When Russia recently expanded their invasion into Ukraine they clamped down on what they called “fake news”, meaning that the increased their censorship. Many western-owned media companies were banned from operating within Russia while other companies continued to operate but with high levels of censorship. The popular app TikTok kept running in the country and now serves vastly different content to Russians than it does to others. The Ukrainian city of Kharkiv is not that far from the Russian city of Belgorod yet what they see about the war couldn’t be further apart.
NRK recently looked into TikTok filter bubbles and it’s a good reminder for all of us to alway check our filter bubbles so we don’t fall prey to manipulation. Check other country’s news and thoughts on matters for a variety of perspectives. As always, use reason.
In Kharkiv, the war is raging. In recent weeks, hundreds of thousands of videos like this have been uploaded to TikTok.
The social medium has become a place where an increasing number of people are looking for the latest news about the Ukraine war – although it can be difficult to know what’s real.
In Belgorod, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are blocked. Chinese-owned TikTok still operates as one of the few global, non-Russian platforms.
But will a TikTok user who lives here get to see any of what’s going on in the Ukrainian neighbouring city?
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has launched on the dark web to help those in authoritarian regimes access international news. To access the the site one only need the Tor browser and don’t need to use a VPN to get around national censorship firewalls. The TOR browser works anonymously by connecting to other TOR computers to generate a connection that cannot be traced to its source, so if you’re accessing a banned site from your country it’s nearly impossible to trace the connection back to your computer. As companies like Google track everything we do online we may all need to familiarize ourselves with privacy-focussed solutions. Check out the TOR browser and practice good digital protections.
The Tor browser is privacy-focused software used to access the dark web.
The browser can obscure who is using it and what data is being accessed, which can help people avoid government surveillance and censorship.
Countries including China, Iran and Vietnam are among those who have tried to block access to the BBC News website or programmes
Instead of visiting bbc.co.uk/news or bbc.com/news, users of the Tor browser can visit the new bbcnewsv2vjtpsuy.onion web address. Clicking this web address will not work in a regular web browser.
Tor Browser: https://www.torproject.org/
The BBC onion service is available in at least the following languages:
Arabic â€” https://www.s5rhoqqosmcispfb.onion/arabic
Bengali (Bangladesh) â€” https://www.s5rhoqqosmcispfb.onion/bengali
Chinese (simplified) â€” https://www.s5rhoqqosmcispfb.onion/zhongwen/simp
French â€” https://www.s5rhoqqosmcispfb.onion/afrique
Gujarati (India) â€” https://www.s5rhoqqosmcispfb.onion/gujarati
Hindi (India) â€” https://www.s5rhoqqosmcispfb.onion/hindi
Marathi (India) â€” https://www.s5rhoqqosmcispfb.onion/marathi
Tamil (India) â€” https://www.s5rhoqqosmcispfb.onion/tamil
Indonesian â€” https://www.s5rhoqqosmcispfb.onion/indonesia
Japanese â€” https://www.s5rhoqqosmcispfb.onion/japanese
Korean â€” https://www.s5rhoqqosmcispfb.onion/korean
Portuguese â€” https://www.s5rhoqqosmcispfb.onion/portuguese
Punjabi (Pakistan) â€” https://www.s5rhoqqosmcispfb.onion/punjabi
Urdu (Pakistan) â€” https://www.s5rhoqqosmcispfb.onion/urdu
Russian â€” https://www.s5rhoqqosmcispfb.onion/russian
Spanish â€” https://www.s5rhoqqosmcispfb.onion/mundo
Thai â€” https://www.s5rhoqqosmcispfb.onion/thai
Turkish â€” https://www.s5rhoqqosmcispfb.onion/turkce
Vietnamese â€” https://www.s5rhoqqosmcispfb.onion/vietnamese
Palm oil gets used in plenty of consumer goods and processed foods, as a result the demand for palm oil increases every year. The problem with using palm oil is that most sources of the plant are from unsustainable farming practices. Indeed, the cultivation of palm oil greatly contributes to deforestation. Obviously this isn’t good.
When a UK grocery store wanted to advertise their line of palm-oil free products the government said no. Instead of just letting the ad sit on the shelf they posted it on YouTube for us all to see. The ad itself is based off of work done by Greenpeace and they have gathered over 670 thousand signatures to show the ad on TV. The Streisand effect strikes again.
Net neutrality is what allows the internet to be what it is, and without it the internet would be pretty much useless. The Trump administration is presently trying to eliminate net neutrality to protect the profits of a very small group of companies. It’s worth noting that the Obama administration also tried this but didn’t go ahead with it
Without net neutrality the internet will undoubtedly suck, for a look at what that will be like check out this article. Net neutrality is awful for individual freedom and it’s also quite awful for profits, which is why today many popular websites and services are speaking out. For example, Netflix will basically be banned for some people and thus will lose their subscriber base.
If you’re an American then you ought to call your local representatives and talk to anybody who will listen about this issue. Today is the day of action. The repeal of net neutrality is censorship under a different name.
Sites across the web will display alerts on their homepages showing â€œblocked,â€ â€œupgrade,â€ and â€œspinning wheel of deathâ€ pop-ups to demonstrate what the internet would look like without net neutrality, according to advocacy group Battle for the Net. But most of the pop-ups The Verge has seen have been simple banners or static text with links offering more information.
Netflix, Spotify, and Airbnb have all placed banners at the top of their home pages, while Vimeo has an explainer video and graphics made available for download. Other websites, including Facebook and Amazon are participating, but havenâ€™t yet disclosed what form their protests will take. Apple is not on the list of participants.
Google has changed how it approaches its business in China due to China trying to spy on some gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. THey have removed censorship from their search engine so now you can search for “Tiananmen Square” in China and get the same results the rest of get.
It’s a good day for internet freedom in China.
We launched Google.cn in January 2006 in the belief that the benefits of increased access to information for people in China and a more open Internet outweighed our discomfort in agreeing to censor some results. At the time we made clear that “we will carefully monitor conditions in China, including new laws and other restrictions on our services. If we determine that we are unable to achieve the objectives outlined we will not hesitate to reconsider our approach to China.”
These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered–combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web–have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.
The decision to review our business operations in China has been incredibly hard, and we know that it will have potentially far-reaching consequences. We want to make clear that this move was driven by our executives in the United States, without the knowledge or involvement of our employees in China who have worked incredibly hard to make Google.cn the success it is today. We are committed to working responsibly to resolve the very difficult issues raised.