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Showing posts with label speech. Show all posts
Showing posts with label speech. Show all posts

LinkedIn to Pull Out of China

LinkedIn said it would end service in China after the platform censored posts to keep operating but still came under government scrutiny.

"The operating environment in China has also become more difficult. Since President Xi Jinping took the reins of the Communist Party in 2012, he has repeatedly cracked down on what can be said online. Presiding over the rising power of the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s internet regulator, Mr. Xi turned China’s internet from a place where some sensitive topics were censored to one where critics face arrests for a constantly shifting set of infractions, like jokes at Mr. Xi’s expense.

See NYTimes  and South China Morning Post

Free Speech on Campus

A recent storm at Yale Law School regarding a party invitation.

"Every first-year law student learns in torts class about the plaintiff with the “eggshell skull” — someone who suffers a greater injury than normal and must be compensated accordingly. But in the modern world, it seems, everyone’s skulls are susceptible to cracking at the slightest provocation. “Taking the worst possible reading and then twisting it to make it worse is a practice that is all too common,” Colbert told me."

See Washington Post

Laws to regulate Facebook's algorithm?

From the Washington Post:

On Facebook, you decide whom to befriend, which pages to follow, which groups to join. But once you’ve done that, it’s Facebook that decides which of their posts you see each time you open your feed — and which you don’t.

The software that makes those decisions for each user, based on a secret ranking formula devised by Facebook that includes more than 10,000 factors, is commonly referred to as “the news feed algorithm,” or sometimes just “the algorithm.”  ...

Amid a broader backlash against Big Tech, Haugen’s testimony and disclosures have brought fresh urgency to debates over how to rein in social media and Facebook in particular. And as lawmakers and advocates cast about for solutions, there’s growing interest in an approach that’s relatively new on the policy scene: regulating algorithms themselves, or at least making companies more responsible for their effects. The big question is whether that can be accomplished without ruining what people still like about social media — or running afoul of the First Amendment. ...

One way to regulate algorithms without directly regulating online speech would be to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields websites and apps from being sued for hosting or moderating content posted by users. Several bills propose removing that protection for certain categories of harmful content that platforms promote via their algorithms, while keeping it in place for content they merely host without amplifying.

See also Opinion in NY Times from former Facebooker

 

Vermont Law School sued as it wants to cover up slave mural

Vermont Law School is being sued to prevent it covering up a painting, depicting the Underground Railway and slaves.  The Law School commissioned with work in 1994.  The artist is fighting for the integrity of the art work.  The case concerns moral rights.

The centre of the case is the Visual Artists Rights Act.  Or is the case really about changing community standards? 

A local paper has this story about the case.  An earlier newspaper article.  It is hard to determine who is morally right.

Who should police Internet content?

Who really runs the Internet? A lot of companies you rarely hear about.  A good article about the Internet and hate speech in the Washington Post.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/03/24/online-moderation-tech-stack/

Privacy Rights Expanding in Australia?

Justice Keane of the High Court of Australia gave a speech at the end of 2020 that discussed privacy.

It was titled; "Too Much Information: civilisation and the problems of privacy" and argued that relying upon judicial development of the law to solve the problem of privacy "has been, at best, a hit and miss affair".

Justice Keane said it "would not be surprising were the High Court now to accept a tort of invasion of privacy" along U.S. lines.

"But such a cause of action would probably be confined to cases of intentional intrusion, physically or otherwise, upon the solitude or seclusion of an individual or his or her private affairs.

"In the case of the publicising of a matter concerning the private life of an individual, the conduct would be actionable if the matter publicised is of a kind that would be highly offensive to a reasonable person and is not of legitimate concern to the public."

He noted that in the recent High Court case involving the Australian Federal Police raid on the home of journalist Annika Smethurst the media "carefully eschewed any attempt to press forward . . . towards a broader protection of privacy".  (I suspect that the media did not want to expand the right of privacy in Australia even though it may have been helpful in this case - because the media since at least 1890 has been the subject of negative criticism regarding the media's lack of respect of privacy rights.)

