Users Without Resources to Fight Back Are Most Affected by Unevenly-Enforced Rules
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched TOSsed Out, a project to highlight the vast spectrum of people silenced by social media platforms that inconsistently and erroneously apply terms of service (TOS) rules.
TOSsed Out will track and publicize the ways in which TOS and other speech moderation rules are unevenly enforced, with little to no transparency, against a range people for whom the Internet is an irreplaceable forum to express ideas, connect
with others, and find support.
This includes people on the margins who question authority, criticize the powerful, educate, and call attention to discrimination. The project is a continuation of work EFF began five years ago when it launched Onlinecensorship.org to collect
speech takedown reports from users.
Last week the White House launched a tool to report take downs, following the president's repeated allegations that conservatives are being censored on social media, said Jillian York, EFF Director for International Freedom of Expression. But in
reality, commercial content moderation practices negatively affect all kinds of people with all kinds of political views. Black women get flagged for posting hate speech when they share experiences of racism. Sex educators' content is removed
because it was deemed too risqu39. TOSsed Out will show that trying to censor social media at scale ends up removing far too much legal, protected speech that should be allowed on platforms.
EFF conceived TOSsed Out in late 2018 after seeing more takedowns resulting from increased public and government pressure to deal with objectionable content, as well as the rise in automated tools. While calls for censorship abound, TOSsed Out
aims to demonstrate how difficult it is for platforms to get it right. Platform rules--either through automation or human moderators--unfairly ban many people who don't deserve it and disproportionately impact those with insufficient resources to
easily move to other mediums to speak out, express their ideas, and build a community.
EFF is launching TOSsed Out with several examples of TOS enforcement gone wrong, and invites visitors to the site to submit more. In one example, a reverend couldn't initially promote a Black Lives Matter-themed concert on Facebook, eventually
discovering that using the words Black Lives Matter required additional review. Other examples include queer sex education videos being removed and automated filters on Tumblr flagging a law professor's black and white drawings of design patents
as adult content. Political speech is also impacted; one case highlights the removal of a parody account lampooning presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke.
The current debates and complaints too often center on people with huge followings getting kicked off of social media because of their political ideologies. This threatens to miss the bigger problem. TOS enforcement by corporate gatekeepers far
more often hits people without the resources and networks to fight back to regain their voice online, said EFF Policy Analyst Katharine Trendacosta. Platforms over-filter in response to pressure to weed out objectionable content, and a broad
range of people at the margins are paying the price. With TOSsed Out, we seek to put pressure on those platforms to take a closer look at who is being actually hurt by their speech moderation rules, instead of just responding to the headline of
Age verification for porn is pushing internet users into areas of the internet that provide more privacy, security and resistance to censorship.
I'd have thought that security services would prefer that internet users to remain in the more open areas of the internet for easier snooping.
So I wonder if it protecting kids from stumbling across porn is worth the increased difficulty in monitoring terrorists and the like? Or perhaps GCHQ can already see through the encrypted internet.
RQ12: Privacy & Security for Firefox
Mozilla has an interest in potentially integrating more of Tor into Firefox, for the purposes of providing a Super Private Browsing (SPB) mode for our users.
Tor offers privacy and anonymity on the Web, features which are sorely needed in the modern era of mass surveillance, tracking and fingerprinting. However, enabling a large number of additional users to make use of the Tor network requires
solving for inefficiencies currently present in Tor so as to make the protocol optimal to deploy at scale. Academic research is just getting started with regards to investigating alternative protocol architectures and route selection protocols,
such as Tor-over-QUIC, employing DTLS, and Walking Onions.
What alternative protocol architectures and route selection protocols would offer acceptable gains in Tor performance? And would they preserve Tor properties? Is it truly possible to deploy Tor at scale? And what would the full integration of Tor
and Firefox look like?
The internet technology known as deep packet inspection is currently illegal in Europe, but big telecom companies doing business in the European Union want to change that. They want deep packet inspection permitted as part of the new net
neutrality rules currently under negotiation in the EU, but on Wednesday, a group of 45 privacy and internet freedom advocates and groups published an open letter warning against the change:
Dear Vice-President Andrus Ansip, (and others)
We are writing you in the context of the evaluation of Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 and the reform of the BEREC Guidelines on its implementation. Specifically, we are concerned because of the increased use of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology
by providers of internet access services (IAS). DPI is a technology that examines data packets that are transmitted in a given network beyond what would be necessary for the provision IAS by looking at specific content from the part of the
user-defined payload of the transmission.
