Ashley Rae Goldenberg

MRCTV reporter


Latest from Ashley Rae Goldenberg

A new poll by the Pew Research Center shows a majority of Americans do not believe the government should rein in the spread of fake news.



A 19-year-old from Liverpool was reportedly found guilty of sending a “grossly offensive message” when she posted rap lyrics on her Instagram account. Prosecutors reportedly increased the teenager’s sentence “as it was a hate crime.”



A resident of the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn was reportedly banned from Facebook for 30 days for discussing the problem of black-on-Jewish crime in the area.

 


With over 6 million subscribers, Philip DeFranco is one of the most prolific and popular YouTubers. The site’s lack of transparency when it comes to demonetization, however, is driving him and many other YouTubers away. DeFranco, like other YouTubers, also claimed his videos are being suppressed by internal YouTube algorithms.

 


Instagram, Facebook’s popular photo-sharing app, has a blanket ban on nudity. This has not stopped the gay news site PinkNews from instructing users how to track down lesbian porn through the site. More than three-fourths of teens under 18 use Instagram.



Facebook wants you to know it’s not the only website that collects data from users.

The company addressed users’ concerns about privacy, which were highlighted during CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony on Capitol Hill last week, in a news release that tries to shift the conversation to Twitter, YouTube, and others participating in the same data-collecting methods that have earned Facebook scorn.



Last week, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman ignited a firestorm when he told Reddit users he would not ban the /r/the_donald subreddit, the pro-President Trump message board, over dubious claims of racism.



Executive Summary

Like it or not, social media is the communication form of the future — not just in the U.S., but worldwide. Just Facebook and Twitter combined reach 1.8 billion people. More than two-thirds of all Americans (68 percent) use Facebook. YouTube is pushing out TV as the most popular place to watch video. Google is the No. 1 search engine in both the U.S. and the world.

War is being declared on the conservative movement in this space and conservatives are losing — badly. If the right is silenced, billions of people will be cut off from conservative ideas and conservative media.

It’s the new battleground of media bias. But it’s worse. That bias is not a war of ideas. It’s a war against ideas. It’s a clear effort to censor the conservative worldview from the public conversation.



The White House officially waded into the controversy surrounding conservative censorship on social media.

 

During a press briefing on Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders answered a question by a Breitbart reporter about conservative voices who say they have been suppressed online, particularly by Facebook. The reporter, Michelle Moons, asked Sanders, “Is the White House concerned with Facebook’s efforts to silence conservatives?”



While testifying in front of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the former Obama campaign staffer who claimed the company allowed the Obama campaign to do things “they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side” was lying.



Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg ran smack into questions about the site’s neutrality during his testimony in front of members of the U.S. Senate on Tuesday. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) questioned Zuckerberg, asking if the site is a neutral platform for people to express different political opinions. Zuckerberg said he is “very committed to making sure that Facebook is a platform for all ideas.”



Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg heads to Capitol Hill this week to address criticisms regarding his company’s handling of data and privacy.

It’s always difficult to predict congressional hearings and Zuckerberg faces one each in the House and Senate. In an ideal world, here are five questions conservatives would love to see him address in a public forum.



Facebook is relying on Wikipedia to help users establish the credibility of news sources even though Wikipedia describes one of the major conservative publications, Breitbart, as “misogynistic, xenophobic, and racist.” At the same time, however, feminist site Jezebel’s entry does not contain a warning about the political nature of its articles.



As Facebook is currently embroiled in controversy surrounding its treatment of users’ personal information, a Bloomberg story draws attention to the fact that messages sent through Messenger are scanned by Facebook’s automatic tools.

A Facebook spokesperson told Bloomberg the site scans links and photos sent through the Messenger service in order to crack down on malicious links and child pornography. The spokesperson said, “For example, on Messenger, when you send a photo, our automated systems scan it using photo matching technology to detect known child exploitation imagery or when you send a link, we scan it for malware or viruses.”



Snapchat and Instagram have restored users’ ability to use GIF library GIPHY after the discovery of a racist GIF sticker caused the companies to temporarily disable the service.

According to TechCrunch, both companies briefly pulled GIPHY from their platforms in March after learning of a racist sticker in GIPHY’s database. One user on Twitter reported that when she searched for the word “crime,” she discovered a sticker that used the n-word, used a “crime death counter,” and featured a monkey named “Bonzo.”



The New York Times is what Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg considers “good, trustworthy” journalism. During an interview with Vox's Ezra Klein, Zuckerberg spoke about attempts by Facebook to crack down on what is deemed “fake news.” Zuckerberg laid out three kinds of fake news: spammers, state actors, and legitimate news sources that are “speaking their truth” although they may have “varying levels of accuracy or trustworthiness.”

 


The National Rifle Association responded to YouTube’s announcement that it will ban more gun-related videos by accusing the site of “political posturing and censorship.” In a statement reported by The Hill, a YouTube spokesperson announced that starting next month, the site will broaden its ban on gun-related content. The new rules will prohibit videos that show how to assemble firearms and videos that advertise websites where users can purchase guns and gun accessories.



A federal judge dismissed PragerU’s lawsuit against Google on Monday. The suit alleged that Google’s video-sharing site, YouTube, violated the First Amendment by placing certain PragerU videos under its “Restricted Mode.”

In the suit filed in October 2017, PragerU argued that placing the channel’s videos under YouTube’s “Restricted Mode” “violates its fundamental First Amendment rights under both the California and United States Constitutions [...].” The lawsuit also accused Google of “speech discrimination” by engaging in “censorship based entirely on the perceived identity and political viewpoint of the speaker not on the content of the speech.”



Android users who installed Facebook’s Messenger app on their devices may have had their call and text histories logged for approximately two years, according to a report in Ars Technica.

Ars Technica reported that the issue occurred when certain Android users downloaded Messenger in 2015. Apparently, Facebook started chronicling information related to phone calls and text messages made from their Android devices. Users discovered the data use after they downloaded an archive of their Facebook account data.