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After Facebook, Dataminr lifts ban on Russia Today

Social networking giant Facebook, facing criticism for allegedly spreading fake news that favoured Trump and "racial bias" in hate speech censorship, banned RT (formerly Russia Today) from posting content on its page on Thursday. The ban was supposed to last until Saturday (10.55 pm Moscow time).

IANS

Updated:January 21, 2017, 10:19 AM IST
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After Facebook, Dataminr lifts ban on Russia Today
Social networking giant Facebook, facing criticism for allegedly spreading fake news that favoured Trump and "racial bias" in hate speech censorship, banned RT (formerly Russia Today) from posting content on its page on Thursday. The ban was supposed to last until Saturday (10.55 pm Moscow time). (Representative image. Image: News18.com)
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Facebook on Friday lifted its "unexplained" 20-hour ban on Russian television network RT for posting content on its Facebook page, and Dataminr Twitter news-discovery service soon followed to also revoke its ban -- hours before Donald Trump's inauguration as US President.

According to a report in RT.com, Dataminr did not to provide any official explanation for the decision to revoke the ban.

Social networking giant Facebook, facing criticism for allegedly spreading fake news that favoured Trump and "racial bias" in hate speech censorship, banned RT (formerly Russia Today) from posting content on its page on Thursday. The ban was supposed to last until Saturday (10.55 pm Moscow time).

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RT was live during outgoing US President Barack Obama's final press conference when a Facebook bot notification interrupted RT's live stream.

The ban was revoked on Friday morning.

"RT's right to share such content as live streams, images and videos with its over four million followers on its Facebook page were restored. The ban was put in place shortly after RT's broadcast of Barack Obama's final press conference as president," RT said in a report.

Within hours, Dataminr, which monitors Twitter content, also revoked its ban.

Asked why it had imposed a ban in the first place, Dataminr referred to a "review of how we work with government agencies".

"Per our November 30, 2016 notice to you, Dataminr is electing not to renew the Renewal Term. As such, your agreement ended on December 31, 2016," Dataminr's legal team was quoted as saying.

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Dataminr transforms the Twitter stream and other public datasets into alerts. It is used by media and other organisations to track tweets for news.

The Facebook bot that interrupted RT's live stream stated that rights to the content had been claimed by Current Time TV, a project of Radio Liberty in collaboration with the Voice of America.

"Radio Liberty is an independent corporation, financed by the US Congress," the report said.

Current Time TV denied any complaint against the Russian media outlet and said that the channel did not send any complaints regarding RT or any other organisations in connection with the live feed.

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On Thursday, 77 advocacy groups wrote a letter to the social media giant asking it to be more transparent about its censorship decisions.

In the open letter, the advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), asked Facebook to be more transparent about its censorship decisions and sought a report that compiles data on the company's censorship decisions.



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