social media

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Cops: Woman Posed as Boy, Seduced Teen Girls

Gemma Watts, 21, may have sexually assaulted up to 50 victims, police say

(Newser) - A 21-year-old UK woman has been accused of posing as a teen boy, grooming four teen girls online, then meeting up with and sexually assaulting them—and cops say she could have as many as 50 victims all together. Per the BBC , police say Gemma Watts pretended she was 16-year-old... More »

Facebook: Government, Not Us Should Regulate Political Ads

Company says it won't fact-check ads

(Newser) - Despite escalating pressure ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Facebook reaffirmed its freewheeling policy on political ads Thursday, saying it won’t ban them, won’t fact-check them and won’t limit how they can be targeted to specific groups of people. Instead, Facebook said it will offer users slightly... More »

Facebook Announces Ban on 'Deepfake' Videos

But 'cheapfakes' can apparently stay

(Newser) - Facebook is banning "deepfake" videos ahead of the 2020 election—but critics say the company isn't going far enough in dealing with doctored content. Facebook said in a blog post Monday that it is going to remove "misleading manipulated media" if it has been altered "in... More »

Social-Media Posts Will Cost Woman $200K

Noelle Halcrow mounted a 'relentless' social-media campaign, judge says

(Newser) - A Vancouver woman owes her ex-boyfriend $200,000 after defaming him with what a judge called a "relentless" and "malicious" social-media campaign, the CBC reports. The ruling went against Noelle Halcrow, who had posted over 85 messages calling ex-boyfriend Brandon Rook a "no-good drunkard" and "down-and-out... More »

This 'Big-Eared Creature' Is Crushing 2 New Dems

Baby Yoda of 'Star Wars' series debuted as Bloomberg, Patrick entered race, with more buzz

(Newser) - A "diminutive, doe-eyed, big-eared creature" is giving two new 2020 candidates for president a run for their money. That's how the New York Post describes Baby Yoda, a character in the Star Wars series The Mandalorian who's said to have "conquered the world" since the show'... More »

Teen Posts About 'Another Holocaust,' Gets Banned

Feroza Aziz talked about more than beauty in TikTok video

(Newser) - TikTok's decision to ban a US teenager and suddenly reverse course didn't pass unnoticed on Thanksgiving Day. "TikTok is trying to cover up this whole mess," Feroza Aziz, 17, tells the Washington Post . "I won't let them get away with this." It all... More »

Twitter Halts Deletion Plan

There was an outcry over deceased users

(Newser) - The Great Twitter Cull of 2019 is now on hold. The company says it is pausing plans to delete millions of inactive accounts until it has a way for people to preserve the accounts of deceased loved ones, CNN reports. When Twitter announced plans to delete accounts of users who... More »

Twitter Is Going to Cull Accounts That Haven't Been Used for 6 Months

Users have until Dec. 11 to keep accounts active

(Newser) - Twitter is planning the biggest cull in its history, but users are unlikely to sense a great disturbance as millions of accounts are suddenly silenced. The company says only accounts that have been inactive for six months or longer will be deleted, the BBC reports. Twitter will start culling them... More »

5 Takeaways From Zuckerberg's House Hearing

Waters told him Facebook should address 'failures' before launching cryptocurrency

(Newser) - Mark Zuckerberg faced a grilling from lawmakers on the House Financial Services Committee over Facebook's plans for a cryptocurrency —but the questioning went beyond the Libra project to include issues like the Cambridge Analytica scandal and Facebook's record on diversity. "We aren’t perfect, and we... More »

Mitt Romney Admits He Is 'Pierre Delecto'

He has been using name on 'lurker' Twitter account

(Newser) - You might know him as mild-mannered Sen. Mitt Romney. But on Twitter, he is Pierre Delecto, fearless defender of ... Mitt Romney. After the Utah senator mentioned in an Atlantic profile Sunday that he has a "lurker" Twitter account that he uses to follow journalists and athletes, among others, Ashley... More »

