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July 13, 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.

Twitter went easy on Trump because it ‘relished’ the power, ex-employee says

Washington Post | July 12, 2022

Company Listed: Twitter

A former Twitter employee told the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection that the company gave former president Donald Trump more lenient treatment because it enjoyed the “power” his stature lent to the social network.

The testimony Tuesday marked the first time a former Twitter insider has testified under oath about the company’s role in giving Trump the megaphone he used to marshal an angry mob to attack the Capitol.

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TikTok Suspends Planned Data Usage Policy Change Amid New EU Investigation

Social Media Today | July 12, 2022

Company Listed: TikTok

This doesn’t look great for TikTok, which is already under scrutiny in several regions.

Today, TikTok has confirmed that it has suspended a planned change to its privacy policy relating to the use of user insights for targeted advertising, amid questions over whether the change is actually legal under the latest EU provisions for data protection and control.

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Hunter Biden phone hack claims test platforms’ misinformation policies

The Verge | July 12, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Once again, search and social media platforms are facing moderation challenges tied to data allegedly leaked from the president’s son’s devices.

Over the weekend, users of 4Chan’s /pol/ messageboard were whipped into a frenzy of excitement by one poster claiming to have hacked into Hunter Biden’s phone. Exact details are hard to confirm, but the original poster suggests they have used a tool called iPhone Backup Extractor to recover backup copies of the contents of an iPhone and iPad belonging to Hunter Biden — possibly by compromising his iCloud account and downloading the data from the cloud.

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Twitter sues Musk: He can't just 'change his mind, trash the company, walk away'

The Register | July 13, 2022

Company Listed: Twitter

After threatening to do so, Twitter on Tuesday actually sued Elon Musk, claiming the billionaire is breaking the terms of his agreement to buy the biz by trying to flee from the deal.

The drama began in April when it emerged the Tesla mogul had bought a 9.2 percent stake in the website, turned down an opportunity to join its board, and returned with an offer to purchase the thing outright for $44 billion in cash. The Twitter board bristled at the thought, then accepted the deal.

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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

Dentity Makes Identity Verification Service Free to Consumers to Combat Fake Accounts on Social Media Platforms

Yahoo | July 12, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

In response to the recent termination of the Twitter acquisition, Dentity, the leader in Web3 identity, is announcing that it has made its verified identity program free to all consumers. Thousands of consumers are already taking advantage of this offer, building trusted interactions with the people they interact with online and increasing their safety.

While fake social media accounts have been problematic for years, recent developments have raised the stakes and created a defining moment for consumers to take safety into their own hands. It's estimated that over 40% of the traffic on the Internet is bots, and bad actors and fake profiles continue to explode. Recent reports by Twitter indicate they delete over 1 million fake accounts a day, and according to Statista, Facebook deletes over 1.5 billion accounts per quarter. Pew Research indicates that 51% of online daters feel people set up fake profiles to scam others (according to the FTC, romance scams reached a record high in 2021, with reported losses exceeding $540 million — a 6x increase from 2017 and an 80% increase compared to 2020). Cases of online child grooming continue to rise, with social media accounting for the vast majority of these cases.

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Facial recognition software considered by government agencies

1news | July 13, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Documents show the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in talks to get people's photos through the system to check the identity of beneficiaries - though it denies ever doing this - and talk about using it in schools.

The documents show the One Time Identity (OTI) system had been developed since 2019 by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) - though the department told RNZ it was "a pilot".

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Flawed online safety bill is disaster for free speech, claim Tories

The Guardian | July 13, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

The free-speech wing of the Conservative party is lining up against the “fundamentally misdesigned” online safety bill as the government rushes to pass the legislation before the House of Commons breaks up for the summer.

The backbencher David Davis said of the flagship bill: “We all want the internet to be safe. Right now, there are too many dangers online, from videos propagating terror to posts promoting self-harm and suicide.

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TikTok to roll out content filters and maturity ratings in pledge to make app safer

Tech Crunch | July 13, 2022

Company Listed: TikTok

Earlier this year, TikTok said it was developing a new system that would restrict certain types of mature content from being viewed by teen users. Today, the company is introducing the first version of this system, called “Content Levels,” due to launch in a matter of weeks. It’s also preparing the rollout of a new tool that will allow users to filter videos with certain words or hashtags from showing up in their feeds.

Together, the features are designed to give users more control over their TikTok experience while making the app safer, particularly for younger users. This is an area where TikTok today is facing increased scrutiny — not only from regulators and lawmakers who are looking to tighten their grip on social media platforms in general, but also from those seeking justice over social media’s harms.

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T&S Good News

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

TikTok launches programme to help SMBs with social media marketing

ITPro | July 13, 2022