How about Ted Cruz slams Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey over censorship at Senate hearing
Despite repeatedcharges of anti-conservative bias from former President Trump and other GOP critics, Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube are not slanted against right-leaning users, a new report out of New York University found.
Like previous research, “False Accusation: The Unfounded Claim that Social Media Companies Censor Conservatives,” concludes that, rather than censoring conservatives, social media platforms amplify their voices.
“Republicans, or more broadly conservatives, have been spreading a form of disinformation on how they’re treated on social media. They complain they’re censored and suppressed but, not only is there not evidence to support that, what evidence exists actually cuts in the other direction,” said Paul Barrett, deputy director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, which released the report Monday.
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The report lands as a unifying argument is taking shape that major forces in American society – big media, big government, big business – are muzzling conservatives. That argument intensified after the major social media platforms suspended Trump out of fear he would incite violence following the U.S. Capitol attack.
“There is a broad campaign going on from the right to argue that they’re being silenced or cast aside, and that spirit is what is helping to feed the extremism that we are seeing in our country right now,” Barrett said. “We can’t just allow that to be a debating point. It’s not legitimate. It’s not supported by the facts.”
Many groups across the political spectrum feel their opinions and perspectives are under siege when social media platforms moderate content, researchers say, but it’s difficult to make the case that these platforms are biased against any one group since the platforms disclose so little about how they decide what content is allowed and what is not.
For their part, Facebook and Twitter say their platforms strike a balance between promoting free expression and removing hate, abuse and misinformation. They acknowledge making enforcement errors but insist their policies are applied fairly to everyone.
Conservative author Denise McAllister does not see it that way. And she’s called on the social media platforms to stop moderating speech altogether.
“This is a platform, right? You don’t need to act like mama Twitter or mama Facebook. Just let people say what they are going to say, whether it’s true, false, whatever,” she recently told USA TODAY. “You have to just trust the people as individuals and not to try to impose power because you are going to do it inconsistently.”
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last week that Facebook would no longer recommend political and civic groups to users and would downplay politics in people’s News Feeds.
Vast majority of conservatives say social media censors them
A recent poll shows that majorities in both parties think political censorship is likely occurring on social media, but that belief is most prevalent on the political right.
Nine in 10 Republicans and independents who lean toward the Republican Party say it’s at least somewhat likely that social media platforms censor political viewpoints they find objectionable, up slightly from 85% in 2018, according to an August report from the Pew Research Center.
The perception that social media platforms censor conservatives is regularly circulated by Fox News hosts, GOP lawmakers in congressional hearings and online pundits. That, in turn, has intensified GOP calls to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields social media companies from legal liability for what their users post and gives platforms immunity when moderating “objectionable” content.
Democrats, including Biden, criticize pandemic, election misinformation
Bipartisan support to restrain the vast power held by a handful of large corporations grew during the Trump administration and shows no signs of ebbing as Democrats retake the White House.
Social media platforms have been judged harshly by both parties for how they policed content over the past year, from the COVID-19 pandemic to election-related misinformation and disinformation.
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Democrats, including Biden, say the social media platforms don’t restrict or remove enough harmful content, particularly hate speech, extremism, hoaxes and falsehoods. They have called on companies to play a bigger and more responsible role in curating public debate.
Those on the right say these platforms have too much latitude to restrict and remove content and target conservatives based on their political beliefs.
Those grievances boiled over when Facebook, Twitter and YouTube suspended Trump’s accounts, citing the risk that he would use his social media megaphone to incite more violence before the end of his term.
After being permanently suspended from Twitter, Trump accused the company of “banning free speech” in cahoots with “the Democrats and Radical Left.”
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2021/02/01/censorship-conservatives-trump-facebook-twitter-youtube/4316155001/
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Elon Musk Says He’ll Pay $11 Billion in Taxes in 2021 But Twitter Wants ‘Proof’
Elon Musk took to Twitter to clarify once and for all that he will be paying a whopping $11 billion as taxes this year.
If the number of times Elon Musk could count when someone has asked him to pay the full taxes, he would be a very rich..wait, never mind. The Tesla boss is rich beyond any private individual has been in history, reports said.
Musk has increasingly been facing criticism from many politicians and many others who insist he has not been paying taxes as compared to the profits his companies have been making. On Sunday, the SpaceX CEO took to Twitter to share that he will be paying a whopping $11 billion as taxes.
For those wondering, I will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2021
But some of the questions did not stop. One person tweeted how they needed to see Musk’s tax returns while yet another asked how much percentage was that of his total income.
A few were, however scathing of the government who thought they will add that amount to their pockets rather than using it for some proper development.
Wow that’s enough to give each person in the world almost $2 million but instead the government will just stick it in their pockets— greg (@greg16676935420) December 20, 2021
Why not $200 billion? Asking for a Senator— litquidity (@litcapital) December 20, 2021
Earlier this week, Democratic US Senator Elizabeth Warren has tweeted to say that Musk should pay taxes and stop “freeloading off everyone else” after Time magazine named him its “person of the year”.
In response, Musk shot four tweets in which he said that the senator reminded him of a friend’s angry mom who yelled at everybody. He tweeted, ““And if you opened your eyes for 2 seconds, you would realize I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year.” “Don’t spend it all at once … oh wait you did already.”
