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    👍|Twitter and India play tug-of-war with democracy

    Amid protests in India against three agricultural reform acts passed last September, the government – led by the ruling right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (or BJP) – has cracked down on dissenting voices online, demanding that social media platforms remove posts criticising the government’s conduct. Twitter at first made a laudable effort to stand up to the government, but later backed down, complying with requests in a move that indicates the company’s willingness to put profit before people. Twitter’s move is extremely disappointing, but – for those who know the company’s history – is simply …

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    👍|Criticism of Zionism is not anti-semitic, Faceb…

    Facebook is facing a dilemma. The social media Goliath finds itself caught in a debate over the use of the political label “Zionist”. Supporters of Israel are pressing Facebook to treat the term “Zionist” as a proxy for “Jew”, and to therefore label harsh criticisms of Zionism – a political ideology that must surely be open to criticism in any free society – as anti-semitism, a hateful ideology that has no place in civil discourse. Facebook commonly defends its platform on the basis of free speech in an attempt to avoid having to do the often complicated, controversial, and difficult work of m…

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    👍|After Facebook, Twitter ban, Trump fans and ext…

    Gab instead of Twitter, MeWe over Facebook, Telegram for messaging and Discord for insiders – banned from mainstream platforms, US conspiracy and supremacist movements, many of which support Donald Trump, have shifted to networks that are more confidential, and harder to regulate. “The most extreme Trump supporters were already on alternative platforms,” said Nick Backovic, a researcher at Logically.AI, a company specializing in digital disinformation. “The fact that Facebook and Twitter took so long to (ban them) allowed influencers to rebuild conversation and groups almost seamlessly.” After…

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    👍|Facebook shuts down Myanmar army ‘True News’ page

    A Facebook page run by the Myanmar junta’s “True News” information service was kicked off the platform on Sunday after the tech giant accused it of inciting violence. Security forces in the country have steadily increased violence against a massive and largely peaceful civil disobedience campaign demanding the return of deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The Nobel laureate was taken into custody along with her top political allies at the start of the month, but the new regime has insisted it took power lawfully. It has used Facebook to claim Suu Kyi’s landslide election victory last Nov…

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    👍|Taliban tweet threatens Malala, Twitter removes…

    A Pakistani Taliban militant who nine years ago is alleged to have shot and badly wounded Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai has threatened a second attempt on her life, tweeting that next time, “there would be no mistake.” Twitter on Wednesday permanently suspend the account with the menacing post. The threat prompted Yousafzai to tweet herself, asking both the Pakistan military and Prime Minister Imran Khan to explain how her alleged shooter, Ehsanullah Ehsan, had escaped from government custody. Ehsan was arrested in 2017, but escaped in January 2020 from a so-called safe house where he was be…

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    👍|Myanmar restricts Twitter as outrage over coup …

    Myanmar lost access to Twitter on Friday night, the latest move to stifle dissent as the military widened an internet ban days after a coup that has drawn global condemnation and the threat of new sanctions. De facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi was detained Monday and ousted from power, returning the country to military rule after a 10-year dalliance with democracy. Facebook was the first platform that saw issues on Wednesday, and by Thursday, Myanmar users had flocked to Twitter to spread a hashtag campaign against the military putsch with millions of mentions. But around 10 pm local time (1530 G…

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    👍|Myanmar blocks Facebook as resistance grows to …

    Myanmar’s new military government has blocked access to Facebook as resistance to Monday’s coup surged amid calls for civil disobedience to protest the ousting of the elected civilian government and its leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Facebook is especially popular in Myanmar and the ousted government had commonly made public announcements on the social media site. Internet users said the disruption began late Wednesday night, and mobile service provider Telenor Myanmar confirmed in a statement that mobile operators and internet service providers in Myanmar had received a directive from the communica…

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    👍|In a first, Twitter restricts ‘hateful’ LGBTQ p…

    Twitter on Tuesday labeled as “hateful” a post by Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu that described members of the LBGTQ community as “deviants”. It is the first time the social media giant has restricted a post by a Turkish official. The move comes against the background of ongoing protests at an Istanbul university over the appointment of a rector by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Four Bogazici University students were detained last week over a piece of protest art that superimposed LGBTQ community flags over an image of Islam’s holiest site, the Great Mosque of Mecca and the Kaaba at…

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    👍|Twitter blocks US Chinese embassy account over …

    Twitter has locked the official Twitter account of the Chinese Embassy in the US following a tweet that defended Beijing’s discriminatory practises against its Uighur Muslim population in Xinjiang. Critics of the regime, as well as reported first-hand accounts by doctors who have worked in Xinjiang have spoken of China engaging in the forced sterilisation of Uighur women, among other atrocities. The tweet in question said Uighur women were no longer “baby-making machines”, according to Bloomberg. It had originally been shared on 7 January and was removed by Twitter 24 hours later with a label …

