President Trump Reportedly Considering Forming Panel to Review Anti-Conservative Bias in Big Tech

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.

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Facebook Is Giving $1,000 to Content Moderators Who Said Online Trolls Turned Them into Conspiracy Theorists

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.

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Facebook Provides $16M in Grants to 200 Mostly Liberal Local Newsrooms

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.

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Commentary: Big Tech, Privacy, and Power

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.

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Facebook Takes Down Anti-Quarantine Protest Posts That ‘Defy’ Social Distancing Guidelines

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.

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Commentary: Big Tech’s Toadying to Chinese Communists Demands Action

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.

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Zoom Recruits Former Facebook Security Chief as Critics Bash the Tech Firm for Privacy Lapses

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.

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Hillary Clinton Reveals How She Pressured Facebook to Spike a ‘Doctored’ Video of Pelosi

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.

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Michigan Governor Compares Tackling ‘Hate Speech’ to Fighting in World War II in Letter to Zuckerberg

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer compared fighting “hate speech” to Detroit’s industrial efforts during World War II in a letter sent to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week.

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Facebook’s Zuckerberg Grilled in US Congress on Digital Currency, Privacy, Elections

WASHINGTON – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg conceded on Wednesday that the company’s planned digital currency Libra was a “risky project,” but sought to reassure skeptical U.S. lawmakers that it could lower the cost of electronic payments and open up the global financial system to more people.

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Live Action Founder Lila Rose Says Facebook Censored Them with Biased Fact Checkers, Says ‘We Were Targeted’

Live Action founder and President Lila Rose said Facebook allowed abortionists to fact check Live Action content and label it as misinformation.

Facebook cited a fact check from two third-party fact checkers, telling Rose and Live Action that their statement “abortion is never medically necessary” was both inaccurate and misleading.

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Researcher: Facebook Algorithm Changes Suppressed Journalism

Facebook’s News Feed algorithm determines what users see on its platform – from funny memes to comments from friends. The company regularly updates this algorithm, which can dramatically change what information people consume.

As the 2020 election approaches, there is much public concern that what was dubbed “Russian meddling” in the 2016 presidential election could happen again. But what’s not getting enough attention is the role Facebook’s algorithm changes play, intentionally or not, in that kind of meddling.

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Facebook Plows Record Amount of Cash Into DC Lobbyists as Its Algorithm Changes Crush Media Outlets

by Chris White   Facebook spent several million dollars on lobbying efforts over the past few months as the Silicon Valley company’s algorithm changes continue to wallop small media outlets. The big tech company dropped more than $4 million during the second financial quarter, a record for Facebook up to…

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Senators Cruz and Hawley Urge FTC to Open Investigation Into Big Tech’s Censorship Practices

by Chris White   Two of the country’s staunchest big tech critics are asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate social media companies’ perceived censorship practices. Facebook, Google and Twitter exercise lots of influence on Americans and they also use their tools to censor some content while amplifying others, Sens.…

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Commentary: ‘High-Skilled Immigrants Act’ Is a Sop to Big Tech

by Rachael Brovard   In a rare moment of bipartisanship last week, Democrats and Republicans joined hands to make a small, but fundamental change to our immigration system. Not to provide critically needed updates or wholesale reforms, but, rather, to toss a sop to the billionaires of Big Tech. Thanks…

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Minneapolis Wants to Have More Influence Over Employee Social Media Accounts

  Minneapolis is thinking of changing the way city staff and elected officials use their social media accounts. In a draft plan obtained by The Star Tribune, Minneapolis’ communication staff explains that it wants more influence over social media accounts, including having elected officials use city-approved accounts that can’t block…

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