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YouTube Deletes Latest Trump Video, Suspends Account Through Inauguration Day

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YouTube has deleted President Donald Trump’s latest video over concerns that it could inspire violence, the video sharing site announced late Tuesday. Comments are being blocked on all of the president’s remaining videos and his account has been suspended for at least the next seven days. Notably, the inauguration of…

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Source: https://gizmodo.com/youtube-deletes-latest-trump-video-suspends-account-th-1846047937
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Matt Novak

YouTube suspends Trump’s account, disables comments “indefinitely”

An illustration of YouTube's logo behind barbed wire.

Enlarge (credit: YouTube / Getty / Aurich Lawson)

YouTube, following in the path of very nearly every other social media platform, is suspending President Donald Trump’s channel due to concerns that he will use it to foment additional violence in the coming days.

“After review, and in light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, we removed new content uploaded to Donald J. Trump’s channel for violating our policies,” the company said late Tuesday. “It now has its first strike and is temporarily prevented from uploading new content for a *minimum* of 7 days.”

While it is possible Trump may have his account reinstated after that period, comments to his videos are shut down “indefinitely,” due to “safety concerns found in the comments section,” YouTube added.

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Source: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1734786
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Kate Cox

Parler Users Breached Deep Inside U.S. Capitol Building, GPS Data Shows

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At least several users of the far-right social network Parler appear to be among the hoard of rioters that managed to penetrate deep inside the U.S. Capitol building and into areas normally restricted to the public, according to GPS metadata linked to videos posted to the platform the day of insurrection in Washington.

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Source: https://gizmodo.com/parler-users-breached-deep-inside-u-s-capitol-building-1846042905
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Dell Cameron and Dhruv Mehrotra

San Francisco police are prepping for a pro-Trump rally at Twitter headquarters

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San Francisco police are preparing for a pro-Trump protest at Twitter’s headquarters, a building which has been essentially abandoned since the start of the pandemic last year, with most Twitter employees working remotely.

The potential protest comes days after Twitter banned the president from using its service — his favorite form of communication to millions of followers — following what the company called his continued incitements to violence in the wake of the January 6 assault on the Capitol last week by a mob of his followers.

“The San Francisco Police Department is aware of the possibility of a demonstration on the 1300 block of Market Street (Twitter) tomorrow, Monday January 11, 2021. SFPD has been in contact with representatives from Twitter. We will have sufficient resources available to respond to any demonstrations as well as calls for service citywide,” a police department spokesperson wrote in an email. “The San Francisco Police Department is committed to facilitating the public’s right to First Amendment expressions of free speech. We ask that everyone exercising their First Amendment rights be considerate, respectful, and mindful of the safety of others.”

The San Francisco Chronicle, which first reported the preparations from SF police, noted that posts on a popular internet forum for Trump supporters who have relocated from Reddit called for the president’s adherents to protest his Twitter ban outside of the company’s headquarters on Monday.

Twitter is one of several tech companies to deplatform the president and many of his supporters in the wake of the riot at the Capitol on Wednesday.

At this point, most of the biggest names in tech have pledged to deny service to the President for what they said was his incitement to violence in the wake of the Capitol hill raid that left five people dead — including a Capitol Police officer.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/10/san-francisco-police-are-prepping-for-a-pro-trump-rally-at-twitter-headquarters/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Jonathan Shieber

Amazon is cutting off Parler’s servers

c4a415f0-52dd-11eb-9ade-1dae565766a2Amazon has told Parler it will suspend the company’s AWS hosting services access, according to BuzzFeed News. The news comes on the same day that Apple suspended the social media app, which supporters of President Donald Trump and far-right extremist…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/amazon-suspends-parler-aws-access-025310355.html
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Apple and Google crack down on Parler after violent threats

86380bf0-520b-11eb-b8b7-df11e86dd292Apple and Google have told the “free speech” social media app Parler that it must begin moderating its users content, following violence at the US Capitol this week. The app — a Twitter alternative popular among Donald Trump supporters and the far-ri…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/apple-threatens-parler-ban-000548898.html
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Why Twitter banned President Trump

Twitter permanently banned the U.S. president Friday, taking a dramatic step to limit Trump’s ability to communicate with his followers. That decision, made in light of his encouragement for Wednesday’s violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol, might seem sudden for anyone not particularly familiar with his Twitter presence.

In reality, Twitter gave Trump many, many second chances over his four years as president, keeping him on the platform due to the company’s belief that speech by world leaders is in the public interest, even if it breaks the rules.

Now that Trump’s gone for good, we have a pretty interesting glimpse into the policy decision making that led Twitter to bring the hammer down on Friday. The company first announced Trump’s ban in a series of tweets from its @TwitterSafety account but also linked to a blog post detailing its thinking.

In that deep dive, the company explains that it gave Trump one last chance after suspending and then reinstating his account for violations made on Wednesday. But the following day, a pair of tweets the president made pushed him over the line. Twitter said those tweets, pictured below, were not examined on a standalone basis, but rather in the context of his recent behavior and this week’s events.

“… We have determined that these Tweets are in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy and the user @realDonaldTrump should be immediately permanently suspended from the service,” Twitter wrote.

Screenshot via Twitter

This is how the company explained its reasoning, point by point:

  • “President Trump’s statement that he will not be attending the Inauguration is being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate and is seen as him disavowing his previous claim made via two Tweets (1, 2) by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Dan Scavino, that there would be an ‘orderly transition’ on January 20th.
  • “The second Tweet may also serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the Inauguration would be a ‘safe’ target, as he will not be attending.
  • “The use of the words ‘American Patriots’ to describe some of his supporters is also being interpreted as support for those committing violent acts at the US Capitol.
  • “The mention of his supporters having a ‘GIANT VOICE long into the future’ and that ‘They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!’ is being interpreted as further indication that President Trump does not plan to facilitate an ‘orderly transition’ and instead that he plans to continue to support, empower, and shield those who believe he won the election.
  • “Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021.”

