The UK is attempting a radical redesign of the internet

Last month, with the approval of the Copyright Directive, I wrote here that Europe was dividing the Internet into three. On Sunday, that process took another big step forward. Colin Lecher explains in The Verge :

In a detailed proposal published today, the United Kingdom presented a plan to regulate more closely the technology industry, which is the latest offensive against Big Tech in Europe. 19659003] The white paper, produced by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports of the United Kingdom and the secretary of state for the Department of the Home, says that a more decisive action is needed, pointing out the propagation of the content terrorist and other growing problems online. "There are currently a number of regulatory and voluntary initiatives aimed at addressing these problems," the authors write in a summary, "but these have not been fast enough or sufficiently consistent between different companies to keep UK users safe in line". . "

For now, the proposal of the United Kingdom is simply a white paper. The department will issue public comments during the next three months before drafting legislation.

But unlike the United States, where everyone seems to be talking about new restrictions on technology companies that are disappearing into nothing, the Commonwealth countries seem to be quite serious about regulation. Australia has proposed fines and even jail sentences for corporate executives who do not quickly remove violent content, as I covered here last week. The New Zealand privacy commissioner (ironically) asked Facebook to hand out the names of all those who shared the video of the Christchurch massacre. (He also called the company "morally bankrupt pathological liars who allow genocide," just in case.)

And now Canada is also considering new regulations, BuzzFeed and Toronto Star reported:

The Minister of Democratic Institutions, Karina Gould, told Star and BuzzFeed News that "all options are on the table" when it comes to applying national standards to international giants of social networks such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Twitter. [19659008] "We recognize that self-regulation is not giving the results that societies expect these companies to provide," Gould said in an interview on Monday.

Of all the saber rattling to date, the UK white paper contains perhaps the most comprehensive set of potential regulations to date. The legislators intend to establish a new regulatory agency and a "code of practice" to guide Internet companies about what is required of them; empower that agency to fine companies (and executives) that do not meet its standards; and require Internet service providers to block access to sites that do not work, do not adhere to their "code of practice".

As the BBC notes, the new agency could drastically reduce freedom of expression, depending on how certain terms are defined: [19659011] Plans cover a variety of topics that are clearly defined in the law, such as the dissemination of content terrorist, child sexual abuse, so-called revenge pornography, hate crimes, harassment and the sale of illegal assets.

But it also covers harmful behavior that has a less clear legal definition, such as cyberbullying, trolling and spreading false news and misinformation.

An Internet that has been stripped of terrorist content, child exploitation and porn revenge would be welcome. And yet, given what we know about the difficulties of moderating content to scale, it is difficult to understand how the regulations now in development will achieve their objectives without significantly undermining political discourse. After all, a person's "trolling" is someone else's good faith argument, and God helps the regulator in charge of drawing a line between them.

In addition, new moderation requirements may be impossible for everyone, except for the largest platforms. they meet, strengthening their power even more and making it difficult for new companies to challenge them. If you think that Commonwealth countries have been more willing to regulate technology platforms in part because they resent the fact that the United States has vast swaths of the Internet, and I do, it is worth considering that the main effect of these new rules could be be increase dramatically. The power of American companies.

Years of inaction have justifiably led critics to complain that regulators around the world have been asleep in the change. But if it is true that historically they have moved very slowly, it is also possible that at the present time they are moving too fast. A white paper announcing his intention to ban "trolling" and "disinformation", but makes a small attempt to define, gives me chills. (The same happens with strong support from Theresa May).

Some recent regulations seem to me positive in general: the General Data Protection Regulation seems to have galvanized a healthy amount of privacy legislation around the world. But before redesigning the entire Internet around the concept of "security", it is worth having a long conversation about what we are giving up to achieve it.


Facebook bans Faith Goldy after the HuffPost report on the content of white nationalism [19659019] Goldy's publications represent a clear case of a bad actor getting "freedom of reach" on Facebook, and Glad he's gone now:

Facebook announced on Monday that it was banning prominent Canadian nationalist Faith Goldy from its platform, A week later, the company told HuffPost that its racist videos did not violate its new rules that restrict the white nationalist content.

Anti-Semitic comments have flooded a Facebook page in New Jersey. The state wants Facebook to intervene.

David Uberti reports that the attorney general of New Jersey sent a letter to Facebook asking about an anti-Semitic page:

Anti-Semitic comments, as arguments to eradicate the Jews "as Hitler did", have flooded a Facebook page from New Jersey. And the state attorney general wants Facebook to intensify and start monitoring them.

