Twitter Launches ‘Birdwatch,’ Forum

In an effort to combat misinformation, Twitter says it hopes to build a community of “Birdwatchers” that can eventually help moderate and label tweets in its main product.

Twitter Permanently Suspends My Pillow CEO For Election Misinformation

Judge Says Amazon Won’t Have To Restore Parler

U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein in Seattle said she wasn’t dismissing Parler’s “substantive underlying claims” against Amazon, but said it had fallen short in demonstrating the need for an injunction forcing it back online. Amazon kicked Parler off its web-hosting service on Jan. 11. In court filings, it said the suspension was a “last resort” to block Parler from harboring violent plans to disrupt the presidential transition.

YouTube Extends Trump Ban For ‘Minimum’ Of Another 7 Days

YouTube announced on Tuesday that it is extending its suspension of uploads from outgoing President Trump’s account for “a minimum” of another seven days, citing “concerns about the ongoing potential for violence.” The Google-owned platform, which initiated the Trump ban last week after Trump supporters’ insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, confirmed that it will also continue to stop comments from showing on videos posted in Trump’s channel.

@POTUS Resets As Twitter Juggles Presidential Accounts

It’s a Twitter user’s worst nightmare: Wake up to find most of your followers gone. But that’s exactly what will happen on Wednesday to the official presidential accounts on Twitter. No, not @realDonaldTrump — he’s already been banned for life. This is the fate awaiting lesser-known accounts such as @POTUS, @WhiteHouse, @FLOTUS and @VP. (POTUS […]

Parler Reappears With Help From Russian-Owned Security Service

Parler, the free-speech social network, reappeared with the help of a Russian-owned web security service as the website hunts for a way around bans that took it offline earlier this month. “Our return is inevitable due to hard work, and persistence against all odds,” CEO John Matze wrote in a new post, the latest since Amazon Web Services stopped hosting the site and it was banned from Apple’s and Google’s app stores. “Despite the threats and harassment not one Parler employee has quit. We are becoming closer and stronger as a team.”

CEO Says Parler Could Return Soon

Parler CEO John Matze expects his controversial social network to get back online soon despite Amazon booting the app from its servers.

TikTok Poised To Outlast Trump, Test Biden

It is unclear how the president-elect will approach the Chinese tech industry.

Coverage Of Capitol Attack Generates Millions Of YouTube Views For TV Networks

As the historic events unfolded on Capitol Hill during the afternoon and evening of Jan. 6, people around the world tuned into news networks and social media to follow what was happening. The TV networks also harnessed social platforms such as YouTube to share breaking news, videos and more as the Capitol was thrown into chaos.

Twitter CEO Defends Trump Ban; Warns Of Dangerous Precedent

“I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter,“ Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey wrote. But he added: ”I believe this was the right decision for Twitter.” Dorsey acknowledged that shows of strength like the Trump ban could set dangerous precedents, even calling them a sign of “failure.” Although not in so many words, Dorsey suggested that Twitter needs to find ways to avoid having to make such decisions in the first place.

Millions Flock To Telegram, Signal As Fears Grow Over Big Tech

The encrypted messaging services have become the world’s hottest apps over the last week, driven by growing anxiety over the power of the biggest tech companies and privacy concerns.

Pai Has Issues With Permanent Trump Social Media Bans

In response to a question on his last press call, outgoing FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said he has some issues with the permanent bans on President Trump’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, adding that he recognized the country was going through difficult times “and these are difficult questions to confront.”

Snapchat Permanently Bans Donald Trump

Snapchat has permanently banned President Trump’s account for his “attempts to spread misinformation, hate speech and incite violence,” a company spokesperson confirmed to TheWrap on Wednesday. “Last week we announced an indefinite suspension of President Trump’s Snapchat account, and have been assessing what long term action is in the best interest of our Snapchat community,” a Snapchat spokesperson said in a statement.

Fringe Social Networks Boosted After Mob Attack

Fringe social media networks are seeing their user bases swell in the aftermath of last week’s insurrection at the Capitol building and the subsequent banning of President Trump and some of his loudest supporters from Facebook and Twitter.

YouTube Temporarily Suspends Trump’s Account

YouTube announced that it will temporarily suspend President Donald Trump’s official account for at least seven days. The video sharing platform now joins a number of internet apps, including Twitter and Snapchat, that have limited the president’s access following his involvement in last Wednesday’s violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, which left at least six people dead.

Twitter Shares Plunge As Company Faces Washington, Wall Street Blowback

Twitter shares plunged by more than 10% Monday in early morning trading following the social media giant’s move to ban President Trump, reflecting fears of political retribution and financial fallout stemming from the company’s decision.

Parler Sues Amazon For Yanking Web Support

The social media platform, beloved by conservatives, went offline after Amazon pulled its web support.

How Parler, A Chosen App Of Trump Fans, Became A Test Of Free Speech

COMMENTARY BY JACK SHAFER

Trump Media Empire? Don’t Bet On It

He may desperately need his own platform now that he’s been exiled from Twitter, but it’s going to cost him more than he’s got.

UPDATED SUNDAY 12:32 PM ET

Squelched By Twitter, Trump Seeks A New Outlet

Though deprived of his big online megaphones, Trump does have alternative options of much smaller reach, led by the far right-friendly Parler — even if Google and Apple both removed it from their app stores.

