This Week in Apps: Apple caves to China’s App Store demands, Q3 trend outlook, more

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support, and the money that flows through it all. The app industry in 2018 saw 194 billion downloads and more than $100 billion in purchases. Just in the past quarter, consumer spending exceeded $23 billion and […]

‘Behind the Screen’ illuminates the invisible, indispensable content moderation industry

The moderators who sift through the toxic detritus of social media have gained the spotlight recently, but they’ve been important for far longer — longer than internet giants would like you to know. In her new book “Behind the Screen,” UCLA’s Sarah Roberts illuminates the history of this scrupulously hidden workforce and the many forms […]

Facebook can be told to cast a wider net to find illegal content, says EU court advisor

How much of an obligation should social media platforms be under to hunt down illegal content? An influential advisor to Europe’s top court has taken the view that social media platforms like Facebook can be required to seek out and identify posts that are equivalent to content that an EU court has deemed illegal — […]

White House refuses to endorse the ‘Christchurch Call’ to block extremist content online

The United States will not join other nations in endorsing the “Christchurch Call” — a global statement that commits governments and private companies to actions that would curb the distribution of violent and extremist content online. “While the United States is not currently in a position to join the endorsement, we continue to support the […]

The ‘splinternet’ is already here

Keith Wright Contributor Keith Wright is a Villanova School of Business instructor of Accounting and Information Systems, founder of Simplicity On-Demand LLC and former Senior Vice President for Global Sales Operations for SAP. There is no question that the arrival of a fragmented and divided internet is now upon us. The “splinternet,” where cyberspace is […]

No, Tencent isn’t about to burn Reddit down

Ahoy, it’s doom and gloom for Reddit after the company welcomed investment from Chinese censorship overlord Tencent. Well, not quite. The reality is, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. In recruiting the company behind one of the internet’s largest and vibrant social networks — chat app WeChat — and countless blockbuster games, Reddit has pulled off […]

Online platforms still not clear enough about hate speech takedowns: EC

In its latest monitoring report of a voluntary Code of Conduct on illegal hate speech, which platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube signed up to in Europe back in 2016, the European Commission has said progress is being made on speeding up takedowns but tech firms are still lagging when it comes to providing feedback […]

Vietnam threatens to penalize Facebook for breaking its draconian cybersecurity law

Well, that didn’t take long. We’re less than ten days into 2019 and already Vietnam is aiming threats at Facebook after it violating its draconian cybersecurity law which came into force on January 1. The U.S. social network stands accused of allowing users in Vietnam to post “slanderous content, anti-government sentiment and libel and defamation […]

Egypt and Thailand: When the military turns against free speech

Wael Abbas, a human rights activist focused on police brutality in Egypt has been under arrest since May on charges of spreading fake news and “misusing social media.” Andy Hall, a labor rights researcher, has been fighting charges under Thailand’s computer crime laws because of a report published online that identified abuses of migrant workers. […]

Activists push back on Facebook’s decision to remove a DC protest event

A number of activists and organizers in the Washington, DC area are disputing Facebook’s decision to remove a counter-protest event for a rally organized by Jason Kessler, the white nationalist figure who planned the deadly 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Va. Facebook removed the event, “No Unite the Right 2-DC,” after discovering that one account connected to […]