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February 24, 2012

Tumblr Bans Self Harm Blogs, Desposes Of “Pro-Anorexia” Sites

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TumblrUber-popular blogging platform Tumblr announced on Thursday that it would remove “self-harm” promoting websites by targeting pro-anorexia blogs and other self-harm accounts that have popped up on the popular blog system.

The company’s new policy will not allow any blogging sites to promote self injury which range from anorexia and bulimia blogs to cutting and other acts of self-harm.

In the company’s official Tumblr post they clearly state that the new policy ”is intended to reach only those blogs that cross the line into active promotion or glorification.” That means you can still joke about starving yourself but the moment you talk about ways to create that starvation you’ll be in trouble.

Furthering its reach Tumblr will begin shows PSAs whenever searchers on their platform look for self-harm terms such as ”thinspiration,” “proana,” and “purging.” Those PSAs will feature contact information for groups that can help people looking for assistance with their self-harm issues.  read more

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February 7, 2012

Google Blogger Content Removed From Certain Domains Following Warning From India

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India Google BloggerGoogle Inc. on Monday removed content from various blogger specific domains in India after the countries leaders warned a “China type response” if the company didn’t better censor content deemed “religiously inappropriate.”

The request comes one week after Google announced plans to censor blogger platform content in certain countries through specific URL domain protocols. For example a post may be banned in India but still show up in a country where freedom of speech is available.

Speaking about the request Google representative Paroma Roy Chowdhury  noted:

“(Our) review team has looked at the content and disabled this content from the local domains of (Google) search, Youtube and Blogger.” read more

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January 23, 2012

SOPA Clearly Isn’t the Answer to Online Piracy

I honestly don’t fully know the best way to combat online piracy; but I do know that the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) isn’t it. The bill would create a plethora of problems if it were passed. Let’s be real here, copyright infringement and piracy are real problems that need real solutions, but when you spot a weed growing in your front yard, do you dig up the entire lawn to get rid of it? No, you pull that weed, and ONLY that weed, out of the ground and you do your best to monitor the lawn for any future weeds.

User-Generated Content Sites and SOPA

Censored by SOPA

One of the complaints that you’ll consistently hear about the SOPA bill is that it is way too generalized and all-encompassing. For instance, under SOPA, a site will be considered dedicated to the theft of U.S. intellectual property if it is “primarily designed or operated for the purpose of offering services in a manner that enables or facilitates copyright infringement”. Well, take YouTube for example; the online video site serves an average of 100 million videos every single day. The majority of it is uploaded by users, who can remain anonymous with minimal effort if they so choose. Under SOPA, YouTube can be considered a site that is primarily designed in a way that enables copyright infringement because of those reasons. Totally nuts. Blog owners might find themselves harboring illegal content through RSS, and pay the price for it; who knows anymore? read more

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March 12, 2011

Flickr Removes Egyptian Blogger’s Photos Of Secret Service Documents

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Social Media played a huge part in helping the Egyptian populace coordinate a revolution that the whole world followed. Despite the new defunct Mubarak’s attempts to silence the people by disconnecting all internet connectivity in the country, updates were still sent out by Bloggers using old school mediums such as faxing. Following Mubarak’s fall, we’re still receiving updates on the Egyptian revolution thanks to the brave Bloggers, Journalists and Photographers giving us an intimate view of a country going through a massive change.

Many photos were shared through Flickr but the photo sharing network has acted to take down an Egyptian Blogger’s photos of the revolutions.

read more

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January 28, 2011

Egypt Shuts Down The Internet. Now What?

Unable to contain the unrest in the streets, Egypt has apparently cut off internet access throughout the country (preventing bloggers from even emailing their posts in order to get around the social networking ban).

The Egyptian government is even reportedly turning off SMS as well as landlines in order to keep people from communicating to the outside world.

With very few bloggers able to blog, tweet or Facebook events happening in one of the worlds oldest countries, what measures should bloggers take in order to get the word out?

