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BuzzFeed's Craig Silverman says social media now (kinda) wants to be regulated – BetaKit

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The world is rushing to vaccinate itself against COVID-19. But what about the other virus? The one that attacks a society’s ability to function. Where’s the vaccine for that?

“If there’s ever been a 12-month period where the connection between online behaviour, online disinformation, and real-world harm, this is it.”
– Craig Silverman

You see it every day: the memes, the shitposting, the outrage, the outrageous lies. And their spread. Everywhere. Amplified and weaponized.

Today, we talk with Craig Silverman, Media Editor at Buzzfeed, who covers social platforms, misinformation, and fake news.

We had Craig on the BetaKit podcast in 2018 to discuss how bad actors can use tech and social media to “game the system” for their benefit.

Well, that hasn’t changed. In fact, it has only accelerated. Dramatically.

The acceleration of social media disinformation is also impacting the fight against COVID-19, and frankly, consensus that the pandemic is something to be fought against.

Craig told us before recording that, like COVID itself, COVID misinformation is a global phenomenon. It’s morphed over time from conspiracies about the virus’ origin, to fake cures and stuff about masks. And now, Craig is also seeing a ton of anti-vaccine misinformation.

We talk about all of that on this episode, but also the current status of the fight against disinformation on social media, how vulnerable Canada is, the desire from social media platforms to be regulated (in a way that still allows them to make money), and what it’s like to be a part of the fight for truth when a lot of people now see you as the enemy.

Subscribe via: RSS, iTunes, Spotify Stitcher, Google Play

Black Swan is a BetaKit podcast. Hosted by Douglas Soltys & Rob Kenedi. Edited by Kattie Laur. Produced with support from TWG.

Feature image courtesy Communitech.

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India plans new social media controls after Twitter face-off – Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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Article content

NEW DELHI — Chafing from a dispute with Twitter, India plans to oblige social media companies to erase contentious content fast and assist investigations, according to a draft regulation.

New Delhi’s planned “Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code” – a copy of which was seen by Reuters – come as various nations around the world try to assert tighter control over powerful Big Tech firms.

Facebook faced a global backlash from publishers and politicians last week after blocking news feeds in Australia in a dispute with the government over revenue-sharing.

In India, Twitter ignored orders to remove content over farmers’ protests, fueling the zeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government since 2018 to tighten regulation for content it deems disinformation or unlawful.

The latest draft rules – which would be legally enforcable -say companies should remove content as early as possible, but not later than 36 hours, after a government or legal order.

They must also assist in investigations or other cyber security-related incidents within 72 hours of a request. Further, if a post depicts an individual in any sexual act or conduct, then companies must disable or remove such content within a day of receiving a complaint, the rules added.

Article content

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Twitter, which did not take down all accounts the government alleged were spreading lies about the protests over agricultural reforms, declined to comment.

RACIAL, RELIGIOUS CONTEXT

The draft proposal also requires companies to appoint a chief compliance officer, another executive for coordinating on law enforcement and a “grievance redressal officer.”

All must be resident Indian citizens.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It was unclear when the rules would be announced of if they may undergo further changes.

Industry sources say new regulations could hit Big Tech firms’ investment plans in India and increase compliance headaches. The rules would also apply across other digital and online media, the draft proposal said.

“A publisher shall take into consideration India’s multi-racial and multi-religious context and exercise due caution and discretion when featuring the activities, beliefs, practices, or views of any racial or religious group,” the draft rules said.

Referring to films and other entertainment, including web-based serials, the draft rules called for a “classification rating” to describe content and advise discretion.

Streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have faced complaints in India for obscenity.

Police in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh questioned an Amazon executive for nearly four hours on Tuesday over allegations that a political drama, “Tandav,” hurt religious sentiments and caused public anger. (Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Sankalp Phartiyal in New Delhi; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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India plans new social media controls after Twitter face-off – Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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Article content

NEW DELHI — Chafing from a dispute with Twitter, India plans to oblige social media companies to erase contentious content fast and assist investigations, according to a draft regulation.

New Delhi’s planned “Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code” – a copy of which was seen by Reuters – come as various nations around the world try to assert tighter control over powerful Big Tech firms.

Facebook faced a global backlash from publishers and politicians last week after blocking news feeds in Australia in a dispute with the government over revenue-sharing.

In India, Twitter ignored orders to remove content over farmers’ protests, fueling the zeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government since 2018 to tighten regulation for content it deems disinformation or unlawful.

The latest draft rules – which would be legally enforcable -say companies should remove content as early as possible, but not later than 36 hours, after a government or legal order.

They must also assist in investigations or other cyber security-related incidents within 72 hours of a request. Further, if a post depicts an individual in any sexual act or conduct, then companies must disable or remove such content within a day of receiving a complaint, the rules added.

Article content

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Twitter, which did not take down all accounts the government alleged were spreading lies about the protests over agricultural reforms, declined to comment.

RACIAL, RELIGIOUS CONTEXT

The draft proposal also requires companies to appoint a chief compliance officer, another executive for coordinating on law enforcement and a “grievance redressal officer.”

All must be resident Indian citizens.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It was unclear when the rules would be announced of if they may undergo further changes.

Industry sources say new regulations could hit Big Tech firms’ investment plans in India and increase compliance headaches. The rules would also apply across other digital and online media, the draft proposal said.

“A publisher shall take into consideration India’s multi-racial and multi-religious context and exercise due caution and discretion when featuring the activities, beliefs, practices, or views of any racial or religious group,” the draft rules said.

Referring to films and other entertainment, including web-based serials, the draft rules called for a “classification rating” to describe content and advise discretion.

Streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have faced complaints in India for obscenity.

Police in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh questioned an Amazon executive for nearly four hours on Tuesday over allegations that a political drama, “Tandav,” hurt religious sentiments and caused public anger. (Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Sankalp Phartiyal in New Delhi; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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Watch Live: Canadiens' Bergevin, Ducharme speak with media – Sportsnet.ca

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Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin and interim head coach Dominique Ducharme will speak with media Wednesday in wake of the firing of Claude Julien and Kirk Muller.

Watch the full press conference live on sportsnet.ca starting at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT.

Note: If video doesn’t appear above at the schedule time, please refresh the page.

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