Governments & policy

Governments and regulatory issues at the intersection of media and tech

The Culture Secretary of the UK, Matt Hancock, has just released an app called Matt Hancock MP.

Apparently it’s like a social network for his constituents, who can update a newsfeed, watch live streams, chat, and friend each other. All well so far, but the problems kick in during user onboarding, with alerts like “Matt Hancock would like to access your photos”, and “Matt Hancock keeps stopping.” Trolls abound, most of whom are political journos. You guys.
The Guardian

Germany’s new hate speech law is now in effect.

It requires tech companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google to remove content that advocates violence or slander. Sounds good on paper, but it puts the onus on companies to delete posts or block users, instead of running the process through the public courts. A dangerous precedent. In the first use of the law, a parliamentarian from the racist AfD party was blocked by Twitter and Facebook for criticizing local police for sending a New Year’s post in Arabic.
Deutsche Welle

Bloomberg has a powerful piece about Rappler and how it’s been the target of trolls who want to stop its often critical reporting of Philippine President Duterte.

Rappler’s founder, Maria Ressa, blames Facebook for enabling them. “They haven’t done anything to deal with the fundamental problem, which is they’re allowing lies to be treated the same way as truth and spreading it. Either they’re negligent or they’re complicit in state-sponsored hate.” Read this.