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Report: Twitter Users Who Joined Before Age 13 Facing Ban

The Motherboard report said that some users did not enter a date of birth when they signed up on Twitter, but added it to their profile later

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Twitter India celebrates rising women achievers. Pixabay

After the European Union’s new data privacy regulations came into effect on May 25, Twitter started suspending users who, it believes, joined the platform before turning 13, the media reported.

But the process has become messy as this latest wave of suspension has affected many adults, including journalists, technology website Motherboard reported on Wednesday.

Among those affected is Canadian journalist Tom Yun, who is older than 13, the report said.

Twitter notified Yun that “in order to create a Twitter account, you must be at least 13 years old” and “you don’t meet these age requirements”, according to notifications from the microblogging site shared by the journalist on a new Twitter account.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) stipulates that the age of consent for using online services should not be lower than 13.

The Motherboard report said that some users did not enter a date of birth when they signed up on Twitter, but added it to their profile later.

Twitter cannot legally keep content on its platform that was created by someone under the age of 13, but at the same time it cannot separate content created before age 13 and after, according to the company.

Also Read: Facebook, Twitter Introduce New Guidelines For Political Ads

So the microblogging site opted to suspend users whose provided date of birth indicates they were under the age of 13 when they signed up.

Although suspended users who are now eligible to sign up for the service can create a new account, the process of new suspensions reveals the repercussion for Twitter not enforcing its own rules regarding the minimum age as Twitter has long required that users must be over 13 years old to use the service. (IANS)

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Twitter, Facebook Shut Down China-backed Fake Accounts

The recent wave of anti-government protests has prompted widespread criticism of the police for their alleged brutality against protesters

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Twitter, tweets, India
The Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.. VOA

As pro-democracy protests gain momentum in Hong Kong, Twitter and Facebook have suspended several accounts that were part of the Chinese government’s influence campaign and targeted protest movement and the call for political change in Hong Kong.

Twitter said it has suspended more than 200,000 accounts involved in coordinated inauthentic behaviour — including 936 accounts originating from within the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

“Overall, these accounts were deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground,” Twitter said in a blog post late Monday.

The company identified large clusters of accounts behaving in a coordinated manner to amplify messages related to the Hong Kong protests.

“As Twitter is blocked in China, many of these accounts accessed Twitter using VPNs. However, some accounts accessed Twitter from specific unblocked IP addresses originating in mainland China,” the micro-blogging platform added.

The accounts were suspended for a range of violations of Twitter’s platform manipulation policies like spam, coordinated activity, fake accounts, attributed activity and violative content.

The micro-blogging platform said it will also ban ads from China-backed media companies, for which it has already faced the flak from users.

Facebook said it has also removed seven Pages, three Groups and five accounts originated in China and involved in posting fake news pertaining to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.

Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE – In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook’s developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

The individuals behind this campaign engaged in a number of deceptive tactics, including the use of fake accounts, “some of which had been already disabled” to manage Pages posing as news organisations, post in Groups, disseminate their content, and also drive people to off-platform news sites.

“About 15,500 accounts followed one or more of these Pages and about 2,200 accounts joined at least one of these Groups,a Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, said in a blog post.

“Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our investigation found links to individuals associated with the Chinese government,” he added.

Based on a tip shared by Twitter about activity they found on their platform, Facebook conducted an internal investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behaviour in the region and identified the malicious accounts.

Also Read: Apple ‘Bug’ Puts iPhones with Latest iOS to Hacking Risk

Since June, Hong Kong has been rocked by a wave of protests because of the extradition bill, which would have enabled fugitives to be extradited from Hong Kong to mainland China.

A mass rally in Hong Kong on Sunday, widely deemed the most important so far this month, attracted tens of thousands of people as the crisis entered the 11th consecutive weekend of anti-government protests.

The recent wave of anti-government protests has prompted widespread criticism of the police for their alleged brutality against protesters. (IANS)