South China Morning Post: Hong Kong courts must open up about their work, and this means joining social media

South China Morning Post: Hong Kong courts must open up about their work, and this means joining social media. “Cliff Buddle says judges have been attacked for recent rulings, but scant attention is given to the reasoning behind judgments. To educate the public, the judiciary should get on social media platforms and even consider a bold move Britain has made – allowing filming in courts.”

Brookings Institute: Regulating free speech on social media is dangerous and futile

Brookings Institute: Regulating free speech on social media is dangerous and futile. “The calls for regulating social media and technology companies are politically motivated. Conservatives who support these policies argue that their freedom of speech is being undermined by social media companies who censor their voice. Conservatives who celebrate constitutional originalism should remember that the First Amendment protects against censorship by government. Social media companies are all private businesses with discretion over the content they wish to promote, and any effort by government to influence what social media platforms promote risks violating the First Amendment.”

Freedom of the Press Foundation: Google should protect whistleblowers and increase transparency, not stifle it

Freedom of the Press Foundation: Google should protect whistleblowers and increase transparency, not stifle it. “Companies that claim to care about transparency—especially those like Google, which have the power to influence civil liberties for people across the world—should implement robust internal policies to protect whistleblowers. Whether they bring their ethical concerns to their supervisors or the press, tech workers should not have to fear retaliation for alerting people to an issue of profound public concern.”

Motherboard: Social Media Is a Weapon of War. How We Use It Is Up to Us

Motherboard: Social Media Is a Weapon of War. How We Use It Is Up to Us. The following quote contains objectionable language which I have censored so this email newsletter has a chance of actually getting to you. “In the 24 hours that followed Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the US presidential election on November 8, 2016, a data scientist monitoring global social media counted nearly eight million English-language exclamations of the word ‘f*ck.’ It’s a telling anecdote from LikeWar, the forthcoming book on the weaponization of social media by co-authors P.W. Singer and Emerson Brooking.”

Techdirt: There’s A Reason That Misleading Claims Of Bias In Search And Social Media Enjoy Such Traction

Techdirt: There’s A Reason That Misleading Claims Of Bias In Search And Social Media Enjoy Such Traction. “President Trump’s tweets charging that Google search results are biased, against him and against conservatives, are the loudest and latest version of a growing attack on search engines and social media platforms. It is potent, and it’s almost certainly wrong. But it comes at an unfortunate time, just as a more thoughtful and substantive challenge to the impact of Silicon Valley tech companies has finally begun to emerge. If someone were truly concerned about free speech, news, and how platforms subtly reshape public participation, they would be engaging these deeper questions. But these simplistic and ill-informed claims of deliberate political bias are the wrong questions, and they risk undermining and crowding out the right ones. Trump’s charges against Google, Twitter, and Facebook reveal a basic misunderstanding of how search and social media work, and they continue to confuse “fake news” with bad news, all in the service of scoring political points. However, even if these companies are not responsible for silencing conservative speech, they may be partly responsible for allowing this charge to gain purchase, by being so secretive for so long about how their algorithms and moderation policies work.”

Google At 20: How A Search Engine Became A Literal Extension Of Our Mind (Bloomberg Quint)

Bloomberg Quint: Google At 20: How A Search Engine Became A Literal Extension Of Our Mind. “Make no mistake about it, this is a seismic shift in human psychology, probably the biggest we have ever had to cope with, and one that is occurring with breathtaking rapidity – Google, after all, is just 20 years old, this month. But although this shift has some good consequences, there are some deeply troubling issues we urgently need to address.”

TechCrunch: It’s time for Facebook and Twitter to coordinate efforts on hate speech

TechCrunch: It’s time for Facebook and Twitter to coordinate efforts on hate speech . “Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, there has been burgeoning awareness of the hate speech on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. While activists have pressured these companies to improve their content moderation, few groups (outside of the German government) have outright sued the platforms for their actions. That’s because of a legal distinction between media publications and media platforms that has made solving hate speech online a vexing problem.”