Slate: Regulating Bots on Social Media Is Easier Said Than Done. “Both Congress and California are currently considering legislation that would require social media bots to disclose the fact that they’re automated. These bills are designed to respond to serious, well-founded concerns about the use of social media bots to spread misinformation and sow discord online, most infamously during the 2016 election season. It’s a well-intentioned idea, but the proposals face a common challenge in the regulation of new technology: defining the technology itself. While perhaps not the most exciting part of any legislation, the definitions section is critical—it tells us who will be subject to the requirements and prohibitions that follow. While both the federal and state bills have definitions sections, neither tells us precisely what they mean by ‘bot.'”
New York Times: How to Fix Social Media’s Big Problems? Lawmakers Have Ideas. “Fixing the privacy and misinformation failures plaguing big tech companies is no easy task — but on both sides of the Atlantic, lawmakers are attempting to jump-start policy conversations in a bid to tackle the issues.”
CNET: Facebook: We’ve removed hundreds of posts under German hate speech law. “Germany kicked off 2018 with a strict law against online hate speech. The law allows for fines against tech companies, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, of up to $58 million (£44 million, AU$79 million) if they don’t remove offending posts within 24 hours of receiving a complaint. The law is also known as NetzDG.”
Harvard Business Review: What You Need to Know About California’s New Data Privacy Law. “Late last month, California passed a sweeping consumer privacy law that might force significant changes on companies that deal in personal data — and especially those operating in the digital space. The law’s passage comes on the heels of a few days of intense negotiation among privacy advocates, technology startups, network providers, Silicon Valley internet companies, and others. Those discussions have resulted in what many are describing as a landmark policy constituting the most stringent data protection regime in the United States.”
Jerusalem Post: Access To Israeli Laws Is Now Available To The Public, Online And Free. “Access to the Israeli law texts is now freely available online in a national legislation repository. The National Legislation Database in the Knesset was originally created in December 2014 and contains about 1,500 Israeli laws, of which roughly 970 remain in effect. The Knesset’s website will also provide open access to the updated and comprehensive version of the laws in accordance with an agreement signed in April, according to a press release. Data from the British Mandate orders are still in process of being completed.”
The New Indian Express: Vietnam activists flock to ‘safe’ social media after cyber crackdown. “Tens of thousands of Vietnamese social media users are flocking to self-professed free speech platform Minds to avoid tough internet controls in a new cybersecurity law, activists and the company told AFP. The draconian law requires internet companies to scrub critical content and hand over user data if Vietnam’s Communist government demands it.” Are new social media platforms going to rise because of activism, social change, and repressive governments? That’s a different dynamic.
Quartz: California just passed the toughest data privacy bill in the US. “In one day (June 28th), the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 unanimously passed both legislative chambers and was signed into law by governor Jerry Brown. Similar to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which went live in Europe in May, the law requires that Californians have access to and the ability to delete the data tech companies hold on them. It also gives users the ability to opt out of companies sharing (and theoretically selling) their data to third parties.”