Posted by Social media lawyer UK at 06:46
An interesting developing story that demonstrates how #values and #MissionStatement impact on short and long term policies of two internet giants, Twitter and Facebook.
The spread of fake news and disinformation on social media.
Background: Facebook has declared that it will take steps to either remove accounts that it believes spread disinformation or demote those accounts across its network, unless the disinformation is contained within paid Ads by political parties.
This has opened Facebook to accusations of hypocrisy and greed.
Read more on Twitter, Facebook, Political Ads and Mission Statements
Posted by Social media lawyer UK at 06:08
Google's right to be forgotten ruled by top EU courts not to apply outside of EU - Yair Cohen talks with RT News
'The door isn't quite shut yet,' Yair Cohen speaks with RT news about the recent EU ruling on right to be forgotten not to be extended worldwide.
The EU courts have said that currently, there wasn't any obligation for search engine operators to grant a request for de-listing on all of its versions across the world but it doesn't mean it won't ever be possible to be granted the right to privacy and the right to be forgotten globally.
Yair Cohen talked with Al Jazeera earlier this month about the connection between online gaming message boards and terrorism, following the aftermath of the El Paso shooting.
The terrorist posted a white nationalist manifesto on 8chan (shut down, for now) before sharing the post on social media platforms and then proceeded to kill 20 plus people in a supermarket.
There is a strong connection between the gaming community and extremists and social media platforms need to do a better job of policing since their sites promote the amplification of the hate speech.
Should sites like this even exist? Al Jazeera asked Yair Cohen
Yair: Whether sites like this should exist, depends very much on how far we are willing to stretch the right to free speech. Each society and country places its own limits and carries out its own balancing act. The US has The Communications Decency Act which provides discussion forum operators such as 8chan (and now there are others replacing 8chan, using the same format), immunity from prosecution in relation to third party posts.
The reality is that the immunity exists, regardless of the question whether the website is being monitored or not. To remove these sorts of websites from the internet, there will need to be a change in the law in the US.
Al Jazeera: How can they be better policed and should they be shut down?
Yair Cohen: The US government has found a creative way of policing websites such as 8chan (and Discord). They started to put pressure on public companies such as Google and Bing to completely delist links to those sites from mainstream search results. However, internet users have found ways around this ban on Google by using images which are much more difficult to identify as harmful. They post these images, with content from 8chan on social media networks, such as Twitter, Instagram and Google Image libraries.
Al Jazeera: Do they play a significant role in instigating hate and causing scenarios such as mass shootings?
Yair Cohen: Yes. There is evidence that websites such as 8chan did are used as breeding grounds for young extremists. Ironically, because those websites have been effectively outlawed by the mainstream search engines, they become increasingly attractive to teenagers and to anyone else who feel the need to rebel. Previous mass shooters have acquired a status of heroes amongst some extremists, who follow the murderers’ vision and mode of operation.
On the day of the mass shooting, 8chan users were commentating about the massacre and calling the terrorist 'our guy' as well as congratulating him on the amount of people that he had killed.
Al Jazeera: Does the overall acceptance of online shooting games also "normalise" shootings?
Yair Cohen: Indeed. There is clear evidence that in some instances, online gaming channels normalise extremist websites like 8chan did and now there are others. This is where gamers can move on particularly violent and offending conversations whilst avoiding the risk of being banned from certain gaming platforms.
Al Jazeera: What can be done about that?
Yair Cohen: Tighter control over social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, to be able to identify mass sharing of offending images. At the same time, there are increasing calls in the US for change in the law, which could find operators of discussion forums liable to posts by their users under certain circumstances. The US government are currently citing 'Freedom of Speech' issues as justification to refrain from joining an international initiative in reigning in extremist content on social media but Freedom of Speech does not exist if marginalised groups are being threatened, attacked and killed digitally and physically.
Yair Cohen, Social Media Expert and Internet Law Lawyer, founder of Cohen Davis, is also the author of The Net is Closing: Birth of the e-police. It is a powerful debate about the future policing of the internet and is a fascinating insight into the internet and our society.
Facebook's new privacy feature 'Off-Facebook Activity', we are being told, is meant to allow users to turn off some or have all of their browsing; online shopping and other activities removed from their history from now onwards.
Facebook collects data about its users' activities in order to gather information to target advertising to their users, of course, to profit through the sales of advertising and sales of data to third parties, including advertisers.
Even with this new feature, after you have disconnected the apps and turned off your browsing, Facebook will continue to collect your data, without it being linked to your account, so Facebook will still benefit from your data which is collected outside your Facebook activities.The only difference is that it will not be allowed to use that particular data to target you with personalised ads.
If Facebook are so keen on 'giving people control over their data', it begs the questions of why the new tool will be hidden under one of the sub-menus, making it hard to access and also, why it will take 48 hours to implement, after you have requested to use the removal tool.
It is also unclear how much detail Facebook is going to provide you about the nature of the data that is being passed on to it via the third party websites and apps.The information is expected to be very limited to the name of the website and the country of its origin.
It is astonishing how much information Facebook has about their users. You only to have to visit a site for a nanosecond or be redirected briefly to a site accidentally and those sites hold your data that is sent back to Facebook.
Working on this new feature over 12 months ago, Facebook referred to it as a 'clear history' tool, much like a web browser, where history can be deleted entirely. This new tool does not do that. It just severs identifying information.
It seems that there is no way out of Facebook still benefiting from using your data, even if you are able to find the Off-Facebook feature under the sub-menu to use it.