Posts tagged #cyberbullying

UK Government Establishing Regulator To Oversee Social Media And The Spread Of "Fake News" And "Disinformation." Will This Lead To Censorship?

The UK government has established the world’s first independent regulator to try and help social media giants like Facebook in check according to CNET.

Companies could face fines for not following the new requirements that will be implemented.

The goal of the new internet regulator is to make the web a safer place.

The regulator will ensure social media networks tackle problems including:

-Incitement of violence and the spread of violent (including terrorist) content

-Encouragement of self-harm or suicide

-The spread of disinformation and fake news

-Cyberbullying

-Children's access to inappropriate material

-Child exploitation and abuse content

The new requirements will apply to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media networks and other websites.

I believe everyone can agree that we don’t want children to have access to pornographic content or that violent inciting content should be widely available online to be viewed. However, what does concern me is who gets to decide what “disinformation” and “fake news” is?

We’ve already seen social sites deactivate and delete the accounts of Alex Jones and other political figures for their posts. While I don’t agree with Jones and others, they should be able to speak freely online unless they are encouraging violence or harm toward others.

While the new UK regulator has no jurisdiction over the U.S. and our access to social media content, this new governmental figure could push the social giants toward blocking certain websites in the UK because they feel it’s “disinformation” or “fake news.”

Wonder if he or she decides that BreitBart or The Daily Caller is “fake news”?

Would you be ok with that? If you’re a liberal, then maybe you’d say yes.

However, what if the new regulator says Mother Jones, CNN, or MSNBC is spreading “disinformation”? Which actually wouldn’t be a lie, CNN spread fake news for two and half years about Trump and Russia, but regardless, I would not agree with their websites being blocked off social media.

It’s a tricky and potential dangerous slippery slope when a government grants someone the ability to fine social sites for content on their websites they deem spreading “disinformation” or “fake news.”

Will this new UK regulator make the internet a safer place or just a more censored place?

I lean towards these new policies creating more censorship than safety.

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Dr. Chad Whittle holds a doctoral degree in mass communication and is the host of “A Whittle Bit of Commentary.” Subscribe today to his podcast on Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Google Play. Read his weekly column at ChadWhittle.com and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Facebook Is Paying For Positive Press In The UK Daily Telegraph By Purchasing Sponsored Stories To Be Featured In The Newspaper

Facebook is paying for positive press in the UK Daily Telegraph by purchasing sponsored stories to be featured in the newspaper.

The social media giant has paid for a series of positive stories to be featured about the company according to Business Insider to help the company gain positive coverage due to its often negative and controversial image.

Some of the stories the paper will publish defends the company on issues including hate speech, cyberbullying and terrorism. The company has received criticism for allowing live video streams to be published on some of these controversial topics with the latest live video headache occurring for the company after the Christchurch shooting video went live on the social site.

So far the Telegraph’s Spark, it’s sponsored content unit, has published 26 stories that have appeared in print and online.

A major theme of the stories is how Facebook is fighting to protect your data, which would probably be a better fit to run on The Onion website than a traditional hard news outlet.

If Facebook actually cared about its user’s data and made more effort to provide more controls to users concerning how their personal information is collected and used, they wouldn’t need to run a paid for public relations campaign. However, no amount of articles in a newspaper will change its negative public image. Only changing the company’s behavior will do that and the odds of that happening are very slim.

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Dr. Chad Whittle holds a doctoral degree in mass communication and is the host of “A Whittle Bit of Commentary.” Subscribe today to his podcast on Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Google Play. Read his weekly column at ChadWhittle.com and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.