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Sen. Chuck Grassley frustrated by social media limiting access to stories

sen. chuck grassley frustrated by social media limiting access to stories

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Sen. Chuck Grassley, one of the U.S. Senate’s most prolific Twitter users, voiced his displeasure with the social media platform for “censoring” stories that raised questions about former Vice President Joe Biden’s involvement in his son’s business dealings.Twitter, along with Facebook, took steps to limit the spread of a New York Post story that reported on emails it said were found on a laptop computer that might have belonged to the presidential nominee’s son, Hunter Biden, at a computer repair shop.The story suggested that the younger Biden arranged for top executives at the Ukrainian energy firm he was affiliated with to meet with his father, who was vice president at the time. The Biden campaign denies there was such a meeting. Iowa governor stands by use of virus aid for IT projectTwitter initially banned links to the story, and Facebook deprioritized it. Their actions touched off a firestorm of criticism from conservatives that the companies were censoring news. Defenders of Biden suggested it was part of a Russian disinformation campaign. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said there is no information to support that claim.Rather than speak to the authenticity of the …

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FCC’s top lawyer justifies agency’s role in limiting Section 230 protections for social media

fcc’s top lawyer justifies agency’s role in limiting section 230 protections for social media

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President Donald Trump has long been at loggerheads with social media companies.
Doug Mills/Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission’s top lawyer explained in a blog post Wednesday why he thinks the agency has the legal authority to write regulation that reinterprets the law giving social media companies legal protection from content posted by their users. The post, written by FCC General Counsel Tom Johnson, is in response to an announcement last week from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai that the regulator has decided to move forward on a proposal to address the legal liability protections that Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies have, a move that could hold them accountable for moderation of content on their platforms. Johnson writes “the scope of the Section 230 immunity shield must be interpreted by someone… the only question is whether the FCC or a federal court will do the interpreting.”Johnson laid out why he thinks it’s clear that the FCC has this authority. Specifically, he cited US Supreme Court precedent and the FCC’s jurisdiction over writing regulation based on the Communications Act as the authority the agency needs to enact the changes. He also added that if the FCC narrows the protections …

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Raheem Sterling urges social media companies to use technology to tackle online abuse

raheem sterling urges social media companies to use technology to tackle online abuse

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Raheem Sterling has questioned whether the will exists for social media companies to use technology to clamp down on online abuse.A PFA-commissioned report in partnership with data science company Signify Group and supported by Kick It Out used machine learning systems to analyse messages sent publicly via Twitter to 44 high-profile current and former players from across the top divisions of English football.During the six weeks of Project Restart, 825,515 tweets directed at the selected players were analysed and more than 3,000 explicitly abusive messages were found.

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Manchester United and England defender Harry Maguire says online hate can take over people’s lives and it’s time for it to be addressed

Fifty-six per cent of all the discriminatory abuse identified during the study was racist, with 29 per cent of racially-abusive posts being in emoji form, something Twitter is “not effectively intercepting” and has previously been identified as a major issue for the social media platform.Sterling said: “I don’t know how many times I need to say this, but football and the social media platforms need to step up, show real leadership and take proper action in tackling online abuse.”The technology is there to make a difference, but I’m increasingly questioning …

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FCC defends helping Trump, claims authority over social media law

fcc defends helping trump, claims authority over social media law

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EnlargeGetty Images | Peter Dazeley

The Federal Communications Commission’s top lawyer today explained the FCC’s theory of why it can grant President Donald Trump’s request for a new interpretation of a law that provides legal protection to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Critics of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan from both the left and right say the FCC has no authority to reinterpret Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which gives legal immunity to online platforms that block or modify content posted by users. FCC General Counsel Thomas Johnson said those critics are wrong in a blog post published on the FCC website today.
Johnson noted that the Communications Decency Act was passed by Congress as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which was an update to the Communications Act of 1934 that established the FCC and provided it with regulatory authority. Johnson also pointed to Section 201(b) of the Communications Act, which gave the FCC power to “prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary in the public interest to carry out the provisions of this Act.”
Johnson then explained why he believes this means the FCC can reinterpret Section 230:
The Supreme Court has twice considered whether the …

