Watch Sacha Baron Cohen skewer Zuckerberg’s ‘twisted logic’ on hate speech and fakes

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has waded into the debate about social media regulation. In an award-acceptance speech to the Anti-Defamation League yesterday, the creator of Ali G and Borat delivered a precision take-down of what he called Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s “bullshit” arguments against regulating his platform. The speech is well worth watching in full […]

Twitter’s political ads ban is a distraction from the real problem with platforms

Sometimes it feels as if Internet platforms are turning everything upside down, from politics to publishing, culture to commerce, and of course swapping truth for lies. This week’s bizarro reversal was the vista of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, a tech CEO famed for being entirely behind the moral curve of understanding what his product is platforming […]

Facebook bans a fresh batch of mostly far-right figures

Facebook just announced a new round of controversial accounts that will be kicked off the platform for violating its rules. In this instance, Facebook cited its policy against “dangerous individuals and organizations” to bring the ban hammer down on Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer, Paul Nehlen and Louis Farrakhan. The company also doubled […]

Facebook’s handling of Alex Jones is a microcosm of its content policy problem

A revealing cluster of emails reviewed by Business Insider and Channel 4 News offers a glimpse at the fairly chaotic process of how Facebook decides which content crosses the line. In this instance, a group of executives at Facebook went hands-on in determining if an Instagram post by the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones violated the […]

YouTube under pressure to ban UK far-right activist after live-streamed intimidation

The continued presence of a U.K. far-right activist on YouTube’s platform has been raised by the deputy leader of the official opposition during ministerial questions in the House of Commons today. Labour’s Tom Watson put questions to the secretary of state for digital, Jeremy Wright, regarding Stephen Yaxley-Lennon’s use of social media for targeted harassment […]

UK Far Right activist circumvents Facebook ban to livestream threats

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, a Far Right UK activist who was permanently banned from Facebook last week for repeatedly breaching its community standards on hate speech, was nonetheless able to use its platform to livestream harassment of an anti-fascist blogger whom he doorstepped at home last night. UK-based blogger Mike Stuchbery detailed the intimidating incident in a […]

Study of political junk on Facebook raises fresh questions about its metrics

A midterms election study of political disinformation being fenced by Facebook’s platform supports the company’s assertion that a clutch of mostly right-leaning and politically fringe Pages it removed in October for sharing “inauthentic activity” were pulled for gaming its engagement metrics. Though it remains unclear why it took Facebook so long to act against such prolific […]

Alex Jones’ Infowars gets banned from Apple’s App Store

Another domino has fallen in Alex Jones’ media empire. Apple confirmed with TechCrunch this week that it’s pulled the controversial conspiracy theorist/provocateur from the App Store this week, banning the Infowars app over violations to its “objectionable content” rules. Slightly more specifically, the host was determined to have violated the TOS around “defamatory, discriminatory, or […]

It’s time for Facebook and Twitter to coordinate efforts on hate speech

Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, there has been burgeoning awareness of the hate speech on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. While activists have pressured these companies to improve their content moderation, few groups (outside of the German government) have outright sued the platforms for their actions. That’s because of a […]

Twitter puts Infowars’ Alex Jones in the ‘read-only’ sin bin for 7 days

Twitter has finally taken action against Infowars creator Alex Jones, but it isn’t what you might think. While Apple, Facebook, Google/YouTube, Spotify and many others have removed Jones and his conspiracy-peddling organization Infowars from their platforms, Twitter has remained unmoved with its claim that Jones hasn’t violated rules on its platform. That was helped in […]