Tech Transparency Project: Instagram’s Hashtag Blocking Favors Trump, Hurts Biden

Tech Transparency Project: Instagram’s Hashtag Blocking Favors Trump, Hurts Biden. “When a person searches Instagram for a hashtag and clicks on it, the platform has automatically generated “related hashtags” pointing users to other relevant content. TTP examined related hashtags for 20 popular terms associated with the Trump and Biden campaigns and found starkly different treatment of the two candidates. Instagram blocked the display of related hashtags on all 10 of the Trump hashtags reviewed, including #donaldtrump, #trump and #trump2020. That means users were not directed to other content, including anything negative or critical about the president. But for all 10 similar Biden hashtags, Instagram did display related hashtags, which at times steered users to insults and disinformation about the former vice president, with phrases like #creepyjoebiden, #joebidenpedophile and #joebidenisaracist.”

Deutsche Welle: Brazil top court sets precedent by banning global access to social media accounts

Deutsche Welle: Brazil top court sets precedent by banning global access to social media accounts. “Once again, Facebook and Twitter are finding themselves caught in the crossfire as Brazil’s top court goes after suspected purveyors of fake news. Supreme Court Judge Alexandre de Moraes ordered both platforms to block accounts spreading illegal content. The fact that national Brazilian judges are having international social media accounts blocked is a novelty and could have global repercussions.”

ProPublica: After a Year of Investigation, the Border Patrol Has Little to Say About Agents’ Misogynistic and Racist Facebook Group

ProPublica: After a Year of Investigation, the Border Patrol Has Little to Say About Agents’ Misogynistic and Racist Facebook Group. “The Border Patrol vowed a full accounting after ProPublica revealed hateful posts in the private Facebook group. Now congressional investigators say the agency is blocking them and revealing little about its internal investigation.”

CNN: Facebook bans ads from pro-Trump PAC

CNN: Facebook bans ads from pro-Trump PAC. “Facebook announced Thursday it was banning ads from The Committee to Defend the President, a pro-Trump super PAC. Facebook did not say how long the ban would last.”

Washington Post: Facebook’s fact-checkers have ruled claims in Trump ads are false — but no one is telling Facebook’s users

Washington Post: Facebook’s fact-checkers have ruled claims in Trump ads are false — but no one is telling Facebook’s users. “Fact-checkers were unanimous in their assessments when President Trump began claiming in June that Democrat Joe Biden wanted to ‘defund’ police forces. PolitiFact called the allegations ‘false,’ as did CheckYourFact. The Associated Press detailed ‘distortions’ in Trump’s claims. FactCheck.org called an ad airing them ‘deceptive.’ Another site, the Dispatch, said there is ‘nothing currently to support’ Trump’s claims. But these judgments, made by five fact-checking organizations that are part of Facebook’s independent network for policing falsehoods on the platform, were not shared with Facebook’s users. That is because the company specifically exempts politicians from its rules against deception. Ads containing the falsehoods continue to run freely on the platform, without any kind of warning or label.”

NPR: Twitter, Facebook Remove Trump Post Over False Claim About Children And COVID-19

NPR: Twitter, Facebook Remove Trump Post Over False Claim About Children And COVID-19 . “Twitter temporarily blocked the Trump election campaign account from tweeting until it removed a post with a video clip from a Fox News interview from Wednesday morning, in which the president urged schools to reopen, falsely claiming that children are ‘almost immune from this disease.’ Facebook also removed a post containing the same video from Trump’s personal page. Both Facebook and Twitter said the post violated their rules on COVID-19 misinformation.”

Sydney Morning Herald: Google and Facebook face fines and algorithm transparency under new code

Sydney Morning Herald: Google and Facebook face fines and algorithm transparency under new code. “Google and Facebook will have three months to agree to revenue-sharing deals with Australian media companies before independent arbitrators intervene under a new landmark code designed to tackle the market power amassed by the US tech giants. Draft laws unveiled by the Morrison government and competition watchdog on Friday will impose a raft of conditions on the digital platforms, forcing them to compensate news media businesses for using their content and be more transparent about their data and algorithms.”

