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March 25, 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.

It’s no shock that TikTok serves users Ukraine misinformation

Newstatesman | Mar 24, 2022

Company Listed: TikTok

The TikTok algorithm has near-mythic status. No one really knows how it works but it will figure out your deepest content desires in seconds. It drives much of TikTok’s success and the mythology surrounding it — that no matter who you are or what you like, you will be able to find it almost instantly on the app. Little is said about that content’s quality, or what the costs are of serving up personalized content at an unprecedented, unrelenting rate.

This week, a report suggests what some of those costs might be. In a number of experiments, the online trust-checker Newsguard found that TikTok users were shown “false or misleading” information about the war in Ukraine within 40 minutes of signing up to the app, regardless of whether that user ran any relevant searches on the platform. The Newsguard report found that when they searched for generic terms relating to the conflict (such as “Ukraine”, “Russia” or “Kyiv”) these users would find disinformation in the top 20 suggested search results.

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Former TikTok content moderators file lawsuit over ‘psychological trauma’

Techcrunch | Mar 25, 2022

Company Listed: TikTok

A pair of former TikTok content reviewers is suing the company, alleging that it failed to adequately support them as they engaged in the deeply disturbing work of removing objectionable videos from the social network. NPR first reported the lawsuit, which was filed Thursday in federal court.

Plaintiffs Ashley Velez and Reece Young both did moderation work for TikTok on contract through third party companies — Canadian tech firm Telus International and a New York-based company called Atrium, respectively. Velez and Young are seeking class-action status, which would allow other TikTok content moderators alleging that they were negatively impacted by the company's practices to join the lawsuit.

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Blacklisted by the U.S., pro-Russia accounts have still been posting propaganda on Twitter and YouTube

Washington Post | Mar 25, 2022

Company Listed: Twitter, YouTube

Less than a week after Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, a pro-Russian rebel appeared in a video on YouTube celebrating the invasion as a “war of good against evil.”

“Ukraine is being freed from Nazi ideology, from militarization, from the criminal Kyiv Regime,” said Denis Pushilin, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, or DNR, a separatist enclave in eastern Ukraine that has played a central role in Vladimir Putin’s justification for war. The video was shared by two accounts associated with the DNR with more than 25,000 combined subscribers.

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Twitter slaps 'warning' on The Federalist articles saying links 'may be unsafe,' admits it was an error

Fox News | Mar 24, 2022

Company Listed: Twitter

Twitter was found giving users a "warning" to those who clicked on articles published by The Federalist.

"Twitter is currently censoring links to @FDRLST news stories, falsely claiming that our stories are ‘violent or misleading content that could lead to real-world harm,’" The Federalist CEO Sean Davis tweeted Wednesday evening. "Stories about KBJ, Ron DeSantis, Hunter Biden, and majolica art are all being maliciously censored by Twitter."

When attempting to click on a link, a page appears reading, "Warning: this link may be unsafe."

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Social media wasn’t ready for this war. It needs a plan for the next one

Washington Post | Mar 25, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media, Facebook

It isn’t just Facebook that’s rewriting its rules in response to Russia’s bloody, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. From Google barring ads in Russia and taking down YouTube videos that trivialize the war, to Twitter refusing to recommend tweets that link to Russian state media and TikTok suspending all video uploads from the country in response to its “fake news” law — each of the largest social media platforms has taken ad hoc actions in recent weeks that go beyond or contradict its previous policies.

The moves illustrate how Internet platforms have been scrambling to adapt content policies built around notions of political neutrality to a wartime context. And they suggest that those rule books — the ones that govern who can say what online — need a new chapter on geopolitical conflicts.

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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

E.U. Takes Aim at Big Tech’s Power With Landmark Digital Act

NY Times | Mar 24, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

The European Union agreed on Thursday to one of the world’s most far-reaching laws to address the power of the biggest tech companies, potentially reshaping app stores, online advertising, e-commerce, messaging services and other everyday digital tools.

The law, called the Digital Markets Act, is the most sweeping piece of digital policy since the bloc put the world’s toughest rules to protect people’s online data into effect in 2018. The legislation is aimed at stopping the largest tech platforms from using their interlocking services and considerable resources to box in users and squash emerging rivals, creating room for new entrants and fostering more competition.

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Regulate social media on par with mainstream media on hate speech and libel

Livemint | Mar 23, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media, Facebook, Instagram

Russia recently banned Facebook and Instagram, while sparing Meta’s third offering, WhatsApp. Facebook and Instagram face a double ban: the most recent one is by a court that found these platforms guilty of extremist activity, which came on top of a pre-existing ban by executive decision. The ground being that Facebook and Instagram had allowed users in Ukraine to post messages urging violence against President Putin of Russia and against Russian troops invading Ukraine. Facebook has subsequently clarified it does not sanction calls for violence against a head of state and that it does not condone violence against Russians in general.

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Reddit Moves to Control Hate Speech and Misinformation in Two Forums

Time | Mar 24, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Reddit has taken action against hate speech this week, banning the India-focused r/Chodi discussion forum and quarantining the China-focused r/GenZedong. The social media platform’s crackdown follows a TIME report in January about Reddit’s struggle to control hate speech in some of its non-English subreddits around the world.

The R/Chodi community, which had over 90,000 members and saw hundreds of new posts a day, was “banned for violating Reddit’s rule against promoting hate,” according to a message posted by Reddit administrators. TIME had found dozens of posts a week on the subreddit that denigrated Islam and depicted Muslims as ignorant, violent or incestuous. Moderators for r/India, another India-focused subreddit, told TIME they had alerted Reddit employees of this behavior several times but were ignored.

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T&S Good News

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

Facebook is locking out users who ignored the Facebook Protect

Techengage | Mar 24, 2022

Company Listed: Facebook

Facebook has faced failures on multiple fronts. Young users who once spent their entire time on it are leaving Facebook. The rise of other platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, and other social media platforms is waning Facebook. Anti-Trust lawsuits and poor protection of data have made Facebook a vulnerable company.

Recently, Facebook users received notice of Facebook Protect to secure their accounts. However, most of the users ignored it and, in response, Facebook has blocked their accounts.

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T&S Careers & Jobs

T&S jobs posted recently, often within the last 24 hours, looking for top talent.

Check out all the recent T&S job postings here.