Emerging Media

Twitter Suspends Accounts Linked to 2016 DNC Hack

Twitter Suspends Accounts Linked to 2016 DNC Hack

Twitter announced this week that it has suspended the Guccifer 2.0 and DC Leaks accounts which were linked to the hacking of the US Democratic National Committee in 2016. Twitter told the media that they suspended the accounts for violating the rules of the platform. The move follows the indictments handed down against 12 Russian agents by the Justice Department which said that the accounts acted as fronts for agents in Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU). It was revealed that the accounts, which were left unused for a year and a half, had previously been suspended, albeit temporarily for posting […]

Russia Calls for Volunteers to Censor the Internet

Russia Calls for Volunteers to Censor the Internet

Russia’s interior minister, Vladimir Kolokoltsev, called this week for volunteers to help search for information deemed to be illegal by the Roskomnadzor, the country’s communications regulator. Sites such as those with LGBT content, those which criticize the government, and those accused of promoting terrorist propaganda are some of the sites that ISPs have been instructed to block. Free-speech activists estimate that there are now around 100,000 blocked sites, but Kolokoltsev is reportedly seeking to ban more and also called for volunteers to help public authorities in preventing drug abuse, combating juvenile delinquency as well.   Source: ZDNet

Twitter CEO Loses 200,000 Followers After Locked Accounts Deletion

Twitter CEO Loses 200,000 Followers After Locked Accounts Deletion

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey revealed this week that he lost around 200,000 followers after his company moved to delete “locked accounts” in its efforts to rid the platform of bots. Twitter’s own account had also reportedly lost a significant number of followers, around 7.7 million. It is said that the crackdown was prompted by Unilever’s move to prevent the spread of fake followers. The consumer goods company said that it would no longer be working with influencers that artificially inflate their follower count. It was also reported that President Donald Trump lost around 300,000 followers while former President Barack Obama […]

Facebook Drops “Treason” Interest Category for Ad Targeting  

Facebook Drops “Treason” Interest Category for Ad Targeting  

It was revealed this Wednesday that Facebook has dropped the “treason” tag used to identify user interest for advertisers. Danish state broadcaster DR published that the “treason” interest category tag can potentially be used by intelligence services in authoritarian regimes to hunt down subversives. DR also revealed that their sources said that the tag could have been used by Russian authorities to locate about 65,000 Facebook users. A Facebook spokesperson said that treason was only given a historical significance, but since it is an illegal activity, they have removed it as an interest category. Source: Reuters

Facebook Tests Augmented Reality on American News Feeds

Facebook Tests Augmented Reality on American News Feeds

Facebook revealed last Tuesday that it is testing augmented reality ads on its News Feed in anticipation of the holiday shopping season in the United States. The company, which has already had success with AR ads on Messenger, says that users will be able to  virtually interact with different products, like trying on accessories to visualizing furniture in a room. Brands like Sephora, Bobbi Brown, Pottery Barn, Wayfair will start testing the new ad concept as soon as this summer. The company also said that it has expanded the shopping feature on Instagram stories which can be used to buy […]

YouTube Stars to Raise Awareness on Fake News

YouTube Stars to Raise Awareness on Fake News

YouTube is reportedly investing $25 million for its efforts against fake news. Part of Alphabet’s $300 million Google News Initiative, the video platform will be using its allotment to support the video efforts of global news organizations, as well as improve the manner in which it delivers news to viewers. YouTube says that aside from previews and links to news articles in search results, it will also add text from trusted sources such as Wikipedia and Encyclopaedia Britannica on topics surrounded with a lot of misinformation such as the Oklahoma City Bombing. YouTube stars such as Ingrid Nilsen, Mark Watson, […]

Google’s Shift to Algorithm for Ads Criticized by Privacy Experts

Google’s Shift to Algorithm for Ads Criticized by Privacy Experts

Google’s move to increase reliance on algorithms for its new ad purchasing tools are being met with criticisms from consumer privacy and tech analyst who say that machine learning present risks of discrimination and privacy intrusions in advertising. While the use of Google’s advanced ad software was welcomed by advertisers as it made their spending more efficient, it may allow targeting ads based on users based on race by proxy unbeknownst to the company by relying on other information that approximates race, according to Harvard University fellow and former public policy staffer at Facebook Inc. Dipayan Ghosh. Further concerns were […]

Facebook Shares Hit All Time High Despite Privacy Woes

Facebook Shares Hit All Time High Despite Privacy Woes

Facebook’s recent privacy woes seemed not to have shaken investor confidence as the social network’s stock closed at a record high last Friday, marking a 5% gain since its scandal with Cambridge Analytica was revealed in the news. This marks a full recovery from the stock’s all time low in March where it hit its 52-week intraday low of $149.02 per share. The rally to an intraday high of $203.64 per share puts Facebook’s market value at $590 billion, and Mark Zuckerberg as the third wealthiest on Bloomberg’s Billionaires index at $77.1 billion. Source: CNBC

India’s Ministry of Home Affairs Introduces Cybercrime Website

India’s Ministry of Home Affairs Introduces Cybercrime Website

Minister of State for Home Affairs (MEA) Mr. Hansraj Gangaram Ahir announced this week that they will be launching a website where the public can send complaints regarding cases related to cybercrime. Speaking at the Delhi Police’s Cyber Safety and Digital Awareness Programme for Senior Citizens e, Mr. Ahir added that cyber-frauds can be more or less curtailed if Indian citizens become more digitally aware and responsible about their cyber transactions. The MEA minister also revealed that they have already earmarked IN₹25,000 crores (US$3.6 billion) to equip the police with the technology and knowledge they need to deal with the […]

Twitter Shares Slide After Reports of User Decline

Twitter Shares Slide After Reports of User Decline

Twitter shares fell around 9% last Monday, possibly prompted by reports of decline in monthly active users due to suspension of fake accounts in May and June. It was estimated that the fall took down the microblogging site’s market valuation by $3 billion, which had stood at about $35 billion on Friday. Analyst Ali Mogharabi commented that the market reaction is likely due to the assumption that a lower user count would attract less ad dollars. He added that big advertisers now pay more attention to the content quality alongside which their ads are placed. Twitter told its shareholders that […]

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