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T&S Early Warning News
Get ahead of new stories that are impacting the T&S industry.
YouTube Bars Right-Wing Media Personality Dan Bongino
The New York Times | Jan 26, 2022
Company listed: Youtube
YouTube said on Wednesday that it had terminated accounts associated with Dan Bongino, a popular right-wing radio and Fox News host, nearly two weeks after it first suspended his channel for violating its Covid-19 misinformation policy.
A former New York City police officer and Secret Service agent turned pundit, Mr. Bongino is a vocal critic of vaccine mandates. His posts are consistently among the most read on Facebook. On YouTube, his main Dan Bongino channel had 882,000 subscribers, according to Social Blade, a social media analytics firm.
In a statement on Wednesday, YouTube said one of Mr. Bongino’s accounts had been issued a weeklong suspension on Jan. 14 after he posted a video saying cloth and surgical masks were useless in stopping the spread of Covid — a false claim that violated the company’s misinformation policy.
Last Thursday, before the seven-day suspension had elapsed, a second account associated with Mr. Bongino posted another video that repeated his claim about the efficacy of masks. This again violated the misinformation policy and broke Google’s terms of service for trying to circumvent the original suspension by posting content on a separate channel.
Outrageous Animated TikTok Ad Shows Pregnant Woman Getting Pushed Off Balcony
PopCrush | Jan 26, 2022
Company Listed: TikTok
A series of bizarre-at-best, offensive-at-worst animated ads for a solitaire phone game are making the rounds on TikTok — and boy, oh boy, do we have questions.
The ads are for a game called Solitaire Home Design, which was created by a company called Betta Games.
Based on the game's app store description, Solitaire Home Design is about two protagonists named Lori and Eddie who take on the daunting challenge of renovating an island. Players are supposedly tasked to help design the place by playing rounds of solitaire (yes, the card game) to move the story along
It's billed as lighthearted, colorful fun and mentally stimulating, but the game's incredibly weird, even morbid ads on TikTok tell a much darker story.
In one particularly mind-boggling ad, two Pixar-esque cartoon women get into an argument while on a balcony. One of them is pregnant, and she is violently pushed to the ground where her water breaks in a clear reference to pregnancy loss.
A second scene shows the woman who was pushed off the balcony moving into an abandoned, derelict home in the middle of a snowstorm. Playing rounds of the card game are supposed to help fix up the house by earning supplies and items such as roofing. Spoiler alert: The character seemingly freezes to death before that can happen.
Spotify agrees to remove Neil Young's music following Joe Rogan vaccine misinformation complaints
USAToday | Jan 27, 2022
Company Listed: Spotify
Spotify said Wednesday it is working on removing rock legend Neil Young's music from the platform in response to his claims it spreads COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.
Young wrote an open letter on Monday to his manager Frank Gironda and Tom Corson, co-chairman and chief operating officer of Warner Bros. Records, demanding his classic collection of songs be pulled due to the disinformation and specifically called out Spotify's popular podcast host Joe Rogan.
"I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” Young said. "They can have (Joe) Rogan or Young. Not both."
Two days later, Spotify obliged.
"We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators," a Spotify spokesperson said in a statement to USA TODAY Wednesday. "We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon."
Misinformation on Social Media in India Is Causing Tension Among Families
TeenVouge | Jan 27, 2022
Company Listed: Facebook Meta
On a sunny, cool Sunday last November, protestors gathered at an intersection in Menlo Park, California, outside the headquarters of the company recently renamed Meta. Families chanted “Facebook, Hatebook!” and “Facebook enables genocide!” They carried the American and Indian flags, waving them as cars honked in solidarity at the busy intersection.
Among the signs in the crowd: “Facebook is accomplice to the killings of Muslims in India” and “Facebook, your complicity in enabling Hindutva results in physical violence against Muslims, Dalits, Farmers, Activists.”
The protests, which were held nationwide, were organized to call out content-moderation policies on Facebook and WhatsApp, which Meta owns. Leaked documents obtained by the Associated Press found that Facebook “was selective in curbing hate speech, misinformation, and inflammatory posts” in India, allowing anti-Muslim rhetoric supported by the party of hard-line Hindu-nationalist prime minister Narendra Modi to proliferate. The U.S. protests were held by a coalition of organizations, including the Indian American Muslim Council.
Twitter Suspended 44K Accounts for Promoting Terrorism, Violent Orgs in First Half of 2021
NewsWeek | Jan 26, 2022
Company Listed: Twitter
In the first six months of 2021, Twitter suspended 44,974 individual accounts for promoting terrorism or violent organizations, according to the social media platform's new transparency report.
Of those accounts, 93 percent were "proactively identified and actioned," the report said.
