Internet Marketing News

The latest online marketing news for 2016.

We will be compiling news from the Digital Marketing world as well as some of the latest Internet News and Trends here.

The latest News from the Guardian Internet Editorials can be viewed below:

  • Wed, 28 Oct 2020 18:55:36 +0000: Sixth-form student revealed to be behind 'Woolworths reopening' fake news - Internet | The Guardian

    Dozens of news sites ran articles saying chain was back based on a typo-strewn Twitter page

    The person who duped many of the UK’s leading news outlets into running stories wrongly claiming Woolworths was returning to the high street can be revealed as a 17-year-old sixth-form student from York.

    On Tuesday dozens of mainstream British websites, including Mail Online and the Daily Mirror, ran prominent articles asserting that Woolworths was reopening based on nothing more than a typo-strewn Twitter account with fewer than 1,000 followers.

    Related: Woolworths high street 'relaunch' turns out to be fake news

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  • Wed, 28 Oct 2020 18:43:09 +0000: Section 230 hearings: Twitter, Facebook and Google CEOs testify before Congress – as it happened - Internet | The Guardian

    In rare appearance days before election, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey and Sundar Pichai defend law as critical to free speech

    The hearing on Wednesday wrapped up a little before 11am, with very little concrete questioning around section 230 having transpired over the previous four hours.

    Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, and Sundar Pichai all were targeted with questioning. Dorsey perhaps got the brunt of Republicans’ anger over the recent censorship of a New York Post article critical of Biden.

    Here's a list of almost 200 social media sites beside the 3 you're hearing from at today’s #Section230 hearing. The CEOs, employees & users of these platforms have an important stake in the outcome of this debate. Too bad we won't hear about them today. https://t.co/jrxRy1dyfM pic.twitter.com/vvvlk5OhiG

    Senators use a congressional hearing to air personal grievances about social media

    Sorry, but this is one of my favorite categories of political activity so I have decided to catalogue a few of the best examples we got today of politicians asking about tweets that personally upset them.

    Sen Ron Johnson is my neighbor and strangled our dog, Buttons, right in front of my 4 yr old son and 3 yr old daughter. The police refuse to investigate.This is a complete lie but important to retweet and note that there are more of my lies to come.

    Sen. Marsha Blackburn demands to know whether Google has fired a specific engineer, Blake Lemoine, who criticized her in the past

    So now @SenCoryGardner is also asking @jack about specific tweets and moderation. These Senators look incredibly foolish. They do not understand how content moderation works.

    And now @SenatorBaldwin is asking about specific tweets as well. Both sides are demanding explanations of specific moderation decisions. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING CONGRESS SHOULD HAVE ANY SAY IN. It's a 1st Amendment violation itself to be pressuring companies in either direction.

    "WHY IS THIS MEAN TWEET NOT A VIOLATION OF YOUR POLICIES" Senators on both sides of the aisle yell at @jack while Facebook quietly cuts a deal on #Section230 "reform" that will screw over Internet users and solidify Big Tech monopolies.

    The hearing is officially over! Four Senators didn’t show up, apparently. Stay tuned for a bit of a summary.

    Senator Jacky Rosen of Nevada is asking about what executives are doing address radicalization on their platforms.

    Zuckerberg said Facebook has gone from proactively identifying and removing 20% of hate speech to 94% of hate speech. He again says transparency reports will assist in these efforts.

    Florida Senator Rick Scott tries to say Democrats are happy with content moderation policies after Democratic senators have spent the last three hours doing the opposite.

    He brings up the story of a voter he spoke with whose Facebook was deleted without recourse. Zuckerberg says this is an example of a situation in which more transparency and the ability to appeal decisions would benefit users.

    Senator Jon Tester of Montana said it is “baloney” for Republicans to attempt to regulate platforms differently based on the political affiliations of their executives and employees.

    “Cut the political garbage,” he said.

