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The right's right to free speech...

Donald Trump sets up an internet page to report examples of politically biased internet censorship


Link Here 16th May 2019
The US Whitehouse has set up a page on the online form building website, typefac.com. Donald Trump asks to be informed of biased censorship. The form reads:

SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS should advance FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Yet too many Americans have seen their accounts suspended, banned, or fraudulently reported for unclear violations of user policies.

No matter your views, if you suspect political bias caused such an action to be taken against you, share your story with President Trump.

 

 

Updated: Right on censorship...

Trump to monitor the political censorship of the right by social media


Link Here 13th May 2019
Full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor

President Trump has threatened to monitor social-media sites for their censorship of American citizens. He was responding to Facebook permanently banning figures and organizations from the political right. Trump tweeted:

I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms. This is the United States of America -- and we have what's known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH! We are monitoring and watching, closely!!

On Thursday, Facebook announced it had permanently banned users including Louis Farrakhan, the founder of the Nation of Islam, along with far-right figures Milo Yiannopoulos, Laura Loomer and Alex Jones, the founder of Infowars. The tech giant removed their accounts, fan pages and affiliated groups on Facebook as well as its photo-sharing service Instagram, claiming that their presence on the social networking sites had become dangerous.

For his part, President Trump repeatedly has accused popular social-networking sites of exhibiting political bias, and threatened to regulate Silicon Valley in response. In a private meeting with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey last month, Trump repeatedly raised his concerns that the company has removed some of his followers.

On Friday, Trump specifically tweeted he was surprised about Facebook's decision to ban Paul Joseph Watson, a YouTube personality who has served as editor-at-large of Infowars .

Update: Texas bill would allow state to sue social media companies like Facebook and Twitter that censor free speech

13th May 2019. See article from texastribune.org

A bill before the Texas Senate seeks to prevent social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter from censoring users based on their viewpoints. Supporters say it would protect the free exchange of ideas, but critics say the bill contradicts a federal law that allows social media platforms to regulate their own content.

The measure -- Senate Bill 2373 by state Sen. Bryan Hughes -- would hold social media platforms accountable for restricting users' speech based on personal opinions. Hughes said the bill applies to social media platforms that advertise themselves as unbiased but still censor users. The Senate State Affairs Committee unanimously approved the bill last week. The Texas Senate approved the bill on April 25 in an 18-12 vote. It now heads to the House.

 

 

Tales from the ass...

Florida man with car sticker reading 'I eat ass' get screwed by the police


Link Here 13th May 2019
A Florida man used a sticker on the rear window of his truck to announce his dating intentions.

Florida authorities did not see the funny side and arrested him for refusing to remove the sticker claimed to be obscene.

State prosecutors declared they were dropping the charges on Thursday after getting embarrassed as the story was picked up by multiple media outlets.

Now, the victim is threatening to sue the sheriff's office for violating his First Amendment rights.

 

 

Random cenosrship...

US senator promises to introduce bill to prohibit loot boxes from games played by under 18s


Link Here 9th May 2019
Full story: Loot boxes in video games...Worldwide action against monetisation of video games
The US Republican senator Josh Hawley of Missouri has announced that he would be introducing a bill banning manipulative design features in video games with underage audiences, including the sale of loot boxes.

The legislation would prohibit the sale of loot boxes in games targeted at children under the age of 18. Games companies could also face penalties from the Federal Trade Commission if companies if they knowingly allow children to purchase these randomized crates.

Regulators would determine whether a game is targeted at minors by considering similar indicators that they already use under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Subject matter and the game's visual content would help regulators determine who the game is marketed toward. When a game is designed for kids, game developers shouldn't be allowed to monetize addiction.

Pay-to-win mechanics in games targeted at minors would also be outlawed under this legislation. This includes progression systems that encourage people to spend money to advance through a game's content at a faster pace.

 

 

Acting against sex trafficking was put above free speech, justice and practicality...

Now Facebook is in court for not protecting victims of sex trafficking, no doubt wishing it hadn't supported the removal of the very same legal protection it now needs


Link Here 7th May 2019
Full story: FOSTA US Internet Censorship Law...Wide ranging internet cesnorship law targetting sex workers
Lawyers for Facebook and Instagram have appeared in a Texas courtrooms attempting to dismiss two civil cases that accuse the social media sites of not protecting victims of sex trafficking.

