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March 17, 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.

Kanye West Suspended From Instagram for 24 Hours on Policy Violation

US news | Mar 16, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media, Instagram

(Reuters) - Kanye West has been suspended from social media network Instagram for 24 hours after the rapper infringed the platform's policy regarding harassment, a spokesperson for its parent firm Meta Platforms Inc said.

The platform deleted content sent from the 44-year-old rapper's account that was in violation of its policies on "hate speech and bullying and harassment," the spokesperson, Joe Osborne, told Reuters in an emailed statement.

West, who legally goes by 'Ye', will be restricted from posting, commenting or sending direct messages from the account for 24 hours, Osborne said, adding further action could be taken if he continued to violate policies on regaining control of the account.

Representatives for West did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.

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Twitter actioned over 50,000 pieces of misleading Ukraine content

Engadget | Mar 16, 2022

Company Listed: Twitter

Twitter said it has "labeled or removed" more than 50,000 pieces of content that broke its policy on manipulated media in the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the company shared in a blog post today. Additionally, the platform removed roughly 75,000 accounts for “inauthentic behavior” and spam. Though this number encompassed users not specifically engaged in war propaganda, it included accounts associated with #IStandWithPutin, a hashtag that went viral last month thanks to a coordinated campaign of fake accounts.

Unlike previous times where a single government or a state information campaign was to blame, Twitter found a wide range of actors were responsible for manipulating the platform, such as those recirculating old conflict footage as if it were new, as well as the many Ukraine-related fundraising scams that have cropped up in the wake of the invasion.

Last month Twitter also promised to not amplify any tweets from users that included links to state-affiliated media (a step-up from its old policy, which was not to amplify or promote tweets that were only directly from accounts of the state-affiliated media). Since February 28th, Twitter says it has labeled more than 61,000 unique tweets that included links to state-run media. It estimates doing so reduced the reach of these tweets by around 30 percent.

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Molly Russell inquest: family frustrated by wait for Instagram data

The Guardian | Mar 16, 2022

Company Listed: Instagram, Social Media

The family of Molly Russell, the 14-year-old who killed herself in 2017 after viewing harmful content online, have expressed frustration at the time taken by Meta to disclose data relevant to her death, a coroner has heard.

Oliver Sanders QC, representing Molly’s family, told a pre-inquest review: “If I could just put on record the immense frustration and disappointment of the family at the fact that we’re conducting this process now when it could and should have been conducted two years ago.”

He said Molly’s father, Ian, needed a chance to review all the Instagram posts Molly interacted with before he could submit a witness statement to the inquest.

Molly, from Harrow, north-west London, viewed an extensive volume of material, including some linked to anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide, in the months before she died in November 2017. Her inquest will look at how algorithms used by social media firms to keep people hooked may have contributed to her death.

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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

How Facebook’s real-name policy changed social media forever | Mar 16, 2022

Company Listed: Facebook

Many ground rules for Internet anonymity are set not by courts or legislators, but by the private platforms that are the gateways to the Internet. Social media sites, online discussion forums, and other platforms are private companies that are not restricted by the First Amendment. They are free to decide the level of anonymity or pseudonymity that their users receive. And some platforms have decided to require all or most of their users to identify themselves by their real names.

Although the First Amendment does not prohibit platforms from deciding whether to limit anonymity or pseudonymity, these choices impact the culture of anonymity empowerment. Regardless of the protections that the First Amendment might provide for anonymity, a private company’s decision to ban anonymity could make it more difficult for users to separate their identities from their speech.

The nation’s largest social media provider, Facebook, has long had a fairly stringent real-name policy. In an interview in 2009, founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg told David Kirkpatrick that he always differed with those who said that Facebook should allow people to open separate profiles for their professional and social lives. “The days of you having a different image for your work friends or co-workers and for the other people you know are probably coming to an end pretty quickly,” Zuckerberg said.

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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Breaks His Silence on Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The Street | Mar 16, 2022

Company Listed: Facebook, Social Media

Facebook is in the sights of Russian authorities who have blocked or limited access to the platforms of the giant of social media in the country.

By changing its name to Meta Platforms (FB) - Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A Report last October, Facebook wanted to direct the spotlight away from the company after a withering series of blunders and Congressional investigations.

But the Russian invasion of Ukraine immediately brought the spotlight back to the social media giant, which once again finds itself at the center of debates on a global political and geopolitical event.

Basically, it's back to square one for Mark Zuckerberg's company, which has always wanted to be the place where the debate takes place and where people meet.

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World-first online safety laws introduced in Parliament | Mar 17, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

New measures include tougher and quicker criminal sanctions for tech bosses and new criminal offences for falsifying and destroying data

Online Safety Bill will be introduced in Parliament today

Parliament to approve what types of ‘legal but harmful’ content platforms must tackle

Internet users are one step closer to a safer online environment as the government’s new world-leading online safety laws are brought before parliament today.

The Online Safety Bill marks a milestone in the fight for a new digital age which is safer for users and holds tech giants to account. It will protect children from harmful content such as pornography and limit people’s exposure to illegal content, while protecting freedom of speech.

It will require social media platforms, search engines and other apps and websites allowing people to post their own content to protect children, tackle illegal activity and uphold their stated terms and conditions.

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California bill would let parents sue social media companies for addicting kids

LA Times | Mar 16, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

California parents whose children become addicted to social media apps would be able to sue for damages under a bill advanced Tuesday in the state Assembly by a bipartisan pair of lawmakers.

Assembly Bill 2408, or the Social Media Platform Duty to Children Act, was introduced by Republican Jordan Cunningham of Paso Robles and Democrat Buffy Wicks of Oakland with support from the University of San Diego School of Law Children’s Advocacy Institute. It’s the latest in a string of legislative and political efforts to crack down on social media platforms’ exploitation of their youngest users.

“Some of these companies do indeed intentionally design features in their apps — that they know children are using — that cause the children to use it more and more and more, [and] exhibit signs of addiction,” Cunningham said in an interview. “So the question to me becomes … who should pay the social cost of this? Should it be borne by the schools and the parents and the kids, or should it be borne in part by the companies that profited from creating these products?

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T&S Good News

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

Meta Introduces Teen Safety Features for Instagram, Quest

Adweek | Mar 16, 2022

Company Listed: Meta, Instagram

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri explained in a blog post, “This is the first step in a longer-term journey to develop intuitive supervision tools, informed by experts, teens and parents. Our vision for Family Center is to eventually allow parents and guardians to help their teens manage experiences across Meta technologies, all from one central place.”

Family Center is where parents can access supervision tools and tap into an education hub with articles, tips from experts and videos about how to discuss social media with their teen.

Meta worked with groups including Connect Safely and Net Family News on those resources, and it said Family Center will continue to be updated with new information.