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March 22, 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.

Russia finds Meta guilty of 'extremist activity' but WhatsApp can stay

Reuters | Mar 22, 2022

Company Listed: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp

Summary: Moscow court filed a lawsuits against Meta for its “extremist activity”. Earlier they banned Facebook and Instagram but WhatsApp will not be affected due to its lack of functionality. Meta can return back only on Russia’s term.

A Moscow court said on Monday that Meta (FB.O) was guilty of "extremist activity", but the ruling will not affect its WhatsApp messenger service, focusing on the U.S. firm's already-banned Facebook and Instagram social networks.

Meta did not respond to requests for comment after Moscow's Tverskoi District Court said in a press statement that it had upheld a lawsuit filed by state prosecutors on banning the company's activities on Russian territory.

Meta's lawyer Victoria Shakina had earlier told the court that the company was not carrying out extremist activities and was against Russophobia, the Interfax news agency reported.

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Twitter Suspends Right-Wing Site for Misgendering Rachel Levine

Advocate | Mar 21, 2022

Company Listed: Twitter, Social Media

Summary: Twitter has suspended The Babylon Bee for calling the transgender federal official its Man of the Year. It was violating Twitter’s hateful conduct rule. The Bee’s tweet was in response to USA Today naming Rachel Levine one of its Women of the Year. She is the first out trans person to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate to a position in the federal government and the highest-ranking trans federal official.

The Babylon Bee, a satirical right-wing site, has been suspended from Twitter due to its tweet misgendering Rachel Levine, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The site was suspended for violating Twitter’s hateful conduct rule with its tweet saying it had selected Levine, a transgender woman, as its Man of the Year. Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon tweeted about the suspension Sunday night from his personal account.

The suspension means the Bee cannot tweet or retweet, put likes on other tweets, or obtain new followers. It was set to be lifted in 12 hours after the offending tweet is deleted, but Dillon said the Bee would not delete it, and he suggested other ways for followers to engage with the site. “Truth is not hate speech,” he tweeted. “If the cost of telling the truth is the loss of our Twitter account, then so be it.”

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YouTube at Risk of Russia Ban After Facebook Is Deemed Illegal

Bloomberg | Mar 22, 2022

Company Listed: YouTube, Google

Google, one of the few American corporate giants still operating in Russia, is poised to lose one of its biggest footholds in the country as tensions with the Kremlin continue to escalate.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google shut its advertising business in Russia while maintaining its popular consumer services, such as YouTube. But the video service has become a significant source of tension with the government. YouTube banned a channel from Russia’s Ministry of Defense, according to an internal document reviewed by Bloomberg -- the latest in a series of actions that Googlers expect to trigger a shutdown in the country.

YouTube last week barred Russia’s military from posting on the video site for seven days after the ministry labeled its invasion of Ukraine a “liberation mission” in two videos, which the company removed, according to the document. The decision to pull the videos was escalated to YouTube’s executive leadership, according to the document.

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Faked Out: Con artists copycatting social media profiles lure family and friends into scams

KKTV | Mar 22, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

(InvestigateTV) - Your pictures, your videos, your memories – all come together to create your social media identity. InvestigateTV has uncovered scammers targeting your online accounts to create a whole new you, all designed to scam your closest friends out of their money.

In the tech world it’s called “spoofing,” a hacking technique where scammers take your online content and create a duplicate fake profile with the goal of drawing your friends and followers into a web of deceit.

According to Facebook’s 2019 data, 16% of all Facebook accounts are fake or duplicate accounts.

The hackers even target the experts.

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Facebook failed to detect hate speech, calls to violence in Myanmar, report finds

Market Watch | Mar 21, 2022

Company Listed: Facebook

JAKARTA, Indonesia — A new report has found that Facebook failed to detect blatant hate speech and calls to violence against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority years after such behavior was found to have played a determining role in the genocide against them.

The report shared exclusively with The Associated Press showed the rights group Global Witness submitted eight paid ads for approval to Facebook, each including different versions of hate speech against Rohingya. All eight ads were approved by Facebook to be published.

The group pulled the ads before they were posted or paid for, but the results confirmed that despite its promises to do better, Facebook’s leaky controls still fail to detect hate speech and calls for violence on its platform.

The army conducted what it called a clearance campaign in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state in 2017 after an attack by a Rohingya insurgent group. More than 700,000 Rohingya fled into neighboring Bangladesh and security forces were accused of mass rapes, killings and torching thousands of homes.

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T&S Policies & Regulations

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

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Australia Follows EU, UK Steps With Misinformation Bill

Pymnts | Mar 21, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Summary: To combat harmful disinformation and misinformation online the Australia introduced new legislation which includes protecting minors and adults from illegal and restricted content online and follows the new online safety Act. The legislation will provide the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) with new powers to hold Google, Meta, Twitter and other tech companies accountable for harmful content and manages to reduce misinformation.

The Australian government announced on Monday (March 21) that it will introduce new legislation this year to combat harmful disinformation and misinformation online.

The legislation will provide the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) with new powers to hold Google, Meta, Twitter and other tech companies accountable for harmful content on their platforms. With this announcement, Australia follows the steps already taken in Europe and the U.K. to make Big Tech companies responsible for the content posted in their platforms.

“Digital platforms must take responsibility for what is on their sites and take action when harmful or misleading content appears,” Minister for Communication, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher said.

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China Blocks Bing’s Auto-Suggest Function

Pymnts | Mar 21, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

For one week, China users of Bing can’t use the Microsoft Corp.’s search engine auto-suggest function, Reuters reported Monday (March 21).

This is the second time since December that the People’s Republic of China has sanctioned Bing since December. It comes amid a Beijing crackdown on tech platforms a