In major policy change YouTube is now taking down more videos of known extremists

 A spokeswoman told us YouTube has broadened its policy for taking down extremist content: Not just removing videos that directly preach hate or seek to incite violence but also removing other videos of named terrorists, unless the content is journalistic or educational in nature — such as news reports and documentaries.  Read More

Bike-share platform Spin poaches Seattle transit regulator and launches in a dozen new cities

 Spin, one of several bike-sharing companies now vying for dominance in a number of U.S. cities, has a new weapon to wield against its competitors: Kyle Rowe, the architect of Seattle’s permissive and apparently successful bike-share permit system, who is joining the company to work on government partnerships. In addition, Spin is gearing up to launch in a dozen or so new cities. Read More

Google offers new findings on Russian disinformation across its products

 Just a day before tech’s big Russia-focused Congressional hearings begin, Google is out with a new report on the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the U.S. presidential election across its platforms. “While we have found only limited activity on our services, we will continue to work to prevent all of it, because there is no amount of interference that is… Read More

Russian-backed content may have reached 126 million on Facebook

 Facebook has reportedly upped its estimate of how much content was produced by Russian-backed actors during the election and how widely that content was seen. According to prepared remarks due to be presented tomorrow but acquired by the Wall Street Journal today, the company estimates 80,000 pieces of content may have been viewed by a total of 126 million people. Read More

Senator Feinstein makes broad request for all ‘Russia-connected’ Twitter and Facebook user data

 The nature and extent of Russia or Russian-linked actors interfering with the election is yet to be determined, but it’s not for want of inquiries. Half of D.C. is looking into it in one way or another, and Senator Diane Feinstein is no exception. Today she sent letters to several parties involved, including Facebook and Twitter, asking for a variety of documents relating to her… Read More

Representatives Pelosi and DelBene: “No tolerance” for culture of harassment

 Washington Congresswoman Suzan DelBene and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently visited the UW’s Computer Science school to discuss the workplace of the 21st century and women’s place in it. Their talk covered a number of topics, but one given more serious consideration was that of sexual harassment in industries and disciplines dominated by men. Read More

Saudi Arabia bestows citizenship on a robot named Sophia

 Saudi Arabia just made a non-human woman a citizen, making it the first country to grant a robot the right to citizenship, at least as far as we know. Why it did so isn’t immediately evident, but the irony of a nation infamous for denying basic rights to its female citizens imbuing a robotic Audrey Hepburn lookalike with rights is not lost on us. Read More

Saudi Arabia bestows citizenship on a robot named Sophia

 Saudi Arabia just made a non-human woman a citizen, making it the first country to grant a robot the right to citizenship, at least as far as we know. Why it did so isn’t immediately evident, but the irony of a nation infamous for denying basic rights to its female citizens imbuing a robotic Audrey Hepburn lookalike with rights is not lost on us. Read More