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Hate Groups In Germany May Have Found A Home On WhatsApp

Last month, the House Judiciary Committee questioned Facebook and Google on hate crimes and the rise of white nationalism online. Now, it seems German WhatsApp may be becoming a cesspool for Nazi propaganda and antisemitic groups, according to reporting from BuzzFeed. On the app, nine groups — with names like “The German Storm” and “Ku Klux Klan International” — have shared message glorifying the Third Reich and Adolf Hitler, BuzzFeed reported. Some have also attempted to incite violence through the app. WhatsApp — who is owned by Facebook — has Community Guidelines prohibiting harassment. But even when combined with Germany’s own laws against Nazi imagery, the groups haven’t been taken down. Hate speech on social media platforms has been a growing problem for years. WhatsApp was listed as the sixth most common location for online hate speech in 2018, according to the Anti-Defamation League. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube were the platforms who secured the top three spots. Although...

Apr 19, 2019

Instagram Is Getting More Strict On Adult Content

Instagram is moving toward more family-friendly content with the reduction of inappropriate posts that may not necessarily violate community guidelines. “A sexually suggestive post will still appear in Feed if you follow the account that posts it, but this type of content may not appear for the broader community in Explore or hashtag pages,” Facebook said in a blog post. Instagram currently prohibits a list of sexual content including images of female nipples, intercourse, and genitals. However, the company allows photos of post-mastectomy scarring, women actively breastfeeding, and nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures. The lines are a little blurred when it comes to the type of content Instagram will be policing. Instagram said that it will limit sexually suggestive posts and other content that teeters the line of breaking its rules from being recommended on Explore and hashtag pages. “We use a variety of signals, for example, if an account has recently gone against our...

Apr 18, 2019

YouTube Updates Policies Following #BirdBox Challenge

Things have gotten so bad with the #BirdBox Challenge that YouTube has updated its policies to explicitly prohibit pranks that could cause harm to people. “Content that encourages violence or dangerous activities that may result in serious physical harm, distress or death violates our harmful and dangerous policy, so we’re clarifying what this means for dangerous challenges and pranks,” a YouTube employee said in a blog post . “YouTube is home to many beloved viral challenges and pranks, but we need to make sure what’s funny doesn’t cross the line into also being harmful or dangerous.” In December, the #BirdBox Challenge went viral after the Netflix original of the same name was viewed by thousands of people. People have posted videos doing a range of activities while blindfolded including reenacting scenes from the movie and driving — which has obvious safety concerns. Netflix even stepped in to stop people from participating in the challenge. Can’t believe I have to say this, but:...

Jan 16, 2019

A Sanitized Tumblr Just Debuted On The App Store

Tumblr has returned to the App Store after being removed for graphic content on its platform. Veteran Tumblr users will notice a somewhat cleaner version of the app now that the company has removed pornographic content from the platform after discovering photos of child sexual abuse. Some Tumblr artists and sex workers have criticized the platform for removing their content, as it served as one of the few places where they could post freely. After being MIA for 10 days, Tumblr returned with new Community Guidelines prohibiting hate speech, harm to minors, and adult content. The app now has an algorithm that automatically removes porn and other adult content, but the company still has few wrinkles it has to iron out as the algorithm sometimes reports images that aren’t sexual at all. These changes will go into effect December 17.  

Dec 14, 2018