CLIP-ings: March 13, 2020

Internet Governance

YouTube Allows Some Content Creators To Monetize Coronavirus Content: Reversing its previous position, YouTube will now allow select content creators, including news organizations and a “limited number of channels,” to display advertisements on coronavirus-related videos.

Thousands Of Political Ads On Facebook Had Inaccurate Payment Disclosures: A New York University study of the social media site’s Ad Library found over $37 million worth of political ads with inaccurate or misleading disclosures about the ads’ sponsors; over 19,000 ads were found to be posted by “inauthentic communities” comparable to the Internet Research Agency, the Russia-backed organization believed to be responsible for the 2016 Democratic National Committee email hack.


U.S. House Votes To Approve Extension Of The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: The bill, which will now go to the Senate, extends key provisions of the Act allowing the FBI to investigate suspected terrorism or espionage by foreign powers; the bill also includes additional privacy protections and harsher penalties for violating the Act. 

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Cybercriminals Expected To Exploit Coronavirus Pandemic: According to a RiskIQ study of past outbreaks and patterns of phishing and malware attacks, cyber-criminal activity using social engineering is expected to increase as a result of a heightening interest in coronavirus news.

Anonymous Secret Sharing App Left 900 Million User Records Exposed: Whisper, an app used by over 30 million people per month to anonymously post personal secrets, unintentionally exposed identifying user information—including that of children—on a searchable online database for years; the database, which included information such as age, location, ethnicity, and residence, has since been removed by Whisper.

Intellectual Property

EU Plans Expansive “Right To Repair” Electronics Legislation: In an attempt to curb electronic waste and “decoupl[e] economic growth from extraction of primary resources,” the European Commission plans to introduce legislation designed to compel electronics producers to “create products that last longer, include as many recycled materials as possible and are easier to reuse, repair and recycle.” 

Free Expression and Censorship

Biden Clip Prompts Twitter and Facebook To Apply Fact-Checking Labels: An edited video shared by President Trump in which former Vice President Biden appeared to say that Trump would be re-elected was labeled “partly false” by Facebook fact-checkers and also resulted in the first use of Twitter’s “manipulated video” tag.

On the Lighter Side

Wuhan Students Try To Kick Remote Learning App From App Store: In an inventive attempt to get out of their online classes spurred by coronavirus-related school closures, students in Wuhan bombarded the App Store with one-star reviews of remote learning app DingTalk because they mistakenly believed apps with one-star ratings would be taken off the App Store.

Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Brittany Thomas
Sean Conners
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP