Twitter and Reddit's high-priced APIs are bad news for the internet's future

There’s a concerning new trend among social media platforms when it comes to APIs, and it threatens how the modern internet works for normal everyday users.If you’re not a programmer or developer, perhaps you scroll on by whenever there’s an article about social media APIs. Perhaps you’re not familiar with what they are. API stands for application programming interface. Basically, they allow one application to access information and communicate with another application. If you’ve ever used an unofficial, third-party client, like say Apollo for Reddit or Twitterrific for Twitter, you’ve used an app that could not exist without that social media platform’s API. Do you use an app like Hootsuite to post your content to social platforms? That’s only possible due to APIs. Are you a livestreamer using third-parties services like Streamlabs to announce new subscribers live on-screen? That works because of APIs.However, recent moves from Twitter and Reddit to charge developers tens of thousands to millions of dollars for API access can destroy all of that.So, why should you care about what’s going on with APIs right now? Well, since the very early days of social media, many platforms provided developers with access to their APIs at no-cost. Some form of free API access has existed for as long as social media has. Friendster had it. MySpace had it. There has long been sort of this unwritten rule that users provide these social media platforms with data via their content and usage, platforms utilize that data to monetize, and to show…Twitter and Reddit's high-priced APIs are bad news for the internet's future

Exposed: The UK Company Subjecting Your Social Media Posts To State Surveillance

A UK government-funded artificial intelligence (AI) firm based in an unassuming industrial estate in Yorkshire, England, has been engaged in state surveillance, monitoring the social media posts of citizens, a recent revelation suggests. Logically, the firm in question, has earned over £1.2 million (1.49 million USD) from government contracts to identify and analyze “disinformation” and “misinformation” spread across social media. The AI company was started by Lyric Jain, a 27-year-old Cambridge engineering graduate, who launched the technology first during Indian elections. With one of the largest dedicated fact-checking teams globally, the company sifts through material from hundreds of thousands of media sources and all public posts on major social media platforms. Logically has bagged lucrative deals, including a £1.2 million (1.49 million USD) contract with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and another worth up to £1.4 million (1.7 million uSD) with the Department of Health and Social Care to monitor threats to high-profile vaccine service individuals, The Telegraph reported. Its client list includes US federal agencies, the Indian electoral commission, TikTok, and Facebook. While Logically asserts that it does not share evidence collected for the UK Government with Facebook, this partnership has ignited concerns among freedom of speech campaigners. The company’s responsibilities grew over time, aiding in building a comprehensive picture of potentially harmful misinformation and disinformation. Documents revealed that it produced regular “Covid-19 Mis/Disinformation Platform Terms of Service Reports” for the Counter-disinformation Unit – a secretive operation within the DCMS. A public document titled “Covid-19 Disinformation…Exposed: The UK Company Subjecting Your Social Media Posts To State Surveillance

The EU Plans To Test Twitter To See How Fast It Responds To Censorship Demands

The European Union will stress test Twitter and other platforms to see how well they comply with the upcoming censorship law, the Digital Services Act (DSA), whose enforcement will begin in August. In a similar style program to that created by the Chinese Communist Party, where government enforcers visit tech companies directly, a team of 10 digital specialists will visit the companies later this month, said Thierry Breton, the EU Commissioner for Internal Market. The test will help companies learn how the DSA will be enforced. Breton, who will also visit the companies, said the team will review how platforms respond to what is problematic content under the law including content that has been flagged by the EU and content that has not been flagged. The team will also review why some content is not flagged, citing an example of “fake news that caused disturbances but was promoted because it generated virality and advertising.” “Did you have enough moderators beforehand? Was it promoted by the algorithm?” Breton said. “We want to do this for real, in the real world, so they see how it happens, and above all so they prepare,” Breton said. Some of the findings from the test will be made public while some will only be communicated to the companies. In an interview where he talked about the visits to the social media companies, Breton said: “I’m not threatening anyone. We are here to help companies comply with our new law.” Last week, after Twitter withdrew from…The EU Plans To Test Twitter To See How Fast It Responds To Censorship Demands

Right-wing Musk fans win Twitter CEO's loyalty. Staff loses.

