Twitter Cracks Down on QAnon Conspiracy Theory 

  • Twitter has announced sweeping measures aimed at cracking down on the QAnon conspiracy theory, including banning thousands of accounts.
  • Followers of QAnon believe “deep-state” traitors are plotting against Donald Trump and the conspiracy theory has now jumped from fringe social media sites to mainstream attention.
  • The social media giant said it would also stop recommending content linked to QAnon and block URLs associated with it from being shared on the platform
  • Twitter said it hoped the action would help to prevent “offline harm”. In a statement shared on the platform, Twitter said it would permanently suspend accounts that violate its policies while tweeting about QAnon.

Facebook Begins Labelling Politician’s Posts in US Election 

  • Facebook has begun labelling posts from US President Donald Trump about voting, including one that claimed current rules on postal votes could lead to a “corrupt” election. 
  • It follows a promise to begin labelling all posts about voting in the 2020 election, from any politician, but is largely seen as a compromise, as people will still struggle to distinguish legitimate posts about the election from misinformation.
  • This policy was implemented in June, following criticism that the social network was not doing enough to tackle misinformation.
  • This story comes on the back of yesterday’s news following the UK Intelligence and Security Committee’ s report that claimed social media companies need to do more to tackle ‘influence campaigns’ seeking to alter public thought for political gain.

Roblox to Host Virtual Private Parties

  • The popular video game Roblox is adding its own private space for users to host virtual private birthday parties and social gatherings, in response to Fortnite’s largely successful virtual events. 
  • Unlike Fortnite’s Party Royale mode, which is a small public island full of activities for the entire community to enjoy, including concerts and movie screenings, Roblox’s “Party Place” is a specific venue for players to host their own events. From Party Place, the group can chat and hang out as they decide which Roblox game they plan to play next.
  • The company’s new “Party Place” venue is based on existing technology which the gaming company built to accommodate its own virtual events, including its 7th Annual Bloxy Awards and the One World: Together At Home concert.

Facebook Launches Study into Racial Bias in Algorithms Used

  • Facebook is creating internal teams dedicated to studying its main social networks for racial bias, including whether its algorithms use artificial intelligence, which may adversely affect Black, Hispanic, and other underrepresented groups. 
  • According to a Facebook spokesperson, the team will be “tasked with ensuring fairness and equitable product development are present in everything we do”. 
  • This new equity team marks a departure for the company, which has historically resisted internal efforts to study the effects of racial bias.
  • This news also comes amid a continued advertising boycott of Facebook under the #StopHateForProfit movement which includes Coca Cola and Northface.

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