Facebook Demands Academics Disable Ad-Targeting Data Tool

Academics, journalists and First Amendment lawyers are rallying behind New York University researchers in a showdown with Facebook over its demand that they halt the collection of data showing who is being micro-targeted by political ads on the world’s dominant social media platform.

The researchers say the disputed tool is vital to understanding how Facebook has been used as a conduit for disinformation and manipulation.

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Holocaust Denial Posts Banned on Another Social Media Platform

Twitter will begin removing posts containing Holocaust denial, a Twitter spokeswoman told Bloomberg News just days after Facebook also implemented a policy banning posts that deny the Holocaust. 

“We strongly condemn anti-semitism, and hateful conduct has absolutely no place on our service,” the spokeswoman told Bloomberg News in a statement. “We also have a robust ‘glorification of violence’ policy in place and take action against content that glorifies or praises historical acts of violence and genocide, including the Holocaust.”

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Commentary: Is Twitter, Facebook Censorship of New York Post Biden-Ukraine Story the Beginning of Social Tyranny?

Twitter and Facebook have both limited distribution of an Oct. 14 report from the New York Post’s Emma-Jo Morris and Gabrielle Fonrouge entitled, “Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad” detailing an alleged meeting between former Vice President Joe Biden and Burisma executive Vadym who Biden’s son, Hunter, used to work for, in April 2015.

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Facebook Will Remove ‘Militarized’ Calls for Unauthorized Poll Watchers

Facebook said Wednesday it will remove posts that use “militarized language” to call for people to participate in poll watching or when the intent behind the posts is to intimidate voters, according to a CNN report.

Posts that use the word “army” or “battle” or that are implicitly threatening would fall under the ban, said Monika Bickert, Facebook’s vice president of content policy, on a call with reporters.

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‘Oil Barons and Railroad Tycoons’: Big Tech Must Be Restructured, House Report Says

Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have abused their monopoly power and must undergo significant restructuring, according to a House report released Tuesday.

Lawmakers who wrote the report said the four tech companies had grown into monopolies akin to “oil barons and railroad tycoons” and suggested an overhaul to U.S. antitrust laws, according to The New York Times. The lengthy report, spearheaded by Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler and David Cicilline, is the result of a 15-month House Judiciary Committee investigation into the companies collectively known as Big Tech.

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Leaked Facebook Memo Describes Company’s Underwhelming Response to Global Political Manipulation

A former Facebook data scientist released a 6,600-word memo on her final day at the company detailing what she considers the tech giant’s lackluster response to fake accounts and activities that impacts elections around the globe. 

The employee, Sophie Zhang, was fired this month from Facebook for what she says was ongoing friction between her and management about the platform’s approach to combating extensive, global manipulation, according to a recent Buzzfeed News report.

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Facebook Will Ban New Political Ads One Week Before the Election to Curb Misinformation

Facebook announced Thursday that it would bar any new political ads from its platform in the final week before the election.

The social network also said that it would remove any measures attempting to dissuade people from voting and would block any candidate’s attempts to claim false victories before official results have been reported, The New York Times reported.

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Facebook Stirs Anger, Abandons Drilling Gear on Oregon Coast

Facebook’s effort to build a landing site in a village on the Oregon coast for a fiber optic cable linking Asia and North America has run into serious trouble.

First, a drill pipe snapped under the seabed. Workers left 1,100 feet of pipe, 6,500 gallons of drilling fluid, a drill tip and other materials under the seabed as they closed down the site, aiming to try again next year.

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Facebook Announces Restrictions on Groups Like QAnon and Antifa

Facebook announced Wednesday that it will take further action against pages, groups, and Instagram accounts associated with anarchist groups and other groups “tied to violence.”

The social media website said it will expand their “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy” to censor groups who reportedly pose a “significant risk” to public safety, such as QAnon, the company said in a statement. Facebook is also taking action against “offline anarchist groups that support violent acts amidst protests,” the statement said.

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COVID-19-Era Public School Models Are Driving Increased Interest in Homeschooling

Virginia parents are increasingly interested in homeschooling due to fear of COVID-19 and frustration over new public school models. Organizations ranging from the state-level Home Educators Association of Virginia to local Facebook groups are providing advice, resources and counseling.

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Twitter, Facebook Hit Trump Over Post Suggesting Children Are ‘Almost Immune’ from Coronavirus

Twitter partially suspended President Donald Trump’s campaign Twitter account on Wednesday for posting a tweet containing a video of Trump suggesting children are “almost immune” to coronavirus.

