French court orders Twitter to reveal anti-hate speech efforts

Twitter was given two months to comply with France's ruling (File/AFP)
Twitter was given two months to comply with France's ruling (File/AFP)
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Updated 07 July 2021

French court orders Twitter to reveal anti-hate speech efforts

Twitter was given two months to comply with France's ruling (File/AFP)
  • France orders Twitter to reveal all documents relating to its efforts to fight racism, sexism and hate speech.
  • Twitter’s hateful conduct policy bans users from promoting violence or threatening or attacking people based on their race, religion, gender identity or disability.

A French court on Tuesday ordered Twitter to give activists full access to all of its documents relating to its efforts to fight racism, sexism and other forms of hate speech on the social network.
Six anti-discrimination groups had taken Twitter to court in France last year, accusing the US social media giant of “long-term and persistent” failures in blocking hateful comments from the site.
The Paris court ordered Twitter to grant the campaign groups full access to all documents relating to the company’s efforts to combat hate speech since May 2020. The ruling applies to Twitter’s global operation, not just France.
Twitter must hand over “all administrative, contractual, technical or commercial documents” detailing the resources it has assigned to fight homophobic, racist and sexist discourse on the site, as well as the offense of “condoning crimes against humanity.”
The San Francisco-based company was given two months to comply with the ruling, which also said it must reveal how many moderators it employs in France to examine posts flagged as hateful, and data on the posts they process.
Twitter said it was studying the court order.
“Our absolute priority is to assure the security of people using our platform,” the company told AFP, adding: “We commit to building a safer Internet, to combatting online hate and to improving the serenity of public discourse.”
The ruling was welcomed by the Union of French Jewish Students (UEJF), which took Twitter to court alongside five other groups that campaign against homophobia, racism and anti-Semitism.
“Twitter will finally have to take responsibility, stop equivocating and put ethics before profit and international expansion,” the UEJF said in a statement on its website.

Twitter’s hateful conduct policy bans users from promoting violence or threatening or attacking people based on their race, religion, gender identity or disability, among other forms of discrimination.
Like other social media giants it allows users to report posts they believe are hateful, and employs moderators to vet the content.
But anti-discrimination groups have long complained that holes in the policy allow hateful comments to stay online in many cases.
French prosecutors on Tuesday said they have opened an investigation into a wave of racist comments posted on Twitter targeting members of the national football team.
The comments, notably targeting black Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, were posted after France was eliminated from the Euro 2020 tournament last week.
France has also been having a wider public debate over how to balance the right to free speech with the need to prevent hate speech, in the wake of the controversial case of a teenager known as Mila.
The 18-year-old sparked a furor last year when her videos, criticizing Islam in vulgar terms, went viral on social media.
Thirteen people are on trial accused of subjecting her to such vicious harassment that she was forced to leave school and was placed under police protection.
While President Emmanuel Macron is among those who have defended her right to blaspheme, former Socialist president Francois Hollande said her original remarks amounted to “hate speech” against Muslims.


STARZPLAY hosts ‘House of Gucci’ UAE premiere

STARZPLAY hosts ‘House of Gucci’ UAE premiere
Updated 01 December 2021

STARZPLAY hosts ‘House of Gucci’ UAE premiere

STARZPLAY hosts ‘House of Gucci’ UAE premiere
  • The biographical drama will be available to stream on STARZPLAY after its theatrical release

DUBAI: STARZPLAY, in association with Gulf Films, hosted the UAE premiere of American biographical crime drama “House of Gucci” at the NOVO 7-Star cinema at IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai.

The premiere was the first look for select guests before the film’s official release in UAE cinemas. Following its theatrical release, the movie will be available to stream exclusively on STARZPLAY.

Currently, the platform is streaming a biographical documentary about the same story, “Lady Gucci,” via the Discovery+ add-on channel. In the 75-minute documentary, the former Mrs. Gucci, Patrizia Reggiani, tells her story in an exclusive interview.

The latest film “House of Gucci” has a star-studded cast featuring Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Salma Hayek, and Jared Leto and is directed by acclaimed director Ridley Scott, known for films such as “Blade Runner,” “Black Hawk Down,” and “The Martian.”

