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May 20, 2022 T&S Newsletter

Early Warning | Policy & Regulations | 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.

Alleged Buffalo shooter Payton Gendron’s plans were shared online 30 minutes before deadly racist attack: report

New York Post | May 18, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

The alleged Buffalo supermarket shooter shared his rambling plans for his deadly racist attack a half-hour before he gunned down 10 people on Saturday, a new report said.

Payton Gendron, 18, invited people to a private chat on the Discord app that revealed his white supremacist views and outlined how he’d scouted the Tops Friendly Markets in a crazed plan to kill as many black people as possible, CNN reported.

What we know at this time is that a private, invite-only server was created by the suspect to serve as a personal diary chat log,” a spokesperson for Discord told CNN.

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Nearly 1 in 4 of Elon Musk’s Twitter followers are fake: report

New York Post | May 18, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Nearly one out of every four of Elon Musk’s Twitter followers are either spam or bot accounts, according to researchers.

Musk, who has signaled he may pull out of his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter because of the prevalence of fake bots, has a total of 93.8 million followers on the social media platform.

Of those, more than 23.42% of them are either fake or spam accounts, according to two research groups whose findings were reported by Business Insider.

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The midterms are here. Critics say Facebook is already behind

Washington Post | May 19, 2022

Company Listed: Facebook

Republican congressional candidate Joe Kent recently claimed “rampant voter fraud” in the 2020 election in an ad on Facebook — a misinformation problem Facebook has tried to correct.

The ad, which ran in mid-May as part of the Donald Trump-endorsed candidate’s race to win Washington state’s 3rd District, was one of several by the campaign to go undetected by Facebook’s system designed to remove false claims that the election results are invalid, according to a Washington Post analysis of Facebook’s ad library.

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How the GOP assault on social media flipped net neutrality on its head

Washington Post | May 19, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

For over a decade, Democrats have argued that Internet service providers (ISPs), like AT&T and Verizon, shouldn’t be allowed to favor or throttle certain content on their networks, a push that ushered in the 2015 net neutrality rules later repealed by the GOP.

But in the years since, a growing number of Republicans have flipped that playbook on its axis, extending it to social media platforms and calling for them to be treated like “common carriers” or “public utilities” and blocked from discriminating against users’ viewpoints.

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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

We Need to Take Back Our Privacy

NY Times | May 19, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Over 130 years ago, a young lawyer saw an amazing new gadget and had a revolutionary vision — technology can threaten our privacy.

"Recent inventions and business methods call attention to the next step which must be taken for the protection of the person," wrote the lawyer, Louis Brandeis, warning that laws needed to keep up with technology and new means of surveillance, or Americans would lose their "right to be let alone."

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FTC to Crack Down on Companies that Illegally Surveil Children Learning Online

Federal Trade Commision | May 19, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it will crack down on education technology companies if they illegally surveil children when they go online to learn. In a new policy statement adopted today, the Commission made it clear that it is against the law for companies to force parents and schools to surrender their children’s privacy rights in order to do schoolwork online or attend class remotely. Under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, companies cannot deny children access to educational technologies when their parents or school refuse to sign up for commercial surveillance.

“Students must be able to do their schoolwork without surveillance by companies looking to harvest their data to pad their bottom line,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Parents should not have to choose between their children’s privacy and their participation in the digital classroom. The FTC will be closely monitoring this market to ensure that parents are not being forced to surrender to surveillance for their kids’ technology to turn on.”

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Twitter Implements New Rules to Further Restrict Misinformation in Times of Crisis

Fortune | May 19, 2022

Company Listed: Twitter

Twitter is stepping up its fight against misinformation with a new policy cracking down on posts that spread potentially dangerous false stories. The change is part of a broader effort to promote accurate information during times of conflict or crisis.

Starting Thursday, the platform will no longer automatically recommend or emphasize posts that make misleading claims about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including material that mischaracterizes conditions in conflict zones or makes false allegations of war crimes or atrocities against civilians.

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No, health data from most period-tracking apps is not protected under HIPAA

12News | May 19, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

After the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion on Roe v. Wade that suggested the court may overturn the ruling that federally protects the right to abortion in the United States, Elizabeth C. McLaughlin, an attorney, activist and author, and Eva Galperin, who serves as the director of cybersecurity at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a nonprofit digital rights group, said on social media that people should delete period-tracking apps off their phones.

Both McLaughlin and Galperin warned that the personal health data shared on these apps could potentially be used against people who are seeking an abortion if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned.

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Buffalo shooting tests Texas social media law

Dallas News | May 20, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Last year, Texas passed House Bill 20, becoming the second state to regulate social media censorship. Unlike Florida, whose similar law was swiftly enjoined by a federal court, the Lone Star State’s law received a stay of execution by the Fifth Circuit last week. Social conservatives rejoiced that the state could finally prohibit Big Tech from removing content it doesn’t like.

When the alleged gunman opened fire in a supermarket in a predominantly minority neighborhood, killing ten people, he livestreamed the massacre on Twitch. The video quickly spread to Twitter and Facebook, as did the assailant’s manifesto, a 180-page diatribe explaining his racist motives. Which raises the question: Did platforms that removed the shooter’s content violate Texas law?

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Here's why tech giants want the Supreme Court to freeze Texas' social media law

NPR | May 20, 2022

Company Listed: Google, Facebook, Twitter

Texas's new social media law would force sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to carry Russian propaganda, posts promoting eating disorders and racist screeds such as the one thought to be posted online by the gunman who allegedly killed 10 people in a Buffalo, N.Y., grocery store last weekend, according to tech industry groups that are trying to squash it in court.