WeeklyTech #95

Should the government regulate social media? Florida’s new social media bill and the crisis of online governance

On Monday, May 24, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a new bill into law regulating content moderation and online governance in the state on social media platforms. This bill is the first state bill to become law on these issues, with other states including Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Utah currently considering similar legislation. 

DeSantis championed the bill as a collaborative effort at the press conference where he signed the bill into law, highlighting how these major social media companies have inconsistently applied their often ill-defined content moderation policies or have not been transparent in the application or design of those policies.

The Rundown

AI emotion-detection software tested on Uyghurs – Jane Wakefield | BBC News

A camera system that uses AI and facial recognition intended to reveal states of emotion has been tested on Uyghurs in Xinjiang, the BBC has been told.

Why QAnon is disappearing from online view – Ashley Gold | Axios

Specific language about the QAnon conspiracy theory has all but disappeared from mainstream public social media platforms, new research concludes.

Chinese hackers posing as the UN Human Rights Council are attacking Uyghurs – Patrick Howell O’Neill | MIT Technology Review

Researchers identified an attack in which hackers posing as the UN Human Rights Council send a document detailing human rights violations to Uyghur individuals. It is in fact a malicious Microsoft Word file that, once downloaded, fetches malware: the likely goal, say the two companies, is to trick high-profile Uyghurs inside China and Pakistan into opening a back door to their computers.

The post-pandemic battle against kids’ screen time – Kim Hart | Axios

Some studies have suggested that certain types of digital content such as social media can have addictive qualities, and that consuming too much can be harmful to children, particularly adolescents.

A startup says it helps parents pick healthier embryos. Experts say it’s not that simple – Melody Petersen | LA Times

The decision of whether to have a child can be hard even under the best of circumstances. For those with a family history of debilitating disease, it’s often gut-wrenching. If only there were some way to answer the all-important question: Will my child be healthy?

Drones may have attacked humans fully autonomously for the first time – David Hambling | NewScientist

Military drones may have autonomously attacked humans for the first time ever last year, according to a United Nations report. While the full details of the incident, which took place in Libya, haven’t been released and it is unclear if there were any casualties, the event suggests that international efforts to ban lethal autonomous weapons before they are used may already be too late.