Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Irish data authority probes Facebook photo breach

December 15, 2018

The Irish data watchdog on Friday launched an investigation into Facebook, after the social media titan admitted a “bug” may have exposed unposted photos from up to 6.8 million users.

The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) probe will take place under strict new European privacy laws outlined in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

It follows a similar probe launched in October — when Facebook admitted a security breach exposed 50 million user accounts.

The Irish data watchdog has launched an investigation into Facebook

The Irish data watchdog has launched an investigation into Facebook The Irish data watchdog has launched an investigation into Facebook AFP/File

“The Irish DPC has received a number of breach notifications from Facebook since the introduction of the GDPR on May 25, 2018,” said head of communications Graham Doyle.

“With reference to these data breaches, including the breach in question, we have this week commenced a statutory inquiry examining Facebook’s compliance with the relevant provisions of the GDPR.”

The Irish DPC has primary European jurisdiction over Facebook as the California-based firm has established its international headquarters in Dublin.

GDPR legislation gives regulators vast powers to sanction firms failing to sufficiently secure personal data.

Corporations can be fined up to four percent of their annual global turnover if they neglect to conform.

That means Facebook faces a theoretical fine of 1.4 billion euros ($1.6 billion), based on its 2017 annual revenue of 35.2 billion euros ($40.6 billion).

On Friday Facebook said using the social media login and granting permission to third-party applications to access photos may have led to the unintended breach between September 13 and 25.

“When someone gives permission for an app to access their photos on Facebook, we usually only grant the app access to photos people share on their timeline,” engineering director Tomer Bar announced in a message to developers.

“In this case, the bug potentially gave developers access to other photos, such as those shared on Marketplace or Facebook Stories.”

The earlier October DPC investigation was launched after Facebook admitted attackers exploited a vulnerability in the website’s code in a manner which could have granted access to private accounts.

That probe has been touted as the first major test of GDPR legislation.

Facebook is already under scrutiny as a result of its role in the Cambridge Analytica (CA) data scandal.

Following revelations from a whistleblower it was revealed that tens of millions of users had their personal data hijacked by CA, a political firm working for Donald Trump in 2016.




France Probes Any Russian Role in Yellow-Vest Movement

December 15, 2018

PARIS—When French President Emmanuel Macron emerged as a leading candidate in 2017, his campaign was targeted by waves of hacking attempts that cybersecurity researchers linked to Moscow.

Now, French security services are investigating any Kremlin role in social media activity that has amplified the yellow-vests movement and spread misinformation about it, helping the protests become the most serious threat to Mr. Macron’s young presidency.

“There has been some suspect activity,” a French cybersecurity official said. “We are in the process of looking at its impact.”

Cybersecurity researchers disagree over whether Kremlin agents have been controlling some of the accounts used to whip up the yellow vests, promote Russian-backed coverage and encourage demonstrators on social networks.

Ryan Fox of New Knowledge, an Austin, Texas-based cybersecurity firm, said it identified several hundred accounts on Twitter and Facebook it says are very likely controlled by Moscow and are active in the movement.

What Is France’s ‘Gilets Jaunes’ or ‘Yellow Vests’ Protest Movement?

What Is France’s ‘Gilets Jaunes’ or ‘Yellow Vests’ Protest Movement?
The “gilets jaunes” or “yellow vests” started out protesting fuel hikes in France’s rural communities. Now, their demonstrations have turned into a national movement against President Emmanuel Macron and his government. Image: Getty

Facebook says that its regular monitoring of social-media accounts for organized interference hasn’t uncovered evidence of a campaign by Moscow or any other foreign government in the yellow vests, or gilets jaunes, movement. A Twitter spokesman declined to comment on the protests.

Graham Brookie, director of the Digital Forensic Research Lab at the Atlantic Council in Washington, said his group hasn’t seen significant evidence of state-sponsored interference. “What we have seen is enthusiastic and opportunistic amplification of unrest across a familiar group of strange bedfellows that include pro-Kremlin influencers or media, far-right influencers, and outright conspiracy theorists,” Mr. Brookie said.

