Disinfo Update 02/09/2019

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For the public good?

Last Wednesday, YouTube removed white nationalist channels before deciding to restate them on Friday. The platform argued that ‘while many people found the channels ‘deeply offensive’, they had not broken its rules’. This comes at the moment of Youtube’s Chief Executive Susan Wojcicki stating their commitment to openness. According to Wojcicki, openness ‘sometimes means leaving content up that is outside the mainstream, is controversial, or even offensive’, while later justifying that ‘hearing a broad range of perspectives makes us a stronger and more informed society, even if we disagree with some of those views’.

Buckling up for 2020

Facebook has revealed plans to strengthen its authorisation process for ads placed on their American market. As a means to increase legitimacy, political advertisers will now need to further demonstrate that they’re registered in the United States. In response, critics have described the measures as ‘much too little, much too late’. It seems they’re not the only ones dissatisfied with Facebook. In similar news, the tech giant is also under fire for failing to provide sufficient data to a project investigating Facebook’s impact on elections and democracy. In a statement by the Social Science Research Council, the consortium’s funders warned that, if Facebook doesn’t provide the correct data by 30/09, they will end the project.

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Photo by David Goehring