Will online privacy make a comeback in 2020?

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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 […]

Voter manipulation on social media now a global problem, report finds

New research by the Oxford Internet Institute has found that social media manipulation is getting worse, with rising numbers of governments and political parties making cynical use of social media algorithms, automation and big data to manipulate public opinion at scale — with hugely worrying implications for democracy. The report found that computational propaganda and […]

Reps from DHS, the FBI and the ODNI met with tech companies at Facebook to talk election security

Representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security met with counterparts at tech companies including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter to discuss election security, Facebook confirmed. “The purpose was to build on previous discussions and further strengthen strategic collaboration regarding the security […]

Reports say White House has drafted an order putting the FCC in charge of monitoring social media

In the executive order, the White House says it received more than 15,000 complaints about censorship by the technology platforms. The order also includes an offer to share the complaints with the Federal Trade Commission. As part of the order, the Federal Trade Commission would be required to open a public complaint docket and coordinate […]

UK watchdog eyeing PM Boris Johnson’s Facebook ads data grab

The online campaigning activities of the UK’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson, have already caught the eye of the country’s data protection watchdog. Responding to concerns about the scope of data processing set out in the Conservative Party’s Privacy Policy being flagged to it by a Twitter user, the Information Commissioner’s Office replied that: “This […]

Instagram will now warn you before your account gets deleted, offer in-app appeals

Instagram this morning announced several changes to its moderation policy, the most significant of which is that it will now warn users if their account could become disabled before that actually takes place. This change goes to address a longstanding issue where users would launch Instagram only to find that their account had been shut […]

Facebook will not remove deepfakes of Mark Zuckerberg, Kim Kardashian and others from Instagram

Facebook will not remove the faked videos featuring Mark Zuckerberg, Kim Kardashian and President Donald Trump from Instagram, the company said in a statement. Earlier today, Vice News reported on the existence of videos created by the artists Bill Posters and Daniel Howe and video and audio manipulation companies including CannyAI, Respeecher and Reflect.  The work, featured in […]

Protecting the integrity of US elections will require a massive regulatory overhaul, academics say

Ahead of the 2020 elections, former Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos and his colleagues at Stanford University have unveiled a sweeping new plan to secure U.S. electoral infrastructure and combat foreign campaigns seeking to interfere in U.S. politics. As the Mueller investigation into electoral interference made clear, foreign agents from Russia (and elsewhere) engaged […]

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 — […]