Twitter began releasing so-called transparency reports in 2012 to give insights on certain data regarding the platform. This newest update, covering January 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021, also documented millions of tweet removals.
The company's guidelines on violent organizations prohibit users from promoting terrorism and violent extremism. Certain criteria set by Twitter must be met in order for a collective to be classified as either a violent extremist group or organization, and a given group's actions both on and off the platform are considered in Twitter's assessment, according to the policy.
Removing online misinformation may do more harm than good, report claims
SiliconRepublic | Jan 27, 2022
Company Listed: Social Media
As social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook look to crack down on misinformation on their platforms, a leading group of UK scientists has made an unconventional suggestion: that removing online misinformation may do more harm than good.
Events such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the US Capitol riots last January flung online misinformation into the sphere of public debate, with many agreeing that misleading or inaccurate info, deliberate or otherwise, should be removed from public platforms.
Last month, Meta removed six disinformation networks on its platform, including some that propagated false claims and conspiracy theories around the origin of Covid-19.
However, scientists at the Royal Society in the UK have investigated the phenomenon of online misinformation and concluded that “censoring or removing inaccurate, misleading and false content is not a silver bullet and may undermine the scientific process and public trust”.
T&S Policies & Regulations
Regulatory news and policy decisions impacting the T&S ecosystem.
Twitter receives record number of gov’t requests to remove posts
Alijazeera | Jan 26, 2022
Company Listed: Twitter
Twitter has said governments made requests to remove content from a record number of accounts between January and June last year, with 95 percent of the demands coming from five countries.
The social media platform said on Tuesday that 43,387 legal demands for the removal of content from 196,878 accounts were made in the six months, the largest number of such requests in a reporting period since it started releasing transparency reports in 2012.
Most came from Japan, followed by Russia, Turkey, India and South Korea. The site is blocked in several countries, including China and North Korea.
“We’re facing unprecedented challenges as governments around the world increasingly attempt to intervene and remove content,” Sinead McSweeney, Twitter’s vice president of global public policy and philanthropy, said in a statement.
“This threat to privacy and freedom of expression is a deeply worrying trend that requires our full attention.”
Ireland’s Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill: 10 Things You Should Know
Lexology | Jan 26, 2022
Company Listed: Social Media
The Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill (the Bill), which represents a major update to media and content regulation in Ireland, has at last begun its passage through the Houses of the Oireachtas (Irish parliament). We note 10 key points in relation to the Bill.
The Bill, which was initiated on 25 January 2022, is long overdue. The then Minister for Communications first consulted on the proposals almost three years ago and the Bill is intended to transpose the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), the deadline for which expired over 16 months ago. The European Commission has since launched infringement proceedings against Ireland for failing to transpose the revised AVMSD and Ireland is now one of only seven Member States yet to do so.
The Bill creates a powerful new Media Commission with strong investigative and enforcement powers, including the ability to impose financial sanctions of up to 10% of turnover, block access to entire services and require the removal of content.
Metaverse Sexual Harassment Forces Korean Government into Action
FxEmpire | Jan 27, 2022
Company Listed: Meta Facebook
Regulators have been particularly active in the crypto space at the turn of the year. The increased scrutiny of regulators has weighed on Bitcoin (BTC) and the broader market.
While the crypto market has struggled as a result, the NFT market place has flourished, with activity in the Metaverse also on the rise.
For the NFT market place, key risks remain thefts, with OpenSea experiencing a number of high-profile hacks in recent weeks. Earlier this month, a “Rug Pull” left investors $1.3m out of pocket. A “Rug pull” is a scam promotion of a digital asset via social media. Once the scammer has driven up the price, the scammer sells the asset and, in this case, the NFT becomes worthless.
Late last year, OpenSea was able to intervene in an NFT theft. News had hit the wires of thieves stealing famous art gallery Todd Kramer’s NFT collection from his hot wallet. OpenSea was able to freeze the stolen assets, reportedly worth $2.2m. As a result of the freeze, 16 Bored Ape and Mutant Ape NFTs were no longer tradeable on OpenSea.
What kinds of files violate Google Drive's content policies?
AndroidCentral | Jan 25, 2022
Company Listed: Google
Google recently made public the latest terms of its Abuse Program Policies and Enforcement policy. The newest policy spells out exactly how it applies to content uploaded to its Google Workspace services, which includes Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and new Sites features.
As part of the update, Google shared a complete list of content that may be removed or blocked on services, including Google Drive based on applicable laws. In addition to applying to offenses such as account hijacking and inactivity, the latest version of the Google Drive content policy
It's worth noting that when it comes to applying these policies, Google does make some exceptions based on artistic, educational, documentary, and scientific considerations. The company is also transparent about not blocking or flagging content in situations "where there are other substantial benefits to the public from not taking action on the content."
