Saturday, January 22, 2022

Hashtag Trending Dec. 3 – Bring back YouTube dislikes; Deplatforming bill blocked in Texas; war on disinformation

With Files from Tom Li

A YouTube extension is bringing back the dislike count, an anti-social media deplatorming bill has been squashed by a Texas Judge, and social media companies are taking action against disinformation campaigns.

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It’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Friday, December 3rd, and I’m your host, Jori Negin-Shecter.

Browser Extension Brings Back Dislike Count to YouTube Videos from technology

Calls denouncing YouTube’s removal of the dislike count have been so strong that one developer has created an extension to bring them back. The extension, aptly named Return YouTube Dislike, has seen more than 50,000 users in the Chrome Webstore and Firefox Add-ons. Ironically, the extension uses YouTube’s own API to work. The caveat is that it only works for videos uploaded before YouTube removed the metric.  Since YouTube plans to retire the API on December 13, the developer plans on using a combination of archived dislikes and estimates to aggregate the count in the future.

Judge blocks Texas bill aimed at preventing social media companies from deplatforming people based on their ‘viewpoint’ from technology

A Texas judge has blocked a bill that would stop social media companies from blocking users based on their political posts. The judge ruled that the bill would violate the social media companies’ First Amendment right to control content on their platforms, and that it would essentially block all moderation. The ruling came just a day before the bill was expected to take effect. This isn’t the first time a bill like this has been stopped. In May, another judge blocked a similar ruling signed in Florida on the same grounds.

Facebook and Twitter are curbing accounts associated with Chinese media campaigns. Earlier yesterday, Twitter announced that it has shut down nearly 3,500 accounts linked to posting pro-government propaganda in six countries including China and Russia. Twitter’s actions come hot on the heels of Meta’s announcement the day before, in which the company said it had shut down more than 500 accounts on Facebook related to Covid-19 influence campaigns. Beyond China, Twitter has also banned hundreds of accounts in Africa, Mexico and Venezuela. [MSN]

Microsoft’s new Windows prompts try to stop people downloading Chrome from technology

And now for something a little bit different. Microsoft’s Edge browser has been spotted displaying messages to dissuade its users from installing other browsers. According to Neowin, the browser has been serving up cheesy messages when users visit Google Chrome’s download page. Unlike the Google search engine that displays a reminder to download the Chrome browser when it detects access from another browser, the message in Edge is served through the browser itself. In recent months, Microsoft has been trying in numerous ways to get Windows users to stick with Edge. In addition to these pesky messages, Windows 11 has also made changing the default browser much harder.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. If you have a suggestion or tip, please drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thanks for listening, I’m Jori Negin-Shecter.

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