While it’s uncertain what steps the Egyptian government will take in order to keep the word out from what is happening in Egypt, here are a couple of measures bloggers can take to make sure their voices are not silenced. read more

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May 27, 2010

Pakistan Unblocks YouTube, Facebook Still Considered Evil

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After blocking YouTube and Facebook due to the “Everybody Draw Muhammed Day” fan page, it looks as if the government has come to its senses and has lifted the ban against YouTube (well almost).

According to the AFP, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (aka PTA) decided to lift the ban against Youtube save for 550 sites that it deems “inappropriate” (probably due to sacrilegious content making fun of Islam’s founder).

Currently the nation of Pakistan blocks about 1,200 sites total, of which YouTube receives the greatest amount of censorship.

Unfortunately for Facebook Pakistani fans, the blue and white social network still remains banned within the border until May 31st, although its unclear whether or not that ban will be extended into June.

Hopefully the courts will seriously consider unblocking Facebook, as blocking an entire website over the actions of a few is (to put it bluntly) idiotic and ridiculous as it only hurts the average Pakistani resident (who probably uses Facebook to communicate with friends and family).

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May 20, 2010

Good News: Political Blogs May Be Regulated By The FEC

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It look like American bloggers could face a new threat that may make people think twice before criticizing their political leaders online.

Apparently the US government thinks bloggers are becoming a public hazard, and like a few other industries (i.e. airplanes, banks and nuclear power plants) need to be regulated by the government (in this case the Federal Election Commission).

The Obama administration has announced plans to regulate the Internet through the Federal Communications Commission, extending its authority over broadband providers to police web traffic, enforcing “net neutrality.”

Last week, a congressional hearing exposed an effort to give another agency—the Federal Election Commission—unprecedented power to regulate political speech online. At a House Administration Committee hearing last Tuesday, Patton Boggs attorney William McGinley explained that the sloppy statutory language in the “DISCLOSE Act” would extend the FEC’s control over broadcast communications to all “covered communications,” including the blogosphere. (Reason.com)

This law would probably extend to Twitter as well, not to mention Facebook too (the latter who is embroiled in another censorship case via Pakistan). read more

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October 16, 2009

China Continues to Build The Great Firewall

The Lost Laowai blog has updated its list of blocked website in China. New additions include Friendfeed, Vimeo and URL shorteners Bit.ly and Post.ly, to just name a few. These sites and services join Twitter, YouTube, WordPress.com and TypePad blogs, Facebook, Tumblr, and a bunch of other sites where you can speak your mind. See the post for more on this.

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October 13, 2009

Note to Trafigura/Carter Ruck: you can’t suppress Twitter

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No matter how hard a bunch of fat cat solicitors representing a globally polluting oil company try to suppress traditional reporting of what happens in British parliament, they have no control over Twitter and the blogosphere.

And that’s exactly how it should be.

The Guardian may have been placed in a farcical position where not only could it not report on a certain question due to be asked in Parliament this week because of an injunction, but it couldn’t even report what the injunction was:

Today’s published Commons order papers contain a question to be answered by a minister later this week. The Guardian is prevented from identifying the MP who has asked the question, what the question is, which minister might answer it, or where the question is to be found.

The Guardian is also forbidden from telling its readers why the paper is prevented – for the first time in memory – from reporting parliament. Legal obstacles, which cannot be identified, involve proceedings, which cannot be mentioned, on behalf of a client who must remain secret.

The only fact the Guardian can report is that the case involves the London solicitors Carter-Ruck, who specialise in suing the media for clients, who include individuals or global corporations.

read more

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June 18, 2009

What Can The Iranians Read Online?

The situation in Iran is still abuzz on Twitter, but what can the Iranians access online? HerdictWeb’s got a list, built on reports from users. If you can, do contribute to the list, and read the Herdict Blog post on the matter.

You might also be interested in the collected stories about Iran by GlobalVoices, frequently updated on a geographical level. Also, this BusinessWeek story (Techmeme discussion) claims that social media hasn’t been instrumental in getting Iranian protesters to the street, SMS texting and word of mouth has been. Hardly surprising, but the #iranelection buzz almost made it sound like that was the only means of communication at one time, which of course was never the case.

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