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TikTok confirms it has banned former NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom



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Enes Kanter Freedom, a former NBA player known for his outspoken political activism against China, was banned from TikTok for 12 days and then reinstated on Thursday while lawmakers questioned the head of a Chinese company, the company confirmed on Friday.

The Freedom account was suspended on March 11 after several warnings that its past videos violated the app’s “community guidelines,” he told The Washington Post.

Shortly thereafter, Freedom appealed the ban, but was told that TikTok reviewers had decided that his account would not be reinstated. On Thursday, TikTok reinstated the account while CEO Show Tzu Chu was on Capitol Hill to argue that China’s censorship rules don’t affect Americans’ TikTok feeds.

A TikTok spokesperson called the ban a mistake by the company’s American moderators and said that TikTok does not remove content at the request of the Chinese government. They declined to say how the error occurred or what rules the Freedom videos allegedly violated.

After being reinstated, Freedom used his TikTok accountwhere he has 362,000 followers and over 6 million likes to post this episode. He said he intends to keep posting on TikTok, which he says China is using to “brainwash our people” because it wants to use “their own weapons against them.”

Freedom shared screenshots and a screen recording to support their claims. TikTok did not dispute the ban but said such errors are a natural consequence of an app with more than 150 million U.S. accounts.

TikTok faces uncertain future after 5-hour congressional criticism

Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas), who spoke to Freedom ahead of the congressional hearing, asked Chu about the ban during heated interrogations, during which Pfluger also asked if Chu supported genocide. (Chu said no.)

Pfluger told The Post that he suspects TikTok is “hiding information” and that the restoration was given away by the Chinese Communist Party, which the company disputed. The lawmaker said the episode highlighted the national security risks of allowing a Chinese-based company to own one of America’s most popular apps.

If the Chinese authorities are “the arbiter of what can and cannot be shown,” he said, “they have the ability to shape messages. So what are these messages and how are they related to undermining the US?”

China lashes out at western businesses as it tries to cut support for Hong Kong protests

Freedom, a Turkish-American gambler who changed his last name after becoming a US citizen in 2021, has become a popular right-wing figure for his vocal criticism of China and companies he claims do not oppose his authoritarian government, including Nike. and the NBA.

Playing in the NBA for over a decade, he gained attention for wearing shoes with slogans such as “Free Tibet”, “No to Beijing” and “Stop the genocide”, a reference to China’s mass detention of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. In 2021, he was traded from the Boston Celtics and then fired from the game, which he claimed was in retaliation for his criticism of China.

Freedom has often used his social media accounts to criticize the Chinese state. After President Xi Jinping posted on Facebook in 2021 calling President Xi Jinping a “brutal dictator” for his government’s oppression of Tibet, China blocked all Celtics games on its internet.

Freedom used his TikTok account in much the same way. One Video in TikTok since April, showing Shanghai’s strict coronavirus control measures, has remained online on the platform and has over 200,000 views.

This dissident uses Chinese-owned TikTok to criticize the Chinese government

TikTok, like other social networks, uses account verification system to track violations of the rules and punish repeated violations. Instead of a “three warnings” policy, TikTok’s system applies different weights to violations based on their severity and bans accounts that exceed a certain threshold.

A TikTok spokesperson said some of Freedom’s past violations were correctly identified but did not elaborate on them, and said a moderation error had unduly disabled his account.

Freedom told The Post that he had received warnings in previous months and did not know which video caused the ban. His latest visible TikTok video before the ban, on March 9, did not break any obvious rules and showed only female protesters in Afghanistan.

He shared with The Post a screenshot of his TikTok account showing how a video he posted last year — about pets from covid-positive people who were tied up and waiting to be slaughtered in China — was taken down for an unspecified violation of community guidelines. . TikTok restored video after questions from The Post.

After the restoration, Freedom posted videos on TikTok criticizing the company and calling Chu a “liar” and a “puppet of the Communist Party.” The videos have been viewed thousands of times.

Americans deserve a better message than “Trust us, TikTok is bad.”

Freedom said he is in Washington for meetings with members of Congress who criticize China’s influence, and that he attended a dinner with lawmakers and Silicon Valley figures on Wednesday to discuss TikTok’s alleged national security risks.

Freedom said he is scheduled to meet with members of the House China Committee on Friday. Pfluger said that Freedom was invited to the House Energy and Commerce Committee meeting that heard the Chu case and received a standing ovation.

TikTok’s moderation system has been accused of taking a “casual” approach to account suspension even outside of political or China-related issues.

Freedom’s ban is similar to other TikTok enforcement actions, including the 2019 suspension of Feroza Aziz, a 17-year-old user who has criticized detention camps in China.

