Last week Silicon Valley silenced the president. In unison, the social media giants, with an assist from Amazon and Apple, also eliminated their most popular conservative competitor and announced that their own moderation policies would now extend to other companies. Meanwhile, CNN openly called for Fox News to be banned from cable, while a major talk radio network issued new speech rules to its hosts, extending tech’s moderation policies to the offline world. Beyond all this, Congress and the European Union called for powerful new regulation of online speech.Read More
A legislative counsel member from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Friday warned that the suspension of President Donald Trump’s social media accounts wielded “unchecked power” by large tech companies, Breitbart reported.
Kate Ruane, a senior legislative counsel at the ACLU warned in a statement that the decision to suspend Trump from social media platforms could set a precedent for big tech companies to silence less privileged voices.Read More
Tens of thousands of posts containing news stories from The Star News Network’s Facebook pages were temporarily deleted Wednesday.
“Hi, we are currently experiencing an issue with Facebook and because of that the sharing is stopped and your Facebook accounts are paused,” a third party software used by The Star News Network to schedule and post stories to social media said by email.Read More
A fact-checking outlet for Facebook is defending its business relationship with an app company linked to the Chinese Communist Party, an arrangement that has raised some controversy in recent weeks amid elevated activity by fact-checkers across social media platforms.Read More
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Wednesday that she is leading a coalition of dozens of states to file a lawsuit against social media giant Facebook.
James, along with the attorneys general of 47 other states and the Federal Trade Commission, accuse Facebook of using its dominant market position to acquire and otherwise crush competitors, tactics that amount to monopolistic abuse that harm users.Read More
A “fact check” by USA Today is defaming a Ph.D.-vetted study by Just Facts that found non-citizens may have cast enough illegal votes for Joe Biden to overturn the lawful election results in some key battleground states. The article, written by USA Today’s Chelsey Cox, contains 10 misrepresentations, unsupported claims, half-truths, and outright falsehoods.Read More
Are you tired of Big Tech deciding what posts you see on social media? Do you feel anxious posting your political opinions online? Do you wish you could exercise your right to free speech without worrying about political correctness or being “cancelled”?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, Parler may be the best thing to happen to you in 2020! It’s been a year, we all need some good news, so please read on.Read More
At least seven former higher-ups of Facebook or the charity run by its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, have secured positions in President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, despite Democratic Party officials labeling the social media giant among the biggest threats to American democracy.
Biden announced Friday that former Facebook Director of Public Policy Louisa Terrell would direct his White House Office of Legislative Affairs, which will put her in charge of advancing Biden’s agenda in Congress. Terrell, who lobbied for Facebook from 2011 through 2013, currently oversees legislative affairs for the Biden transition team.Read More
The CEOs of Twitter and Facebook returned Tuesday to Capitol Hill, this time to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
While focused on Twitter’s blocking of a New York Post story about the Biden family’s business dealings overseas and the social media giants’ immunity from lawsuit under the Communications Decency Act, the hearing veered into other topics as well.
Facebook and Google are banning political ads from their platforms with no exceptions allowed, at a time when two U.S. Senate seats are up for grabs in a Jan. 5 runoff election in Georgia that could help determine control of that chamber, NBC News reported.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee criticized the decisions, which they said, “amount to unacceptable voter suppression.”Read More
Facebook seems to be presenting a “Catch-22” for conservatives who are fed up with censorship: In order to leave Facebook yet let contacts know how to find them, they must risk Facebook’s censorship to let those contacts know.
Project Veritas has often documented Facebook’s bias against conservatives and its deletions of their posts.
Some who say they are tired of that bias are trying microblogging/social networking site Parler. They say they see Parler as a free-speech alternative to Twitter. Forbes in June ran an interview with Parler founder John Matze and how the site has grown to be a conservative presence in only two years.Read More
After a series of mishaps involving muted senators, virtual cross-talk, and “connectivity issues” befuddling one of the world’s most tech-savvy men, the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, and Google appeared before the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday for what has now become a performative ritual: senators of both parties yell about different aspects of social media, the tech giants respond with bland, vague, noncommittal statements. And nothing substantive happens.
