United Kingdom — Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter play an increasingly important role in our lives, but a brand new study into online censorship has revealed a number of developing trends regarding how social media platforms are attempting to regulate their users’ speech.
While most readers have likely been lucky enough to evade Facebook jail, others might have friends who have been kicked off the social networking site for designated periods of time for ‘violating community standards.’ Some may even have had their Facebook accounts closed permanently due to the site’s ‘real names’ policy. Others have likely have had posts flagged or removed for containing nudity or other allegedly offensive content. Continue reading »
Police in Berlin have raided ten apartments because residents may have posted “anti-migrant” views online.
Berlin Police completed a large scale raid on internet users Wednesday. The officers ransacked ten separate apartments in the German capital in the suburbs of Spandau, Tempelhof, Marzahn, Hellersdorf and Pankow.
The force confiscated mobile phones, narcotics and weapons. Nine suspects were arrested, aged 22-58, and are accused of posting messages critical of migrants, migrant helpers and some anti-semitic slogans on social networks like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter, reportsBerliner Morgenpost. Continue reading »
(MIDDLEEASTEYE) Saudi Arabia has sentenced a journalist to five years in prison and a fine of 50,000 riyals (around $13,300) after being charged for “insulting the rulers (and) inciting public opinion”, said Amnesty International on Friday.
Alaa Brinji was also found guilty on 24 March of “accusing security officers of killing protesters in Awamiyya” – a Shia town in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province. Continue reading »
With its markedly ironic title, The Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, is one of the most important agencies of the government. For, as enotes.com writes,an uninformed or misinformed populace can be confused, deceived, and directed easily by controlling powers. Keeping the people confused about who is at war with whom and what is the reality of things causes them to become involved in nothing and, therefore, no threat to the power structure.
(MiddleEastEye) Twitter suspended over 125,000 accounts, most of them linked to the Islamic State (IS) group, as part of a stepped-up effort to eradicate “terrorist content” on the popular messaging platform, it said on Friday.
The accounts frozen since mid-2015 were targeted “for threatening or promoting terrorist acts,” said Twitter, which is under pressure from governments to act but faces a delicate balancing act and is keen not to be seen as censoring free speech.
Google, Facebook, and Twitter have agreed to delete hate speech deemed illegal in Germany within 24 hours, following pressure from German authorities who have become concerned about an increasing number of racist comments being posted on social media.
The companies committed on Tuesday to removing “illegal content promptly, that is, within 24 hours,” Justice Minister Heiko Maas said, as quoted by AFP.
You know things are not well in the world when you hear claims that the Prime Minister of Great Britain had sex with a dead pig’s head and you barely flinch. That’s because sexual relations with farm animal carcasses simply pales in comparison to the man’s disastrous, authoritarian political positions.
In his latest act of verbal diarrhea, David Cameron has gone on the offensive…against Twitter. Little did he know it, but he’s actually quite late in his perceived “insight” into those who use the social media platform. For instance, it was over two years ago when Saudi authorities made their position quite clear. Here’s a excerpt from the post, Saudi Religious Police Chief Goes on the Attack…Against Twitter: Continue reading »
In case you’ve been living under a geopolitical rock for the last couple of years, you’d know that despite a brief period of time during which Egypt appeared headed toward a democratic form of government, it went from one brutal dictator to another. As was the case during Hosni Mubarak’s decades of rule, this is precisely how the U.S. government likes it. So much so, that U.S. officials are not only selling arms to the latest despot, General Abdelfattah al-Sisi, but they are actively bragging about it on Twitter.
There has probably been no greater investing mantra placed upon an industry in recent memory than the now reflexive, as well as defensive response of “It’s different this time” when questioning anything Social. Trying to understand the business model along with its metrics, valuations and more is not only arduous, the response seems more akin to pulling teeth without anesthesia for those selling it, defending it, or both. Continue reading »
If you’re one of those people that gets a bit vocal about politics, you’ll be interested to know that your Facebook, Twitter and personal blog are about to begin being monitored for references to the Government.
Ministers announced yesterday that the Government had awarded a contract to five companies who will monitor what people tweet, post to Facebook or blog about the Government and provide updates to Whitehall in real time.
Officials and ministers will provide a list of keywords and topics to the companies so that they know what to monitor. Continue reading »
Well, the leak (which ironically came out on Twitter only, and not Facebook) was right, and the full story is even worse than Selerity reported:TWITTER 1Q LOSS PER SHARE 25C; TWITTER INC 1Q ADJ. EPS 7C , EST. 4C.