IAS providers are increasingly using DPI technology for the purpose of traffic management and the differentiated pricing of specific applications or services (e.g. zero-rating) as part of their product design. DPI allows IAS providers to identify
and distinguish traffic in their networks in order to identify traffic of specific applications or services for the purpose such as billing them differently throttling or prioritising them over other traffic.
The undersigned would like to recall the concerning practice of examining domain names or the addresses (URLs) of visited websites and other internet resources. The evaluation of these types of data can reveal sensitive information about a user,
such as preferred news publications, interest in specific health conditions, sexual preferences, or religious beliefs. URLs directly identify specific resources on the world wide web (e.g. a specific image, a specific article in an encyclopedia,
a specific segment of a video stream, etc.) and give direct information on the content of a transmission.
A mapping of differential pricing products in the EEA conducted in 2018 identified 186 such products which potentially make use of DPI technology. Among those, several of these products by mobile operators with large market shares are confirmed
to rely on DPI because their products offer providers of applications or services the option of identifying their traffic via criteria such as Domain names, SNI, URLs or DNS snooping.
Currently, the BEREC Guidelines3 clearly state that traffic management based on the monitoring of domain names and URLs (as implied by the phrase transport protocol layer payload) is not reasonable traffic management under the Regulation.
However, this clear rule has been mostly ignored by IAS providers in their treatment of traffic.
The nature of DPI necessitates telecom expertise as well as expertise in data protection issues. Yet, we observe a lack of cooperation between national regulatory authorities for electronic communications and regulatory authorities for data
protection on this issue, both in the decisions put forward on these products as well as cooperation on joint opinions on the question in general. For example, some regulators issue justifications of DPI based on the consent of the customer of
the IAS provider which crucially ignores the clear ban of DPI in the BEREC Guidelines and the processing of the data of the other party communicating with the subscriber, which never gave consent.
Given the scale and sensitivity of the issue, we urge the Commission and BEREC to carefully consider the use of DPI technologies and their data protection impact in the ongoing reform of the net neutrality Regulation and the Guidelines. In
addition, we recommend to the Commission and BEREC to explore an interpretation of the proportionality requirement included in Article 3, paragraph 3 of Regulation 2015/2120 in line with the data minimization principle established by the GDPR.
Finally, we suggest to mandate the European Data Protection Board to produce guidelines on the use of DPI by IAS providers.
European Digital Rights, Europe Electronic Frontier Foundation, International Council of European Professional Informatics Societies, Europe Article 19, International Chaos Computer Club e.V, Germany epicenter.works - for digital rights, Austria
Austrian Computer Society (OCG), Austria Bits of Freedom, the Netherlands La Quadrature du Net, France ApTI, Romania Code4Romania, Romania IT-Pol, Denmark Homo Digitalis, Greece Hermes Center, Italy X-net, Spain Vrijschrift, the Netherlands
Dataskydd.net, Sweden Electronic Frontier Norway (EFN), Norway Alternatif Bilisim (Alternative Informatics Association), Turkey Digitalcourage, Germany Fitug e.V., Germany Digitale Freiheit, Germany Deutsche Vereinigung f3cr Datenschutz e.V.
(DVD), Germany Gesellschaft f3cr Informatik e.V. (GI), Germany LOAD e.V. - Verein f3cr liberale Netzpolitik, Germany (And others)
In March, the Russian government's internet censor Roskomnadzor contacted 10 leading VPN providers to demand they comply with local censorship laws or risk being blocked.
Roskomnadzor equired them to hook up to a dedicated government system that defines a list of websites required to be blocked to Russian internet users.
The VPN providers contacted were ExpressVPN, NordVPN, IPVanish, VPN Unlimited, VyprVPN, HideMyAss!, TorGuard, Hola VPN, OpenVPN, and Kaspersky Secure Connection. The deadline has now passed and the only VPN company that has agreed to comply with
the new requirements is the Russia-based Kaspersky Secure Connection.
Most other providers on the list have removed their VPN servers from Russia altogether, so asn ot to be at risk of being asked to hand over information to Russia about their customers.
