14 Jun 2021

Chinese Trolls Show That Information Can’t Be Stopped, Nor Should It Be

Beijing has been engaged in a battle for public opinion for several years, aggressively promoting a positive vision of China to counter criticisms for its involvement in human rights violations, intellectual property theft, currency manipulation, its engagement with Taiwan and the South China Sea disputes, and its suspected involvement in the COVID-19 outbreak.  In 2017, senior Party leaders acknowledged that “the main battlefield for public opinion” occurs on the extensive borderless Internet where people receive their news, express their thoughts, and promote and argue their political and ideological viewpoints.  Beijing understands how the Internet is essential in disseminating China-friendly narratives, while at the same time deflecting criticisms and reassigning blame.  In essence, it is how Beijing seeks to preserve its image while tarnishing those of others.

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21 May 2021

Twitter drops automated image-cropping tool after determining it was biased

This week, Twitter admitted that an algorithm responsible for the platform’s automatic photo cropping feature was biased. Twitter has since removed the feature from its platform. The social media company released a blog post on Wednesday, stating that it had analyzed the artificial intelligence algorithm that crops images before they

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16 Mar 2021

Facebook to pay News Corp for content in Australia

Following the passing of controversial legislation in Australia that aims to make tech platforms pay for news content, Facebook has agreed to pay Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp Australia. News Corp has not disclosed the value of the three-year contract in Australia. The organization also secured a global deal with Google

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04 Mar 2021

Twitter and Twitch added to list of those concerned with Australia’s Online Safety Bill

Social media platform Twitter and live streaming service Twitch have joined a list of service providers, researchers, and other related organizations who are concerned over Australia’s processing Online Safety Bill. The Bill contains six priority areas that include a cyberbullying and abuse program to remove harmful material, a program to

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24 Feb 2021

Facebook Hashtag Purge Fails To Stop Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories Spreading

Facebook has pledged to use artificial technology and human moderators in order to crack down on harmful hashtags related to misinformation campaigns perpetrated by the likes of conspiracy groups such as QAnon. However, Facebook has been struggling to actually implement this policy. Facebook allegedly had to block a hashtag from

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21 Jan 2021

Parler Finds a Reprieve in Russia—but Not a Solution

After the Capitol riots on January 6, a large number of leading tech companies decided to pull support for Parler, a social network that aims to provide free speech and communication. Parler was the preferred social media for many far-right conservatives, as the site was more relaxed in terms of

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15 Jan 2021

Mexican president mounts campaign against social media bans

On Thursday, Mexico’s president vowed to lead an international effort to combat social media companies that have blocked or suspended the accounts belonging to U.S. President Donal Trump. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador considered the move to block President Trump censorship, and moved to create a common front among international

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13 Jan 2021

Uganda orders all social media to be blocked – letter

Internet service providers were ordered to block all social media platforms and messaging apps on Tuesday in Uganda. This order was issued through the country’s communications regulator in a letter and is in effect until further notice. Facebook and WhatsApp are among the social media platforms that are unable to

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12 Jan 2021

Millions of Social Profiles Leaked by Chinese Data-Scrapers

SocialArks exposed 318 million records from Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn in a misconfig of the cloud. Details for social-media influencers and celebrities from the U.S were among the public and personal profile data exposed. An ElasticSearch database owned by a Chinese social-media company, SocialArks, was misconfigured leading to the leak.

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11 Jan 2021

Facebook and Google Earth help probe eco-crimes in the Middle East

Conflict and corruption in the Middle East have a large impact on the environment, although it is difficult to record and punish these crimes. Some crimes include makeshift oil refineries in Syria and the destruction of agriculture or poaching of rare wildlife in Yemen. Open-source intelligence, or information that is

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