Republicans in Congress Are Talking Net Neutrality, at Least

Republicans in Congress Are Talking Net Neutrality, at Least

Despite ample evidence to the contrary, Republicans said during the hearing that the Obama FCC's net neutrality regime led internet providers to decrease their investment in broadband infrastructure.

Privacy Groups Claim Online Ads Can Target Abuse Victims

Privacy Groups Claim Online Ads Can Target Abuse Victims

New documents filed Monday with regulators in Poland, the UK, and Ireland claim that the way personal data is handled during the process of matching advertisements to ad slots does not comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, a strict set of consumer privacy rules that went into effect in May. The documents focus on the categories that key players in the ad-tech industry have adopted to instantly match advertisers with appropriate users or content.

YouTube Will Crack Down on Toxic Videos, But It Won’t Be Easy

YouTube Will Crack Down on Toxic Videos, But It Won’t Be Easy

The company announced the shift in a blog post on Friday, writing that it would begin cracking down on so-called "borderline content" that comes close to violating its community standards without quite crossing the line.

Google's Proposed Changes to Chrome Could Weaken Ad Blockers

Google's Proposed Changes to Chrome Could Weaken Ad Blockers

Google is proposing to cut off extensions' access to browsing history and instead offer an interface that can generate instructions for the browser to block or modify certain content, including ads.

Facebook Cracks Down on Networks of Fake Pages and Groups

Facebook Cracks Down on Networks of Fake Pages and Groups

If a troll runs two fake news pages but only one of them violates Facebook’s policies, the company can’t take down the other until it breaks the rules as well.

Netflix Raises Prices to Stockpile for the Streaming Wars

Netflix Raises Prices to Stockpile for the Streaming Wars

Related Stories “On the surface, it does seem to be a bit of jeopardy to increase prices when the competitive services are coming,” says Tony Gunnarsson, a senior analyst at Ovum focused on the streaming media business.

Roku Channel Streams Shows to Your Phone, No Box Required

Roku Channel Streams Shows to Your Phone, No Box Required

And if you need any more indication that software will drive Roku’s future more than the hardware that powers it, look no further than the Roku Channel. Within a few weeks, the Roku Channel will not only host free, ad-supported content, but offer subscriptions to other streaming services as well.

5 Tips and Tricks for the Amazon Kids Tablet and Echo Dot

5 Tips and Tricks for the Amazon Kids Tablet and Echo Dot

Call Santa on the Echo Dot!I found that the Echo Dot for Kids was less useful than the Fire tablet for a closely supervised 3-year-old, but one of Amazon's latest features may make me reconsider.

YouTube Is a Metaphor for the Great American Dumpster Fire

YouTube Is a Metaphor for the Great American Dumpster Fire

Its problems reflect and contribute to our culture like a big, scandalous, Tide Pod-and-condom-slurping ouroboros.So it’s fitting that YouTube’s most persistent bugaboos this year have been America’s: out-of-control celebrities and our cultural addiction to them, racism and conspiracy theories, and policies that disproportionately impact vulnerable groups like the LGBTQ community.But as much as 2018 was a year beset by scandal and frenzied backpedaling, it was also a year in which YouTube started trying in earnest to reckon with its own problems.

Amnesty Report Finds, Yes, Twitter Is Toxic for Women

Amnesty Report Finds, Yes, Twitter Is Toxic for Women

“We have the data to back up what women have long been telling us—that Twitter is a place where racism, misogyny and homophobia are allowed to flourish basically unchecked.”The study looked at 778 women journalists and politicians in the US and UK, and found that 7.1 percent of tweets sent to them last year were abusive or problematic.

How Instagram Became the Russian IRA's Go-To Social Network

How Instagram Became the Russian IRA's Go-To Social Network

As Facebook and Twitter cracked down on foreign influence campaigns amid media scrutiny, the Kremlin’s Internet Research Agency (IRA) found unprecedented success in shifting its disinformation efforts to the photo-sharing app, according to a new report commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

How Russian Trolls Used Meme Warfare to Divide America

How Russian Trolls Used Meme Warfare to Divide America

At the time, the company was asked: “Does Facebook believe that any of the content created by the Russian Internet Research Agency was designed to discourage anyone from voting?” Facebook responded: “We believe this is an assessment that can be made only by investigators with access to classified intelligence and information from all relevant companies and industries.”A Facebook spokesperson added on Monday morning: “We continue to fully cooperate with officials investigating the IRA’s activity on Facebook and Instagram around the 2016 election.

Tumblr’s Porn Bloggers Eye Pillowfort and Dreamwidth

Tumblr’s Porn Bloggers Eye Pillowfort and Dreamwidth

“Even those who have their primary hangout elsewhere use us as a permanent redirect to wherever they're socializing most," she says, "because after ten years, people are beginning to trust that we mean it when we say we're planning to be around for the long haul.”Not Ready for PrimetimePillowfort, on the other hand, looks a lot like Tumblr, but it can’t yet handle the traffic that comes along with popularity.Baritz created Pillowfort in 2016 to be exactly what disaffected Tumblr bloggers are now in search of: an open-minded site that can host images and videos; allows reblogging, commenting, and community building; encourages a strong artistic bent; and doesn’t censor NSFW content.

