Posts Under: social media

What are the Responsibilities of Tech Companies in an Age of International Terrorism?

Yesterday, at George Washington University, an energetic panel of government officials, scholars and policy advocates from business and civil society discussed the role of tech companies in an age of international terrorism.  There is more to this thorny issue, but the panel began with a good outline of the issues at stake. The panel met at a sad time when the world is mourning the loss of life from the attacks in Brussels.  Coming after attacks in Paris, San Bernardino and Istanbul, we are clearly at a critical junction in the struggle against violent extremism.  And that made today’s topic tragically timely and relevant. So what are the responsibilities of tech companies in an age of international terrorism?  I’d say that they have three:

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Social Media Should be Section 230 “Good Samaritans” in an Age of International Terrorism

This past Friday, February 5, Twitter announced  - in a tweet, of course – that it had shut down more than 125,000 terrorism-related accounts since the middle of 2015, most of them linked to the Islamic State. The social media site removes accounts that are reported to them, and it also uses spam-fighting tools to identify and take down other violent accounts.  It works with public interest groups to encourage counter speech and reports violent accounts to the government.

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10 New Ways to Think About Content Creation

Ed Silverman writes the successful Pharmalot blog, now on Stat, the new health and life science site of the Boston Globe. Previously it was in The Wall Street Journal. His style of niche reporting has changed over the years.

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Mandated Reporting of “Terrorist Activity” to the Government is a Terrible Idea

A bill under consideration in the U.S. Senate would create an obligation for social media companies and others to report undefined “terrorist activity” to the U.S. government.  This terrible idea would bring innocent people under government surveillance for protected expression, while doing nothing to make us safer.  The Senate should drop the provision.

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Social Media Platforms Are Acting in a Socially Responsible Way – And it’s a Good Thing!

The role of internet platforms in keeping their systems free of harmful speech and activity is back in the news, driven this time by the use that ISIS is making of social media to recruit new adherents to its cause.   By making needed judgements, social media platforms are acting in a socially responsible way.  We don’t need government agencies to step in and take over this delicate balancing role.

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