Polygon: Roblox sues banned ‘cybermob leader’ for terrorizing the platform, its developers

Polygon: Roblox sues banned ‘cybermob leader’ for terrorizing the platform, its developers. “The Roblox Corporation is suing controversial Roblox content creator Benjamin Robert Simon, better known online as Ruben Sim, for leading a ‘cybermob’ that they say terrorizes the Roblox platform and its developers. Roblox lawyers filed the lawsuit Tuesday in a California court, alleging that Simon ‘commits and encourages unlawful acts designed to injure Roblox and its users.’”

The Conversation: Ending online anonymity won’t make social media less toxic

The Conversation: Ending online anonymity won’t make social media less toxic. “Online bullying and misinformation are growing problems, and government action to address them is overdue. However, limiting anonymity alone won’t make social media less toxic. It will only work combined with broader reforms to platform design and business models, which drive polarisation, negativity, abuse and misinformation. Reforms must also protect free speech and account for power imbalances between citizens and the state.”

Online hate speech rose 20% during pandemic: ‘We’ve normalised it’ (BBC)

BBC: Online hate speech rose 20% during pandemic: ‘We’ve normalised it’. “Online hate speech in the UK and US has risen by 20% since the start of the pandemic, according to a new report. Youth charity Ditch the Label commissioned the study, which analysed 263 million conversations in the UK and US, between 2019 and mid-2021. It found 50.1 million discussions about, or examples of, racist hate speech in that time.”

Mashable: Instagram scores lowest on social media sexism report card

Mashable: Instagram scores lowest on social media sexism report card. “Compiled in partnership with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, the report evaluates Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube’s policies against UltraViolet’s 11 Policy Recommendations. It then averages each platform’s scores and assigns a letter grade according to Harvard University Graduate School of Education’s grading rubric. Predictably, nobody got a gold star for their work, with Instagram emerging as the dunce of the class with an abysmal F overall. But even Reddit, the highest scoring of the lot, only walked away with a C average.”

CBC: CBC is keeping Facebook comments closed on news posts

CBC: CBC is keeping Facebook comments closed on news posts. “To be clear, we aren’t interested in curtailing genuine criticism of our journalism, which we welcome (you can find plenty of it in the comments on the stories on our news site, which are closely moderated). We’re talking instead about trying to stop, in the online places where we have some control at least, the vile abuse, personal harassment and misinformation that’s so damaging to public discourse.”

The Verge: Block Party is out of beta and ready to block anyone who likes bad tweets

The Verge: Block Party is out of beta and ready to block anyone who likes bad tweets. “Block Party, the anti-harassment service that specializes in making Twitter more tolerable to use, is out of beta and available now. Block Party automates the time-consuming process of moderating your Twitter feed, filtering out content from people you don’t want to see for later review and, starting today, blocking accounts that retweet or like a bad tweet of your choice with blocklists.”

Penn State News: At-risk teens may face increased online threats

Penn State News: At-risk teens may face increased online threats. “According to a new study where online activities were objectively observed, girls who had been sexually abused had greater odds of being cyberbullied. They were also more likely to fit a profile characterized by high pornography and social media use, which predicted being sexually solicited online and engaging in more sexual activity two years later.”

Sky News: Online abuse of those with disabilities increases more than 50 percent during lockdown

Sky News: Online abuse of those with disabilities increases more than 50 percent during lockdown. “According to Freedom of Information data requested from 39 police forces in England and Wales by charities Leonard Cheshire and United Response, there were 9,200 disability hate crimes reported to police in 2020-21, both online and in person. Of those, 44% were classed as ‘violent’, involving assault or possession of weapons, up 4.4% from the previous 12 months. But with lockdowns forcing people to stay at home for much of the year, it was in online abuse that the biggest increase was seen with 981 cases, up 52% on 2019-20.”

Australasian Leisure: New Zealand Created Bot Aims To Eradicate Social Media Abuse Of Athletes

Australasian Leisure: New Zealand Created Bot Aims To Eradicate Social Media Abuse Of Athletes. “Aiming to reverse New Zealanders Jacqueline Comer and Rebecca Lee have created the FairPlayBot -a piece of technology that can be attached to social media accounts to automatically respond to negative messages with positive ones. Licensed and operated by Canada-based Areto Labs, the technology uses machine learning to analyse tweets directed at athletes, commentators and officials in real-time, and automatically and immediately changes the conversation by cheering on positive interactions from fans or calling out those who are abusive.”

NBC News: Twitch releases new safety feature amid scrutiny over ‘hate raids’

NBC News: Twitch releases new safety feature amid scrutiny over ‘hate raids’. “Phone-verified chats will allow targeted creators to have more control over who can participate in their communities, Twitch said in a blogpost Wednesday. The move will require all or some users to verify phone their numbers before they can participate in streamers’ chats, which could help reduce targeted attacks by bots. Once users verify the phone numbers to their accounts, they will not need to verify them again for other channels.”

Los Angeles Times: Fed up with TikTok, Black influencers are leaving the app

Los Angeles Times: Fed up with TikTok, Black influencers are leaving the app. “[Charles] Conley is not the first Black TikToker to say that he feels over-scrutinized and under-protected by the platform. Since at least the Black Lives Matter protests of summer 2020, users of color have complained that TikTok — the most downloaded app in the world last year — handles their accounts and content in ways that seem unfair and racially biased. But what sets Conley and the other Black TikTokers who spoke to The Times for this story apart is what they plan to do about it: get off TikTok for good.”

Wired: Twitch Sues Users Over Alleged ‘Hate Raids’ Against Streamers

Wired: Twitch Sues Users Over Alleged ‘Hate Raids’ Against Streamers. “SINCE EARLY AUGUST, Twitch has been wrestling with an epidemic of harassment against marginalized streamers known as ‘hate raids.’ These attacks spam streamers’ chats with hateful and bigoted language, amplified dozens of times a minute by bots. On Thursday, after a month trying and failing to combat the tactic, Twitch resorted to the legal system, suing two alleged hate raiders for ‘targeting black and LGBTQIA+ streamers with racist, homophobic, sexist and other harassing content’ in violation of its terms of service.”

Engadget: Twitter web test lets you remove followers without blocking them

Engadget: Twitter web test lets you remove followers without blocking them. “Twitter has launched its second feature test in one day, and this one could be particularly helpful if you’ve ever been subjected to online abuse. A newly available web test lets you remove followers without blocking them. You’ll disappear from their feed without notifications that might spark harassment and threats.”