Commentary: Social Media Companies Continue to Profit from Self-Harm Content

The web’s earliest days were marked by optimism that the digital world would be an unfettered force for good. It would sweep away censorship and oppression, connect the planet, and empower anyone, anywhere, to be heard by the world. Over time, however, the web’s darker byproducts have become more apparent, with companies’ own research confirming the harms that social media, in particular, is having on teens. A recent report sheds light on Twitter’s role in promoting adolescent self-harm like cutting – and the company’s seeming inability to stop it.

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Facebook ‘Whistleblower’ Teams Up with Ex-Feds, Left-Wing Billionaire to Police Social Media

Former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen is heading a new initiative, featuring a slew of former intelligence officials and bankrolled by a left-wing billionaire, that aims to influence how social media companies moderate speech and content.

Haugen will co-chair the Council for Responsible Social Media, according to a Wednesday press release from Issue One, a non-profit sponsoring the initiative. The council’s members includes Leon Panetta, former CIA Director and secretary of Defense under Barack Obama, Chris Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency under Donald Trump, and Bush administration CIA Director Porter Goss; members also include the Biden administration’s former Director for Legislative Affairs at the National Security Council Nicole Tisdale and Obama administration Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

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Trump’s Entertainment Venture Outperforming All Similar Companies: REPORT

Donald Trump sitting at desk

Former President Donald Trump’s entertainment venture is currently outperforming all other special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), according to a recent market report.

Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC), the SPAC used to take Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) public, is outperforming all other SPACs, according to a market analysis by SPAC Research reported by Reuters. The company’s shares ended trading at $73.12 on Friday, giving the company a valuation of roughly $13 billion, according to Reuters.

A SPAC is a company that acquires private companies and lists them publicly on a stock exchange without the private company engaging in an initial public offering (IPO). In this case, Trump used DWAC to take his company public in order to raise funding for his social media venture, TRUTH Social, which he has billed as an alternative to major tech platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

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Thousands of Accounts Spreading Chinese State Propaganda Are Evading Bans from U.S. Social Media

A network of social media accounts spreading Chinese state propaganda is thriving on tech platforms despite social media companies’ attempts to crack down on foreign influence campaigns.

Over 2,000 accounts are involved in a coordinated propaganda campaign to spread Chinese regime talking points on U.S. social media platforms, according to a report from Miburo, a research collective that studies disinformation campaigns. The accounts disseminate false or misleading claims including the denial of China’s ongoing mistreatment of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region of China, as well as criticism of Guo Wengui, a Chinese dissident and financial backer of U.S. social media site Gettr.

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Commentary: Beware of Regime-Approved Whistleblowers

Ritual humiliation of social media companies is becoming something of a tradition. Most typically, social media CEOs are hauled before Congress, harangued for a day, promise to “do better,” and then go back to business as usual.

Last week a new kind of social media witness appeared: a whistleblower. Frances Haugen emerged with a great deal of fanfare, complete with a public relations firm, a verified account on Twitter, and a fawning entourage, including members of the press and Congress. But instead of denouncing social media for its excessive power, wealth, and hostility to traditional American values, Haugen pleaded for regulations that happen to align with the peculiar values and interests of Silicon Valley.

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Texas Governor Signs Law Preventing Social Media Companies from Banning People for Their Views

Gov. Greg Abbott signs law

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law Thursday preventing social media companies from banning users for their political views.

The law, known as HB 20, prohibits social media platforms from banning or suspending users, and removing or suppressing their content, based on political viewpoint. The bill was introduced by state Sen. Bryan Hughes partly in an effort to combat perceived censorship of conservatives by Facebook, Twitter, Google-owned YouTube, and other major tech companies.

“Social media websites have become our modern-day public square,” Abbott said in a statement. “They are a place for healthy public debate where information should be able to flow freely — but there is a dangerous movement by social media companies to silence conservative viewpoints and ideas.”

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Louisiana’s Senator Kennedy Files Bill Targeting Social Media Companies That Promote Divisive Content

Lousiana Senator John Neely Kennedy

Louisiana U.S. Sen. John Kennedy has introduced a bill to limit protections for social media companies that secretly leverage user data to promote divisive content.

Kennedy, a Republican, blasted Silicon Valley behemoths such as Facebook and Twitter for “provoking” platform users and blamed the “manipulative” business practice for causing unnecessary social conflict.

“Social media giants are using people’s data to manipulate them into spending more time on their sites, but the price is a more polarized America,” Kennedy said in a statement. “It’s time to stop rewarding platforms that use their algorithms to target users with content that plays on individuals’ emotions without their consent.”

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Commentary: Why FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Should Look at How Deplatforming and Social Media Bias Toward the Left Could Lead to One-Party Rule

by Robert Romano   Thanks to social media and big tech companies, finding content on the Internet that you want has never been easier. Want to find your friends and family online? Log onto Facebook. Want to see what opinion leaders or celebrities are up to? Check out Twitter. Want…

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