Twitter, JPMorgan, and other organizations have announced they will stop using racially-charged coding and hardware terms like master, slave, blacklist, whitelist, and others as part of a thorough review of best practices around value-neutral terminology in programming and technology. Read the rest
He seems eager for violence.
Yes, now Trump is personally threatening protesters with violent harm. It's very presidential. Read the rest
The House of Representatives Intelligence Committee says executives from Facebook, Alphabet/Google, and Twitter have been summoned to appear Thursday at a virtual hearing on foreign influence and election security. Read the rest
Russia-linked accounts supported Kremlin infowar campaigns, China bots spread ‘deceptive’ claims about COVID and Hong Kong politics
Twitter last night hid one of President Trump's tweet behind a warning, saying that it broke the company's policy against glorifying violence. In the tweet, Trump branded protestors in Minneapolis 'THUGS' and suggested they should be shot.
....These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!
Floyd was an unarmed black man killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Minneapolis has seen two nights of unrest as local authorities refuse to release unredacted footage of the incident or to charge Chauvin with a crime. "Thug" is a storied euphemism for black people.
The warning notice comes three days after Twitter placed a fact-check warning on another of Trump's tweets and a day after Trump signed an executive order denouncing the company.
'A riot is the language of the unheard.' —Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King
UPDATE: Trump posted it again, from the official White House account, and Twitter has applied the same warning to it.
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Donald Trump is threatening a Twitter employee, on Twitter, just after Jack Dorsey tweeted to leave his employees out of this. The drama continues. Read the rest
After Trump threw a tantrum over Twitter doing the bare-minimum to fact-check his deliberately misleading tweets, Trump announced plans to sign an Executive Order that forces social media to "protect" "free speech." Because government-approved top-down authoritarian control of private companies is apparently now a central tenet of the Republican Party.
Content Moderation expert Kate Klonick shared a draft of the order.
You can read the full document here, which hinges on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (as well as the continued wolf-crying fantasy of "conservative censorship"). If you want the sparknotes, Vice has a pretty comprehensive breakdown:
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As far as legislation goes, the first subsection of 230 is concise and powerful: "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."
In the order, Trump also makes the argument that social media companies' actions should not "infringe on protected speech," which would be a massive change from Section 230 as it's currently worded, which makes an explicit carve-out for restricting protected speech. This will, unequivocally, change the internet as a whole and make it worse.
Today, Trump will announce his executive order against social media companies, the day after Twitter added a fact-checking note to two of Trump's misleading tweets. Surprising nobody, Trump's draft order goes after Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 that is an essential protection for free speech on the Internet. (Here's the EFF's explanation of Section 230.) From CNN:
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"In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand-pick the speech that Americans may access and convey online," the draft order says. "This practice is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic. When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power."
Under the order, the Commerce Department would ask the Federal Communications Commission for new regulations clarifying when a company's conduct might violate the good faith provisions of Section 230 -- potentially making it easier for tech companies to be sued.
That is consistent with a draft order whose text CNN first reported last summer -- and which prompted FCC officials to push back on the plan privately.
The draft order instructs the Justice Department to consult with state attorneys general on allegations of anti-conservative bias. It bans federal agencies from advertising on platforms that have allegedly violated Section 230's good-faith principles.
Finally, the draft order would direct the Federal Trade Commission to report on complaints about political bias collected by the White House and to consider bringing lawsuits against companies accused of violating the administration's interpretation of Section 230.
“Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.”
“Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!” Read the rest
Twitter said Tuesday it's not taking any action on grotesquely abusive tweets by impeached U.S. President Donald Trump about the 2001 death of a woman who once worked as a congressional staff member for Joe Scarborough, after her husband asked the company to remove the false and personally harassing tweets. Read the rest
[Update: Shortly after this post, Trump lashed out at Twitter, on Twitter.]
This is huge. Twitter today for the first time labeled a tweet by the President as misleading. Read the rest
Trump and Trump Junior are tweeting accusatory nonsense about the death of a woman, and her widower asked Twitter to delete the hurtful messages because the tweets are in violation of Twitter's terms of service. But Twitter has made it clear that Trump can tweet anything he wishes with impunity, so the best it can do is say “We are deeply sorry about the pain these statements, and the attention they are drawing, are causing the family.”
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[Timothy J. Klausutis called his wife's] death “the single most painful thing that I have ever had to deal with” and said he feels a marital obligation to protect her memory amid “a constant barrage of falsehoods, half-truths, innuendo and conspiracy theories since the day she died.”
Klausutis said Trump is among the conspiracy theorists spreading “bile and misinformation” on Twitter “disparaging the memory” of his wife and their marriage.
Trump’s tweets violate Twitter’s community rules and terms of service, he said.
“An ordinary user like me would be banished,” Klausutis wrote.
In a statement, Twitter said it was “deeply sorry about the pain these statements, and the attention they are drawing, are causing the family.”
Twitter is reportedly testing a prompt for iOS users that will ask them to consider editing a tweet they are writing if the system detects that they are using “harmful” language. Read the rest
Cory posted about Nitter "an alternative, free/open front-end to Twitter that ad- and tracker-blocks. That's very timely, as Twitter has just unilaterally obliterated all its users' privacy choices, announcing the change with a dialog box whose only button is 'OK.' What if it's not OK?"
Here's what Cory's Twitter feed looks like in Nitter.
Image: Pluralistic Read the rest
Elon Musk is a huge asshole. COVID-19 has made him more so.
It's about freaking time. Read the rest