Internet Celebrity Imprisoned for Short, Goofy Rendition of China’s National Anthem 

Yang Kaili, a young internet star in China, was detained for five days for singing the country’s national anthem in a non-serious manner during a livestream. On 7 October, clad in a fuzzy antler headband, Yang waved her hands around as she sang the national anthem for about 10 seconds. Read More >>

Vietnam Convicts Second Person This Week for Anti-Government Facebook Posts 

On Thursday, police in Vietnam reported that a court had jailed a 40-year-old man for two and a half years due to the comments included in his Facebook posts. This is the second Facebook-related imprisonment in the country in the past week. Read More >>

Scientist Who Quit Google in Protest Urges US Senate to Investigate Project Dragonfly 

Yesterday, representatives from tech companies including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and Google testified before the US Senate Commerce Committee on issues of consumer data privacy at a hearing with the limply stated purpose of finding “what Congress can do to promote clear privacy expectations without hurting innovation.” A former Google senior research scientist who resigned from the company this month is hoping the committee will dig further. Read More >>

Google Complies With Russian Order to Take Down Opposition Leader’s YouTube Ad

Google took down a YouTube ad for Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny before a vote for regional governors on Sunday and amid protests over President Vladimir Putin’s plans to raise the retirement age for state pensions, the Guardian reported. Read More >>

Apple Reportedly Kills Off Thousands of Apps in China Because They’re ‘Illegal’

Apple has reportedly pulled thousands of apps from its App Store in China, possibly in response to pressure from government-run media outlets in recent weeks. Read More >>

Google Developing Censored Search Engine For China: Report

China has an army of internet censors who comb through the web and block information that the government doesn’t want its people to see. But the job of the censors is about to get easier if Google has its way. The tech giant is planning to release a new censored version of its search engine and apps in the land of 1.3 billion people. Read More >>

social media
Egypt Poised to Give Itself the Power to Block Anyone With 5,000-Plus Followers Over ‘Fake News’

A bill passed yesterday in Egypt empowering the government the power to block users on social media for spreading “fake news” if they have over 5,000 followers. Read More >>

Woman Arrested in Iran for Posting Videos of Herself Dancing on Instagram

Authorities in Iran arrested four women last week for posting videos of themselves dancing on Instagram. Only one of the women, 17-year-old gymnast Maedeh Hojabri, has been identified. State TV in Iran aired her “confession” on Friday. Read More >>

social media
Uganda Goes Through With Social Media Tax and People Are Pissed

The Ugandan government has implemented a law forcing mobile users to pay taxes to use mobile money and social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Skype. Read More >>

Google is Refining Its Anti-Boob Algorithm After a Woman Flashed Google Maps

A remote road in Pingtung County, Taiwan has suddenly become a highly-rated attraction on Google Maps for the thirstiest denizens of the internet thanks to a video uploaded by a tourist that shows her bare breast. Read More >>

Papua New Guinea to Block Facebook For a Month, Might Launch State-Run Alternative

Papua New Guinea, a nation of over 8 million, has announced that it will shut down Facebook for a month. The PNG government says that the shutdown will give it time to assess the spread of objectionable content on the site like porn and fake news. The government also said that it’s exploring the creation of its own social media site to replace Facebook. Read More >>

Apple Begins Removing CallKit Apps From Chinese App Store, Citing New Cybersecurity Laws

Apple has begun removing applications that use the CallKit framework from the Chinese version of its App Store after the nation’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology moved to more strictly enforce recent cybersecurity regulations, per a report in 9to5Mac. Read More >>

Facebook, Twitter, and Google Would Like to Be the Gatekeepers of Democracy Without the Responsibility

Top brass from Facebook, Twitter, and Google stopped by Stanford Law School last week to participate in a conversation about the challenges social media companies face in regulating free speech and protecting democracies. The panel showed the companies are much better at identifying problems than actually solving them. Read More >>

China Bans Peppa Pig Videos on Social Media For Being Associated with Gangster Culture

Few people would think of cartoon character Peppa Pig as a subversive icon. But don’t tell that to the Chinese government. China has started to ban Peppa Pig from social media for being too “gangster,” deleting over 30,000 videos of the cartoon pig on one platform alone. Read More >>