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Technology 12 July 2021

The Week in Internet News: Trump Sues Social Media Giants

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

A big-league lawsuit: Former U.S. President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for being kicked off the social media outlets for violating their terms of service, the Washington Post reports. Most legal experts say the lawsuit has little chance of success; the U.S. First Amendment protects people like Trump against government censorship, but it doesn’t require private companies to amplify the speech of any individual. Still, the lawsuit raises questions about the power of the social media giants, writes Fred Hiatt, the Post’s editorial page editor.

Zero day: Meanwhile, a pro-Trump social media site called Gettr, a Twitter alternative, was hacked on the first day it launched with pro-Palestinian messages, CNet reports. The accounts of several Trump aides and supporters were briefly compromised with a “free Palestine” message.

Android antitrust: Thirty-six U.S. states have sued Google for alleged antitrust violations related to its Android Play Store, CBS News reports. Google is currently facing three other federal antitrust lawsuits, but the new one is the first to challenge Google’s new policy charging app developers a 30 percent commission on sales made through the Play Store.

Super-fast and locally owned: TechDirt has commentary on a PC Magazine survey of the fastest broadband available in the U.S., noting that a handful of the top 10 fastest ISPs are community broadband services. Three of the fastest 10 are city-owned broadband services, and the fastest ISP, Empire Access in New York, “makes heavy use of an open access middle mile fiber network funded in large part by the public,” TechDirt notes.

The right to repair: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has come out in support of the growing “right to repair” movement, Gizmodo reports. The right to repair movement is a response to some electronic company efforts to require that device repairs be made by the company itself or an authorized repair service. Ironically, Apple is one of these companies. Open source tech, however, was instrumental in Apple’s early successes, the Woz says.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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