Kremlin spokesman Dimitri Peskov has denied any Russian interference in the yellow vests.

The mainly working-class protest movement against Mr. Macron and his economic policies has mobilized hundreds of thousands of people in recent weeks and led to rioting in Paris. More protests are expected this weekend.

Russia has a stake in how the protests play out.

Mr. Macron’s election victory was an unexpected setback for Moscow last year, when pro-Russian candidates François Fillon and Marine Le Pen were leading contenders for the presidency. Mr. Macron has become one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken critics on the international stage.

In addition to anonymous social-media accounts, pro-Russian activists in France are participating in the protests and helping to turn out demonstrators.

Their involvement reflects Mr. Putin’s role as an inspiration to far-right political activists across the West. The activists see in the yellow vests a grass-roots movement that could hobble or even topple Mr. Macron, a strong supporter of Western institutions such as NATO and the European Union that Mr. Putin views as a threat.

“Macron isn’t legitimate,” said Xavier Moreau, a Franco-Russian businessman who runs a pro-Kremlin website in Moscow. “He rose to power because of a media-legal coup d’état.”

Mr. Moreau, who voted for Mr. Fillon in the last election, donned a yellow vest last Saturday on the Champs Elysees and unfurled a flag of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the breakaway, Russian-backed province of eastern Ukraine. Mr. Moreau has repeatedly traveled to the so-called republic and served as an election observer there.

A photo of Mr. Moreau at the protest with the flag ricocheted across social media, alarming Ukraine’s State Security Service. Its chief posted a statement calling Mr. Moreau a Russian agent. “They have started to create unrest and violence in France behind the backs of peaceful protesters,” the service said.

Mr. Moreau said he isn’t working for the Russian government. “I don’t hide anything,” he said. “I am pro-French and pro-Russian.”

Frank Buhler, a far-right French political activist and Russophile,has been an important online figure in the movement. A former member of Ms. Le Pen’s National Front who was expelled from the party for posting racist remarks on social media, Mr. Buhler posted one of the earlier videos calling for the first yellow vest protest on Nov. 17. His video has been viewed more than 4.5 million times.

He said his involvement in the yellow vests is unrelated to his admiration of Mr. Putin, whom he calls a leader “at the level of Churchill for England, de Gaulle for France or Roosevelt for America.”

“I have never had the least contact with the Russian authorities,” he said.

Mr. Macron has had a contentious relationship with Moscow since the French presidential campaign. The hackers that targeted his campaign used the same techniques, cyber researchers say, as those who penetrated the computer networks of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election, an operation U.S. intelligence agencies have pinned on Moscow. Mr. Macron also accused Kremlin-backed news agencies Russia Today and Sputnik of spreading smears about his character.

On the eve of the presidential election, hackers leaked a huge cache of documents that was taken from Mr. Macron’s campaign, posting it to a far-right online forum.

Write to Matthew Dalton at


New Facebook bug may have exposed unposted photos — “We’re sorry this happened.”

December 14, 2018

Facebook apologized Friday for a “bug” that may have exposed unposted photos from as many as 6.8 million users over a 12-day period through third-party applications.

In the latest in a string of incidents on data protection, the leading social network said using Facebook login and granting permission to third-party apps to access photos may have led to the unintended lapse between September 13 and 25.

“When someone gives permission for an app to access their photos on Facebook, we usually only grant the app access to photos people share on their timeline,” engineering director Tomer Bar said in a message to developers.

In the latest in a string of data protection incidents, Facebook said unposted photos as many as 6.8 million users may have been exposed through third-party applications

In the latest in a string of data protection incidents, Facebook said unposted photos as many as 6.8 million users may have been exposed through third-party applications In the latest in a string of data protection incidents, Facebook said unposted photos as many as 6.8 million users may have been exposed through third-party applications AFP/File

“In this case, the bug potentially gave developers access to other photos, such as those shared on Marketplace or Facebook Stories.”

