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Lawmakers throw pig organs on Taiwan parliament floor over U.S. pork and beef import policy

TAIPEI, Taiwan —  Lawmakers in Taiwan got into a fist fight and threw pig...
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    Zuckerberg, Dorsey face questions in Senate on Facebook and Twitter’s election actions

    Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey are to appear Tuesday before a Senate panel that has summoned the two CEOs to defend their handling of disinformation in the 2020 election, even as GOP and Democratic senators sharply differ over the integrity and results of the election itself.

    The two social media bosses are expected to testify via video before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Prominent Republican senators — including the Judiciary Committee chairman, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — have refused to knock down Trump’s unfounded claims of voting irregularities and fraud, as misinformation disputing President-elect Joe Biden’s victory has flourished online.

    Graham, a close Trump ally, has publicly urged Trump: “Do not concede, Mr. President. Fight hard.”

    Zuckerberg and Dorsey promised lawmakers last month that they would aggressively guard their platforms from being manipulated by foreign governments or used to incite violence around the election results. The companies followed through with some high-profile steps that angered Trump and his supporters.

    Twitter and Facebook have both slapped a misinformation label on some content from Trump, most notably his assertions linking mail-in voting with fraud. On Monday, Twitter flagged Trump’s tweet proclaiming, “I won the Election!” with the note: “Official sources called this election differently.”

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    Social media slow to crack down on users rallying against vote-counting

    A Stop the Steal Facebook group grew to hundreds of thousands of members before Facebook shut it down Thursday.

    Facebook also moved two days after the election to ban a large group called Stop the Steal that Trump supporters were using to organize protests against the vote count. The 350,000-member group echoed Trump’s baseless allegations of a rigged election.

    For days after the election, as the vote counting went on, copycat Stop the Steal groups were easily found on Facebook. As of Monday, Facebook appeared to have made them harder to find, though it was still possible to locate them, including some groups with thousands of members.

    Warily eyeing how the companies wield their power to filter speech and ideas, Trump and the Republicans accuse the social media platforms of anti-conservative bias. Democrats also criticize them, though for different reasons.

    The result is that both parties are interested in stripping away some of the protections that have shielded tech companies from legal responsibility for what people post on their platforms. Biden has heartily endorsed such an action.

    If Twitter’s and Facebook’s responses to the N.Y. Post’s Hunter Biden story qualify as illegal contributions, other companies break the law constantly.

    The GOP Senate majority on the judiciary panel threatened Zuckerberg and Dorsey with subpoenas last month if they didn’t agree to testify voluntarily at Tuesday’s hearing. Republicans on the Senate Commerce Committee lambasted the two CEOs and Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, at a hearing last month for what they said was a pattern of silencing conservative viewpoints while giving free rein to political actors from countries such as China and Iran.

    Despite fears over security in the lead-up to Nov. 3, the election turned out to be the most secure in U.S. history, federal and state officials from both parties say — repudiating Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of fraud.

    Facebook insists it has learned its lesson from the 2016 election and is no longer a conduit for misinformation, voter suppression and election disruption. This fall Facebook said it removed a small network of accounts and pages linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency, the “troll factory” that has used social media accounts to sow political discord in the U.S. since the 2016 election. Twitter suspended five related accounts.

    But critical outsiders, as well as some of Facebook’s own employees, say the company’s efforts to tighten its safeguards remain insufficient, despite it having spent billions.

    “Facebook only acts if they feel there’s a threat to their reputation or their bottom line,” says Imran Ahmed, CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate. The organization had pressed Facebook to take down the Stop the Steal group.

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    Lawmakers throw pig organs on Taiwan parliament floor over U.S. pork and beef import policy

    TAIPEI, Taiwan —  Lawmakers in Taiwan got into a fist fight and threw pig...