Reddit warns US Copyright Office internet upload filters would harm memes

Reddit has warned the US Copyright Office against internet upload filters, arguing the technology will harm free expression.

The US has been looking to update the DMCA to keep up with the copyright issues found online. Many proposals have come and gone, but the US Copyright Office is now looking into automated tools that can prevent content from being re-uploaded, aka upload filters.

In a submission to the US Copyright Office, Reddit, a platform known for user-submitted content, warned against Standard Technical Measures (STMs), including upload filters.

We obtained a copy of the submission for you here.

“Filtering technologies and STMs ill-suited to the variety of content on Reddit would limit the vitality of some of our platform’s most active communities,” Reddit said.

In its subreddits users post copyrighted content, taking advantage of the fair use principles to create memes and more. An upload filter would substantially harm the free flow of thought.

“Filtering technologies have difficulty merely identifying copyrighted material, let alone assessing the specific context the content was found. They cannot make nuanced judgments about fair use or transformative works,” the platform said.

The automated filters and the false positives they would bring will significantly harm free speech, Reddit argues.

“As a result, standardized measures are likely to remove non-infringing content and suffer from false positives. Worse, these over-removals would strike at the heart of the transformative user-generated content that makes Reddit communities unique,” Reddit explained.

“That is a severe, unnecessary, and unacceptable cost to the free expression of our users and the communities they build.”

Google has implemented such a measure through YouTube’s Content ID system, which is notorious. According to Reddit, Content ID cannot work for every type of platform or site.

Keep reading

Swedish Agency Warns of Dangerous ‘Hidden Agenda’ Memes

Sweden’s Agency for Psychological Defence has launched a campaign against disinformation online, warning Swedes about internet memes that could be used to spread misleading information.

The warning comes as part of a larger campaign entitled “Don’t Be Deceived,” which was launched by the Swedish Agency for Psychological Defense, a new agency established by the Swedish government to identify and analyse misleading information in January of this year.

“Humor, parody, and satire are usually harmless forms of entertainment that can sometimes be used to spread misleading information and ridicule or criticize people or opinions — for example, in the form of memes,” the agency writes on the campaign’s website.

“Memes can be used to shift the focus away from a particular issue, take over and change the direction of a debate, or to support a hidden agenda,” the agency adds.

Keep reading

‘Godspeed Samuyil!’ GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger Falls For Meme Identifying Sam Hyde As The ‘Ghost Of Kyiv’

Neocon hack Adam Kinzinger fell for a blatantly photoshopped meme tweet identifying “Samuyil Hyde” as the mysterious “Ghost of Kyiv.”

“The #ghostofkyiv has a name, and he has absolutely OWNED the Russian Airforce,” Kinzinger tweeted on Friday in response to a photoshopped meme with comedian Sam Hyde’s face plastered on a fighter pilot. “Godspeed and more kills, Samuyil!”

Kinzinger quickly deleted the tweet but not before it was archived by ProPublica’s Politwoops.

Keep reading

New Twitter CEO’s First Decision: Ban Mean Memes

One day after brand new Twitter CEO Parag ‘Not Bound by the First Amendment” Agrawal took the helm, the company announced that it will no longer allow people to share ‘images or videos of private individuals without their consent’ due to “growing concerns about the misuse of media and information” to “harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of individuals.”

We assume this includes photos of protesters rioters, people looting a Louis Vuitton store, the driver of an SUV plowing into a crowd of people, and viral memes which include non-public figures.

In a Tuesday blog post, the company wrote:

“There are growing concerns about the misuse of media and information that is not available elsewhere online as a tool to harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of individuals. Sharing personal media, such as images or videos, can potentially violate a person’s privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm. The misuse of private media can affect everyone, but can have a disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities. When we receive a report that a Tweet contains unauthorized private media, we will now take action in line with our range of enforcement options.”

What is in violation of this policy?
Under our private information policy, you can’t share the following types of private information or media, without the permission of the person who it belongs to:

  • home address or physical location information, including street addresses, GPS coordinates or other identifying information related to locations that are considered private;
  • identity documents, including government-issued IDs and social security or other national identity numbers – note: we may make limited exceptions in regions where this information is not considered to be private;
  • contact information, including non-public personal phone numbers or email addresses; 
  • financial account information, including bank account and credit card details; and
  • other private information, including biometric data or medical records.
  • NEW: media of private individuals without the permission of the person(s) depicted.

Twitter does provide themselves an ‘out’ – writing that “there are instances where account holders may share images or videos of private individuals in an effort to help someone involved in a crisis situation, such as in the aftermath of a violent event, or as part of a newsworthy event due to public interest value, and this might outweigh the safety risks to a person. “

Who makes that decision, and will the race of the suspect be a factor?

Keep reading