Anonymous social media trolls who abuse tennis players face being unmasked after technology breakthrough

Elva Mankin

Anonymous trolls who attack tennis players online face being unmasked in a major breakthrough in the sport’s fight against social media abuse.

The betting-data company Sportradar conducted a pilot investigation into around 70 abusive messages sent to the players at exhibition events in Germany and the USA. They discovered the real identities of 21 different culprits.

Some of those names – which were drawn from 12 different countries – have now been passed to police forces in the relevant jurisdictions. In other cases, social-media companies have been advised to shut down the abusers’ accounts, including the everyday accounts they use to communicate with friends and family.

Tennis players receive streams of hostile messages on social media platforms – mainly Instagram and Twitter – every time they play, and especially from disappointed bettors after they lose. Trolls are particularly harsh on women and BAME players.

After participating in the Exo-Tennis event

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Blind teen captivates social media with reading and writing lesson: ‘This blows my mind’

Elva Mankin

A British TikToker has captivated social media with a simple explanation of how she both creates and consumes online content as a blind person.

Gracie Marsh, a 19-year-old disability advocate from England who went blind at age 14 due to Septo-optic dysplasia, shared a now-viral video on July 28 explaining how she operates her BrailleNote HumanWare Touch+.

Marsh demonstrates how the tablet, which allows those with visual impairments to read and write with ease, functions as she walks viewers through the keyboard’s nine main buttons — the backspace, enter and space bars, as well as the six keys representing the six dots that make up the braille system.

The device also comes equipped with a touchscreen, which Marsh says is particularly useful for “teachers and sighted peers.”

Her insightful video has since racked up over 1.5M views on TikTok alone, plus 2.2M more on Twitter, along with tons of

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Sumner Redstone’s Mogul Swashbuckling Typified A Bygone Corporate Media Era

Elva Mankin

The reminders came often from Sumner Redstone, self-made architect of a vast media empire.

“Viacom is me,” he once told Fortune magazine. “I’m Viacom. That marriage is eternal, forever.”

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“I’m in control!” he chided Mel Karmazin in a nationally televised news conference as the executive tried to outline his vision for the newly merged Viacom and CBS. “Remember — I’m in control!”

The late Frank Biondi Jr., who engineered a series of key deals in the 1980s and ’90s as Viacom CEO, once acknowledged to the New Yorker‘s Ken Auletta that it could be frustrating toiling in semi-obscurity. “Sumner is the embodiment of this place,” he shrugged.

Redstone, who died Wednesday at age 97, personified more than just a single company. He came to represent a media and entertainment era when deeply flawed, nakedly ambitious, larger-than-life personalities single-handedly set the agenda.

“Sumner Redstone was, for all

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Prince Harry likens social media to lead poisoning, calling it harmful to children

Elva Mankin

Prince Harry hosts the draws for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 in London on Jan. 16, 2020. <span class="copyright">(Getty Images)</span>
Prince Harry hosts the draws for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 in London on Jan. 16, 2020. (Getty Images)

Prince Harry wants social media companies to “redesign themselves” in pursuit of a digital landscape that’s less divided, less hate-filled, and healthier and happier for all involved. Especially for children.

In a new piece written for Fast Company, the Duke of Sussex said he and his wife, Meghan, started working in July to communicate with executives at various tech companies. At the same time, a social-justice campaign called Stop Hate for Profit was urging advertisers to withhold their ad purchases from Facebook for a month.

“Our message was clear: The digital landscape is unwell and companies like yours have the chance to reconsider your role in funding and supporting online platforms that have contributed to, stoked, and created the conditions for a crisis of hate, a crisis of health, and

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Egypt female social media influencers get two-year jail terms

Elva Mankin

Cairo (AFP) – An Egyptian court Monday sentenced five female social media influencers to two years in jail each on charges of violating public morals, a judicial source said.

The verdict against Haneen Hossam, Mowada al-Adham and three others came after they had posted footage on video-sharing app TikTok.

“The Cairo economic court sentenced Hossam, Adham and three others to two years after they were convicted of violating society’s values,” the judicial source said.

The ruling, which can be appealed, included a fine of 300,000 Egyptian pounds ($18,750) for each defendant, the source noted.

Hossam was arrested in April after posting a three-minute clip telling her 1.3 million followers that girls could make money by working with her.

In May, authorities arrested Adham who had posted satirical videos on TikTok and Instagram, where she has at least two million followers.

