Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

New Year, New Regs

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Happy New Year!

2017, we hardly knew ye.

2018, what will ye bring?

So far, in Iran, it’s bringing people into the streets, as tens of thousands of disgruntled Iranians have demonstrated across teh country against the Islamic Republic’s clerical elite and a weak economy, among other issues.

According to The Independent, in response, Iranian authorities temporarily blocked mobile phone access to Instagram and the messaging app Telegram to “maintain peace.”

Pavel Durov is Telegram’s CEO and confirmed access to the app had been restricted:

He wrote on Twitter: “Iranian authorities are blocking access to Telegram for the majority of Iranians after our public refusal to shut down [one of the main channels] and other peacefully protesting channels.” The company did agree to close one channel on Saturday after Iranian authorities claimed people were using it to incite violence.
– via The Independent

According to a report from The New York Times, the protests in Iran have left more than 20 people dead thus far. They are the largest in Iran since 2009, during the “Green” Movement, which took place after the election of the hard-line leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In other countries, new laws are taking effect that impact Internet and social media access, including in Germany, where a new law that demands social media sites move quickly to remove hate speech, fake news and illegal material.

According to a report from the BBC, the new law gives social networks 24 hours to act after they have been told about law-breaking materials, and that sites that don’t remove “obviously illegal” posts could face fines of up to 50M Euros.

The call to police social media sites more effectively arose after several high-profile cases in which fake news and racist material was being spread via the German arms of prominent social media firms. Germany’s justice ministry said it would make forms available on its site, which concerned citizens could use to report content that violates NetzDG or has not been taken down in time. As well as forcing social media firms to act quickly, NetzDG requires them to put in place a comprehensive complaints structure so that posts can quickly be reported to staff.
– via BBC News

The BBC report goes on to observe that Facebook has reportedly recruited several hundred staff in Germay “to deal with reports about content that breaks the NetzDG and to do a better job of monitoring what people post.”

 

Written by turbotodd

January 2, 2018 at 11:14 am

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