by on January 6, 2018
US President Donald Trump (L) listens with US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen during a meeting with Republican Members of the Senate about immigration at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 4, 2018.  World leaders who use Twitter help foster “necessary discussion,” the social media platform said in an apparent defense of President Trump’s tweets. The calls for Twitter to block Trump from its service were renewed on Tuesday after the president boasted his “nucl...
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by on June 11, 2018
Privacy is a hot-button issue nowadays, and it should be. Information bloodsuckers like Facebook and Google are having a heyday selling your browsing habits to the highest bidder day in and day out. The truth is that’s really how these companies make their money. In case you didn’t know, as soon as you connect to the internet and visit your favorite site you’re virtually getting raped by hundreds of corporate vampires who want to suck every last bit of personal information out of you.   ...
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by on December 25, 2017
  A news conference in Mexico City. The president’s administration has spent nearly $2 billion on advertising in the past five years. Running a newspaper, radio station or television outlet in Mexico usually means relying on a single, powerful client that spends exorbitant sums on advertising with a simple warning: “I do not pay you to criticize me.” That client is the government of Mexico. President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration has spent hundreds of millions of dollars a ...
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by on January 28, 2018
THE EMAIL ARRIVED just as Megan Squire was starting to cook Thanksgiving dinner. She was flitting between the kitchen, where some chicken soup was simmering, and her living room office, when she saw the subject line flash on her laptop screen: “LOSer Leak.” Squire recognized the acronym of the League of the South, a neo-­Confederate organization whose leaders have called for a “second secession” and the return of slavery. An anonymous insider had released the names, addresses, emails, pass...
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by on February 21, 2018
Twitter quietly purged thousands of bots overnight—cutting several prominent pundits’ follower counts down to size. Conservatives were enraged last month when activist James O’Keefe published a series of undercover videos purporting to show Twitter engineers boasting of their ability to “shadow-ban” far-right users, or hide their tweets from appearing online. Those claims were quickly debunked, but fears that Twitter—an alleged bastion of Bay Area liberalism—is censoring conservative sp...
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by on March 6, 2018
There's a fly in the ointment of 'smart government': The emerging problem of biased algorithms. Politicians are struggling to catch up. Late last year, a St. Louis tech executive named Emre Şarbak noticed something strange about Google Translate. He was translating phrases from Turkish -- a language that uses a single gender-neutral pronoun “o” instead of “he” or “she.” But when he asked Google’s tool to turn the sentences into English, they seemed to read like a children’s book out of th...
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by on February 10, 2018
Successful activism is going to take more than a few shares on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, or likes on Instagram. U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks during a rally against child poverty on April 9, 2017, in Los Angeles, Calif. On Wednesday, 77-year-old House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi walked onto the House floor in 4-inch heels to deliver what would become the longest-recorded speech to have been delivered in the House of Representatives. She spoke on behalf of the D...
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by on June 15, 2018
A company run by former officials at Cambridge Analytica, the political consulting firm brought down by a scandal over how it obtained Facebook users’ private data, has quietly been working for President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election effort, The Associated Press has learned. FILE - In this May 31, 2018, Brad Parscale, campaign manager for President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election, boards a bus after arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, May 31, 2018, to motorcade back to th...
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by on December 29, 2017
Library of Congress The Library of Congress is going to start being more selective about which tweets it decides to save in its archives. Since 2010, the research library for the United States Congress has been archiving all public tweets dating back to Twitter’s launch in 2006. Not anymore. Beginning in 2018, the Library of Congress says it will “continue to acquire tweets but will do so on a very selective basis.” “Generally, the tweets collected and archived will be thematic a...
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by on January 30, 2018
A new coalition of Canadian companies is calling on the local telecom regulator CRTC to establish a local piracy site blocking program. The plan is the first of its kind in North America, aimed at lowering local piracy rates. Opponents, however, believe the proposal goes too far and equate it to a censorship deal. In recent years pirate sites have been blocked around the world, from Europe, through Asia, and even Down Under. While many of the large corporations backing these blocka...
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by on January 10, 2018
Democratic senators on Monday said they have secured enough support to force a vote on the Federal Communication Commission’s plan to kill net neutrality. Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, became the 30th senator to support legislation by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., that would reverse FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s repeal of the Obama-era “Open Internet Order.” The order barred internet service providers from offering faster connection speeds to preferred customers. Pai, appointed by Pres...
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by on March 20, 2018
Facebook is having to face the music both in the United States and the United Kingdom after The New York Times and The Observer of London revealed Cambridge Analytica received and employed data harvested from 50 million of the social network's users without their permission. The Federal Trade Commission is launching an investigation.  NYT:  The F.T.C. investigation is connected to a settlement the agency reached with Facebook in 2011. The agency had accused the company of deceivin...
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