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April 29, 2022 T&S Newsletter

Early Warning | Policy & Regulations | Good News | Jobs & Careers | T&S FAQs

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T&S Early Warning News

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

Report calls out abuse of social media by Minneapolis police

Washington Post | April 29, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Among the scathing findings of an investigation launched after the police killing of George Floyd is that Minneapolis police used covert or bogus social media accounts to monitor Black individuals and groups despite having no clear public safety rationale for doing so.

The report released Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights echoes numerous past revelations that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have — sometimes illegally — secretly surveilled prominent people and communities of color even though they weren’t involved in any criminal activity.

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What Musk's free-speech Twitter could unleash

Axios | April 28, 2022

Company Listed: Twitter

Elon Musk's pledge to allow any speech on Twitter that doesn't break the law would open the door to a pandemonium of objectionable and harmful content — from gory videos to efforts to mislead voters to promotions of phony COVID cures.

Why it matters: Even much smaller social networks that aimed to minimize content moderation have found that an "anything goes if it's legal" policy quickly devolves into a miasma of violence, spam, fraud and bullying.

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Florida fights in court to revive law restricting social media bans

Reuters | April 28, 2022

Company Listed: Google, Twitter, Facebook

Florida on Thursday urged a federal appeals court to revive a controversial state law that prevents large social media companies from banning posts by or about political candidates, which a lower court had struck down as unconstitutional.

Brian Barnes, a lawyer with Cooper & Kirk who represents the state, said the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution does not shield social media companies, like Twitter Inc, Facebook and Alphabet Inc's Google, from the law because social media companies are merely relaying speech by others.

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Twitter and Facebook won't counter disinformation in the upcoming Kenyan elections

Global Voices | April 28, 2022

Company Listed: Twitter, Facebook

In Africa, social media companies like Twitter and Facebook place more urgency on developing new products or fixing bugs in existing products than on developing comprehensive strategies and tools to combat harmful and false information shared through their social media platforms during democratic elections.

In 2020, Nu Wexler, a former Twitter's policy communications team lead, described elections in the United States as “the Super Bowl.” On the other hand, Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower, hinted that the platform lacked safety controls in non-English speaking markets, including Africa. Is it safe to assume that elections in the global south are used as experimental grounds for social media companies to test drive disinformation tools?

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It’s Time to Open the Black Box of Social Media

Scientific American | April 28, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Social media platforms are where billions of people around the world go to connect with others, get information and make sense of the world. These companies, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok and Reddit, collect vast amounts of data based on every interaction that takes place on their platforms.

And despite the fact that social media has become one of our most important public forums for speech, several of the most important platforms are controlled by a small number of people. Mark Zuckerberg controls 58% of the voting share of Meta, the parent company of both Facebook and Instagram, effectively giving him sole control of two of the largest social platforms. Now that Twitter’s board has accepted Elon Musk’s $44 billion offer to take the company private, that platform will likewise soon be under the control of a single person. All these companies have a history of sharing scant portions of data about their platforms with researchers, preventing us from understanding the impacts of social media to individuals and society. Such singular ownership of the three most powerful social media platforms makes us fear this lockdown on data sharing will continue.

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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

How Russia benefits from ill-informed social media policies

Brookings | April 28, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

During this bloody war, the Kremlin’s strategy in the West seeks to benefit by exploiting our fears of censorship. Of course, this obscures the dark irony that Russia tolerates no dissent within its borders, blocking independent media and platforms like Facebook. Just as stark is the hypocrisy of its effort to energize concerns about Western imperialism while waging an aggressive imperialist war against its neighbor.

War is always ugly. Yet since February, over every shallow grave left by Putin’s soldiers, an unofficial battalion of journalists and influencers has cast a shadow of Western denial.

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People who make laws do not use TikTok. That's a problem

Irish Times | April 28, 2022

Company Listed: TikTok

As the world is up in arms over Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that our priorities have gone slightly awry. It seems the contempt we can marshal for an oddball billionaire far exceeds proportion; and our capacity for misdirecting fury stronger than ever.

Musk provokes staggering ire among those who might usually describe themselves as progressive and liberal. Much is said of his social strangeness, private indiscretions, and vast wealth. Curiously little thought, it appears, is given to his role in making the electric car cool or revolutionising space travel.

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Online Safety Bill: Five years in the making

Ibs Intelligence | April 28, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

It is designed to lay down in law a set of rules about how online platforms should behave to better protect their customers and users. The bill covers a wide range of issues including the spreading of illegal content, protecting children from harmful material and protecting individuals against fraud.

Even before its introduction, various parts of the bill were drip-fed via the media, such as measures to protect people from anonymous trolls, protect children from pornography and stamp out illegal content. Each development was met with intense scrutiny.

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T&S Good News

Some of the good news in the T&S industry that leaders want to know

Google now lets you request the removal of personal contact information from search results

Tech Crunch | April 28, 2022

Company Listed: Google

Google announced this week that it’s expanding the types of personal information that users can request to be removed from search results. Under the new policy expansion, people can request the removal of personal contact information, such as a phone number, email address or physical address. Prior to this expansion, the policy mainly covered information that would let other people steal your identity or money, such as banking and credit card details.

The expanded policy now also allows people to request the removal of additional information from search results that may pose a risk for identity theft, such as confidential log-in credentials.

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Musk's Twitter free speech promise may be tested in Middle East

Reuters | April 29, 2022

Company Listed: Twitter