Web

New EU hate speech rules agreed to by Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Microsoft

social-media_magicatwork_flickr
magicatwork/Flickr
In a moment of unity among tech giants and the European Union, Facebook, Twitter, Google-owned YouTube, and Microsoft agreed on Tuesday to a new code of conduct that seeks to address hate speech within 24 hours in Europe. The decision marks a significant victory for the EU, which has spent the last several months attempting to stymie the rising tide of what the EU characterizes as hate speech across various social media platforms that emerged as a result of the ongoing refugee crisis and recent terror attacks.

Previous hesitations regarding such action against racist posts and other forms of hate speech seemed to stem from the internet firms’ attempts to protect free speech, but now, it would appear that they will follow the EU’s direction on the issue. The aforementioned companies have agreed to review “the majority of valid requests” in under 24 hours, and either remove or prevent access to such content in some cases.

“The recent terror attacks have reminded us of the urgent need to address illegal online hate speech. Social media is unfortunately one of the tools that terrorist groups use to radicalize young people,” said EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova.

In addition to the new review policy, the tech companies will also further cooperate with organizations that have authority to flag hate speech online, and will offer “counter-narratives” to the speech marked for prohibition.

“There’s no place for hate speech on Facebook,” said Monika Bickert, Head of Global Policy Management at Facebook. “With a global community of 1.6 billion people we work hard to balance giving people the power to express themselves whilst ensuring we provide a respectful environment.”

Already, a number of these companies have made clear their commitment to eliminating what they term inappropriate and offensive content on their platforms. Since mid-2015, for example, Twitter has suspended more than 125,000 accounts for either making threats or promoting terrorism, most of which were linked to ISIS.

“We’re committed to giving people access to information through our services, but we have always prohibited illegal hate speech on our platforms,” Lie Junius, Google’s head of public policy and government relations, said in a statement. “We have efficient systems to review valid notifications in less than 24 hours and to remove illegal content. We are pleased to work with the Commission to develop co- and self-regulatory approaches to fighting hate speech online.”

Emerging Tech

Twitter is officially a teenager now. Are we raising a monster?

On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet. Thirteen years later, Twitter has fundamentally changed the way we communicate. Here are some of the myriad ways it's done that.
Social Media

Facebook axes alleged discriminatory targeting of ads after civil settlements

Facebook advertisers can no longer use targeting for age, gender or zip code when advertising in the housing, jobs, and credit categories. The changes come as part of a civil settlement, following earlier changes to remove racial targeting.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (March 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Computing

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.
Computing

Firefox 66 is here and it will soon block irritating autoplay videos

Do web advertisements have you frustrated? Mozilla is here to help. The latest version of the browser will soon block autoplaying videos by default and will also help make web page scrolling smoother.
Business

Patreon is having another go at changing the way it charges creators

Patreon messed up pretty badly the last time it tried to change its payment system. Now it's having another go, though this time the changes mainly affect future sign-ups rather than its current community of creators.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on all the ways to watch March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.
Computing

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. But with so many subreddits to choose from, exploring them can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Computing

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.
Computing

Don’t be fooled! Study exposes most popular phishing email subject lines

Phishing emails are on the rise and a new study out by the cybersecurity company Barracuda has exposed some of the most common phishing email subject lines used to exploit businesses. 
Web

How much!? British Airways glitch results in $4.2M quote for family vacation

Website errors sometimes cause flight prices to display at way below the correct price. But British Airways recently experienced the opposite issue when it tried to charge a family more than $4 million for a vacation in Mexico.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.