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March 18, 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 Removes Deepfake Video of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Twitter said over 75,000 accounts have been deleted since Russia’s invasion began

Adweek | Mar 17, 2022

Company Listed: Meta, Twitter

Meta removed a deepfake video from its platforms Wednesday that depicted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ordering his country’s troops to surrender to Russia.

Head of security policy Nathaniel Gleicher explained in a tweet, “Earlier today, our teams identified and removed a deepfake video claiming to show President Zelensky issuing a statement he never did. It appeared on a reportedly compromised website and then started showing across the internet. We’ve quickly reviewed and removed this video for violating our policy against misleading manipulated media, and notified our peers at other platforms.”

Gleicher also shared a link to Meta’s policy on manipulated media.

Meanwhile, Twitter said Wednesday that since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, it has removed more than 75,000 accounts for violations of its policy on platform manipulation and spam, and over 50,000 pieces of content have been labeled or removed for running up against its synthetic and manipulated media policy.

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Facebook's 'double standard' on hate speech against Russians

Trust | Mar17, 2022

Company Listed: Facebook

Facebook's decision to allow hate speech against Russians due to the war in Ukraine breaks its own rules on incitement, and shows a "double standard" that could hurt users caught in other conflicts, digital rights experts and activists said.

Facebook owner Meta Platforms will temporarily allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion, Reuters reported last week.

It will also allow praise for a right-wing battalion "strictly in the context of defending Ukraine", in a decision that experts say demonstrates the platform's bias.

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Online child exploitation tips jumped 37% during 2 years of the pandemic

Vtdigger | Mar 17, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

One evening last December, a team of law enforcement officers carrying a search warrant knocked on an apartment door in Claremont, New Hampshire. After speaking with the tenants, the police seized several items, including laptops, cellphones and a man’s underwear.

The following day, one of the residents, Wayne Miller, 34, was charged in federal court with producing child sexual abuse material. Authorities said his actions involved an 18-month-old child while he was living in Hartland in 2020.

Miller has also been charged in Vermont Superior Court with two counts of repeated aggravated sexual assault against the toddler, allegedly related to his production of the material.

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Australian watchdog sues Facebook-owner Meta over scam advertisements

Reuters | Mar 18, 2022

Company Listed: Meta, Facebook

March 18 (Reuters) - Australia's competition watchdog filed a lawsuit against Facebook owner Meta Platforms (FB.O) on Friday, alleging the social media giant failed to prevent scammers using its platform to promote fake ads featuring well-known people.

The advertisements, which endorsed investment in cryptocurrency or money-making schemes, could have misled Facebook users into believing they were promoted by famous Australians, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) said.

The lawsuit filed in the Federal Court also alleges Facebook "aided and abetted or was knowingly concerned in false or misleading conduct and representations by the advertisers," the ACCC said in a statement.

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T&S Policies & Regulations

Regulatory news and policy decisions impacting the T&S ecosystem.

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Following suicides and lawsuits, Snapchat restricts apps building on its platform with new policies

Techcrunch | Mar 17, 2022

Company Listed: Snapchat

After a bullied teen died by suicide, a grieving mother last year sued the platform where the abuse had taken place — Snapchat — for not doing enough to protect its younger users. Another lawsuit, related to another suicide, followed last month. In response to the former, Snap banned the anonymous messaging apps that had facilitated online bullying and vowed to revamp its policies to address what sort of Snapchat-connected experiences could be built using its developer tools. Today, the company announced the results of its policy review and the changes it’s making.

Effective immediately for new developers building on its Snap Kit platform, Snap is banning anonymous messaging apps and will require anyone building friend-finding apps to limit those apps to users 18 and up. Existing developers are being given 30 days to come into compliance with the new policies.

These changes are limited to third-party apps integrated with Snapchat and are not intended to address other child safety issues on Snap’s platform.

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What the new Online Safety Bill updates will mean for users

Information.age | Mar 17, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

The bill is being updated to specifically target scam advertisements online, with new laws being made to require prevention of exposure to harmful content by social media sites and tech firms.

This development will see Ofcom take on added regulatory responsibilities, including the power to fine or block platforms or companies found to have breached the laws.

Executives will be criminally liable if they don’t comply with Ofcom information requests two months after the law comes into effect, as well as liable for destroying evidence, failing to attend Ofcom meetings, or providing false information.

Secondary legislation will be set out by the government to determine what falls under “legal but harmful”.

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Demonising algorithms won't protect children from social media harm, BCS warns in response to the Online Safety Bill

BCS | Mar 17, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Blaming social media algorithms for harming children without equal emphasis on education risks the Online Safety Bill’s success, the professional body for IT has warned.

As the Online Safety Bill is introduced to Parliament after several major updates, the Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “If we fail to act, we risk sacrificing the wellbeing and innocence of countless generations of children to the power of unchecked algorithms.”

BCS says singling out algorithms as responsible for children’s online safety was ‘passing the buck’. A combination of ethical design choices in those algorithms, supported by strong digital education and media literacy, was more likely to make the internet safer long-term, BCS added.

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Tech leaders face threat of prison under new UK online bill

Abs news | Mar 17, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media, TikTok

LONDON -- Tech bosses face criminal prosecution if they fail to comply with proposed British rules aimed at ensuring people are safe online, the U.K. government said Thursday as it unveiled the draft legislation in Parliament.

The ambitious but controversial online safety bill would give regulators wide-ranging powers to crack down on digital and social media companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok.

Authorities in the United Kingdom are the vanguard of a global movement to rein in the power of tech platforms and make them more responsible for harmful material such as child sex abuse, racist content, bullying, fraud and other harmful material that proliferates on their platforms. Similar efforts are underway in the European Union and United States.

While the internet has transformed people’s lives, “tech firms haven’t been held to account when harm, abuse and criminal behavior have run riot on their platforms,” U.K. Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said in a statement. “If we fail to act, we risk sacrificing the wellbeing and innocence of countless generations of children to the power of unchecked algorithms.”

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