London, United Kingdom
A Transgender Twitter Fight
It was one short tweet. A transgender activist Miranda Yardley called another transgender activist, Aimee Challenor, a “man”. It certainly wasn’t the first controversial or potentially offensive remark that Miranda Yardley had tweeted out, but it does appear that it was the final straw for Twitter, which handed her a permanent ban. While Miranda says that her views should be protected under the principle of free speech, Aimee says the tweet - and other comments posted online - were part of a...
The Mysterious Wikipedia Editor
Who is “Philip Cross”? That’s the name on an account that has made more than 130,000 Wikipedia edits since 2004. But it’s not so much the volume of his work but his subject matter that has irritated anti-war politicians and journalists around the world. His detractors claim that he’s biased against them and that his influence has made some entries unreliable. It’s a charge that’s rejected by the foundation behind Wikipedia, but the person behind Philip Cross remains elusive. So what...
A Vegan YouTube Court Drama
Anna Scanlon made videos about her vegan lifestyle. It was a good way to build connections and keep in touch with people from back home. But one day she angered a fellow vegan blogger. What happened next was, she says, a nightmarish scenario in which she became a target for abuse and unfounded rumours. She was even accused of performing sex acts on camera. She appealed to social media companies but got little response. And now she has filed a lawsuit which is about to lead to a trial – and...
Weapons of Mass Deception
It is almost a year since Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Bahrain and their allies cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar. This week, BBC Arabic journalist Owen Pinnell helps us reveal how allegations of hacked websites, bot armies and other online dirty tricks have fuelled the ongoing tensions between the two sides. Also in the programme, the meme which made the black community in Oakland, California, determined to keep BBQing. We speak to some of the people who are firing up the charcoal in...
Mexico’s Fake News Problem
This year Mexico will hold both its presidential and congressional election at the same time. With such high stakes, political parties are being accused of systemically using bots and cyber trolls to spread online propaganda – even though they deny this. Researchers and activists have catalogued examples of bots and troll farms being used to promote specific candidates Initiatives such as Verificado 2018 and the blog Lo Que Sigue (“What’s Next”) are popping up around the country to help...