Two of the largest news publications in the country, the Associated Press (AP) and Reuters, have teamed up with one of the leading tech giants, Twitter, in a new partnership to crack down on “misinformation” and “elevate credible information,” the Daily Caller reports.
Twitter confirmed the new alliance in a blog post, saying that the two publications would be responsible for identifying “misleading” information, and to help Twitter expand its efforts to mediate trending stories, “especially where facts are in dispute.” The websites will also help Twitter staff whenever they lack “sufficient expertise or access to a high enough volume of reputable reporting.”
“This program is just part of our ongoing efforts to help people understand the conversation happening on our service,” the Twitter blog post continued. “People experience a range of public conversations on Twitter every day, and we’re committed to continuing our work to elevate credible information and context.”
Saint Joseph’s University will not renew its contract with math Professor Gregory Manco despite the fact that a three-month investigation into his Twitter history found he had not violated any campus policies.
Manco has been a non-tenured assistant professor of math at Saint Joseph’s since 2005 and also a volunteer assistant baseball coach, but tweets in February criticizing slavery reparations and racial bias training had prompted the probe even though he used an anonymous account.
He was put on administrative leave during the probe. Its outcome, announced in May, determined Manco could not be found guilty of violating any policies, citing “insufficient evidence.”
Big Tech companies reported massive, record-breaking earnings figures as their sales continued to surge amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Google, Apple, Microsoft and Twitter all beat earnings estimates and showed large revenue growth, executives for the tech companies said during earnings calls Tuesday evening. The four companies’ earnings reports suggested that the growth experienced by Big Tech during the pandemic will continue apace.
“Our long-term investments in AI and Google Cloud are helping us drive significant improvements in everyone’s digital experience,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a statement Tuesday, explaining his company’s strong performance.
Twitter permanently suspended several accounts dedicated to documenting the Arizona audit. The social media giant also permanently suspended other similar or affiliated accounts covering the audit or calls for an audit in Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.
The suspended accounts were: @arizonaaudit, @AuditWarRoom, @AuditMichigan, @AuditWisconsin, @AuditNevada, @AuditGeorgia, @Audit_Arizona and @Audit_PA. The latter 7 accounts are associated with an Instagram account, @auditwarroom, that hasn’t been suspended from the Facebook-owned platform. That account notified the public that it joined GETTR, a social media platform created by former President Donald Trump’s aide Jason Miller.
Senate Democrats introduced legislation Thursday removing liability protections from online platforms that promote content deemed health misinformation.
The bill, proposed by Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Ben Ray Lujan on Thursday, seeks to carve out an exception from Section 230 liability shields enjoyed by online platforms, such as Facebook or YouTube, if those platforms boost content classified as health misinformation, Vox first reported.
The legislation, known as the Health Misinformation Act, directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create a definition of health misinformation, and strips liability protections from platforms “if the provider promotes that health misinformation through an algorithm used by the provider.” HHS defined health misinformation in an advisory last week as “information that is false, inaccurate, or misleading according to the best available evidence.”
For Big Tech billionaires, these are the best of times, and the worst of times.
Why the best? Because the long arm of social media and online commerce has never reached further and deeper into Americans’ culture, spending habits, lifestyles, and worldview. Likewise, the net worth of these billionaires has risen to undreamed-of heights. COVID was, for tech barons, a blessing in disguise: it trapped Americans indoors, where they could do little else but browse the web, consume digital entertainment, and spend their stimulus dollars on imported Chinese doohickeys. Even as the dreaded virus has retreated, Big Tech has successfully locked in its gains.
Why the worst of times, though? The very rise of Big Tech has portended greater scrutiny. The debasement of Big Tech’s competitors and natural enemies—from brick-and-mortar stores to Trump supporters—has ensured that the drumbeat of criticism of social media companies and online retailers has never been more stridently percussive.
The founder of CloutHub, a free speech social media network, has responded to former President Donald J. Trump’s class action lawsuit against several Silicon Valley titans, which the forty-fifth president announced Wednesday.
“I am pleased that President Trump is fighting back against Big Tech corporations after enduring months of blatant injustices,” Jeff Brain said in press release. “His lawsuit is based on the infringement of his fundamental free speech rights that powerful companies such as Facebook and Twitter imposed based on their own political bias; a bias that has no place with such important keepers of our national public square online.”
Facebook users are expressing shock and dismay after being spammed with messages touting a support group for people concerned about “extremists.”
“Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist?” the message begins. “We care about preventing extremism on Facebook. Others in your situation have received confidential support,” the message continues.
