Social Media

Videos of Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Deleted from YouTube

Videos of Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Deleted from YouTube

YouTube said this week that it has removed four of Alex Jones’s video from the platform after he used his channel to denounce the creators of a transgender cartoon and Muslim immigrants to Europe. Jones, a known conspiracy theorist, said that YouTube removed his videos because they were critical of liberalism. However, one of Jones’ videos show a man pushing a child to the ground. YouTube responded by saying that the company have long standing policies against child endangerment and hate speech and they will apply those policies consistently according to the content in the videos, regardless of the speaker […]

Facebook Vows to End Discriminatory Ad Targeting

Facebook Vows to End Discriminatory Ad Targeting

The Washington State Attorney General said earlier this week that Facebook had signed an agreement with the state to end the exclusion of protected groups from viewing ads of third-party advertisers. Facebook added that the move was part of its year-and-a-half effort to ensure that tools used to target ads on the platform are safe, civil, and fair. A spokesperson said that they removed thousands of categories related to potentially sensitive personal attributes such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion from their exclusion targeting tools. The agreement requires Facebook to make the changes to its ad platform within 90 […]

Facebook Promises Tougher Security for US Elections

Facebook Promises Tougher Security for US Elections

Facebook said last Tuesday that it will be employing a range of techniques, including artificial intelligence, to prevent foreign operatives from using deceptive tactics and false information to manipulate public opinion. The social network has repeatedly been criticized for failing to handle political propaganda and misinformation in the 2016 US election. However, the company stood by its initial position on false postings, saying that they will not be immediately taken down without review if sincerely voiced. It is said that the announcement came shortly before the publication of an internal message by Facebook’s outgoing chief security officer that criticized a […]

Twitter Restricts Developer Access to API, Removes Hundreds or Thousands of Apps

Twitter Restricts Developer Access to API, Removes Hundreds or Thousands of Apps

Twitter had reportedly removed more than 143,000 apps for violating its policies in between April and June 2018. In addition to rolling out more developer updates, the microblogging platform is also introducing stricter and more thorough application process for developers seeking access to its API. The company says that apps with high volumes of engagement will also have increased accountability. Meanwhile, users will now find it easier to report apps that violate Twitters rules using the new “Report a bad app” option in its Help Center. Source: ZDNet

Facebook Sets Up Subsidiary in China

Facebook Sets Up Subsidiary in China

Facebook is reportedly trying to increase its presence in China by setting up a subsidiary in the restrictive market, according to official business registration seen this week by Reuters. The subsidiary, which has a registered capital of $30 million, was registered in Hangzhou. A Facebook representative said that the company is interested in setting up an innovation hub in Zhejiang to provide training and workshops to Chinese developers, innovators and start-ups. Despite this, Facebook’s main website still remains blocked in China, along with Twitter and Google. Source: Reuters

Facebook Aims to Launch Internet Satellite by 2019

Facebook Aims to Launch Internet Satellite by 2019

Facebook recently confirmed to the media that it plans to launch a low orbit internet satellite named Athena in 2019 to offer broadband to unserved and underserved areas around the world. However, it is said that the move might just be something of an experiment as the company has yet to complete its own high-altitude hardware and has already stopped work on its internet drone. It was also pointed out that low Earth orbit satellite internet would require a large cloud of satellites to provide significant coverage, similar to SpaceX’s planned Starlink network. Source: MSN

India Mob Killings Prompt WhatsApp to Rethink Rules

India Mob Killings Prompt WhatsApp to Rethink Rules

WhatsApp said this week that it will now be limiting how many times a message can be forwarded in India after a spate of mob lynchings were linked to messages that circulated on groups on the platform. WhatsApp initially posted that it will be launching a test to limit forwarding that will apply to everyone. However, the limitations will be greater for users in India. The messaging service was already threatened by India’s government with legal action if it stayed a mute spectator. Source: BBC

Facebook CEO Caught in Holocaust Denial Row

Facebook CEO Caught in Holocaust Denial Row

In a recent interview, Mark Zuckerberg was caught saying that he believed that posts from Holocaust deniers should be allowed on Facebook as such users were not intentionally getting their facts wrong. Zuckerberg received significant backlash from the comment which he later on clarified. The Facebook CEO said that as a Jewish person, he found the belief to be deeply offensive. However, the does not think that such content should be removed from the platform since there are things that different people get wrong and they might not be getting it wrong intentionally. He continued that everyone gets things wrong […]

Facebook’s Fake News Policy Exposed as “Toothless” in Congressional Hearing

Facebook’s Fake News Policy Exposed as “Toothless” in Congressional Hearing

Observers remarked Tuesday in Facebook’s Congressional hearing that the social network’s policy on fake news is actually “toothless”, as it continued to allow far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to operate his Infowars page on the platform. Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of policy, explained that they can only take the page down if it posts enough content to violate the company’s threshold which depends on the severity of different types of violations. Bickert also revealed that the social network had a three strikes policy for inappropriate behavior. However, she did not explain anything beyond that, or on the details of the […]

Egypt Passes “Social Media” Law

Egypt Passes “Social Media” Law

Egypt’s parliament passed a law this week which will allow the state to take action against social media accounts and journalists caught spreading “fake news”. The law dictates that social media accounts and blogs that have more than 5000 followers will be considered as media outlets which will be subject to prosecution for publishing misinformation or incitement to break the law. It also prohibits the creation of websites without first getting a license from the Supreme Council. Critics of the law expressed their disappointment in the approval, and said that it will give legal basis to the government’s crack down […]