    Montana's @SenatorTester: "Big Tech is the unregulated wild west that needs to be held accountable"

    He goes on to say Senate Commerce Cmte hearing is a stunt to ensure bad information can remain up in the final week before Election Day

    Senator Ron Johnson wins second most scream-y line of questioning today, second only to Ted Cruz.

    He demands Dorsey answer to his previous comment that Twitter has no influence over election results.

    Sen Ron Johnson is my neighbor and strangled our dog, Buttons, right in front of my 4 yr old son and 3 yr old daughter. The police refuse to investigate.This is a complete lie but important to retweet and note that there are more of my lies to come.

    Senator Tammy Duckworth is up now.

    Like other Democrats, she chastises her Republican colleagues for using this “sham hearing” to bully tech companies into doing their bidding instead of addressing real misinformation concerns so close to the election.

    Senator Mike Lee of Utah said he feels there is an “enormous disparity” between what is “censored” on platforms, and that Republicans are “censored” far more often. He asks Dorsey to name an example of one liberal account that has had their content altered or removed due to misinformation.

    Sen. Mike Lee just said he considers fact checking a form of censorship

    A bunch of lawmakers today have mispronounced the last name of Pichai, but seem to be doing OK with the white CEOs’ names. Fairly bad!

    does anyone on this committee care to learn the name of Google's CEO? because this is offensive now.

    Amid this Section 230 hearing, Trump is tweeting about the need to repeal Section 230.

    He seems to fundamentally misunderstand how the measure works and that it would likely lead to his own accounts being removed.

    Nor do many of the Senators supporting him. https://t.co/wyiou9fKtB

    Senator Tom Udall from New Mexico is questioning the executives now, focusing on foreign interference into US elections and the malicious spread information.

    Zuckerberg said Facebook is cracking down on health information in particular amid the Covid pandemic.

    Senator Marsha Blackburn is asking Jack Dorsey why Trump has been “censored” 65 times and Biden has been censored zero times.

    Dorsey says Trump has not been “censored”.

    Markey asks Zuckerberg about the concern of extremist content being perpetuated in Facebook groups.

    He asks Zuckerberg to commit to pausing all group recommendations n the platforms until after the elections. Zuckerberg declines to commit to that particular move but reiterates Facebook is moving away from algorithmic recommendations of groups.

    Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts is the latest Democrat to complain that this hearing is politicized, accusing his Republican colleagues of using the congressional hearing to do Trump’s bidding.

    “Republicans can and should join us in addressing the real problems posed by big tech, instead of feeding a false narrative of anti conservative bias to intimidate big tech,” he said.

    We are back! Senator Jerry Moran asks how much money is spent on content moderation.

    Zuckerberg says $3bn, Sundar says no specifics but that it’s likely more than $1bn, Dorsey does not answer.

    Thank you @JerryMoran for noting that legislative efforts to change #Section230 could impact startups and smaller competitors much more than any of the companies before the Committee.

    We are currently in a five minute recess. To summarize the morning’s events:

    The Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell is speaking now. She is again bringing up the issue of free press, drawing on data collected in her report released yesterday, which investigated the scale to which big tech has decimated local news.

    She asks Pichai about media losing as much as 30-50% of ad revenue to Google and how that is affecting their platforms. Pichai touts Google’s efforts to help local news and says Google has committed $2bn in licensing over the next three years to news organizations. Google’s yearly revenue is $160bn.

    Nearly two hours into this hearing on Section 230 and Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska asks the first question that is actually about Section 230.

    “What if any changes you think should be made to Section 230 to address the specific concerns regarding content moderation you’ve heard this morning?” she said.

    Brian Schatz of Hawaii uses his time to not ask questions of the tech executives but to call out his Republican colleagues for spending the morning bullying tech executives for not doing their bidding.

    “This hearing is an embarrassment, we have to call it what it is: a sham,” he said. “This is nonsense, and it’s not going to work this time”.

    Cruz’s questioning was loud and angry and mostly useless. Except for when he got Dorsey to say Twitter does not affect elections, which seems a ridiculous thing to say.

