Tony Romm

Facebook says it will now block white nationalist, white separatist posts

Facebook will begin banning posts, photos and other content that reference white nationalism and white separatism, revising its rules in response to criticism that a loophole had allowed racism to thrive on its platform. Previously, Facebook only had prohibited users from sharing messages that glorified white supremacy -- a rhetorical discrepancy, in the eyes of civil-rights advocates, who argued that white nationalism, supremacy and separatism are indistinguishable and that the policy undermined the tech giant's stepped-up efforts to combat hate speech online.

Facebook, Google and other big tech giants are about to face a “reckoning,” state attorneys general warn

Some of the country’s most influential state attorneys general are signaling they’re willing to take action against Facebook, Google and other tech giants, warning that the companies have grown too big and powerful -- and that Washington has been too slow to respond. Some state officials feel that Washington bears some of the blame for the tech industry’s string of scandals in the first place.

At hearing, Senators slam Equifax, Marriott executives for massive data breaches

Members of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations sharply rebuked Equifax and Marriott for failing to protect people’s personal data and prevent two of the largest security breaches in US history, putting hundreds of millions at risk. Democrats and Republicans alike said Equifax, a credit-reporting bureau, and Marriott, a hotel chain, each had failed to implement basic defenses against sophisticated hackers -- and that Equifax repeatedly did not patch known security holes or store key data in a way that was hidden from digital malefactors.

House Privacy Hearing Shows Representatives United on Privacy, Divided on Details

The House Consumer Protection Subcommittee hearing on privacy showcased both the bipartisan call for federal legislation and the reason a bipartisan bill will be no slam dunk. Republican representatives talked about privacy, but also about the need to protect small businesses, the targeted-ad based internet economy, and talked up the wisdom of preempting state attempts to regulate privacy that veer into the feds lane.

Can Washington keep watch over Silicon Valley? The FTC’s Facebook probe is a high-stakes test.

Nearly a year after announcing an investigation into the incident, the Federal Trade Commission is negotiating with Facebook over a fine that could range into the billions of dollars.

Federal Trade Commission and Facebook are negotiating a record, multibillion-dollar fine for the company’s privacy lapses

Apparently, the Federal Trade Commission and Facebook are negotiating over a multi-billion dollar fine that would settle the agency’s investigation into the social media giant’s privacy practices. The fine would be the largest the agency has ever imposed on a technology company, but the two sides have not yet agreed on an exact amount. Facebook has expressed initial concern with the FTC’s demands. If talks break down, the FTC could take the matter to court in what would likely be a bruising legal fight.

Inside the lobbying war over California’s landmark privacy law

A landmark law adopted in California in 2018 to rein in the data-collection practices of Facebook, Google and other tech giants has touched off a lobbying blitz that could water it down, potentially undermining new protections that might apply to Internet users across the country. The fight between regulation-wary businesses and privacy watchdogs centers on CA's first-in-the-nation online privacy rules, known as the California Consumer Privacy Act.

Twitter removed some accounts originating in Iran, Russia and Venezuela that targeted US midterm election

Twitter revealed that it had removed thousands of malicious accounts thought to have originated in Iran, Russia and Venezuela for spreading disinformation online, including previously undisclosed efforts to target the 2018 US midterm election. In the months before American voters went to the polls, some of these campaigns with foreign ties sought to stoke social and political unrest around hot-button issues, the company said, echoing tactics that social-media companies have spent two years trying to counter.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s 2019 pledge: Talking about the ‘future of technology’

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg pledged to hold public discussions in 2019 “about the future of technology in society,” a reflection of mounting apprehensions — among regulators and web users alike — with the social-networking giant and its peers in Silicon Valley. In a note posted to his personal Facebook page, Zuckerberg said he plans to convene experts and others every few weeks, with the goal of exploring “the opportunities, the challenges, the hopes, and the anxieties” posed by the tech industry.

Facebook is investigating the political pages and ads of another group backed by Reid Hoffman

Facebook said it is investigating whether an organization backed by Internet billionaire and Democratic megadonor Reid Hoffman violated the social media giant’s policies when it set up several misleading news pages in a bid to target US voters with left-leaning political messages. The probe focuses on News for Democracy, whose Facebook ads and affiliated pages about sports, religion, the American flag and other topics were viewed millions of times during the 2018 midterm elections, according to an analysis of the company ad archive conducted by New York University.