A letter sent by the Office's Civil Rights Division highlighted the anti-Semitic comments left on the page of a group in Lakewood, New Jersey, which officials say "fuels the tide of hate" throughout the state and country. The anonymous group, called Rise Up Ocean County, allegedly promotes the negative stereotypes of Orthodox Jews to discourage new residents and development. The profile photo of the group, which includes a cross, a star of David and the star and the Islamic half moon, qualifies the page as "united against anti-classicism" or what its members consider prejudices against non-Jews.

40 teams, 30,000 people: the Facebook army against false news before the LS polls

Smriti Kak Ramachandran describes the Facebook teams that work to protect the platform against interference in the upcoming elections in India. (There is also a post on the Facebook blog about it).

This workforce of the operations center, 40 teams of 30,000 people worldwide, including experts from all sectors, such as cyber security and engineering, has been implemented after social networks. The giant faced the heat of governments and privacy watchers after the Cambridge Analytica controversy, which exposed privacy errors on the platform.

In general, the forensic exercise of assigning an email or an account, delivered to the operations teams that the 24X7 race, for the investigation to evaluate if it qualifies for an elimination, is completed in hours.

Facebook seeks to build a submarine ring around Africa

He tried to find a more meaningful accompaniment to this story by Drew FitzGerald than "UMMMM", but could not get there:

The company is in talks to develop a cable of submarine data that would surround the continent, according to people familiar with the plans, an effort aimed at reducing their bandwidth costs and making it easier for the social media giant to register more users.

The three-stage project, called Simba by the main character in "The Lion King", could be linked to beachheads in several countries on the eastern, western and Mediterranean coasts of the continent, although the exact route and number of Landings are in motion, people said.

Israel's Choice: Meet the People Verification of the facts The election that makes 2016 look like A Israel walks tomorrow, but the only data verification group that works with Facebook began just a few days according to Megha Rajagopalan.

The Whistle, the only internationally accredited data verification group in Israel, is verifying the content. has been marked as possibly with misinformation from Facebook or users. […]

The Whistle, which was integrated into the financial newspaper Globes earlier this year, consists of only five employees and a handful of student volunteers.

Election of Israel: Twitter suspended dozens of accounts in Hebrew executed by a strange Chinese religious Sect

Meanwhile, Twitter has suspended at least 600 accounts "affiliated with the Church of God Almighty (CAG), a Christian sect that It is banned in China and it believes that Jesus Christ has been reincarnated as a Chinese woman who currently lives in Queens, New York. "

Airbnb does not want white nationalists on its platform, but how hard are you looking for them?

Dhruv Mehrotra and Kashmir Hill report that while Airbnb opposes the use of its platform by whites Nationalists, organized hate groups still use it:

An investigation by Gizmodo found that 87 listings had been booked of Airbnb in the immediate area around the Montgomery Bell Inn and the Conference Center for the weekend of the hate group conference. Although it was impossible to know how many of those reservations were made by the white nationalists who attended AmRen, the possibility that Airbnb hosts unknowingly invited extremists into their homes is alarming.


Survey: Americans give social networks a clear thumb-down

A survey by NBC found a widespread discontent with social networks. Mark Murray:

The American public has negative opinions of the giants of social networks like Facebook and Twitter, with a considerable majority that says that these sites do more to divide the country than to unite and spread falsehoods instead of news, according to the results of the latest NBC News / Wall Street Journal national survey.

What's more, six out of 10 Americans say they do not trust Facebook to protect their personal information, according to the survey.

Facebook still has a big problem with computer crime groups

Facebook groups are popular with criminals, reports Adi Robertson:

Counterfeiters, identity thieves, spammers and scammers have been using Facebook to sell their services, even after a crackdown last year, according to a new report. Talos, Cisco's cybersecurity research division, found that dozens of Facebook groups were "shadowy (at best) and illegal (at worst)," with names like "Facebook hack (Phishing). "and" Spammer & Hacker Professional ". The groups have been closed, but Talos is asking Facebook to monitor the suspected groups more proactively, complaining that "these communities are apparently trusted to control themselves."

What are the Instagram class accounts?

