Social Networks

Politics • American • Brazil
Brazilian Senate to vote new law criminalising the usage of fake accounts in social networks
Brazilian Senate session
Brazilian Senate session Credit: Leopoldo Silva/Agência Senado

Brazil's Senate is going to vote today a new law to criminalise the usage of fake accounts and bots on social networks.
The proposal, presented by senator Alessandro Vieira and representatives Felipe Rigoni and Tabata Amaral, establishes that platforms face sanctions if they don’t provide transparent reports, do not label bots, or don’t highlight corrections coming from independent fact-checkers.
Expressing concerns about the proposal, Flávia Lefèvre, a counselor of the Brazilian internet steering committee, stated: “All counsellors are overly concerned with this proposal. It could compromise one of the principles that are in the decalogue of the internet and in article 14 of [Brazil’s internet bill of rights], which is the non-liability of the network provider. This is a principle that guarantees freedom of expression and prevents censorship”.

Politics • American • US
Trump signs executive order aimed at social media companies
Donald J. Trump participates in a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, May 19, 2020, in the East Room of the White House.
Donald J. Trump participates in a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, May 19, 2020, in the East Room of the White House. Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Public domain

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday aimed at limiting the legal protection enjoyed by social media companies. the executive order comes two days after Twitter labelled two of his tweets "potentially misleading".
Twitter criticised the executive order on a statement late Thursday: "This EO is a reactionary and politicized approach to a landmark law. #Section230 protects American innovation and freedom of expression, and it’s underpinned by democratic values. Attempts to unilaterally erode it threatens the future of online speech and Internet freedoms."

Technology • Internet & Web
Mark Zuckerberg criticizes Twitter for new fact-checking feature
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the White House in 2019
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the White House in 2019 Credit: The White House from Washington, DC (Public Domain)

In an interview with Fox News, Mark Zuckerberg criticised Twitter for its new fact-checking feature, stating “private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that". He furthermore added that he believes that "Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online".
In a serious of tweets, Twitter's Jack Dorsey responded to Zuckerberg, writing: "We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. [...] This does not make us an “arbiter of truth.” Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions."

Politics • American • US
Twitter tags Trump tweet with fact-checking warning label for first time
Screenshot of Trump's Tweet begin tagged with "Get the facts about mail-in ballots"
Screenshot of Trump's Tweet begin tagged with "Get the facts about mail-in ballots" Credit: Donald J. Trump via Twitter

Twitter added a fact-checking warning label to a tweet by President Donald Trump on Tuesday, and this is the first time the social media platform has used such a warning for Trump's tweets.
In two tweets, Trump alleged that mail-in ballots would be "substantially fraudulent" and result in a "Rigged Election.". Now both of the tweets have a label stating, "Get the facts about mail-in ballots." and a link leading to a page saying the president's tweets are not true.

Politics • American • Brazil
Sleeping Giants in Brazil reaches 140,000 followers and aims to cut revenue from sites promoting misinformation
Capture of site targeted by Sleeping Giants
Capture of site targeted by Sleeping Giants Credit: Sleeping Giants Brasil

Sleeping Giants Brasil, the Brazilian profile of the activists' organization Sleeping Giants reached 140,000 followers on Twitter since its launch less than a week ago.
The profile alerted local companies such as Dell, TIM Brasil, Telecine, Submarino, PicPay, Banco do Brasil, and Phillips about their programmatic media on sites spreading misinformation.

Business • Economy
Facebook announces permanent remote work option for employees
Mark Zuckerberg F8 2018 Keynote
Mark Zuckerberg F8 2018 Keynote Credit: Anthony Quintano (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

During a live-streamed talk, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company will allow permanent remote work for many of its existing 45,000 employees and "aggressively open up" remote hiring..
Zuckerberg expects that about 50% of Facebook's workforce will work remotely within the next five to 10 years.

Woman ordered by court to delete Facebook photos of her grandchildren
Facebook homepage
Facebook homepage Credit: Kon Karampelas

A court in the Netherlands ruled that a Grandmother must delete pictures of her three grandchildren that she posted on Facebook and Pinterest without their parents' permission.
The case that ended up in court after a falling-out between the woman and her daughter was within the scope of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Technology • Internet & Web
Twitter test lets users control who can reply to their tweets
Conversation Settings on Twitter
Conversation Settings on Twitter Credit: Twitter

Twitter announced that it’s begun testing a new setting that let users control who can reply to their tweets.
This test phase is open only to a limited group of people globally on Twitter for iOS, Android, and
Quite similar to Facebook’s post view settings, the new featured was previewed earlier this year at CES.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Spotify launches group feature to synchronize music with friends
Spotfy app
Spotfy app Credit: Heidi Fin

The music and podcast streaming service Spotify has launched a new feature called "group session" that enables users to scan a host tag provided by the app and then synchronize what is played in real-time. The feature is currently in beta and users share the basic controls like playing, pausing, skipping and queuing.

Technology • Internet & Web
Kevin Mayer becomes TikTok’s new CEO
iPhone displaying the tik Tok app
iPhone displaying the tik Tok app Credit: Kon Karampelas

Kevin Mayer, the executive who led Disney's streaming efforts, is leaving the company to become the CEO of TikTok.
Founder Yiming Zhang will continue to serve as ByteDance CEO, while TikTok President Alex Zhu will become ByteDance’s VP of product and strategy.

Technology • Internet & Web
Giphy to be bought by Facebook for $400 million
Giphy Logo
Giphy Logo Credit: Giphy

According to a report by Axios, Facebook is set to acquire Giphy, an animated GIF online database and search engine founded in 2013, for $400 million. Giphy will supposedly keep its branding and will soon be integrated into Instagram.

Technology • Internet & Web
Twitter to label misleading Covid-19 tweets
Examples of the new labels to be displayed by Twitter
Examples of the new labels to be displayed by Twitter Credit: Twitter

Twitter will add labels and warning messages that will provide additional context and information on some Tweets containing disputed or misleading information related to Covid-19.
The company announced it would take a case-by-case approach to how it decides which tweets are labelled and will only remove harmful posts.

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook names the first 20 people on its new content oversight board
Members of the Oversight Board
Members of the Oversight Board Credit: Facebook (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Facebook announced today that new content oversight board includes a former head of state, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and several constitutional law experts and rights advocates in its first 20 members.
The content oversight board is an independent body that the social networking platform has launched to reconsider some of its most important content decisions.
The members contract directly with the Oversight Board, are not Facebook employees, and cannot be removed by Facebook. They are Michael McConnell, John Samples, Julie Owono, Nicolas Suzor, Emi Palmor, Afia Asantewaa Asare-Kyei, Ronaldo Lemos, András Sajó, Alan Rusbridger, Nighat Dad, Pamela Karlan, Maina Kiai, Katherine Chen, Tawakkol Karman, Endy Bayuni, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Jamal Greene, Catalina Botero-Marino, Evelyn Aswad.

Technology • Internet & Web
Twitter will test telling users their tweet replies may be offensive or hurtful language

Reuters reports Twitter will test, displaying users a prompt when they reply to a tweet using "offensive or hurtful language." This test is part of an effort to clean up conversations on the social media platform, the company said on Tuesday.
"We're trying to encourage people to rethink their behavior and rethink their language before posting because they often are in the heat of the moment and they might say something they regret,", said Sunita Saligram, Twitter's global head of site policy for trust and safety,

Politics • American • Brazil
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram delete Brazilian President posts

Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, posted videos of himself going into crowds in Brasilia, hyping hydrochloride as a cure, and encouraging an end to isolation.
First, Twitter, and now Facebook and Instagram, deleted the posts for violating platform rules.