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How a Facebook boycott ended up benefitting Snapchat and Pinterest

how a facebook boycott ended up benefitting snapchat and pinterest

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In June, the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign demanded social media companies be held accountable for hate speech on their platforms and prioritize people over profit. As part of the campaign, advertisers were called to boycott Facebook in July. More than 1,000 businesses, nonprofits, and other consumers supported the movement.
But, did this movement actually do any damage to Facebook, and who, if any, benefited from their missing revenue profits?
According to The Information, “what was likely crumbs falling from the table for Facebook appears to have been a feast for its smaller rivals, Snap and Pinterest.” They reported that data from Mediaocean, an ad-tech firm, showed Snap reaped the biggest benefit of the 2 social media platforms during the ad pause. Snapchat’s app saw advertisers spending more than double from July through September compared to the same time last year. And, although not as drastic, Pinterest also saw an increase of 40% in ad sales.
As a result, Facebook said its year-over-year ad revenue growth was only up 10 percent during the first 3 weeks of July. But, the company expects its ad revenue to continue that growth rate in Q3. And, some people think that Facebook is benefitting from the boycott. Claudia …

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We must make moral choices about how we relate to social media apps

we must make moral choices about how we relate to social media apps

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Recently a South African radio show asked, “If you had to choose between your mobile phone and your pet, which would choose?” Think about that for a moment. Many callers responded they would choose their phone. I was shocked… But to be honest, I give more attention to my phone than to my beloved dogs!

Throughout history there have been discoveries that have changed society in unimaginable ways. Written language made it possible to communicate over space and time. The printing press, say historians, helped shape societies through the mass dissemination of ideas. New modes of transport radically transformed social norms by bringing people into contact with new cultures.

Yet these pale in comparison to how the internet is shaping, and misshaping, our individual and social identities. I remember the first time I heard a teenager speaking with an American accent and discovered she’d never been out of South Africa but picked up her accent from watching YouTube. We shape our technologies, but they also shape us.

The potentially negative impacts of social media have again been highlighted by The Social Dilemma on Netflix. The documentary, which Facebook has slammed as sensational and unfair, shows how dominant and largely …

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New Initiative Unlocks the Power of Consumers and Brings Brands and Social Media Platforms Together to Clean Up Hate Online

new initiative unlocks the power of consumers and brings brands and social media platforms together to clean up hate online

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NEW YORK, Oct. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Pernod Ricard USA CEO Ann Mukherjee today called on the advertising industry and social media platforms to join a new initiative to help stop the spread of hate speech online and set new standards for responsible advertising. #EngageResponsibly, which is endorsed by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM), and supported by Salesforce and WPP, will use the power of collective action to help make social media environments safe and healthy for all users.
“Human social connections are critical to our planet’s sustainability and future. In a world where we must remain physically distant, the need for social proximity has never been greater,” said Pernod Ricard USA CEO Ann Mukherjee. “Social media was made for this moment. But corners of our social spaces are becoming toxic and unsafe, driven by the few who pollute them with hate. As advertisers, we cannot choose to take advantage of the best aspects of these social spaces while turning a blind eye to the negative, as if it is only the platform’s responsibility – or that of our industry associations – to address a problem that impacts us all.”
Building on the significant progress being …

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8 facts about Americans and Instagram

8 facts about americans and instagram

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(Lorenzo Di Cola/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Instagram has grown in popularity since its launch 10 years ago this month. The photo and video sharing platform is often used to post mundane images of everyday life, but in recent years it has also become a marketplace for online influencers, political and election news and disinformation campaigns. The site is especially popular among young adults and teens, though it has been approached tentatively by some Americans as a venue for news and political information-sharing.

Over the years, Pew Research Center has studied how American adults – as well as teens and children – engage with the platform. Here are eight key takeaways from our research.

Roughly four-in-ten Americans (37%) say they have ever used Instagram online or on their cellphone, according to a survey conducted in January and February of 2019. The share of U.S. adults who say they have ever used the site has grown from 9% in 2012, when the Center first began asking about the platform. At the time of the survey, though Instagram had grown to be one of the more popular online platforms in the United States, most Americans still did not use it, unlike the two most popular social media platforms – …

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MILLS’ MUSINGS: The real problem with social media

mills’ musings: the real problem with social media

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If you’ve read my columns in the past you may have realized I don’t care much for social media. As I’ve pointed out, I believe people become desensitized hiding behind a keyboard and screen, and the anonymity social media brings for some allows them to spout nonsense and vitriol all with the purpose of getting a rise out of people.I choose to treat social media like I do most things: with a pinch of salt. You have to with the vast number of users each of the main social media platforms have, and the countless number of opinions they bring with them. We all know that just because something is posted on Facebook or Twitter, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true.I was taught in school to check sources and to do my homework before taking anything as gospel. I’d like to think that most people do, but we all have that one person on our friends list who shares a “news article” from a sketchy website trying to prove a point. And while I roll my eyes whenever those posts popup on my timeline, it doesn’t really bother me all that …

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