Social Media

Twitter Blocks Conspiracist Alex Jones for Seven Days

Twitter Blocks Conspiracist Alex Jones for Seven Days

Twitter said this week that it will be blocking Alex Jones from posting on the platform for seven days for previously posting a policy-violating video. The spokesperson said that Jones’ posted a video linked to Periscope, a live-streaming app owned by Twitter. Jones’ account will now have limited functionality for seven days and will be unable to tweet or retweet, but can still be used to read the posts of others. Twitter’s move was the latest in a series of actions by various tech platforms against the known conspiracy theorist. Source: CNBC

Facebook Drops Content on 3D Printing of Guns

Facebook Drops Content on 3D Printing of Guns

Facebook said this week that it has removed content related to the 3D printing of firearms on its platform. The move comes as the debate on gun control intensifies in the US. A spokesperson said that instructions on how to manufacture guns using 3D printers go against the social network’s Community Standards, but it was not clarified if only posts would be removed and not pages.   The company however assured that it will be sharing an updated policy on the restricted product shortly. Source: Reuters

Infowars App Rises in Popularity After Alex Jones Ban

Infowars App Rises in Popularity After Alex Jones Ban

Alex Jones “Infowars” app reportedly went up to fourth place in Apple’s App Store after a number of tech companies banned the conspiracy theorist’s content from their platforms and app stores. The controversial app skyrocketed from under the Top 10 after Apple decided to remove Jones’ podcasts from iTunes for violating the company’s policy on hate speech. Jones has not issued an official comment on his ban, but instead took to Twitter and criticized the various tech platforms for “censoring” his free speech. Source: CNBC

US Think Tank, Facebook Work to Fight Fake News

US Think Tank, Facebook Work to Fight Fake News

Facebook is reportedly working with a small US think tank which helped it identify and disable a recent propaganda campaign aimed at sowing dissent among US voters. It was noted that the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, which is based in Washington, D.C., has also provided its geopolitical expertise to Facebook, whose ex-chief security officer pointed out that a company like theirs does not have the necessary information to evaluate the relationship between political motivations of a nation-state. He added that Facebook can only amass digital evidence to turn over to the authorities and experts. It was also leaked […]

Google to Face Strict Laws, Tough Competition in Return to China

Google to Face Strict Laws, Tough Competition in Return to China

State newspaper, the People’s Daily, wrote this week that Google is welcome to return in China, as long as it complies with the country’s censorship laws. It was reorted last week that Google will be launching a censored version of its search service in China which will blacklist content deemed prohibited by the government. Meanwhile, Baidu CEO Robin Li said that if international companies like Google want to enter the Chinese market, it would have to contend with the strength of local companies that have already undergone earth-shaking changes. Source: CNBC

Facebook, Apple Remove Alex Jones for Violating Community Standards

Facebook, Apple Remove Alex Jones for Violating Community Standards

A number of companies including YouTube, Apple, Facebook and Spotify have decided to take down all content by Alex Jones, saying that the conspiracy theorist had breached community standards. Jones, who has built a following after founding Infowars in 1999, had his Facebook page removed for uploading content that glorified violence and using dehumanizing language against transgender, Muslims and immigrants. However, the Infowars app is still available on Apple app store and Google Play. Twitter meanwhile said that the Infowars accounts has not yet violated any of its rules.    Source: Reuters

Facebook Fake Account Makers Getting Better, Experts Say

Facebook Fake Account Makers Getting Better, Experts Say

Cyber security experts recently warned that creators of fake Facebook profiles are getting better at concealing their footprints. They added that this could pose a new challenge to the social network which is already struggling to prevent misinformation on the platform. Ben Nimmo of Digital Forensic Research Lab says that the new fake profiles feature less original written material, and use copy-pasted material from American websites for longer posts. Meanwhile, director of the Oxford Internet Institute Philip Howard says that the fake accounts now tend to share more diverse and less discernible material with better quality images from lesser known […]

Employees Complain Against “Always On” Alibaba Office App

Employees Complain Against “Always On” Alibaba Office App

Alibaba’s workplace messaging software, DingTalk, was recently criticized by Chinese employees for allegedly fueling an unhealthy work culture. DingTalk allows senders see if recipients have read messages like in WhatsApp, however, it also has a “ding” feature that can bombard the user with repeat notifications, text messages and phone-call reminders. The app also includes an automatic expense claims, a clock-in system to monitor the whereabouts of employees, and even a “daily report” function that requires workers to list completed tasks. Such features have been called “inhumane” and destroys trust according to Chinese office workers who vented their frustrations online.   […]

US Struggles to Prevent Russian Election Interference

US Struggles to Prevent Russian Election Interference

At a recent White House briefing, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats confirmed that Russia’s attempts to interfere in the upcoming US midterm elections is still a real threat, but is not likely to be on the same scale as seen in 2016. FBI director Christopher Wray added that the actors may use methods including cyber attacks against voting infrastructure, intrusions targeting elected officials, spreading disinformation and manipulation of news stories. However, it was noted that Russia has yet to face any serious consequences for its actions in the 2016 US presidential election. It is said that President Donald Trump’s reluctance […]

Reddit Hacked, Refuses to Disclose Scale of Breach

Reddit Hacked, Refuses to Disclose Scale of Breach

Popular social media site Reddit recently admitted to being breached last June by hackers who reportedly used compromised employee accounts to access databases and logs. The site, where users can post controversial content and comments, thrives on the anonymity of users. However, Reddit said that hackers were able to obtain usernames and corresponding email addresses – information that can be used to link activity on the site to real identities. The site, which assured that they will be notifying the users via their inboxes on the site, has been criticized by experts such as Troy Hunt for its decision not […]