UK outs extremism blocking tool and could force tech firms to use it

The UK government's pressure on tech giants to do more about online extremism just got weaponized. The Home Secretary has today announced a machine learning tool, developed with public money by a loca

ECJ to rule on whether Facebook needs to hunt for hate speech

Austria's Supreme Court is referring a legal challenge over the extent of Facebook's responsibility to remove hate speech postings to Europe's top court for an opinion. The case has clear implications

Europe keeps up the pressure on social media over illegal content takedowns

The European Union's executive body is continuing to pressure social media firms to get better at removing illegal content from their platforms before it has a chance to spread further online. 

Telegram and Instagram being restricted in Iran

Messaging app Telegram and Facebook-owned social sharing platform Instagram appear to be being blocked in Iran.

Twitter will tell users if content was blocked to comply with local laws or legal demands

Twitter will now display messages to inform users if blocked tweets were withheld to comply with local laws or court orders, which it calls Country Withheld Content (CWC). The public already has infor

WeChat begins censoring users ahead of China’s National Party Congress

Expect to see plenty of censorship news coming out of China over the next week. The country's National Congress is a hugely influential political summit that takes place every five years, and includes

Germany’s social media hate speech law is now in effect

A new law has come into force in Germany aimed at regulating social media platforms to ensure they remove hate speech within set periods of receiving complaints -- within 24 hours in straightforward c

Tech giants pressured to auto-flag “illegal” content in Europe

Social media giants have again been put on notice that they need to do more to speed up removals of hate speech and other illegal content from their platforms in the European Union. The bloc’s e

Saudi Arabia opens itself to Skype, WhatsApp and other internet calling services

Lifting a longtime ban, Saudi Arabia will open up the country to online calling services. Apps like Skype and WhatsApp will become functional in the country on Wednesday at midnight local time. The an

Snap blocks Al Jazeera in Saudi Arabia to “comply with local laws”

Snap has bowed to pressure from the government of Saudi Arabia to censor a news channel operated by the Qatar-based news broadcaster, Al Jazeera, from the Snapchat Discover section of its app.

Study finds Reddit’s controversial ban of its most toxic subreddits actually worked

It seems like just the other day that Reddit finally banned a handful of its most hateful and deplorable subreddits, including r/coontown and r/fatpeoplehate. The move was, at the time, derided by som

Weibo users given one-week warning to provide real names

The 340 million users of Sina Weibo, China's popular microblogging service, have been given one week to link their accounts to a real name. The crackdown is being conducted in order to comply with new

China doubles down on real-name registration laws, forbidding anonymous online posts

China's crackdown on Internet freedom is getting even more intense. Last Friday, the country's top Internet censor announced a new set of regulations (link via Google Translate) meant to eliminate pos

Google drops domain hosting for infamous neo-Nazi site the Daily Stormer

After GoDaddy told the Daily Stormer to get lost, the neo-Nazi news site chose Google as a new home for its controversial domain. Now, Google too has given the site the boot.

Putin passes law that will ban VPNs in Russia

Russia has banned VPNs and other technology that allows users to gain anonymous access to websites.

Tumblr says it fixed the ‘Safe Mode’ glitch that hid innocent posts, including LGBTQ+ content

Tumblr this week introduced a “safe mode” for its service, which combines the company’s previously available “safe search” functionality with a new filter that would hide

China clamps down on live-streaming services

The Chinese government has cracked down on three of the country’s top live-streaming services over their apparent broadcast of unsuitable political content. Weibo, the Nasdaq-listed microbloggin

Thailand jails man for 35 years for Facebook posts that insulted its royal family

A man in Thailand has been sentenced to 35 years in prison after he was found guilty of insulting the country's royal family on Facebook. Identified only as Wichai, he is alleged to have published 10

China’s Weibo restricts overseas users on Tiananmen anniversary

This weekend marked the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in China in 1989, one of the most infamous dates in the country’s modern history. The government has never acknowledged nor

Facebook’s content moderation rules dubbed ‘alarming’ by child safety charity

The Guardian has published details of Facebook's content moderation guidelines covering controversial issues such as violence, hate speech and self-harm culled from more than 100 internal training man
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