CNET: Twenty state AGs press Facebook to do more to combat hate speech

CNET: Twenty state AGs press Facebook to do more to combat hate speech. “In a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg on Wednesday, the AGs said they believed the company had ‘fallen short’ on its civil rights record and urged the company to ‘aggressively enforce’ its policies prohibiting hate speech and hate-based organizations. Other steps the AGs’ letter suggested Facebook take include allowing public, third-party audits of hate content and enforcement, as well as expanding its policies on limiting ads that disparage minorities.”

The Atlantic: Facebook’s Looted-Artifact Problem

The Atlantic: Facebook’s Looted-Artifact Problem. “Facebook reflects and occasionally amplifies the biggest issues in the world—white supremacy, disinformation, harassment, political polarization, illicit trade—but it has long taken a hands-off approach to regulation on its platform. As a result, people such as [Adnan] Al Mohamad have found themselves forced into the role of amateur detective, lobbyist, police officer, taking it upon themselves to fight not only with the bad actors themselves, but with the social network that gives them space.”

‘Instagram Can Hurt Us’: Mark Zuckerberg Emails Outline Plan To Neutralize Competitors (The Verge)

The Verge: ‘Instagram Can Hurt Us’: Mark Zuckerberg Emails Outline Plan To Neutralize Competitors. “The emails between Zuckerberg and [David] Ebersman were revealed today during the House antitrust subcommittee’s hearing on antitrust issues in tech, as Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) questioned Zuckerberg about the Instagram acquisition. The emails, along with several other messages and documents from 2012, show that Facebook — and Zuckerberg, in particular — wanted to buy Instagram to avoid competition, the committee argued.”

Slator: Thai Mistranslation Shows Risk of Auto-Translating Social Media Content

Slator: Thai Mistranslation Shows Risk of Auto-Translating Social Media Content. “After a machine translation of a post from English into Thai about the King’s birthday proved offensive to the Thai monarchy, Facebook Thailand said it was deactivating auto-translate on Facebook and Instagram, revamping machine translation (MT) quality, and offering the Thai people its ‘profound apology.'”

The Conversation: Lawmakers keen to break up ‘big tech’ like Amazon and Google need to realize the world has changed a lot since Microsoft and Standard Oil

The Conversation: Lawmakers keen to break up ‘big tech’ like Amazon and Google need to realize the world has changed a lot since Microsoft and Standard Oil. “The chief executives of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google testified before Congress on July 29 to defend their market dominance from accusations they’re stifling rivals. Lawmakers and regulators are increasingly talking about antitrust action and possibly breaking the companies up into smaller pieces. I study the effects of digital technologies on lives and livelihoods across 90 countries. I believe advocates of breaking up big technology companies, as well as opponents, are both falling prey to some serious myths and misconceptions.”

CNET: Facebook adds official music videos, taking on YouTube

CNET: Facebook adds official music videos, taking on YouTube. “Facebook said Friday it’s adding official music videos to its social network in the US, starting this week. The feature will allow people to find, watch and share music videos on Facebook, taking on the world’s No. 1 place to watch music videos online (and the No. 1 place to watch, well, all videos online): Google’s YouTube.”

‘It’s like you injected adrenaline into them’: Facebook’s vaccine misinformation problem faces a new test with Covid-19 (STAT News)

STAT News: ‘It’s like you injected adrenaline into them’: Facebook’s vaccine misinformation problem faces a new test with Covid-19. “Since the outset of the pandemic, vaccine-related falsehoods have ballooned on the platform — and recent research suggests some of those inaccurate posts are gaining traction among people who weren’t previously opposed to vaccinations. Part of the problem appears to be the way Facebook’s algorithms capitalize on divisive or extremist content.”

CPO Magazine: Illinois Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Facial Recognition Databases Violate Biometric Privacy Law, Could Cost Tech Giants $5,000 Per Incident

CPO Magazine: Illinois Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Facial Recognition Databases Violate Biometric Privacy Law, Could Cost Tech Giants $5,000 Per Incident. “The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) made national news recently when it drove Clearview AI out of the state, due to a pending lawsuit over the company’s scraping of social media pictures and videos for its facial recognition database. It may now be a problem for some of tech’s biggest names as well. A new biometric privacy lawsuit has emerged that names Amazon, Google parent company Alphabet and Microsoft as violators of the state law as well.”