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 […]

Facebook urged to give users greater control over what they see

Academics at the universities of Oxford and Stanford think Facebook should give users greater transparency and control over the content they see on its platform. They also believe the social networking giant should radically reform its governance structures and processes to throw more light on content decisions, including by looping in more external experts to […]

Facebook and PayPal pull pages of far-right British activist filmed intimidating public figures

Facebook has confirmed it has removed the pages and profiles of a far-right political activist in the U.K. after concerns were raised in parliament about aggressive intimidation of politicians and journalists trying to go about their business in and around Westminster. PayPal has also closed an account that was being used to solicit donations for […]

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 […]

Hate speech, collusion, and the constitution

Half an hour into their two-hour testimony on Wednesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey were asked about collaboration between social media companies. “Our collaboration has greatly increased,” Sandberg stated before turning to Dorsey and adding that Facebook has “always shared information with other companies.” Dorsey nodded […]

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 […]

Apple defends decision not to remove InfoWars’ app

Apple has commented on its decision to continue to allow conspiracy theorist profiteer InfoWars to livestream video podcasts via an app in its App Store, despite removing links to all but one of Alex Jones’ podcast content from its iTunes and podcast apps earlier this week. At the time Apple said the podcasts had violated its […]

Here’s Twitter’s position on Alex Jones (and hate-peddling anti-truthers) — hint: It’s a fudge

The number of tech platforms taking action against Alex Jones, the far right InfoWars conspiracy theorist and hate speech preacher, has been rising in recent weeks — with bans or partial bans including from Google, Apple and Facebook. However, as we noted earlier, Twitter is not among them. Although it has banned known hate peddlers […]

Is it time to remove Zuckerberg from (his) office?

A colleague, who shall remain nameless (because privacy is not dead), gave a thumbs down to a recent column in the NYT. The complaint was that the writer had attacked tech companies (mostly but not exclusively Facebook) without offering any solutions for these all-powerful techbro CEOs’ orchestral failures to grasp the messy complexities of humanity […]

UN says Facebook is accelerating ethnic violence in Myanmar

The United Nations has warned that Facebook’s platform is contributing to the spread of hate speech and ethnic violence in crisis-hit Myanmar. It’s yet another black mark against social media at a time when the tech industry’s reputation as an accelerator of false information is attracting criticism from the highest places. This week the government of […]