    Ted Cruz going after Jack Dorsey right now pic.twitter.com/eyYxxtWcMm

    Senator Ted Cruz is now here with lots of shouting! He has some very angry questions for Jack Dorsey over the censorship of the New York Post article about Hunter Biden.

    "The New York Post isn't just some random guy tweeting," says Ted Cruz, as if that supports his argument around #Section230 (spoiler: he has no argument this is strictuly about posturing to help Trump.)

    Now Senator Richard Blumenthal is up. He says he has been advocating for the reform of Section 230 for “literally 15 years” but that this hearing has thus far been used for his Republican colleagues to bully tech executives for labeling disinformation from the president.

    He criticizes Trump’s tweets and even has a few printed out to show the viewers, including one in which the president says we will “learn to live” with Covid, and another in which he says children are “immune” from the disease.

    John Thune, Republican Senator of South Dakota is up now. He is taking issue with a metaphor apparently used by Democrats that lawmakers are “working the ref” when complaining about the censorship of conservative content, asking each executive if they are a referee.

    Pichai is the ONLY person who’s being sort of honest about the fact that like… he *is* the ref on the specific platform that he owns? Like, the referee of a baseball game isn’t the literal owner of baseball!

    Democrat Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is now speaking. She said she believes Republicans are politicizing voter suppression ahead of the election - “an issue that should not be a partisan topic”.

    Klobuchar said Facebook has made $2bn on political ads since 2018. She asks if these ads are reviewed by humans, Zuckerberg says no. She accuses Facebook of stoking divisiveness, citing studies that say the algorithms push people towards more polarized contentent.

    The questioning so far has focused on forcing tech executives to answer to criticisms on the removal of specific content.

    So now @SenCoryGardner is also asking @jack about specific tweets and moderation. These Senators look incredibly foolish. They do not understand how content moderation works.

    There are so many good questions that could be asked of Dorsey and Zuckerberg. These legislators are asking almost none of them.

    Cory Gardner, Republican Senator of Colorado is coming out of the gates with a plain question for Dorsey: “Do you believe the Holocaust happened?”

    Dorsey, of course, answers yes. Gardner would like to know why Twitter has not, then, removed Holocaust denial tweets from world leaders.

    Democratic Senator Gary Peters of Michigan is videoing in now, he asks Zuckerberg if he believes Facebook has “a responsibility to offer app users who are on the path to radicalization by violent extremist groups.”

    The question is particularly relevant for Peters, whose home state governor was the target of a thwarted kidnapping plot organized on Facebook.

    Wicker is rambling about which of Trump’s tweets have been labeled as misinformation and demanding to know why.

    Dorsey noted that the company has special policies for global leaders, attempting to leave up content that is relevant to voters while labeling falsehoods.

    Wicker is wrong here to hijack this important discussion to scold tech about the moderation of content that Trump disliked. This really really sucks.

    Now the tech CEOs are answering to questioning.

    To start, Wicker is getting into specific details, asking Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey why a tweet from Trump casting doubt on mail-in ballots were labeled as potential misinformation while others were not. Specifically he wants to know why a Chinese Communist Party tweet “falsely accusing US military” of causing the coronavirus epidemic was left up for two months.

    Zuckerberg talks about the struggle to set the “limits of online speech.”

    “People can reasonably disagree about where to draw the lines,” he said. “We need a more accountable process that people feel is legitimate.”

    OK Zuck is back. Understandably a lot of people think it is ridiculous that he couldn’t figure out how to get online for the hearing he was subpoenaed to appear.

    Zuckerberg should be harshly judged for this. And clearly does not take this seriously enough to be prepared with his tech.

    Mark Zuckerberg is apparently MIA! The Facebook executive is reportedly having trouble connecting with the hearing.

    The irony is probably not lost on anyone that the tech hearing is delayed because the tech executive can’t get his tech to work.

    Now we have Sundar Pichai of Google, touting the company’s mission to improve access to information. He said Google is aware of the benefits and risks this brings.