He added further, “You remind me of when I was a kid and my friend’s angry Mom would just randomly yell at everyone for no reason.”
Musk responded by saying that he “will pay more taxes than any American in history this year”. This Twitter exchange left netizens divided as even though many supported Warren and agreed that Musk should pay more taxes, others felt that he was already doing enough.
Musk’s Tesla is worth about $1 trillion. Over the last few weeks, he has sold nearly $14 billion worth of Tesla shares.
The Tesla boss has been pushing for his colonize Mars agenda for years now, and has made it very clear in some occasions that he would rather spend the money on putting humanity on the red planet, than pay his taxes. “My plan,” the SpaceX founder tweeted about his fortune, “is to use the money to get humanity to Mars and preserve the light of consciousness.”
Twitter Admits Policy ‘Errors’ After Far-Right Abuse Its New Rules of Posting Pictures
Twitter’s new picture permission policy was aimed at combating online abuse, but US activists and researchers said Friday that far-right backers have employed it to protect themselves from scrutiny and to harass opponents.
Even the social network admitted the rollout of the rules, which say anyone can ask Twitter to take down images of themselves posted without their consent, was marred by malicious reports and its teams’ own errors.
It was just the kind of trouble anti-racism advocates worried was coming after the policy was announced this week.
“Anyone with a Twitter account should be reporting doxxing posts from the following accounts,” the message said, with a list of dozens of Twitter handles.
Gwen Snyder, an organizer and researcher in Philadelphia, said her account was blocked this week after a report to Twitter about a series of 2019 photos she said showed a local political candidate at a march organized by extreme-right group Proud Boys.
Rather than go through an appeal with Twitter she opted to delete the images and alert others to what was happening.
“Twitter moving to eliminate (my) work from their platform is incredibly dangerous and is going to enable and embolden fascists,” she told AFP.
But the rules don’t apply to “public figures or individuals when media and accompanying Tweets are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse.”
By Friday, Twitter noted the roll out had been rough: “We became aware of a significant amount of coordinated and malicious reports, and unfortunately, our enforcement teams made several errors.”
“We’ve corrected those errors and are undergoing an internal review to make certain that this policy is used as intended,” the firm added.
Jack Dorsey Post Twitter Is Chasing His Crypto, Fintech Dream
At a packed Miami conference in June, Jack Dorsey, mused in front of thousands of attendees about where his real passion lay: “If I weren’t at Square or Twitter, I’d be working on Bitcoin.”
On Monday, Dorsey made good on one part of that, announcing he would leave Twitter for the second time, handing the CEO position to a 10-year veteran at the firm. The 45-year-old entrepreneur, who is often described as an enigma with varied interests from meditation to yoga to fashion design, plans to pursue his passion which include focusing on running Square and doing more philanthropic work, according to a source familiar with his plan.
Well before the surprise news, Dorsey had laid the groundwork for his next chapter, seeding both companies with cryptocurrency-related projects.
Underlying Dorsey’s broader vision is the principle of “decentralisation,” or the idea that technology and finance should not be concentrated among a handful of gatekeepers, as it is now, but should, instead, be steered by the hands of the many, either people or entities.
The concept has played out at Square, which has built a division devoted to working on projects and awarding grants with the aim of growing Bitcoin’s popularity globally. Bitcoin price in India stood at Rs. 44.52 lakh as of 12:50pm IST on December 1.
Dorsey has been a longtime proponent of Bitcoin, and the appeal is that the cryptocurrency will allow for private and secure transactions with the value of Bitcoin unrelated to any government.
The idea has also underpinned new projects at Twitter, where Dorsey tapped a top lieutenant – and now the company’s new CEO Parag Agrawal – to oversee a team that is attempting to construct a decentralised social media protocol, which will allow different social platforms to connect with one another, similar to the way email providers operate.
The project called Bluesky will aim to allow users control over the types of content they see online, removing the “burden” on companies like Twitter to enforce a global policy to fight abuse or misleading information, Dorsey said in 2019 when he announced Bluesky.
Bitcoin has also figured prominently at both of his companies. Square became one of the first public companies to own Bitcoin assets on its balance sheet, having invested $220 million (roughly Rs. 1,650 crore) in the cryptocurrency.
In August, Square created a new business unit called TBD to focus on Bitcoin. The company is also planning to build a hardware wallet for Bitcoin, a Bitcoin mining system, as well as a decentralised Bitcoin exchange.
Twitter allows users to tip their favourite content creators with Bitcoin and has been testing integrations with non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a type of digital asset that allows people to collect unique digital art.
Analysts see the transition as a positive signal for Square, the fintech platform he co-founded in 2009. Square’s core Cash App, after a bull run in its share in 2020, has experienced slower growth in the most recent quarter. It is also trying to digest the $29 billion (roughly Rs. 2,17,240 crore) acquisition of Buy Now Pay Later provider Afterpay, its largest acquisition ever.
But these ambitions will not pay off until years from now, analysts cautioned.
“The blockchain platform they’re trying to develop is great but also fraught with technical challenges and difficult to scale for consumers. I think he’ll focus more on Square and crypto will be part of that,” said Christopher Brendler, an analyst at DA Davidson.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article.
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