Elijah Daniel, 26, a creator in Los Angeles, is helping followers put a price on the creators. On Friday, he launched the Clout Market, which is a little bit like trading cards, but of influencers.

The Clout Market offers 10 million NFTs representing top creators including Trisha Paytas, James Charles, Bryce Hall, David Dobrik and Jeffree Star. The NFTs are designed to look like Pokemon cards with pixelated images of each creator. The cards carry parody names for legal purposes, Mr. Daniel said, so Tana Mongeau’s card reads “Tana Mongoose.”

The price for these items is determined by the creator’s relevance online. Mr. Daniel worked with a developer to create a dynamic pricing structure that adjusts prices in real time. (It pulls from social and analytics platforms data.) If a creator loses or gains followers or trends on Twitter, the price of the NFT Mr. Daniel created for them will go up or down.

Mr. Daniel said the goal of selling these NFTs is to let fans monetize the drama surrounding their favorite influencers. “A lot of fans will buy these for support,” he said, “haters will buy them to bet on people’s downfall.”

“Influencers and social media stars are making so much money off drama and scandals,” he said, “and most of them are fake. This is a way for the fans who follow along so heavily with everything to be able to invest in those scandals and make money too.”

He added: “If we have to go through another scandal, we all better be getting paid for it.”

“This is the first-wave of creators adopting new technologies to connect with an already engaged fan-base,” said Jeremiah Owyang, a creator adviser to Rally.io. “But instead of it being one-way and solely transactional,” he said, “the fans are as much part of the creation experience as the creator.”

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Russia Says It Is Slowing Access to Twitter

MOSCOW — The Russian government said on Wednesday that it was slowing access to Twitter, accusing the social network of failing to remove illegal content and signaling that the Kremlin is escalating its offensive against American internet companies that have long provided a haven for freedom of expression.

Russia’s telecommunications regulator said it was reducing the speed at which Twitter loaded for internet users in Russia, though it was not immediately clear how noticeable the move would be. The regulator, Roskomnadzor, accused Twitter of failing for years to remove posts about illegal drug use or child pornography or messages “pushing minors toward suicide.”

“With the aim of protecting Russian citizens and forcing the internet service to follow the law on the territory of the Russian Federation, centralized reactive measures have been taken against Twitter starting March 10, 2021 — specifically, the initial throttling of the service’s speeds, in accordance with the regulations,” the regulator said in a statement.

“If the internet service Twitter continues to ignore the demands of the law, measures against it will continue in accordance with the regulations, up to and including blocking it,” it added.

he has allowed the internet to remain essentially free.

Twitter — and to a much greater extent, Facebook’s Instagram and Google’s YouTube — have given Russians ways to speak, report and organize openly even though the Kremlin controls the television airwaves.

Those social networks, along with Chinese-owned TikTok, played a pivotal role in the anti-Kremlin protests that accompanied the return and imprisonment of the opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny this year. Mr. Navalny has some 2.5 million Twitter followers, and his investigation published in January into a purported secret palace of Mr. Putin was viewed more than 100 million times on YouTube.

Russian officials claim that Silicon Valley companies discriminate against Russians by blocking some pro-Kremlin accounts while handing a megaphone to the Kremlin’s critics. They have also said that social networks have refused to remove content drawing children into the unauthorized protests in support of Mr. Navalny.

In recent weeks, the Kremlin has led an intensifying drumbeat criticizing American internet companies, painting them as corrupting foreign forces.

Mr. Putin said this month.

The internet, Mr. Putin said, must respect “the moral laws of the society in which we live — otherwise, this society will be destroyed from the inside.”

Twitter has a small user base in Russia, though it is popular among journalists, politicians and opposition activists. A report last year estimated the service had 690,000 active users in Russia, meaning that any public backlash over the move is likely to be far smaller than if the Kremlin imposed similar limits for Instagram or YouTube.

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Epoch Media Casts Wider Net to Spread Its Message Online

Right on Times does not disclose any partnership with Epoch, nor do the two websites share a unique digital identifier. But when it launched in October, its articles were posted on social media by Epoch employees. Right on Times also had a prominent ad campaign on Epoch properties, and it included many articles from Epoch properties on its service. Those actions led disinformation researchers, including those at the Global Disinformation Index, to conclude there was coordination.

Epoch Times said that Right on Times was one of its advertisers, and that Youmaker was an “independent business partner.” Sagebook, the company said, was being phased out. (The Sagebook site was no longer accessible as of last week.)