The South African Law Reform Commission is debating widespread changes law pertaining to the protection of children. Much of the debate is about serious crimes of child abuse but there is a significant portion devoted to protecting children from
legal adult pornography. The commission writes:
SEXUAL OFFENCES: PORNOGRAPHY AND CHILDREN
On 16 March 2019 the Commission approved the publication of its discussion paper on sexual offences (pornography and children) for comment.
Five main topics are discussed in this paper, namely:
Access to or exposure of a child to pornography;
Creation and distribution of child sexual abuse material;
Consensual self-child sexual abuse material (sexting);
Grooming of a child and other sexual contact crimes associated with or facilitated by pornography or child sexual abuse material; and
Investigation, procedure & sentencing.
The Commission invites comment on the discussion paper and the draft Bill which accompanies it. Comment may also be made on related issues of concern which have not been raised in the discussion paper. The closing date for comment is 30 July
The methodology discussed doesn't seem to match well to the real world. The authors seems to hold a lot of stock in the notion that every device can contain some sort of simple porn block app that can render a device unable to access porn and
hence be safe for children. The proposed law suggests penalties should unprotected devices get bought, sold, or used by children. Perhaps someone should invent such an app to help out South Africa.
The United States has decided not to support the censorship call by 18 governments and five top American tech firms and declined to endorse a New Zealand-led censorship effort responding to the live-streamed shootings at two Christchurch mosques.
White House officials said free-speech concerns prevented them from formally signing onto the largest campaign to date targeting extremism online.
World leaders, including British Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Jordan's King Abdullah II, signed the Christchurch Call, which was unveiled at a gathering in Paris that had been organized by French
President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
The governments pledged to counter online extremism, including through new regulation, and to encourage media outlets to apply ethical standards when depicting terrorist events online.
But the White House opted against endorsing the effort, and President Trump did not join the other leaders in Paris. The White House felt the document could present constitutional concerns, officials there said, potentially conflicting with the
First Amendment. Indeed Trump has previously threatened social media out of concern that it's biased against conservatives.
Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter also signed on to the document, pledging to work more closely with one another and governments to make certain their sites do not become conduits for terrorism. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was among the
attendees at the conference.
The companies agreed to accelerate research and information sharing with governments in the wake of recent terrorist attacks. They said they'd pursue a nine-point plan of technical remedies designed to find and combat objectionable content,
including instituting more user-reporting systems, more refined automatic detection systems, improved vetting of live-streamed videos and more collective development of organized research and technologies the industry could build and share.
The companies also promised to implement appropriate checks on live-streaming, with the aim of ensuring that videos of violent attacks aren't broadcast widely, in real time, online. To that end, Facebook this week announced a new one-strike
policy, in which users who violate its rules -- such as sharing content from known terrorist groups -- could be prohibited from using its live-streaming tools.
Proposals for an official definition of 'Islamophobia' were rejected by the Government yesterday.
Downing Street said the suggested definition had not been broadly accepted, adding: This is a matter that will need further careful consideration. '
The definition had been proposed by a parliamentary campaign group, the all-party parliamentary group on British Muslims. It wanted the Government to define Islamaphobia as rooted in racism or a type of racism that targets expressions of
Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.
Ministers are now expected to appoint two independent advisers to draw up a less legally problematic definition, the Times reported.
A parliamentary debate on anti-Muslim prejudice is due to be held today in Parliament.
The criticism of the definition has been published in an open letter to the Home Secretary Sajid Javid:
Open Letter: APPG Islamophobia Definition Threatens Civil Liberties
The APPG on British Muslims' definition of Islamophobia has now been adopted by the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats Federal board, Plaid Cymru and the Mayor of London, as well as several local councils. All of this is occurring before the
Home Affairs Select Committee has been able to assess the evidence for and against the adoption of the definition nationally.
Meanwhile the Conservatives are having their own debate about rooting out Islamophobia from the party.
According to the APPG definition, "Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness".
With this definition in hand, it is perhaps no surprise that following the horrific attack on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand,
some place responsibility for the atrocity on the pens of journalists and academics who have criticised Islamic beliefs and practices, commented on or investigated Islamist extremism.
The undersigned unequivocally, unreservedly and emphatically condemn acts of violence against Muslims, and recognise the urgent need to deal with anti-Muslim hatred. However, we are extremely concerned about the uncritical and hasty adoption of
the APPG's definition of Islamophobia.
