Emerging Media

YouTube Cracks Down on Questionable Kids Content

YouTube Cracks Down on Questionable Kids Content

YouTube is seen to be tightening rules on questionable kid-focused content that is able to get around the filtering mechanism on its platform. The move seeks to prevent content from creators who attempt to attempt to slip in themes unsuitable for younger kids into children’s shows to get more views. One such example features a well-known children’s show character called Peppa Pig who was made to visit a gory slaughterhouse.   Google will now be employing a number of new measures including stricter content control, demonitization of unsuitable content targeted at kids, aggressive comment patrolling, and better understanding of context. […]

Facebook Reveals to Users if They Have “Liked” a Russian Propaganda Account

Facebook Reveals to Users if They Have “Liked” a Russian Propaganda Account

Last Wednesday, Facebook announced plans to let users see if they have followed any accounts or pages linked to Russia’s propaganda efforts within January 2015 to August 2017. Users will be able to see these Facebook and Instagram accounts in a Help Center page that may be launched by the end of the year. The move was done to fulfill a request from the US Congress. Facebook, along with Google and Twitter, were asked to provide specific information by a number of lawmakers in an inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 US elections. Source: Bleeping Computer

Tencent Overtakes Facebook, Now World’s 5th Most Valuable Company

Shares of Tencent Holdings Ltd. rallied this week as the Chinese social network and gaming firm overtook Facebook in market value to become the 5th most valuable company in the world.    Led by billionaire Pony Ma, the company’s earnings were driven by its messaging app WeChat, mobile games such as Honour of Kings, and Tencent Video, China’s version of YouTube. It is also rumored that the company may soon roll out the WeChat ecosystem in Malaysia. Standing at $522 billion, Tencent has managed to become the most valuable company in China and in Asia, bested only by Apple, Google, […]

Tech Giants and News Organizations Join in ‘Trust Project’

Tech Giants and News Organizations Join in ‘Trust Project’

Last Thursday, the biggest names in the tech industry pledged their participation in the “Trust Project”, an initiative that aims to counter online misinformation. Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter has agreed to join with around 75 news organizations to label news stories which pass ethical and transparency standards, so that consumers can know at a glance if a news item comes from a credible source. Participants of the project have also agreed to uphold transparency on funding, disclosure of the organization’s mission, labeling of factual and opinion articles, and providing details on journalists and how they conduct their reporting. Source: […]

Twitter Removes Verification on White Supremacist Accounts

Twitter Removes Verification on White Supremacist Accounts

Twitter has recently un-verified the accounts of known white supremacists Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler who were involved in the Charlottesville protest that resulted in a fatality. Last Wednesday, Twitter disclosed that its verification status was usually equated as an endorsement. Yesterday however, the site announced that it will no longer be accepting public submissions while it reviews its policies. The platform’s new rules now take into consideration “behaviors on and off Twitter”, which include promotion of hate, violence, or making threats to individuals based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or religion.   Source: TechCrunch

New EU Consumer Protection Cooperation Law Includes “Vaguely-worded” Clause on Website Blocking

New EU Consumer Protection Cooperation Law Includes “Vaguely-worded” Clause on Website Blocking

Last Tuesday, the EU passed a new Consumer Protection Cooperation regulation which grants additional powers to the consumer protection agencies in the bloc. However, it also included a vague clause that would allow the agencies to take down websites without judicial review, as explained by EU Parliament member Julia Reda in a post on her blog. According to CPC documents, the regulation is intended as a measure against scam websites or those that violate EU consumer protection laws. However, MEP Reda pointed out that the regulation could be abused since it does not require any mandatory oversight. Opinions on social […]

EU Court Adviser: Privacy Activist Cannot File Class Action Against Facebook Ireland

EU Court Adviser: Privacy Activist Cannot File Class Action Against Facebook Ireland

Last Tuesday, EU Advocate General Michal Bobek said that privacy activist Max Schrems cannot file a class action suit against Facebook Ireland in an Austrian court. He is, however, entitled to sue the company in his own country only on his behalf. Bobek added that consumers would just choose the country where the court would most likely be in their favor, if the suit is to continue as a class action. Schrems is alleging that Facebook had violated privacy rules and is demanding $576 in damages for each of the 25,000 signatories in his lawsuit. Source: Reuters

Google Expands Scope of “Extremist” Videos Banned on YouTube

Google Expands Scope of “Extremist” Videos Banned on YouTube

Last Monday, YouTube revealed that in the last few months, Google has quietly been removing “extremist” videos that do not depict hate or violence from the platform. The major policy shift is said to have been prompted by pressure from governments and human rights groups which say that the propaganda being spread by the said videos are radicalizing viewers and may have contributed to recent terror attacks. YouTube says that the new policy will not affect news or educational videos about terrorism. However, experts note that terrorists may attempt to overlay extremist commentary on such videos to get around censorship. […]

EU Seeking Feedback for Strategy on Fake News

EU Seeking Feedback for Strategy on Fake News

Last Monday, the EU Commission and the EU Executive announced that they are seeking input from the media, online platforms and its citizens on the matter of fake news through a public consultation.   In a statement, Commission VP Frans Timmermans said that they would like to provide EU citizens with tools to identify fake news and improve online trust in the face of overwhelming information and misinformation. Concerns over misinformation have increased after news on Russian meddling in the most recent presidential elections in the US and France. Academic groups, online platforms, civil society organisations and the media have […]

New YouTube Policy Will Allow Users to Flag Inappropriate Content Targeting Kids

New YouTube Policy Will Allow Users to Flag Inappropriate Content Targeting Kids

YouTube recently announced that it will be implementing a new policy in its main app to age-restrict bizarre and disturbing videos that target kids. One such content shows a popular cartoon character named Peppa Pig drinking bleach and getting her teeth violently yanked out by a dentist. The new policy will also allow users to flag the inappropriate content as well. YouTube said that this should add an extra layer of protection and help weed out offensive content from the main app before they populate the Kids app. Source: TechCrunch

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