PEW Report: “Social Media Use in 2018

Social Media Use in 2018

A new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults finds that the social media landscape in early 2018 is defined by a mix of long-standing trends and newly emerging narratives.

Facebook and YouTube dominate this landscape, as notable majorities of U.S. adults use each of these sites.


Updating our “right to be forgotten” Transparency Report

In May 2014, in a landmark ruling, the European Court of Justice established the “right to be forgotten,” or more accurately, the “right to delist,” allowing Europeans to ask search engines to delist information about themselves from search results. In deciding what to delist, search engines like Google must consider if the information in question is “inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive”—and whether there is a public interest in the information remaining available in search results.

Understanding how we make these types of decisions—and how people are using new rights like those granted by the European Court—is important. Since 2014, we’ve provided information about “right to be forgotten” delisting requests in our Transparency Report, including the number of URLs submitted to us, the number of URLs delisted and not delisted, and anonymized examples of some of the requests we have received.

New data in the Transparency Report

The Evolution of WhatsApp as a Diplomatic Tool

In December of 2014, I conducted a series of interviews with Geneva based Ambassadors hoping to understand how smartphones had influenced the conduct of diplomacy. Through these interviews I learned that  Ambassadors were increasingly using the messaging application WhatsApp to communicate with their peers. Such communication influenced diplomacy in three ways. First, the Ambassadors stated that they were using WhatsApp groups to coordinate initiatives at UN forums. By creating a dedicated WhatsApp group, several Ambassadors could update one another on their respective progress, suggest areas of collaboration, identify possible challenges and even collectively engage in coalition building ahead of votes at the Human Rights Council. One Ambassador even mentioned that his WhatsApp group included the President of the Human Rights Council who was asked via WhatsApp to stall or delay a vote on a resolution as a majority had yet to prevail.  WhatsApp was thus a tool for greater collaboration between Ambassadors and for achieving offline diplomatic goals.

Sweden is an Eden-like country for tech startups and that’s no news. If you want to start an innovative business, the land of Nobel Prize, Volvo, and Ikea offers top-notch infrastructures, simple regulations, and a smart tax legislation. The corporate tax rate is as low as 22 percent yet income taxes are relatively high which makes Sweden doubly appealing for new business ventures. On the one hand, the government doesn’t cannibalize your company’s profits while, on the other, it has the financial resources to guarantee extensive welfare packages that constitute a much-needed safety-net for groundbreaking yet risky business ideas. In…

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