Posted on

For Political Cartoonists, the Irony Was That Facebook Didn’t Recognize Irony

SAN FRANCISCO — Since 2013, Matt Bors has made a living as a left-leaning cartoonist on the internet. His site, The Nib, runs cartoons from him and other contributors that regularly skewer right-wing movements and conservatives with political commentary steeped in irony.One cartoon in December took aim at the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Mr. Bors titled it “Boys Will Be Boys” and depicted a recruitment where new Proud Boys were trained to be “stabby guys” and to “yell slurs at teenagers” while playing video games.Days later, Facebook sent Mr. Bors a message …

Read More

Posted on

China Punishes Microsoft’s LinkedIn Over Lax Censorship

LinkedIn has been the lone major American social network allowed to operate in China. To do so, the Microsoft-owned service for professionals censors the posts made by its millions of Chinese users.Now, it’s in hot water for not censoring enough.China’s internet regulator rebuked LinkedIn executives earlier this month for failing to control political content, according to three people briefed on the matter. Though it isn’t clear precisely what material got the company into trouble, the regulator said it found objectionable posts circulating in the period around an annual meeting of China’s lawmakers, said these …

Read More

Posted on

Rising encrypted app Signal is down in China

Chinese users of the instant messenger Signal knew that the good times wouldn’t last long. The app, which is used for encrypted conversations, is unavailable in mainland China as of the morning of March 16, a test by TechCrunch shows. The website of the app has been banned in mainland China since March 15, according to censorship tracking website Greatfire.org.
Signal could not be immediately reached for comment.
The encrypted chat app was one of the few Western social networks that remained accessible in China without the use of a virtual private network. The likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram …

Read More

Posted on

YouTube Removes Myanmar Military Channels

YouTube said on Friday that it had cut five television channels run by Myanmar’s military from its platform, the latest in a string of moves by American internet giants to pare back the military’s online footprint since it seized power in a coup last month.The company — a unit of Alphabet, which also owns Google — said in a statement that it had removed the channels and videos based on its community guidelines, though it did not specify what rules the military had broken. The blocked channels included the government-run Myanmar Radio and Television and the military-owned Myawaddy Media, …

Read More

Posted on

Facebook’s Oversight Board already ‘a bit frustrated’ — and it hasn’t made a call on Trump ban yet

The Facebook Oversight Board (FOB) is already feeling frustrated by the binary choices it’s expected to make as it reviews Facebook’s content moderation decisions, according to one of its members who was giving evidence to a UK House of Lords committee today which is running an enquiry into freedom of expression online. 
The FOB is currently considering whether to overturn Facebook’s ban on former US president, Donald Trump. The tech giant banned Trump “indefinitely” earlier this year after his supporters stormed the US capital.
The chaotic insurrection on January 6 led to a number of deaths and widespread …

Read More

Posted on

Facebook’s New Look in Australia: News and Hospitals Out, Aliens Still In

SYDNEY, Australia — A digitally savvy nation woke up Thursday to a shock on Facebook: The news was gone.The social media giant had decided to block journalism in Australia rather than pay the companies that produce it under legislation now before Parliament, angering a country of arguers who had grown used to Facebook as a regular forum for politics or culture.And then Australians discovered it wasn’t just those staples that were missing. Pages for state health departments and emergency services were also wiped clean. The Bureau of Meteorology, providing weather data in the middle of fire season — blank. …

Read More

Posted on

Clubhouse, a Tiny Audio Chat App, Breaks Through

SAN FRANCISCO — Robert Van Winkle, who is better known as the rapper Vanilla Ice, held court online last week with more than 1,000 fans.In a rambling conversation, Mr. Van Winkle praised the poses of the 1990s band Bell Biv DeVoe and demurred when asked about his relationship with Madonna. He dispensed advice on real estate and life, saying, “You got to protect your happiness to protect your life.” At one point, an attendee serenaded the gathering with an a cappella version of his hit “Ice Ice Baby.”Several hours later, Mr. Van Winkle confessed that he needed to leave before …

Read More

Posted on

Clubhouse Cracked China’s Firewall. A People Shined Through.

Clubhouse allows up to 5,000 users to join audio chatrooms that disappear once the conversation is over. Some users said its format made them feel more willing to share personal stories and listen to different opinions. One user said in a chatroom about censorship that everyone could see that all those people who in the mainland were labeled dissidents, like Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters, were real people. No longer were they hearing their voices filtered through official media.Since Saturday, I spent nearly all my waking hours wandering from one Clubhouse chatroom to another. In one room, a documentary filmmaker …

Read More

Posted on

China Blocks Clubhouse App After Brief Flowering of Debate

The app is also invite-only, which had prompted a small black market for invitation codes to emerge in recent days. Before the app was blocked, the going price for one code was up to 300 yuan, or about $46.That did not stop thousands of Chinese users from flocking to the platform, which provides audio chatrooms that disappear when the conversations end. In recent days, several Chinese-language chatrooms had been filled to the 5,000-user capacity. Some said they were connecting from the mainland, while others identified as Chinese people based overseas. Many said they were from Hong Kong and Taiwan.Seemingly every …

Read More

Posted on

Will the Clubhouse model work in China?

On Friday just past midnight, I stumbled across a Clubhouse room hosted by a well-known figure in the Chinese startup community, Feng Dahui. At half-past midnight, the room still had nearly 500 listeners, many of whom were engineers, product managers, and entrepreneurs from China.
The discussion centered around whether Clubhouse, an app that lets people join pop-up voice chats in virtual rooms, will succeed in China. That’s a question I have been asking myself in recent weeks. Given the current hype swirling in Silicon Valley about the audio social network, it’s unsurprising to see well-informed, tech-savvy Chinese users start …

Read More