Facebook will label rule violations as Coke, Pepsi, Starbucks join ad “pause”

Found on Ars Technica on Tuesday, 30 June 2020
Browse Censorship

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company will change the way it handles rule-breaking speech from high-profile politicians in the future amid an advertising boycott that has drawn participation from large firms across several sectors.

"A handful of times a year, we leave up content that would otherwise violate our policies if the public interest value outweighs the risk of harm," Zuckerberg said in a Facebook Live video and accompanying post, repeating his usual argument that everyone should be able to read whatever a politician chooses to say on the platform.

So much for Zuckerberg's earlier promises. As soon as the inflow of money drops, his promises drop too.

Zoom suspends account of US-based Chinese activists after Tiananmen meeting

Found on BBC News on Thursday, 11 June 2020
Browse Censorship

Video conferencing giant Zoom suspended the account of a group of US-based Chinese activists after they held a meeting on the platform to commemorate the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

Zoom said the account had been closed to comply with "local laws".

"I asked Zoom whether this is political censorship but it has never replied to me," said Mr Lee, who is chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance - the organiser of Hong Kong's annual vigil for the victims of the Tiananmen crackdown.

Local laws of China get enforced in the US. That's a new one.

New bill comes with online takedown powers

Found on Newsroom on Friday, 29 May 2020
Browse Censorship

New legislation will enable the Government to issue takedown notices and create internet filters for content deemed objectionable by the Chief Censor, with an eye towards terrorist and violent extremist content.

Select Government agencies - including the police - will be able to "issue a takedown notice relating to a particular online publication to an online content host if "the content is objectionable or if the person "believes, on reasonable grounds, that the online publication is objectionable".

For the purposes of this measure, "online content hosts" refers to companies "both in New Zealand and overseas that provide services to the public".

Wha if Iran copies the law and asks the rest of the world to take down content they believe is objectionable?

Anti-porn filters stop Dominic Cummings trending on Twitter

Found on The Guardian on Thursday, 28 May 2020
Browse Censorship

This sort of accidental filtering has gained a name in computer science: the Scunthorpe problem, so-called because of the Lincolnshire town’s regular issues with such censorship.

Twitter declined to comment on the filtering. The company’s opaque trending algorithms have regularly led to accusations of interference, as users conclude that the absence of a particular topic is a sign of malicious intent, but the answer is rarely as straightforward as it is in this case.

Censorship never really works and is pretty pointless in a so-called open-minded society.

France gives online firms one hour to pull 'terrorist' content

Found on BBC News on Monday, 18 May 2020
Browse Censorship

The new rules apply to all websites, whether large or small. But there are concerns that only internet giants such as Facebook and Google actually have the resources to remove content as quickly as required.

"Except the big companies, nobody can afford to have a 24/7 watch to remove the content when requested," a spokesman for the group said. "Hence, they will have to rely on censorship before receiving a request from the police."

That is pretty much the end for open forums managed by hobbyists or small groups of people. Or maybe this is just the desired outcome so there are just a few left so managing what can be said gets easier.

TikTok Users In China Temporarily Banned For Speaking Their Own Cantonese Language

Found on Techdirt on Saturday, 04 April 2020
Browse Censorship

A person who manages a Douyin account promoting Cantonese culture to its 230,000 followers said he had received two bans and multiple warnings for using Cantonese. Clearly, using Mandarin instead of Cantonese would nullify the whole point of the account.

There are around 68 million native speakers of Cantonese -- more than most languages around the world -- notably in Hong Kong. Moreover, Cantonese is not merely a "dialect" of Mandarin, as Douyin implies when it talks of "languages and dialects": they are quite separate languages that derive independently from Middle Chinese.

In order to create a unified culture, Eastasia needs to weed out any differences.

Coronavirus: Chinese app WeChat censored virus content since 1 Jan

Found on BBC News on Wednesday, 04 March 2020
Browse Censorship

The report also found that WeChat, owned by Chinese firm Tencent, blocked more words as the outbreak grew.

WeChat was found to have censored 132 keyword combinations between 1 - 31 January. As the outbreak continued, WeChat censored 384 new keywords between 1 - 15 February.

The censorship is particularly damaging because WeChat is such a central part of many people's lives in China - it is, in effect, WhatsApp, Facebook, Apple Pay and more, rolled into one.

Censorship has never worked. In the end, the facts are revealed and the censors lose trust.

Disney cut a kissing scene from Mulan after China said it ‘doesn’t feel right to the Chinese people’

Found on Brinkwire on Sunday, 01 March 2020
Browse Censorship

Disney has decided to remove a kissing scene from its $200million live-action adaptation of Mulan after their Chinese executives thought it was inappropriate for their audiences, it has been revealed.

The upcoming remake has sparked a series of controversies before its scheduled release in March this year.

Many called for a boycott after the leading actress, Liu Yifei, voiced support for authorities’ crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

As long as money can be made, Disney will bend over for everything instead of showing some spine.

Why Did Twitter Just "Lockdown" WikiLeaks Account?

Found on Zerohedge on Monday, 17 February 2020
Browse Censorship

Just hours after a secret meeting with Silicon Valley tech giants to discuss censorship of "misinformation" surrounding coronavirus, and just days before Julian Assange's extradition hearings are set to continue, Kristin Hrafnsson - a WikiLeaks' journalist - reports that the WikiLeaks' Twitter account has been locked-down...

As The Washington Examiner noted as far back at 2016, Twitter lit up in late July with allegations that it tried to suppress news that secret-leaking website Wikileaks exposed thousands of emails obtained from the servers of the Democratic National Committee.

Just a "happy little accident", you bet.

Why is Instagram deleting the accounts of hundreds of porn stars?

Found on BBC News on Sunday, 24 November 2019
Browse Censorship

Ms Evans' group has collected a list of more than 1,300 performers who claim that their accounts have been deleted by Instagram's content moderators for violations of the site's community standards, despite not showing any nudity or sex.

In late 2018, adult performers say, an individual or a number of individuals started a co-ordinated campaign to report accounts to social media platforms, with the clear intent of having them removed.

"There is also a culture in Silicon Valley that tends to infantilise the audience," he says. "Facebook is launching a dating service called Crushes, while having strict rules about sexual chat, even between consensual adults and [even when it is] non-commercial."

Being two-faced is the basic problem. A single individual (or just a few) can, with enough determination, influence a lot. The people don't know who this is, and how many are behind it.