German official asks Facebook to crack down on hate speech

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere  visited Facebook’s offices in Berlin on Aug. 29 and said that it should do more to keep forbidden content from the social-network platform.

“Facebook should take down racist content or calls for violence from its pages on its own initiative even if it hasn’t yet received a complaint,” Thomas de Maiziere said.

“Facebook has an immensely important economic position and just like every other large enterprise it has a immensely important social responsibility.”

The German government has been critical of Facebook in the past, with political leaders and regulators complaining that it has been too  slow to respond to hate speech and anti-immigrant messages.

To read the news article on this, please hit this link.

Prepare to show your social-media accounts in U.S. visa-screening process

 

The U.S. government  wants to make social-media accounts part of the visa-screening process for entry into America.

The proposed change would add a line on both the online and paper forms of the visa application form that foreign visitors must fill out if they do not have a visa and plan to stay for up to 90 days.

The following question would be added to both the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (Esta) and I-94W forms: “Please enter information associated with your online presence—Provider/Platform—Social media identifier.”

To read The Guardian’s story on this, please hit this link.

S. Korea considers banning firms from electronically message workers after regular hours

 

We doubt if this sort of law would ever happen in the U.S.:

South Korea‘s parliament is considering a bill to ban bosses from bothering their staff  electronically at home after the company’s regular business hours, afterwhat The Guardian calls  “growing complaints about the country’s already onerous work-life imbalance.”

“As more firms use social media or mobile messengers to send work orders, regardless of time, the stress inflicted on workers has reached a serious level,” backers of the bill said.

The proposed law would ban employers from sending employees work-related messages by telephone, text, social media or via mobile messaging apps after  companies’ official working hours.

To read The Guardian’s story on this, please hit this link.

Chinese government uses fake social-media posts to distract public

(June 13th, 2016) A fascinating article in The Harvard Gazette tells how the Chinese government “fakes 448 million social-media posts a year in a strategy that seeks to create the appearance of ‘viral’ outbursts of Web activity, according to a new study by Harvard data scientists.’’

Gary King is the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard University, based in the Department of Government. He is pictured in the CGIS Knafel Building. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Gary King is the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard University, based in the Department of Government. He is pictured in the CGIS Knafel Building. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

“The posts appear under the names of apparently ordinary people, and aim to distract from topics related to actual or potential collective action, said Gary King, the Albert J. Weatherhead III {Harvard} University Professor, who carried out the research with two of his former graduate students….’’

“The research shows that assumptions about the Chinese government’s tactics in this area are wrong, King said. The prevailing belief among journalists, academics, and activists, he said, has been that the government maintains an aggressive social media strategy that actively rebuts anti-government posts and tries to cast opponents, whether domestic or foreign, institutional or individual, in a negative light.

“In fact, such posts make up a tiny minority, the researchers found. Most qualify as ‘cheerleading’: praise for the government and items on revolutionary history, national holidays, and other patriotic themes. In short, King said, the government is trying to distract people, and defuse tension over fraught issues.’’

To read the whole article, hit this link.