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.”
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.
The FBI on Wednesday searched the home of 23-year-old YouTube star Jake Paul and that of nightclub promoter Arman Izadi as part of an investigation into rioting at an Arizona mall in May amid George Floyd protests, authorities said. The searches at Paul’s Calabasas, California, residence and at Izadi’s “Graffiti Mansion” in Las Vegas were part of the bureau’s investigation of “allegations of criminal acts surrounding the incident at Scottsdale Fashion Square in May.”
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.
Twitter has removed more than 170,000 accounts the social media site says are state-linked influence campaigns from China focusing on Hong Kong protests, Covid-19 and the US protests in relation to George Floyd. The company announced on Thursday that 23,750 core accounts – and 150,000 “amplifier” accounts that boosted the content posted by those core accounts – had been removed from the platform after being linked to an influence campaign from the People’s Republic.
Snapchat (SNAP) will no longer promote President Donald Trump’s account on its platform in the wake of his controversial comments on ongoing protests across the US, the company announced Wednesday. Trump’s account is regularly spotlighted in Snapchat’s “Discover” feature, which also highlights content from celebrities and news organizations.
Facebook employees are using Twitter and Facebook’s internal communications tools to register their frustration over CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to leave up posts by President Donald Trump that suggested protesters in Minneapolis could be shot. Twitter flagged and demoted Trump’s tweet about the protests when he used the phrase “when the looting starts the shooting starts.” Facebook has let it stand.
President Trump signed an executive order Thursday aimed at limiting the broad legal protections enjoyed by social media companies, two days after he tore into Twitter for fact-checking two of his tweets. The president said the tech companies have “unchecked power to censor, restrict, edit, shape, hide, alter” a large sphere of human interaction. “They have points of view,” he said.
US President Donald Trump will sign an executive order targeting social media firms, the White House has said. It comes after he threatened to shut down social media platforms he accused of stifling conservative voices. The long-running dispute between Mr Trump and social media companies flared up again on Tuesday when one of his posts was given a fact-check label by Twitter for the first time.
Facebook Inc said on Wednesday it would ban advertisements for products offering any cures or prevention around the coronavirus outbreak, and those that create a sense of urgency around the situation. The announcement by the social-media giant comes as it faces increasing regulatory scrutiny over the type of content posted on its platform, specifically items reflecting extreme ideologies and fake news.