CLIP-ings: October 15, 2021

Internet Governance

Facebook Oversight Board Seeks Insight From Whistleblower: Whistleblower Frances Haugen accepted an invitation from the Oversight Board to “discuss [her] experiences” as part of an investigation about whether the social network “has been fully forthcoming” about its content moderation practices.

FTC Warns Companies About Fake Reviews And Deceptive Endorsements: In a notice sent to over 700 large companies including “top advertisers, leading retailers, top consumer product companies, and major advertising agencies,” the Commission announced that it is prepared to levy fines up to $43,792 per violation for the use of fake reviews and other forms of deceptive endorsements.

Google Removes Ads For Stalkerware Apps: The company removed a number of ads for stalkerware applications that used “a variety of techniques” designed to circumvent a ban on such advertisements imposed last summer under Google’s policy on enabling dishonest behavior; the policy, which does not extend the ban to child-tracking or employee-monitoring apps, has been criticized for allowing stalkerware apps to “skirt the rules by changing the face of what they’re selling, without changing the core technology within.”
Information Security and Cyberthreats

White House Hosts Ransomware Summit: In the wake of numerous cyberattacks on high-profile businesses and government entities, the White House hosted more than 30 countries in a virtual meeting to discuss how to counter ransomware attacks and hold cybercriminals accountable.

Facebook Restricts Access To Internal Message Boards To Prevent Further Leaks: As it deals with the fallout from the recent leak of a huge trove of internal documents by whistleblower Frances Haugen, the company has made some groups on its internal message boards about platform safety and election integrity private.
Free Expression and Censorship

Facebook Updates Bullying And Harassment Policies To Ban Sexualizing Public Figures And Coordinated Attacks: Under the updated policy, Facebook will remove profiles, pages, groups, and events that engage in “severe sexualizing content” toward celebrities, politicians, and content creators, as well as language that could incite coordinated attacks on users that are at a “heightened risk of offline harm.”
Practice Note

Australian Court Allows Defamation Case To Proceed Over Poorly-Punctuated Facebook Post: After the country’s High Court ruled last month that media companies could be held liable for user comments posted on their content, another Australian court allowed a defamation case brought by an employer against an employee to proceed because the defendant-employee’s omission of an apostrophe in one word of his Facebook post might suggest a “systematic pattern of conduct” on the part of the employer.
On the Lighter Side

Tesla Unveils Gigabeer To Celebrate Gigafactory: The brew has been released in vessels that “vaguely recall[ ]” the company’s Cybertruck to celebrate the start of production at Tesla’s new Berlin plant.
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Ron Lazebnik
Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP