While shaky and skewered by critics, Twitter’s forum for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to announce his presidential run nevertheless underscored the platform’s unmistakable shift to the right under new owner Elon Musk.
Social media has law enforcement facing increasing pressure to release information fast amid a surge of mass shootings.
A top European Union official says Twitter has dropped out of the bloc's voluntary agreement to combat online disinformation. European Commissioner Thierry Breton tweeted Friday that Twitter had pulled out of the EU’s disinformation “code of practice” that other major social media platforms have pledged to support. But he added that Twitter’s “obligation” remained, referring to the EU’s tough new digital rules taking effect in August. San Francisco-based Twitter responded with an automated reply, as it does to most press inquiries, and did not comment.
Elon Musk wants to turn Twitter into a “digital town square,” but his much-publicized Twitter Spaces kickoff event, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announcing his run for president, struggled with technical glitches and a near half-hour delay Wednesday. The billionaire Twitter owner said the problems were due to “straining” servers because so many people were trying to listen to the audio-only event. But even at their highest, the number of listeners listed topped out at around 420,000, far from the millions of viewers that televised presidential announcements attract.
Switzerland’s executive branch says it favors changes to copyright law to require large online service providers — including social media platforms and search engines — to pay media companies for use of journalistic content, even small excerpts. The Federal Council announced Wednesday that it’s opened a four-month examination of a proposed legal change to improve compensation for journalists and their media companies. Short previews of journalistic content, or “snippets,” are not currently protected under Swiss copyright law. The government said media companies and journalists don’t receive any remuneration from online service companies that use their work. Setting the rates of any such compensation would have to be worked out between industry players.
Jack Sweeney, the 20-year-old college student who was once banned from Twitter for posting the real-time movements of Elon Musk’s jet, has a new target: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Sweeney's new jet tracker on Twitter follows the movements of the official Florida state jet DeSantis uses for state business. Like Sweeney's revamped version of @elonjet, the DeSantis tracker reports movements after a 24-hour delay to comply with a Twitter rule change imposed after the company suspended his original Musk tracking account in December.
Did Big Tech just win big at the U.S. Supreme Court? That seems to be the view of most commentators in the wake of the recent unanimous decision in two cases that had the potential to challenge the so-called liability shield that protects internet service providers from liability for content posted by their users.
A fake image purportedly showing an explosion near the Pentagon has been widely shared on social media, sending a brief shiver through the stock market. But police and fire officials in Arlington, Virginia, said Monday that the image isn't real and there was no incident at the U.S. Department of Defense headquarters. Misinformation experts say the viral image displayed telltale signs of an AI-generated forgery. Business analysts said the visual hoax underscores the damage that increasingly sophisticated image generating software can inflict.
It's becoming increasingly difficult for Russians to escape government scrutiny. Authorities monitor social media accounts, prosecuting critics of President Vladimir Putin or the war in Ukraine. Surveillance cameras with facial recognition systems allow police to swiftly detain activists and draft dodgers. Even a once-praised online government service platform is seen as a tool of control, with plans to serve military summonses through it — rendering useless a popular draft evasion tactic of avoiding being handed the paperwork in person. Activists say Putin’s government has managed to harness digital technology to surveil, censor and control Russians — new territory in a nation with a long history of spying on its citizens.
The U.S. surgeon general is warning there is not enough evidence to show that social media is safe for young people. Dr. Vivek Murthy is calling on tech companies, parents and caregivers to take “immediate action to protect kids now.” With young people’s social media use “near universal” but its true impact not fully understood, Murthy is asking tech companies to share data and increase transparency with researchers and the general public. He asks policymakers to address the harms of social media the same way they regulate things like car seats, baby formula and other products children use.
TikTok is challenging Montana’s first-of-its kind law that makes it illegal for people to use the social media app in the state. Monday's lawsuit is the second against the state since the ban was adopted last week. The law's effects would be more far-reaching than bans already in place in nearly half the states and the U.S. federal government that prohibit use of the app on government devices. Experts say it will be extremely difficult to enforce, if not impossible.
A sharp uptick in thefts of Hyundais and Kias over the past two years has been linked to viral videos posted to TikTok and other social media platforms that teach people how to exploit a security vulnerability to steal the cars. Police and others say despite voluntary fixes from the automakers, waves of thefts have continued, illustrating the lingering effects of dangerous content that gains traction with teens looking to go viral. Police departments are frazzled, attorneys generals have urged federal intervention and cities and consumers have resorted to lawsuits to hold car companies accountable. Still, some point the finger at social media platforms unable to remove content at the breakneck speed it appears.
American lore is full of tales of the lone cowboy, the rugged individualist who will do what needs to be done and ride off into the sunset. In reality, loneliness in America can be deadly.
Popular YouTube star Hank Green announced he has Hodgkin’s lymphoma, one of the most treatable cancers, and said it was likely the cancer was caught early.
Five TikTok content creators have filed a lawsuit to overturn a planned ban on the video sharing app in Montana. They argued in a legal complaint filed in federal court in Missoula on Wednesday that the law is an unconstitutional violation of free speech rights. They also say the state doesn’t have authority over matters of national security. Republican Governor Greg Gianforte signed the bill into law Wednesday and said it would protect Montana residents’ private data and personal information from being harvested by the Chinese government. The ban is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
A lawyer for Twitter owner Elon Musk accused Microsoft of misusing the service’s data and demanded an audit from the software giant. While the letter addresses a seemingly narrow use of information from Twitter's database of tweets, the move could foreshadow more serious developments. Musk has previously accused Microsoft and its partner OpenAI in a tweet of “illegally” using Twitter data to develop AI systems. “Lawsuit time,” the Twitter owner wrote in an April tweet.
The outcome for now is a victory for the tech industry, though the high court remains free to take up the issue in a later case.
The Supreme Court has sided with Google, Twitter and Facebook in lawsuits seeking to hold them liable for terrorist attacks. But the justices sidestepped the big issue hovering over the cases — namely the federal law that shields social media companies from being sued over content posted by others. The justices unanimously rejected a lawsuit alleging that the companies allowed their platforms to be used to aid and abet an attack in Turkey and. In the case of an American college student who was killed in an Islamic State terrorist attack in Paris, a unanimous court returned the case to a lower court, but said there appeared to be little, if anything, left of it.
Google, Twitter, Facebook and other tech companies fueled by social media have dodged a legal threat that could have blown a huge hole in their business models. The U.S. Supreme Court delivered the reprieve Thursday by rejecting one lawsuit alleging social media platforms should be held liable for enabling a lethal attack on a Turkish nightclub and tossing another case back to a lower court. Those moves preserve a law known as Section 230 that shields social media services from being held responsible for the material posted on their platforms. The Associated Press explains why the law matters and why it still may be changed.
Should governments ban TikTok? Can they? A cybersecurity expert explains the risks the app poses and the challenges to blocking it
(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)
Election falsehoods are thriving on Twitter after former President Donald Trump dug in on those claims during a recent CNN town hall. That's going on despite Twitter owner Elon Musk insisting that stolen-election claims on the platform “will be corrected.” An analysis for The Associated Press shows the 10 most widely shared tweets promoting a “rigged election” narrative in the five days after the town hall have not been labeled or removed. Tech accountability experts say monitoring content on such a large scale is difficult. But they say Musk has reinstated notorious election deniers, overhauled the site's verification system and gutted much of the staff that had moderated such posts.
Montana has become the first state to enact a complete ban on TikTok. Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed the legislation Wednesday and it is scheduled to take effect next January. The measure is more sweeping than bans put in place in nearly half the states and by the U.S. federal government that prohibit TikTok on government devices. The law is expected to face legal challenges and become a testing ground for whether a TikTok-free America is possible. TikTok has vowed to fight for Montana residents to be able to use the video-sharing app, which is owned by a Chinese tech company.
Twitter’s move to purge inactive accounts is fueling outrage among the bereaved, who visit the accounts to mourn and remember their lost loved ones.
YouTube is great at sending users videos that it thinks they'll like based on their interests. But new research shows that the site's powerful algorithms can also flood young users with violent and disturbing content.
Elon Musk announced last week Twitter would be “purging accounts that have had no activity at all for several years.” The move caused outrage among people fearing they could lose tweets from now-inactive accounts, including those belonging to users who have died. Some users reported seeing profiles of late loved ones disappear — or have an “account suspended” message listed on it. Musk said that impacted accounts would be archived, and that pointed to freeing up abandoned handles as a reason behind removing the accounts. But most details remain unknown. In 2019, Twitter tried to implement a similar policy and received the same backlash.