Jennifer Aniston's Instagram Debut Set a New Record

Her profile was so popular it crashed the app

(Newser) - Jennifer Aniston joined Instagram on Tuesday—and her debut will be hard to top. So many people viewed her newly created profile that it caused the app to crash, CNN reports. The Guinness Book of World Records says she set a new record by getting 1 million followers in just... More »

Facebook Video Ad Scam Costs It $40M

Company was accused of inflating the amount of time users watched videos

(Newser) - Facebook has agreed to pay $40 million to advertisers who said it inflated the amount of time its users watched videos. The San Jose Mercury News says the California-based social media giant denied any wrongdoing in a lawsuit settlement. The settlement notice was filed Friday by the plaintiffs in Oakland... More »

Day Before Wedding, Woman Tells Fiance to Turn Himself In

She saw an online post apparently showing him robbing a bank to pay for ring, venue

(Newser) - Coming up with the cash to pay for a wedding can be a stressful endeavor, and in a case out of Texas, it turned out to be a criminal endeavor for a groom-to-be. ABC News reports that Heath Edward Bumpous was arrested and charged with aggravated robbery after a Friday... More »

Science Teacher on Leave After Greta Thunberg Comment

'Dont have my sniper rifle'

(Newser) - Matt Baish is a science teacher at Iowa's Waterloo West High School, but he apparently doesn't like the science that Greta Thunberg is promoting—and he's now been placed on administrative leave over an online comment. The Des Moines Register reports that, in advance of a visit... More »

Teen's Messages With Other Boy Were Posted. Hours Later, He Was Dead

Channing Smith, 16, killed himself in his Tennessee home

(Newser) - On the night of Sunday, Sept. 22, Channing Smith, 16, saw that private, sexually explicit messages between himself and a male classmate had been posted to Instagram and Snapchat. Within hours, Channing was dead, having taken his own life. His family says the cyberbullying is to blame; the Tennessee high... More »

Facebook Probe Leads to a Big Change

The company is suspending tens of thousands of apps

(Newser) - Looks like Facebook is cleaning house. The social media giant says its "app developer investigation" has led the company to suspend tens of thousands of apps, TechCrunch reports. Some were banned outright "for any number of reasons including inappropriately sharing data obtained from us, making data publicly available... More »

DiCaprio's Gal Opens Up to Online Haters

Camila Morrone takes issue with comments on Instagram

(Newser) - Maybe it was the comparison? Camila Morrone—known to many as Leonardo DiCaprio's girlfriend—got a faceful of negativity for posting an Instagram photo comparing their romance to that of two Hollywood icons, E! Online reports. "A love like this," wrote 22-year-old Morrone with a photo of... More »

First Came the Murders, Then the Online Trolls

Frank Rzucek, father of Shannan Watts, urges social media sites to combat online abuse

(Newser) - The family of a pregnant Colorado mother who was murdered along with her two young daughters say they've been subject to "a constant stream of ugly, evil insults and attacks" over the last 11 months. "To online social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter—we have... More »

Beauty Queen Loses Her Crown Over Tweets

Kathy Zhu says she's 'seen this happen before'

(Newser) - For one beauty queen, her tweets meant her crown. Kathy Zhu, 20, has been told she's no longer Miss Michigan 2019 because her "social media accounts contain offensive, insensitive and inappropriate content." Zhu blames her remarks about hijabs and black violence for the uncrowning: "I have... More »

Philadelphia Expected to Fire Cops After Database Reveals Offensive Posts

As many as 13 could be fired after database catalogs offensive Facebook posts

(Newser) - Some fallout from the database published online in June that catalogs thousands of racist or otherwise offensive Facebook posts of current and former police officers: Sources tell the Philadelphia Inquirer the city's police department plans to start the process of firing officers whose posts were documented there. As many... More »

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