This vague and expansive definition is being taken on without an adequate scrutiny or proper consideration of its negative consequences for freedom of expression, and academic and journalistic freedom. The definition will also undermine social
cohesion -- fuelling the very bigotry against Muslims which it is designed to prevent.
We are concerned that allegations of Islamophobia will be, indeed already are being, used to effectively shield Islamic beliefs and even extremists from criticism, and that formalising this definition will result in it being employed effectively
as something of a backdoor blasphemy law.
The accusation of Islamophobia has already been used against those opposing religious and gender segregation in education, the hijab, halal slaughter on the grounds of animal welfare, LGBT rights campaigners opposing Muslim views on
homosexuality, ex-Muslims and feminists opposing Islamic views and practices relating to women, as well as those concerned about the issue of grooming gangs. It has been used against journalists who investigate Islamism, Muslims working in
counter-extremism, schools and Ofsted for resisting conservative religious pressure and enforcing gender equality.
Evidently abuse, harmful practices, or the activities of groups and individuals which promote ideas contrary to British values are far more likely to go unreported as a result of fear of being called Islamophobic. This will only increase if the
APPG definition is formally adopted in law.
We are concerned that the definition will be used to shut down legitimate criticism and investigation. While the APPG authors have assured that it does not wish to infringe free speech, the entire content of the report, the definition itself, and
early signs of how it would be used, suggest that it certainly would. Civil liberties should not be treated as an afterthought in the effort to tackle anti-Muslim prejudice.
The conflation of race and religion employed under the confused concept of 'cultural racism' expands the definition beyond anti-Muslim hatred to include 'illegitimate' criticism of the Islamic religion. The concept of Muslimness can effectively
be transferred to Muslim practices and beliefs, allowing the report to claim that criticism of Islam is instrumentalised to hurt Muslims.
No religion should be given special protection against criticism. Like anti-Sikh, anti-Christian, or anti-Hindu hatred, we believe the term anti-Muslim hatred is more appropriate and less likely to infringe on free speech. A proliferation of
'phobias' is not desirable, as already stated by Sikh and Christian organisations who recognise the importance of free discussion about their beliefs.
Current legislative provisions are sufficient, as the law already protects individuals against attacks and unlawful discrimination on the basis of their religion. Rather than helping, this definition is likely to create a climate of
self-censorship whereby people are fearful of criticising Islam and Islamic beliefs. It will therefore effectively shut down open discussions about matters of public interest. It will only aggravate community tensions further and is therefore no
long term solution.
If this definition is adopted the government will likely turn to self-appointed 'representatives of the community' to define 'Muslimness'. This is clearly open to abuse. The APPG already entirely overlooked Muslims who are often considered to be
"insufficiently Muslim" by other Muslims, moderates, liberals, reformers and the Ahmadiyyah, who often suffer persecution and violence at the hands of other Muslims.
For all these reasons, the APPG definition of Islamophobia is deeply problematic and unfit for purpose. Acceptance of this definition will only serve to aggravate community tensions and to inhibit free speech about matters of fundamental
importance. We urge the government, political parties, local councils and other organisations to reject this flawed proposed definition.
Emma Webb, Civitas
Hardeep Singh, Network of Sikh Organisations (NSOUK)
Lord Singh of Wimbledon
Tim Dieppe, Christian Concern
Stephen Evans, National Secular Society (NSS)
Sadia Hameed, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB)
Prof. Paul Cliteur, candidate for the Dutch Senate, Professor of Law, University of Leiden
Brendan O'Neill, Editor of Spiked
Maajid Nawaz, Founder, Quilliam International
Rt. Rev'd Dr Gavin Ashenden
Pragna Patel, director of Southall Black Sisters
Professor Richard Dawkins
Rahila Gupta, author and Journalist
Peter Whittle, founder and director of New Culture Forum
Trupti Patel, President of Hindu Forum of Britain
Dr Lakshmi Vyas, President Hindu Forum of Europe
Harsha Shukla MBE, President Hindu Council of North UK
Tarang Shelat, President Hindu Council of Birmingham
Ashvin Patel, Chairman, Hindu Forum (Walsall)
Ana Gonzalez, partner at Wilson Solicitors LLP
Baron Desai of Clement Danes
Baroness Cox of Queensbury
Lord Alton of Liverpool
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali
Ade Omooba MBE, Co-Chair National Church Leaders Forum (NCLF)
Wilson Chowdhry, British Pakistani Christian Association
Ashish Joshi, Sikh Media Monitoring Group
Satish K Sharma, National Council of Hindu Temples
Rumy Hasan, Academic and author
Amina Lone, Co-Director, Social Action and Research Foundation
Peter Tatchell, Peter Tatchell Foundation
Seyran Ates, Imam
Gina Khan, One Law for All
Mohammed Amin MBE
Michael Mosbacher, Acting Editor, Standpoint Magazine
Lisa-Marie Taylor, CEO FiLiA
Julie Bindel, journalist and feminist campaigner
Dr Adrian Hilton, academic
Neil Anderson, academic
Tom Holland, historian
Prof. Dr. Bassam Tibi, Professor Emeritus for International Relations, University of Goettingen
To challenge online censorship of art featuring naked bodies or body parts, photographer Spencer Tunick, in collaboration with the National Coalition Against Censorship, will stage a nude art action in New York on June 2. The event will bring
together 100 undressed participants at an as-yet-undisclosed location, and Tunick will photograph the scene and create an installation using donated images of male nipples.