TikTok also reinstated this account, blaming it on a moderation error. 164,000 Aziz followers check contains videos of Uighur camps that have been viewed millions of times.

The U.S. platform TikTok hosts many videos discussing issues that the Chinese government censors within its borders, including the treatment of Uyghurs (278 million views), pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square (18 million views), and #FreeTibet (13 million views). ).

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They posted porn on Twitter. German authorities called the police



Paulita Paupel, who runs the European chapter of the adult industry trade organization Coalition for Free Speech, says the repression is having a disturbing effect on people and their ability to share content online. “People are fleeing the country,” Paupel says. “Most of the big content creators have already moved to other European countries, mainly Austria, Switzerland and Cyprus.” Others have changed their marketing strategies to avoid Twitter (which has had an impact on how much money they can make), and people new to the industry may be put off starting a career, Paupel says. “This is mainly for LGBTQI+ and BIPOC creators.”

The Internet is, of course, awash with pornography – from Reddit, Snapchat and Twitter to OnlyFans, PornHub and xVideos – with millions of people around the world involved in this industry. On a global scale, this is a big business, bringing in billions of dollars annually. While pornography is being persecuted around the world, Germany seems to have a particularly strong enforcement in the Western world, despite the fact that one of the largest consumers of pornography.

“Germany has been the most aggressive in its suppression of free speech,” says Mike Stabile, spokesman for the American Free Speech Coalition. “I think Germany has been the most aggressive in its pursuit, both in terms of the scope of its laws and in terms of enforcing them.”

AI surveillance

Since 2019, Germany’s media regulators have been developing and then using an artificial intelligence system to detect online content that may violate the country’s laws. The artificial intelligence system called KIVI was developed by the North Rhine-Westphalia media department together with Private company in Berlinand is currently used by all media outlets throughout Germany.

KIVI is touted as being able to scan public messages across seven social networks and messaging apps, including Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, Telegram, and VK (the Russian version of Facebook), as well as websites on the open web. Facebook and Instagram Metas that prohibit nudity are not currently crawled. According to North Rhine-Westphalia tool description, it can check 10,000 pages per day. Shortly after the authorities began using KIVI, they said that detection by the authorities had ” skyrocketed “.

A spokesman for the North Rhine-Westphalia media authority says authorities have identified nearly 5,000 “violations” since 2021. The system looks for problematic content by looking for predefined keywords and links in German, and authorities say it uses a combination of image recognition and text recognition to detect “positive” results.

Ella Jakubowska, senior policy adviser at civil rights nonprofit European Digital Rights (EDRi), says people’s rights are at risk when big tech companies or governments moderate content. “But the idea that government agencies control what we do and what we don’t see on the Internet seems very disturbing in itself,” Jakubowska says.

KIVI looks for several types of content, including political extremism and Holocaust denial, violence and pornography. However, porn “infringements” top the list, with 1,944 incidents recorded in the past two years, according to figures provided by the NRW media. The spokesperson says the system flags potential violations of laws, and then human investigators look at the results and decide whether action should be taken. “KIVI protects employees from sudden and unexpected exposure to stressful content,” says Plass from the Berlin administration.

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It is reported that parts of Twitter’s source code have been leaked online.



In another embarrassing development for new Twitter boss Elon Musk, lawsuits released Friday reveal that parts of the social networking site’s source code — the underlying programming that makes Twitter possible — have been leaked online. reports the New York Times.

According to the lawsuits, Twitter claimed copyright infringement by trying to remove the offending code from the Github collaborative programming network where it was hosted. Although the code was taken down on the same day, details of how long the code had been left open were not available, nor was the extent or depth of the leak. As part of the takedown request, reminiscent of Raytheon’s famous – unsuccessful – attempt at court-sanctioned doxing, Twitter has also asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to order Github to reveal the identity of the user who posted the code. and those who went and downloaded it.

V New York Times reports that, according to sources within the company involved in an internal investigation into the leak, Twitter executives strongly suspect it is the work of a disgruntled employee who left “within the past year.” Coincidentally, Elon Musk bought Twitter last October for a mind-blowing $44 billion price tag and proceeded to lay off and otherwise lose 80 percent of the company’s employees, rather than the 75 percent everyone feared Musk would take ahead of his purchase.

The executive director who spoke to New York Times are primarily concerned that revelations derived from stolen code could amplify future hacking efforts, either revealing new exploits or allowing attackers to gain access to Twitter user data. If the page’s increasingly temperamental functionality wasn’t enough to send the site’s user base on the run, who weren’t already deterred by the resurgence of a scam and white nationalist site after Elon’s takeover, wouldn’t the threat of a direct hack be the last straw for advertisers and users?

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