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Twitter Launches New Privacy Center to Better Communicate Platform Rules and Processes

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Data security has become a key issue in social media circles over the past two years, and as we head into another US Presidential election cycle, you can bet that debate around data privacy, and the use of personal information for targeting, will again be a topic of heated debate.

In line with this, Twitter has announced the launch of its new Privacy Center, which Twitter says will:

“…provide more clarity around what we’re doing to protect the information people share with us. It is the central place that host’s everything that’s part of our privacy and data protection work: related initiatives, announcements, new privacy products, and communication about security incidents. It should be easier to find and learn more about the work we’re doing to to keep your data secure, including what data we collect, how we use it, and the controls you have.”

The new Privacy Center facilitates direct connection to the platform’s rules and policy documents, as well as your personal data settings and privacy tools.

Twitter Privacy Center

It also includes links to related regulatory documentation, including the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act, and an overview of updates to Twitter’s terms and processes. The actual launch of the new Privacy Center also aligns with the implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act, which will require large businesses to give consumers more transparency and control over their personal information. The act comes into effect from January 1st, 2020.

While Facebook has been at the forefront of social media data privacy processes, Twitter too has had its share of user data issues. Back in October, Twitter issued an apology over the use of people’s email addresses and phone numbers, which had been provided purely for account security purposes, in order to match those users with more relevant ads. Twitter has since corrected the issue, and it says that it’s making data security a key focus moving forward.

To make sure everyone at Twitter is accountable, privacy and data protection is the heart of our 2020 company-wide priority to build products that earn the trust of people who use them. Also, launching the Twitter Privacy Center provides a central place to keep you updated on our privacy and data protection work and aid us in being accountable to you through transparency.”

With the potential impacts of such misuse becoming more widely known, it makes sense for Twitter to provide more tools on this front, in order to help users maintain better understanding of how their information is being utilized as a result of their platform use. Of course, that’s only truly valuable if people bother to check in on the information available, but Twitter is working to make that more viable by enabling better connection to relevant documentation and tools. 

You can check out Twitter’s new Privacy Center here

Socialmediatoday.com

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The Most Visited Websites in the World – 2023 Edition [Infographic]

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The Most Visited Websites in the World - 2023 Edition [Infographic]

Google remains the most-visited website in the world, while Facebook is still the most frequented social platform, based on web traffic. Well, actually, YouTube is, but YouTube’s only a partial social app, right?

The findings are displayed in this new visualization from Visual Capitalist, which uses SimilarWeb data to show the most visited websites in bubble chart format, highlighting the variance in traffic.

As you can see, following Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the next most visited social platforms, which is likely in line with what most would expect – though the low numbers for TikTok probably stand out, given its dominance of modern media zeitgeist.

But there is a reason for that – this data is based on website visits, not app usage, so platforms like TikTok and Snapchat, which are primarily focused on the in-app experience, won’t fare as well in this particular overview.

In that sense, it’s interesting to see which social platforms are engaging audiences via their desktop offerings.

You can check out the full overview below, and you can read Visual Capitalist’s full explainer here.

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Cheeky branding wins (and missteps)

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Cheeky branding wins (and missteps)

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Branding and rebranding is getting more fun, here we look at some of cheekiest brands that have caught our eye – for the right and wrong reasons.



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Google Outlines Ongoing Efforts to Combat China-Based Influence Operations Targeting Social Apps

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Google Outlines Ongoing Efforts to Combat China-Based Influence Operations Targeting Social Apps

Over the past year, Google has repeatedly noted that a China-based group has been looking to use YouTube, in particular, to influence western audiences, by building various channels in the app, then seeding them with pro-China content.

There’s limited info available on the full origins or intentions of the group, but today, Google has published a new overview of its ongoing efforts to combat the initiative, called DRAGONBRIDGE.

As explained by Google:

In 2022, Google disrupted over 50,000 instances of DRAGONBRIDGE activity across YouTube, Blogger, and AdSense, reflecting our continued focus on this actor and success in scaling our detection efforts across Google products. We have terminated over 100,000 DRAGONBRIDGE accounts in the IO network’s lifetime.

As you can see in this chart, DRAGONBRIDGE is by far the most prolific source of coordinated information operations that Google has detected over the past year, while Google also notes that it’s been able to disrupt most of the project’s attempted influence, by snuffing out its content before it gets seen.

Dragonbridge

Worth noting the scale too – as Google notes, DRAGONBRIDGE has created more than 100,000 accounts, which includes tens of thousands of YouTube channels. Not individual videos, entire channels in the app, which is a huge amount of work, and content, that this group is producing.

That can’t be cheap, or easy to keep running. So they must be doing it for a reason.

The broader implication, which has been noted by various other publications and analysts, is that DRAGONBRIDGE is potentially being supported by the Chinese Government, as part of a broader effort to influence foreign policy approaches via social media apps. 

Which, at this kind of scale, is a concern, while DRAGONBRIDGE has also targeted Facebook and Twitter as well, at different times, and it could be that their efforts on those platforms are also reaching similar activity levels, and may not have been detected as yet.

Which then also relates to TikTok, a Chinese-owned app that now has massive influence over younger audiences in western nations. If programs like this are already in effect, it stands to reason that TikTok is also likely a key candidate for boosting the same, which remains a key concern among regulators and officials in many nations.

The US Government is reportedly weighing a full TikTok ban, and if that happens, you can bet that many other nations will follow suit. Many government organizations are also banning TikTok on official devices, based on advice from security experts, and with programs like DRAGONBRIDGE also running, it does seem like Chinese-based groups are actively operating influence and manipulation programs in foreign nations.

Which seems like a significant issue, and while Google is seemingly catching most of these channels before they have an impact, it also seems likely that this is only one element of a larger push.

Hopefully, through collective action, the impact of such can be limited – but for TikTok, which still reports to Chinese ownership, it’s another element that could raise further questions and scrutiny.

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