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Tag Archives: linkedin

LinkedIn to relaunch Groups in the flagship app as it looks to reverse ‘ghost town’ image

LinkedIn , the Microsoft-owned social networking platform for the working world with over 500 million users, is making a significant change as it continues to look for ways to make its platform more useful (and used). The company is relaunching Groups by rolling it into its main app by the end of the month after quietly pulling the standalone app earlier this year , and it will be streamlining the service by cutting out several features, including an ability for Group administrators to pre-moderate comments; and a way to email send Group posts as emails to the whole group, while also adding in new features like threaded replies and the ability to post video and other media. An announcement detailing the changes was sent out to a select Groups power users earlier today, and we have confirmed the details with LinkedIn directly. Mitali Pattnaik, the product manager for Groups, said that some of the discontinuations — such as the ability to approve posts before they are live — are temporary and will make their way back to the app in some form over time. The moves come nearly three years after LinkedIn tried another approach to put some more wind into Groups’ sails. In 2015, the company hived off an updated version of Groups into its own standalone app . Included in the changes, Groups were made private with the aim of reducing some of the spam that people were posting. The bigger idea was that, with some 2 million Groups already on LinkedIn, users would be able to dedicate more time to posting, reading and managing (if they were admins) those groups, and creating new groups, once they were in their own app. And on the part of LinkedIn, it would help the company focus on developing features specifically tailored to the Groups experience. But the move did not go down well. In the wake of the changes, reports started to surface about how the moves stifled usage of groups, turning the platform into what some were calling a ghost town . And LinkedIn itself, it seems, was finding it a challenge to continue updating the app, even as LinkedIn itself was getting enhanced with new features. “Being a standalone app, Groups was not able to take advantage of the overall LinkedIn ecosystem,” Pattnaik said. “Everything from the news feed to notifications to search, these things move at a fast pace, and the minute the apps got separated the main app innovated at a much faster pace and became more advanced than the standalone Groups app.” LinkedIn then quietly pulled the Groups app in February this year, as it announced plans to integrate the feature

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Snapchat monitors Infowars as Alex Jones promotes ‘censorship’ gag AR filter

Snapchat has largely escaped scrutiny about fake news and election interference because its content quickly disappears and its publisher hub, Discover, is a closed platform. But now the Infowars mess that’s plagued Facebook and YouTube has landed at Snap’s feet, as conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has begun tweeting to promote an augmented reality Snapchat Lens built by someone in his community that puts a piece of masking tape with the word “censorship” written over it across the mouth of the user with a “Free Infowars” logo in the screen’s corner. He’s also encouraging his followers to follow Infowars’ official Snapchat page. The situation highlights the whack-a-mole game of trying to police the fragmented social media space. There always seems to be another platform for those kicked off others for inciting violence, harassing people or otherwise breaking the rules. A cross-industry committee that helps coordinate enforcement might be necessary to ensure that as someone is booted from one platform, their presence elsewhere is swiftly reviewed and monitored for similar offenses. The new #Snapchat filter to get the word out about #FreeSpeech is available now! #FreeInfowars #IAmAlexJones Follow us on Snapchat: infowarslive Screenshot the snapcode at the end of the video to get it today! pic.twitter.com/RKjpcIBOto — Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones) August 7, 2018 “If they can shut me down, they can shut you down,” Jones says at the start of his 42-second video. He cites Facebook, Twitter and Google among those that are getting mobilized by “the Democrats” in aid of defeating opposing candidates in future elections. (In actual fact, Twitter and related sites like Periscope have, to the consternation of many, not removed Jones’ or Infowars’ accounts from its platform, and for that matter neither has LinkedIn ,  Google+ , or Instagram . Others like Pinterest  and Facebook itself have now gotten behind a wider move to start to take action against accounts like these to reduce the amount of sensationalized information being spread around in the name of “free speech.” You can see the full list of Infowars’ and Alex Jones’ active and now inactive social accounts here .) Jones himself doesn’t seem to have a Snapchat account, but Infowars’ website cites the “Infowarslive” handle as its official Snapchat profile, and it’s what Jones is now pointing fans toward. However, from what we understand from sources, the account has been inactive since early this year. Snap, according to these sources, is currently monitoring it to see what it does and whether that content violates community guidelines, which prohibit hate speech and harassment.

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Here are the platforms that have banned Infowars so far

Over the past two-and-a-half weeks, tech platforms have taken a (if sometimes meek) stance against the far-right and conspiracy theorist content of Alex Jones by removing, banning or penalizing Jones and his podcast Infowars for breaking their community and hate-speech policies. These removals signify an important moment in the history of the internet’s tug-of-war with free speech. Can a platform keep all its users safe without enforcing communities’ standards? Can a platform keep all its users “free” if it does? The conversation has really accelerated in the past few weeks, trickling down from big players like Apple to smaller platforms like Pinterest, so we’ve compiled a list to help keep track of the developments. YouTube The video platform started the conversation in late February and early March of this year when it removed a video from the channel (in which Jones referred to a victim of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting as a “crisis actor”) and subsequently demonetized Jones’ channel by removing ads. These two original moves came on the heels of outcry surrounding Logan Paul’s videos of the suicide forest and YouTube’s lax content moderating. While those strikes against Jones didn’t appear to entice any other platforms into the fray, YouTube’s most recent action against him  at the end of July has. On July 25th, the platform removed four of Jones’ videos for infringement on its hate-speech and child-endangerment policies. The videos contained Islamophobic and transphobic sentiments, as well as the depiction of a child being shoved to the ground by an adult to demonstrate “how to prevent liberalism.” Facebook While the social network had previously chosen  not to remove from Jones’ verified page inflammatory content aimed at Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the company did choose to take action following YouTube’s removal of Jones’ videos. On July 27th, the social network removed four videos for violating its community polices against encouraging physical harm or attacks based on someone’s religious affiliation or gender identity. The action resulted in a 30-day ban from posting videos on his personal Facebook and a warning for the Infowars page that Jones moderates. Spotify Just over a week later, on August 1st, the video streaming service removed several of Jones’ Infowars podcast episodes from its platform, stating that the episodes violated the company’s hate-content policy (which it revamped this May.) Similar to Facebook’s policy, Spotify’s states “content whose principal purpose is to incite hatred or violence against people because of their race, religion, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation” is considered in violation, but not content that is offensive without intent to incite harm. Stitcher Taking Spotify’s cue, the podcast app quickly followed with its own stance on August 2nd, and became one of the first platforms to fully remove the Infowars podcast (as well as Jones’ five other podcasts) from its platform instead of targeting certain episodes. In a tweet confirming the action, Stitcher said: We have reviewed Alex Jones’ podcasts and found he has, on multiple occasions, harassed or allowed harassment of private individuals and organizations, and that harassment has led listeners of the show to engage in similar harassment and other damaging activity

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