Artists Andres Serrano, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Tunick have given photos of their own nipples to the cause, as has Bravo TV personality Andy Cohen, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, and actor/photographer Adam Goldberg.
In addition, the National Coalition Against Censorship has launched a #WeTheNipple campaign through which Instagram and Facebook users can share their experiences with censorship and advocate for changes to the social media platforms' guidelines
related to nudity.
Jackie Doyle-Price is the government's first suicide prevention minister. She seems to believe that this complex and tragic social problem can somehow be cure by censorship and an end to free speech.
She said society had come to tolerate behaviour online which would not be tolerated on the streets. She urged technology giants including Google and Facebook to be more vigilant about removing harmful comments.
Doyle-Price told the Press Association:
It's great that we have these platforms for free speech and any one of us is free to generate our own content and put it up there, ...BUT... free speech is only free if it's not abused. I just think in terms of implementing their
duty of care to their customers, the Wild West that we currently have needs to be a lot more regulated by them.
Turkish TV has announced that they would not broadcast the NBA Western Conference Finals on Tuesday night because a Turkish NBA star and fierce critic of Turkish president Erdogan, Enes Kanter, plays for Portland Trailblazers.
The NBA final will also be banned if Portland Trailblazers get through.
The German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier opened the re:publica 2019 conference in Berlin last week with a speech about internet censorship. The World Socialist Web Site reported the speech:
With cynical references to Germany's Basic Law and the right to freedom of speech contained within it, Steinmeier called for new censorship measures and appealed to the major technology firms to enforce already existing guidelines more
He stated, The upcoming 70th anniversary of the German Basic Law reminds us of a connection that pre-dates online and offline: liberty needs rules--and new liberties need new rules. Furthermore, freedom of opinion brings with it responsibility
for opinion. He stressed that he knew there are already many rules, among which he mentioned the notorious Network Enforcement Law (Netz DG), but it will be necessary to argue over others.
He then added, Anyone who creates space for a political discussion with a platform bears responsibility for democracy, whether they like it or not. Therefore, democratic regulations are required, he continued. Steinmeier said that he felt this is
now understood in Silicon Valley. After a lot of words and announcements, discussion forums, and photogenic appearances with politicians, it is now time for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Co. to finally acknowledge their responsibility for
democracy, finally put it into practice.
President Trump has threatened to monitor social-media sites for their censorship of American citizens. He was responding to Facebook permanently banning figures and organizations from the political right. Trump tweeted:
I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms. This is the United States of America -- and we have what's known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH! We are monitoring and watching, closely!!
On Thursday, Facebook announced it had permanently banned users including Louis Farrakhan, the founder of the Nation of Islam, along with far-right figures Milo Yiannopoulos, Laura Loomer and Alex Jones, the founder of Infowars. The tech giant
removed their accounts, fan pages and affiliated groups on Facebook as well as its photo-sharing service Instagram, claiming that their presence on the social networking sites had become dangerous.
For his part, President Trump repeatedly has accused popular social-networking sites of exhibiting political bias, and threatened to regulate Silicon Valley in response. In a private meeting with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey last month, Trump
repeatedly raised his concerns that the company has removed some of his followers.
On Friday, Trump specifically tweeted he was surprised about Facebook's decision to ban Paul Joseph Watson, a YouTube personality who has served as editor-at-large of Infowars .
