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October 27, 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.

Why Elon Musk’s Idea of “Free Speech” Will Help Ruin America

New Republic | October 27, 2022

Company Listed: Twitter

After months of legal wrangling, Elon Musk’s bid to buy Twitter appears to be finally going through. Musk and the right see this as a great thing because it will restore “free speech” to Twitter. Any suggestion that the sort of “free speech” they envision can have highly undesirable consequences is met with howls of “Libs hate free speech” or other accusations of fascism. Similarly, warnings that unfettered free speech results in dangerous misinformation spreading are derided with “Sunlight is the best disinfectant” and the libertarian belief that in the marketplace of ideas, the best will always win out.

These theories will be tested quickly. It is being reported that after the sale is finalized, Musk plans on laying off nearly three-quarters of Twitter’s staff and that one of the first things to go will be any corporate attempt at content moderation and user security. Musk also plans on restoring the accounts of high-profile sources of disinformation and violent messaging who were previously banned, most notably former President Trump.

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Groups demand crackdown on online misinformation ahead of midterms

Axios | October 26, 2022

Company Listed: Meta, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube

There's a growing fear that political misinformation is spiraling out of control on social media two weeks before the U.S. midterm elections.

Driving the news: Activist groups are sounding the alarm on election-related dis- and misinformation, putting pressure on tech platforms to be more vigilant, per a letter to the CEOs of Meta, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube signed by more than 60 groups and shared exclusively with Axios.

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Research Confirms TikTok Is a Cesspool of Misinformation

Futurism | October 27, 2022

Company Listed: TikTok, Facebook, YouTube

The report actually tested TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube, all of which performed pretty poorly at detecting and removing misinformation-laden advertising content uploaded by researchers. Out of those, TikTok proved to be the worst. After uploading droves of ill-informed, potentially-dangerous advertisements for approval, the researchers found that 90 percent of those fake ads were ultimately approved by the popular video app.

Although the report is still preliminary, that's an alarming figure — especially considering how quickly TikTok's growth has outpaced that of other platforms in recent years, not to mention how wildly popular it is with younger people.

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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

Meta and Microsoft can’t self-regulate their metaverses, UK regulator warns

CNBC | October 26, 2022

Company Listed: Meta

The boss of the U.K. media regulator Ofcom warned “metaverse” forays from tech giants like Meta and Microsoft will be subjected to incoming rules forcing platforms to protect users from online harms.

Speaking at an event in London hosted by policy consulting group Global Counsel on Tuesday, Ofcom Chief Executive Melanie Dawes said self-regulation of the metaverse, a hypothetical digital world touted by Meta and others, wouldn’t fly under U.K. online safety laws.

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The US midterms don’t have to be an online dystopia

The Hill | October 26, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

There’s always a palpable sense of uncertainty before the U.S. midterms: Which party will control Congress? And which policy agendas will be reinforced or derailed? But in recent years, there’s an added element of unease: How will tech platforms undermine civility and public trust in the election?

Despite boasting of election war rooms and content moderator armies, social media platforms continue to foster an environment that often harms, rather than helps, democracy. For the past several years, my nonprofit Mozilla Foundation has been monitoring elections online not just in the U.S., but also Germany and Kenya. And while each region has its own context, we have identified a handful of universal problems. Problems like dark money digital ads, misled voters and opaque algorithms that fuel lies just as often as truth.

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Big Tech’s payments play has UK regulators in a double bind

Protocol | October 26, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

With all the news coming out of the U.K. in recent days, you’d be forgiven for overlooking its latest probe into Big Tech. Yesterday the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority said it would solicit views on the potential competitive harms of Big Tech’s expansion into financial services. In a 61-page discussion paper, the financial regulator outlined its thinking on the matter, with scenarios exploring how Big Tech could impact the payments, deposits, consumer credit, and insurance industries.

When it comes to payments, the FCA thinks Big Tech competition could actually be a good thing. The paper argues that, in the short term, Big Tech could help consumers by challenging the dominance of Visa and Mastercard, which together make up virtually the entirety of the U.K.’s card payment market. The FCA pointed to the standoff between Amazon and Visa in 2022 as an example of this already happening: Fed up with Visa’s interchange fees, Amazon threatened to boycott the payment processor and ultimately used its market power to negotiate a new deal with undisclosed terms.

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Privacy law violations: who investigates and what are the consequences?

KPVI | October 26, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Eighty-five percent of American adults say they go online daily—and 31% say they're online constantly—which is likely no surprise considering how much of our modern lives have become tethered to the internet. It's not only the hours we spend scrolling through our social media feeds, checking email, and streaming music playlists. Many of the businesses and services we use to send money, sign documents, view bills, schedule doctor appointments, or check our bank statements store our information digitally long after we've logged off. To protect all the countless pieces of our digital lives stored online, on the cloud, and on computer servers, privacy laws are critical to deterring theft and safeguarding our confidential information.

To learn about the different privacy laws in the U.S., including what types of privacy they protect, who enforces them, and what consequences of their violations are, TripleBlind compiled a list of federal privacy laws and investigated who enforces them using a variety of government and academic sources.