Bar added that the bug also impacted photos that people uploaded to Facebook but chose not to post — in situations where someone uploads a photo but doesn’t finish posting it, for example.

“We store a copy of that photo so the person has it when they come back to the app to complete their post,” he said.

Bar said affected users would be notified and directed to a help center where they will be able to see what images may have been affected.

“We’re sorry this happened,” he said. “Early next week we will be rolling out tools for app developers that will allow them to determine which people using their app might be impacted by this bug. We will be working with those developers to delete the photos from impacted users.”

Facebook has been facing heightened scrutiny over its data protection practices in recent months, notably since the revelations over hijacking of personal data of tens of millions of users by Cambridge Analytica, a consultancy working on Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.


Philippines: Fake News List Features “Everyone Who Has an Ax To Grind Against President Duterte” (Those in Favor of Rule of Law, Human Rights, things like that….)

December 13, 2018

Image result for President Duterte, photos

Easily the most laughable post to hit social media this week was a list of people supposedly behind a plot to oust President Duterte.

Posted by no less than the President’s controversial son, Paolo “Polong” Duterte, the list identified as “Anti-Administration Group, Oust Duterte Movement” the strangest of bedfellows

Philippine Inquirer

Image result for Paolo “Pulong” Duterte, photos

Paolo “Polong” Duterte

—Vice President Leni Robredo, Supreme Court Associate Justices Antonio Carpio and Marvic Leonen, Sen. Leila de Lima, Bishops Pablo Virgilio David and Broderick Pabillo (misspelled on the list as Pabilo), Inquirer columnist Randy David, journalists Maria Ressa, Ellen Tordesillas and Ed Lingao, former chief justice Hilario Davide, former vice president Jejomar Binay, Cabinet members of the Arroyo administration, retired generals, business entities, “millennial students studying at Jesuit-run schools” and “mutant/cause-oriented groups.”

What set social media on fire was the inclusion of Jollibee among those cooking up a supposed ouster plot. The image of the beloved Filipino icon as a government destabilizer proved too much even for a people known for their extreme patience and deprecating humor.

Soon, many memes of the jolly coup-plotter bee were being shared online, in a hilarious takedown of the bizarre list peddled by the President’s son.

Not a few people also became instant fact-checkers. Foremost of them was Father David Reyes, parish priest of the St. Joseph Patriarch Parish in San Pedro, Laguna, who pointed out that: (1) Bishop Leo Drona was already retired and wheelchair-bound; (2) Bishop Julio Labayen died on April 26, 2016, or before Duterte became President; and (3) Bishop Arturo Santos simply does not exist.

Lingao, meanwhile, pointed out that Jim and Ducky Paredes are two different people, while Don Ramon Pedrosa is not the husband of Carmen Pedrosa, who, “last I heard… is a Duterte die-hard who was appointed to the board of Pagcor.” And so on with the list’s inanities.

But, past the laughter, Robredo and Sen. Nancy Binay asked the pertinent questions: Who drew up the document? Was this sloppy list the work of intelligence agencies? What did the President’s son hope to achieve by “sharing” the ridiculous listing?

For fun, he said in the original post that he had since deleted after the social media backlash. (In a new post, he lashed out at Robredo, Binay and Reyes and told off the rest not to be morons — or, in his formulation, “gago,” “tanga.”)

This is the latest of the Duterte lists that impute crime without evidence on perceived opponents of the President. Outside of Jollibee, the mutants and the dead bishop, those on the list are real people — people who served or are serving their country, many of them with distinction, and whom the list is recklessly branding as destabilizers — “for fun.”

The public knows all too well by now the risk to life and limb that such drug/hate lists pose to those cast as enemies, drug peddlers or destabilizers by this administration.

At the very least, the President’s son, who is running for a congressional seat next year, should know that his words and actions reflect on his father’s lofty office, and could be magnified in ways no ordinary citizen can hope to achieve with a single notorious social media post.

He does know, because he and his family never leave unchallenged similar alleged misinformation foisted on them. He and his brother-in-law have filed at least four counts of libel against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV for linking them to the P6.4-billion “shabu” shipment that slipped into the country last year, and for allegedly extorting money from ride-sharing company Uber.

