The Technology 202: Facebook’s new ad limits highlight pressure to prepare for chaotic election aftermath
The social network says the move is intended to limit misinformation and abuse of its service, following broad criticism that it has not done enough to stamp out falsehoods on its platform. Facebook hasn’t said how long the ad suspension will last, but in an internal memo to its sales staff that was obtained by the Washington Post, executives told staff to tell advertisers the ban would last a week.
The changes less than a month before Election Day underscore how tech companies are scrambling to address a fast-changing political environment.
Tech companies have been making key changes to rein in disinformation since Russia used their platforms in 2016 to divide and sow discord among Americans. But critics say many of those steps to limit foreign influence haven’t gone far enough to address disinformation emanating from within the United States – often from the megaphone of the president.
Social media companies have been trying to game out possible election outcomes to prepare.
Facebook has also been considering more than 70 different election scenarios, such as what it will do if Trump or other politicians use social media to contest the election results, Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, told Elizabeth. The company plans to partner with Reuters to send out notifications on election night on Facebook and Instagram with the latest results. Facebook has previously said it would apply labels to posts where a presidential candidate or other party declares victory prematurely, saying the count is ongoing.
Twitter has also been planning, gaming out nearly a dozen scenarios involving both foreign and domestic disinformation starting on election night and afterwards. The company’s scenarios included situations where people try to deter voting by saying the lines at the polls are too long, or a foreign power hacks documents and leaks
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival is making up for this year’s canceled event with a weekend of archival footage, running Friday through Sunday, Oct. 9-11, via ACLFestival.com and the event’s YouTube channel. Performances — including some filmed for the “Austin City Limits” TV show — include Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish, Willie Nelson, Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, Phish and many more. Matthew McConaughey, meanwhile, will host two “Make Change” sessions exploring social and community issues.
• The Who’s new YouTube series showcases archival footage from benefit concerts for frontman Roger Daltrey’s Teenage Cancer Trust, showcasing Ed Sheeran on Thursday, Oct. 8, Muse (Oct. 9), Paul McCartney (Oct. 11), Pulp (Oct. 14), Noel Gallagher (Oct. 15) and Them Crooked Vultures (Oct. 16), all at 3 p.m. and free. The series runs through Oct. 18.
• Nick Cave will be joined by co-composer Warren Ellis, director John Hillcoat and photographer Polly Borland for a listen-along and Q&A about the soundtrack for the 2012 crime drama film “Lawless” at 5 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, via nickcave.com/badseedteevee.
• Elvis Costello will premiere a video for “Shut Him Down,” one of three new songs he’s written with trumpeter and Steely Dan member Michael Leonhart at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, on Quincy Jones’ QWest TV Facebook page and YouTube channel.
• Mostly quiet since the 2017 suicide of signer Chester Bennington, Linkin Park regroups at noon Friday, Oct. 9, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its debut album, “Hybrid Theory,” and the release of special deluxe anniversary packages. The five group members will sit for a Q&A with fans via watch.linkinpark.com, followed by the world premiere of footage from a 2002 Projekt Revolution Tour concert in Las Vegas. A second showing takes place at midnight. Tickets are available via linkinpark.com,
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LONDON — The top court in the European Union has delivered another blow to governments seeking to keep tabs on citizens through controversial spying techniques.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ), the EU’s highest legal authority, ruled Tuesday that member states cannot collect mass mobile and internet data on citizens.
Forcing internet and phone operators to carry out the “general and indiscriminate transmission or retention of traffic data and location data” is against EU law, the court explained in its ruling.
“However, in situations where a member state is facing a serious threat to national security that proves to be genuine and present or foreseeable, that member state may derogate from the obligation to ensure the confidentiality of data relating to electronic communications,” it continues.
Even in these emergency scenarios, there are rules that must be adhered to.
“Such an interference with fundamental rights must be accompanied by effective safeguards and be reviewed by a court or by an independent administrative authority,” the court said.
The ruling, which has been eagerly anticipated by civil rights campaigners, is in response to several cases brought about by Privacy International and La Quadrature du Net.
The campaign groups argued that surveillance practices in the U.K., France and Belgium go too far and violate fundamental human rights. The groups specifically took issue with the U.K.’s Investigatory Powers Act, a 2015 French decree related to specialized intelligence services, and a Belgian law on collection and retention of communications data that was introduced in 2016.
“Today’s judgment reinforces the rule of law in the EU,” said Caroline Wilson Palow, legal director of Privacy International, in a statement. “In these turbulent times, it serves as a reminder that no government should be above the law. Democratic societies must