On the Media: Facebook Censorship, “You Are the Product,” and the Global Internet and Copyright Directive

Facebook’s idea of ‘fact-checking’: Censoring ThinkProgress because conservative site told them to

Click on the title to read  the full article

CREDIT: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

CREDIT: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Last year, Facebook announced that it would partner with The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, to “fact check” news articles that are shared on Facebook. At the time, ThinkProgress expressed alarm at this decision.

The Weekly Standard has a history of placing right-wing ideology before accurate reporting. Among other things, it labeled the Iraq War “A War to Be Proud Of” in 2005, and it ran an article in 2017 labeling climate science “Dadaist Science,” and promoted that article with the phrase “look under the hood on climate change ‘science’ and what you see isn’t pretty.”

The article in question, which this reporter wrote, pointed out that, when you read a statement Kavanaugh made during his confirmation hearing alongside a statement he made in a 2017, it becomes clear he is communicating that he opposes Roe v. Wade. Our article is factually accurate and The Weekly Standard’s allegation against us is wrong.

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“You Are The Product”: Big Data & Social Media Safety

Las Vegas, NV – Millions of people throughout the world use social media on a daily basis searching for information, shopping, and even dating (to name just a few). Companies such as Facebook and Google offer “free” services to connect you to vast amounts of information, but at what cost to the user?

At DEFCON 26, Unicorn Riot talked with Jesse Hitch, a DevOps engineer, about the dangers of becoming the product itself simply by using social media. In the video below, Jesse explains how social media companies track and compile analytics of every online person using their services, and then sell your profile information to data brokers. Those same data brokers then use your personal data to sell you products through targeted ads and even manipulate what information you see (or don’t see in some cases). In the last few years, Cambridge Analytica, in collusion with some elected officials, were found to be manipulating voters through micro-targeted Facebook ads to influence the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election and even the UK’s Brexit vote.

In the video, Jesse Hitch discusses using tracker blocking ad-on software when browsing the internet, such as NoScript and the EFF’s Privacy Badger. He also talks about other methods to avoid being tracked such as changing your social media settings and even using multiple browsers.

Jesse Hitch is a trans and queer DevOps engineer specialized in full stack development aimed at automation, and IT tooling. In his spare time, he researches security and privacy for the average user, creating and distributing easily digestible materials to keep everyone anonymous and safe from “bad people.” – QueerCon

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EU approves controversial Copyright Directive, including internet ‘link tax’ and ‘upload filter’

Those in favor say they’re fighting for content creators, but critics say the new laws will be ‘catastrophic’

Article 13: The legislation requires that platforms proactively work with rightsholders to stop users uploading copyrighted content. The only way to do so would be to scan all data being uploaded to sites like YouTube and Facebook. This would create an incredible burden for small platforms, and could be used as a mechanism for widespread censorship.

The European Parliament has voted in favor of the Copyright Directive, a controversial piece of legislation intended to update online copyright laws for the internet age.

The directive was originally rejected by MEPs in July following criticism of two key provisions: Articles 11 and 13, dubbed the “link tax” and “upload filter” by critics. However, in parliament this morning, an updated version of the directive was approved, along with amended versions of Articles 11 and 13. The final vote was 438 in favor and 226 against.

THE FIGHT IS FAR FROM FINISHED

The fallout from this decision will be far-reaching, and take a long time to settle. The directive itself still faces a final vote in January 2019 (although experts say it’s unlikely it will be rejected). After that it will need to be implemented by individual EU member states, who could very well vary significantly in how they choose to interpret the directive’s text.

The most important parts of this are Articles 11 and 13. Article 11 is intended to give publishers and papers a way to make money when companies like Google link to their stories, allowing them to demand paid licenses. Article 13 requires certain platforms like YouTube and Facebook stop users sharing unlicensed copyrighted material.

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JURI Committee Press

@EP_Legal

Plenary adopts it’s negotiating position on copyright rules for the digital single market. Negotiations with Council will begin soon.

Twitter Ads info and privacy

Critics of the Copyright Directive say these provisions are disastrous. In the case of Article 11, they note that attempts to “tax” platforms like Google News for sharing articles have repeatedly failed, and that the system would be ripe to abuse by copyright trolls.

Article 13, they say, is even worse. The legislation requires that platforms proactively work with rightsholders to stop users uploading copyrighted content. The only way to do so would be to scan all data being uploaded to sites like YouTube and Facebook. This would create an incredible burden for small platforms, and could be used as a mechanism for widespread censorship. This is why figures like Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee came out so strongly against the directive.

THE COPYRIGHT DIRECTIVE IS SET TO RESHAPE THE INTERNET GLOBALLY

However, those backing these provisions say the arguments above are the result of scaremongering by big US tech companies, eager to keep control of the web’s biggest platforms. They point to existing laws and amendments to the directive as proof it won’t be abused in this way. These include exemptions for sites like GitHub and Wikipedia from Article 13, and exceptions to the “link tax” that allow for the sharing of mere hyperlinks and “individual words” describing articles without constraint.

In remarks following the vote in Parliament this morning, MEP Axel Voss, who has led the charge on Articles 11 and 13, thanked his fellow politicians “for the job we have done together.” “This is a good sign for the creative industries in Europe,” said Voss. Opposing MEPs like Julia Reda of the Pirate Party described the outcome as “catastrophic.”

Despite these disagreements, what’s clear is that if the Copyright Directive receives final approval by the European Parliament in January, it will have a huge, disruptive impact on the internet, both in the European Union and around the world. Exactly how the legislation will be interpreted will be up to individual nations, but the shift in the balance of power is clear: the web’s biggest tech companies are losing their grip on the internet.

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Like many other independent news and media sites, Rise Up Times has noticed a decline in the number of people looking at articles due to censorship by Google, Facebook, and other internet corporations. Independent journalism has become the last bastion in seeking and telling the truth as government and corporate lies are promoted by the mainstream corporate media. In the name of democratic rights for all, please support us now and share articles widely. The people, Yes!

Sue Ann Martinson, Editor, Rise Up Times

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The contents of Rise Up Times do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor. Rise Up Times republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources.  Articles are chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers.

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