All of that is pretty intuitive, though his most fervent supporters aren’t likely to agree. Ultimately these decisions, as much as they do come down to stated policies, involve a lot of subjective analysis and interpretation. Try as social media companies might to let algorithms make the hard calls for them, the buck stops with a group of humans trying to figure out the best course of action.

Twitter’s explanation here offers a a rare totally transparent glimpse into how social networks decide what stays and what goes. It’s a big move for Twitter — one that many people reasonably believe should have been made months if not years ago — and it’s useful to have what is so often an inscrutable high-level decision making process laid out plainly and publicly for all to see.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/08/why-twitter-banned-president-trump/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Taylor Hatmaker

TikTok bans videos of Trump inciting mob, blocks #stormthecapital and other hashtags

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For obvious reasons, Trump doesn’t have a TikTok account. But the president’s speeches that helped incite the mob who yesterday stormed the U.S. Capitol will have no home on TikTok’s platform. The company confirmed to TechCrunch its content policy around the Capitol riots will see it removing videos of Trump’s speeches to supporters. It will also redirect specific hashtags used by rioters, like #stormthecapitol and #patriotparty, to reduce their content’s visibility in the app.

TikTok says that Trump’s speeches, where the president again reiterated claims of a fraudulent election, are being removed on the grounds that they violate the company’s misinformation policy. That policy defines misinformation as content that is inaccurate or false. And it explains that while TikTok encourages people to have respectful conversations on subjects that matter to them, it doesn’t permit misinformation that can cause harm to individuals, their community or the larger public.

A rioting mob intent on stopping democratic processes in the United States seems to fit squarely under that policy.

However, TikTok says it will allow what it calls “counter speech” against the Trump videos. This is a form of speech that’s often used to fight misinformation, where the creator presents the factual information or disputes the claims being made in another video. TikTok in November had allowed counter speech in response to claims from Trump supporters that the election was “rigged,” even while it blocked top hashtags that were used to promote these ideas.

In the case of Trump’s speeches, TikTok will allow a user to, for example, use the green screen effect to comment on the speech — unless those comments support the riots.

In addition, TikTok is allowing some videos of the violence that took place at the Capitol to remain. For example, if the video condemns the violence or originates from a news organization, it may be allowed. TikTok is also applying its recently launched opt-in viewing screens on “newsworthy” content that may depict graphic violence.

These screens, announced in December, appear on top of videos some viewers may find graphic or distressing. Videos with the screens applied are already eligible for TikTok’s main “For You” feed, but may not be prohibited. When a viewer encounters a screen, they can just tap a button to skip the video or they can choose to “watch anyway.” (It could not provide any example of the screens in use, however.)

Anecdotally, we saw videos that showed the woman who was shot and killed yesterday appear on TikTok and then quickly disappear. But those we came across were from individual users, not news organizations. They were also not really condemning the riot — they were just direct video footage. It’s unclear if the specific videos we saw were those that TikTok itself censored or if the user chose to remove them instead.

Separately from graphic content, TikTok says it will remove videos that seek to incite, glorify or promote violence, as those also violate its Community Guidelines. In these cases, the videos will be removed as TikTok identifies them — either via automation or user reporting.

And, as it did in November, TikTok is proactively blocking hashtags to reduce content’s visibility. It’s now blocking tags like #stormthecapitol and #patriotparty among others, and redirects those queries to its Community Guidelines. There are currently redirections across dozens of variations of those hashtags and others. The company doesn’t share its full list in order to protect its safeguards, it says.

TikTok had previously blocked tags like #stopthesteal and #QAnon, in a similar proactive manner.

We should point out that for all Twitter’s posturing about safety and moderation, it allowed Trump to return to its app, after a few key tweets were deleted. And it has yet to block hashtags associated with false claims, like #stopthesteal, which continues to work today. Facebook, on the other hand, banned Trump from Facebook and Instagram for at least two weeks. Like TikTok, it had previously blocked the #stopthesteal and #sharpiegate hashtags with a message about its Community Standards. (Today those searches are erroring out with messages that say “This Page Isn’t Available Right Now,” we noticed.)

TikTok’s content moderation efforts have been fairly stringent in comparison with other social networks, as it regularly hides, downranks and removes users’ posts. But it has also been accused of engaging in “censorship” by those who believe it’s being too aggressive about newsworthy content.

That’s led to users finding more creative ways to keep their videos from being banned — like using misspellings, coded language or clever editing to circumvent TikTok policies. At other times, creators will simply give up and direct viewers to their Instagram, where their content is backed up and less policed.

“Hateful behavior and violence have no place on TikTok,” a TikTok spokesperson told TechCrunch, when we asked for a statement on the Capitol events. “Content or accounts that seek to incite, glorify or promote violence violate our Community Guidelines and will be removed,” they added.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/07/tiktok-bans-videos-of-trump-inciting-mob-blocks-stormthecapital-and-other-hashtags/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Sarah Perez

Trump administration proposes splitting Cyber Command from the NSA

811de330-42dc-11eb-9fd6-408863ac6cbcThe Trump administration elevated the role of Cyber Command in 2018, and now it’s apparently ready to give the division its own berth. Defense One reports that officials have proposed splitting Cyber Command leadership from the NSA. It’s not certain…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/cyber-command-nsa-split-up-proposal-165205913.html
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