Update: Texas bill would allow state to sue social media companies like Facebook and Twitter that censor free speech
A bill before the Texas Senate seeks to prevent social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter from censoring users based on their viewpoints. Supporters say it would protect the free exchange of ideas, but critics say the bill contradicts a
federal law that allows social media platforms to regulate their own content.
The measure -- Senate Bill 2373 by state Sen. Bryan Hughes -- would hold social media platforms accountable for restricting users' speech based on personal opinions. Hughes said the bill applies to social media platforms that advertise themselves
as unbiased but still censor users. The Senate State Affairs Committee unanimously approved the bill last week. The Texas Senate approved the bill on April 25 in an 18-12 vote. It now heads to the House.
Facebook will create a privacy oversight committee as part of its recent agreement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), according to reports.
According to Politico, Facebook will appoint a government-approved committee to 'guide' the company on privacy matters. This committee will also consist of company board members.
The plans would also see Facebook chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg act as a designated compliance officer, meaning that he would be personally responsible and accountable for Facebook's privacy policies.
Last week, it was reported that Facebook could be slapped with a fine of up to $5 billion over its handling of user data and privacy. The FTC launched the investigation last March, following claims that Facebook allowed organisations, such as
political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, to collect data from millions of users without their consent.
The Committee to Protect Journalists has condemned the Singapore parliament's passage of legislation that will be used to stifle reporting and the dissemination of news, and called for the punitive measure's immediate repeal.
The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act , which was passed yesterday, gives all government ministers broad and arbitrary powers to demand corrections, remove content, and block webpages if they are deemed to be
disseminating falsehoods against the public interest or to undermine public confidence in the government, both on public websites and within chat programs such as WhatsApp, according to news reports .
Violations of the law will be punishable with maximum 10-year jail terms and fines of up to $1 million Singapore dollars (US$735,000), according to those reports. The law was passed after a two-day debate and is expected to come into force in the
next few week.
Shawn Crispin, CPJ's senior Southeast Asian representative said:
This law will give Singapore's ministers yet another tool to suppress and censor news that does not fit with the People's Action Party-dominated government's authoritarian narrative. Singapore's online media is already over-regulated and
severely censored. The law should be dropped for the sake of press freedom.
Law Minister K. Shanmugam said censorship orders would be made mainly against technology companies that hosted the objectionable content, and that they would be able to challenge the government's take-down requests,.
Canadian animator Steve Angel recognizes the irony that his cartoon about censorship was, itself, censored.
Angel produced an animated sequence for the US CBS TV series The Good Fight , a legal drama that argue cases about the issues of the day.
The censored episode was based on a criticism of Chinese censorship, including Angel's animated sequence typically of around 90 seconds. The animation was censored and replaced with an 8s screen reading, CBS has censored this content.
In a statement, a CBS All Access spokesperson said after raising concerns about the animated short's subject matter, it had reached this creative solution with the show's producers.
Angel said he was disappointed adding:
There's the obvious irony of it, but at the same time, I think because it's pretty incendiary material, it wasn't a gigantic surprise.
Angel said he couldn't comment on the content of the segment, but The New Yorker reports the animation alludes to several subjects that have been banned online in China, including Winnie-the-Pooh, as the character was used in memes as a way to
poke fun at Chinese President Xi Jinping. The magazine reports the clip featured the leader dressed as the cartoon bear, shaking his exposed bottom.
But according to the Hollywood Reporter , the segment began with a song that referenced China's decision to ban The Good Wife from internet video services in 2014 . It also alluded to how American studios remove content from international
releases to avoid upsetting Chinese censors.
Channel 4 broadcast the show in the UK and have stated that it will show the episode n the same censored form as was shown in the US.
The US Republican senator Josh Hawley of Missouri has announced that he would be introducing a bill banning manipulative design features in video games with underage audiences, including the sale of loot boxes.
The legislation would prohibit the sale of loot boxes in games targeted at children under the age of 18. Games companies could also face penalties from the Federal Trade Commission if companies if they knowingly allow children to purchase these
Regulators would determine whether a game is targeted at minors by considering similar indicators that they already use under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Subject matter and the game's visual content would help regulators
determine who the game is marketed toward. When a game is designed for kids, game developers shouldn't be allowed to monetize addiction.
