Emerging Media

Google to Stop Publishing News Which Hide its Country of Origin

Google to Stop Publishing News Which Hide its Country of Origin

Earlier this week, Google has announced that it will no longer be showing news articles under its News section that do not clearly disclose their country of origin. The company says that the move should help weed out “fake news”. A Google spokesperson said that they are changing their policies to reflect shifts on the world wide web and the way users are searching for information online. Observers believe that the change was brought by criticisms from governments which pressured companies such as Google and Facebook to do more about the spread of misinformation on their platforms. However, some are […]

Twitter Changes Policies on Hate and Violence

Twitter Changes Policies on Hate and Violence

Last Monday, Twitter said that it will be updating rules regarding hateful and abusive behavior as the company crafts new policies aimed at reducing violence and harassment on its platform. Twitter said that it will now be looking at accounts connected to groups which espouse or glorify violence, but may exempt certain groups which are involved in peaceful resolution. The company added that a single tweet will not warrant expulsion from the service, but the user will be required to delete the offending tweet. Twitter also announced recently that hate symbols and imagery such as Nazi symbolism (swastika) will be […]

French Children Under 16 Now Need Parental Approval for Facebook Account

French Children Under 16 Now Need Parental Approval for Facebook Account

Last Wednesday, a draft legislation which requires French children under 16 to seek parental approval to create a Facebook account was submitted to the Parliament for approval. In presenting the outlines of a data privacy bill which includes the requirement, Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet revealed that such children who wish to get on Facebook or any similar social networks would have to confirm that they obtained parental approval by ticking a box which amounts to a declaration governed by law. However, some observers have noted that it is not clear how enforceable the process will be. Source: FirstPost

US Regulators Vote Against Net Neutrality Rules, Supporters Vow to Retaliate

US Regulators Vote Against Net Neutrality Rules, Supporters Vow to Retaliate

Last Thursday, the US Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to undo net neutrality rules that were introduced in 2015. The vote is said to be a victory for internet service providers which now have the power to block content from consumers. However, opponents of FCC chief Ajit Pai’s approved proposal said right after that they will be taking steps to undo the decision. Senator Edward Markey, along with 15 other senators, revealed that they will be introducing a resolution to restore the rules. A trade group called the Internet Association, which Alphabet and Facebook is a member of, said that […]

Influential Tech Figures Call to Cancel Net Neutrality Vote

Influential Tech Figures Call to Cancel Net Neutrality Vote

Several pioneers of early internet and respected tech personalities such as Vint Cerf, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and Steve Wozniak, called for the cancellation of the vote on “net neutrality” through an open letter which they have signed. The signees stated in the letter that the FCC is basing their proposed Order on an incorrect and inadequate understanding of internet technology. The letter, which was sent to the Senate’s commerce subcommittee on communications, technology, innovation and the internet, seeks to prevent the Republican-controlled FCC from repealing the Obama-era law.   Source: BBC

Thousands of WordPress Sites Infected by Keylogger Script

Thousands of WordPress Sites Infected by Keylogger Script

It was recently reported that around 5,500 WordPress sites have been infected by a malicious keylogger script that also loads an in-browser cryptocurrency miner. The script was found to be loaded from “cloudflare.solutions”, which is not a legitimate Cloudflare domain. Loaded on both the frontend and backend of a site, the script is able to log usernames and passwords, as well as credit card details.    Security company Sucuri identified the attacks as early as April and advised owners of affected sites to remove the “add_js_scripts function” and all the “add_action” clauses that mention “add_js_scripts” in the function.php of the […]

Russia Tells OSCE Countries to Increase Cybersecurity Efforts

Russia Tells OSCE Countries to Increase Cybersecurity Efforts

Last Thursday, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov called on Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) member states to increase cyber security efforts for the protection of the Internet. Reacting to US claims of Russian interference in its 2016 election and global hacking attacks, Lavrov hit back and said that they should “not waste breath on unfounded accusations without any fact.”     The foreign minister also asked OSCE states to consolidate their effort against drugs, in light of Russia’s exclusion from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic for “systematic manipulation” of the anti-doping system.   Source: Reuters

Facebook Introduces Messaging App for Kids Under 13

Facebook Introduces Messaging App for Kids Under 13

Last Monday, Facebook launched Messenger Kids, a version of the messenger app aimed at children under 13. The new communications app is seen as an effort to win over younger children in the face of tight competition against platforms such as Snapchat. Facebook currently requires all users to be over 13, and the standalone app promises to give parents control over how their kids use messaging apps and what kind of content they send over them. Facebook says that it developed the app with consultation from over 1,200 parents and experts in the field of child development. Source: Reuters

Google Adds 10,000 Staff to Handle Extremist Content on YouTube

Google Adds 10,000 Staff to Handle Extremist Content on YouTube

YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki recently revealed that Google will be adding 10,000 more employees in 2018 to handle the growing problem of extremist content on YouTube. Wojcicki said that the video sharing site is taking aggressive action towards terrorist and other inappropriate content, and had been using computer-learning technology to remove such content from the platform. She added that the company’s staff had already taken down around two million offensive videos since June, and it helped train the technology identify material which need to be removed. YouTube and similar tech companies have vowed to increase their effort in policing content […]

NCA: Child Exploitation via Live Streaming an Immediate Threat

NCA: Child Exploitation via Live Streaming an Immediate Threat

The UK’s National Crime Agency recently warned that live streaming is increasingly being used by sex offenders to abuse children online. Law enforcement says that it had identified 345 vulnerable children and arrested 192 people, 30% involving streaming, blackmail and grooming within just one week. Authorities pointed out that abusers thrive on the immediacy provided by live streaming and called on platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to act on the evolving threat against children online. Source: BBC

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