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Category Archives: Social Media

DEA Has Permission To Investigate People Protesting George Floyd’s Death

“The Drug Enforcement Administration has been granted sweeping new authority to “conduct covert surveillance” and collect intelligence on people participating in protests over the police killing of George Floyd, according to a two-page memorandum obtained by BuzzFeed News. Floyd’s death “has spawned widespread protests across the nation, which, in some instances, have included violence and looting,” the DEA memo says. “Police agencies in certain areas of the country have struggled to maintain and/or restore order.” The memo requests the extraordinary powers on a temporary basis, and on Sunday afternoon a senior Justice Department official signed off. Attorney General William Barr issued a statement Saturday following a night of widespread and at times violent protests in which he blamed, without providing evidence, “anarchistic and far left extremists, using Antifa-like tactics,” for the unrest. He said the FBI, DEA, US Marshals, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would be “deployed to support local efforts to enforce federal law.”…

How to take back the information you’ve given to all your favorite apps and websites

Popular Science: “Social media networks know a lot about you. In fact, that’s their primary job. They want to collect information about you and use that to sell advertisements that you can’t resist. In return for your data, these companies give you a chance to interact with other users and share your life no matter… Continue Reading

Trump signs order that may impact how social media manage content

Washington Post – “President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order that could open the door for the U.S. government to assume oversight of political speech on the Internet, a broadside against Silicon Valley that a wide array of critics derided as a threat to free speech. The new directive seeks to change a federal… Continue Reading

Trump escalates war on Twitter, social media protections

AP: “President Donald Trump escalated his war on social media companies Thursday, signing an executive order challenging the liability protections that have served as a bedrock for unfettered speech on the internet. Still, the move appears to be more about politics than substance, as the president aims to rally supporters after he lashed out at… Continue Reading

Trump’s executive order targets political bias at Twitter and Facebook: draft

Reuters: “U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to order a review of a law that has long protected Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet’s Google from being responsible for the material posted by their users, according to a draft executive order and a source familiar with the situation. News of the order comes after Trump threatened to… Continue Reading

Appeals court rules in favor of Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter in anti-conservative bias suit

TechCrunch: “The same day Donald Trump took to Twitter to threaten to regulate or shut down social media sites, the U.S. appeals court in Washington, D.C. dismissed a lawsuit accusing top tech companies of silencing conservative voices. Filed in 2018 by nonprofit Freedom Watch and right-wing gadfly Laura Loomer, the suit accused Apple, Facebook, Twitter… Continue Reading

Twitter fact-checks Trump’s tweets for first time

Washington Post – Twitter labels Trump’s tweets with a fact check for the first time – The action comes after years of criticism that social media companies have allowed the president to push misinformation unchecked… But Trump has made dozens of false claims on social media, particularly on his preferred medium of Twitter, and has… Continue Reading

Lumen database collects and analyzes legal complaints and requests for removal of online materials

“The Lumen database collects and analyzes legal complaints and requests for removal of online materials, helping Internet users to know their rights and understand the law. These data enable us to study the prevalence of legal threats and let Internet users see the source of content removals…” Lumen is an independent research project studying cease… Continue Reading

New Map Reveals Distrust in Health Expertise Is Winning Hearts and Minds Online

GW Today – Researchers warn scientists are fighting health misinformation in the wrong place. “Communities on Facebook that distrust establishment health guidance are more effective than government health agencies and other reliable health groups at reaching and engaging “undecided” individuals, according to a first-of-its-kind study published today by researchers at George Washington University and other… Continue Reading

Considering the Source: Varieties of COVID-19 Information

LC CRS Reports – Considering the Source: Varieties of COVID-19 Information, May 19, 2020: “In common parlance, the terms propaganda, misinformation, and disinformation are often used interchangeably, often with connotations of deliberate untruths of nefarious origin.In a national security context, however, these terms refer to categories of information that are created and disseminated with different… Continue Reading

Test & Trace: A Strategy to Reopen Economies Safely

“#TestAndTrace is an organization working to popularize the concept with the public and help implement Test and Trace in the United States. Our team previously helped power and scale the #Masks4All movement which has popularized the use of homemade masks in public and has reached ~1+ billion people (via social media, news outlets, and governments) in the first… Continue Reading

Trump Is Treating Michigan the Way He Treated Ukraine

Rolling Stone: “A few weeks before President Trump was impeached last December for attempting to blackmail Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden, Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan warned the House Judiciary Committee of a future in which the president used similar tactics on his own country: “Imagine living in a part of Louisiana or Texas that’s… Continue Reading