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Elon Musk wins against Australian government “censorship” attempt - May 13, 2024

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Elon Musk's social media platform X has landed a victory in its court battle against Australia’s eSafety Commissioner over footage of the Western Sydney church stabbing.

The Federal Court on Monday rejected the e-Safety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant’s application to extend an injunction that would have forced X to continue blocking content related to the incident.

Last month, Elon Musk argued taking down the videos globally would go against freedom of speech laws.

"Our concern is that if any country is allowed to censor content for all countries … then what is to stop any country from controlling the entire internet?" Mr Musk wrote on X.

People congratulated Mr Musk on Monday after the Federal Court sided with X.

Sky News Host Rowan Dean wrote on X, “Australia’s Labor government disgraced again as Federal Court denies Labor’s outrageous attempt to censor what everyday Australians can see on this magnificent platform to free speech – congrats.”

The case will return to court on Wednesday.

 

 

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Elon Musk's X to hire 100 content moderators in Austin this year - January 28, 2024

The Elon Musk-owned X social media platform announced a new content moderation push

Elon Musk’s X is in the process of hiring 100 content moderators for a new office in Austin, Texas, that will focus on fighting child abuse online on the social media platform, an executive said on Saturday.

X, formerly known as Twitter, announced a new "Trust and Safety center of excellence" in a blog post by CEO Linda Yaccarino on Friday. The new initiative comes as part of the company’s efforts to combat child sexual exploitation (CSE) on the social media platform.

"While X is not the platform of choice for children and minors – users between 13-17 account for less than 1% of our daily U.S. users – we have made it more difficult for bad actors to share or engage with CSE material on X, while simultaneously making it simpler for our users to report CSE content," Yaccarino wrote.

She added that the platform is "improving our detection mechanisms to find more reportable content on the platform to report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)."


The post noted that X suspended 12.4 million accounts for violating the platform’s CSE policies in 2023 – a dramatic uptick from 2.3 million account suspensions in 2022.

The company also referred 850,000 reports to NCMEC in 2023, including through X’s first ever fully-automated report.

The company said that was over eight times more than what Twitter referred to NCMEC in 2022 before it was acquired by the Elon Musk-led ownership group.

Following Musk’s 2022 takeover of Twitter, he has faced criticism for the content moderation policy changes to the social media site, which caused some advertisers to reconsider their spending on the platform.

X is in the process of hiring content moderation staff for the new Trust and Safety center of excellence in Austin, Texas.

"The team is currently being built," said Joe Benarroch, X’s head of business operations, about the Austin office. He added that the goal to fill the positions by the end of the year is dependent on finding the right talent.


The company added that the new Austin facility will also help X fight other types of harmful social media content.

 

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Elon Musk's X receives money transmitter license in Utah - January 16, 2024

 

Elon Musk's social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, on Monday received a money-transmitter license from Utah, the 15th U.S. state to grant approval as the company explores offering payment features.

Utah granted the approval on Friday, according to the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry, opens new tab, an online database.

It grants the company the ability similar to PayPal's, opens new tab Venmo, to facilitate money transfers and makes way for the company to allow users to send money to one another.

The push into payments could help X diversify its business beyond digital advertising, which has suffered setbacks since Musk took ownership.

Some major advertisers paused their spending or fled the platform after Musk last year agreed with an X user who espoused an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

Speaking at a New York Times DealBook event later that month, the billionaire CEO made a profane comment about brands that had suspended their ads on X.

Since acquiring Twitter in October 2022, Musk has said he envisions remodeling the company into the purveyor of an "everything app" similar to popular Chinese app WeChat, which lets users send messages but also hail a taxi or pay merchants.

The company received its first state money-transmitter license in New Hampshire in June last year and also got approved by Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Maryland and Michigan.

(Sources: X, Wires, News and A.I!)

 

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'Competition is fine, cheating is not': Twitter threatens to sue Meta over rival platform (Sky News Australia YouTube)

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Elon Musk trains with UFC legend Georges St Pierre, comes to 'obvious conclusion' - FOX News

Zuckerberg says Threads, Instagram's new Twitter-like app, has 30 million users; Elon Musk responds - FOX Business

Threads: The New Instagram App Reaches 30 Million Users; Threads, an Instagram app, has reached 30 million users within 24 hours. Find out more about the new Twitter alternative from Meta - Search Engine Journal

Twitter didn’t just block unregistered users, it blocked Google Search - 3rd July 2023 - Search Engine Land

Twitter’s Google Rankings Plummet Following Actions By Elon Musk [UPDATED] (Search Engine Journal)

Threads won’t be fun — but it will give brands a refuge from Twitter; This is Meta we're talking about - TechCrunch

Meta launches rival app Threads – how does it stack up against Twitter? - 6th July 2023 (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Threads hits 30 million users a day after launch, putting Musk’s Twitter on notice - 7th July 2023 - Yahoo! Finance)

 

Twitter is an online social media and social networking service owned and operated by American company X Corp., the successor of Twitter, Inc. Twitter users outside the United States are legally served by the Ireland-based Twitter International Unlimited Company, which makes these users subject to Irish and European Union data protection laws.

On Twitter, users post texts, images and videos known as "tweets". Registered users can tweet, like, "retweet" tweets, and direct message (DM) other registered users. Users interact with Twitter through browser or mobile frontend software, or programmatically via its application programming interfaces (APIs).

Twitter was created by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams in March 2006 and launched in July of that year. Its former parent company, Twitter, Inc. was based in San Francisco, California and had more than 25 offices around the world. By 2012, more than 100 million users tweeted 340 million tweets a day, and the service handled an average of 1.6 billion search queries per day. In 2013, it was one of the ten most-visited websites and has been described as "the SMS of the Internet" By the start of 2019, Twitter had more than 330 million monthly active users. In practice, the vast majority of tweets are tweeted by a minority of users. In 2020, it was estimated that approximately 48 million accounts (15% of all accounts) were fake.

On October 27, 2022, business magnate Elon Musk acquired Twitter for US$44 billion, gaining control of the platform. Since the acquisition, the platform has been criticized for facilitating an increase in content containing hate speech as Musk has emphasized more free speech. On December 20, 2022, Musk announced he would step down as CEO once a replacement had been found. Linda Yaccarino, the former head of ad sales for NBCUniversal, succeeded Musk as CEO on June 5, 2023. (Wikipedia)

 

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Facebook flag Trump posts, battle spills to social media - 5th November 2020

Facebook and Twitter were both on alert for misinformation and manipulation efforts around the US election, hoping to avoid the problems seen in 2016

 

Twitter and Facebook moved Wednesday to curb the reach of President Donald Trump's posts questioning the vote-counting process as a battle over the knife-edge US election spilled into social media.

Twitter and Facebook acted after saying the president violated platform rules in claiming ballot irregularities from Tuesday's vote.

Trump alleged that there had been "surprise ballot dumps" in states where he had been leading Democrat Joe Biden in the race for the White House.

Twitter's action made the comments less visible, and users seeking to read the post were required to click through a warning that "some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading."

A Twitter spokesperson said the action was taken "in line with our Civic Integrity Policy," and would "significantly restrict engagements" with the tweet.

A similar action was taken against an earlier tweet by the president suggesting the Democratic nominee was seeking to "steal" the election.

The Twitter spokesperson said it took action on a number of other comments including premature victory claims by a North Carolina Republican Senate candidate and one comment contending prematurely that Biden had won Wisconsin.

"As votes are still being counted across the country, our teams continue to take enforcement action on Tweets that prematurely declare victory or contain misleading information about the election broadly," Twitter said.

Facebook also added disclaimers to messages by Trump as social platforms scrambled to respond.

The leading social network labeled the posts with a disclaimer stating that final results may differ from initial vote counts.

Some Trump critics said the actions were insufficient.

"They absolutely need to take down, not just flag with a weak interstitial (message)," said Jessica Gonzalez of the activist group Free Press.

"Take down disinformation about our democracy. We're on the brink here. "

Democratic Representative David Cicilline meanwhile called on Twitter to take stronger action against Trump

"The President's Twitter account is posting lies and misinformation at a breathtaking clip," he tweeted. "It is a threat to our democracy and should be suspended until all the votes are counted."

- Fighting misinformation -

Facebook has activated a command center watching the platform and ready to react to misinformation during the vote.

"Our Election Operations Center will continue monitoring a range of issues in real time," said a Facebook statement.

Nonprofit activism group Avaaz said its "war room" was also keeping tabs on Facebook and reported "last-ditch" Spanish-language misinformation, including posts about the prospects of a post-election coup or civil war.

The Election Integrity Partnership research coalition said a Google search for swing states turned up a YouTube video channel that was displaying a fake live feed of election results.

"Thousands of people may have been duped into streaming a fake YouTube video purporting to show election night results," the researchers said in a post.

YouTube removed the video.

Some groups at Facebook were being used to share stories of going to polling places without face masks to "scare liberals away," according to a post by Kayla Gogarty of nonprofit watchdog group Media Matters.

The platforms have pledged to step up scrutiny of false election information, including premature claims of victory, seeking to avoid a repeat of 2016 manipulation efforts.

Over the past days, Facebook and Twitter added disclaimers to Trump posts calling into question the integrity of mail-in ballots.

Twitter last month updated its policy aiming to prevent efforts to manipulate or interfere in elections. That calls for actions against false claims for victory or any incitement to violence.

YouTube has also sought to limit the sharing of videos with election misinformation. Last month it began adding information panels to videos about voting by mail.

Separately, Facebook said it implemented its policy banning political ads after the close of polls.

A Facebook spokesperson said the goal was "reducing the chance for confusion or abuse" and that the ban will likely last about a week.

(AFP)