The move marks STARZPLAY’s dominance in the regional streaming market. This year alone, the platform has made deals that saw it enter the Asian market as well as strengthen its foothold in the Middle East through partnerships with Abu Dhabi Media and Turkish content companies.


Google to ban political advertising ahead of Philippine elections

Google to ban political advertising ahead of Philippine elections
Updated 01 December 2021

Google to ban political advertising ahead of Philippine elections

Google to ban political advertising ahead of Philippine elections
  • Move comes amid pressure on social media platforms over their handling of political advertising during the US presidential election in 2020

MANILA: Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Wednesday it will ban political advertising on its platform in the run-up to Philippine elections in May next year to choose a successor to President Rodrigo Duterte.
The move comes amid pressure on social media platforms over their handling of political advertising during the US presidential election in 2020.
Social media platforms have become political battlegrounds in the Southeast Asian nation, with studies showing Filipinos top the rankings globally for time spent on social media.
Election advertisements that promote or oppose any political party or the candidacy of any person or party for public office, would not be allowed to run between Feb. 8 to May 9, 2022, Google said in an update to its political content policy.
The dates cover the period of campaigning in the Philippines up to election day on May 9.
Google said notifications would be sent to affected advertisers about the policy update.
Google has banned political advertising on its platform before, including in Canada’s federal election in 2019 and before an election in Singapore in 2020.
Social media platforms like Facebook have helped strengthen Duterte’s support base, with analysts regarding them as instrumental in his election victory in 2016 and a rout by his allies in mid-term polls last year.
The Philippines will choose a successor to Duterte, who under the constitution is not allowed to seek another term, but will be standing for a senator’s seat.


CNN’s Chris Cuomo suspended over role in ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s sex scandal

 In this combination of photos New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, and his brother CNN anchor Chris Cuomo. (AP file photo)
In this combination of photos New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, and his brother CNN anchor Chris Cuomo. (AP file photo)
Updated 01 December 2021

CNN’s Chris Cuomo suspended over role in ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s sex scandal

 In this combination of photos New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, and his brother CNN anchor Chris Cuomo. (AP file photo)

LOS ANGELES: CNN on Tuesday suspended its top news anchor, Chris Cuomo, for his role in defending his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, over sexual harassment allegations.
The cable news channel said in a statement the suspension followed the release of new court documents on Monday.
“These documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation,” CNN said.
Andrew Cuomo was forced to step down https://www.reuters.com/world/us/new-york-governor-cuomo-resigns-after-sexual-harassment-findings-2021-08-10 as governor in August after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. He has denied any wrongdoing.
Chris Cuomo did not immediately respond to a request for comment on his suspension.
Cuomo, who hosts CNN’s most-watched prime time news show, had admitted in May he breached some of the network’s rules in advising his brother how to handle the allegations from a public relations perspective. He also pledged not to report on the case on air.
CNN said on Tuesday that at the time it “appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second,” but said the new documents “raise serious questions.”
The documents released by New York Attorney General Letitia James showed text and other messages in which Cuomo sought to use his own sources in the media to find out information on the case and the women involved in it.
A criminal complaint https://www.reuters.com/world/us/misdemeanor-complaint-related-sex-crime-filed-against-ex-ny-governor-cuomo-court-2021-10-28 charging Andrew Cuomo with a misdemeanor sex offense was filed on Oct. 29 in a New York court.


