social media
Germany’s New Social Media Hate Speech Law is Now Being Enforced

2017 was the year public sentiment began to turn against massive tech conglomerates like Facebook and Google. But nowhere in the West has the backlash been bigger than Germany, which last year passed a sweeping anti-hate speech law requiring websites to promptly investigate reports of posts illegal under German law and delete them. On January 1st, 2018, the grace period before that law would begin being enforced by authorities expired. Read More >>

Iran Moves to Block Social Media Apps, Mobile Networks as Protests Spread

The government of Iran has shut down mobile internet access and blocked apps including Telegram and Instagram after days of protests that exploded into widespread civil unrest. According to the Washington Post, at least two people are reported dead during the demonstrations, “the largest in Iran since an uprising over disputed election results shook the country eight years ago.” Read More >>

Putin-Backed Autocrat Says Chechen Instagram Clone Is ‘Just as Good’ as the Real Thing

Terrifying Russian-appointed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov—known internationally for his country’s alleged concentration camps for gay men—had his Facebook and Instagram accounts taken down this weekend, and his buddies in the Kremlin are asking some questions. Read More >>

Cloudflare CEO on Policing Nazis Online: We Never Considered ‘People Could Just Be Really Evil’

For the sake of an open internet, it’s generally believed that objectionable and offensive content is acceptable—and perhaps even necessary—up to a certain point. Internet companies still haven’t charted exactly where that point is. During an event this week, Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince argued that they probably shouldn’t. Read More >>

LinkedIn Restricts Job-Posting Features in China After Pressure From Authorities

LinkedIn, one of the few Western internet companies with a large footprint in China, saw a major setback there this week when it removed its individual job-posting function under pressure from authorities, the New York Times reported. Read More >>

Russia’s New Law Outlaws VPNs That Unblock Censored Sites

With all the talk of how our government likes to meddle with the internet (a topic they've proven themselves incapable of understanding) we have it pretty good in this country. Not like in Russia, where censorship is rampant. To the point where the government has started cracking down on VPNs and other services that let internet users unblock forbidden websites. Read More >>

China’s Latest Hit Mobile Game Asks Players to Please Clap for President Xi Jinping

Tencent, the developer of China’s popular messaging app WeChat, has released a mobile game that encourages citizens to applaud President Xi Jinping—just days after WeChat blocked features that citizens use to protest. Read More >>

China Blocks WeChat Features Ahead of 19th National Congress

In the lead up to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China this month—a major changing of the guard which will see widespread retirements among senior leaders—the country’s censors have been cracking down on everything from an unnerving sex doll-sharing company to even milquetoast criticism of the government in the media. Now, popular Chinese social media app WeChat has begun restricting how its users can use the platform in an effort to offset its potential use in protests. Read More >>

Facebook Shut Down a Conservative ‘FB Anon’ Group Employees Used for Harassment

On Wednesday, Facebook CEO and much-rumoured presidential hopeful Mark Zuckerberg posted to his personal page explaining why the company would renew efforts to crack down on hate speech across the site, citing the terrible violence that transpired at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12th. Read More >>

Oops, Snapchat Accidentally Ended Up on a Russian Government Snitch Registry

As Russia transitions into an internet dystopia, it appears that Snapchat has been dragged right in. Today, Snapchat’s parent company Snap was registered as an “information distribution organiser.” And by 1 July 2018, an amended law will require “information distribution organisers” to store months of user data, and make it available for the Russian law enforcement upon request. Read More >>

The Wayback Machine Was Quietly Blocked in India

On Tuesday evening, citizens of India were appalled to find that the Internet Archive had been blocked by a growing number of local ISPs. Instead of finding the Wayback Machine, users saw a message that is routinely used when the government restricts access to an online organisation. Read More >>

Tim Cook Says Apple Had to Comply With Chinese Censors, and They’d Do It in the US Too

Last week, consumer tech giant Apple removed all major VPN apps from the Chinese branch of its Apps Store, seemingly putting yet another barrier in place for millions of Chinese citizens who might desire to defy their government’s pervasive internet censorship system. On Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook explained why Apple chose to comply with the wishes of Chinese censors. Read More >>

YouTube Has a New Naughty Corner for Controversial Religious and Supremacist Videos

Today, YouTube clarified how it plans to handle videos that don’t violate any of its policies but still contain offensive religious and supremacist content: hide them and make sure they can’t make any money. Read More >>

Apple Removes All VPN Apps From Its Chinese App Store

Apple Inc. appears to have complied with the wishes of Chinese censors and removed all major VPN apps from the China-based branch of its App Store, a move which will make it harder for consumers to dodge the country’s pervasive restrictions on internet freedom. Read More >>

Chinese Authorities Crack Down on Winnie the Pooh

There's trouble for Pooh in the 2.37 billion acre brownfield industrial wood that is China, as authorities have launched a fresh clampdown on sharing of images of the bear on social media. Read More >>