This is exactly where the Senate Commerce Committee found itself on Wednesday, when Big Tech was confronted with a host of critics and without any defenders—but ultimately very little in the way of committed follow-up from legislators.Read More
It’s safe to say that Big Tech hasn’t had a great month.
Google received a beating at the Supreme Court for allegedly stealing the coding needed to create Android. Congress subpoenaed Facebook and Twitter for deliberately blocking news coverage potentially damaging to one political party — a move that culminated in a high-profile hearing yesterday. And now, the Department of Justice has charged Google with illegally maintaining its search and advertising monopoly.Read More
A year ago, University of Georgia professor Cas Mudde took to Twitter and asked: “How do you manage to stay informed about political news and stay mentally balanced?” In his next tweet, he confessed too much time on social media was contributing to anxiety and depression.
With this, Mudde expressed a sentiment many social media users share. As we discuss policy issues tied to social media—tech regulation, free speech, foreign influence—we shouldn’t lose sight of the damaging psychological effects of today’s information environment. You may not want to hear this a week before the election, but social media addiction is a public health issue. Big Tech is the new Big Tobacco.Read More
Academics, journalists and First Amendment lawyers are rallying behind New York University researchers in a showdown with Facebook over its demand that they halt the collection of data showing who is being micro-targeted by political ads on the world’s dominant social media platform.
The researchers say the disputed tool is vital to understanding how Facebook has been used as a conduit for disinformation and manipulation.Read More
Twitter will begin removing posts containing Holocaust denial, a Twitter spokeswoman told Bloomberg News just days after Facebook also implemented a policy banning posts that deny the Holocaust.
“We strongly condemn anti-semitism, and hateful conduct has absolutely no place on our service,” the spokeswoman told Bloomberg News in a statement. “We also have a robust ‘glorification of violence’ policy in place and take action against content that glorifies or praises historical acts of violence and genocide, including the Holocaust.”Read More
Twitter and Facebook have both limited distribution of an Oct. 14 report from the New York Post’s Emma-Jo Morris and Gabrielle Fonrouge entitled, “Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad” detailing an alleged meeting between former Vice President Joe Biden and Burisma executive Vadym who Biden’s son, Hunter, used to work for, in April 2015.Read More
On Wednesday morning, the Star published my commentary on free speech. Little did I know when I wrote it or the editors when they published it, the whole concept of free speech online was about to blow up in an incredibly spectacular way.Read More
Facebook said Wednesday it will remove posts that use “militarized language” to call for people to participate in poll watching or when the intent behind the posts is to intimidate voters, according to a CNN report.
Posts that use the word “army” or “battle” or that are implicitly threatening would fall under the ban, said Monika Bickert, Facebook’s vice president of content policy, on a call with reporters.Read More
Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have abused their monopoly power and must undergo significant restructuring, according to a House report released Tuesday.
Lawmakers who wrote the report said the four tech companies had grown into monopolies akin to “oil barons and railroad tycoons” and suggested an overhaul to U.S. antitrust laws, according to The New York Times. The lengthy report, spearheaded by Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler and David Cicilline, is the result of a 15-month House Judiciary Committee investigation into the companies collectively known as Big Tech.Read More
A former Facebook data scientist released a 6,600-word memo on her final day at the company detailing what she considers the tech giant’s lackluster response to fake accounts and activities that impacts elections around the globe.
The employee, Sophie Zhang, was fired this month from Facebook for what she says was ongoing friction between her and management about the platform’s approach to combating extensive, global manipulation, according to a recent Buzzfeed News report.Read More
Facebook announced Thursday that it would bar any new political ads from its platform in the final week before the election.
The social network also said that it would remove any measures attempting to dissuade people from voting and would block any candidate’s attempts to claim false victories before official results have been reported, The New York Times reported.Read More
Michigan and Ohio state secretaries Jocelyn Benson and Frank LaRose endorsed $300 million directed to elections by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. The Center for Tech and Civil Life (CTCL) and Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR) announced Tuesday that Zuckerberg and his wife donated in order “to promote safe and reliable voting in states and localities.”