The Facebook case involves a Houston woman who in October said the company's morally bankrupt corporate culture left her prey to a predatory pimp who drew her into sex trafficking as a child. The Instagram case involves a 14-year-old girl from Spring who said she was recruited, groomed and sold in 2018 by a man she met on the social media site.

Of course Facebook is only embroiled in this case because it supported Congress to pass an anti-trafficking amendment in April 2018. Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act and Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, collectively known as SESTA-FOSTA, this attempts to make it easier to prosecute owners and operators of websites that facilitate sex trafficking. This act removed the legal protection for websites that previously meant they couldn't be held responsible for the actions of its members.

After the Houston suit was filed, a Facebook spokesperson said human trafficking is not permitted on the site and staffers report all instances they're informed about to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Of course that simply isn't enough any more, and now they have to proactively stop their website from being used for criminal activity.

The impossibility of preventing such misuse has led to many websites pulling out of anything that may be related to people hooking up for sex, lest they are held responsible for something they couldn't possibly prevent.

But perhaps Facebook has enough money to pay for lawyers who can argue their way out of such hassles.

The Adult Performers Actors Guild is standing up for sex workers who are tired of being banned from Instagram with no explanation.

7th May 2019. See article from vice.com

In related news, adult performers are campaigning against being arbitrarily banned from their accounts by Facebook and Instagram. It seems likely that the social media companies are summarily ejecting users detected to have any connection with people getting together for sex.

As explained above, the social media companies are responsible for anything related to sex trafficking happening on their website. They practically aren't able to discern sex trafficking from consensual sex so the only protection available for internet companies is to ban anyone that might have a connection to sex.

This reality is clearly impacting those effected. A group of adult performers is starting to organize against Facebook and Instagram for removing their accounts without explanation. Around 200 performers and models have included their usernames in a letter to Facebook asking the network to address this issue.

Alana Evans, president of the Adult Performers Actors Guild (APAG), a union that advocates for adult industry professionals' rights, told Vice. There are performers who are being deleted, because they put up a picture of their freshly painted toenails

In an April 22 letter to Facebook, the Adult Performers Actors Guild's legal counsel James Felton wrote:

Over the course of the last several months, almost 200 adult performers have had their Instagrams accounts terminated without explanation. In fact, every day, additional performers reach out to us with their termination stories. In the large majority of instances, her was no nudity shown in the pictures. However, it appears that the accounts were terminated merely because of their status as an adult performer.

Effort to learn the reasons behind the termination have been futile. Performers are asked to send pictures of their names to try to verify that the accounts are actually theirs and not put up by frauds. Emails are sent and there is no reply.

 

 

Offsite Article: Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement...


Link Here 3rd May 2019
TorrentFreak outlines a new law to rework copyright claims in the US

See article from torrentfreak.com

 

 

Smoked chestnuts...

Three US senators write to media content producers about recommendations to make all depictions of smoking to be MPAA R rated or TV-MA


Link Here 29th April 2019
Full story: Smoking in the Movies...Ludicrous calls fo an adult rating for films with smoking
A trio of US senators want info and answers from a range of media companies--broadcast, cable, satellite and over-the-top--about what role the entertainment industry plays in promoting youth tobacco use, suggesting ratings should include tobacco use identifiers and any TV show showing tobacco be rated TV-MA and any movie get an R rating.

Democratic Senators. Ed Markey, Richard Blumenthal and Chris Van Hollen sent the letters, saying that youth media consumption and the anywhere, anytime model of film and TV distribution as changed traditional boundaries among media:

We are concerned that this new landscape across cable, satellite, streaming and traditional broadcast television provides a variety of viewing realms in which to foster the causal link between exposure to, and initiation of, smoking.

They argued that both the TV and movie ratings should include a smoking depiction warning. Both film and television continue to expose children and adolescents to tobacco content conclusively provide to cause physical harm to young viewers. In particular they want the reactions of media companies to their recommendations:

  1. to rate all future content containing tobacco portrayals TV-MA on TV and R on film;
  2. that the production had no tobacco product placement;
  3. that strong anti-smoking Public Service Announcements will run immediately before any TV show or film with tobacco use;
  4. that they end promotional material with smoking depictions.

 

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