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Rupert Murdoch, Accepting Award, Condemns ‘Awful Woke Orthodoxy’

The media mogul Rupert Murdoch denounced an “awful woke orthodoxy” and declared, “I’m far from done,” while accepting a lifetime achievement award this weekend.Mr. Murdoch, 89, made the remarks in a prerecorded video shown on Saturday during a virtual event for the United Kingdom nonprofit that honored him, the Australia Day Foundation. The video was shared on the website of The Herald Sun, a newspaper in Melbourne owned by Mr. Murdoch.The video is noteworthy because Mr. Murdoch, despite exerting enormous influence over the global media landscape as the executive chairman of News Corp, has been relatively quiet publicly …

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Trump Wants Back on Facebook. This Star-Studded Jury Might Let Him.

That’s how some of the board’s members see it as well.“Practically the only entities that I trust less than the companies would be the government,” Mr. McConnell said.To others, the idea of global corporations becoming de facto governments is dystopian — and the board’s promise reflects low expectations for democratic governance. “No board, whether corporate or ‘independent,’ can or should replace a parliament,” said Marietje Schaake, a Dutch politician who is a member of the “real” board. “Both the storming of the Capitol and social media companies’ panicked reactions have laid bare the depth of unchecked …

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Inside Twitter’s Decision to Cut Off Trump

SAN FRANCISCO — Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, was working remotely on a private island in French Polynesia frequented by celebrities escaping the paparazzi when a phone call interrupted him on Jan. 6.On the line was Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s top lawyer and safety expert, with an update from the real world. She said she and other company executives had decided to lock President Trump’s account, temporarily, to prevent him from posting statements that might provoke more violence after a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol that day.Mr. Dorsey was concerned about the move, said two people with …

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As Trump Clashes With Big Tech, China’s Censored Internet Takes His Side

After Twitter and Facebook kicked President Trump off their platforms, and his supporters began comparing his social media muzzling to Chinese censorship, the president won support from an unexpected source: China.“Legally he’s still the president. This is a coup,” said one comment, which included an expletive, that was liked 21,000 times on Weibo, the Chinese social media platform.“A country as big as the United States can’t tolerate Trump’s mouth,” another popular comment said. “U.S. democracy has died.”The comments were solicited by Guancha.com, a nationalistic news site, which created the hashtag #BigUSappsunitedtosilenceTrump# on Weibo. …

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Facebook and Twitter Face International Scrutiny After Trump Ban

LONDON — In Sri Lanka and Myanmar, Facebook kept up posts that it had been warned contributed to violence. In India, activists have urged the company to combat posts by political figures targeting Muslims. And in Ethiopia, groups pleaded for the social network to block hate speech after hundreds were killed in ethnic violence inflamed by social media.“The offline troubles that rocked the country are fully visible on the online space,” activists, civil society groups and journalists in Ethiopia wrote in an open letter last year.For years, Facebook and Twitter have largely rebuffed calls to remove hate speech or …

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How Parler, a Chosen App of Trump Fans, Became a Test of Free Speech

Parler grew slowly until early 2020, when Twitter began labeling Mr. Trump’s tweets as inaccurate and some of his supporters joined Parler in protest. After November’s election, Parler grew even more quickly as Facebook and Twitter clamped down on false claims that the vote had been rigged. So many users signed up that, at times, they overloaded the company’s systems and forced it to pause new registrations.In total, people downloaded Parler’s app more than 10 million times last year, with 80 percent in the United States, according to Sensor Tower, the app data firm.Last Wednesday, Mr. Trump …

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A Year After Wuhan, China Tells a Tale of Triumph (and No Mistakes)

At a museum in Wuhan, China, a sprawling exhibition paints a stirring tale of how the city’s sacrifices in a brutal 76-day lockdown led to triumph over the coronavirus and, ultimately, rebirth.No costs appear to have been spared for the show, which features a hologram of medical staff members moving around a hospital room, heart-rending letters from frontline health workers and a replica of a mass quarantine site, complete with beds, miniature Chinese flags and toothbrush cups.But the exhibition is also striking for what is not included. There is no mention of the whistle-blowing role of Ai …

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Twitter’s Ban on Trump Shows Where Power Now Lies

It was a perfect match, and Mr. Trump soon began honing the freewheeling, stream-of-consciousness style that would become his signature. For years, he used the platform to weigh in on everything from wind turbines (ugly) to President Barack Obama’s birth certificate (fake) to Jon Stewart’s comedy (overrated). Mr. Trump’s filter-free musings turned out to be engagement gold for Twitter, which recommended his tweets to millions of new users through its algorithms.Social media became an even more powerful asset for Mr. Trump when he turned to politics. And after he got elected president, thanks in large part …

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Amazon, Apple and Google Cut Off Parler, an App That Drew Trump Supporters

Other platforms that host posts by right-wing influencers, including CloutHub and MyMilitia — a forum for militia groups — adjusted their terms of service recently to ban threats of violence.DLive was pressured by Tipalti, a payment company that helps it operate. Tilpati said in a statement that it had suspended its service until DLive removed the accounts that had broadcast the riots on Wednesday.Such third-party companies that help apps and websites function, from payment processors to cybersecurity firms to web-hosting providers like Amazon, have used their positions to influence how their customers handle extremist or criminal activity. In 2019, Cloudflare, a …

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How China Censored Covid-19

This article is copublished with ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative newsroom.In the early hours of Feb. 7, China’s powerful internet censors experienced an unfamiliar and deeply unsettling sensation. They felt they were losing control.The news was spreading quickly that Li Wenliang, a doctor who had warned about a strange new viral outbreak only to be threatened by the police and accused of peddling rumors, had died of Covid-19. Grief and fury coursed through social media. To people at home and abroad, Dr. Li’s death showed the terrible cost of the Chinese government’s instinct to suppress inconvenient information. …

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