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    👍|Turkey hits Twitter, Pinterest with advertising…

    Turkey on Tuesday hit Twitter, Pinterest and Periscope with advertising bans after they failed to follow Facebook and appoint a local representative to take down contentious posts under a new media law. Freedom of speech defenders warn the law is part of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s attempt to control social media and stop any dissent against his government. The social media legislation passed last year meant networks with over a million users had to appoint an envoy to handle court orders to remove offending content within 48 hours. The bans on the three platforms came into force …

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    👍|Facebook to appoint Turkey envoy to comply with…

    Facebook said on Monday it will appoint a representative in Turkey to comply with a new social media law aimed at forcing platforms to quickly remove contentious posts. The US social media giant’s announcement came a day before it and other non-complying platforms were due to face advertising bans in Turkey. Media freedom advocates view the law as part of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s effort to limit political discourse and stifle dissent — a drive that gained added momentum after he survived a failed coup in 2016. But Facebook said its decision did not mean it was changing the way it hand…

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    👍|Iraq calls on Facebook, Twitter to reconsider b…

    Baghdad called on Facebook and Twitter to reverse a decision to ban accounts linked to the Iraq’s paramilitary Popular Mobilisation Forces on Friday. The Iraqi Media and Communications Commission sent an official request to the social media giants on Friday, saying the move “affects institutions of the Iraqi state as well as respect for freedom of opinion”. The PMF – Hashed al-Shaabi in Arabic – is an umbrella group comprising of more than 70 armed factions and has close ties to Tehran. The network is overseen by the Iraqi government. Baghdad’s statements on Friday said the government has been…

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    👍|WhatsApp delays data sharing change after backlash

    WhatsApp on Friday postponed a data-sharing change as users concerned about privacy fled the Facebook-owned messaging service and flocked to rivals Telegram and Signal. The smartphone app, a huge hit across the world, canceled its February 8 deadline for accepting an update to its terms concerning sharing data with Facebook, saying it would use the pause to clear up misinformation around privacy and security. “We’ve heard from so many people how much confusion there is around our recent update,” WhatsApp said in a blog post. “This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook….

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    👍|A Trump supporter is trying to sue Twitter for …

    An American citizen is allegedly suing Twitter for “pain and suffering” after Twitter permanently suspended the outgoing US President Donald Trump’s account over posts that were deemed to incite violence that led to the storming of Capitol Hill. A man called “Erik Estavillo” is attempting to sue Twitter, as well as Somali-American congresswoman Ilhan Omar and US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) who are leading the impeachment charge against the Trump. The lawsuit was reportedly filed on Wednesday. The court papers read that Estavillo “seeks restitution for the unsolicited and overb…

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    👍|Facebook exec says ‘no plans’ to end Trump ban

    Facebook does not intend to lift the suspension on outgoing President Donald Trump, the platform’s second in command Sheryl Sandberg said Monday. “Our ban is indefinite. We have said at least through the transition. But we have no plans to lift it,” Facebook’s chief operating officer said at an online forum organized by Reuters. The social network last week suspended Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the aftermath the violent invasion of the US Capitol by a mob of his supporters, which disrupted the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory. Twitter went a step fur…

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    👍|Rohingya rights group urges Facebook to suspend…

    A Rohingya rights group has called on Facebook to suspend Burmese military accounts which promote recruitment and those of companies with ties to the army, Anadolu Agency report. “Donald Trump has been suspended for inciting violence, but the Burmese military commit violence against civilians every day and are free to use Facebook to recruit soldiers to commit that violence”, said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “Military owned companies are allowed to use Facebook to promote products, the profits from which fund the military and help fund violations of international law, includi…

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    👍|Twitter removes Khamenei vaccine tweet for ‘vio…

    Twitter has removed a tweet by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggesting coronavirus vaccines made in the United States and Britain are “untrustworthy”, saying the post violated its rules. “Importing vaccines made in the US or the UK is prohibited. They’re completely untrustworthy. It’s not unlikely they would want to contaminate other nations,” said a tweet posted on Friday on Khamenei’s English-language Twitter account. “Given our experience with France’s HIV-tainted blood supplies, French vaccines aren’t trustworthy either,” the Iranian leader added in the tweet with the hasht…

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    👍|Twitter removes ‘dehumanising’ Chinese embassy …