The Facebook message goes on to suggest that “you can help” by joining their support group. “Hear stories and get help from people who have escaped violent extremist groups,” the message concludes.
There are few, if any, political issues that now generate the breadth and intensity of bipartisan backlash as does the rise of Big Tech.
During Donald Trump’s presidency, the major parties largely diverged on their specific grievances against the woke Silicon Valley monopolists who serve as gatekeepers for America’s 21st-century public square. Republicans, by and large, focused on censorship of conservative online speech. Democrats, by contrast, tended to focus on economic concentration; the five American corporations with the largest market caps, for example, are tech behemoths Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google Alphabet, and Facebook. This divergence has stymied efforts to rein in the Big Tech oligarchy on issues such as Section 230, the 1990s-era provision permitting platforms to engage in publisher-like content-moderation decisions without being legally treated as publishers.
Conservatives still have myriad concerns with Big Tech’s noxious brew of speech suppressions, shadow bans, and unaccountable deplatformings. Those concerns are both legitimate and justified by Big Tech’s ever-expanding list of misdeeds. But there is an emerging sea change in the way conservatives conceptualize the relationship between Big Tech’s unfettered content-moderation leeway and the sheer economic clout wielded by the relevant corporate actors.
Conservative political commentator and attorney Rogan O’Handley is suing former California Secretary of State and now U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, current Calif. SoS Shirley Weber, Twitter, Team Biden campaign consultants SKDK, and others, for coordinating to deplatform him from Twitter after he tweeted his concerns about the 2020 election.
The Center for American Liberty in conjunction with the Dhillon Law Group, Inc. filed the federal civil rights lawsuit on Thursday in the United States District Court in Central California.
O’Handley spent years developing a verified Twitter account with 440,000 followers only to find his account permanently suspended at the direction of the Secretary of State’s office, according to a press release from Center for American Liberty.
Google announced that it will remove its global lead for diversity strategy and research, Kamau Bobb, after a 2007 blog post in which he’d made antisemitic comments surfaced, Fox News reported. Bobb will be reassigned to a STEM research role.
The reassignment comes after revelations that Bobb had previously authored a blog post that contained antisemitic statements.
In a 2007 blog post by Bobb titled “If I Were a Jew,” he wrote that Jewish people had an “insensitivity” to suffering and stated “If I were a Jew I would be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and killing in defense of myself.” The post has since been removed, but is recorded here.
The Biden administration aims to send $861 million to Central American countries to address causes of mass migration to the U.S., according to the budget released Friday.
The administration plans to provide $861 million in federal aid to El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico in order to “address the root causes of irregular migration,” according to the proposed budget for 2022. Vice President Kamala Harris asked private sector companies to “make new, significant commitments” to create sustainable economic opportunities aimed at ending the migration crisis at the southern border on Thursday, according to the White House.
“Our comprehensive strategy to address the root causes of migration will involve significant commitments of U.S. government resources to support the long-term development of the region—including efforts to foster economic opportunity, strengthen governance, combat corruption, and improve security,” the White House said in a statement.
Aformer federal judge who serves on Facebook’s oversight board on Sunday slammed the social media giant for “arbitrary” and “inconsistent” enforcement of its rules in the aftermath of a permanent ban on Donald Trump’s account.
“We gave them a certain amount of time to get their house in order,” Michael McConnell told Fox News Sunday. “They needed some time because their rules are a shambles. They are not transparent. They are unclear. They are internally inconsistent.”
McConnell said the board made a series of recommendations “about how to make their rules clearer and more consistent.”
Many Republicans in Congress have reignited their calls to break up the big tech companies after Facebook announced last week they would maintain the suspension of former President Donald Trump’s account.
A new poll released by Rasmussen Friday found that 59% of likely voters “believe operators of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are politically biased in the decisions they make” with only 26% disagreeing. The rest are unsure.
The poll results went on to say that “a majority of voters now favor ending legal protections for social media companies.” The reported public opinion against the tech giants comes the same week Facebook announced they would keep Trump suspended from their platform, citing his alleged role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
Former President Trump has launched a new platform to communicate with the public, adding a page on donaldjtrump.com that looks something like a social media feed.
The page headlined “From The Desk of Donald J. Trump,” includes statements from Trump as well as a video at the very top of the feed apparently advertising the new communications outlet.
The posts have buttons for people to share to Twitter and Facebook. “This is just a one-way communication,” a source informed Fox News. “This system allows Trump to communicate with his followers.”
