Meduza: Russia’s censorship agency seeks new fines for Twitter, Google, and Facebook

Meduza: Russia’s censorship agency seeks new fines for Twitter, Google, and Facebook. “Twitter may face another 24 million rubles ($320,880) in fines for failing to remove content prohibited in Russia, while Google and Facebook may face an additional 20 million rubles ($267,400) in fines each for the same violation, the Russian state news agency TASS reported on Wednesday, May 5.”

Foreign Policy: Russia Can’t Afford to Block Twitter—Yet

Foreign Policy: Russia Can’t Afford to Block Twitter—Yet. “On March 16, Russia’s internet and media regulator, Roskomnadzor, threatened to block access to Twitter from within Russia in 30 days if the platform failed to comply with government demands to delete content allegedly related to child pornography, suicide, and drug use. But just three weeks later, Roskomnadzor backed away from that threat, citing discussions with Twitter characterized by both sides as productive—although it then reiterated the threat on April 30. At the same time, however, the regulator expressed its intent to continue slowing down Twitter traffic in Russia, as it has done since March, through May 15, an attempt to make the platform less accessible for Russian users. What explains this seemingly confused and contradictory approach from the Russian government?”

CNN: App makers blast Apple and Google in Senate hearing on app store policies

CNN: App makers blast Apple and Google in Senate hearing on app store policies. “Apple and Google faced a battery of accusations on Wednesday from prominent app developers, including Spotify and Tile, who alleged that the large tech platforms have abused their dominance and harmed competition. In a lengthy Senate hearing, the app makers said Apple and Google’s rules surrounding in-app payments and app updates allow the tech giants to choke off rival services, and that they engage in retaliation when app developers refuse to comply.”

Facebook’s Acquisition of GIPHY: Potential Competition Issues (Congressional Research Service)

From the Congressional Research Service, and in PDF form: Facebook’s Acquisition of GIPHY: Potential Competition Issues. “Facebook is now facing antitrust lawsuits, some of which focus on its past acquisitions. This Insight discusses how Facebook’s acquisitions can affect competition in digital advertising and the potential implications of the antitrust lawsuits on Facebook’s acquisition of GIPHY.”

Irish Times: Facebook and Twitter face barrage of criticism before Oireachtas committee

Irish Times: Facebook and Twitter face barrage of criticism before Oireachtas committee . “Social media giants Facebook and Twitter faced a barrage of criticism before an Oireachtas committee on Tuesday over anonymous accounts, trolling and micro-targeting. TDs and Senators accused both companies, particularly Twitter, of undermining democracy and coarsening public debate by allowing anonymous accounts make false and misleading statements with neither fact-checking protections or any sanction.”

CNBC: Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy to face in-depth UK competition probe

CNBC: Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy to face in-depth UK competition probe. “Britain’s competition regulator said Thursday that it was referring Facebook’s acquisition of GIF database Giphy for an in-depth investigation. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently completed its initial probe into the Facebook-Giphy merger — which has already closed — and concluded that the deal raises competition concerns.”

Politico: Federal watchdog calls for centralized Covid-19 data website

Politico: Federal watchdog calls for centralized Covid-19 data website. “Federal health agencies need to be more transparent about critical Covid-19 data, particularly on race and ethnicity and infections at nursing homes, the Government Accountability Office said Wednesday. The watchdog recommended those steps as part of its call for a sweeping overhaul of federal data on Covid-19, based on its probe of efforts to collect and analyze pandemic statistics across agencies.”

Reuters: U.S. lawmakers press Big Tech for internal research on kids’ mental health

Reuters: U.S. lawmakers press Big Tech for internal research on kids’ mental health. “Four Republican U.S. lawmakers requested on Tuesday that Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google turn over any studies they have done on how their services affect children’s mental health. The request follows a joint hearing last week of two House Energy and Commerce subcommittees at which the companies’ chief executives discussed their content moderation practices in the wake of the siege on the Capitol in January.”

Arab News: Online privacy fears mount as India sets tougher social media controls

Arab News: Online privacy fears mount as India sets tougher social media controls. “Indian journalists and digital rights advocates have warned that new social media rules announced on Thursday will further undercut online privacy and freedom of expression in the country. The new controls give the government more power to police content shared on social media and digital streaming platforms.”