News on Regulation and Policy

A loose network of Facebook groups that took root across the country in April to organize protests over coronavirus stay-at-home orders has become a hub of misinformation and conspiracy theories that have pivoted to a variety of new targets. Their latest: Black Lives Matter and the nationwide protests of racial injustice. These groups, which now […]

Facebook could be forced to allow users to switch off personalised advertising, and Google required to hand valuable data about search engine usage to competitors, under new UK proposals to introduce competition into the digital advertising market. The two companies accounted for 80% of all digital advertising spending in the UK last year, according to […]

The prevalence of disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic has prompted Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) to warn that: “We’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic.” The infodemic is defined as an overabundance of information, some accurate and some not, during an epidemic. It makes it hard […]

This week, in a matter of just 48 hours, several social media companies made major changes to how their platforms are and can be used. Reddit deleted a group, or “subreddit”, called “The Donald” that was known for encouraging targeted harassment and hate speech. YouTube banned videos from white supremacists like David Duke and Richard […]

If they’re getting regular death threats, don’t they deserve to be paid? Should Reddit pay its volunteer moderators? The thought had not really occurred to me until last week, when I joined a call with CEO Steve Huffman and his general counsel, Benjamin Lee. The executives were briefing me and some other reporters about a […]

For decades, the titans of technology have talked about human-centered artificial intelligence and its capacity to inform and improve the future of humanity. If there was ever a moment where the overstated promises of such technologies could be put to the test, it is now. Much of the COVID-19 crisis response, including the disparate impact […]

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In recent years, scholars, commentators, former tech company founders, and political leaders have made the case for breaking up and regulating big tech companies like Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Facebook, and Amazon. The proposals to break up and regulate big tech companies are specific: Unwind mergers, require tech platforms to separate from businesses […]

Facing the biggest boycott threat in Facebook’s history, the social networking company is under growing pressure to address the harassment, misogyny, racism, and extremism that continues to swamp its platform. Organized by the Stop Hate For Profit Coalition, the movement of civil rights groups and advertisers has proposed 10 steps it wants Facebook to take. […]

Late on the night of Thursday, 26 June, Kyrgyzstan’s parliament passed a controversial anti-disinformation law. This occurred despite enormous grassroots online protests against the bill, including upwards of 1,200 critical comments from Facebook users against its main sponsor Gulshat Asylbayeva, a member of the ruling coalition’s Önügüü-Progress Party. The unusual hour of the law’s passing, […]

In this episode of BIG, If True, we’ll reflect on the hybrid battles being waged by journalists, activists, and dissidents against censorship and disinformation in Southeast Asia. The discussion will trace the genesis of the recent attacks on the freedom to expression, from the rise and fall of the Anti-Fake News Act in Malaysia to […]

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