Such accusations, Polong said, were “intended to malign, destroy and kill my good name and reputation, locally, nationally and internationally,” and “especially so as I am the eldest son of our sitting President.”

For her part, his sister Sara, the Davao City mayor, engineered the ouster of the Speaker, third in the line of succession to the presidency, because Pantaleon Alvarez was said to have called her part of the opposition.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, the authority on destabilizers, didn’t even deign to finesse his description of the list, and called it for what it is: “The first time I saw that posting, I said it’s fake news. I still maintain that it’s fake news.”

That should be the last word on it.

Read more:
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

Google will deny bias in testimony to Congress — Why Silicon Valley Can’t Be Trusted to Run the World

December 11, 2018

Sundar Pichai has tried very hard to avoid political controversy in his three years as CEO of Google. On Tuesday, he won’t be able to avoid the spotlight in Washington any longer.


The former engineer makes his debut appearance before Congress at 10 a.m. ET, when he sits down before the House Judiciary Committee for what is expected to be several hours of intense questioning.
Pichai has briefed members of Congress before, but he’s never testified publicly.
He’s likely to face questions from lawmakers about consumer privacy, Google’s (GOOGL) strategy on China and regulation of the tech industry. Some Republican lawmakers are expected to ask whether the search giant is biased against conservatives.
The CEO will push back against those allegations, according to prepared testimony published by the committee.
“I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way. To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests,” Pichai is expected to say.
“We are a company that provides platforms for diverse perspectives and opinions — and we have no shortage of them among our own employees,” he will add.
A Google executive told CNN Business that Pichai will show lawmakers “his willingness to roll up his sleeves” and work with them.
Chaired by Republican Bob Goodlatte, the House Judiciary Committee has held hearings throughout the year focused on whether tech giants are biased.
Twitter (TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey was the last major tech figure to make an appearance before the committee, doing so at a hearing in September.
Google had previously declined to make Pichai available for a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, even though Dorsey and Facebook (FB) COO Sheryl Sandberg did attend.
An earlier attempt to get Pichai to Capitol Hill became so contentious that a Senate committee featured an empty chair in his place at a hearing.








Jack Dorsey has no excuse

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey. (Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters)

By Molly Roberts
Editorial Writer
The washington Post
December 10 at 4:54 PM

The aim of the vipassana meditation practice, according to Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, is to “know thyself.” There’s no telling whether he succeeded during his 10 days of silence in Myanmar — but even if Dorsey knows himself, he appears to know far less about what’s going on around him.

Dorsey this weekend told his followers about his birthday retreat in the “absolutely beautiful country,” where he spent every day meditating from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. with “breaks for breakfast, lunch and walking.”

He mentioned variations in his heart rate, which he monitored throughout on his Apple watch. He mentioned turning to the music of his “favorite poet,” Kendrick Lamar, right after his silence ended. He even mentioned exactly how many times he was bitten by mosquitoes during a 10-minute period (117, apparently).


[Christian Caryl: Twitter’s latest mishap shows once again why Silicon Valley can’t be trusted to run the world]

He did not mention the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who have fled from Myanmar in the past year amid a state-sponsored ethnic cleansing campaign.

Dorsey’s omission hasn’t gone over well with more internationally aware observers. But it shouldn’t take any expertise in global affairs to be aware of a modern-day genocide — especially if you’re traveling to the country where that genocide occurred, and especially if you run one of the world’s largest social media sites.

That last point is important: Facebook’s failure properly to police its platform as members of the Myanmar military systemically spread hatred from page to page, mobilizing the country’s citizenry against the Rohingya minority, is a lesson in what can happen when companies with immense power fail to take responsibility.

A person familiar with the trip says Dorsey was in Myanmar for a personal holiday, not for business. And Twitter is no Facebook — in Myanmar, or anywhere else where Mark Zuckerberg’s platform essentially functions as the entire Internet. But Dorsey faces the same challenges as his Menlo Park counterpart when it comes to thinking through the ways the online world spills over into offline life.

