Politico: What happened when humans stopped managing social media content

Politico: What happened when humans stopped managing social media content. “Nobody appreciated the content moderators until they were gone. As the coronavirus pandemic swept the world, social media giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter did what other companies did. They sent workers home — including the tens of thousands of people tasked with sifting through mountains of online material and weeding out hateful, illegal and sexually explicit content. In their place, the companies turned to algorithms to do the job. It did not go well.”

Thrillist: Facebook Rejected a Photo of Onions for Being ‘Overtly Sexual’

Thrillist: Facebook Rejected a Photo of Onions for Being ‘Overtly Sexual’. “Earlier this week, a Canadian store — known around St. John’s, Newfoundland as the Seed Company by EW Gaze — shared a perfectly innocent promotional photo of some Walla Walla onions (this is not a euphemism. They were really just onions). Facebook, however, did not agree and flagged the post for being… too sexy.”

The Guardian: Facebook suspends environmental groups despite vow to fight misinformation

The Guardian: Facebook suspends environmental groups despite vow to fight misinformation. “Facebook has suspended the accounts of several environmental organizations less than a week after launching an initiative it said would counter a tide of misinformation over climate science on the platform.”

CNN: YouTube is banking on tech to clean up controversial content, as moderators stay home

CNN: YouTube is banking on tech to clean up controversial content, as moderators stay home. “YouTube said Tuesday that it is increasingly relying on technology to moderate content, resulting in a sharp rise in removed videos, including some that didn’t violate its policies. The Google-owned company said that between April and June it removed more than 11.4 million videos for violating its policies. That’s more than double what it took down in the previous three months.” Oh, why not. Auto-regulating content HAS WORKED SO WELL SO FAR…

Slate: Why We Should Care That Facebook Accidentally Deplatformed Hundreds of Users

Slate: Why We Should Care That Facebook Accidentally Deplatformed Hundreds of Users. “The deplatforming incident comes as social media companies have increased their efforts to regulate content in response to the dual pressures of the presidential election and, especially, the coronavirus pandemic. Just last November, Facebook was criticized for refusing to ban white nationalists and other hate groups despite promises to do so. And while the company hasn’t exactly abandoned its laissez-faire approach to content moderation, Facebook, among other platforms, has culled and flagged misinformation, hate speech, and harmful content at unprecedented rates in the months since. Last week, for instance, Facebook removed nearly 200 accounts tied to white supremacist groups. Anti-racist skinheads and musicians are just the latest victims of these policies.”

Engadget: Facebook suspended hundreds of anti-racist skinheads and musicians

Engadget: Facebook suspended hundreds of anti-racist skinheads and musicians. “Facebook’s determination to crack down on hate speech swept up some innocent people. OneZero has learned that Facebook temporarily suspended ‘hundreds’ of anti-racist activists from SHARP (Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice), as well as the reggae and ska communities, for allegedly violating site standards. It even included ska legend Neville Staple of The Specials. “

TorrentFreak: Project Gutenberg Public Domain Library Blocked in Italy For Copyright Infringement

TorrentFreak: Project Gutenberg Public Domain Library Blocked in Italy For Copyright Infringement. “Project Gutenberg, the world’s oldest digital library, has been blocked by ISPs in Italy under the orders of the Court of Rome. The platform, which focuses on public domain books, appears to have been erroneously labeled a pirate site in an action targeting 28 domains and several Telegram channels.”

Yahoo News: Facebook deems baker’s pie ‘too sexy’ for social media

Yahoo News: Facebook deems baker’s pie ‘too sexy’ for social media. “Wellington baker Niels Reinsborg started his business, Crafty Pies, to supply the baked treat to cafes, but when the coronavirus hit New Zealand shortly after he opened, he had to get creative and began offering his pies for sale on Facebook with contact-free delivery to homes. Business was booming and he was selling hundreds of pies each week until he posted an image of the Cypriot Shepherd’s Pie, filled with lean lamb cooked with fresh ginger, cumin and cinnamon…. The description and image was apparently flagged and deemed inappropriate. He received a Facebook message explaining the platform could not be used to sell ‘adult’ items, and his account was closed.”

TorrentFreak: Google Removes Official Kodi Download Page After “Bogus” Copyright Complaint (Updated)

TorrentFreak: Google Removes Official Kodi Download Page After “Bogus” Copyright Complaint (Updated). “Google has removed the official Kodi download page from its search results, following a complaint from a copyright holder. The team behind the perfectly legal open-source software is disappointed that they’re being inaccurately lumped together with pirate services. The same takedown notice also targeted the VLC media player, but those requests were rejected.” Google did restore the page. Eventually.

Reuters: Social media giants warn of AI moderation errors as coronavirus empties offices

Reuters: Social media giants warn of AI moderation errors as coronavirus empties offices. “Alphabet Inc’s YouTube, Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) warned on Monday that more videos and other content could be erroneously removed for policy violations, as the companies empty offices and rely on automated takedown software during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Phys .org: AI could deceive us as much as the human eye does in the search for extraterrestrials

Phys .org: AI could deceive us as much as the human eye does in the search for extraterrestrials. “An artificial neural network has identified a square structure within a triangular one in a crater on the dwarf planet Ceres, with several people agreeing on this perception. The result of this intriguing visual experiment, carried out by a Spanish neuropsychologist, calls into question the application of artificial intelligence to the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI).”

Techdirt: YouTube Streamer Hit With Demonetization Over Copyright Claims To Numbers ’36’ And ’50’

Techdirt: YouTube Streamer Hit With Demonetization Over Copyright Claims To Numbers ’36’ And ’50’. “Now, if you’re wondering who in the world is claiming trademarks on these two random numbers, it appears to be a company in the YouTube content creation business as well. Why they think they own the copyright on those two numbers and can use them to siphon the income of innocent YouTube streamers is anybody’s guess.”

Content Moderation At Scale Is Impossible: YouTube Says That Frank Capra’s US Government WWII Propaganda Violates Community Guidelines (Techdirt)

Techdirt: Content Moderation At Scale Is Impossible: YouTube Says That Frank Capra’s US Government WWII Propaganda Violates Community Guidelines. “The film, which gives a US government-approved history of the lead up to World War II includes a bunch of footage of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Obviously, it wasn’t done to glorify them. The idea is literally the opposite. However, as you may recall, last summer when everyone was getting mad (again) at YouTube for hosting ‘Nazi’ content, YouTube updated its policies to ban ‘videos that promote or glorify Nazi ideology.’ We already covered how this was shutting down accounts of history professors. And, now, it’s apparently leading them to take US propaganda offline as well.”

BuzzFeed News: This YouTuber’s Videos Were Demonetised. He Says It’s Because Of His Aussie Accent.

BuzzFeed News: This YouTuber’s Videos Were Demonetised. He Says It’s Because Of His Aussie Accent.. “Two years ago, Australian YouTuber Fynnpire quit his day job to make videos full-time. The Brisbane-based creator has more than half a million subscribers on his gaming channel, and he derives income from advertising revenue. That’s why he was so annoyed when he saw that YouTube had restricted advertising on one of his videos.”