Pay-to-win mechanics in games targeted at minors would also be outlawed under this legislation. This includes progression systems that encourage people to spend money to advance through a game's content at a faster pace.
CTech giant Tencent has dropped the hugely popular mobile version of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) in China after it was more or less banned by the government's game censors. It was not quite banned, just not allowed to earn any money.
But not to worry, Tencent has a similar title, Heping Jingying or Elite Force for Peace, with a few tweaks to smooth things with the censors. Charcaters do note beeleed, the minimum age for players has been raised to 16, and most
importantly, it features heroic Chinese forces kicking ass.
Geopolitics might also have contributed to PUBG Mobile's rejection. Tencent licenses the game from South Korean company Bluehole, and Chinese authorities can be hostile to South Korean goods.
For Chinese gamers, though, the disruption should be minimal. Tencent is allowing users to port over characters from PUBG Mobile to Heping Jingying, and one analyst told Reuters that the new game was incredibly similar to the older title.
Lawyers for Facebook and Instagram have appeared in a Texas courtrooms attempting to dismiss two civil cases that accuse the social media sites of not protecting victims of sex trafficking.
The Facebook case involves a Houston woman who in October said the company's morally bankrupt corporate culture left her prey to a predatory pimp who drew her into sex trafficking as a child. The Instagram case involves a 14-year-old girl from
Spring who said she was recruited, groomed and sold in 2018 by a man she met on the social media site.
Of course Facebook is only embroiled in this case because it supported Congress to pass an anti-trafficking amendment in April 2018. Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act and Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, collectively known as SESTA-FOSTA, this
attempts to make it easier to prosecute owners and operators of websites that facilitate sex trafficking. This act removed the legal protection for websites that previously meant they couldn't be held responsible for the actions of its members.
After the Houston suit was filed, a Facebook spokesperson said human trafficking is not permitted on the site and staffers report all instances they're informed about to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Of course that
simply isn't enough any more, and now they have to proactively stop their website from being used for criminal activity.
The impossibility of preventing such misuse has led to many websites pulling out of anything that may be related to people hooking up for sex, lest they are held responsible for something they couldn't possibly prevent.
But perhaps Facebook has enough money to pay for lawyers who can argue their way out of such hassles.
The Adult Performers Actors Guild is standing up for sex workers who are tired of being banned from Instagram with no explanation.
In related news, adult performers are campaigning against being arbitrarily banned from their accounts by Facebook and Instagram. It seems likely that the social media companies are summarily ejecting users detected to have any connection with
people getting together for sex.
As explained above, the social media companies are responsible for anything related to sex trafficking happening on their website. They practically aren't able to discern sex trafficking from consensual sex so the only protection available for
internet companies is to ban anyone that might have a connection to sex.
This reality is clearly impacting those effected. A group of adult performers is starting to organize against Facebook and Instagram for removing their accounts without explanation. Around 200 performers and models have included their usernames
in a letter to Facebook asking the network to address this issue.
Alana Evans, president of the Adult Performers Actors Guild (APAG), a union that advocates for adult industry professionals' rights, told Vice. There are performers who are being deleted, because they put up a picture of their freshly painted
In an April 22 letter to Facebook, the Adult Performers Actors Guild's legal counsel James Felton wrote:
Over the course of the last several months, almost 200 adult performers have had their Instagrams accounts terminated without explanation. In fact, every day, additional performers reach out to us with their termination stories. In the large
majority of instances, her was no nudity shown in the pictures. However, it appears that the accounts were terminated merely because of their status as an adult performer.
Effort to learn the reasons behind the termination have been futile. Performers are asked to send pictures of their names to try to verify that the accounts are actually theirs and not put up by frauds. Emails are sent and there is no reply.
Google is set to roll out a dashboard-like function in its Chrome browser to offer users more control in fending off tracking cookies, the Wall Street Journal has reported.
While Google's new tools are not expected to significantly curtail its ability to collect data itself, it would help the company press its sizable advantage over online-advertising rivals, the newspaper said .
Google has been working on the cookies plan for at least six years, in stops and starts, but accelerated the work after news broke last year that personal data of Facebook users was improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.
The company is mostly targeting cookies installed by profit-seeking third parties, separate from the owner of the website a user is actively visiting, the Journal said.
Apple Inc in 2017 stopped majority of tracking cookies on its Safari browser by default and Mozilla Corp's Firefox did the same a year later.