On June 22, 2016, Democrats in the House of Representatives organized a sit-in on the floor of Congress. Days earlier, a man had killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in a shootout at Pulse's nightclub in Orlando, and Democrats staged a protest in an effort to pass gun control legislation. The Republicans, hoping to reduce the impact of the Democrats' publicity stunt, ordered C-SPAN not to turn on their cameras and broadcast the protest. But the Democrats did not need a transmission partner: they had smartphones. Periscope and Facebook Live, which were introduced last year, allowed members of Congress to issue the protests on their own.
It was an exciting moment. C-SPAN deftly retransmitted the transmissions, and the incident garnered great national attention, although, unfortunately, there was no action for the cause of the Democrats. After the trick, Republicans approved new rules that prohibit taking pictures and videos on the floor of the House. Anyone who violates the rules would now be subject to a fine. A tool designed to democratize transmission was affected by democracy.
I thought about this week's sitting when I read Australia's proposal to criminally hold Facebook and other technology platforms of all the live videos they post. Cat Zakrzewski reports in the Washington Post :
Australia is considering heavy fines and even jail sentences for social media executives who do not quickly eliminate violent content. The proposal is one of the most radical measures of repression in the content moderation efforts of technology companies that those responsible for formulating the policies of a democratic government have considered.
The new legislation, which will be introduced this week, would fine companies to 10 percent of their annual income and ask for up to three years in prison, and arrives when Australian officials attacked social media companies like Facebook for not offer immediate solutions after the violent videos of the shooting in New Zealand proliferated online.
The tools that democratize the exchange of information have followed a familiar pattern. First, they are discovered by the first adopters, who generally use them for good; then they are discovered by criminals, who exploit them relentlessly. The Arab Spring, which was organized and promoted on social platforms, led directly to the events of 2016, as the foreign states learned that the platforms could be used to distort public discussions and interfere in elections.
From the beginning, live streaming tools expressed concern about the frequency with which they are used to transmit self-harm and other violent episodes. With the Christchurch shooting, it seems that we have reached the final point of all recently democratized communications tools: their use for brazen terrorism.
In response, lawmakers around the world are now pressuring Facebook to make a mistake by eliminating live broadcasts. with the threat of severe sanctions if they do not. And while I do not expect the United States to consider legislation of this kind soon, the movement is accelerating in both Europe and Oceania, and could lead to further fragmentation of the Internet.
Maybe Facebook will hire moderators and develop the artificial intelligence needed to adapt to these regulations, or maybe it will simply make Facebook Live unavailable in those countries. If it does, it's worth remembering that live broadcasts have been a powerful and pro-democracy tool in this country and in others, and that promptly drafted and angrily passed regulations could cost us the kind of freedom that Democrats in the Camera considered so useful. and not long ago.
Facebook Efforts & # 39; They are not nearly enough & # 39; in Myanmar for the genocide, says the UN investigator
Nearly two years after the worst of the genocide in Myanmar, Patrick Howell O'Neill speaks to the UN investigator Christopher Sidoti. Sidoti was one of the researchers who blamed Facebook for spreading hate speech in a subsequent report:
"Even the report commissioned by Facebook itself indicated that only about half of the posts eliminated by Facebook were identified by Facebook" said Sidoti. "They continue to depend on whether they are informed by outsiders, and are still not entirely satisfactory in terms of their performance in the removal of material, and certainly not entirely satisfactory to avoid the publication of this material in the first place."
The WhatsApp line launched to fight false news is not going to be a fight against false news
Wow! From Ryan Mac and Pranav Dixit:
One day after WhatsApp launched an information line to combat misinformation before a general election in India, the company that runs the project in association with the Facebook-owned messaging service revealed that its main objective is to collect the investigation, instead of taking measures against false news in the world's largest democracy.
On Tuesday, WhatsApp announced Checkpoint, a "helpline to understand and respond to misinformation during elections in India" with information about sending suspicious messages. But when BuzzFeed News asked about the effectiveness of the tip line after sending several tips and not receiving answers, Proto, the Indian-based company that partnered with WhatsApp, published a website of frequently asked questions that states that the project It is not a helpline and is not primarily designed to provide feedback.
Facebook says the white nationalist video does not break a new policy against white nationalism
One thing is to say that you have banned white nationalism and another thing is to do it effectively. From Andy Campbell:
Goldy's racist propaganda seems to represent the exact kind of content that should make someone banned under the new rules. But as shown in the video above, the Facebook spokesman argued that it does not promote or praise white nationalism. Instead, the spokesman said it offers a discussion on immigration and ethnicity statistics. […]
The point is that Goldy's content promotes white nationalism, almost exclusively. The white "replacement" concept described in the video is a white nationalist point of discussion and a conspiracy theory shared by prominent white supremacists around the world.
Twitter and YouTube will not commit to ban white nationalism after Facebook changes policy  Joseph Cox reports that, unlike Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, they have no plans to ban white nationalism.
YouTube pointed out to the motherboard its existing policies around violence, hate speech, threats and harassment. None of them seems to deal with content that says more simply but explicitly: "I am a proud white nationalist." On the side of the application, this week found a motherboard YouTube still houses a lot of neo-Nazi content
Jack Dorsey of Twitter adds its support for technology regulation
Dorsey stopped podcasting Enough time to tell Selina Wang that she believes that Data Protection Regulation in general was good for the industry.
Singapore Plan Law to combat false news, but critics fear repression
Under the pretext of preventing the spread of false news, Singapore is trying to penalize publishers whose work threatens to cause "a decrease in public confidence" in the government, report Mike Ives and Raymond Zhong. Offenders face up to six years in prison:
Kirsten Han, journalist and activist from Singapore, described the legislation as "worryingly broad".
