Tech and ad giants sign up to Europe’s first weak bite at ‘fake news’

The European Union’s executive body has signed up tech platforms and ad industry players to a voluntary  Code of Practice aimed at trying to do something about the spread of disinformation online. Something, just not anything too specifically quantifiable. According to the Commission, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Mozilla, some additional members of the EDIMA trade association, […]

Highlights from the Senate Intelligence hearing with Facebook and Twitter

Another day, another political grilling for social media platform giants. The Senate Intelligence Committee’s fourth hearing took place this morning, with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey present to take questions as U.S. lawmakers continue to probe how foreign influence operations are playing out on Internet platforms — and eye up potential future […]

Google, Facebook, Twitter chiefs called back to Senate Intelligence Committee

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey and Facebook chief operations officer Sheryl Sandberg will testify in an open hearing at the Senate Intelligence Committee next week, the committee’s chairman has confirmed. Larry Page, chief executive of Google parent company Alphabet, was also invited but has not confirmed his attendance, a committee spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch. Sen. […]

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 […]

Facebook’s chief legal officer to leave this year

Facebook’s chief legal officer Colin Stretch has announced he’ll be out by the end of the year.  In the inevitable Facebook post explaining why he’s moving on, Stretch writes that after he and his wife made a decision to move back to DC from California “a few years ago… we knew it would be difficult for me to […]

WhatsApp now marks forwarded messages to curb the spread of deadly misinformation

WhatsApp just introduced a new feature designed to help its users identify the origin of information that they receive in the messaging app. For the first time, a forwarded WhatsApp message will include an indicator that marks it as forwarded. It’s a small shift for the messaging platform, but potentially one that could make a […]

Facebook buys ads in Indian newspapers to warn about WhatsApp fakes

As Twitter finally gets serious about purging fake accounts, and YouTube says it will try to firefight conspiracy theories and fake news flaming across its platform with $25M to fund bona fide journalism, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is grappling with its own fake demons in India, where social media platforms have been used to seed and spread […]

Get your trusted midterm elections news from us, says Apple

Apple News has a new old mission: Curating political news and analysis by paying a team of experienced human editors to quality-assess journalism, rather than letting unchecked algorithms run wild and exaggerate anything — no matter how awful, obnoxious or untrue. ‘Fakebook’ eat your heart out. Apple says human curation is not a new direction […]

Europe eyeing bot IDs, ad transparency and blockchain to fight fakes

European Union lawmakers want online platforms to come up with their own systems to identify bot accounts. This is as part of a voluntary Code of Practice the European Commission now wants platforms to develop and apply — by this summer — as part of a wider package of proposals it’s put out which are […]