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August 30, 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.

FBI Issued Pre-Election Social Media ‘Disinformation’ Alerts to Protect Biden

NY Post | August 28, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

In his eagerness to ingratiate himself with mega-podcaster Joe Rogan, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg inadvertently revealed that the FBI had been more explicit than previously known in its private warning about Russian disinformation shortly before The Post published the Hunter Biden laptop story, which the social media company suppressed before the 2020 election.

While Facebook won’t say exactly what the FBI told them, it has told The Post that Hunter Biden was not mentioned. But it refuses to rule out whether Joe Biden or Ukraine were raised in the FBI’s defensive briefing to Facebook weeks before the Oct. 14, 2020, publication of our story implicating the then-Democratic presidential candidate in his son’s lucrative Ukrainian influence-peddling schemes.

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Online creators are de facto therapists for millions. It’s complicated

Washington Post | August 29, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Issey Moloney signed up for therapy through Britain’s National Health Service when she was just 12 years old. She was on a waiting list for four years.

In the meantime, social media helped her feel less alone, says the now 17-year-old who lives in London. She connected with people online as the pandemic isolated her from real-life friends. Eventually, she started making her own content. Now, she has 5.9 million TikTok followers — about 85 percent of them young women between the ages of 14 and 18 — and a collection of videos about friends, relationships and mental health.

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Growing harassment of Canadian public figures a ‘threat to democracy’: minister

Global News | August 29, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

The growing frequency of harassment against Canadian public figures poses a “threat to democracy” that needs to be taken seriously, the country’s public safety minister is warning.

In a press conference on Monday morning, federal cabinet ministers condemned the verbal attack on Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland that took place in Alberta on Friday, and said the incident is the latest in a worrying trend of abuse and hatred against Canadians in public roles.

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Grace Tame alleges ‘threats and harassment’ on social media came from her abuser

The Guardian | August 30, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Grace Tame has reported “open threats and harassment” on social media that she alleges came from the teacher who sexually abused her when she was 15 years old.

The former Australian of the year shared screenshots on Twitter that were purportedly from the account of Nicolaas Bester, who repeatedly abused Tame in 2010 when she was a student at St Michael’s collegiate school in Hobart. Bester, then 58, was her maths teacher.

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Today's rugby news as Welsh winger speaks out on racist tweet and England star left crying in his car

Wales Online | August 30, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Dragons star Ashton Hewitt has spoken out after being targeted by another racist tweet on social media.

The winger has previously opened up about the abuse he receives, with one person receiving a permanent suspension from Twitter last year for a racist tweet. The latest tweet came after Hewitt had posted about missing out on bank holidays as a professional rugby player.

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YouTube Went to War against Terrorists, Just Not White Nationalists

Bloomberg | August 30, 2022

Company Listed: YouTube

Unlike many of her colleagues at YouTube, Tala Bardan doesn’t remember the company retreat in June 2017 as a nice long weekend. YouTube employees stayed at the Westin hotel in downtown Los Angeles, enjoyed a private Snoop Dogg performance, and took day trips to a nearby Harry Potter theme park. They drank free drinks. As the partying began that Friday morning, though, Bardan was one of about a dozen unlucky workers that Chief Executive Officer Susan Wojcicki pulled into the hotel’s basement for a sobering meeting about the video site’s problem with terrorists.

Discussions about terrorists were nothing new to Bardan, who worked in a relatively junior position overseas watching violent videos in Arabic for the YouTube division that screened footage categorized as “VE,” company shorthand for violent extremism. (Tala Bardan is a pseudonym used to protect her identity, given her sensitive work.) In the meeting, a top engineer explained that YouTube had decided it would try to eliminate from its site the entire ideology that had given rise to groups such as Islamic State, the Sunni Muslim militant organization. The company would recode YouTube’s promotional algorithm to bury “inflammatory religious and supremacist content.” Policy staff would devise a list of 14 incendiary figures, all Muslim men, who would be banned no matter what they posted.

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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

Tape or chewing gum:' Twitter's lapses echo worldwide

ABC News | August 29, 2022

Company Listed: Twitter

SAN FRANCISCO -- From fire departments to governments, from school districts to corporations, from local utilities to grassroots organizers around the world, Twitter at its best is a tool to get a message out quickly, efficiently, and directly.

It's also a constant risk-and-reward calculation.

A recent bombshell whistleblower report from Twitter’s former head of security alleges that the social media company has been negligently lax on cybersecurity and privacy protections for its users for years. While worrisome for anyone on Twitter, the revelations could be especially concerning for those who use it to reach constituencies, get news out about emergencies and for political dissidents and activists in the crosshairs of hackers or their own governments.

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Social Media Ads Set to Change in the UK, as Rules Focus on Content Marketing

The Fashion Law | August 29, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

We have all scrolled through social media and come across a witty post shared by a friend. Perhaps it references a favorite TV show or speaks to your current mood. If you were intrigued enough to click on it, you may have been surprised to discover it is actually an ad for fast food, fashion or even gambling. These ads – which have no apparent connection to the product and which are not overtly trying to sell you something – are called content marketing, and the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Agency (“ASA”) recently decided that most of these ads fall within its and the UK’s regulations.

While the ASA made this decision in relation to ads promoting gambling, specifically, an ASA spokesperson revealed that the result is actually much broader, stating, “Our remit applies in the same way to advertising for all sectors, so the statement we published for gambling reflects how we would approach content marketing from other industries, such as alcohol brands or fast food chains. The vast majority of social media content from marketers is within our remit and therefore, subject to our rules.” This could cause a major shift in the types of ads we see online.

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Opinion: Social media companies like Twitter can't be trusted to regulate themselves

CNN | August 29, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

The latest bombshell about Twitter's alleged lack of security and potential vulnerabilities is yet another sign that social media networks shouldn't be trusted to regulate themselves.

Last month, Twitter's former head of security, Peiter "Mudge" Zatko, told Congress and federal agencies that the company's security practices pose grave threats to national security. As part of his disclosures, which were revealed by CNN last week, Zatko claims that the company allows about half of its staff — which amounts to thousands of employees — access to critical controls, and one or more of them may be working for a foreign intelligence agency. He also alleges that the company does not adequately protect the security of user data, using servers with outdated software that are missing critical security features like encryption. What's more, he claims that he was discouraged from sharing the full extent of the company's security problems with its board.

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Australia Grills Apple, Meta on Plans to Tackle Child Abuse

Bloomberg | August 30, 2022

Company Listed: Meta