Over the past 24 hours, numerous Twitter employees, including its head of trust and safety, have resigned from the company. These resignations all came shortly after owner Elon Musk blamed his employees for bringing Twitter’s own advertiser hate speech policies to bear on a prominent right-wing media company.The chaos over at Twitter began on Thursday morning when Jeremy Boreing of The Daily Wire published a tweet thread about a potential deal with Musk’s company allegedly gone awry. The Daily Wire is a conservative media outlet started by Boreing and Ben Shapiro. The company employs a number of prominent right-wing influencers and pundits, such as Candace Owens, Jordan Peterson, and Matt Walsh. Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) According to Boreing, The Daily Wire had been in talks with Twitter to set up a paid advertiser campaign to promote a documentary by Walsh called What is a Woman?. The conservative outlet planned to air the entire film in a tweet. The film, which has been out for a year, has been criticized by gender identity and transgender health experts, as well as trans activists as being transphobic or anti-trans. However, as Boreing explains, after Twitter reviewed the film, the company backed out of any sort of sponsorship deal. Twitter also warned The Daily Wire that while it could still post the video on its own, the film would be flagged as “hateful conduct” under Twitter’s policies. As such, under Musk’s own “freedom of speech, not freedom of reach”…Right-wing Musk fans win Twitter CEO's loyalty. Staff loses.

OpenAI Shuts Down Conservative Chatbot Gippr AI

OpenAI, the Microsoft-backed artificial intelligence startup behind the ChatGPT chatbot, has shut down Gippr AI on the Tusk App. Gippr AI is a right-leaning artificial intelligence chatbot. OpenAI claims it shut down Gippr AI because it violated policies on coordinated inauthentic behavior and deceptive activity. The move sparked debate on free speech. Conservatives viewed the move as an attempt to silence their viewpoints. A note on the Tusk App expressed frustration over OpenAI’s move. Tusk App also accused OpenAI of restricting free speech by enforcing their own requirements on what can be said. Tusk App insisted that it did not violate policies on coordinated inauthentic behavior and deceptive activity. They further argued that Gippr AI was only expressing conservative values. Tusk App is now exploring alternative options to OpenAI to bring back Gippr AI. The post OpenAI Shuts Down Conservative Chatbot Gippr AI appeared first on Reclaim The Net.OpenAI Shuts Down Conservative Chatbot Gippr AI

UK Surveillance Concerns Increase As London Police Could Be Given Access To Controversial Low-Emission Zones Cameras

The London Metropolitan Police could be given access to the controversial ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) camera system, which is being expanded. Activists have raised concerns about the potential access to the ULEZ cameras by the police because of potential abuse and violation of privacy. The cameras will be used to identify drivers in non-compliant vehicles, who will be required to pay a daily fine of £12.50 ($15.66) to drive in low emission zones. During the Mayor’s Questions last month, London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan addressed the issue of Met police having access to ULEZ cameras. “I’ve been clear following Baroness Casey’s review, far reaching reform is needed within the Met police service, both systematically and culturally, to regain the trust of all London’s communities. In order to do this, the MPS need to demonstrate they have high standards, are open and transparent, and they are truly accountable to Londoners,” Khan said. Khan added: “While I’m determined to hold the commissioner to account for reforming the Met police service, it’s vital that we all continue to support them in their core mission to prevent crime. The automatic number plate recognition system (ANPR) is a vital tool that assists the police in identifying, locating and detaining offenders, including those suspected of serious organized crime and terrorism. “I’m acutely aware of how valuable personal privilege is, and policing powers must be balanced against individual rights. TFL has a range of robust policies, processes and technical measures in place to control and safeguard the…UK Surveillance Concerns Increase As London Police Could Be Given Access To Controversial Low-Emission Zones Cameras

FTC: Former Amazon Ring Employee Spied On Women With Cameras In Bathrooms and Bedrooms

