WhatsApp has sued the Indian government over new internet laws which the company says will “severely undermine” the privacy of their users. The new IT laws, which have been called oppressive and draconian, give the Indian government greater power to monitor online activity, including on encrypted apps like WhatsApp and Signal. They were passed in February but were due to come into effect on Wednesday.
Twitter has announced plans for a new “super follow” feature which will enable account holders to charge for exclusive additional content. This could take the form of extra tweets, joining a community group or receiving a newsletter, the firm said. Twitter, which was launched in 2006 and recorded its first annual profit in 2018, said it hoped to double its revenue in 2023.
Parler has dropped offline after Amazon pulled support for its so-called “free speech” social network. It is popular among supporters of Donald Trump, although the president is not a user. Google and Apple had already removed Parler from their app stores towards the end of last week saying it had failed to comply with their content-moderation requirements.
Donald Trump has deleted three tweets accused of inciting violence that caused his account to be suspended on Wednesday night. His account was locked for twelve hours and threatened with permanent suspension after both Twitter and Facebook said his messages increased the likelihood of violence as his supporters rioted in Washington. There was chaos – and four deaths – after the president directed his supporters to go to the Capitol building.
Facebook says it will stop accepting political advertisements in the week before the US election, as its chief executive Mark Zuckerberg warned of “an increased risk of civil unrest across the country”. Explaining the move, Mr Zuckerberg said: “This election is not going to be business as usual. We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy.”
Sri Lankan authorities have blocked most social media services in the country following the Easter Sunday attacks that killed more than 200 people, a group that monitors internet censorship said. The NetBlocks observatory said it detected an intentional nationwide blackout of popular services, including Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and Viber. Sri Lankan officials said they were temporarily blocking social media to curtail the spread of false information and ease tensions.
AT&T and Hasbro have become the latest firms to pull adverts from YouTube over claims pedophiles are leaving offensive comments next to videos of children on the platform. The telecoms firm and toymaker follow food giant Nestle, which on Wednesday said it had also “paused” its ads. YouTube said it had taken “immediate action” by deleting offending accounts and reporting the illegal activity to authorities.
American and British lawmakers demanded an explanation from Facebook about how a political data firm connected with President Trump’s 2016 campaign harvested private information without user notification, following Facebook’s decision to suspend data company, Cambridge Analytica, Friday. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced her decision to launch an investigation into Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.
Tik Tok’s chief executive, Kevin Mayer, has quit just months after his appointment, amid a “sharply changed” political environment after Donald Trump accused the platform of threatening national security. In a letter to staff, parts of which have been seen by the Guardian, Mayer said he had decided to leave after Trump ordered TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, to sell its US assets to a US company within 90 days.
Unidentified hackers broke into the Twitter accounts of technology moguls, politicians, celebrities and major companies Wednesday in an apparent Bitcoin scam. The ruse included bogus tweets from former President Barack Obama, Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg and a number of tech billionaires including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.