Twitter’s stock fell 15 percent last week apparently because they’re not getting sufficient numbers of new users to please the market. People are not as intrigued as they used to be with an allegedly open social media platform that’s not really open, in fact is something of a dictatorship.
I know you’re not supposed to kick someone when they’re down. But when that someone has been acting in the most unAmerican, peremptory ways for years, as if the Bill of Rights never existed, censoring people without explanation—even a former president—blocking free discussion of medical science, for Heaven’s sake, and treating conservatives and libertarians pretty much the way Ferdinand and Isabella treated the Jews before they finally kicked them out of Spain, it’s time to take action.
And, when that “down” is the first chink in the armor of Big Tech that has dominated discourse in this country and around the world to a degree never thought possible, it is all the more urgent to let that foot fly and jump up and down on top a little as well if necessary.
Michael Rectenwald got himself chased out of New York University when the self-identified communist copped to tweeting against trigger warnings, safe spaces and bias reporting under the pseudonym “Deplorable NYU Prof.”
The professor left two years ago with a golden parachute — the result of a legal settlement with the private university that included a retirement package.
He’s not content anymore with just writing polemical books and fiction in retirement. Now Rectenwald is scouting for academics to join an educational startup, American Scholars, that is launching this summer.
Government documents from Florida show that social media giant Twitter failed to properly file to do business in the state, incurring a fine for transacting business there without the official permission of state officials.
The documents, available on the website of the Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations, show that in March the department received from Twitter an “application by foreign corporation for authorization to transact business in Florida.”
The application reveals that Twitter “first transacted business in Florida” in June 2015, apparently well before it registered to do business there. A letter sent back to Twitter by the department indicates that the social media company failed to properly register with the state, potentially for many years.
The term “Uncle Tim,” a play on the racist term “Uncle Tom” often used to deride African Americans perceived as working against their own racial interests, trended on Twitter Wednesday night after Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) gave his rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s joint address to Congress.
Country music star John Rich of “Big and Rich” blasted the microblogging site’s CEO Jack Dorsey over the trend:
Twitter is refusing to address whether a tweet by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James violated the platform’s terms of service.
James tweeted, then deleted, a picture Wednesday of Ohio police officer Nicholas Reardon who shot 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant as she attempted to stab another girl, body cam footage showed.
“YOU’RE NEXT,” James tweeted to his millions of followers with the hashtag #ACCOUNTABILITY. He has since deleted the tweet.
According to a the most recent quarterly censorship report card from the Media Research Center (MRC), most of the major Silicon Valley tech titans are failing to protect freedom of expression.
“By almost any measure, the first three months of 2021 were the worst ever for online freedom. Amazon, Twitter, Apple, Google, Facebook, YouTube and others proved to the world that the Big Tech censorship of conservatives is a reality,” the group said. “And they did so in disturbing, authoritarian ways that highlight their unchecked power over information and our political process.”
Twitter defended its decision allowing users to share articles that cite hacked information about people who donated to the 18-year-old accused of killing protesters in Wisconsin last summer.
The content did not violate the company’s distribution of hack materials policy because it does not directly link to the hacked information, a Twitter spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. The content in question would have been removed if hacked materials were shared in a tweet or in an image tweeted, according to Twitter.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is being blasted online for releasing biographical information of all twelve jurors plus two alternates in the Derek Chauvin trial in the killing of George Floyd.
Without naming the jurors, reporters Paul Walsh and Hannah Sayle on Tuesday published enough details about their lives, internet sleuths and local snoops may be able to figure out who they are.
Walsh is a general assignment reporter at the Star-Tribune, and Sayle is a digital features editor. Online critics are accusing the paper of trying to intimidate the jurors into reaching a guilty verdict.
James O’Keefe, president and founder of Project Veritas, was permanently banned from Twitter after he posted a series of embarrassing and damning videos exposing the left-wing activism of CNN.
Liberal activists increased calls for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to step down Friday after he spoke out against packing the court.
Breyer spoke with Harvard Law School Students earlier this week and warned them that packing the court could negatively affect the United States rule of law.
“Proposals have been recently made to increase the number of Supreme Court justices. I’m sure that others will discuss related political arguments,” he said, Fox News reported. “This lecture reflects my own effort to be certain that those who are going to debate these questions … also consider an important institutional point. Consider it. Namely, how would court packing reflect and affect the rule of law itself?”
Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island will close its Confucius Institute, according to an announcement by President Ross Gittell.
“After 15 years of values language and cultural programs provided through the Confucius Institute at Bryant University, we have chosen not to apply for continued funding at the expiration of the Confucius Institute contract,” Gittell wrote on March 22, “The university will evaluate changes that are taking place in China regarding U.S.-China Relations before making any future commitment.”
