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May 06, 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.

A teen girl sexually exploited on Snapchat takes on American tech

Washington Post | May 05, 2022

Company Listed: Snapchat

She was 12 when he started demanding nude photos, saying she was pretty, that he was her friend. She believed, because they had connected on Snapchat, that her photos and videos would disappear.

Now, at 16, she is leading a class-action lawsuit against an app that has become a mainstay of American teen life — claiming its designers have done almost nothing to prevent the sexual exploitation of girls like her.

Her case against Snapchat reveals a haunting story of shame and abuse inside a video-messaging app that has for years flown under lawmakers’ radar, even as it has surpassed 300 million active users and built a reputation as a safe space for young people to trade their most intimate images and thoughts.

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Online disinformation harming youth, need transparency law, says report

Business Standared | May 05, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

The sheer scale of disinformat­ion on social media platforms is harming youths in India with no serious efforts shown by companies to combat the menace, says a new report.

The report titled Politics of Disinfor­mation, released on Thursday by the Delhi-based non-profit Future of India Found­a­t­ion, follows discussions with youths in eight states to understand their social media habits and the im­pact of harmful content and mis­information on them. Seventy per cent of India’s internet users are aged below 35. They are 65 percent of its population.

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Facebook, AI, and a less friendly news feed

Columbia Journalism Review | May 05, 2022

Company Listed: Facebook, TikTok

LAST WEEK, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, reported its quarterly financial results, noting that while the number of Facebook users increased during the first months of this year, the company’s revenues grew at the slowest rate since Facebook went public a decade ago. This news came on the heels of a February earnings report in which Meta said that its profit shrank, and also revealed that its user base had fallen for the first time since Facebook went public. After this report was released, the company’s share price plummeted, reducing Meta’s market value by almost $240 billion, the largest one-day decline in US history. The stock has recovered since then, but is still about 35 percent lower than it was in January.

In his remarks about Meta’s recent performance, Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s CEO, tried to reassure investors and analysts that the social network still has a rosy future. He identified several things Meta plans to change, including a reduction in costs to help defray the company’s investment in the metaverse, since the unit devoted to those projects lost nearly $4 billion in the most recent quarter. Notably, Zuckerberg also talked about how the company plans to change the news feed at both Facebook and Instagram in order to more aggressively compete with TikTok, the Chinese-owned video-sharing platform that has grown at a rapid pace over the past few years. (Facebook has also reportedly hired a PR firm to spread negative news stories about TikTok.)

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Kids Are Falling for Misinformation Like Never Before

Fatherly | May 05, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

It’s impossible to shield your kids from obvious lies and untruths: Trump won the 2020 election; climate change is a hoax; COVID vaccines contain microchips so the government can track people. With kids spending more time online at younger and younger ages, they’re being exposed to more of this type of misinformation and disinformation than ever before. With their young, naïve brains — the brain isn’t fully developed until age 25 — kids have an even harder time than adults judging whether a story is fake news. And given that the human brain is biased towards remembering sensationalized news and believing the people around us, adults already have a hard enough time identifying misinformation.

In the age of fake news, misinformation manipulates children’s emotions and behaviors and increases their risk of spreading conspiracy theories. It puts their health at risk. And it isn’t going away anytime soon.

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Harassment is a problem in VR, and it's likely to get worse

CNN | May 06, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Last year, Meta plowed $10 billion into Facebook Reality Labs, the part of the company that develops virtual- and augmented-reality gadgets and software. The division is responsible for bringing to life the Facebook founder's vision of a world where virtual reality and augmented reality change everything from shopping for groceries to hanging out with friends.

Zuckerberg went as far as changing the company's corporate name from Facebook to Meta last year — a move reflecting its focus on building a so-called metaverse, which is a sci-fi concept that envisions, essentially, an immersive version of the internet. And Meta has said it intends to invest even more than that $10 billion for the next several years.

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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

Digital Bridge: US privacy pitch — Putin’s Western fanboys — German digital G7

Politico | May 05, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

FOR A WORK TRIP, IT WAS ONE OF THE BETTER ONES: Last week, privacy and trade officials from the U.S., Latin America, Asia and Europe met in Honolulu to start hashing out Washington’s latest privacy push: creating a global standard for moving people’s personal information between countries. U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced the so-called Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules Declaration last month. This meeting was aimed at hammering out the details on how it will actually work.

First, the basics: The U.S. and some of its allies want to take the privacy framework from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), a free-trade group, and apply it worldwide. That would set a baseline of data protection for all countries to sign up for, and allow national regulators like the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to levy fines. So-called accountability agents, or third-party auditors, would check whether companies are complying with the (voluntary) set of international privacy standards.

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Republicans want disinfo czar Nina Jankowicz to shed light on Twitter, Facebook ‘coordination’

New York Post | May 05, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

House Republicans demanded Thursday that the head of the Department of Homeland Security’s controversial “Disinformation Governance Board” turn over records related to its creation and mission — as well as any “coordination” with Twitter and Facebook.

In a letter to Nina Jankowicz, Judiciary Committee ranking member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and other GOP lawmakers said the panel “gives rise to considerable concerns about its effect on Americans’ fundamental civil liberties” and echoed comparisons to the propaganda agency in George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984.”

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Britain pushes tough tech rules under new digital watchdog

Washington Post | May 06, 2022

Company Listed: Google

LONDON — Big tech companies like Google and Facebook parent Meta would have to comply with tough British rules under a new digital watchdog aimed at giving consumers more choice online — or face the threat of big fines.

The United Kingdom government on Friday outlined the powers it’s planning for its Digital Markets Unit, a regulator set up last year to take on the dominance of tech giants. It didn’t specify when the rules would take effect, saying only that legislation would come “in due course.”

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New Transparency Laws Want Social Media Giants Like TikTok, YouTube, And Meta To Share Data Openly

Digital Information World | May 05, 2022

Company Listed: TikTok, Meta, YouTube

With new policies in place thanks to the EU and a recent Senate hearing meeting too, it’s quite clear how those rooting for transparency are getting what they want.

Recently, Congress bore witness to a debate relating to the importance of transparency and how regulations for social media giants would change for the better.

Think along the lines of new rules that would enforce plenty of leading social media platforms like TikTok, Meta, and YouTube to become more public. And that means sharing their data with researchers.

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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&