EU Tells Internet Archive That Much Of Its Site Is 'Terrorist Content'

Found on Techdirt on Saturday, 13 April 2019
Browse Censorship

And as if they were attempting to show just how absolutely insane the law would be for the internet, multiple European agencies (we can debate if they're "competent") decided to send over 500 totally bogus takedown demands to the Internet Archive last week, claiming it was hosting terrorist propaganda content.

Included in the list of takedown demands are a bunch of the Archive's "collection pages" including the entire Project Gutenberg page of public domain texts, it's collection of over 15 million freely downloadable texts, the famed Prelinger Archive of public domain films and the Archive's massive Grateful Dead collection. Oh yeah, also a page of CSPAN recordings.

Sadly, it's even worse than what the pessimists expected.

German Government's Bullying Of FOI Group

Found on Techdirt on Friday, 05 April 2019
Browse Censorship

One of the many concerns about the upload filters of the EU's Copyright Directive is that they could lead to censorship, even if that is not the intention. The problem is that once a filtering mechanism is in place to block unauthorized copies of materials, it is very hard to stop its scope being widened beyond copyright infringement.

Even though the report was paid for by the German public, obtained legally -- and can still be requested by anyone -- FragDenStaat is not allowed to distribute it. The Regional Court in Cologne has ruled that would be an infringement of the German State's copyright, and ordered it to be taken down.

It will only get worse.

Facebook Bans White Nationalism and White Separatism

Found on Motherboard on Wednesday, 27 March 2019
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The new policy, which will be officially implemented next week, highlights the malleable nature of Facebook’s policies, which govern the speech of more than 2 billion users worldwide.

Specifically, Facebook will now ban content that includes explicit praise, support, or representation of white nationalism or separatism.

If one really wants to nitpick, one could say that's racist too. Just by silencing a voice you cannot make the opinion go away; it will be raised somewhere else.

Mental health: UK could ban social media over suicide images, minister warns

Found on BBC News on Sunday, 27 January 2019
Browse Censorship

The minister earlier called on social media giants to "purge" material promoting self-harm and suicide in the wake of links to a teenager's suicide.

Papyrus, a charity that works to prevent youth suicide, said it has been contacted by around 30 families in the past week who believe social media had a part to play in their children's suicides.

Mr Hancock said he was "horrified" to learn of Molly's death and feels "desperately concerned to ensure young people are protected".

Without any question it is a great tragic for the parents, but trying to remove content is not a solution. The more pressing question is why they kill themselves. Censoring is just an attempt to remove the trigger, and that does not fix the underlying problem.

Netflix removes comedy episode after Saudi complaint

Found on BBC News on Wednesday, 02 January 2019
Browse Censorship

Netflix has removed from its streaming service in Saudi Arabia an episode of a satirical comedy that was critical of the kingdom's rulers.

In the episode that was removed, Minhaj criticises Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

In the episode, Minhaj also criticises Saudi involvement in the conflict in Yemen.

In other words, Netflix helps hiding the truth.

Fighting on Twitter? In the UK, You Could Be Arrested for That.

Found on The Stranger on Thursday, 27 December 2018
Browse Censorship

Parliament is considering reforming the GRA so that all that is required for a legal gender change is self-declaration. If you say you’re a woman, a man, or nonbinary, that’s what you are.

While reforming the law is largely, but not entirely, supported by trans people and their allies, supporters have faced fierce resistance from a number of feminists who are concerned that predatory males will use self-id to gain access to female-only spaces.

The police didn’t tell Linehan which specific tweets Harrop complained about, but shortly before the police visited Linehan’s house, Harrop had appeared in a televised debate with Posie Parker, a feminist writer who is opposed to changing the GRA.

After Linehan saw the debate, he posted a link to the video, tweeting, “Have a look at this again and ask yourself why Parker is banned from various platforms, while Harrop isn’t. Could it be anything to do with...male privilege? Could it have anything to do with men deciding what women are and are not allowed to say?” The next day, the police dropped in at his house.

Sounds like the UK is one step before facecrime and thoughtcrime with all this diversity madness. Now we're at the point where feminists are getting afraid of diversity females after the LGBTQ community reached some of their goals. Please lean back and let that sink in for a moment.

Tumblr will ban all adult content on December 17th

Found on The Verge on Tuesday, 04 December 2018
Browse Censorship

Tumblr will permanently ban adult content from its platform on December 17th in a move that will eradicate porn-related communities on the platform and fundamentally alter how the service is used.

After December 17th, any explicit posts will be flagged and deleted by algorithms. For now, Tumblr is emailing users who have posted adult content flagged by algorithms and notifying them that their content will soon be hidden from view.

Under Oath, Tumblr has been cleaning up its platform more rapidly than it had done in previous years.

User numbers will fall rapidly and within a year, Tumblr will be as important as MySpace.

Google Shut Out Privacy and Security Teams From Secret China Project

Found on The Intercept on Friday, 30 November 2018
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The objective, code-named Dragonfly, was to build a search engine for China that would censor broad categories of information about human rights, democracy, and peaceful protest.

Beaumont and other executives then shut out members of the company’s security and privacy team from key meetings about the search engine, the four people said, and tried to sideline a privacy review of the plan that sought to address potential human rights abuses.

Google’s leadership considered Dragonfly so sensitive that they would often communicate only verbally about it and would not take written notes during high-level meetings to reduce the paper trail, two sources said.

If Dragonfly goes live, Google will be directly responsible for dissidents getting jailed and their possible deaths.

F***=off, Google tells its staff: Any mention of nookie now banned from internal files, URLs

Found on The Register on Tuesday, 23 October 2018
Browse Censorship

Late last week, a Google programmer claimed that their bosses had suddenly banned swear words from internal documents, and even shortened URLs to files were being blocked.

"They grep all the links for swear words and just delete them. Apparently one person who used the 'gimme a random string' option had his link deleted because they randomly got a swear word.

Google has form as a censor of bad language: the Chocolate Factory's speech-to-text translation engine refuses to print swear words without asterisks. Microsoft, too, decided to take a line on this with some of its platforms.

All this censorsho through the backdoor (no pun intended) is disgusting and feels like the first (or already second) step towards a world which you would not like.

Google Suppresses Memo Revealing Plans to Closely Track Search Users in China

Found on The Intercept on Saturday, 22 September 2018
Browse Censorship

Google bosses have forced employees to delete a confidential memo circulating inside the company that revealed explosive details about a plan to launch a censored search engine in China, The Intercept has learned.

According to three sources familiar with the incident, Google leadership discovered the memo and were furious that secret details about the China censorship were being passed between employees who were not supposed to have any knowledge about it. Subsequently, Google human resources personnel emailed employees who were believed to have accessed or saved copies of the memo and ordered them to immediately delete it from their computers.

Google and China are becoming the same.