Both Benson and LaRose agreed that the investment was necessary considering the pandemic’s effects on the presidential election. LaRose reposted the press release the day it came out, citing the need for accurate information during voting.Read More
Facebook announced Wednesday that it will take further action against pages, groups, and Instagram accounts associated with anarchist groups and other groups “tied to violence.”
The social media website said it will expand their “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy” to censor groups who reportedly pose a “significant risk” to public safety, such as QAnon, the company said in a statement. Facebook is also taking action against “offline anarchist groups that support violent acts amidst protests,” the statement said.Read More
Facebook’s effort to build a landing site in a village on the Oregon coast for a fiber optic cable linking Asia and North America has run into serious trouble.
First, a drill pipe snapped under the seabed. Workers left 1,100 feet of pipe, 6,500 gallons of drilling fluid, a drill tip and other materials under the seabed as they closed down the site, aiming to try again next year.Read More
Twitter partially suspended President Donald Trump’s campaign Twitter account on Wednesday for posting a tweet containing a video of Trump suggesting children are “almost immune” to coronavirus.
The post contains an interview Trump gave to Fox News Wednesday morning in which the president made the claim relating to children and the ongoing pandemic, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. Facebook removed a post Wednesday that contained the same video, marking the first time the social media platform has nixed a Trump post over coronavirus misinformation.Read More
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg dismissed speculation that he and President Donald Trump have come to an understanding in an interview published Monday.
“I’ve heard this speculation, too, so let me be clear: There’s no deal of any kind,” Zuckerberg said in an interview with Axios published Monday.Read More
Friday’s widespread crashes of popular apps running on the iPhone’s iOS operating system — including Tinder, Spotify and Pinterest — serve as a reminder that Facebook is still tracking you through your phone using sophisticated software, even if you’re not browsing the social network.
Early Friday, users of the apps reported crashes when they tried to open them up. Facebook attributed the problem, which was quickly fixed, to a bug in its software development kit, or SDK, a tool developers use to integrate their apps with Facebook.Read More
While there may be Black Lives Matter posters on Facebook’s walls, the complaint says, “Black workers don’t see that phrase reflecting how they are treated in Facebook’s own workplace.”Read More
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said he wants the public to weigh in on the question of whether internet search engines should be “allowed to favor their own products and services in search results.”Read More
Leslie Brown, the woman who appeared in a Project Veritas video about Facebook who made incendiary comments that debuted Thursday, has been fired.
That’s according to a text message received by Project Veritas CEO James O’Keefe. Project Veritas made the announcement here.Read More
A shocking new undercover video from Project Veritas exposes the rampant anti-conservative bias of Facebook’s content moderators, the employees who are responsible for deciding what posts are censored.
Zach McElroy, a former Facebook employee who worked as a content moderator in Tampa, Florida, told Project Veritas that he’s willing to testify before Congress about Facebook’s bias against Trump supporters and conservative causes.Read More
Facebook has removed ads for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign because they featured an upside-down red triangle.
The tech giant said the ads were removed because the symbol was once used by Nazis to designate political prisoners, but Trump’s campaign has noted that the symbol is widely used by Antifa, which is why it was included in the ad.Read More
Amazon, Twitter, and other major tech companies are facing intense criticism on antitrust issues and censorship claims in the months since government officials reportedly began asking for help from Silicon Valley on ways to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
The president and lawmakers have turned their sights on Twitter and Amazon, respectively, while Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and other attorneys general are reportedly ratcheting up their antitrust investigation targeting Google’s business model. The White House asked them in March to fight coronavirus disinformation while also assisting the government in its virus response.Read More
President Trump’s long-hoped-for Executive Order on social media censorship is a good first step in dismantling the Left’s dangerous influence over these 21st-century communications vehicles. (You can read the draft that was available online when this article was posted through this link to The National Pulse, edited by Raheem Kassam.)
We particularly agree with this part of the EO’s statement of principles, “In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand-pick the speech that Americans may access and convey online. This practice is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic. When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power.”Read More
President Donald Trump is considering forming a commission to review anti-conservative bias on social media platforms, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the idea.