That task is tough from a distance. When Recode’s Kara Swisher asked Zuckerberg — in an interview that became infamous for the CEO’s insistence that Holocaust deniers weren’t intentionally getting the facts wrong — whether he felt responsible for the deaths in Myanmar, he didn’t answer the question directly. When she pushed, saying she wanted to “know how you felt,” Zuckerberg deflected again.

Zuckerberg was able to discuss scaling up investment in Burmese speakers, and building AI tools, and making “sure that the good is amplified” while doing “everything we can to mitigate the bad.” He was not, at least as far as any reasonable listener could tell, able really to feel for those whose towns were burned and whose loved ones were killed. At least he might plead that he was 7,000 miles away.

Dorsey, on the other hand, was literally on the ground in Myanmar — and still he missed what, at this point in history, is the single most pressing reality about the country. He and Zuckerberg are two very different people with two very different approaches. But, one way or another, they both managed to maintain a distance from real people. For Zuckerberg, Myanmar was a systems engineering problem. For Dorsey, it was a vehicle for self-exploration.

Of course, stepping back from a multibillion-dollar company to take a wider view isn’t easy. Zuckerberg’s great American “listening tour” of 2017, which involved questionably candid photos of him sitting in diners or on big red tractors, was roundly criticized as a self-serving stunt from a presidential hopeful determined to look a little less robotic. And while Zuckerberg was petting livestock, his company was slow-walking a response to Russian election interference and hiring PR firms to smear George Soros.

It’s probably almost impossible for one man, or woman, to understand what’s going on inside a firm of Facebook’s scale — while also fully understanding what’s going on outside. Perhaps that’s an indictment of the founder-driven model most Silicon Valley success stories have followed. But the Zuckerbergs and Dorseys of the world still seem to believe they can do it all.

Image result for Gautama Buddha, pictures

“How do I stop suffering?” Dorsey says it is this question that, “through rigorous scientific self-experimentation,” Gautama Buddha sought to answer 2,500 years ago. You can parse this two ways. One: I am suffering. How do I stop? And two: There is suffering. How do I stop it? Dorsey has every right to examine the first of these quandaries, but given his role in society, there is no excuse for him to be so obtuse about the second.

See also:

Silicon Valley can’t be trusted to run the world — By Christian Caryl


Teens insist social media makes them feel better: poll

Image result for human brain,pictures




Image result for trump, google, photos

“Maybe I did a better job because I’m good with the Twitter”



Young people

The study found widespread apprehension about the future. Seeking intimacy? Or isolation?

Facebook’s fall: From the friendliest face of tech to perceived enemy of democracy

December 11, 2018

In 2010, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s story was the stuff of Hollywood movies. “The Social Network,” about the website and its founder’s meteoric rise, starred A-listers Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake, won an Oscar and made almost $250 million in the United States alone.

What a difference eight years makes.

Today, Zuckerberg is seen by many as a wincing megalomaniacal multibillionaire, and the personal data-mining company he created is viewed by some as an existential threat to democracy itself.

“It’s been a sudden thing. These people are not the darlings anymore and it’s been hard for them to adapt,” Lincoln Network President Aaron Ginn told Fox News. “So they’ve made a lot of unforced errors.”

Ginn, who co-founded the Lincoln Network five years ago to help technology and government work together to promote individual liberty and economic opportunity, added that “there are significant internal company responsibilities that, I think, [Facebook executives] have not lived up to.”


Indeed, in less than a decade, Zuckerberg has managed to enrage leaders on both sides of the aisle in the U.S., and around the world, as his social media network has emerged as a polarizing tool that can be politically weaponized amid concerns about algorithms issues, privacy, misinformation and bias.

‘Zuckerberg got too big for his hoody, lost track of his responsibilities to Facebook users, advertisers and employees’

— Porter Bibb

Facebook’s perceived threat has reached such a level that Damian Collins, chairman of the U.K. Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, recently took the extraordinary step of sending a sergeant-at-arms from the legislative body to use forceful tactics to seize secret documents that could contain data about Facebook’s privacy controls and potentially shady correspondence between Facebook’s top executives.

