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steven36 posted a topic in General NewsYou’ll still be able to use GIFs when you feel the need to share your favorite screencaps. Twitter will no longer animate PNG files after trolls hijacked the Epilepsy Foundation's handle and hashtags last month to send potentially seizure-inducing images to epileptic and photo-sensitive individuals. The company says it recently discovered a bug that had allowed people to add multiple animated images to a tweet and bypass Twitter's autoplay protections using the file format. That said, Twitter also says it isn't aware that anyone used APNG to try and trigger seizures; it just wants to avoid the possibility that people do so in the future. "We want everyone to have a safe experience on Twitter," the company said in a tweet. "APNGs were fun, but they don't respect autoplay settings, so we're removing the ability to add them to tweets. This is for the safety of people with sensitivity to motion and flashing imagery, including those with epilepsy." Twitter also said APNGs used up a lot of data, and could in some circumstances cause app crashes. To be clear: you'll still be able to add animated images to your tweets, you'll just need to fall back on GIFs. Since most people already use GIFs as their go-to for sharing clips and reactions, the update is unlikely to change how the majority use the platform. To make up for the loss of the added functionality that comes with APNGs, Twitter says it's working on adding alt-text to GIFs, which will help make them more accessible to people who depend on screen readers to navigate the internet. It's also looking into building a similar feature that's "better for you and your Twitter experience." The move probably won't make Twitter completely safe for photo-sensitive individuals since trolls have used GIFs in the past to try and harm people. However, the fact that APNGs were able to bypass the site's autoplay protections made them particularly susceptible to abuse. Update: This post and its headline have been updated to note Twitter says that it isn't aware of anyone misusing the APNG format to try and trigger seizures; it just wants to make sure no one does so going forward. Source
Reefa posted a topic in FileSharing NewsIn general terms, Finland was targeted by copyright trolls fairly late in the day, during 2013. But according to information compiled by an NGO activist, they're certainly making up for lost time. Since December 2013, the Market Court has ordered local ISPs to hand over the personal details of more than 200,000 Internet users, so that copyright trolls can pursue them for cash settlements. Fifteen years ago, the RIAA was contacting alleged file-sharers in the United States, demanding cash payments to make supposed lawsuits go away. In the years that followed, dozens of companies followed in their footsteps – not as a deterrent – but as a way to turn piracy into profit. The practice is now widespread, not just in the United States, but also in Europe where few major countries have avoided the clutches of trolls. Germany has been hit particularly hard, with millions of cases. The UK has also seen tens of thousands of individuals targeted since 2006 although more recently the trolls there have been in retreat. The same cannot be said about Finland, however. From a relatively late start in 2013, trolls have been stepping up their game in leaps and bounds but the true scale of developments in this Scandinavian country will probably come as a surprise to even the most seasoned of troll-watchers. According to data compiled by NGO activist Ritva Puolakka, the business in Finland has grown to epidemic proportions. In fact, between 2013 and 2017 the Market Court (which deals with Intellectual Property matters, among other things) has ordered local Internet service providers to hand over the details of almost 200,000 Finnish Internet subscribers. Published on the Ministry of Education and Culture website (via mikrobitti.fi) the data (pdf) reveals hundreds of processes against major Finnish ISPs. Notably, every single case has been directed at a core group of three providers – Elisa, TeliaSonera and DNA – while customers of other ISPs seem to have been completely overlooked. Exactly why isn’t clear but in other jurisdictions it’s proven more cost-effective to hone a process with a small number of ISPs, rather than spread out to those with fewer customers. Only one legal process is listed for 2013 but that demanded the identities of people behind 50 IP addresses. In 2014 there was a 14-fold increase in processes and the number of IP addresses targeted grew to 1,387. For 2015, a total of 117 processes are listed, demanding the identities of people behind 37,468 IP addresses. In 2016 the trolls really upped their game. A total of 131 processes demanded the details of individuals behind 98,966 IP addresses. For last year, 79 processes are on the books, which in total amounted to 60,681 potential defendants in settlement cases. In total, between 2013 and 2017 the Market Court ordered the ISPs to hand over the personal details of people behind a staggering 198,552 IP addresses. While it should be noted that each might not lead to a unique individual, the number is huge when one considers the potential returns if everyone pays up hundreds of euros to make supposed court cases go away. But despite the significant scale, it will probably come as no surprise that very few companies are involved. Troll operations tend to be fairly centralized, often using the same base services to track and collect evidence against alleged pirates. In the order they entered the settlement business in Finland the companies involved are: LFP Video Group LLC, International Content Holding B.V., Dallas Buyers Club LLC, Crystalis Entertainment UG, Scanbox Entertainment A/S, Fairway Film Alliance LLC, Copyright Collections Ltd, Mircom International Content Management, Interallip LLP, and Oy Atlantic Film Finland Ab. source