The post contains an interview Trump gave to Fox News Wednesday morning in which the president made the claim relating to children and the ongoing pandemic, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. Facebook removed a post Wednesday that contained the same video, marking the first time the social media platform has nixed a Trump post over coronavirus misinformation.

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Zuckerberg Mocks Conspiracy Theory Suggesting He Forged a Secret Deal with Trump as ‘Pretty Ridiculous’

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg dismissed speculation that he and President Donald Trump have come to an understanding in an interview published Monday.

“I’ve heard this speculation, too, so let me be clear: There’s no deal of any kind,” Zuckerberg said in an interview with Axios published Monday.

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Facebook’s Software Kit to Blame for Popular Apps Crashing

Friday’s widespread crashes of popular apps running on the iPhone’s iOS operating system — including Tinder, Spotify and Pinterest — serve as a reminder that Facebook is still tracking you through your phone using sophisticated software, even if you’re not browsing the social network.

Early Friday, users of the apps reported crashes when they tried to open them up. Facebook attributed the problem, which was quickly fixed, to a bug in its software development kit, or SDK, a tool developers use to integrate their apps with Facebook.

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Facebook, Contractor Pass the Buck on Who Fired HR Manager Who Said ‘No One Has the White Man’s Back Anymore’

Leslie Brown, the woman who appeared in a Project Veritas video about Facebook who made incendiary comments that debuted Thursday, has been fired.

That’s according to a text message received by Project Veritas CEO James O’Keefe. Project Veritas made the announcement here.

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Project Veritas Exposes Rampant Anti-Conservative Bias of Facebook’s Content Moderators: ‘I Am Going to Delete Them for Terrorism’

A shocking new undercover video from Project Veritas exposes the rampant anti-conservative bias of Facebook’s content moderators, the employees who are responsible for deciding what posts are censored.

Zach McElroy, a former Facebook employee who worked as a content moderator in Tampa, Florida, told Project Veritas that he’s willing to testify before Congress about Facebook’s bias against Trump supporters and conservative causes.

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Facebook Removes President Trump Campaign Ads Alleging the Use of ‘Symbols of Hateful Ideology’

Facebook has removed ads for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign because they featured an upside-down red triangle.

The tech giant said the ads were removed because the symbol was once used by Nazis to designate political prisoners, but Trump’s campaign has noted that the symbol is widely used by Antifa, which is why it was included in the ad.

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Censorship, Antitrust Probes: Big Tech Is Back to Fighting Familiar Foes After Taking on Coronavirus

Amazon, Twitter, and other major tech companies are facing intense criticism on antitrust issues and censorship claims in the months since government officials reportedly began asking for help from Silicon Valley on ways to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The president and lawmakers have turned their sights on Twitter and Amazon, respectively, while Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and other attorneys general are reportedly ratcheting up their antitrust investigation targeting Google’s business model. The White House asked them in March to fight coronavirus disinformation while also assisting the government in its virus response.

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Commentary: Trump Executive Order Strikes at the Heart of Social Media’s Leftist Censorship

President Trump’s long-hoped-for Executive Order on social media censorship is a good first step in dismantling the Left’s dangerous influence over these 21st-century communications vehicles. (You can read the draft that was available online when this article was posted through this link to The National Pulse, edited by Raheem Kassam.)

We particularly agree with this part of the EO’s statement of principles, “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. 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.”

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President Trump Reportedly Considering Forming Panel to Review Anti-Conservative Bias in Big Tech

President Donald Trump is considering forming a commission to review anti-conservative bias on social media platforms, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the idea.

A potential White House-created commission would examine allegations of online bias and censorship, according to the report. The administration will also encourage the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Election Commission to conduct similar reviews, the sources told the WSJ.

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Facebook Offers $100K for Developers Who Create AI to Police ‘Hateful Memes’

Facebook is working to set up an AI meme police.

The social media behemoth said it is creating a contest with a $100,000 prize to encourage developers to create artificial intelligence that can “identify multimodal hate speech.”

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Facebook is in Talks to Buy a Large Cyber-security Company

by Gavin Hanson   Sources inside Facebook say that the company is currently in acquisition talks with more than one major — but unnamed — cyber-security company, according to a report from The Information. Reporters spoke with four anonymous sources who refused to name specific companies but claimed that a…

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Facebook Accused Of Massively Inflating Video Viewership and the Impact on Newsrooms Was Devastating

by Grace Carr   A number of plaintiffs filed a formal complaint Tuesday, alleging Facebook knew about problematic measurement tactics of video viewership and did nothing to address the problem for at least a year. Tuesday’s complaint comes after a 2016 lawsuit against the company that alleges it engaged in…