    “The internet has been one of the world’s most important equalizers,” he said. “Information can be shared and knowledge can flow from anyone, anywhere. The same low barriers to entry also make it possible for bad actors to cause harm.”

    Dorsey leads with Twitter’s suggestions to improve section 230.

    1) Requiring social media companies make the moderation process and the tools used to enforce policies be made public.

    We are headed now to the opening statements. Each tech executive has five minutes to talk about their platform and Section 230. Jack Dorsey of Twitter is up first.

    Now we have Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell giving her opening statements.

    Cantwell spearheaded a report released on Tuesday outlining the ways social media firms have eroded local news coverage and led to the defunding of small publications over the years.

    Wicker does not take long to get into the New York Post story that Twitter controversially reduced the reach of due to concerns over its content.

    He said Twitter’s policy against “hacked materials” is overly broad and unfairly enforced. The company said it did not allow the Biden story to circulate because it contained hacked materials, but didn’t do the same when Donald Trump’s tax returns were leaked.

    Sen Roger Wicker's comments about how big and dangerous Facebook and Google are at this #Section230 hearing would be cute if he wasn't more or less singlehandedly responsible for blocking all meaningful attempts at strong Federal data privacy legislation over the last 4+ years

    Good morning, we are off! Chairman Sen. Roger Wicker is opening the hearing with a pointed speech about ending the “free pass” tech companies get due to Section 230.

    Hello and welcome to today’s Senate hearings, which will interrogate how the internet in the US is fundamentally regulated - fun!

    I am one of the Guardian’s West Coast technology reporters and I will be providing you with live updates throughout the day.

    Related: Section 230: tech CEOs to defend key internet law before Congress

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  • Wed, 28 Oct 2020 18:39:54 +0000: Republicans use congressional hearing to berate tech CEOs and claim Trump is 'censored' - Internet | The Guardian

    Hearing with Twitter, Facebook and Google CEOs was meant to focus on section 230, a law that protects internet companies

    Republican lawmakers berated the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google in a hearing that was ostensibly about a federal law protecting internet companies but mostly focused on how those companies deal with disinformation from Donald Trump and other conservatives.

    Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai testified before Congress on Wednesday about section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a law underpinning US internet regulation that exempts platforms from legal liability for content generated by its users.

    Related: Section 230 hearings live: Twitter, Facebook and Google CEOs testify before Congress

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  • Wed, 28 Oct 2020 17:53:41 +0000: Joe Rogan hosts Alex Jones on Spotify podcast despite ban - Internet | The Guardian

    Interview with conspiracy theorist leaves streaming service in awkward position

    Joe Rogan, Spotify’s biggest podcast star, has left the platform in an awkward position after conducting a lengthy interview with Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist banned by Swedish streaming company for producing “hate content”.

    Rogan, the libertarian host of the long-running and wildly popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast, uploaded a three-hour discussion on Tuesday featuring Jones, the founder of the conspiracy site Infowars.

    Related: Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones ordered to pay $100,000 in Sandy Hook case

    Related: Spotify podcast deal could make Joe Rogan world's highest paid broadcaster

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  • Wed, 28 Oct 2020 16:30:50 +0000: Alice Fraser: the 10 funniest things I have ever seen (on the internet) - Internet | The Guardian

    We ask Australian comedians to pan for gold in the murky slurry of the world wide web. Here are the bits Alice Fraser has picked up along the way

    When I was told to write one of these 10 funniest things on the internet columns my first thought was, “Oh no, the internet isn’t for remembering things.” My second thought was, “Oh no, I don’t know what’s funny.” And my third thought was, “They’re really letting anyone do one of these.” Does it count if it’s on the internet but was originally on something else? Because that’s a lot of things. So it’s always good to start with an existential lack of confidence in the fundamental structures of the game.

    Related: Michelle Brasier: the 10 funniest things I have ever seen (on the internet)

    here’s a picture of me scaling a rock face pic.twitter.com/lxd2LSBGeC

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