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April 21, 2022 T&S Newsletter

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T&S Early Warning News

Get ahead of new stories that are impacting the T&S industry.

Instagram is pushing people to watch Reels again

Protocol | April 20, 2022

Company Listed: Instagram, TikTok

Last month Instagram decided to finally let users see the most recent posts first in their feed. Now the company is testing something on the opposite spectrum, removing the "recent" tab from the hashtag page. The reason, Instagram said, is to help users connect with "more interesting and relevant content." But really this seems like yet another play to compete with TikTok.

Instagram announced on Twitter Tuesday that users involved in the test now will see just two tabs: Top, where the most popular content will be displayed, and Reels, where you'll see videos (presumably many of which will be lifted straight from TikTok).

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Barack Obama Takes On a New Role: Fighting Disinformation

Nytimes | April 20, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

SAN FRANCISCO — In 2011, President Barack Obama swept into Silicon Valley and yukked it up with Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder. The occasion was a town hall with the social network’s employees that covered the burning issues of the day: taxes, health care, the promise of technology to solve the nation’s problems.

More than a decade later, Mr. Obama is making another trip to Silicon Valley, this time with a grimmer message about the threat that the tech giants have created to the nation itself.

In private meetings and public appearances over the last year, the former president has waded deeply into the public fray over misinformation and disinformation, warning that the scourge of falsehoods online has eroded the foundations of democracy at home and abroad.

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YouTube blocks account of Hong Kong's sole leadership candidate

Reuters | April 20, 2022

Company Listed: YouTube

YouTube blocked the account of Hong Kong's sole leadership candidate John Lee on Wednesday because of U.S. sanctions against him, while Facebook owner Meta said he could keep his account but not use payment services.

The move, which has no bearing on his chances of winning office, follows the imposition of U.S. sanctions on Lee and other Hong Kong and Chinese officials in 2020 over what Washington said was their role in curbing the city’s freedoms under a national security law Beijing imposed in June that year.

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Elon Musk Races to Secure Financing for Twitter Bid

Nytimes | April 19, 2022

Company Listed: Twitter

Elon Musk is racing to secure funding for his $43 billion bid to buy Twitter.

Morgan Stanley, the investment bank working with Mr. Musk on the potential deal, has been calling banks and other potential investors to shore up financing for the offer, four people with knowledge of the situation said. Mr. Musk is first focused on raising debt and has not yet begun to seek equity financing for his bid, one of the people said.

Mr. Musk is evaluating various packages of debt, including more senior debt known as preferred debt and a loan against his shares of Tesla, the electric carmaker that he runs, two of the people said. Apollo Global Management, an alternative asset manager, is among the parties considering offering debt financing in a bid for Twitter. The equity he needs is likely to be sizable.

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Medical misinformation can be deadly. So why do so many doctors get away with it?

Cbs19 | April 20, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

After the first presumptive case of COVID-19 was reported in the state of Oregon in February 2020, Steve LaTulippe, M.D., was seeing patients at his family practice clinic in Dallas, Oregon. His wife also worked with him, fielding calls and directing patients to exam rooms.

According to the Oregon Medical Board, from March through December 2020, LaTulippe and his staff didn’t follow standard state COVID-19 protocols or CDC guidelines in his clinic. They rarely wore masks and only advised patients to wear masks if they were “acutely ill, coughing, or congested.” They also didn’t practice required pre-visit screens and did not follow social distancing guidelines.

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T&S Policies & Regulations

Regulatory news and policy decisions impacting the T&S ecosystem.

Compare and review T&S Policies for dozens of companies here

Climate groups say social media companies leave ‘public in the dark’ on misinformation policies

Thehill | April 21, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Dominant social media companies fail to disclose their policies to combat climate misinformation, climate and human rights groups said in a new report released Wednesday.

The report, released by Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and Avaaz, ranked the public policies on climate misinformation from Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter.

The report said the companies are “largely leaving the public in the dark” about efforts to combat such misinformation.

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Instagram's Updating its Ranking Algorithm to Put More Focus on Original Content

Socialmediatoday | April 20, 2022

Company Listed: Instagram

This could cause some headaches for social media managers and content creators on Instagram, at least in the initial stages of implementation.

Today, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has announced that Instagram is making update to the way that it ranks content, in order to put more focus on original work.

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Amnesty International blasts new proposed social media regulations in Vietnam

Rfa | April 20, 2022

Company Listed: Facebook, TikTok

An international rights group condemned the Vietnamese government’s plan to adopt new regulations to tighten control over social media platforms in the communist one-party country where leaders already have little tolerance for public criticism or dissent.

The planned amendments to existing law will require social media companies like Facebook and TikTok to remove content and services deemed illegal within 24 hours, block illegal live streams within three hours of notice, and immediately remove content that endangers national security, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

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Apple will soon blur nude photos sent to kids' iPhones

Protocol | April 20, 2022

Company Listed: Apple

Apple is introducing a safety feature that scans messages sent to and from children using AI, starting with phones in the U.K., The Guardian reported.

The feature will scan for nudity when photos are sent or received by children using Apple's messaging app. If the "communication safety in Messages" features is turned on and detects nudity in a received photo, the photo will be blurred, and the receiver will get a warning that the photo might contain sensitive content. Similar features go into effect when a photo with nudity in it is sent by a child, encouraging them not to send the image and giving them to option to “Message a Grown-Up."

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US lawmakers urge Facebook to do more to fight Russia propaganda in Spanish

Rappler | April 21, 2022

Company Listed: Facebook

A group of 21 US lawmakers sent a letter to Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, April 20, voicing concern about what they called disinformation on the platform aimed at Spanish speakers about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.