“The premise of your article is incorrect,” the company said in an email. “The Epoch Times does not deal in conspiracy theories. We pride ourselves on rigorous, fact-based reporting, which has attracted a large and rapidly growing audience.”

The largest media brand run by the Epoch Media Group remains The Epoch Times, which regularly publishes pro-Trump misinformation. In the past year, articles from The Epoch Times garnered 123.7 million likes and shares on social media, according to the social media analysis tool Buzzsumo. It has tens of millions of social media followers and has become a true rival of successful conservative outlets like The Daily Caller and Breitbart News. It now has dozens of international versions.

In 2019 and 2020, Facebook alleged links between The Epoch Times and brands including “The BL” and “Truth Media,” saying they were all part of the Falun Gong orbit. The brands operated hundreds of accounts that automatically published posts on Facebook at a rapid clip about conservative ideology and the 2020 election, as well as misinformation about the coronavirus. Eventually, Facebook ruled that many of those accounts violated its “coordinated inauthentic behavior” policies. The company removed them in two separate takedowns.

“We have clarified repeatedly that The Epoch Times has no relationship with The BL and Truth Media,” Epoch Media said.

Epoch began to make use of the alternative social media platforms, like Sagebook and Youmaker, in late 2020. Youmaker draws about 1.5 million unique visitors per month, according to data from the website analytics company SimilarWeb. Sagebook attracted 38,000 monthly visitors and Right on Times sees 15,000, according to SimilarWeb data.

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YouTube Removes Myanmar Military Channels

YouTube said on Friday that it had cut five television channels run by Myanmar’s military from its platform, the latest in a string of moves by American internet giants to pare back the military’s online footprint since it seized power in a coup last month.

The company — a unit of Alphabet, which also owns Google — said in a statement that it had removed the channels and videos based on its community guidelines, though it did not specify what rules the military had broken. The blocked channels included the government-run Myanmar Radio and Television and the military-owned Myawaddy Media, both of which broadcast news, sports, military propaganda and martial anthems.

The removal came at the end of the bloodiest week of protests since the military overthrew Myanmar’s fragile democratic government on Feb. 1. On Wednesday, more than 30 people were killed as the security forces used increasingly brutal means to crush anti-coup protests. At least one person, a 20-year-old man who was shot in the neck, was killed during a protest on Friday in the city of Mandalay.

Myanmar’s post-coup politics have also played out digitally. Protesters have used social media sites to plot demonstrations, to spread memes denouncing the generals’ power grab and to share videos of police and military violence.

stormed telecom data centers and blocked social media sites. At times, it has cut off internet access entirely. When they can get online, many people in the country have turned to specialized software to get around the blocks and log onto sites like Facebook.

In the weeks since the coup, internet companies have slowly beefed up controls aimed at the military. Last week, Facebook said it would block all military pages from its site and cut advertising by military-owned businesses, in one of its most direct interventions in a country’s politics to date.

YouTube’s takedown appeared to stop short of Facebook’s broader ban. A YouTube spokesperson did not respond to questions about whether Alphabet would take further action against the military, like cutting off its businesses’ access to ads, as Facebook did. YouTube’s move was previously reported by Reuters.

The coup and the ensuing protests have put American internet firms in an increasingly familiar, if uncomfortable, position as political arbiters in fights over democracy and human rights far from their home. Nationalist leaders around the world, from the Philippines to India to the United States, have used Facebook and other platforms to spread disinformation and incite violence.

Myanmar had already become a test case for dealing with some of the internet’s most dangerous excesses. Facebook, for example, has faced intense criticism over how the military has used the platform to promote hatred toward Myanmar’s Rohingya minority, the victims of an ethnic cleansing campaign carried out by the military.

social media monitoring team under military command, according to tech experts in Myanmar.

Since then, internet companies have sought to show that they were alert to the military’s tactics. During campaigning before national elections in Myanmar last year, Alphabet took down two YouTube channels that it said it were linked to influence operations supporting the party that was formed by the former military junta. After the elections, the company took down 34 more YouTube channels connected to the military. In the last few months, it cut another 20 such channels and 160 videos for violating policies related to hate speech, harassment and violent content, among other infractions.

Despite the blocks, activists in Myanmar complain that the tech companies are still slow to pull down disinformation and violent content. The official pages of several of the television channels taken down by YouTube had already been blocked by Facebook. And since Facebook’s wider ban on military pages, a number of replacement pages appear to have sprouted up to replace those that were removed.

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