• Unfree speech? In the United States, the First Amendment would likely prevent the prosecution of someone who posted racist or anti-Semitic messages on a social media platform. But social media platforms operate worldwide, and many nations’ laws are much less permissive when it comes to speech of this type. Following a French case in which Twitter was forced to remove certain anti-Semitic content, many operators of social media platforms have updated their terms of service to comply with European laws regarding racist statements, Holocaust denial and other hate speech.
  • By invitation only. Google is currently rolling out Inbox, a new email system with added features that may eventually replace Gmail for some users. Interestingly, Google is initially making Inbox available only by invitation. Each person with an Inbox account can invite up to three friends by clicking a “golden ticket” icon. It’s not clear why Google is doing this. According to an article on Techcrunch, Google may be trying to create a “sense of buzz” for the new app so that it can grow the user base inexpensively and virally.
  • Not with a bang but a whimper. Last month, we wrote about the long-drawn-out trademark battle between Twitter and Twitpic in which Twitter said it would prevent Twitpic from gaining access to its API if Twitpic did not abandon its trademark. Twitpic decided to shut down instead, and we just heard the last bit of news on this dispute: Twitpic’s archives of photos will remain accessible and available for perusal, but no new additions will be allowed. And Twitpic is ending the availability of its mobile apps. So if you put a photo on Twitpic a year ago, you’ll still be able to find it, but that’s about all.