Taylor Lorenz describes the college students they receive to meet through dedicated accounts created for their classes:

These accounts have names like @ penn2023_ and @ AUclassof2023, and typically present photos sent by the user and biographies of a paragraph of students who enter, often including their intended specialty, whether they are looking for a roommate and their personal Instagram account. "Hey!", Reads the title of a recent class page. "I am from Overland Park, Kansas and I plan to specialize in environmental and natural resources. I love anything outdoors (hiking, kayaking, hammocks) and I am always about to get food. I'm definitely interested in running! I would love to talk to you, (I need a roommate!) So please DM of anything! 🙂 "

New Instagram Stars: Specialists in crime scene cleanup

Blake Montgomery reports that the new thing is fashionable Instagram is blood and guts crime scenes:

" People read it I love to see the consequences, "said Neal Smither, 52, owner of Crime Scene Cleaners, Inc., based in Richmond, Calif., and his Instagram page @crimescenecleanersinc." They're blood fans … They have a certain curiosity that seems to fit. "

Smither's page has increased to 378,000 followers since 2014 on the viral success of images of bloody floors, waste of shots and worms, he said, because" what I do is really interesting ". Death is the ultimate mystery, it is insoluble There is a human need to explain death, "although he does not consider himself a priest or a therapist, just a janitor.

In San Francisco, How to Make a Living with Your Multimillionaire Neighbor's Trash

Thomas Fuller spends time with a man looking for valuables hidden in the garbage of San Francisco's rich, like Mark Zuckerberg.

Buyers say that the latest Snap ads can dispel concerns about audience growth

Tim Peterson talks to ad buyers who are impressed with Snap ads last week.

Pinterest establishes the OPI range at $ 15-17, valued at $ 10.6 B versus the previous valuation of $ 12.3B

Ingrid Lunden reports that Pinterest plans to make its initial public offering at a price below its last valuation, an indication of the difficult advertising market and the slowness of Pinterest in the development of income products.

The people behind the application factory of ByteDance ($)

Yunan Zhang has a good introduction to the rapid growth of TikTok's parents ByteDance:

ByteDance, the Chinese company that is behind TikTok, The viral application of short videos that has taken by assault to the adolescents of the world, has committed massively during the last year. Its workforce has doubled to approximately 40,000, more than Facebook, which had 35,600 as of December 31, as it has diversified beyond its initial success, the Toutiao news application. ByteDance now operates more than 20 applications, including Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, the fast-growing social network Helo in India, as well as a commercial messaging application and applications for online learning, jokes, literature and selfies.

TikTok launches a new talent show within its application in search of the next Blackpink

Should not there be a mobile version of American Idol that lands with a similar cultural impact? ByteDance is trying one, reports Shannon Liao:

TikTok wants to put together the next Asian male or female band. The short video application announced today that it is beginning the search for talented young dancers and singers in a new program called TikTok Spotlight. TikTok users in Japan and Korea can compete for the chance to win a registration contract by uploading original music videos.

TikTok is creating a new channel in its application for artists to upload their songs, which will then appear in a playlist for The audience to listen to. TikTok will measure the number of reproductions of songs to measure the popularity of each song. The preferences of the audience play an important role, since artists can get an advantage if their songs have a lot of playing time in TikTok. The Spotlight program is similar to one that already exists in China, launched by the parent company of TikTok, ByteDance.


Snapchat launches the reconstructed Android application

A "finally" seems justified here.

Also: [19659074] Continue, stop following, continue, stop following. Who does that? Spammers So we're changing the number of accounts you can follow each day from 1,000 to 400. Do not worry, you'll be fine.

– Twitter Security (@TwitterSafety) April 8, 2019 [19659075] Take

Facebook wants an imitative regulator for speech on the Internet. It will not happen

Sarah Jeong points out that Mark Zuckerberg's requests for the regulation of harmful content will be limited, in America, by the First Amendment, but not in Europe:

Therefore, while the US government has its The hands tied behind their backs by the Constitution, the French, the Germans and the Irish will establish their own bar for online speech. In the future, the American discourse, at least online, may be governed by Europe.

Why great kids play Dungeons & Dragons

Annalee Newitz changed Facebook for D & D:

What got me away from Facebook was not & # 39; Only the false friendship. It was that false friendship could be armed, used by a hostile government or group to manipulate us. When we fantasize together, in person, we always know that the robot army is not real. We know that an insult can hurt. But online, we use masks on masks. I still love the Internet, but I prefer to have a real friendship with a half-elf bard than with a thousand faceless followers.

And finally …

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