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Facebook Engineer Quits Over Company’s Mob-Like Attacks on Anyone Opposed to ‘Left-Leaning Ideology’

by Grace Carr   A Facebook engineer announced his resignation Wednesday, decrying the company culture as one that operates on groupthink, uses appeasement as a strategy, and attacks conservative views. “I’m leaving because I’m burnt out on Facebook, our strategy, our culture, and our product,” Brian Amerige wrote in an…

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Google Video Leaked to Breitbart Confirms Tech Giant Wants to Destroy Trump Agenda

A new video leaked exclusively to Breitbart News Wednesday shows high-ranking Google executives plotting to use their tech resources to thwart the Trump agenda during an hour-long weekly rap session. The video, recorded during a 2016 “all hands” meeting at Google’s headquarters, features co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Vice…

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Latino Groups Go To War With Facebook For Requiring ID To Buy Political Ads

Florida Immigration Coalition

by Peter Hasson and Joe Simonson   Facebook’s recent policy changes requiring proof of identity to purchase political ads is unfair to Latino immigrants, several progressive groups claimed Thursday. Facebook began requiring users to submit a government-issued ID and mailing address before purchasing any political ads in April as part of the company’s…

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Thumbs Up: Florida Candidate for Governor, DeSantis Ad Displays Him as More Likable, Less Political

Steve Gill

During Tuesday’s broadcast of The Gill Report – live on WETR 92.3 FM in Knoxville – conservative political commentator and Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill praised Florida Governor Candidate Ron DeSantis for his current ad appealing to the public in a more human than political way.  DeSantis’s wife narrates…

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How Censorship by Facebook Reinforces This Writer’s Point on Liberals’ Intolerance

by Mike Gonzalez   Less than a third of the way into his upcoming book on nationalism, Israeli philosopher and scholar Yoram Hazony warns about the growing censorship constricting debate in Western societies when the opinion in question runs counter to the views of politically correct liberalism. Facebook wasted no time…

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Republican Rep. Gaetz Threatens Twitter with FEC Complaint Over Twitter Suppression, Claims Twitter May Be Giving Opponent Illegal Advantage

Matt Gaetz

by Peter Hasson and Joe Simonson    – Twitter’s recent algorithm change suppressed, or “shadow-banned,” prominent conservatives, including Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, a new report found.  – Gaetz is considering filing a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint against Twitter, he told The Daily Caller News Foundation.  – Gaetz said…

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JC Bowman Commentary: Exposed in a Technological Age

classroom

An old and wise saying challenges us to: “Believe nothing you hear, half of what you read, and some of what you see.”  It is critical to examine issues from all angles, rejecting gossip, mistruths, bias or information not supported or misinterpreted.  Put what you see or read into proper context to make sure what you think you are seeing is factual. 

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Google, Microsoft, Facebook And Twitter Reveal ‘Data Transfer’ Partnership

Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft

by Eric Leiberman   Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook are teaming up to provide users with the capability of transferring data across platforms and services, the latter two social media giants announced Friday morning. After heightened concerns over data utilization (even exploitation and manipulation), companies appear to be trying to…

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Facebook Removes Death Threats Toward Republicans After Florida Representative Matt Gaetz Called It Out

Matt Gaetz

by Kyle Perisic   Facebook removed a page Tuesday that posted incitements to violence and implied death threats after a Republican lawmaker called the company out. During a hearing Tuesday with representatives from Facebook, Twitter and Google, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida asked Facebook’s Head of Global Policy Management Monika…

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California Congresswoman Says There’s No Bias Against Conservatives In Tech – Here’s Why She’s Wrong

Zoe Lofgren

by Kyle Perisic   A Democratic congresswoman said on Tuesday that conservatives and Republicans’ concerns over bias on the Facebook, Google, and Twitter platforms are unjustified. Here’s proof she’s wrong. Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California said at a hearing addressing political discrimination against conservatives and Republicans on Facebook, Google,…

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For Those Who Want A New Facebook: Privacy Advocates Fed Up With The Tech Giant Are Launching Their Own Social Media Platform

Openbook social media

by Eric Lieberman   Cybersecurity and privacy experts are currently in the process of trying to rival Facebook by starting their own social media platform. With a fundraising page set to launch Tuesday, the “open source” social network called Openbook is aimed at “helping make the world a better place,” a similar overarching objective to that of Facebook.…

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Commentary: Should Congress Break Social Media’s Stranglehold on Free Speech?

US Capitol at night

by Jeffery Rendall   Strolling towards the capitol on one of our recent trips to Williamsburg, Virginia, a thought struck me as we neared the reconstructed building; so much went on inside those walls but the people in the street had nary a clue about what was happening at the…

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