Washington Post: TikTok’s Beijing roots fuel censorship suspicion as it builds a huge U.S. audience. “A search for “#hongkong” on Twitter reveals a vast visual patchwork of the city’s unavoidable protests, including pro-China agitprop, sympathetic memes and imagery from the hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy marchers who have braved police crackdowns. But the same searches for Hong Kong on TikTok, the short-video app from a Beijing-based tech giant that has gone viral in the U.S., reveal a remarkably different — and, for the Chinese government, more politically convenient — version of reality: playful selfies, food photos and singalongs, with barely a hint of unrest in sight.”
Meduza: Google pays 700,000-ruble fine for refusing to filter search results according to Russian demands. “Google has paid a 700,000-ruble ($11,000) fine in Russia, where the federal censor penalized the tech company for refusing to block all content banned by Russian officials. According to Roskomnadzor, Google only selectively filters search results, and roughly a third of the hyperlinks blacklisted in Russia are still available to the search engine’s users.”
Techdirt: YouTube Lets Indonesian Government Block Satirical Video That Criticizes The Indonesian Government . “If you’re wondering how West Papua has arrived at this flash point, this hilarious/disturbing video produced by The Juice Media explains the whole thing. And it explains the Australian government’s complicity in the Indonesian government’s subjugation of the West Papuan people.” The video is – well, it’s not safe for work, but I recommend it. Wow.
CNN: Federal officials raise concerns about White House plan to police alleged social media censorship. “Officials from the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission have expressed serious concerns about a draft Trump administration executive order seeking to regulate tech giants such as Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR), according to several people familiar with the matter.”
Reuters: Turkey moves to oversee all online content, raises concerns over censorship. “Turkey on Thursday granted its radio and television watchdog sweeping oversight over all online content, including streaming platforms like Netflix and online news outlets, in a move that raised concerns over possible censorship.”
Make Tech Easier: Apple Provides List of Which Countries Made Most App Removal Requests. “Apple provided a transparency report that shows not only which countries are making the most app removal requests but also the requests it has received worldwide for device data. These requests were made July 1 through December 31, 2018.”
The New York Times: The Government Cut Their Internet. Will Abuses Now Remain Hidden?. “Rakhine State, a ribbon of marsh and mountain on the western coast of Myanmar, is isolated in the best of times, racked by guerrilla warfare and ethnic cleansing that takes place far from international scrutiny. Now, an internet blackout has all but severed parts of the state from the outside world, in a dramatic display of how easily a government can silence a population in the digital age.”