Image result for facebook, zuckerberg, photos

By  Brian Flood
Fox news

Other high-profile figures in the U.K. have also voiced their concerns about the social network. Asked in a BBC interview whether Facebook is a threat to democracy, Robert Hannigan – the former head of GCHQ, the British equivalent of the NSA replied: “Potentially yes. I think it is if it isn’t controlled and regulated.”

The documents, which are under seal in the U.S., are part of an ongoing lawsuit in California between Facebook and app developer Six4Three. Brits clearly think they’re damaging, as the BBC described a sergeant-at-arms being sent to nab the documents as a “highly unusual” tactic that hasn’t been employed “in living memory.”

The once-sterling company has been operating under a dark cloud of suspicion for most of 2018, with European regulators insisting to probe the tech giant’s internal communications and British regulators hitting Facebook with a fine of 500,000 U.K. pounds ($644,000) — the highest possible — for failing to protect the privacy of its users in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Image result for u.s. constitution, photos

But the drama with Facebook is hardly limited to incidents across the pond – and both British and American lawmakers have mocked Zuckerberg’s lack of cooperation with empty chairs to represent where he would have sat if he actually attended various hearings that he has blown off.


“Facebook is the villain and finally people know it,” Washington University professor Liberty Vittert wrote in a Fox News Op-Ed pegged to both the British lawmaker and the infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal. “If the government doesn’t get its act together and start creating and enforcing laws to regulate these powerful companies, we are in real trouble.”

As Facebook’s issues tick off lawmakers in various countries, the tech monster has also caught the attention of both liberal and conservative groups on U.S. soil.

‘Facebook has now become part of the broader ‘establishment,’ which doesn’t necessarily look out for the regular people, and thus, is now treated with suspicion’

— DePauw University professor Jeffrey McCall

Progressive advocacy groups, including MoveOn and Public Citizen, teamed up to create Freedom From Facebook – which calls on the FCC to break up Zuckerberg’s massive conglomerate. Freedom From Facebook has accused the social media network of curating the news that billions of people consume, bankrupting potential competitors, killing innovation, reducing choice, tracking users and “spending millions on corporate lobbyists.”

Liberal advocacy groups have also decried Facebook’s use of a GOP opposition firm to do some digging on billionaire George Soros.

Facebook protesters


Meanwhile, Facebook has long been accused of censoring conservative viewpoints and promoting news with a liberal bias.

Ginn said that the majority of employees who determine what is considered hate speech and oversee content have liberal political views. He feels that institutional bias, combined with data proving the majority of users lean left, has turned Facebook into “activist central,” despite the social network not being designed for political activism.


“It doesn’t remove that they have a responsibility, when 50 percent of the nation believes something different, generally speaking, to accept them on their platform,” Ginn said.

Earlier this year the conservative Media Research Center launched TechWatch, a project dedicated to exposing those kinds of incidents as they plague the tech industry.

MRC Vice President Dan Gainor, who heads up the project, feels that the mainstream media “has been looking for someone or something to blame for Trump winning in 2016 and journalists are pointing the finger at social media.”

‘The top social media, search media companies reach billions of people and have the ability to silence the right more than even a major government’

— Media Research Center VP Dan Gainor

“They are convinced that somehow the right used Facebook to win and they want it reined in or destroyed before a repeat performance in 2020,” Gainor told Fox News. “Facebook made its relationship with the media worse because it dared to work with a right-leaning group like Definers and used them to prepare ordinary research about billionaire liberal George Soros… the press has been on an anti-Facebook crusade ever since.”

Facebook Inc.’s board of directors defended the Soros controversy, saying that it was “entirely appropriate” to ask if the billionaire investor had shorted the company’s stock after he called the social-media giant a “menace.”

While the folks behind TechWatch and Freedom From Facebook don’t share ideologies, the two groups seem to agree that Zuckerberg’s company is causing people harm.