Twitter bans sharing of photos without consent

Twitter bans sharing of photos without consent
Updated 01 December 2021

Twitter bans sharing of photos without consent

Twitter bans sharing of photos without consent

SAN FRANCISCO:Twitter launched new rules Tuesday blocking users from sharing private images of other people without their consent, in a tightening of the network’s policy just a day after it changed CEOs.
Under the new rules, people who are not public figures can ask Twitter to take down pictures or video of them that they report were posted without permission.
Twitter said this policy does not apply to “public figures or individuals when media and accompanying tweet text are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse.”
“We will always try to assess the context in which the content is shared and, in such cases, we may allow the images or videos to remain on the service,” the company added.
The right of Internet users to appeal to platforms when images or data about them are posted by third parties, especially for malicious purposes, has been debated for years.
Twitter already prohibited the publication of private information such as a person’s phone number or address, but there are “growing concerns” about the use of content to “harass, intimidate and reveal the identities of individuals,” Twitter said.
The company noted a “disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities.”
High-profile examples of online harassment include the barrages of racist, sexist and homophobic abuse on Twitch, the world’s biggest video game streaming site.
But instances of harassment abound, and victims must often wage lengthy fights to see hurtful, insulting or illegally produced images of themselves removed from the online platforms.
Some Twitter users pushed the company to clarify exactly how the tightened policy would work.
“Does this mean that if I take a picture of, say, a concert in Central Park, I need the permission of everyone in it? We diminish the sense of the public to the detriment of the public,” tweeted Jeff Jarvis, a journalism professor at the City University of New York.
The change came the day after Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey announced he was leaving the company, and handed CEO duties to company executive Parag Agrawal.
The platform, like other social media networks, has struggled against bullying, misinformation and hate-fueled content.


Latest top-100 rankings for creativity, effectiveness, media excellence in advertising revealed

Latest top-100 rankings for creativity, effectiveness, media excellence in advertising revealed
Updated 01 December 2021

Latest top-100 rankings for creativity, effectiveness, media excellence in advertising revealed

Latest top-100 rankings for creativity, effectiveness, media excellence in advertising revealed
  • Marketing intelligence firm WARC’s annual rankings are compilation of most important industry awards

DUBAI: International marketing intelligence company WARC has released its creative, effective, and media 100 suite of global rankings for marketing communications featuring the most awarded campaigns, agencies, and brands in the world for 2020.

The annual league tables compiled by the firm are produced by combining the winners’ lists from the industry’s most important global and regional awards shows.

The events chosen are determined by WARC’s rankings advisory board and a worldwide industry survey as well as by applying a proprietary three-step methodology.

Amy Rodgers, managing editor for research and rankings at WARC, said: “The results of the WARC Rankings 2021 bring together the most awarded campaigns and companies of 2020 and are a fantastic showcase of a combination of the best work the industry produced pre-coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic as well as exceptional work notable for its response to the volatility caused by COVID-19.”

Due to the global health crisis many award shows were paused last year, resuming in 2021 to judge work from both years, resulting in the WARC Rankings 2021 being postponed from the first quarter (Q1) of the year until now. The WARC Rankings 2022 (work tracked during 2021) will be released in Q1 next year.

The most highly ranked campaigns and companies of the WARC Rankings 2021 are as follows.

In the Creative 100 rankings, the top brands were Burger King, holding its No. 1 position, IKEA, and Diesel, and the leading agencies were DAVID Miami (part of Ogilvy), which climbed up from No. 23, Impact BBDO Dubai, and Publicis Milan.

Liz Taylor, Ogilvy’s global chief creative officer, said: “Topping the WARC Creative 100 speaks to the borderless creativity that unites Ogilvy’s global creative network, and what’s possible when creative thinking stretches across departments, geographies, and cultures to become a shared mission.”

In the Media 100 Rankings, the top brands were McDonald’s, Nike, and new entrant Always, with Mindshare Shanghai, MediaCom Connections Tel Aviv, and Mindshare Ho Chi Minh City heading up the agencies.

Mark Read, chief executive officer of WPP, said: “If our role is to make the best work, connect brands seamlessly with audiences, and produce outstanding results for our clients, then there’s no better endorsement than to top the WARC 100 rankings for creative, media, and effectiveness.”

In the Effective 100 rankings, the headline brands were McDonald’s, KFC, and Coca-Cola. The top agencies were categorized into creative, media, and digital/specialist.

Among the top creative agencies were FP7 McCann Dubai, and new entrants Colenso BBDO Auckland, and BMF Sydney; the leading media agencies were new entrant Carat London, Mindshare Istanbul, and Carat Auckland; and the top digital/specialist agencies were Ingage Istanbul and newcomers AFFINITY Sydney, and Tribal Worldwide Bogota.

Suzanne Powers, global president and chief strategy officer at McCann Worldgroup, said: “The WARC honor as the No. 1 most effective network for 2021, is a testament to our teams’ unwavering dedication to using the power of creativity to drive impact for our clients’ brands across all of our regions.”

The full rankings can be found here.