way we are enhancing our approach to issues of trust and safety. We will continue to invest in tools, products, and policies that promote the safety and well-being of everyone on Twitch.

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facebook meme challenge Facebook is seeking help in the censorship of hateful messages that have been encoded into meme. The company writes in a post:

In order for AI to become a more effective tool for detecting hate speech, it must be able to understand content the way people do: holistically. When viewing a meme, for example, we don’t think about the words and photo independently of each other; we understand the combined meaning together. This is extremely challenging for machines, however, because it means they can’t just analyze the text and the image separately. They must combine these different modalities and understand how the meaning changes when they are presented together. To catalyze research in this area, Facebook AI has created a data set to help build systems that better understand multimodal hate speech. Today, we are releasing this Hateful Memes data set to the broader research community and launching an associated competition, hosted by DrivenData with a $100,000 prize pool.

The challenges of harmful content affect the entire tech industry and society at large. As with our work on initiatives like the Deepfake Detection Challenge and the Reproducibility Challenge, Facebook AI believes the best solutions will come from open collaboration by experts across the AI community.

We continue to make progress in improving our AI systems to detect hate speech and other harmful content on our platforms, and we believe the Hateful Memes project will enable Facebook and others to do more to keep people safe.

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facebook oversight board logo We know that social media can spread speech that is hateful, harmful and deceitful. In recent years, the question of what content should stay up or come down, and who should decide this, has become increasingly urgent for society. Every content decision made by Facebook impacts people and communities. All of them deserve to understand the rules that govern what they are sharing, how these rules are applied, and how they can appeal those decisions.

The Oversight Board represents a new model of content moderation for Facebook and Instagram and today we are proud to announce our initial members. The Board will take final and binding decisions on whether specific content should be allowed or removed from Facebook and Instagram

The Board will review whether content is consistent with Facebook and Instagram’s policies and values, as well as a commitment to upholding freedom of expression within the framework of international norms of human rights. We will make decisions based on these principles, and the impact on users and society, without regard to Facebook’s economic, political or reputational interests. Facebook must implement our decisions, unless implementation could violate the law.

The four Co-Chairs and 16 other Members announced today are drawn from around the world. They speak over 27 languages and represent diverse professional, cultural, political, and religious backgrounds and viewpoints. Over time we expect to grow the Board to around 40 Members. While we cannot claim to represent everyone, we are confident that our global composition will underpin, strengthen and guide our decision-making.

All Board Members are independent of Facebook and all other social media companies. In fact, many of us have been publicly critical of how the company has handled content issues in the past. Members contract directly with the Oversight Board, are not Facebook employees and cannot be removed by Facebook. Our financial independence is also guaranteed by the establishment of a $130 million trust fund that is completely independent of Facebook, which will fund our operations and cannot be revoked. All of this is designed to protect our independent judgment and enable us to make decisions free from influence or interference.

When we begin hearing cases later this year, users will be able to appeal to the Board in cases where Facebook has removed their content, but over the following months we will add the opportunity to review appeals from users who want Facebook to remove content.

Users who do not agree with the result of a content appeal to Facebook can refer their case to the Board by following guidelines that will accompany the response from Facebook. At this stage the Board will inform the user if their case will be reviewed.

The Board can also review content referred to it by Facebook. This could include many significant types of decisions, including content on Facebook or Instagram, on advertising, or Groups. The Board will also be able to make policy recommendations to Facebook based on our case decisions.

See first 20 members in blog post from oversightboard.com

The list includes a British panel member, Alan Rusbridger, a former editor of The Guardian. Perhaps giving a hint of a ‘progressive’ leaning to proceedings.