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Censorship

Meta’s review of hate speech policy sparks concern of further censorship of pro-Palestinian content | Meta

Meta is considering expanding and “revisiting” its hate speech policy around the term “Zionist”, the Guardian has confirmed. The company reached out to and met with more than 10 Arab, Muslim and pro-Palestinian organizations on Friday to discuss the company’s plans to review the policy to ensure the term “Zionist” is not being used as a proxy for Jewish or Israeli people, according to an email the Guardian reviewed.The policy as it exists allows “Zionist” to be used in “political discourse but removed when it’s used…

The Next Generation’s’ Banned Abortion Episode Changed TV

In 2004, Degrassi: The Next Generation aired what would become their most controversial episode with “Accidents Will Happen,” which premiered in Canada in two parts on January 26 and February 9, 2004. However, the episode would not see the light of day on Degrassi’s U.S. network, The N, for another two years. This sparked outrage among Degrassi fans and confusion among the show’s stars, who couldn’t understand why, out of every sensitive topic Degrassi had touched upon, the storyline in “Accidents Will Happen” was too…

Four things to know about China’s new AI rules in 2024

Some of those people are policymakers, who have been trying hard to respond to the problems AI products pose without reducing our ability to harness their power.  So at the beginning of this year, my colleagues and I looked around the world for signs of how AI regulations are likely to change this year. We summarized what we found here.  In China, one of the major moves to be on the lookout for in 2024 is whether the country will follow in the European Union’s footsteps and announce its own comprehensive AI Act. In…

The end of anonymity online in China

At the end of last month, I published an essay reflecting on how the prospects for anonymity online in China changed drastically last year. Following many smaller decisions that make posting anonymously more difficult, the largest blow came in October when all social media platforms in China demanded that certain users with large followings display their legal names. The government and the platforms argue that the new rule can help prevent online harassment and misinformation. While anonymity can be associated with…

Human Rights Watch finds ‘systemic censorship’ of Palestinian content on Meta platforms

A new report from Human Rights Watch found that Meta’s policies have been “silencing voices” in support of Palestinians on Instagram and Facebook in a “wave of heightened censorship” amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. The human rights-focused advocacy group documented more than 1,050 takedowns and suppression of content posted by Palestinians and supporters on Meta platforms between October and November, including 1,049 posts involving peaceful content in support of Palestinians and one in support of Israel.…

How 2023 marked the death of anonymity online in China

In reality, it’s already impossible to be fully anonymous online in China. Over the years, to implement a stricter regime of online censorship, the country has built a sophisticated system that requires identity verification to use any online service. In many cases, posting politically sensitive content leads to account removal, calls from the police, or even detention. But that didn’t necessarily mean everyone else knew who you were. In fact, I’ve always felt there were corners of the Chinese internet in which I could…

Yahoo’s decades-long China controversy and the responsibility of tech companies

What was particularly astonishing to me was that after all these efforts, the fund still remains incredibly obscure. The total amount in the fund ($17.3 million) was only revealed eight years after it was established, in a 2016 investigation by Foreign Policy; it’s unclear how much of that is left; and it’s not even publicly known which or how many Chinese dissidents YHRF helped. For a fund that was set up for a bona fide humanitarian purpose, its operations certainly deserve more scrutiny. Of all the lawsuits that have…

Inside the decades-long fight over Yahoo’s misdeeds in China

In many ways, the situation Yahoo found itself in 20 years ago is the same one today’s biggest tech giants still deal with when they operate in authoritarian regimes. In July, for instance, a judge in California ruled that a long-running lawsuit against Cisco can move forward and determine the company’s responsibility in building China’s internet surveillance apparatus—work that allegedly led to the arrest, detention, and torture of the plaintiffs and their family members.  At the very least, says William Nee, the…

Elon Musk Says Alex Jones Can Return to X, Reversing His Stance From Last Year

Updated Dec. 10, 2023 4:58 pm ETElon Musk said conspiracy theorist Alex Jones would be reinstated on X, a reversal from the billionaire’s previous position that comes as he openly battles advertisers over their concerns about toxic content on the platform.Musk late Saturday night Pacific time announced the reversal of the platform’s five-year-old ban on Jones after running a user poll on X about whether to reinstate him. Musk had said earlier Saturday that the reason for rescinding the ban, if the X voters approved, was…