Gittell maintained that developing students’ “global mindset is a cornerstone of Bryant’s mission,” noting that the university will still offer “high quality business education through our curriculum offerings in Zhuhai [China].”
On Tuesday, Big Tech giant Twitter announced that it had banned approximately 373 accounts for allegedly posting content that “undermined faith in the NATO alliance and its stability,” as reported by Breitbart.
Twitter claimed that the accounts in question were part of “state-linked information operations” that were supposedly linked to the governments of Russia, Iran, and Armenia. Of the 373, 130 were targeted “based on intel provided by the FBI” that claimed the accounts had attempted to “disrupt the public conversation during the first 2020 U.S. presidential debate.”
The author of a tweet introduced by Democrats at the Senate impeachment trial said Thursday her statement “we are bringing the Calvary” was a clear reference to a prayer vigil organized by churchgoers supporting Trump and not a call for military-like violence at the Capitol riot as portrayed by Rep. Eric Swalwell.
Jennifer Lynn Lawrence also said she believes the California Democrat and House impeachment manager falsified her tweet, adding a blue check mark to the version he introduced at the trial suggesting she was a verified Twitter user with more clout when in fact her Twitter account never had a blue check and has never been verified.
“I noticed when they put my tweet on the screen that all of a sudden my tweet had a blue checkmark next to it,” she said during an interview on the John Solomon Reports podcast. “… This way, if he entered that into congressional testimony, it’s a verified account, and it has, it could be applicable in law. Secondly, he wanted to show that my Twitter account had more gravitas than it actually did. He wanted to show that the president was trying to use me to bring in the cavalry.”
Twitter has permanently banned the account of My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, a supporter of former President Trump who also is among those publicly claiming widespread voter fraud in the 2020 elections.
“This account was suspended for repeated violations of our civic integrity policy,” Twitter said late Monday.
The New York Times recently posted what it claims is a complete list of President Trump’s Twitter insults. Conservatives should archive this article from the New York Times before the typists the Democrat National Committee assigned the Grey Lady recognize the irony inherent in the article and take it down.
Some items on the list hardly qualify as “insults,” unless stating in truth is an insult.
For nearly two decades, Silicon Valley made net neutrality its highest policy priority. Under the banner of a “free and open” internet, Google, Facebook, and Twitter sought regulations to ensure the uninterrupted flow of information by treating every bit equally. Or so they said.
Beginning last Friday night, these firms and others executed an unprecedented digital purge of the social media and video accounts of their political rivals. After several years of accelerating suspensions and suppressions, this time YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter permanently banned a number of high-profile conservatives and deplatformed thousands of others, at least temporarily. Many of these accounts had nothing to do with last Wednesday’s heinous events at the Capitol. Yet their histories are erased.
Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga said Monday that Hungary is considering sanctions against big tech firms over alleged “systemic abuses” of free speech, Reuters reported.
Varga plans to meet with the Hungarian Competition Authority this week to discuss possible penalties for what he says are unfair commercial practices utilized by social media firms including Facebook and Twitter, according to Reuters. In addition, the minister plans to convene a meeting with the state-sponsored Digital Freedom Committee.
Twitter suspended Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene from her personal account temporarily on Sunday. The suspension occurred shortly after Greene posted allegations that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Gabriel Sterling were to blame for potential voter fraud.
Greene had issued a response to Sterling’s tweet which claimed that Greene, Doug Collins, and President Donald Trump were to blame for a significant drop-off in Republican turnout. Just over 270,000 less Republicans voted in the runoff elections, as compared to nearly 166,000 less Democrats.
If we’re going to be objective about it, we’ve got to give the Mark Zuckerbergs, Jeff Bezoses and Jack Dorseys of the world their due — the apps they’ve created are some of the greatest technological marvels in history.
Twitter has reportedly purged over 70,000 accounts from its platform for sharing “harmful QAnon-associated content.”
The social media website began cracking down on Twitter activity after rioters supporting President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol on Wednesday, committing acts of vandalism and postponing the certification process as members of Congress were forced to evacuate the building.
Last week Silicon Valley silenced the president. In unison, the social media giants, with an assist from Amazon and Apple, also eliminated their most popular conservative competitor and announced that their own moderation policies would now extend to other companies. Meanwhile, CNN openly called for Fox News to be banned from cable, while a major talk radio network issued new speech rules to its hosts, extending tech’s moderation policies to the offline world. Beyond all this, Congress and the European Union called for powerful new regulation of online speech.