In court filings, the Federal Trade Commission said that Amazon violated the privacy rights of people by allowing employees unrestricted access to footage recorded by the Ring doorbell camera. The company agreed to a $5.8 million settlement. In 2017, a Ring employee spied on 81 female customers and Ring employees for months. The FTC claimed that another employee noticed the misconduct, reported it, and the employee was fired. According to the allegations brought forward, it seems there’s a particularly disconcerting instance where one worker, over the span of several months, is accused of violating personal boundaries by watching thousands of video clips from Ring cameras. These weren’t just any clips; they were sensitive footage from the private living spaces of female users, including their bathrooms and bedrooms. But the disturbing tale doesn’t end there. It appears that Ring was caught with its virtual pants down, having neglected to install basic safeguards to keep tabs on the video access by its staff. Despite making an effort to limit this access later on, the company found itself unable to figure out whether a bunch of its other employees had also invaded the privacy of its users by improperly accessing personal videos. In May 2018, a Ring employee gave a customer’s recordings to their ex-husband without consent. In February 2019, Ring changed its policies to prevent employees and contractors from accessing videos made by Ring cameras without consent. The FTC said that Ring gave staff unrestricted access to sensitive video data of customers….FTC: Former Amazon Ring Employee Spied On Women With Cameras In Bathrooms and Bedrooms

The Muffin Man Doesn’t Know You

You may know The Muffin Man. But The Muffin Man doesn’t’ know you; personally or by reputation. This weird stocker-like parasocial obsession with The Muffin Man needs to end. The Drury Lane address is only public because other stockers posted it on 4chan. Like, fine, you watched some of his videos, and follow his Tweets or whatever, but The Muffin Man isn’t your friend. Please just leave The Muffin Man alone. The post The Muffin Man Doesn’t Know You appeared first on Mason Pelt.The Muffin Man Doesn’t Know You

The best — and worst — social media apps in 2023 (so far)

For a bunch of people who supposedly hate social media, we sure do spend a lot of time on it.Just 33 percent of U.S. adults have “some or a lot” of trust in social media, according to a late 2022 report from the Pew Research Center, and people who spend time on social media are more likely to experience mental health problems, including depression. According to BroadbandSearch, an independent research site that compares internet providers, the average American spends a little more than two hours a day on the very same hurtful platforms they purport not to trust. And it seems like new social media platforms — any sort of online space in which people are publicly chatting with each other, including Facebook and Twitter and TikTok and, yes, LinkedIn — are popping up every day. SEE ALSO: The best sex and dating apps for hooking up There aren’t loads of social media platforms that are brand new in 2023, but there are dozens that we spend our time on every day that have had some pretty radically nightmarish moments in 2023. Unfortunately, as it is the middle of the year, it’s time to rank these nightmares.While evaluating these social media platforms, I’ve considered five questions: How widely-used is the app?How grumpy does the app make me because of the content?How grumpy does the app make me because of the interface?How likely is the app to disrupt democracy?How annoying are the influencers on that app?There are many apps that launched recently that…The best — and worst — social media apps in 2023 (so far)

Country Music Singer John Rich, Dr. Ben Carson And Larry Elder’s Free Speech Bank Is Now Open To All

Radio host Larry Elder, along with country music star John Rich and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, has made a foray into the banking sector with an aim to promote the values of free speech. The three are now the proud co-owners of Old Glory Bank, renamed from First State Bank in Elmore City, Oklahoma, which carries the legacy of being the state’s oldest bank. This week, the bank announced that it’s open to all with no need to join a waiting list. The bank stands firm in its commitment to not oust any law-abiding customers due to their beliefs or the exercise of their right to free speech. “The political exploitation of the financial system has been a concerning trend,” shared Rich, adding, “Old Glory Bank aspires to be a one-stop banking solution for those who cherish the ideals of freedom and American greatness.” Old Glory Bank has a feature allowing customers to round up their transactions to the nearest dollar, with the extra change being contributed towards charitable causes, like Folds of Honor, an Oklahoma-based nonprofit providing academic scholarships to families of deceased military personnel. The banking enterprise has roped in William Shine, ex-co-president of Fox News and FoxBusiness News, to serve as its executive chairman. The bank is also in the process of working on a PayPal competitor after PayPal made a turn towards censorship in recent years. The bank has secured the backing of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and plans to express its support for…Country Music Singer John Rich, Dr. Ben Carson And Larry Elder’s Free Speech Bank Is Now Open To All