Ars Technica: Are TikTok algorithms changing how people talk about suicide?

Ars Technica: Are TikTok algorithms changing how people talk about suicide?. “While the word ‘unalive’ first became popular in 2013 (when it was used in an episode of Ultimate Spider-Man), Google searches for the term have spiked dramatically in 2022. From TikTok, ‘unalive’ has spread to Twitter and Reddit; YouTubers also use it so their content isn’t demonetized. Depending on the context, the word can refer to suicide, murder, or death. Though ‘unalive’ is often used comedically on TikTok, people like Williams also use it to talk candidly, forge a community, and signpost resources on the app. The rapid rise of ‘unalive’ therefore raises a worrying question: What happens when we don’t openly say ‘suicide’?”

South China Morning Post: Chinese tech executives retreat from social media amid industry woes, tightening internet content regulations

South China Morning Post: Chinese tech executives retreat from social media amid industry woes, tightening internet content regulations. “Several top executives at Chinese companies have seen their social media presence reduced over the past week amid tightening rules and regulations on internet content and fallout from Beijing’s Big Tech crackdown.”

Washington Post: Why is the U.S. still probing foreign visitors’ social media accounts?

Washington Post: Why is the U.S. still probing foreign visitors’ social media accounts?. “The government has never adequately explained, let alone provided evidence of, the need for this policy. Obama-era pilot programs failed to show that social media screening is a useful visa vetting tool. And during the early days of the Biden administration, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which analyzes the cost and benefits of regulations, rejected a previous DHS proposal to expand the State Department policy; it concluded that DHS had failed to demonstrate the policy’s ‘practical utility’ and to justify its ‘monetary and social’ costs. And yet the Biden administration is now doubling down on the Trump-era policy by expanding it.”

Make Tech Easier: 4 Free Online Tools to Add a Censor Bleep to Your YouTube Videos

Make Tech Easier: 4 Free Online Tools to Add a Censor Bleep to Your YouTube Videos. “There are several free online tools that you can now use to censor parts of your YouTube videos. Whether it’s accidental swearing on your live stream or a minor slip in editing, these online tools will help you conceal these bluffs.” I am noticing a lot of YouTube videos doing more bleeping and self-censorship. I was watching Ukraine/Russia memes yesterday and puzzling over the continued references to “OVID” until I realized it was actually “covid” and the audio had been altered to dodge an AI moderator.

The Conversation: How social media forces stand-up comedians like Trevor Noah and Basket Mouth to self-censor

The Conversation: How social media forces stand-up comedians like Trevor Noah and Basket Mouth to self-censor. “As an art form based on abuse and amusement, comedy uses potentially offensive material. One would expect the audience to be either delighted or infuriated. But stand-up comedy creates a space where a kind of agreement is reached, which renders most offensive gags inoffensive. This happens through elements like audiences choosing to attend, the venue and shared socio-cultural knowledge. Stand-up comedy has its own norms about how jokes are made and received. The synergy between comedians and live audiences allows for a momentary suspension of offence. But when these jokes start to circulate in a separate space – like social media – they are subjected to other sets of appraisal and questioning.”

Global Voices: Fearing the national security law, Hongkongers change their social media habits

Global Voices: Fearing the national security law, Hongkongers change their social media habits. “Between August 29 and September 1, The Stand News asked its readers, through a series of online polls, how the national security law impacted their lives. The results of the survey, in which 2,587 people took part, are published in this story, which comes along with interviews with protesters, journalists, civil servants, teachers, and others. We wanted to find out how they are managing their fear under the new draconian law.”

International Business Times: Hong Kong Residents Erase Social Media Posts As New Security Law Applied

International Business Times: Hong Kong Residents Erase Social Media Posts As New Security Law Applied. “As Beijing enacted the new national security laws, Hong Kong people are rushing to significantly change their digital presence or entirely remove their social media presence. Residents were already imposing wide self-censorship before the law came into effect. Several users deactivated accounts that had content that could be considered ‘objectionable’ under the new law.”

Mashable: This Supreme Court case could criminalize online immigration activism. Here’s why.

Mashable: This Supreme Court case could criminalize online immigration activism. Here’s why.. “The case, U.S. v. Sineneng-Smith, originates from a federal district court in California where a federal grand jury convicted immigration consultant Evelyn Sineneng-Smith for fraud after she told her undocumented clients they could maintain legal status under a program she knew had expired. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did little to overturn that conviction. What it did overturn, however, was a separate conviction that found Sineneng-Smith guilty under a 1986 federal law that makes it a crime to ‘encourage’ and ‘induce’ known undocumented immigrants to reside in the U.S. And it did so on First Amendment grounds.”

Washington Post: It wasn’t just the National Archives. The Library of Congress also balked at a Women’s March photo.

Washington Post: It wasn’t just the National Archives. The Library of Congress also balked at a Women’s March photo.. “The Library of Congress abandoned plans last year to showcase a mural-size photograph of demonstrators at the 2017 Women’s March in Washington because of concerns it would be perceived as critical of President Trump, according to emails obtained by The Washington Post.”

Techdirt: The DHS’s Social Media Monitoring Is Causing Collateral Damage, But Doesn’t Seem To Be Making The Nation Safer

Techdirt: The DHS’s Social Media Monitoring Is Causing Collateral Damage, But Doesn’t Seem To Be Making The Nation Safer. “While DHS components have stepped up the intrusiveness of their border screenings, they haven’t been able to show all these manhours and infringed rights are actually doing anything to keep the country safer. More and more information is being gathered, but it’s either of little to no use, or the agencies engaging in these searches can’t be bothered to tally up the wins and losses of the border security game. The Brennan Center, however, has compiled a report on the DHS’s screening programs and their various enhancements.”

CNET: A Chinese translation app is censoring politically sensitive terms, report says

CNET: A Chinese translation app is censoring politically sensitive terms, report says . “More Chinese tech firms are erring on the side of caution when it comes to policing content on their platforms. iFlytek, a voice recognition technology provider in China, has begun censoring politically sensitive terms from its translation app, South China Morning Post reported citing a tweet by Jane Manchun Wong.”

Wired: I’m Deleting All My Old Tweets Because Nothing Matters

Wired: I’m Deleting All My Old Tweets Because Nothing Matters. “While I gave birth to my first child in 2015, my brother sat across the street from the hospital in a bar, live tweeting his experience of waiting to meet his nephew. As the hours of my long labor wore on, my brother got drunker and his jokes more off the wall. When my son was finally born and I went to send an email birth announcement, I found that everyone already knew. Emails had flooded my inbox already congratulating me. My colleagues had all been following along with my brother’s live tweets. The second my son was born, word had reached them—and thousands of other people.”

EFF: New Lawsuit Challenges FOSTA – The Federal Law Sparking Website Shutdowns

EFF: New Lawsuit Challenges FOSTA – The Federal Law Sparking Website Shutdowns. “Two human rights organizations, a digital library, an activist for sex workers, and a certified massage therapist have filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to block enforcement of FOSTA, the new federal law that silences online speech by forcing speakers to self-censor and requiring platforms to censor their users. The plaintiffs are represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Davis, Wright Tremaine LLP, Walters Law Group, and Daphne Keller.”

SBS News: Foreign embassies ‘self-censoring content on Chinese social media’

SBS News: Foreign embassies ‘self-censoring content on Chinese social media’. “Heavy-handed censorship of foreign government content on Chinese social media has decreased as censors have found more subtle and effective ways to control sensitive information, at the same time as more foreign governments have self-censored content posted through their embassy channels, a new report from an Australian cybersecurity research group says.”