Twitter bans calls for polling disruptions and early victory declarations to curb election abuse

Twitter’s moves, like those announced recently by Facebook, are aimed mainly at combating efforts to manipulate the political landscape at critical moments in the hotly contested national vote. The policy changes are the culmination of years of reforms intended to prevent a repeat of 2016′s electoral debacle on social media, when disinformation, false news reports and Russian interference rampaged virtually unchecked across all major platforms.

“Twitter has a critical role to play in protecting the integrity of the election conversation, and we encourage candidates, campaigns, news outlets and voters to use Twitter respectfully and to recognize our collective responsibility to the electorate to guarantee a safe, fair and legitimate democratic process this November,” company officials said in a blog post published at noon Friday. The authors were Vijaya Gadde, the Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead at Twitter, and Kayvon Beykpour, its product lead.

The moves are likely to

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Exclusive: Google faces new antitrust case in India over abuse in smart TVs market – sources

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google is facing a new antitrust case in India in which the U.S. tech giant is alleged to have abused its Android operating system’s position in the smart television market, a source and two lawyers involved in the case told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: A man stands in front of a screen during a Google event in New Delhi, India September 27, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo

The case is Google’s fourth major antitrust challenge in India, one of its key markets where it is currently facing public criticism from local startups for enforcing certain policies and company charges they contend hurt their growth.

It also comes as Google faces new antitrust challenges in the United States, and a potential antitrust probe in China that is set to look into how it allegedly uses its dominance of its Android mobile operating

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The Technology 202: Twitter’s response to Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis highlights inconsistencies in company’s handling of abuse

From Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.):

Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) also responded to the company’s tweet.

Twitter on Saturday said it would do better:

The episode highlighted the broader issue of social media abuse directed at female politicians particularly from minority backgrounds. 

Female congresswomen are far more likely than their male counterparts to be targeted with abusive posts on Facebook and Twitter, according to a new analysis from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue shared exclusively with The Technology 202. And the research shows that Ocasio-Cortez and Omar received the highest proportion of abusive comments. 

The findings are particularly important in the final weeks of a contentious presidential election, where a Black and Asian American woman is for the first time on the presidential ticket. They’re also a reminder that vice presidential candidate and Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) is particularly vulnerable

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Fraud claims, DOJ probe and sexual abuse allegations cloud $2 billion deal between GM and Nikola truck startup

What seemed like a simple matter of crossing “t”s and dotting “i”s has turned into a protracted challenge for General Motors and Nikola, after negotiations to pair up and produce new zero-emissions trucks have been extended.

The $2 billion deal, announced on Sept. 9, was billed as a “partnership made in heaven,” according to Nikola founder and then-chairman Trevor Milton, during a media call with GM CEO Mary Barra. But the Phoenix-based startup has since been hammered by claims of fraud, with a Securities and Exchange Commission probe now underway. Allegations surfaced this week of sexual assault by Milton, who stepped down as chairman last week. Nikola’s stock has plunged to barely a quarter of what it was worth when the company went public last June.

Talks expected to wrap up today could now run through Dec. 3, at which time the proposed deal “may be terminated by either (Nikola)

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Worry, fear of COVID-19 amplifies risk of substance abuse — ScienceDaily

Long after a COVID-19 vaccination is developed and years after the coronavirus death toll is tallied, the impact on mental health will linger, continuing to inflict damage if not addressed, according to new research. Michael Zvolensky, University of Houston Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and director of the Anxiety and Health Research Laboratory/Substance Use Treatment Clinic, has published two papers discussing the psychological, addictive and health behavior issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic from a behavioral science perspective.

“The impact of COVID-19 on psychological symptoms and disorders, addiction and health behavior is substantial and ongoing and will negatively impact people’s mental health and put them at greater risk for chronic illness and drug addiction,” reports Zvolensky in Behaviour Research and Therapy. “It will not equally impact all of society. Those at greater risk are those that have mental health vulnerabilities or disorders.”

For instance,

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