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US attorneys general urge Facebook to offer live responses for hate speech

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal called Facebook’s platforms “the biggest vehicles out there for spreading hate and disinformation” in an interview with the The Wall Street Journal. In addition to having personal experience being the target of hate on Facebook as a Sikh who wears a turban, he also once alerted the social network about a New Jersey group dedicated towards driving out Orthodox Jews from a particular area. It apparently took Facebook 10 months to remove the group. “This is a platform where hate and disinformation spreads like wildfire in minutes. Somebody needs to be able to pick up a phone to call and get help,” he said.

That’s one of the measures the attorneys general have recommended in their letter: launching a hotline offering live real-time assistance that people can use to report intimidation and harassment. It could be especially helpful for doxxing victims, seeing as

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20 state attorneys general are demanding that Facebook improve its policing of online hate speech and disinformation

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Getty Images

  • State attorneys general are calling on Facebook to do more to fight hate speech and disinformation.

  • 20 AGs signed an open letter addressing the social network on Wednesday.

  • The coalition asks Facebook to more closely police itself, and improve tools for users who are trying to report harassment and abuse.

  • Facebook said in a statement it “share[s] the Attorneys General’s goal of ensuring people feel safe on the internet.”

Twenty state attorneys general from across the US are demanding Facebook do more to combat hate speech and disinformation on the social network.

In an open letter published Wednesday, the top legal officers of California, New York, the District of Columbia, and more than a dozen other states called on Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg to better police its platform. (The New York Times earlier reported on the letter.)

Facebook has been

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Australia to make Facebook and Google pay for news in world first

Facebook symbol on a motherboard - Reuters
Facebook symbol on a motherboard – Reuters

Australia will force US tech giants Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google to pay Australian media outlets for news content in a landmark move to protect independent journalism that will be watched around the world.

Australia will become the first country to require Facebook and Google to pay for news content provided by media companies under a royalty-style system that will become law this year, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.

“It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses. It’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection, and a sustainable media landscape,” Frydenberg told reporters in Melbourne.

“Nothing less than the future of the Australian media landscape is at stake.”

The move comes as the tech giants fend off calls around the world for greater regulation, and a day after Google and Facebook took a battering for alleged abuse of

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Australia to make Facebook, Google pay for news in world first

By Colin Packham

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia will force U.S. tech giants Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google to pay Australian media outlets for news content in a landmark move to protect independent journalism that will be watched around the world.

Australia will become the first country to require Facebook and Google to pay for news content provided by media companies under a royalty-style system that will become law this year, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.

“It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses. It’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection, and a sustainable media landscape,” Frydenberg told reporters in Melbourne.

“Nothing less than the future of the Australian media landscape is at stake.”

The move comes as the tech giants fend off calls around the world for greater regulation, and a day after Google and Facebook took a battering for alleged abuse of market

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Amazon, Apple and Facebook earn record profits during pandemic

Silicon Valley giants Apple, Amazon and Facebook enjoyed a dramatic boom during the worst months of the coronavirus pandemic, posting rises in quarterly profits last night that will add fuel to claims they are becoming too dominant.

Shares in the companies jumped in after-hours trading last night as they revealed that rises in online shopping and internet use during lockdown meant soaring revenues in the three months to the end of June, despite wider economic pain.

Google’s parent company Alphabet reported a 2pc drop in revenues, its first ever sales decline, amid a slump in travel spending, but the better than expected results sent shares up in late trading.

The results were in stark contrast to dire US figures that revealed a 32.9pc annualised contraction in the world’s biggest economy during the same period, sending Wall Street down earlier in the day.

Amazon revealed that sales in the quarter had … Read More

Mark Zuckerberg on why Facebook is actually ‘behind’ its competition despite monopoly critique

Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn’t waste any time on Wednesday explaining to lawmakers why he believes the company is not an illegal monopoly, during what was billed as a Congressional hearing to probe antitrust concerns.

However, the questioning veered far off course into a hodgepodge of issues that included data privacy, content moderation, corporate citizenship, election integrity, censorship and surveillance.

In his opening statement the tech billionaire — flanked by fellow tech giants Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos and Sundar Pichai — said Facebook faces intense global competition in the connection and advertising markets in which it operates.

“Many of our competitors have hundreds of millions or billions of users, some are upstarts, but others are gatekeepers with the power to decide if we can even release our apps in their app stores to compete with that,” Zuckerberg said.

“In many areas, we are behind our competitors,” he argued.

Zuckerberg

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CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google face congressional antitrust grilling

The chiefs of four of the biggest tech companies in the world — Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google — will face lawmakers Wednesday for a hearing on digital competition that could have cataclysmic impacts on an industry largely unhindered by regulators.

The grilling of tech titans Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai (the companies’ respective CEOs), will be done by the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee as part of its ongoing, year-long investigation into competition in the digital market.

Here is the latest on how the news is developing today. All times Eastern. Check back for updates.

Rep. Mary Scanlon says, when the pandemic hit, “Amazon said it was going to delay shipment of nonessential products.” She accused the e-commerce giant of applying that policy selectively and asked why “Amazon devices like Fire TV, Echo speakers and Ring doorbells” were deemed essential during the pandemic.

“There was no … Read More

Why Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple are Bad for America

On Wednesday, four big tech CEOs — Apple’s Tim Cook, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg — will come face to face with Congress, in a hearing held by Antitrust Subcommittee Chair David Cicilline. The hearing is one result of a yearlong investigation by Cicilline’s subcommittee into whether these four companies regulate more of the U.S. economy than our public officials do.

For some, this hearing may seem like a series of technical questions about market power, and for others, a mere congressional spectacle. But the stakes are high. This hearing is part of the only major investigation into corporate power by any Congress in recent memory. How this hearing goes, and whether Congress over the next few years develops the confidence to break up and regulate these giants, will in many ways determine whether America remains a self-governing democracy.

That might seem like hyperbole, but

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Twitter and Facebook become targets in Trump and Biden ads

CHICAGO (AP) — Social media has become the target of a dueling attack ad campaign being waged online by the sitting president and his election rival. They’re shooting the messenger while giving it lots of money.

President Donald Trump has bought hundreds of messages on Facebook to accuse its competitor, Twitter, of trying to stifle his voice and influence the November election.

Democratic challenger Joe Biden has spent thousands of dollars advertising on Facebook with a message of his own: In dozens of ads on the platform, he’s asked supporters to sign a petition calling on Facebook to remove inaccurate statements, specifically those from Trump.

The major social media companies are navigating a political minefield as they try to minimize domestic misinformation and rein in foreign actors from manipulating their sites as they did in the last U.S. presidential election. Their new actions — or in some cases, lack of

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