A legislative counsel member from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Friday warned that the suspension of President Donald Trump’s social media accounts wielded “unchecked power” by large tech companies, Breitbart reported.
Kate Ruane, a senior legislative counsel at the ACLU warned in a statement that the decision to suspend Trump from social media platforms could set a precedent for big tech companies to silence less privileged voices.
Many Twitter users are vowing to leave the platform after President Donald J. Trump was permanently banned from using the service Friday evening.
“Twitter bans Trump, but won’t check communist Chinese propaganda defending brainwashing & forced sterilizations of minorities,” the Georgia Log Cabin Republicans said, adding the hashtag #twexit.
Social media giant Twitter on Friday night permanently banned President Donald Trump from its servers for what it said were violations of the Twitter rules.
Tens of thousands of posts containing news stories from The Star News Network’s Facebook pages were temporarily deleted Wednesday.
“Hi, we are currently experiencing an issue with Facebook and because of that the sharing is stopped and your Facebook accounts are paused,” a third party software used by The Star News Network to schedule and post stories to social media said by email.
Are you tired of Big Tech deciding what posts you see on social media? Do you feel anxious posting your political opinions online? Do you wish you could exercise your right to free speech without worrying about political correctness or being “cancelled”?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, Parler may be the best thing to happen to you in 2020! It’s been a year, we all need some good news, so please read on.
The CEOs of Twitter and Facebook returned Tuesday to Capitol Hill, this time to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
While focused on Twitter’s blocking of a New York Post story about the Biden family’s business dealings overseas and the social media giants’ immunity from lawsuit under the Communications Decency Act, the hearing veered into other topics as well.
Texas attorney Kellye SoRelle and members of Lawyers for Trump sent a copy of a video to Texas Scorecard of individuals moving what she claims are ballots in the middle of the night on Nov. 4 in Detroit.
In the video, a white van is seen parked in front of polling location at 2:40 a.m. A box is taken out of the van and placed into a red wagon, which is then pulled inside the facility. SoRelle video recorded and photographed the activity, which Texas Scorecard published on its website.
After a series of mishaps involving muted senators, virtual cross-talk, and “connectivity issues” befuddling one of the world’s most tech-savvy men, the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, and Google appeared before the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday for what has now become a performative ritual: senators of both parties yell about different aspects of social media, the tech giants respond with bland, vague, noncommittal statements. And nothing substantive happens.
This is exactly where the Senate Commerce Committee found itself on Wednesday, when Big Tech was confronted with a host of critics and without any defenders—but ultimately very little in the way of committed follow-up from legislators.
It’s safe to say that Big Tech hasn’t had a great month.
Google received a beating at the Supreme Court for allegedly stealing the coding needed to create Android. Congress subpoenaed Facebook and Twitter for deliberately blocking news coverage potentially damaging to one political party — a move that culminated in a high-profile hearing yesterday. And now, the Department of Justice has charged Google with illegally maintaining its search and advertising monopoly.
A year ago, University of Georgia professor Cas Mudde took to Twitter and asked: “How do you manage to stay informed about political news and stay mentally balanced?” In his next tweet, he confessed too much time on social media was contributing to anxiety and depression.
With this, Mudde expressed a sentiment many social media users share. As we discuss policy issues tied to social media—tech regulation, free speech, foreign influence—we shouldn’t lose sight of the damaging psychological effects of today’s information environment. You may not want to hear this a week before the election, but social media addiction is a public health issue. Big Tech is the new Big Tobacco.
After Collin College received backlash from a story by Campus Reform regarding a professor calling Vice President Mike Pence “a demon” and to “shut his little demon mouth up,” the college president publicly came out and condemned the comments.
President Neil Matkin wrote in a public statement on the school’s website that the professor’s comments were “hateful, vile, and ill-considered.”
A group of Democratic political operatives and journalists circulated a fake email on Twitter on Sunday that the Iowa Farm Bureau retracted its endorsement of Sen. Joni Ernst, a move which would have been a heavy blow to the Republican’s re-election bid.
The fabricated email asserted that the farm bureau was retracting its support for Ernst because of her debate performance earlier this week against challenger Theresa Greenfield.
Twitter removed a tweet from a top White House coronavirus adviser, saying that, contrary to official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, masks don’t prevent the spread of the virus.
On Saturday, Dr. Scott Atlas tweeted that evidence showed masks don’t work, according to NBC News. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidance in April urging Americans to wear masks in public to prevent the spread of coronavirus after weeks of recommending the opposite.
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.”