Nearly a decade since the Arab Spring uprisings, social media use in the region has declined dramatically.

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Eight years after Twitter and Facebook helped fuel a wave of revolutions that toppled long-standing dictators across the Arab world, social media use in the region has plummeted.

The fall comes as several governments crack down on expression online and implement strict surveillance regimes, leading free speech activists to question the supposed progress that has been made since the days of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia and President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.

In Tunisia, the decline was especially steep with internet users on Facebook dropping from 99 percent in 2013 to just 48 percent in 2018, according…


A new law gives the Singapore government broad reach to decide what is true and what isn’t—and tech giants like Facebook and Google are opposed.

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Internet giants like Facebook and Google are raising the alarm about a new law passed in Singapore that gives the government broad power to demand that so-called “fake news” be removed from their platforms.

The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) was passed last week by Singapore’s parliament and gives the government broad powers to decide what is fraudulent and establishes a wide array of enforcement mechanisms.

“Prescriptive legislation should not be the first solution in addressing what is a highly nuanced and complex issue,” Jeff Paine, managing director of the Asia Internet Coalition (which represents major companies…


The potential for multiple layers of regulation has the tech sector united in its push for consistent federal policy.

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Still reeling from a recent series of devastating consumer data breaches, an unlikely consortium of tech companies is pushing for a uniform federal privacy law to address the growing “techlash” and preempt potentially more onerous regulations or a patchwork of state-by-state rules.

As some states and foreign governments try to implement new limits on what information tech companies can collect and share, once regulation-wary executives are asking for an overarching law — one that they can help write.

“There is a strong willingness to work with the government to determine what is doable and what is feasible,” Kristina Bergman, the…


In nine months, California will implement the strictest data privacy law in the nation. Less than 20% of companies are ready.

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Karin Hildebrand Lau / Shutterstock

With just nine months until California implements the strictest data privacy law in the nation, the vast majority of businesses operating in the state are not compliance ready.

Researchers determined that just 14 percent of companies that collect consumer data from California residents are fully compliant with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which was signed into law in June 2018 and gave companies until January 1, 2020, to comply. The report was published this month by TrustArc, a San Francisco-based privacy compliance firm.

Of the 86 percent of companies still working to comply, less than half have started implementing…

Spencer Feingold

Spencer Feingold is a digital journalist at Cheddar.

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