Lawyer Ahmed Hamza al-Bahqiry said the young women are facing

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Egypt female social media influencers get 2-year jail terms

Elva Mankin

Cairo (AFP) – An Egyptian court Monday sentenced five female social media influencers to two years in jail on charges of violating public morals, a judicial source said.

The verdict against Haneen Hossam, Mowada al-Adham and three others came after they posted footage on video-sharing app TikTok.

“The Cairo economic court sentenced Hossam, Adham and three others to two years after they were convicted of violating society values,” the source said.

The ruling — which can be appealed — included a fine of 300,000 Egyptian pounds ($18,750) each, the source added.

Hossam was arrested in April after posting a three-minute clip telling her 1.3 million followers that girls could make money by working with her.

In May, authorities arrested Adham who had posted satirical videos on TikTok and Instagram, where she has at least two million followers.

The arrests highlighted a social divide in the deeply conservative Muslim country over

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Asking the big social media companies to remove extremist content more quickly will do little to fight terrorism

Elva Mankin

'We believe doctors dealing with erectile dysfunction should also be asking about watching pornography,' researchers say: Getty
‘We believe doctors dealing with erectile dysfunction should also be asking about watching pornography,’ researchers say: Getty

Barely a day goes by when social media is not in the firing line from activists and advertisers over hate speech and racist rhetoric.

The controversy goes to the heart of the debate about the extent to which social media platforms should become the arbiter of content decisions and whether internet companies should be solely responsible for dealing with abhorrent content posted by users. Facebook and Twitter are both doing more than ever to reduce “online harms” – certainly much more than is legally mandated – but work carried out by Tech Against Terrorism shows that the majority of activity by terrorists and violent extremists has now shifted to the smaller, newer messaging apps, and niche social networks.

We need to acknowledge that, for all the understandable focus on the bigger platforms, it

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Social media firms make $1bn a year from anti-vax followers, report says

Elva Mankin

Conspiracy theorists at Hyde Park Corner on 16 May 2020 in London: Getty
Conspiracy theorists at Hyde Park Corner on 16 May 2020 in London: Getty

Social media platforms are making up to $1bn a year from people following anti-vaccine misinformation that could cause “tens of thousands” of coronavirus deaths, researchers say.

The Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) said the number of people viewing pages and posts claiming that a Covid-19 vaccine is unnecessary or would pose a health risk had risen dramatically during the pandemic.

Despite pledges by Facebook and others to crack down on harmful posts, a report found that at least 57 million users now follow anti-vaxxers on mainstream platforms across the UK and US – up 7.7 million since the start of the outbreak.

A YouGov poll suggested that almost one in five British adults say they would refuse the injection if it becomes available, and a further 15 per cent are unsure.

The research suggested that people

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Right-Wing Media Outlets Duped by a Middle East Propaganda Campaign

Elva Mankin

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty

If you want a hot take about the Middle East, Raphael Badani is your man.

As a Newsmax “Insider” columnist, he has thoughts about how Iraq needs to rid itself of Iranian influence to attract investment and why Dubai is an oasis of stability in a turbulent region. His career as a “geopolitical risk consultant and interactive simulation designer” and an “international relations senior analyst” for the Department of Labor have given him plenty of insights about the Middle East. He’s printed those insights at a range of conservative outlets like the Washington Examiner, RealClear Markets, American Thinker, and The National Interest.

Unfortunately for the outlets who published his articles and the readers who believed them, Raphael Badani does not exist. 

His profile photos are stolen from the blog of an unwitting San Diego startup founder. His LinkedIn profile, which described him

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Will the Facebook advertising boycott force the social media giant to change? Not likely

Elva Mankin

Hundreds of advertisers say they won’t spend money on Facebook in July or beyond over concerns the social media company isn’t doing enough to stop hate speech.  But the exodus of spenders may not be enough to push CEO Mark Zuckerberg to make the level of change that critics are demanding. 

Critics have an initial list of 10 recommendations that they say would help Facebook corral hate speech and make civil rights a priority when moderating content.

Zuckerberg and top executives, who have agreed to meet with the civil rights groups behind the Stop Hate for Profit boycott this week, plan to release the company’s third civil rights audit, which Facebook says will address many of the activists’ concerns, as well as other policy changes that were already under consideration.

The pressure on Facebook seems intense, but it may not be as powerful as the headlines make it appear.

Brands

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