Twitter Permanently Bans Donald Trump

Twitter on Friday permanently suspended President Donald Trump from the site, meting out its toughest punishment two days after a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

Facebook ‘Indefinitely’ Bans Trump

Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that outgoing president Donald Trump is “indefinitely” banned from Facebook and Instagram. The indefinite banning comes one day after the Capitol came under siege by a group of the president’s supporters, sending lawmakers into a lockdown and leaving four people dead.

Facebook Pages Redesign Eliminates ‘Like’ Button

Facebook Pages has had a makeover. One of the most dramatic changes is the elimination of the “Like” button. The social network explains that rather than focusing on approval or disapproval with a “Like” button, the change will focus on Followers, a more direct measurement of how the page connects with people.

UPDATED THURSDAY, 2:28 AM

Capitol Violence Sparks Social Media Reckoning With Trump

On Wednesday, in an unprecedented step, the two companies temporarily suspended Trump from posting to their platforms after a mob of his supporters stormed the house of Congress. It was the most aggressive action either company has yet taken against Trump, who more than a decade ago embraced the immediacy and scale of Twitter to rally loyalists, castigate enemies and spread false rumors.

WTXF’s ‘The Feed AT Night,’ Takes Viewers On Social Media Tour

McConnell Ties $2,000 Checks To Section 230

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signaled Wednesday that the Senate would not be voting on the House-passed Bill (HR 9051) providing $2,000 COVID-19 relief check — a figure suggested by President Trump — essentially adding the poison pill of Sec. 230 to any vote on such relief, something Democrats signaled they weren’t going to support.

McConnell: Senate Will Launch Look At Sec. 230

Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that this week the Senate “will begin a process” of bringing the priority of reviewing and potentially revising Section 230 “into focus.” That came in his opening remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday as the Senate prepared to vote Wednesday to override the president’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act.

From Zoom To Quibi, 2020’S Tech Winners & Losers

We streamed, we Zoomed, we ordered groceries and houseplants online, we created virtual villages while navigating laptop shortages to work and learn from home. In many ways, 2020′s pandemic-induced isolation threw our dependence on technology into overdrive, snipping away at our real-life connections while bringing digital relationships to the fore. But for every life-changing Zoom, […]

US Appeals Order Blocking TikTok Restrictions

The U.S. government on Monday appealed a federal judge’s order that blocked the Commerce Department from imposing restrictions on Chinese-owned short video-sharing app TikTok that would have effectively barred its use in the United States.

Time Running Out For FCC To Take Up Trump Attack On Social Media

The FCC has run low on time to adopt an order trimming a liability shield for social media companies, leaving the fate of a request from President Donald Trump in doubt. Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai let slip a Wednesday deadline for setting a vote on the proposal at the next monthly meeting of the agency, which is scheduled for Jan. 13 and is the last before he leaves the commission a week later.

Trump Vetoes Defense Bill, Faults Congress For Not Repealing Section 230

Donald Trump followed through on a threat to veto a major $740 billion defense bill, in part because it does not repeal a key law that shields social media platforms from liability for the way that they moderate third-party content. Trump’s rejection of the law had been anticipated, as Congress is planning to return next week to take a possible vote to override the veto.

COMMENTARY BY GABE SCHNEIDER

Journalism Outlets Need New Social Media Policies

While social media has become a driving force for digital readership, and therefore ad revenue or donors, many legacy newsrooms have barely pushed the envelope in changing their social media policies.

TVN’S NEWSTECHFORUM 2020

NTF 2020 | TV Reporters Grapple With Heightened Hostility On Social

Social media experts at newsrooms including those of Gray, Fox, Graham and Scripps stations and national outlet Newsy says viewers have ramped up aggressive attacks on their social posts this year. At TVNewsCheck’s NewsTECHForum on Dec. 18, they said a more polarized audience has heightened their need to be more circumspect on social and to diffuse often hostile salvos they receive.

Lindsey Graham Introduces Sec. 230-Killing Bill

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has introduced a bill that would sunset social media networks’ Sec. 230 immunity from civil liability for third-party content moderation. The sunset would not come until Jan. 1, 2023, so the bill is more like a spur to some kind of reform to the section between now and then.

FTC Opens Privacy Study Into Internet Platforms

The Federal Trade Commission on Monday voted to issue orders to nine major internet platforms requiring information about how they handle data for a new study. The orders, which do not implicate any legal wrongdoing, were sent to Amazon, ByteDance (the parent company of TikTok), Discord, Facebook, Reddit, Snap, Twitter, WhatsApp and Youtube. The agency is requesting information about how the platforms collect, use, track or estimate personal and demographic information.

Senate Rebuffs Trump On Section 230 Repeal

Rejecting a demand by President Trump, the Senate on Friday passed a defense-spending bill that doesn’t include a repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The House voted in favor of a similar defense-spending bill earlier in the week. Both chambers passed the bills with veto-proof majorities.

Google, YouTube To Let Users Opt Out Of Gambling And Alcohol Ads

 

The feature will begin in Ad Settings in the U.S. with YouTube Ads, then in Google Ads and YouTube globally in early 2021. Countries with legal restrictions against serving gambling and alcohol ads will not see any change in their policies.

US, States Bring Antitrust Action Against Facebook

The antitrust lawsuits were announced by the Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Twitch Cracks Down On Hate Speech, Harassment

The livestreaming site announced new guidelines after contending with claims that its streamers were too easily abused.

States, Feds Expected To File Antitrust Lawsuits Against Facebook

The filings from more than 40 attorneys general and the U.S. government will allege the tech giant engaged in unlawful tactics to buy or kill off its rivals and solidify its dominance in social networking.