A potential White House-created commission would examine allegations of online bias and censorship, according to the report. The administration will also encourage the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Election Commission to conduct similar reviews, the sources told the WSJ.Read More
Facebook is working to set up an AI meme police.
The social media behemoth said it is creating a contest with a $100,000 prize to encourage developers to create artificial intelligence that can “identify multimodal hate speech.”Read More
Facebook agreed to pay out a $52 million settlement to thousands of current and former content moderators who said they are suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome after viewing upsetting content on the job, The Verge reported Tuesday.
Each moderator will receive a minimum of $1,000 and will be eligible for additional compensation if they are exhibiting other trauma due to the kind of content they regularly view, the report noted. The settlement applies to 11,250 moderators, some of whom told The Verge in 2019 that they became conspiracy theorists while moderating content people post online.Read More
Facebook last week announced that more than 200 news organizations will receive nearly $16 million in grants through the Facebook Journalism Project’s relief fund for local news. These grants come from $25 million in relief funding announced in March from Facebook’s $100 million global investment in news. It includes:
$10.3 million being awarded to 144 US local newsrooms as part of the COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund Grant Program. The fund is supporting many publishers who are hardest hit by this crisis: nearly 80 percent of recipients are family- or independently owned and more than half are published by or for communities of color.
$5.4 million being awarded to 59 North American newsrooms that participated in Facebook Local News Accelerator programs focused on subscriptions and memberships.Read More
The ground is shifting quickly beneath our feet when it comes to tech, privacy, and power. And, although tech companies, their advocates, and even some policymakers, would like us to imagine these issues are cut and dried, they are not.
In their book The Sovereign Individual, published on the eve of the year 2000, James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg attempt to grapple with the forthcoming technological changes that the new millennium inevitably would bring. “As technology revolutionizes the tools we use,” they wrote, “it also antiquates our laws, reshapes our morals, and alters our perceptions.”
This is the dynamic that has been unfolding slowly over the last 20 years, as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms have transformed how we engage with communications, culture, commerce, and one another.Read More
Facebook is not allowing anti-quarantine protesters to use the site to organize demonstrations in states that have enacted strict social distancing measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The social media giant has already removed promotions for anti-quarantine events in California, New Jersey, and Nebraska in cooperation with those state governments.Read More
As the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, China has become infamous for its role in allowing the virus to spread. From misleading the World Health Organization about the virus’s contagious elements, restricting the access of global investigators to infected sites, and lying about their infection numbers, China single-handedly stole months of preparation from other countries that have been savaged by the disease.
China has also hoarded masks and personal protective equipment from desperate countries and threatened to withhold critical medicines relied upon by millions of Americans.Read More
Faith communities all over the world are leveraging technology to stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic. What would have been impossible a decade ago has been made easy today through smartphones and social media platforms.Read More
An upshot tech company recruited Facebook’s former security chief to help fix glitches in the firm’s video chat app that reports say are leaving customers vulnerable to hackers and spammers.
Former Facebook executive Alex Stamos announced Thursday that he is joining an effort to help Zoom right the ship after reports revealed problems in its security system. Stamos made the decision to help after CEO Eric Yuan contacted him after he tweeted out some advice on the topic.Read More
Big tech companies began the Trump era as a foil to the president amid concerns the companies are politically biased, but many of them are becoming crucial cogs in the president’s virus response.Read More
Facebook, YouTube and other big tech companies are not bound to abide by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a court ruled Wednesday, dealing a blow to conservatives online.Read More
Billionaire financier George Soros stepped up his campaign Tuesday to thwart what he says is Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s attempt to help President Donald Trump win reelection in 2020.Read More
Social media giant Facebook is partnering with the news agency Reuters to fact-check and verify news headlines, user-generated videos and photos, and other content in English and Spanish on its behalf. Adding a high-profile name to its worldwide roster of fact-checkers, Techcrunch reports.Read More
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has authoritarian views on misinformation and likely intends on reelecting President Donald Trump.
“Google took it off YouTube … so I contacted Facebook,” Clinton told The Atlantic in a report published Saturday.Read More
Billionaire financier George Soros floated the possibility Thursday that President Donald Trump and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg are conspiring to get the president reelected.Read More