Facebook Examines Content Policies, Removes Hate Groups

After weeks of demonstrations and unrest in the U.S. and abroad, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said that, although the company has policies on handling content related to violence and civil unrest, “there may be additional policies or integrity measures to consider around discussion or threats of state use of force when a country is in this state.” The social giant will also review its policies with regard to countries with violent conflicts and civil unrest. Facebook removed almost 200 accounts linked to white supremacist groups. Continue reading Facebook Examines Content Policies, Removes Hate Groups

Google Filters Appropriate Content With YouTube Kids Site

Kid-friendly video content is now available on a dedicated YouTube Kids website that filters content deemed most appropriate based on three different age groups. The site offers a similar experience to the mobile app of the same name. Parents can select age-appropriate videos based on newly listed age groups, track viewing history and flag anything that may be missed by filters. A sign-in option is expected to be added in the future. The filters include “Preschool” (up to age 4), “Younger” (ages 5 to 7) and “Older” (kids over 7). Content is organized by categories including Explore, Gaming, Music and Shows.  Continue reading Google Filters Appropriate Content With YouTube Kids Site

Twitter Will Warn Users of Politicians’ Inappropriate Tweets

Twitter announced that it plans to hide messages that are posted by politicians who violate the company’s abuse or harassment policies. Such tweets will be hidden behind a warning label, but will not be removed from the service, since Twitter still considers them a matter of public interest. The notices will inform readers if a tweet violates rules regarding harassment or violent threats, and then readers will have the option of clicking through to access the questionable message. The move could complicate the current debate over political bias on Twitter in addition to the balance other social platforms are struggling with between free speech and offensive content. Continue reading Twitter Will Warn Users of Politicians’ Inappropriate Tweets

WhatsApp Hopes Changes Will Reduce Virality and Violence

One day after Facebook said it would remove misinformation that could provoke violence, the company announced tweaks to WhatsApp, saying it would limit the number of groups to which a message could be forwarded on that platform. This specific move — which was requested by the Indian government — came after fake news widely forwarded via WhatsApp led to mob violence and the death of 20 people wrongly suspected of child kidnapping. WhatsApp has over 200 million monthly active users in India. Continue reading WhatsApp Hopes Changes Will Reduce Virality and Violence

YouTube Launches Parental Control Features for Kids Service

Since YouTube debuted YouTube Kids three years ago, parents have complained about their ability to control the content. Now, the company is adding three features to respond to those concerns. A white-list feature parents requested allows them to handpick the content for their children. The company also introduced pre-screened content with partners, including, initially, Sesame Workshop and PBS Kids. Third is an option to set search settings to only permit channels “verified by the YouTube Kids team.” Continue reading YouTube Launches Parental Control Features for Kids Service

YouTube, Facebook Use AI Tools to Curb Unwanted Content

Google reports that AI-powered machines, not humans, detected about 80 percent of the 8.28 million videos taken off of YouTube in Q4 2017. This revelation underscores the importance of AI-enabled computers in removing unwanted content — and just how aggressively YouTube is pursuing their removal. At Stanford University’s Global Digital Policy Incubator, executive director Eileen Donahoe noted that balancing free speech with the removal of undesirable videos will be YouTube’s major challenge going forward. Continue reading YouTube, Facebook Use AI Tools to Curb Unwanted Content

Facebook Faces Tough Questions After a Killer Shares Video

An Ohio resident is accused of fatally shooting an elderly man in Cleveland yesterday after a 57-second video of the murder was shared via Facebook Live. Since its launch less than a year ago, Facebook Live “has provided an unedited look at police shootings, rape, torture, and enough suicides that Facebook will be integrating real-time suicide prevention tools into the platform,” reports Wired. However, this is “the first time a killer has streamed themselves committing a homicide,” raising “questions about the limits and responsibilities of a platform that has pledged to reflect humanity in its purest form.” Continue reading Facebook Faces Tough Questions After a Killer Shares Video

Study Shows Media Violence Not Linked to Societal Violence

A study recently published in the Journal of Communication found that no significant association exists between media violence consumption and societal violence. Researcher Christopher Ferguson of Stetson University conducted two studies, one which compared movie violence and homicide, and the second which focused on video game violence and youth violence rates. The findings point to an increase in media violence, but not a correlating increase in real-life violence. Continue reading Study Shows Media Violence Not Linked to Societal Violence

Game Developers: Harassment Alarms Industry, Fuels Exodus

A significant threat to the video game industry is harassment targeting game developers from gamers. Video game fan obsession has led to death threats among game developers, forcing them to leave their positions or the industry as a whole. Many fault the anonymous nature of the Internet, and others see the immediate availability to voice one’s complaints or gain notoriety. Groups look to support developers as threats become more commonplace. Continue reading Game Developers: Harassment Alarms Industry, Fuels Exodus

Facebook Responds to Activist Concerns About Hate Speech

Facebook acknowledged yesterday that its systems have failed to effectively identify and remove hate speech, particularly in regards to gender-based issues. The announcement was made in response to pressure from feminist groups that want to ban a growing amount of text and images that promote violence against women. Facebook has promised to make a number of changes, including new employee training and measures of user accountability. Continue reading Facebook Responds to Activist Concerns About Hate Speech

Media Companies to Launch Campaign on Parental Control

In response to criticism about their violent content, major media companies are initiating a campaign to make parents more aware of the ways they can limit exposure to controversial entertainment. In a joint news release on Wednesday, representatives for the companies said they are planning to roll out a national multimedia campaign for these parents. Continue reading Media Companies to Launch Campaign on Parental Control

Gaming Industry Wins in Supreme Court Battle over Violent Content

  • In a 7-2 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that a controversial 2005 California law, which would have made it a crime to sell extremely violent or inappropriate video games to minors, is unconstitutional.
  • The decision ends a court battle that has gone on for more than six years, while similar proposed laws have been struck down in other states.
  • Justice Antonin Scalia explained the law does not conform with the First Amendment: “The basic principles of freedom of speech…do not vary with a new and different communication medium.”