THE NEUTRAL ZONE
Facebook and Twitter announced stricter measures aimed at limiting misinformation and further unrest following last week’s attack in Washington, D.C. Both companies are also leaving their suspensions of President Donald Trump’s accounts in place.
Facebook and Instagram will remove all content containing the phrase “stop the steal” and attempt to respond to threats 24 hours a day at least through Jan. 22. During inauguration week, Facebook will add a news digest to Facebook News in order to elevate reliable information about the inauguration. The company will also continue to pause all ads about U.S. politics or elections.
Twitter stated in a press release that it began removing accounts dedicated to sharing QAnon content. The QAnon conspiracy theory centers on the belief that Trump is waging a secret campaign against “deep state” enemies and a child sex trafficking ring.
Since Friday, more than 70,000 of those accounts have been suspended, with many instances of a single person operating multiple accounts. Twitter on Friday suspended the accounts of Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell, supporters of the president. The suspensions mean some Twitter users will lose followers, in some cases by the thousands, the company said.
This section includes an aggregation of articles showing different viewpoints on the topic.
‘We Tried to Warn You’ – The Atlantic – 1/12/2021
The standard routine generally begins with a hurried reversal of a previously staunchly held position (banning Trump) despite continued denial of wrongdoing or dismissal of concerns (a step already underway) coupled with some overdue corrective action (removing “stop the steal” content nearly 70 days after the election). This is then often followed by a muted apology and a promise to do better, efforts embellished with a bit of outreach to a local civil-society group or NGO to score some public-relations points.
Millions of Users Are Flooding Encrypted Apps After Social Media Purges – Reason – 1/12/2021
The situation shows the futility of trying to fix social and political issues by threatening tech platforms that won’t hide evidence of them. The issues and the ideas driving them don’t go away, they just go underground. And the only way to reach them there is to undermine privacy protections for political dissidents from authoritarian regimes, journalists, whistleblowers, all sorts of political organizers, and literally everyone else in the process.
Social-Media Stocks Are Falling. There’s More Scrutiny After the U.S. Capitol Attack. – Barron’s – 1/11/2021
Bernstein internet analyst Mark Shmulik thinks there could be ramification for the companies in Washington in 2021. “While the week will certainly be remembered for far more shocking events, it’s not lost on us that we may be at the precipice of a change to long-standing Internet rules of engagement,” he writes in a research note Monday.
Twitter Purges 70,000 Accounts For Sharing QAnon Content – The Daily Wire – 1/12/2021
The company, led by CEO Jack Dorsey, announced in a statement on Tuesday that it had purged the platform of more than 70,000 accounts since last week, claiming that the accounts were sharing content that could “lead to offline harm.” Typically, Twitter’s mass bans have focused on fake accounts run by bots. Its latest ban has included many accounts controlled by real people, however.
This section includes an aggregation of tweets showing different viewpoints on the topic.