That much we knew. Here is where it gets worse:
TWITTER 1Q REV. $ 435.9M, EST. $456.2M
TWITTER SEES 2Q REV. $470M TO $485M, EST. $538.1M
TWTR SEES YR REV $2.170B-$2.270B, SAW $2.3B-$2.35B, EST $2.37B
And now perhaps someone will ask how much of Facebook’s 1.4 billion “users” are actually real.
It looks as though Turkish authorities are once again set to show Twitter “the power of the Republic of Turkey,” as reports indicate access to social media in the country has been blocked. The move looks to be related to the widespread dissemination of pictures showing prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz after he was taken hostage in Istanbul by DHKP-C last week. Here’s more:
Turkish authorities have blocked access to Twitter, Youtube and Facebook over the publication of photos published on the three social media platforms, showing a prosecutor who was taken hostage by militants in Istanbul last week.
The British military is to form a new specialist force in “non-lethal” forms of psychological warfare using social media such as Twitter and Facebook to tackle the “asymmetric battlefields” of the 21st century.
The brigade will number 2,000 and will be made up of regular troops from all three services, as well as reservists and civilians, British media report.
It will attempt to draw the best talent from the regulars and reserves and will also allow civilians with specialist skills to operate alongside their military counterparts.
Senior officers have said that the army has to adapt to the changing nature of warfare, as conflicts from Iraq to Ukraine have demonstrated, and that the information war is as important as tanks and artillery. Continue reading »
You know something isn’t right in your country when you have a “religious police force.” You know something is really, really not right in your country when the head of that religious police force starts condemning twitter and saying its users will go to hell as a consequence. Talk about pathetic. Just more strange and panicked behavior from the Saudi government. From the BBC:
The head of Saudi Arabia’s religious police has warned citizens against using Twitter, which is rising in popularity among Saudis.Continue reading »
The last 2 days have seen enormous volatility in the Saudi Riyal exchange rate, purportedly oil-related FX hedging programs as the SAR dropped to its lowest sicne Dec 2008, but the most extreme ‘moves’ were left to The Kingdon’s top Muslim cleric. As The BBC reports, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, exclaimed that Twitter is “the source of all evil and devastation”. As the 12th most influential Muslim in the world, it perhaps matters that he says users were using Twitter to “promote lies, backbite and gossip and to slander Islam,” but citizens of Saudi Arabia, who are some of the heaviest users of Twitter, did not appreciate his remarks, summe dup by one tweet, “People need an outlet to express themselves, to start to disclose what’s hidden and drop the masks, without fear or commands, or censorship from anyone.”
The last few days have been hectic for PIMCO executives. As we already noted, expectations of outflows persist and today’s open in CDS markets suggested major concerns among market participants that PIMCO redemptions would force selling through an illiquid market. Sure enough, Bloomberg reports that PIMCO’s Total Return Fund ETF was behind the auction of more than $170m of Fannie Mae CMBS on Friday (and more BWICs were seen today). As one trader noted, “you’re going to sell your most liquid stuff first.” Additionally, PIMCO has seen fit to delete all Bill Gross’ tweets… so here are the last six months for the record.
UPDATE: *POLICE, PROTESTERS CLASH IN ISLAMABAD; AT LEAST 230 HURT: AFP
Against the background we initialliy explained here, and the escalation we discussed here, Imran Khan’s “Pakistan Spring” has grown dramatically. The former cricketing-legend and erstwhile opposition leader’s call for people to take to the streets to demand new ‘unrigged’ elections has 1000s of protesters breaching the Prime Minister’s residence in Islamabad. Along with anti-government cleric Tahirul Qadri, Khan urged peaceful protest but, as AP reports, an estimated 20,000 police in riot gear are blocking the procession using tear gas and rubber bullets. Local hospitals report at least 100 injuries.
Regular readers of Liberty Blitzkrieg will recall that earlier this year I highlighted how the U.S. government covertly created a “Cuban Twitter” called ZunZuneo in a failed attempt to overthrow the island nation’s regime. The elaborate plot was implemented under the umbrella of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which is responsible for overseeing billions of dollars in U.S. humanitarian aid. If you need a refresher, check out the post:Conspiracy Fact – How the U.S. Government Covertly Invented a “Cuban Twitter” to Create Revolution.
Well we now know that USAID went a lot further than that. Another scheme to unseat the Cuban government has now been revealed. This time with even more immoral foundations, and which could disrupt genuine humanitarian relief efforts the world over.
