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Facebook’s Trump Ban Will Last at Least 2 Years

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook said on Friday that Donald J. Trump’s suspension from the service would last at least two years, keeping the former president off mainstream social media for the 2022 midterm elections, as the company also said it would end a policy of treating posts from politicians differently from those of other users.The social network said Mr. Trump would be eligible for reinstatement in January 2023, before the next presidential election. It will then look to experts to decide “whether the risk to public safety has receded,” Facebook said. The company barred Mr. Trump from the service after he …

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Indian Police Visit Twitter Offices as Modi Goes on Pandemic Offense

The officers from India’s elite antiterrorism police unit descended after dusk on the New Delhi offices of Twitter, with television news cameras in tow. Their mission: Start an argument over fake news.The offices sat empty, closed amid India’s devastating coronavirus outbreak. And the police acknowledged that they were there to deliver nothing more legally binding than a notice disputing a warning label that Twitter had assigned to some tweets.But symbolically, the visit by the police on Monday night sent a clear message that India’s powerful ruling party is becoming increasingly upset with Twitter because of …

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Florida, in a First, Will Fine Social Media Companies That Bar Candidates

WASHINGTON — Florida on Monday became the first state to regulate how companies like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter moderate speech online, by imposing fines on social media companies that permanently bar political candidates in the state.The law, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, is a direct response to Facebook’s and Twitter’s bans of former President Donald J. Trump in January. In addition to the fines for barring candidates, it makes it illegal to prevent some news outlets from posting to their platforms in response to the contents of their stories.Mr. DeSantis said signing the bill, which is likely …

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Mob Violence Against Palestinians in Israel Is Fueled by Groups on WhatsApp

Last Wednesday, a message appeared in a new WhatsApp channel called “Death to the Arabs.” The message urged Israelis to join a mass street brawl against Palestinian citizens of Israel.Within hours, dozens of other new WhatsApp groups popped up with variations of the same name and message. The groups soon organized a 6 p.m. start time for a clash in Bat Yam, a town on Israel’s coast.“Together we organize and together we act,” read a message in one of the WhatsApp groups. “Tell your friends to join the group, because here we know how to defend Jewish …

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How a Jeopardy! Contestant’s Hand Gesture Became Part of a Conspiracy

“Thank you for reaching out regarding your concern over a Jeapardy [sic] contestant flashing what you believed to be a white power hand signal,” wrote Aaron Ahlquist, of the A.D.L., according to text posted to the group by the contestant who had emailed the group. “We have reviewed the tape and it looks like he is simply holding up three fingers when they say he is a three-time champion. We do not interpret his hand signal to be indicative of any ideology. However, we are grateful to you for raising your concern, and please do not hesitate to …

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Facebook Oversight Board Tells Zuckerberg He’s the Decider on Trump

When Mr. Zuckerberg first pitched the idea of a “Facebook Supreme Court” several years ago, he promoted it as a way to make the company’s governance more democratic, by forming an independent body of subject matter experts and giving them the power to hear appeals from users.“I think in any kind of good-functioning democratic system, there needs to be a way to appeal,” Mr. Zuckerberg told Ezra Klein in a 2018 Vox podcast.The oversight board also served another purpose. For years, Mr. Zuckerberg had been called in as Facebook’s policy judge of last resort. (In 2018, for example, …

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Trump Ban From Facebook Upheld by Oversight Board

“Facebook has been clearly abused by influential users,” said Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a co-chair of the Oversight Board.Facebook does not have to adopt these recommendations but said it “will carefully review” them.For Mr. Trump, Facebook was long a place to rally his digital base and support other Republicans. More than 32 million people followed him on Facebook, though that was far fewer than the more than 88 million followers he had on Twitter.Over the years, Mr. Trump and Mr. Zuckerberg shared a testy relationship. Mr. Trump regularly assailed Silicon Valley executives for what he perceived to be their suppression of …

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New York Post Reporter Who Wrote False Kamala Harris Story Resigns

Ms. Italiano, a veteran Post journalist and longtime chronicler of the New York City courts, is a well-liked figure in the paper’s newsroom. She did not respond to inquiries about her resignation or how the Harris article came to be. Representatives for The Post did not respond to calls and emails on Tuesday night.Her abrupt exit underscored some of the tensions currently roiling The Post, a classic pugilistic city tabloid that was often a vessel for coverage favorable to former President Donald J. Trump during his term in office.Mr. Murdoch, who spoke frequently with Mr. Trump, installed …

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Extremists Find a Financial Lifeline on Twitch

Terpsichore Maras-Lindeman, a podcaster who fought to overturn the 2020 presidential election, recently railed against mask mandates to her 4,000 fans in a live broadcast and encouraged them to enter stores maskless. On another day, she grew emotional while thanking them for sending her $84,000.Millie Weaver, a former correspondent for the conspiracy theory website Infowars, speculated on her channel that coronavirus vaccines could be used to surveil people. Later, she plugged her merchandise store, where she sells $30 “Drain the Swamp” T-shirts and hats promoting conspiracies.And a podcaster who goes by Zak Paine or Redpill78, who pushes the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, …

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A Global Tipping Point for Reining In Tech Has Arrived

On Dec. 9, the Federal Trade Commission and nearly every state filed bipartisan lawsuits accusing Facebook of acting anticompetitively. Less than a week later, European policymakers introduced a competition law and new requirements for blocking online hate speech. On Dec. 24, Chinese regulators opened an antitrust investigation into Alibaba after scuppering an initial public offering from Ant.Antitrust and content moderation have been where tech companies are most vulnerable. Google, Facebook, Apple, Alibaba, Amazon and other companies clearly dominate online advertising, search, e-commerce and app marketplaces, and have faced questions about whether they have unduly used their clout to buy competitors, promote …

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