Monday January 21, 2019
Home Lead Story US to Probe S...

US to Probe Social Media Giants Like Facebook, Twitter Over Censorship Concern

Following the meeting, Twitter shares fell six per cent on Wednesday, CNBC reported

0
//
Facebook, video chat
LinkedIn faced probe for Facebook ads targeting 18 mn non-members. Pixabay

After Wednesday’s congressional hearings, Facebook and Twitter will now face questions from the Justice Department (DOJ) over allegations of political bias, an issue flagged by US President Donald Trump.

In a meeting in September, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, along with state attorneys general, would look into whether Facebook and Twitter are “intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms”, CNET reported on Wednesday.

The DOJ announced the meeting on a day when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg appeared before the US Congress, admitting to the lawmakers that they were “too slow to act” and “ill-prepared” to tackle foreign interference on their platforms.

Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

According to The Washington Post, Sandberg told the US Senate Intelligence Committee that they were too slow to spot this and too slow to act. “That’s on us.”

The social networking platforms attracted criticism for being vulnerable to Russia-linked influence campaigns.

Trump has accused Google, Facebook and Twitter of trying to “silence” conservative voices.

Appearing before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Wednesday in a hearing on online censorship of conservative opinions and misinformation activities ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections, Dorsey said Twitter will remain an “impartial” “global town square”, and it does “not shadow-ban anyone based on political ideology”.

Twitter
Twitter on a smartphone device. VOA

“To serve the public conversation, Twitter is incentivised to keep all voices on the platform,” he said.

Twitter has constantly denied the claims by Republicans that conservative accounts were shadow-banned or their opinions were censored on the platform.

You May Also Like to Read- Google Rolls Out New Search Engine For The Use of Scientific Community

Earlier in the day, Dorsey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.

Following the meeting, Twitter shares fell six per cent on Wednesday, CNBC reported. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook Set to Launch a Petitions Feature For its Users

"There are some limits already: users can't tag President Donald Trump or Vice President Mike Pence," said another report in The Verge

0
Facebook, data,photos
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Facebook is set to launch a petitions feature called “Community Actions” that will let users request change from their local and national elected officials and government agencies.

According to a report in TechCrunch late Sunday, “Community Actions” will be a petition feature in Facebook’s News Feed and reach users in the US on Tuesday and other markets later.

“Users can add a title, description, and image to their ‘Community Action’, and tag relevant government agencies and officials who’ll be notified,” the report added.

Supporters for any given petition will be able to discuss the topic with fellow supporters, creating events and fundraisers.

Facebook, data, vietnam
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

However, the “Community Actions” feature could also provide “vocal interest groups a bully pulpit from which to pressure politicians and bureaucrats with their fringe agendas”.

According to a Facebook spokesperson, “Community Action” is another way for people to advocate for changes in their communities and partner with elected officials and government agencies on solutions.

Also Read- Nepal’s Central Bank Announces Ban of Indian Notes Above Rs 100

Since bad actors can misuse such features, Facebook will use “a combination of user flagging, proactive algorithmic detection, and human enforcers,” to safeguard the “Community Action” feature from falling into wrong hands.

“There are some limits already: users can’t tag President Donald Trump or Vice President Mike Pence,” said another report in The Verge. (IANS)