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February 16, 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.

No Ifs, Farts or Butts—Meta Bans Bidet Company Tushy’s Bathroom Humor Ads

Adweek | Feb 15, 2022

Company Listed: Meta Facebook

Who doesn’t love a clean butt? That was the premise behind bidet company Tushy’s Valentine’s Day social campaign on Facebook and Instagram, which was trying to pedal its toilet paper alternatives as a Valentine’s Day gift, complete with the cheeky promo code “Ifartyou.”

Meta’s answer, in the parlance of the Internet: No <3.

Tushy, which does its advertising in-house, found itself scrambling on Feb. 3 after Meta rejected its paid media for including the words “butt” and “fart.” While the company was able to find workarounds, Tushy’s CMO Jess Khourie said click-through rates on this campaign were down 33% from the company’s typical rate during promotion periods, having a negative impact on the company’s bottom line.

“Butts are literally why bidets exist,” said Khourie. “If I’m going to be able to communicate to people across the country and help educate them on this experience … I need to be able to use the word butt and speak to them like an adult.”

Meta has been contacted for comment and we will update this piece with its response.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Meta’s content moderation

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Twitter Expands Beta for Safety Mode Autoblocking Feature

Cnet | Feb 15, 2022

Company Listed: Twitter

Twitter is greatly expanding the size of the beta for its Safety Mode feature, which aims to limit "unwelcome interactions" in your feed.

Previously available only to a small feedback group, the feature will now be available to about 50% of users in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, Twitter said Tuesday. The feature, which launched in limited beta in September, imposes a seven-day block on accounts that use what Twitter calls potentially harmful language, including insults or repeated replies and mentions.

The beta's expansion is intended to help "collect more insights on how Safety Mode is working and explore ways to incorporate additional improvements," Twitter said.

Twitter, which has about 217 million active daily users, has long been under pressure to do more to combat harassment. The social media platform has been criticized for being a "toxic place," especially for women. A study by Amnesty International and Element AI in 2018 found that female journalists and politicians received "abusive" or "problematic" tweets every 30 seconds on average.

Twitter also said it's introducing a companion feature called Proactive Safety Mode prompts that it says will help reduce the burden on users in identifying harmful interactions.

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Telegram: Where women's nudes are shared without consent

BBC News | Feb 15, 2022

Company Listed: Telegarm

In the split second Sara found out a nude photo of her had been leaked and shared on Telegram, her life changed. Her Instagram and Facebook profiles had been added, and her phone number included. Suddenly she was being contacted by unknown men asking for more pictures.

"They made me feel like I was a prostitute because [they believed] I'd shared intimate pictures of myself. It meant I had no value as a woman," she says.

Sara, not her real name, had shared the photo with one person, but it had ended up in a Telegram group with 18,000 followers, many from her neighbourhood in Havana, Cuba. She now fears strangers in the street may have seen her naked. "I didn't want to go out, I didn't want to have any contact with my friends. The truth is that I suffered a lot."

She's not alone. After months of investigating Telegram, we found large groups and channels sharing thousands of secretly filmed, stolen or leaked images of women in at least 20 countries. And there's little evidence the platform is tackling this problem.

She's from Azerbaijan, but says she has been forced to leave her homeland. In 2021, a video of her having sex with her husband was sent to her family, and then posted in a Telegram group.

"My mum started crying and told me: 'There's a video, it was sent to me'," she says. "I was devastated, absolutely devastated."

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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

European Regulators Urged to Force Big Tech to Increase Capex Contribution

Eetimes | Feb 15, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media, Vodafone

Flogging a dead horse’ is the unfortunate expression that came to mind when I read in this Monday’s Financial Times that some of Europe’s largest network operators have appealed to the European Union to help increase their return on the vast investments they have made over the past few years.

They complain that their networks are being hijacked by Big Tech firms, notably the streaming giants such as Netflix as well as the huge cloud operators such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, who get access to their networks yet pay no compensation for the capacity eaten up by their services.

Neither, the executives stress, do they contribute sufficiently for the maintenance of the fixed and mobile networks that are crucial to being able to deliver —upstream and downstream— video, content, and cloud services.

The four CEOs —Nick Read of Vodafone, José Maria Álvarez-Pallete of Telefonica, Tim Höttges of Deutsche Telekom, and Stéphane Richard, the outgoing chairman and CEO of Orange— argue that the investment burden needs to be shared “in a more proportionate way” and is simply not sustainable. One of the statistics they highlight is that currently, video streaming, gaming and all types of social media, originated by just a few digital content platforms, account for some 70% of all traffic running on their networks.

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Ohio Bills Address Private Lawsuits Against Big Tech

GovTech | Feb 15, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Legislation backed by Ohio Republicans billed as an “anti-discrimination” measure would allow state residents to sue social media platforms that delete or bury posts and content.

Federal law prohibits users from suing social media companies over content removal, which tech companies have said is necessary to operate reasonably, and House Bill 441 would create a mechanism for private lawsuits.

Critics of HB 441 have said that social media platforms also have First Amendment rights and can choose what content is allowed on their platforms.

If Ohio’s bill passed, critics say that social media platforms would be penalized for removing harmful content such as pornography, extremist recruitment, medical misinformation, foreign propaganda and bullying.

Courts have blocked similar bills in Florida and Texas, and HB 441 would have the same outcome, they said.

While lawmakers consider that measure, another pending bill does the opposite. House Bill 376, known as the Ohio Personal Privacy Act, passed out of the Ohio House Government Oversight Committee on Wednesday and could be on the House floor in the coming days.

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California bills aim at social media, medical disinformation

ABC News | Feb 16, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Two California Democratic lawmakers took separate aim Tuesday at pandemic disinformation they argue receives a broad audience and misplaced credibility through social media platforms — rejecting concerns that their legislation might carry free speech or business privacy considerations.

Sen. Richard Pan's proposal, which still is being finalized, would require online platforms like Facebook to publicly disclose how their algorithms work and how they promote user content, including which data sets are used and how they rank the prominence of user posts.

The platforms would also be required to confidentially share more detailed information with researchers, with the goal of creating more responsible algorithms.

Assemblyman Evan Low said his bill would label doctors' promoting of misinformation or disinformation about COVID-19 to the public as unprofessional conduct that could draw disciplinary action from the California Medical Board. Disinformation is generally considered to be intentional or deliberate falsehoods, while misinformation can be inadvertent.

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T&S Good News

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

Twitter Has Started Blocking Porn in Germany