Tumblr's Porn-Detecting AI Has One Job—and It's Bad at It

Tumblr's Porn-Detecting AI Has One Job—and It's Bad at It

“I believe they've forgot about adding enough cartoon data in this case, and probably other types of examples that matter and are SFW,” he says.“Computers are only recently opening their eyes, and it's foolish to think they can see perfectly.”Reza Zadeh, MatroidWIRED tried running several Tumblr posts that were reportedly flagged as adult content through Matroid’s NSFW natural imagery classifier, including a picture of chocolate ghosts, a photo of Joe Biden, and one of Burstein’s patents, this time for LED light-up jeans.

Tumblr's Porn Ban Reveals Who Controls What We See Online

Tumblr's Porn Ban Reveals Who Controls What We See Online

“I still haven’t dealt with removing all of them yet—I just sort of heavy sighed and closed the tab.”Safe SpaceIn interviews and messages with WIRED, more than 30 sex workers, porn consumers, and creators on Tumblr lamented the loss of what they described as a unique, safe space for curated sexually themed GIFs, photos, and videos.

What Infowars' Alex Jones and Voldemort Have in Common

What Infowars' Alex Jones and Voldemort Have in Common

We’re dealing with three ideas that are structurally in tension: that hate speech, harassment, false accusations, and baseless conspiracies (like antivaccination claims) cause real harm; that free speech is a crucial value; and that it’s necessary to deal with algorithmic amplification and attention-­gamers.Legislators, courts, users, and the platforms themselves have to be involved.

Facebook Moves to Limit Hate Speech as ‘Times’ Scandal Swirls

Facebook Moves to Limit Hate Speech as ‘Times’ Scandal Swirls

Facebook Moves to Limit Toxic Content as Scandal SwirlsTOM BRENNER/The New York Times/ReduxMark Zuckerberg would like you to know that despite a scathing report in The New York Times, which depicts Facebook as a ruthless and selfish corporate behemoth, things are getting better—at least, the way he sees it.In a lengthy call with reporters Thursday, and an equally lengthy "note" published on Facebook, the company's CEO laid out a litany of changes Facebook is making, designed to curb toxic content on the platform and provide more transparency into the decisions on content.

Facing UK Regulation, Big Tech Sends a Lobbyist to London

Facing UK Regulation, Big Tech Sends a Lobbyist to London

But while lawmakers on Capitol Hill have spent the last two years handwaving and making empty threats against Big Tech, regulators in the UK have been getting to work, strengthening their data privacy laws and taking steps toward more restrictions around content online.Now, the Internet Association, the lobbying firm that represents the likes of Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Amazon, is opening an office in London.

Pandora's Podcast Genome Project Wants to Find Your Next Favorite Show

Pandora's Podcast Genome Project Wants to Find Your Next Favorite Show

“Machines can actually determine content, determine intent, there’s many more things they can determine about a podcast than they can about a song.”As with the Music Genome Project, humans provide both guidance and a backstop for algorithmic choices.

Facebook's AI Can Analyze Memes, but Can It Understand Them?

Facebook's AI Can Analyze Memes, but Can It Understand Them?

Despite the challenges they bring, some social platforms are already using AI to analyze memes, including Facebook, which this week shared details about how it uses a tool called Rosetta to analyze photos and videos that contain text.Facebook says it already uses Rosetta to help automatically detect content that violates things like its hate speech policy.

How Bots Ruined Clicktivism

How Bots Ruined Clicktivism

The second, first posted at 2 am Texas time Thursday morning, was initiated by a group sympathetic to Ted Cruz’s reelection campaign (it’s still unclear who) and it was pushed via a combination of an advocacy app and some of Twitter’s own ad tools.They were amplified by a lot of real people—as well as a fair number of sketchy accounts.Anyone who’s ever run a campaign—political, advocacy, or marketing—knows that getting attention is key to winning—and that getting attention is really hard.

Europe's New Copyright Law Could Change the Web Worldwide

Europe's New Copyright Law Could Change the Web Worldwide

Europe's New Copyright Law Could Change the Web WorldwideEuropean publishers applauded the Parliament's approval of a new copyright law.FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty ImagesThe European Parliament passed sweeping copyright legislation Wednesday that, much like its privacy regulations, could have impact far beyond Europe.Critics argue the most controversial part of the proposal will effectively force all but the smallest website operators to adopt "upload filters" similar to those used by YouTube, and apply them to all types of content, to stop users from uploading copyrighted works.

Free Speech Is Not the Same As Free Reach

Free Speech Is Not the Same As Free Reach

Free Speech Is Not the Same As Free ReachJabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty ImagesThe algorithms that govern how we find information online are once again in the news—but you have to squint to find them.“Trump Accuses Google of Burying Conservative News in Search Results,” reads an August 28 New York Times headline.