Twitter Suspended Accounts After Other People Abused a Policy



Twitter logoTwitter posted information on their blog titled: “Expanding our private information policy to include media”, on November 30, 2021. This policy was an update to the previous version, in which publishing other people’s private information, such as phone numbers, addresses, and IDs was already not allowed on Twitter.

How did this policy work out? Not very well at all. The Washington Post reported that Twitter said it had mistakenly suspended accounts under the new policy following a flood of “coordinated and malicious reports” targeting anti-extremism researchers and journalists.

Shortly after the rule was announced Tuesday, a group of far-right activists and white supremacists began urging their followers to file reports against accounts that are used to identify neo-Nazis, monitor extremists and document the attendees of hate rallies.

Twitter added a new category to the policy: media of private individuals without the permission of the person(s) depicted.

Twitter also provided information about sharing private media. Twitter needs a first-person report or a report from an authorized representative in order to make a determination that the image or video has been shared without permission.

According to The Washington Post, Twitter said the rule regarding the takedown of videos and photos was designed to prevent “the misuse of media to harass or intimidate private individuals,” and that it would make exceptions in cases where the photos or videos could add “value to public discourse.”

Twitter should have taken a moment to consider how the updated policy could be intentionally misused before it allowed the policy to take effect. Instead, Twitter learned the hard way what happens when it fails to take into account how malicious people on the platform could abuse a policy that was intended to provide protection.

A Twitter spokesperson told The Washington Post that the company had been overwhelmed with a “significant amount” of malicious reports and that its “enforcement teams made several errors” in the aftermath. The spokesperson did not detail how many reports had been filed, but said that “a dozen erroneous suspensions” had occurred.


Instagram Asks Users to Make Second Accounts



How long ago did you make your Instagram account? Is it something you still enjoy using? If not, you might consider making a second Instagram account. According to the Wall Street Journal, Instagram is allowing users to make a second account.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Instagram has quietly rolled out a pop-up over the past year that encourages users to “try a new account”. The notice says it will help people “keep up with a smaller group of friends” and explore their interests more easily.

Users get a choice of whether to link accounts – treating the second account as an extension of their first, like a new viewer profile in Netflix – or as a totally separate account with its own login, said Christine Pai, a spokesperson for Instagram’s parent, Meta Platforms, Inc. That determines whether Instagram considers this to be one active user or multiple. If the two accounts aren’t linked, a user can delete one with no impact on the other.

In my opinion, the option to make a second Instagram account might be beneficial for people who followed a bunch of accounts that they are no longer are interested in. That could mean accounts from brands and stores they no longer shop at. The option of making a new account could be useful for “influencers” who want some privacy.

In addition, teens who followed a lot of people upon joining Instagram might want a second account that they can start over with. It would give them the opportunity to be more selective about who they want to follow – and could help them avoid bullying. A person who realizes they are transgender, and who is now “out”, might want a new account that reflects the person they are today.


Apple Retail Employees are Struggling #1572



There is a pretty bad article out on how Apple treats its retail hourly employees. We know retail can be brutal but it seems some employees are having a very rough go of it.

One of our GNC family members is having a challenging time. I want to draw your attention to Sam Garcia’s resume. He has significant experience in Web, UI, UX Design, Front End Dev, Product Mgt. He is looking for remote work at this time. He has also setup a GoFundme for those wanting to donate direct.

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Microsoft in Trouble with EU on Bundling #1571



Microsoft is once again fighting against companies they have edged out through bundling making it harder for them to compete. There is an ongoing issue with companies that cry they cannot innovate when faced with competition so they go cry to a government agency hoping to get relief.

One of our GNC family members is having a challenging time. I want to draw your attention to Sam Garcia’s resume. He has significant experience in Web, UI, UX Design, Front End Dev, Product Mgt. He is looking for remote work at this time.

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Facebook Papers to be Released #1570



Facebook papers to be released by Gizmodo and others upon review. Should be a great read to see the inner workings of Facebook. I am back from Hawaii with a hell of a scare on my back all the details on the show and of course, I hope each of you here in America has a great Thanksgiving with your families and be safe out there. I lost a personal family friend to Covid complications so the danger is still out there.

Note you may start hearing pre-roll ads in front of each program I am testing a new Blubrry Podcasting feature.

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Pentagon Announced New Cloud Initiative to Replace JEDI



The Pentagon announced a limited request for bids for a new cloud initiative that replaces the cancelled $10 billion, decade-long JEDI contract initiative, TechCrunch reported.

As you may recall, the JEDI contract was contentiously fought over by Microsoft and Amazon, even after the Pentagon announced that they had selected Microsoft. Eventually, the JEDI cloud contract was cancelled.

CNBC reported that the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) said that the Defense Department has solicited bids on their new cloud initiative, called JWCC. It is known as Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability. The Defense Department has solicited bids from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Oracle for cloud contracts.

According to CNBC, the GSA announced the following: “The Government anticipates awarding two IDIQ contracts — one to Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) and one to Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft) — but intends to award to all Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) that demonstrate the capability to meet DoD’s requirements.”

This is being handled differently than how things were handled with the JEDI contract. This new cloud initiative appears to have an interest in working with both Microsoft and Amazon Web Services – but also seems to want to award other CSPs that can demonstrate the capability that meets the Department of Defense’s requirements. The JEDI contract was “winner take all” and that led to some complaints when the DoD chose Microsoft over Amazon.

According to TechCrunch, Microsoft and Amazon went to court over the decision, and the Pentagon got tired of it and decided to scrap the JEDI project altogether. As such, there is now a new cloud infrastructure project that appears to be interested in accepting both Microsoft and Amazon Web Services at the same time.

I cannot help but wonder if teams from those two companies will be able to work together, or if one will insist they are not being treated fairly. There is also the possibility that smaller CSPs, who don’t meet the DoD’s requirements, will end up going to court over this.


DuckDuckGo Introduced App Tracking Protection for Android



DuckDuckGo has introduced App Tracking Protection for Android into beta. It is a new feature in their existing app that will block third-party trackers like Google and Facebook lurking in other apps.

Across all your apps, your personal data is being sent to dozens of third-party companies, thousands of times per week. This data enables tracking networks like Facebook and Google to create even more detailed digital profiles on you. With those profiles, tracking networks can manipulate what you see online, target you with ads based on your behavior, and even sell your data to other companies like data brokers, advertisers, and governments.

According to DuckDuckGo, over 96% of the popular free Android apps they tested (based on AndroidRank.org rankings) contained hidden third-party trackers. Of those, 87% sent data to Google and 68% sent data to Facebook.

If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, you are protected by Apple’s App Tracking Transparency. This feature asks users in each app whether they want to allow third-party app tracking or not, with the vast majority of people opting-out.

Most smartphone users worldwide use Android, DuckDuckGo claims, where no similar feature to Apple’s App Tracking Transparency exists. As such, it makes sense for DuckDuckGo to create something similar that protects Android users from being tracked without their permission.

The App Tracking Protection from DuckDuckGo is currently in beta and is free. It blocks trackers it identifies in other apps from third-party companies (those different from the company that owns each app). The App Tracking Protection is built into the DuckDuckGo Android app.

I think this is an excellent solution, especially since it is created by DuckDuckGo, a company that clearly cares about privacy. It is unclear to me why Android smartphones don’t already have something like Apple’s App Tracking Transparency protections. In my opinion, users of Android phones should have the same protection as users of Apple’s iPhones and iPads do.