Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
"WHITEHOUSE: Okay. And I gather that all of your companies have moved beyond any notion that your job is only to provide a platform, and whatever goes across it is not your affair?"

This is a crunch question for these companies - do they merely provide a platform for others, or do they bear some responsibility for the content they deliver.

They didn't answer this question directly, because to do so would be to open themselves open to civil liability for any defamations appearing on their platform.

Instead they answered specifically in the context of Russian interference in US elections because it "not only creates a bad user experience but distrust for the platform."

The same could be said for Trump - that he "creates not only a bad user experience but distrust for the platform of government..."

Understatement of the year, perhaps...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 6th, 2017 at 05:02:19 PM EST
This exchange between the witnesses and subcommittee members is a performance of their agreement, "social media platform" (publishers) will execute US government laws prohibiting "hate speech" and foreign-funded electioneering to the best of their ability. This 10 minutes is precise of two-hours more of witness interrogation by other subcommittee members to ascertain current technical abilities and capacities and obtain explicit agreement from each corporation's officer.

To summarize: The witnesses testified, each relies on paid human-int (employees), user complaints, and automated rules ("algorithms") in combination to identify, evaluate, or validate objectionable "user content". Note also SALGADO's responses and silences throughout the hearing as subtle counterfactual.

The headline topic "Extremist Content and Russian Disinformation Online" is pretext to secure far more ranging cooperation from these publishers to police "user content", eg. number of cell text message responses to a posted solicitation, and legal identity of "users", eg. "beneficial owner of a (shell) corporation". In generally, Democratic Party members were preoccupied with instances of suspected Russian "meddling and interference" such as false voter instructions; Republican Party members were skeptical of witnesses' claims in terms of operating capacities and technical expertise to avoid first amendment violations.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Nov 6th, 2017 at 05:48:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Learning to Love McCarthyism
Trying to appease Congress and fend off threats of government regulation, the rich tech companies displayed their eagerness to eradicate any Russian taint.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Nov 7th, 2017 at 04:30:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
@ 00:39:07
WHITEHOUSE: And ultimately you are American companies and threats to American election security and threats to our peace and order are things that concern you greatly. Correct?
STRETCH: That is certainly correct.
SALGADO: That's right.
WHITEHOUSE: What I would like to do, and I don't have the time for here is to ask you all to answer a question for the record that I will ask now which is, Give us the key benchmarks of how you have improved with dealing with this problem in recent months or recent years; what your goal posts are ahead that you have not yet achieved but you're slated or intend to achieve to deal with this problem? Now that's two. Three would be, What does success look like to you? What can you come to us to say, We have accomplished X, therefore you as a congress don't need to worry about legislating in this space or creating regulations or holding more hearings because we have now gotten America's back? Can you do that for me?
WHITEHOUSE: You are all also corporations have I believe headquarters and significant operations in the state of California. California has a state law regarding disclosure. Presumably you comply with that state law with regard to customers in California ah Are there lessons and recommendations that you would have for us in evaluating the effectiveness of the California disclosure law? [PAUSE] And given the short amount of time I have, I suppose, give me just a very very brief do you follow that law and, and very brief response to it, and then we can flesh out any question for the record how much of a model that might be for this committee to look at.
STRETCH: So, Senator, we comply with all applicable law. In terms of disclosure going forward we made an announcement last week that we drew on some of the ideas from the ah Honest Ads Act which Senator Klobuchar had introduced ah intended to ah bring ads' transparency um really into the political realm, creating a repository of searchable ads, providing innovative ways to  for advertisers to meet their disclosure requirements, and requiring documentation and information so that we can ensure that advertisers are not running political ads on Facebook in violation of federal election law.
WHITEHOUSE: So let me ask what will probably be my last question of this round anyway which is that you are all prepared as I understand it to undertake to make sure that you can trace content that goes across your platform that qualifies for concern in this area back to a legitimate source. So you know if it's a Russian who's actually running it, so if you know it's an imaginary entity that's actually running it. How do you deal with the problem of a legitimate and lawful but phony American shell corporation? One that calls itself, say, Americans for Puppies and Prosperity has a drop box as its address and a fifty million dollar check in its bank book that it''s using to spend to manipulate election outcomes?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Nov 7th, 2017 at 05:50:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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