While Google previously promised to file a report with the appropriate authorities to investigate the matter regarding any illegal material and activities, until recently, most files that violated these terms were simply flagged and restricted from being publicly shared.
Draft Online Safety Bill will NOT protect freedom of speech: MPs fear proposed law does nothing to stop tech giant's algorithms removing genuine articles in error or protecting journalists from abuse
DailyMail | Jan 26, 2022
Company Listed: Social Media
The Government's draft Online Safety Bill will not protect the media's freedom of speech because it could allow tech giants to use automated algorithms to remove journalistic reporting in error, a report from MPs has warned.
The House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee said the draft legislation was a 'missed opportunity' to properly address a variety of online issues also including abuse faced by journalists.
The Bill is neither 'clear nor robust' enough to tackle some forms of illegal content - and would also fail to prevent the sharing of the most 'insidious' images of child abuse and violence against women and girls, it is claimed.
Dawn Alford, executive director of the Society of Editors, which represents the UK media, said the draft Bill is 'insufficient to protect freedom of expression' and had to take account of the 'fast nature of today's news process'.
The group is concerned that the bill creates a duty of care for major US tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that could prompt them to bring in new algorithms for removing harmful content from
T&S Careers & Jobs
T&S jobs posted recently, often within the last 24 hours, looking for top talent.
Intuit | Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posted: Jan 27, 2022
4+ years complex financial crime investigative experience; and or 3+ years Intelligence Analysis or Law Enforcement experience working financial crimes
Excellent oral, written and interpersonal communication skills with the ability to communicate complex information accurately, clearly and quickly to all levels of management
Proficient in the use of a personal computer and its applications, including Windows and Windows based applications (Word, Excel, Power Point, Google Sheets, Google Doc, etc.)
Customer-focused, with a passion for delivering the best possible customer experience
High level of professionalism, self-motivation and sense of urgency
Change agent and a facilitative team leader with a strong desire to achieve results
Appen | San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted: Jan 27, 2022
5+ years Management, Project Management, or equivalent experience
Knowledge of, and engagement with, industry, academic and research developments relevant to Appen’s current and strategic directions
Significant experience in developing, designing, and presenting complex concepts to executive leaders or large groups via keynote presentations
Experience using data and technology to solve complex business problems, coupled with a proven ability to exercise judgment even in a crisis
Excellent problem-solving and analytical skills and impeccable business judgment, with professional distinction in thought leadership and innovation
Experience working with SQL
Zocdoc | USA
Posted: Jan 26, 2022
Are a passionate operator, who can bridge the gap between strategy and execution
Thrive in entrepreneurial settings where creativity and grit are required
Can identify opportunities and quickly notify the right people with proper urgency
Personally motivated by seeing your work make an impact on the world, but are okay with not being in the spotlighAre comfortable working in varying levels of ambiguity in the course of a single day
Are confident in engaging courageously in difficult conversations
DIGITL Fox Digital & Technology Group | Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posted: Jan 27, 2022
Experience in online social dynamics and community moderation at scale
Prior experience with leading technical and policy approaches to safe community development
Comfortable collaborating across functions and teams to drive results
TaskRabbit | Anywhere
Posted: Jan 27, 2022
Our ideal candidate is passionate about TaskRabbit and the sharing economy, has experience shipping impactful products within the Trust & Safety / Risk space, and has led teams to success (ideally in a startup environment)
You’ve worked a minimum of 2 years in product management preferably within the Trust & Safety / Risk space
You’re good at inspiring and leading teams
You take the time to really understand individuals’ interests and sources of motivation
You have good business sense and can see the big picture
What is T&S?
Great question (and one the industry hasn’t fully agreed upon). Think of Trust & Safety as the organization that protects social media and Big Tech companies and users from online abuse. As long as users are able to generate content online, time has told us that a minority of these users will create content that is offensive, scandalous, fraudulent, disingenuous, misinformative, hateful, spiteful, and harmful. T&S fights this with flexible policies, resilient operations, and informed detections.
Is T&S interesting?
That depends. If you enjoy stopping bad actors and keeping good people safe, then you’ll love T&S. It requires understanding new technologies and staying on top of breaking issues across society and the world. It also pays Big Tech salaries (no coding skills required).
How do you get into T&S?
That’s the tricky part. The short answer is: not easily. Most T&S orgs are part of Big Tech and (as a result) pay extremely well, so jobs are highly competitive. If you don’t know someone in the industry who can help refer you in, then you can learn more about T&S policies, current events, issues, regulations, and jobs at trustsafetyinstitute.com to improve your hiring chances and start doing meaningful work that helps people.