Platforms

Our working definition of a digital platform (with a hat tip to Harold Feld of Public Knowledge) is an online service that operates as a two-sided or multi-sided market with at least one side that is “open” to the mass market

Tech firms send Supreme Court a warning

Tech firms are warning the Supreme Court that weakening liability protections for online speech could put all types of service providers — including those operating offline — at risk of costly, business-wrecking litigation. Companies and parties to the suits made early filings and statements in 

Twitter’s Former Trust and Safety Chief Says He Left When System of Governance Went Away

Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, said several factors led to his decision to leave the platform after almost eight years, including the disruptions created by 

From URL to IRL: The Impact of Social Media on People of Color, Women, and LGBTQ+ Communities

UltraViolet, GLADD, Kairos, and Women's March commissioned YouGov to conduct a study of attitudes about hate speech, harassment, and misinformation among Americans. The research finds that respondents are broadly positive about a variety of aspects of the online experience—from the internet providing them a way to stay in touch with family and friends, space to pursue hobbies, and a voice. However, the plurality of respondents across all comparison groups are ambivalent about the risks of being online as well as on the internet's impact on mental health.

Global legal perils beset a downsized Twitter

Twitter faces a mass of forces abroad and in Washington that aim to compel the company to obey privacy rules, speech limits and other regulations as Elon Musk remakes the service. Musk's word is law inside Twitter now, but his disdain for rules will encounter tough pushback from governments around the world — just as the company has lost most of the people who managed its relationships with regulators and legislators. Twitter's biggest challenges lie abroad, particularly in Europe, which has been steadily tightening tech regulations for years.

Tax Filing Websites Have Been Sending Users’ Financial Information to Facebook

Major tax filing services such as H&R Block, TaxAct, and TaxSlayer have been quietly transmitting sensitive financial information to Facebook when Americans file their taxes online. The data, sent through a widely used code called the Meta Pixel, includes not only information like names and email addresses but often even more detailed information, including data on users’ income, filing status, refund amounts, and dependents’ college scholarship amounts. The information sent to Facebook can be used by the company to power its advertising algorithms and is gathered regardless of whether

Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover Triggers Partisan Clash on Government’s Role

Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter is fueling a partisan clash in Washington, as Democrats raise concerns about the platform’s security and Republicans counter that the criticism is a thinly veiled attempt to stamp out conservative voices on the site.

I Studied Trump’s Twitter Use for Six Years. Prepare for the Worst.

Nothing new Twitter owner Elon Musk has done and undone is nearly as concerning as his decision to suddenly reinstate former President Donald Trump’s account. As someone who has been studying Trump’s Twitter use since before he was elected president, I believe that his return would mean the heightened spread of both misinformation and disinformation, the proliferation of degrading and dehumanizing discourse, the further mainstreaming of hate speech, and the erosion of democratic norms and institutions.

Internet Outages Could Spread as Temperatures Rise. Here's What Big Tech Is Doing

Our changing climate threatens the very services we rely on to keep our businesses online and stay connected with friends and family. As our world warms up, power outages and water shortages have ravaged many parts of the planet. Data centers may be among the first to feel the resource pinch.

Why misinformation didn't wreck the midterms

Many election deniers on the ballot, particularly for the crucial secretary-of-state roles, lost their races. This is because platforms, governments, and the media took countermeasures that were at least partially effective, based on their lessons from 2016, 2018, and 2020.  Though misinformation remains present in large quantities, this time it had less reach, was more spread out, and was harder to find.

The Rising Threat of Domestic Terrorism: A Review of the Federal Response to Domestic Terrorism and the Spread of Extremist Content on Social Media

This report is a culmination of three years of investigation into domestic terrorism and the federal response. This report focuses on the rise in domestic terrorism, the federal response, the allocation of federal resources to addressing domestic terrorism, and the role of social media companies in the proliferation of extremist content. The expansion of social media has led to increased recruitment, dissemination, and coordination of domestic terrorist and extremist related activities.