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July 2019
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Following Trump Ruling Against Twitter Blockade, AOC Sued For Her Blocks On Twitter

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So we just wrote about the 2nd Circuit Appeals court affirming a victory for the Knight 1st Amendment Center against Donald Trump, making it clear that he cannot block followers on social media. As we noted, the case is very fact specific, and people shouldn't read too much into it. But, in general, it does find that if someone is a public official, using social media for official government purposes, and creating an open public forum out of that, they cannot block followers based on the views of those followers -- as that is the state engaging in impermissible viewpoint discrimination.Some Trump supporters then spun that around on the other side of the aisle, picking out the fact that freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has blocked people on Twitter as well. Indeed, as Scott Greenfield points out, in the wake of the 2nd Circuit ruling, former NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind has already sued Ocasio-Cortez, pointing out that she has him blocked on Twitter.And, again, the whole point we tried to make with our post about the Trump ruling is that the rules are very fact specific -- but based on what's known so far, it looks like Hikind is absolutely correct. AOC famously uses her Twitter feed for official government business all the time. And if she's blocked Hikind for the way he expresses his views, it seems likely that she, too, is on the wrong side of the Constitution. From the lawsuit, it appears Hikind is very much blocked by AOC:

I've seen some people trying to distinguish the two cases -- but mostly that seems based on their political views, and whether they tend to support Trump or AOC. And that's a problem. There may be distinguishing factors that come out later, but from what's laid out in the lawsuit as presented, it seems like Hikind's case is pretty much identical to the Knight case, and AOC shouldn't be allowed to block people from this particular account. One possible distinction would be if AOC can prove that the decisions to block were not based on content (a violation of the 1st Amendment), but on actions, such as harassment -- however, it would be very, very difficult to make that case in a credible way that doesn't also create all sorts of knock-on consequences for speech.I've seen some raise issues about how she should be able to make use of the tools provided on the platform to block trolls and harassers, but, again, that applies equally to Trump. And going back to basics, if the government official is creating an open forum, they cannot block people based on their expression. That's sort of fundamental to the 1st Amendment. And thus, if you agree that Trump can't block users, it seems that should apply equally to AOC, no matter if you support one of them, neither of them or even (amazingly) both of them.

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posted at: 12:00am on 12-Jul-2019
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YouTube Begins Blocking Stream-Ripping Sites

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As we've discussed previously, the past several years have seen the major music industry players paint an entirely new anti-piracy target on the backs of stream-ripping sites. These sites, which allow users to plug in the address for a YouTube video and get an audio rip outputted, are quite often used to generate audio files of copyrighted materials. This, however, is most certainly not their only use. In fact, there are many legitimate uses for these sites. I, myself, often use them to convert publicly available lectures and educational material put out by everything from universities to technology manufacturers so that I can listen to them while on the go. In this way, the music industry is once again taking a tool that can be but is not always used for copyright infringement and attempting to carpet bomb them all to hell.And now they appear to have found an ally in YouTube, which recently and rather silently began blocking access to the sites from known stream-ripping websites.

Several operators of YouTube-to-MP3 rippers have confirmed that the streaming service is actively blocking requests from their sites.“All my servers are blocked with error ‘HTTP Error 429: Too Many Requests’,” the operator of Dlnowsoft.com informs TorrentFreak. As a result, the stream-ripping site currently displays a “service temporarily unavailable, we will come back soon” error message.The site in question is not alone. Mp3-youtube.download, another stream-ripper, is facing a similar issue. According to its operator, something changed yesterday evening and users now see a ‘this URL does not exist’ error message when they try to convert a YouTube clip. The massively popular Onlinevideoconverter.com, which is among the top 200 most-visited sites on the Internet, appears to be affected as well.
On the one hand, this isn't the most surprising development in human history. Like any service provider, there is a certain amount of instinct in wanting to retain control over one's product. Stream-ripping sites route around the control YouTube would otherwise have.That being said, it's an odd move for a company that used to tout a mantra of "Don't be evil." After all, it wouldn't take a lot of work or thought to argue convincingly that removing the ability for people to hear educational materials on the go, such as I do, is some level of bad, if not evil. On top of that, how about any artist or content creator who might actually enjoy the fact that their material can be made audibly available in this manner? Certainly the number of people that fit such a category is not zero. Google's new policy surely is harming them, is it not?All of this is made even more strange in that Google didn't give any heads up about this new policy, isn't talking about it now, and has to know that it isn't going to work long-term.
None of the site operators we heard from was warned by YouTube in advance. We also reached out to the video streaming service for a comment and further details, but at the time of writing, we have yet to hear back.While YouTube’s efforts, intentional or not, are effective, they will likely trigger a cat-and-mouse game. The operator of a popular stream-ripper, who prefers to remain anonymous, managed to get around the blockade by deploying several proxy servers.
I've seen this movie before and I know how it ends. And for what? To block sites that are sometimes used by users to infringe, but not always, and to appease a music industry that is never, ever, ever going to be on YouTube's side? Come on.

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Social Media: How to secure our data and how secure is it

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Over the last decade, we have been the witness of the digital age which to some extent has revolutionized our daily lives. The internet itself, since its evolution, has played a humongous part in changing our behaviors. Now, with just one click of a button, people can access information of all kinds, communicate with each […]The post Social Media: How to secure our data and how secure is it appeared first on Adotas.

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New Study Finds Insights-Driven Approach To Cross-Channel Video Leads To Successful Marketing Efforts

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A global survey found those brands that embrace customer-centric video marketing see greater returns. A global data science and marketing technology company, today released a new research study conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by 4C. TheMature Your Video Marketing to Drive Business Valuethought leadership paper (TLP) delves into the growing importance of taking an […]The post New Study Finds Insights-Driven Approach To Cross-Channel Video Leads To Successful Marketing Efforts appeared first on Adotas.

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