Social Media

Rebranded Twitter a disinformation hub

Vera Jourova, a Czech politician who is the European Commission’s vice-president for “values and transparency”, says the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, has “the largest ratio of mis- or disinformation posts” in the world. Moreover, she warns, billionaire Elon Musk’s dismantling of a monitoring team likely means the problem will grow. [node:read-more:link]

French journalist detained

Online reporting nearly two years ago, based on leaked documents, resulted in the September 19 arrest of a journalist by France’s domestic intelligence agency. The move was denounced by Reporters Without Borders as an “unacceptable attack on the secrecy of sources.” Ariane Lavrilleux had reported that French counter-intelligence information had been used by Egypt several years earlier for “a campaign of arbitrary killings” against smugglers along the Libyan border. [node:read-more:link]

EU fine a potential bellwether

Chinese-controlled TikTok has been fined €345 million by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission after a two-year investigation into the social media platforms’ compliance with privacy rules. There are suggestions that Canada could follow suit in a bid to protect younger users’ privacy. [node:read-more:link]

Convoy trial drowning in data?

As the trial in Ottawa of two key organizers of the “Freedom Convoy” protest enters another week, prosecutors, defence council and the presiding Ontario Superior Court judge are wrestling with fundamental questions about an unprecedented mountain of potential digital evidence. [node:read-more:link]

Minister held liable by court

A Federal Court judge has ruled that Environment & Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault owes the founder of right-wing Rebel News $20,000 for blocking his social media account. Guilbeault and his staff also are ordered not block Levant, who said Guilbeau’s tactic was equivalent to “weaponization of the state” against critics. [node:read-more:link]

Halifax woman defames diplomat

A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has ordered Halifax YouTuber Nermine Adel Khalil to pay $175,000 for defamatory statements against an Egyptian career diplomat but she says she won’t pay or cease her attacks. The former Egyptian national and now Canadian citizen defamed and threatened Nashwa Abdelhamid Mohamed Abdelkader in videos described by Justice Gail Gatchalian (Docket Hfx .No. 518711) as “outrageous, insulting, spiteful and malicious.” [node:read-more:link]

Threads platform “hacker’s dream”

Meta’s new social media platform, Threads, is gobbling up massive amounts of sensitive data on its subscribers, now totalling 100 million and counting. the platform falls under the California parent company’s general privacy policy which permits collection of an array of subscribers’ information from sign-up to which sites are clicked, who is “friended” and what type of device used to access Threads. [node:read-more:link]

Swedish court refuses extradition

Turkey’s request for the extradition of two refugees it calls terrorists was rejected today by the Supreme Court of Sweden. Turkey says the two men joined an online network headed by a U.S. Muslim cleric but the court said that “downloading and using a mobile application cannot in itself be considered to constitute such participation as is required for criminality under the Terrorist Crimes Act.” [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa gets Meta-physical

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez announced July 5 that the government has suspended all Facebook and Instagram advertising as it continues its battle over the Online News Act with Google and Meta. “Facebook has decided to be unreasonable, irresponsible and started blocking news,” he said, flanked by Opposition MPs. “Google, on the other hand, has been open to finding a solution.” [node:read-more:link]

U.S. gagged on social media

A U.S. district judge appointed by former President Donald Trump in 2018 has ordered some federal agencies and officials to stop contact social media companies about certain content. His July 4 injunction was in response to a lawsuit which claimed the Democrat administration had overstepped its mandate to combat disinformation on the coronavirus pandemic. [node:read-more:link]

Online News Act passes

Bill C-18, the government’s Online News Act which will require Google and Meta to pay media outlets for shared content was approved today by the Senate and will come into force six months after royal assent. California-based Meta confirmed that it would end news availability on Facebook and Instagram for its Canadian users as previously suggested. [node:read-more:link]

Parting advice from Erin O’Toole

Preparing to retire from the House of Commons June 23, former Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole has warned MPs to avoid polarizing “performance politics” and focus on national unity. “Too many of us are often chasing algorithms down a sinkhole of diversion and division,” he told the House. “We are becoming elected officials who judge our self-worth by how many ‘likes” we get on social media, but not how many lives we change in the real world.” [node:read-more:link]

Islamic charity scores defamation win

The faith-based charity Islamic Relief Canada has settled a defamation action out of court against claims that it was a “front” for terrorist fund-raising. Terms were not disclosed but the December 2018 lawsuit for $2.5 million in damages was filed against Thomas Quiggin, a former Canadian Armed Forces intelligence officer and six others who made “false, malicious and defamatory” statements which they have acknowledged were “unfounded.” [node:read-more:link]

Social media giants “bullies”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said June 7 that California-based social media companies are using “bullying tactics” to block draft legislation which would require payment for news content sourced from Canadian publishers. “That these internet giants would rather cut off Canadians’ access to local news than pay their fair share is a real problem,” he said. Bill C-18, the Online News Act, ws inroduced by the government in April 2022 and is currently before the Senate, having received House of Commons approval in December. [node:read-more:link]

Amazon fined for privacy violations

Amazon has agreed to pay a $25 million penalty to settle U.S. Federal Trade Commission allegations it violated a child privacy law and deceived parents by retaining voice and location data recorded by its Alexa voice assistant. The Seattle-based company will refund $5.8 million to customers for alleged privacy violations involving its doorbell cameras. [node:read-more:link]


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