    Twitter on Saturday removed a controversial tweet by the Chinese embassy in Washington, after activists voiced outrage over its “dehumanising” message on Uighur women. The tweet, posted on Thursday, drew widespread condemnation for claiming that Uighur women have had their minds “emancipated” and are no longer “baby-making machines”. “We prohibit the dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion, race, or ethnicity, among other categories,” a Twitter spokesperson told Ars Technica. China’s embassy promoted on Thursday a study in state-run media that claimed that the birth rate de…

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    👍|Twitter boots Trump to stop violence-sparking t…

    Twitter shut down President Donald Trump’s account Friday, booting him from the global service to prevent another attack on the US Capitol building. Trump had fervently used @realDonaldTrump for proclamations, accusations and misinformation unchallenged for his entire time in office. Twitter’ decision to permanently suspend Trump is considered overdue by critics who argue he has gotten away with abuses, but has inflamed members of the far-right who equate fact-checking with stifling free speech. “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account,” Twitter said in a blog pos…

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    👍|Facebook bans Trump ‘indefinitely’: Zuckerberg

    Facebook banned President Donald Trump from the platform “indefinitely” due to the US leader’s efforts to incite the violence in the US capital this week, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday. Zuckerberg said on his Facebook page that the ban, which was announced Wednesday for 24 hours, was extended because of Trump’s “use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.” “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” he wrote. “Therefore, we are extending the block we …

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    👍|Twitter suspends Trump amid Capitol violence

    In an unprecedented step, Twitter suspended the account of President Donald Trump for 12 hours Wednesday after he repeatedly posted false accusations about the election after his supporters stormed the Capitol following a Trump rally. Twitter said that future violations by Trump would result in a permanent suspension. Earlier in the day, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube all removed a short video from Trump in which he urged those supporters Wednesday to “go home” while also repeating falsehoods about the integrity of the presidential election. Trump posted that video more than two hours after pro…

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    👍|US Congress members criticise Facebook’s failur…

    The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a major US Muslim advocacy group, has welcomed a letter by Michigan congresswoman Debbie Dingell calling on Facebook to take “immediate action” to remove anti-Muslim hate speech from its website. Dingell, who represents Michigan’s 12 Congressional District, said that Facebook “cannot celebrate the success of its platform, while ignoring its role in elevating the dangerous, deadly content targeting Muslim people”. 29 other members of the US Congress signed the letter, which noted that the killing of fifty-one Muslims at mosques in Christchurch i…

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    👍|Trump Twitter account hacked, no charges: Dutch…

    Dutch prosecutors on Wednesday said a man had cracked US President Donald Trump’s Twitter account in October despite denials from Washington and the company, but added that the so-called “ethical hacker” would not face charges. The man, named as Victor Gevers in Dutch media, reportedly hacked into Trump’s account @realDonaldTrump by guessing his password on October 16, Dutch media reports said. Both the White House and Twitter have strenuously denied reports that the account had been hacked. Read also: Israeli intelligence firm hacked phone at Saudi Arabia’s request, report claims Gevers, 44, …

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    👍|Instagram ‘censors’ Iranian support for assassi…

    Instagram has removed posts supporting Iran’s top nuclear scientist who was assassinated on Friday, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.Iranian social media users voiced anger over the removal of posts condemning the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Fars reported.Fakhrizadeh headed Tehran’s since-disbanded nuclear weapons programme.The Facebook-owned company has previously removed posts celebrating controversial Iranian officals.Earlier this year, Instagram said it would reove posts voicing support for Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian Republican Guards Corps commander who was killed in a US …

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    👍|Twitter flags ‘president-elect Biden’ posts as …

    Twitter on Friday flagged as premature posts referring to Joe Biden as “president-elect”, as the vote count continued in the knife-edge US election with the Democrat leading Donald Trump in several key states.Tweets referring to the former vice president with the victor’s title and his running mate Kamala Harris as “vice president-elect” were tagged with messages saying counts were not yet final.”Official sources may not have called the race when this was tweeted,” read a Twitter message below a post from Democratic Coalition co-founder and podcaster Scott Dworkin using the two titles for Bide…

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    👍|Twitter bans former Trump aide Steve Bannon’s a…

    Twitter said Friday it permanently banned an account created by former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon which had called for the execution of federal officials during this week’s post-election social media turmoil.The @WarRoomPandemic account was “permanently suspended for violating the Twitter Rules, specifically our policy on the glorification of violence,” a statement from the social media platform said.Before the account was blocked, it included a call by Bannon to cut off the heads of FBI director Christopher Wray and top pandemic official Anthony Fauci.Bannon tweeted that he would “put …

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    👍|Twitter suspends accounts for ‘coordination’ am…

