2021.06.04 Last Week in Digital Media


Welcome to your Last Week in Digital Media and all the news you may have missed.

The week’s big news was Facebook’s response to the Oversight Board decision on former President Trump’s suspension. The short version is the suspension will now last two (2) years from the date of the original suspension. This doesn’t mean Trump will be allowed back on the platform, as Facebook does provide an allowance for additional review; in their words, “we will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded.”

Facebook is looking to bring transparency to the “newsworthiness test,” which is an oft-maligned loophole in Facebook’s content moderation policy. This includes publishing when newsworthiness is applied, and the policy will be applied the same way to political vs. individual posts (although it is hard to imagine how a non-high profile individual is somehow eligible to be newsworthy).

Facebook also published a 20-page detailed document (PDF link) outlining the response to every recommendation from the Oversight Board. The more interesting read is pp14 on, where Facebook responds to the request to review its role in the January 6, Washington DC riots. Facebook places blame at the feet of the insurrectionists, but it does note the number of accounts, pages, groups, and events linked (directly or indirectly) to the event that has been removed from the platform.

Finally, Facebook repeats calls for “thoughtful regulation,” but given the political hyperbole around alleged platform bias, Facebook’s reaction to regulations in countries like Australia, etc., it’s hard to imagine regulation in the US – thoughtful or otherwise on the horizon anytime soon.

Now onto the other news.


A lot of twitter updates this week (it’s almost a Last Week in Twitter newsletter worth), so breaking it into its own section:



  • Google is making changes to Android so that if a user opts out of interest-based advertising or ad personalization, Android will no longer share the device ID. This is not exactly what Apple is doing with ATT, but it moves Android (a little bit) in a similar direction to Apple.
  • privacy advocacy group NOYB has issued more than 500 draft GDPR privacy complaints, but what makes this interesting is it is automating the process and can issue up to 10,000. The initial complaints are friendly and provide guidance on addressing GDPR violations before a formal complaint is made.
  • according to recent research, American adults are not as good at spotting fake news as they like to think. The study doesn’t suggest that overconfidence increases the likelihood of sharing fake news but does imply adding friction to sharing like self-monitoring and pausing for reflection does reduce susceptibility to misinformation.
  • TikTok updated its Privacy Policy to enable it to collect and use biometric data. There is nothing nefarious about the change (could be for user safety, brand safety, account security, or advertising, etc.), but worth knowing and reading the updated terms. A random piece of trivia for you, some of the popular social apps in China let you sign in with your voice, doing away with the need for passwords.

Have a great week.


PS. A distraction for you. If you recall that earlier item about the study saying people are not as good at spotting fake news and you think you are above average, try this (unrelated) quiz on FakeFact.com and see if you can spot misinformation. You may even learn something. And a bonus distraction, if you have kids and want to do a fun and safe experiment, this is cool.


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