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February 11, 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.

Meta Vows To Combat Misinformation, Hate Speech On Platform As States Head For Elections

Republic World | Feb 10, 2022

Company Listed: Meta Facebook

Facebook-parent Meta on Thursday said it will be activating its Elections Operations Center to watch out for potential abuses that could emerge across the platform related to state elections, as the social media giant outlined its firm resolve to curb hate speech, harmful content and misinformation on its platforms.

Meta, in a blog, said it has been preparing for these elections in India, and has a comprehensive strategy in place to keep people safe and encourage civic engagement.

The move assumes significance as big social media platforms have drawn flak in the past over hate speech, misinformation and fake news circulating on their platforms.

The government had notified IT rules last year to make digital intermediaries more accountable and responsible for content hosted on their platforms.

IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has recently said social media needs to be made more accountable and stricter rules in this regard could be brought in, if there is political consensus on the matter.

Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa will be held between February 10 and March 7 in seven phases, with the counting of votes on March 10.

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Company Listed: TikTok

Over the years, TikTok has become a popular medium for people to express themselves. It has also allowed several users to acquire fame. Amid this, when the platform stops working, people are quick to express their disappointment.

On February 10, something similar happened as users complained about their content being shadow-banned on the platform.

As per Pop Sugar, Shadowbanning is the process through which some social media apps try to restrict content that is seen by others.

When it comes to TikTok, it means that people will not be able to see your shadowbanned content on their ‘For You’ page. This will eventually result in the video getting fewer likes and views than it normally would have.

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Facebook Has a Superuser-Supremacy Problem

The Atlantic | Feb 10, 2022

Company Listed: Meta Facebook

If you want to understand why Facebook too often is a cesspool of hate and disinformation, a good place to start is with users such as John, Michelle, and Calvin.

John, a caps-lock devotee from upstate New York, calls House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “PIGLOSI,” uses the term negro, and says that the right response to Democrats with whom they disagree is to “SHOOT all of them.” Michelle rails against the “plandemic.” Calvin uses gay as a slur and declares that Black neighborhoods are always “SHITHOLES.” You’ve almost certainly encountered people like these on the internet. What you may not realize, though, is just how powerful they are.

For more than a year, we’ve been analyzing a massive new data set that we designed to study public behavior on the 500 U.S. Facebook pages that get the most engagement from users. Our research, part of which will be submitted for peer review later this year, aims to better understand the people who spread hate and misinformation on Facebook. We hoped to learn how they use the platform and, crucially, how Facebook responds. Based on prior reporting, we expected it would be ugly. What we found was much worse.

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Beijing Olympics: Posts on athletes abuse deleted from Chinese social media platforms

WioNews | Feb 10, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Multiple controversies have marred the ongoing Winter Olympics 2022 in Beijing, China. The mega event has been subjected to concerns related to human rights violation issues, cost, censorship, environmental impact, espionage, rising coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, sports washing.

Now, in an effort to remove "illegal" chatter around and abuses towards athletes, social media giants in China including Weibo and Douyin have deleted tens of thousands of posts.

In a post published by Weibo on Tuesday, it was mentioned that some internet users are "creating trouble". It added, "[These users] attacked athletes with irony and insulting language and spread false information ... we encourage internet users to watch the competition in a calm mood."

Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of TikTok, said on Wednesday it had intercepted or cleaned up 6,780 related videos or comments and banned 331 user accounts.

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Fear and loathing on social media

BowdoinOrient | Feb 11, 2022

Company listed: Social Media

Social media has changed the ways in which we think and interact. I believe Hunter S. Thompson’s 1971 story “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” provides some useful imagery for the types of changes we have been experiencing. I’ll attempt to depict how the novel captures the spirit of how social media has effectively changed our consciousness—or at least our modes of thinking.

I’ll start by comparing the story’s content and characters. “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” is the story of a journalist, Raoul Duke, who goes on a drug-fueled bender with his attorney, Dr. Gonzo, in search of the American dream. Duke describes their arsenal of drugs: marijuana, mescaline, LSD, cocaine, alcohol, ether and even more. In the story of social media, we are like Duke or Gonzo and social media serves as our drug.

Perhaps our arsenal is not so extreme, but we do have plenty of options. A major tendency of the internet today is making all media social. For instance, YouTube content creators can now make text-based posts for increased community interaction, LinkedIn is a prime social media platform for work environments, even media like Goodreads have components of sharing your reading and reviews for friends and other internet users to see and, of course, there are the classics such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We have choices on which ‘drugs’ we wish to consume and most of us are happy to indulge: it’s entertaining.

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Students record fights at middle school in Virginia Beach, share them on TikTok, Instagram

13NewsNow | Feb 10, 2022

Company listed: TikTok, Instagram

Virginia Beach City Public Schools said it is looking into videos of fights breaking out between students at Larkspur Middle School.

People have been sharing videos of fights breaking out in bathrooms, classrooms, and buses on social media sites like Instagram and TikTok, encouraging others to also get involved in fights. In one video, you can see two girls punching each other in the bathroom while other girls scream and record the fight. Another video shows one student sitting at his desk with his arms protecting his head, while another student throws punches at him aggressively. A student filming this fight can be heard saying, "Chill, chill! Stop!"

Mike Ray told 13News Now his two children had a difficult time when they attended Larkspur Middle School.

It was numerous times a month my kids would come home with bruises, bumps, scrapes from altercations with other students," Ray said. "There were several times where he'd cry in the morning and say, 'Dad, please don't make me go to school today.'"

It's a growing concern Ray said he can't stand by and watch, after speaking up multiple times to school administrators over the last few years.

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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

U.S. lawmakers introduce bipartisan bill to address social media addiction

Reuters | Feb 11, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, and Cynthia Lummis, a Republican, introduced a bill aimed at addressing addiction to social media platforms like Meta Platform's (FB.O) Facebook or Twitter (TWTR.N).

A Facebook whistleblower, Frances Haugen, made a big splash last year with documents showing that subsidiary Instagram was harmful to teenagers while others have alleged that social media platforms spread dangerous misinformation about coronavirus and the vaccines to prevent it, among other ills. read more

Under the bill, the National Science Foundation and National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine would do a study into potential interventions that Facebook or others could use to address problems of social media addiction, Klobuchar's office said in a release on Thursday.

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Apple updating AirTag privacy amid stalking concerns: 'Each instance is one too many'

USAToday | Feb 10, 2022

Company Listed: Apple

Apple is introducing new privacy features to its AirTags following concerns the tracking devices could be use to stalk people or steal cars.

In a statement released Thursday, Apple said it will add features including privacy warnings when setting up AirTags for the first time and updated documentation detailing what happens when an unidentified AirTag is nearby.