Civil Rights & Constitutional Law


#KindrGrindr: Gay dating app launches anti-racism campaign

BBC News

If you're a black or Asian user of gay dating app Grindr, then it's possible you've encountered racism while using it. Some users of the app have said they've come across what they believe are discriminatory statements on other profiles - things like "no blacks and no Asians". Others say they've faced racist comments in conversation with users when they've rejected their advances. Now Grindr has taken a stand against discrimination on its platform and says no user is entitled to tear another down for "being who they are". It's launched the #KindrGrindr campaign to raise awareness of racism and discrimination and promote inclusivity among users.


Leading Rights Groups Call on Google Not to Censor Its Search Engine in China

TIME

More than a dozen human rights groups have sent a letter to Google urging the company not to offer censored internet search in China, amid reports it is planning to again begin offering the service in the giant Asian market. The joint letter dated Tuesday calls on CEO Sundar Pichai to explain what Google is doing to safeguard users from the Chinese government's censorship and surveillance. It describes the censored search engine app, codenamed "Dragonfly", as representing "an alarming capitulation by Google on human rights. "The Chinese government extensively violates the rights to freedom of expression and privacy; by accommodating the Chinese authorities' repression of dissent, Google would be actively participating in those violations for millions of internet users in China," said the letter That follows a letter earlier this month signed by more than a thousand Google employees protesting the company's secretive plan to build a search engine that would comply with Chinese censorship. The letter called on executives to review ethics and transparency at the company.


Google is developing a censored news app for China

Mashable

Google's recently leaked plans to re-enter the Chinese market doesn't end with a mobile search engine app. The company is also getting into the (censored) news business. Three sources told The Information that development of this news app began late last year and meetings with Chinese regulators to discuss the app have already been underway. SEE ALSO: Leaked document shows Google's plans for its censored search engine in China The Google news app for China would be powered by artificial intelligence, not human editors, and would provide content customized to each user. The Google app is said to closely resemble popular Chinese news reader app Toutiao, which currently has 120 million daily users.


Google in China: Internet giant 'plans censored search engine'

BBC News

Google is developing a version of its search engine that will conform to China's censorship laws, reports say. The company shut down the engine in 2010, complaining that free speech was being limited. But online news site The Intercept says Google has being working on a project code-named Dragonfly that will block terms like human rights and religion, a move sure to anger activists. One state-owned newspaper in China, Securities Daily, dismissed the report. "We provide a number of mobile apps in China, such as Google Translate and Files Go, help Chinese developers, and have made significant investments in Chinese companies like JD.com," it said.


Bowing to censorship, Google plans to launch search app in lucrative Chinese market, ending long boycott: sources

The Japan Times

SAN FRANCISCO/HONG KONG/BEIJING โ€“ Google is preparing a version of its search engine for China that blocks results Beijing considers sensitive, according to people familiar with the situation. The initiative is code-named Dragonfly and is one of several options the company is pursuing for returning to China, the people said, while noting the timing is still up in the air. They asked not to be identified discussing private plans. The move would mark an abrupt about-face by the Alphabet Inc. unit and a win for China's communist government, which suppresses free speech online. Google co-founder Sergey Brin, whose parents brought him to the U.S. to escape communist Russia, led a dramatic exit from mainland China in 2010 after the company refused to self-censor search content.


Google Might Be Ready to Play By China's Censorship Rules

WIRED

In 2010, Google made a moral calculus. The company had been censoring search results in China at the behest of the Communist government since launching there in 2006. But after a sophisticated phishing attack to gain access to the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists, Google decided to stop censoring results, even though it cost the company access to the lucrative Chinese market. Across nearly a decade, Google's decision to weigh social good over financial profit became part of Silicon Valley folklore, a handy anecdote that cast the tech industry as a democratizing force in the world. But to tech giants with an insatiable appetite for growth, China's allure is just as legendary.


Google under fire over reported plans to launch a censored search engine in China

Daily Mail

Google is reportedly going to launch a censored version of its search engine in China. The tech giant has been secretly planning to launch the product since last year, as part of a project referred to inside the company as'Dragonfly,' according to The Intercept, which was given internal documents from a whistleblower. It comes as Google has tried and failed to make inroads in the Chinese market over the past several years. Google has been planning to launch the product since last year, as part of a project referred to inside the company as'Dragonfly.' While China is home to the world's largest number of internet users, a 2015 report by US think tank Freedom House found that the country had the most restrictive online use policies of 65 nations it studied, ranking below Iran and Syria.


The quiet and creeping normalisation of facial recognition technology

#artificialintelligence

At face value it's remarkably convenient โ€“ and really, really cool. If you live in Bournemouth and fancy a night out, you no longer have to worry about squeezing your passport in and out of your pocket just to get through the door of a club, pub, or bar. Instead of relying on traditional forms of ID to verify your age, you can now use Yoti โ€“ an app that uses facial recognition to prove that you are you.


The Google Arts and Culture app has a race problem

Mashable

The Google Arts and Culture app (available on iOS and Android) has been around for two years, but this weekend, it shot to the top of both major app stores because of a small, quietly added update.


AI Research Is in Desperate Need of an Ethical Watchdog

#artificialintelligence

About a week ago, Stanford University researchers posted online a study on the latest dystopian AI: They'd made a machine learning algorithm that essentially works as gaydar. After training the algorithm with tens of thousands of photographs from a dating site, the algorithm could, for example, guess if a white man in a photograph was gay with 81 percent accuracy. They wanted to protect gay people. "[Our] findings expose a threat to the privacy and safety of gay men and women," wrote Michal Kosinski and Yilun Wang in the paper. They built the bomb so they could alert the public about its dangers.