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Inside Social (May 15th, 2019)

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1. Facebook, Twitter, Alphabet, and Microsoft, along with the governments of the UK, Canada, France and Australia, have all signed on to a pledge to squelch extremist content known as the "Christchurch Call," but the White House is refusing. Citing concerns about free speech, the Trump administration issued a statement saying, "While the United States is not currently in a position to join the endorsement, we continue to support the overall goals reflected in the Call." Critics like New York Times opinion columnist Charlie Warzel have been reacting on Twitter, noting that this is a non-binding resolution and the White House's refusal to sign seems to be some sort of dog whistle to the far right. – TECHCRUNCH

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2. In conjunction with the "Christchurch Call," Facebook has announced a new "one-strike" policy for live-streaming. The platform is launching a new policy Wednesday that will ban users from live-streaming if they have violated any of the company's "most serious policies" within 30 days. The rule will apply to terrorist propaganda as well as other types of content, and offending users will be banned from purchasing ads as well. The move comes six weeks after COO Sheryl Sandberg hinted that such a change was in the works, in the wake of the Christchurch shooting. – CNN

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3. Twitter executives are working on an overhaul of the platform in an attempt to improve civility, but the open nature of Twitter may make such retroactive changes near impossible. CEO Jack Dorsey has talked a lot recently about wanting to "increase the health of public conversation" and reduce the level of toxicity on the platform. BuzzFeed sat in on some of the internal discussions happening at the company, particularly concerning how the beta-testing app twttr is being used to try out new ways of making conversations more cogent, and less reactionary. Hiding likes and better organization of replies will only take the platform so far, and Dorsey himself has admitted that "Twitter tends to incentivize outrage, fast takes, short term thinking, echo chambers, and fragmented conversation and consideration." In other words, Twitter is hoping to change people's behavior, which seems ambitious to say the least, says BuzzFeed. – BUZZFEED

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4. A new report by the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab shows how a pro-Iran group, likely funded and controlled by the Iranian government, builds disinformation campaigns to attack Iran's adversaries. The group, which Citizen Lab dubbed Endless Mayfly for the purpose of the report, is the same one behind hundreds of fake accounts and pages on Facebook and Twitter that both companies purged last summer. One key to their methods is "typosquatting," registering domains that are similar, but just one or two letters off, from respectable news sources, in order to publish fake news articles which they then spread using fake social media identities. – NEW YORK TIMES

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5. Twitter joined Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest on Friday in cracking down on and trying to curb the spread of anti-vaxxer content. Twitter now pops up a "Know the Facts" message with a link to vaccines.gov when users search for certain keywords. –  VICE

6. The viral online drama between beauty vloggers Tati Westbrook and James Charles, in which the latter has lost millions of YouTube subscribers over callouts on his offline behavior, has made for good content-making across the creator-verse. Many YouTubers with no direct connection to the spat are gaining viewers and subscribers themselves just by explaining and gossiping about the situation themselves. – THE VERGE

7. Gay dating/hookup app Scruff has combined the format of HQ Trivia with the flirting potential of a Facebook Watch Party, via its new mobile queer trivia game Hosting. The game airs live, every other day, at the same time as HQ Trivia (9 p.m. ET), and winners also share a cash prize — but in the chat they're able to "woof" at each other and potentially meet up later. – THE VERGE

8. Political activists are using app workarounds, including one that costs $14, to bypass the anti-spam controls that WhatsApp has installed ahead of India's general election.

9. Facebook is testing out new link and mention stickers for Stories. 

10. Yet another new Snapchat filter, this one replacing a face with a baby version of that face, is being used to great effect with celebrity photos.

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Inside Social is written and curated by Jay Barmann. Jay spent eight years covering the social media space and the tech world in general for SFist.com, the San Francisco branch of Gothamist, where he served as editor-in-chief. As editor of Grub Street San Francisco, he covered food and booze stories around the Bay Area. As a freelance writer he has also written for SF Weekly, 7x7, Curbed SF, Eater SF, Eventbrite, New York Magazine, and San Francisco Magazine, among others, and in his spare time he edits the blog OpeningNightSF. Follow him on Instagram at @conflator or Twitter at @jaybarmann.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside); Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, who runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram); and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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