"The bill grants ministers such power and discretion: any minister may direct individuals or" web pages to post corrections or remove content, or order access to content that is to be blocked, and these orders they must be fulfilled first, even if one is going to appeal the address in the courts, "Ms. Han said in an email.
The & Brewster & # 39; Brexit & # 39; Facebook Ads from & # 39; Grassroots & # 39; are executed in secret by the staff of the firm Lynton Crosby
Jim Waterston used tools of transparency of Facebook ads to discover a pro-Brexit astroturfing campaign:
A series of very influential Facebook advertising campaigns that appear to be separate base movements for a no-deal Brexit are secretly supervised by employees of the lobbying company of Sir Lynton Crosby and a former adviser to Boris Johnson, documents he sees The Guardian reveal .
the mystery groups, which have names like Mainstream Network and Britain's Future, seem to be managed independently by members of the public and give no hint that they are connected. But in reality, they share an administrator who works for Crosby's CTF Partners and have spent up to £ 1m on the promotion of sophisticated targeted ads aimed at increasing the pressure on individual parliamentarians to vote for a difficult Brexit.
Why did you offer the Google Digital News Innovation Fund? Up to € 50,000 for a spokesperson for the authoritarian government of Hungary?
The answer to the question in the headline seems to be "it was a mistake", since Google canceled the grant.
The Brazilian television channel broadcast by Brooklyn Nine -Nine & # 39; with a dialogue that supports the president of Brazil
My new favorite propaganda vector is a poorly translated Fox comedy. Jennifer Maas:
An episode of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" that aired in Brazil included a "poorly translated" dialogue in which a character implies support for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, TheWrap has learned exclusively.
A source close to The situation tells TheWrap that TNT Brasil, which broadcasts the NBC comedy produced by Universal Television in the South American country, broadcast a version of Episode 504 with Charles Boyle (played by Joe Lo Truglio) making references positive towards Bolsonaro in the voice in Portuguese.  Elsewhere
Losing face: two more cases of data exposure from a third-party Facebook application
A cybersecurity company discovered that a third party was storing 146 gigabytes of data from Facebook users (540 million of records) in a public hub of Amazon web services. Last year, when Facebook said data leakage in the style of Cambridge Analytica had affected most of its user base, this is the kind of topic the company was talking about.
& # 39; Beyond an outline & # 39 ;: Facebook requires email passwords from some new users  Facebook allowed some people to verify new accounts by asking them to write their email password, which seems bad. The company agreed to stop after Beast wrote this article.
Brian Acton from WhatsApp to talk to Signal Foundation and leave Facebook in Disrupt SF
will mark my calendar for this: Acton, who was most recently seen on Twitter and told people to delete their Facebook accounts, is speaking in Disrupt in October.
The Hunt for False News: EU Edition
Facebook is making a series of blog posts describing recent examples. Of the viral disinformation that they have found. I think the intention is to show the variety of ways in which the company identifies inappropriate content, but it also leads to strange graphics that ask: "Is the UN trying to legalize pedophilia?" (It is not.)
Old, online, and Fed with lies: how an aging population will reshape the Internet
"Older people play an inordinate role in civic life," says Craig Silverman in a report fascinating. "They are also more likely to be online targets for misinformation and hyperparticist rhetoric." Social platforms need a new strategy to help their older customers.
Although many older Americans, like the rest of us, have embraced the tools and toys of the technology industry, a growing body of research shows that they have been disproportionately victimized by the dangers of misinformation on the Internet and the risk of being more polarized by your online habits. While that is very important to them, it is also a huge challenge for society given the enormous role that older generations play in civic life, and the demographic changes that are increasing their power and influence.
People 65 and older will soon form the largest group. according to the US Census UU., According to the US Census. UU This massive demographic change is occurring when this age group is moving online and on Facebook en masse, struggling deeply with digital literacy and being attacked by a wide range of online bad actors who try to provide them with fake news, infect their devices with malware and steal your money in scams. However, most older people are staying away from what has become a golden age for digital literacy efforts.
Snapchat tests the new Bitmoji status function in Snap Map
Snapchat may soon allow you to add a status to your Bitmoji avatar in the Snap Map, according to a new finding by Jane Manchun Wong.
Longform Podcast # 337: Casey Newton
As a long-time listener to the Longform podcast, it was exciting to talk to Aaron Lammer. We talked about what led me to start this newsletter, my relationship with the companies I cover and much more. Check it!
The original sin of Big Tech
Charlie Warzel says that the mentality of growing at all costs of Silicon Valley is the main cause of many of its problems:
It is true that technology companies these are thorny problems that probably do not have a universally satisfactory result. The problems of Big Tech are really dizzying and multiple, but recent years have taught us that Occam quality exists for any explanation of the toxicity of our online platforms. Original sin, it seems, is not that complicated; It is the prioritization of growth, above all and at the expense of those who use the services.
And finally …
The Department of Justice says that attempts to prevent Netflix from meeting the requirements of the Oscars could violate the antitrust law
One of the recurring themes of this newsletter is that it does not we have a significant antitrust application in this country, so I was delighted to see that our Department of Justice finally accepted the challenge of regulating … um, eligibility for the big tech Oscar:
"In the case that the Academy, an association that includes several competitors in its membership, establishes certain eligibility requirements for the Oscars that eliminate competition without a justification for competition, such behavior may raise antitrust concerns, "wrote Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general of the competition defense division of the Department of Justice, in the letter addressed to the CEO of AMPAS, Dawn Hudson.
We hope that Delrahim decides to throw the book to Hollywood about it and then start working on a sequel.
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