    Twitter has suspended a number of accounts for posting identical US election-related content that appeared to be covertly automated, in breach of the social media platform’s policy against “coordination”.Among the accounts suspended were FJNewsReporter, Crisis_Intel, Faytuks and SVNewsAlerts – some of which had encouraged their followers to subscribe to each other.The SVNewsAlerts account alone had gained more than 10,000 followers in the week running up to 3 November, bringing its total follower count to over 78,000. The account echoed rhetoric from US President Donald Trump’s camp about voti…

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    👍|Social media on high alert, Trump post flagged …

    Twitter labelled a Donald Trump post as potentially misleading while social media platforms kept on high alert against election misinformation early on Wednesday, with the outcome of the US presidential vote yet to be called.Aiming to avoid problems that occurred in the 2016 campaign, Facebook, Twitter and Google-owned YouTube have all implemented policies aimed at heading off the spread of false information designed to sway the outcome of this year’s poll.Twitter covered the Trump tweet with a notice that it contained information that was potentially misleading, requiring people to click thro…

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    👍|Twitter, Facebook flag Trump post on Pennsylvan…

    Twitter and Facebook on Monday labeled as “misleading” an election eve post by US President Donald Trump claiming mail-in ballots in the key state of Pennsylvania would lead to “rampant” fraud and street violence.The US Supreme Court dealt Trump’s reelection campaign a blow last week when it ruled to allow mail-in ballots in the swing state to be counted up to three days after the actual election night on November 3.The Republican leader has been vocal about his opposition to mail-in ballots, often claiming without evidence that the process will be rigged against him.”The Supreme Court decisio…

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    👍|Instagram suspends Iranian supreme leader Khame…

    Instagram has suspended the French language page of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, just two days after he posted a message aimed at the youth of France.Khamenei on Wednesday made a post for the French youth in which he asked them to direct questions to French President Emmanuel Macron.“Why is questioning the Holocaust a crime in France, while it is permissible to offend the Messenger of God (PBUH)?” he wrote.The post continued: “Why does he support insulting the Messenger of God (PBUH) and considers it freedom of expression? Does freedom of expression mean: insulting and offend…

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    👍|Former Malaysia PM claims removed France posts …

    Malaysia’s former premier Mahathir Mohamad accused Twitter and Facebook of unfair treatment Friday after they removed his posts that said Muslims had the right “to kill millions of French people”.The 95-year-old sparked outrage by posting the remarks on the platforms a day earlier, shortly after a knifeman killed three people at a church in Nice, France’s latest attack blamed on Islamist terrorism.But Mahathir, who was prime minister of Muslim-majority Malaysia until February, said his comments had been misrepresented and his main intention was to express that Muslims had never sought revenge …

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    👍|Twitter bans Saudi-linked accounts impersonatin…

    Twittersaid on Thursday it hadremoved33 accounts linked to the Saudi government that impersonated key political figures fromrivalQatar.”These accounts were created to impersonate keyQataripolitical figures and to advance narratives about Qatari politics which are geostrategically favorable to theSaudiauthorities,” the micro-blogging site said in a statement.The accounts were deleted as part of a wide-ranging campaign to tackle state-linked disinformation on Twitter.The latest sweep also saw theremovalof more than 100 accounts linked to Iran.”We identified a network of primarily compromised acc…

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    👍|Delhi summons top Indian Facebook official over…

    Delhi summonedFacebook’s India chiefon Saturday to answer allegations thatthe social media giantfailed to removedangerous contentin its biggest market globally.India is the US-based firm and its messaging service WhatsApp’s biggest market in terms of users, and the company is under pressure worldwide over the policing of hate speech.Facebook has been embroiled in a huge row in India after the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported in August that the site failed to take down anti-Muslim comments by a politician from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in order to protect its business interests….

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    👍|HRW calls on Facebook, YouTube to preserve war …

    Social media platforms such asFacebookare being urged to preserve footage documenting war crimes, saying the videos and photos could be used in the future as evidence when holding the perpetrators accountable, a new report fromHuman Rights Watchsaid.The calls from HRW and other rights groups come as websites like Facebook and YouTube delete content deemed “inciting or promoting violence”.But the purge also risks destroying crucial evidence that could prove be used in human rights abuse cases.”Some of the content that Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms are taking down has crucial and irrepl…

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    👍|Facebook bans India ruling party politician ove…

    Facebookhas banned an outspoken right-wingIndianpolitician for spreading hate speech aboutMuslimsas thesocial mediagiant battles accusations of bias over its handling of rival parties in the key market.T. Raja Singh, a regional lawmaker for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party, was blocked “for violating our policy prohibiting those that promote or engage in violence and hate from having a presence on our platform”, a Facebook spokesman said.An “extensive” process was followed in making the decision to block Raja Singh, the spokesman added.Raja, who made headlines for reportedly saying …