Incredibly, the U.S. government used an HIV program as a front to foster dissent amongst Cuba’s youth. The HIV-prevention workshop was even referred to as the “perfect excuse to recruit political activists.” Despicable.
Britain’s Home Secretary is pushing for new spying powers to access social media and email accounts. Theresa May argues that it’s a “matter of life and death,” and has dismissed claims the government wants to spy on citizens.
The British Home Office is pushing for changes to the law that would radically expand powers to monitor citizens. The communications data bill, which has been branded ‘the snooper’s charter’ by opponents, would allow authorities access to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
In addition, services like Facetime and Skype would also be accessible to the UK authorities. Continue reading »
Four out of ten organizations obstruct citizens from accessing their own personal data, says a recent study. Companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter also fail to fulfill their duty to be transparent.
The international study, conducted by experts from the University of Sheffield, has inspected at least 327 organizations across Europe, including the UK, Norway and Germany. Continue reading »
The Iraqi government has blocked access to top social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, reportedly to hinder the activities of militants formerly associated with Al-Qaeda. Meanwhile, thousands are signing up to fight the jihadist insurgency in Iraq.
Numerous media reports citing journalists and open-internet advocates said that internet users in Iraq are getting block screens when trying to access top social media sites and Google. Continue reading »
Despite being told for weeks that the always efficient US equity market had “priced in” the end of Twitter’s lock-up period, it seems (surprise, well not really – the riggedyness is such that stock have long forgotten what it means to discount anything) that it hadn’t. Yesterday, some Twitter insiders were promising they would hang on to their stock now that the selling lock up has been lifted.
“We’re going to hold,” said Chris Sacca, an early Twitter investor, who manages about 15 percent of the company’s shares through various arrangements. Analysts and other investors are focusing too much on user growth and instead should “just recognize how much money Twitter is going to continue to put up on the board.”
Twitter has a ton of users, right? Around 974 million, to be a bit more precise. However, just because a person has taken the time to make a Twitter account doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve used it. And according to the latest stats from Twopcharts, a third-party site that monitors Twitter activity, a surprisingly high number of people have done just that: Made an account and abandoned Twitter forever.
Just how many? According to the site, approximately 44 percent of Twitter’s 947 million accounts or so have never sent a single tweet. Of the number that have — approximately 550 million — just under half of these accounts are reported to have sent their last tweet more than one year ago (43 percent). Only 126 million have sent any kind of tweet at any point in the past 30 days.
Earlier this morning we reported that “Pro-Russia Protesters Seize Government Building In East Ukraine, Demand Autonomy.” We suggested that this was only the first city in eastern Ukraine that would see this kind of internal revolt. Sure enough, hours later, the largest city in East Ukraine and one located in close proximity to Russia, Kharkiv, also saw its state building fall to what appear to be pro-Russia protesters, making it the third major city after Donetsk and nearby Luhansk. This coordinated and largely unexpected pro-Russian action triggering accusations from the pro-European government in Kiev that President Vladimir Putin was orchestrating “separatist disorder.”
Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of being behind the seizure of state buildings by pro-Russia protesters in eastern Ukraine on Sunday and promised that police would restore order peacefully.
It appears the U.S. government is doing its best to ensure that nobody anywhere in any corner of planet earth will ever trust American technology again (or U.S. aid for that matter). This process of distrust first really got going with the Edward Snowden revelations, which demonstrated that essentially all major U.S. tech firms are mere wards of the state with little to no privacy protections, and absolutely zero backbone.
This story of the U.S. government covertly creating a “Cuban Twitter” called ZunZuneo in order to overthrow the regime there has enormous long-term ramifications on many, many levels, which I will address throughout this post.
WASHINGTON — In July 2010, Joe McSpedon, a U.S. government official, flew to Barcelona to put the final touches on a secret plan to build a social media project aimed at undermining Cuba’s communist government.
McSpedon and his team of high-tech contractors had come in from Costa Rica and Nicaragua, Washington and Denver. Their mission: to launch a messaging network that could reach hundreds of thousands of Cubans. To hide the network from the Cuban government, they would set up a byzantine system of front companies using a Cayman Islands bank account, and recruit unsuspecting executives who would not be told of the company’s ties to the U.S. government.
McSpedon didn’t work for the CIA. This was a program paid for and run by the U.S. Agency for International Development, best known for overseeing billions of dollars in U.S. humanitarian aid.
Now we can pretty much guarantee that foreign nations will forever be skeptical of any U.S. “aid”. Great work morons. Continue reading »