Twitter may notify users exposed to Russian propaganda during 2016 election

Carlos Monje, director of Twitter's North America Public Policy and Philanthropy, speaks during a hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee on Capitol Hill on January 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. (AFP / Brendan Smialowski)
Updated 17 January 2018
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Twitter may notify users exposed to Russian propaganda during 2016 election

WASHINGTON: Twitter may notify users whether they were exposed to content generated by a suspected Russian propaganda service, a company executive told US lawmakers on Wednesday.
The social media company is “working to identify and inform individually” its users who saw tweets during the 2016 US presidential election produced by accounts tied to the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Army, Carlos Monje, Twitter’s director of public policy, told the US Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.
A Twitter spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about plans to notify its users.
Facebook Inc. in December created a portal where its users could learn whether they interacted with accounts created by the Internet Research Agency.
Both companies and Alphabet’s YouTube appeared before the Senate committee on Wednesday to answer lawmaker questions about how their efforts to combat the use of their platforms by violent extremists, such as the Daesh (Islamic State).
But the hearing often turned its focus to questions of Russian propaganda, a vexing issue for Internet firms who spent most of the past year responding to a backlash that they did too little to deter Russians from using their services to anonymously spread divisive messages among Americans in the run-up to the 2016 US elections.
US intelligence agencies concluded Russia sought to interfere in the election through a variety of cyber-enabled means to sow political discord and help President Donald Trump win. Russia has repeatedly denied the allegations.


Saudi Arabia permanently revokes beIN Sports license

Updated 20 August 2018
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Saudi Arabia permanently revokes beIN Sports license

  • The GAC accused the Qatari-owned channel of exploiting its dominant position in the run-up to the 2016 European Championships
  • In April last year, beIN Sports was hit with a fine of SR10,000 and ordered to stop its monopolizing practices

LONDON: Saudi Arabian authorities have permanently revoked the license of beIN Sports after accusing the Qatari-owned channel of illegal monopolizing practices.
The General Authority for Competition (GAC) released a statement revealing its decision and announcing it had also slapped beIN Sports with a SR10 million ($2.6 million) fine due to the alleged violations.
“The GAC clarified it has received many complaints from citizens and participants against beIN Sports since March 2016 for violating competition rules in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” it said in a statement.
The GAC accused the Qatari-owned channel of exploiting its dominant position in the run-up to the 2016 European Championships, forcing fans wanting to watch the football tournament to subscribe to other channels, including non-sports ones.
In addition, football-hungry viewers were forced to renew their subscription to the main channels for an entire year as a condition to watch the Euros, even though their subscription should have covered the period during which the competition, won by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, took place.

 

In April last year, beIN Sports was hit with a fine of SR10,000 and ordered to stop the monopolizing practices.
“These are clear violations of the competition’s rules. The board of directors thus decided to take the appropriate measures to end these practices and the monopoly violations committed by BeIN,” the statement said at the time.
It is beIN’s failure to implement changes that has resulted in the complete revoking of its license. The channel appealed against the 2017 decision before the administrative court of the board of grievances in Riyadh. The administrative justice found the case of BeIN Sport against the GAC inadmissible.
As a result, the channel’s license was permanently revoked and it was hit with the mammoth fine.
The move is the latest in a long-running dispute between the Kingdom and the Qatari channel. Saudi authorities have accused beIN Sports of engaging in a media smear campaign against the country.
During the World Cup the channel was also accused of infringing broadcasting standards by “politicizing” coverage of the football tournament.
It led legal experts to claim that FIFA should launch an investigation into why the broadcaster brought politics into play during coverage of World Cup games.
The broadcaster was not immediately available for comment.

FACTOID

3.2bn – Number of people around the world who tuned in to watch the World Cup, according to FIFA – almost half the world’s population.