AFR Article: https://www.afr.com/companies/media-and-marketing/high-court-judge-takes-swipe-at-media-on-privacy-20200927-p55zo0

Text of Keene J's Speech: https://cdn.hcourt.gov.au/assets/publications/speeches/current-justices/keanej/keanej27Aug2020.pdf

Jurisdiction over Google

In Canada, on June 13, 2014, a Canadian court issued an injunction requiring Google to remove certain websites from its internet search results worldwide. Those websites were operating in violation of previous court orders and were being used to market a product that the plaintiffs say was developed through theft of their trade secrets.  The injunction granted was on a worldwide basis.

The injunction was upheld by both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada, but Google then obtained an order from a California court making it unenforceable in the United States. Google now applies to set aside or vary the injunction.  Google was unsuccessful.

See Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack, 2018 BCSC 610 https://www.bccourts.ca/jdb-txt/sc/18/06/2018BCSC0610.htm

Comments in this Canadian Blog

X v. Twitter


A case in NSW requiring Twitter to remove posts on a worldwide basis that contained confidential information.


Comment in this blog post.

First Amendment and Social Media

Social media and First Amendment issues were debated in oral argument before the US Supreme Court in Packingham v. North Carolina.

See:  http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/packingham-v-north-carolina/

Issue:  Whether, under the court’s First Amendment precedents, a law that makes it a felony for any person on the state's registry of former sex offenders to “access” a wide array of websites – including Facebook, YouTube, and nytimes.com – that enable communication, expression, and the exchange of information among their users, if the site is “know[n]” to allow minors to have accounts, is permissible, both on its face and as applied to petitioner, who was convicted based on a Facebook post in which he celebrated dismissal of a traffic ticket, declaring “God is Good!”

In oral argument on 27 February 2017, Justice Kennedy drew an analogy between social media and the public square.  Justice Ginsburg said restricting access to social media would mean being cut off from a very large part of the marketplace of ideas.  The First Amendment includes not only the right to speak, but the right to receive information.

Hate Speech on Facebook

If someone posts something hateful, and possibly illegal, on your Facebook page, what should you do?

See Smart Company article about Anzac biscuits.

You Can't Say That on The Internet

A BASTION of openness and counterculture, Silicon Valley imagines itself as the un-Chick-fil-A. But its hyper-tolerant facade often masks deeply conservative, outdated norms that digital culture discreetly imposes on billions of technology users worldwide.

See NY Times

China Blogging

A spokesperson for the Beijing Internet Propaganda Management Office announced in a recent press conference that Beijing aims to complete mandatory real name registration for microblog platforms by March 16.  The Office has also established a microblog development expert advisory group composed of experts from Tsinghua University, China University of Political Science and Law, the People's Daily Online's Public Opinion Testing Center, China Labs, and the Data Center of the China Internet (DCCI).

Chinese internet company Sina launched a real name verification function to its user registration form as of January 1, 2012. The new function compares user-submitted data, such as name and national ID card number, and if a user's information does not match comparison records the user can only browse existing posts. In order to be able to post content, users must resubmit correct information. To date, 3 mlllion new users have submitted real name information, and single day registration volume continues to grow. For existing users, Sina will offer additional functionality and privileges to users that submit real name credentials, implement a user trust ratings system, and this week will launch a verified real name ID badge. Sohu previously launched a promotional campaign, offering 20 mln Sohu Video monthly subscription cards and RMB 1 mln worth of mobile phone recharge cards to users who submit real name data early. Online real estate site Soufun offered prizes, including free vacation housing in 13 popular tourist destination cities. Users who do not register by March 16 will lose their posting and reposting privileges.

Regarding user data security, a Sina spokesperson said that users will be notified by mobile phone or other channels if someone logs into their account from a different location. If any anomalies occur, users can lock their account from their mobile phone even if someone else is logged in. A spokesperson for Sohu said that Sohu does not store any user data after authenticating the user's identity.

Source:  Marbridge

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