“Censorship got very bad — bad in ways that are tough to track, because all of our experiences online are personalized. People from ordinary citizens to major politicians have been censored and these firms use the vague term ‘hate speech’ to restrict any content they simply don’t like,” Gainor said. “The top social media, search media companies reach billions of people and have the ability to silence the right more than even a major government.”

DePauw University professor Jeffrey McCall told Fox News that Americans have “long suffered from the false notion that if something is technologically glitzy, it must necessarily be great,” and feels Facebook is the latest example.

Image result for Sheryl Sandberg, pictures

 Sheryl Sandberg

“Facebook emerged as a craze that led people to believe the platform was a life enhancer in terms of social connections and flow of information, broadly considered.  While many people enjoy sharing photos and updates with friends, it turns out the platform gave false hope and expectations on many levels,” McCall said. “Hanging out on Facebook doesn’t really make us happier and what we learn there might or might not be reliable. Individual privacy has been lost in many regards.”

Ginn noted that Facebook has become sort of “the middle man between the media and the customer,” and hasn’t gained many corporate friends in the process.

Among the mainstream media organizations that have attacked Facebook are BuzzFeed and The New York Times. BuzzFeed News recently quoted a number of current and former employees as saying the atmosphere at the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company is one of feeling “under siege” with a growing sense of “paranoia.”

The New York Times recently published a bombshell report that detailed Facebook’s attempt to distance itself from various controversies, ranging from Russia-linked activity on the platform to attempting to discredit enemies. The report noted that Facebook has connected more than 2 billion people, essentially creating a “global nation unto itself” that has “reshaped political campaigns, the advertising business and daily life around the world.”

“Along the way, Facebook accumulated one of the largest-ever repositories of personal data, a treasure trove of photos, messages and likes that propelled the company into the Fortune 500,” the Times wrote. “As Facebook grew, so did the hate speech, bullying and other toxic content on the platform.”

The scathing Times report painted Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg as careless regarding their company’s ability to “disrupt elections, broadcast viral propaganda and inspire deadly campaigns of hate around the globe.”

‘Legitimate concerns about the machinations behind the scenes at Facebook have surfaced now, and it is clear that big tech is not promoting individual empowerment’

— DePauw University professor Jeffrey McCall

Reporter-turned-investment banker Porter Bibb specializes in media, entertainment and technology ventures, with over 40 years of experience moving money in those fields. He told Fox News that it’s time to “bring in the grownups” because Zuckerberg is “blind to the fact that he is driving his company off the cliff.”

“Zuckerberg got too big for his hoody, lost track of his responsibilities to Facebook users, advertisers, and employees and failed to accept the fact that his inexperience does not qualify him to run the world’s largest social media enterprise,” Bibb said. “Sandberg and Facebook’s feckless board only intensified the likelihood that the roof will fall in on Facebook.”

Facebook algorithm issues are yet another concern for users on both sides of the political spectrum. The social network, for example, accidentaly tagged an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence as hate speech, and briefly censored a photo of Santa Claus.

TechWatch has only been around for three months but has faced no shortage of Facebook-related content, posting stories about the company failing to protect users from foreign scam artists, shadowbanning pro-life contentupsetting a journalists’ unionraising the eyebrows of various lawmakers and examined a potential conflict of interest over Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., — who warned a colleague to back off Facebook — because his daughter is employed at the company.

Ginn said that a lot of steps Facebook has taken to rectify the issues actually made the problems worse, pointing to Zuckerberg declaring he wanted the social media service to make people better as an example.

“Most people on the right would say, ‘That’s not your role,’ and they receive pressure from internal employees and users who say, ‘That is your role,’” Ginn said, before adding that the exit strategy for Facebook should simply be to act more “laissez-faire and Libertarian.”

In addition to displeasing users, staffers, voters, lawmakers, reporters, activists and tech rivals, Facebook could suddenly agitate investors, too.

The company’s mounting problems and newly-disclosed internal documents prompted a research firm to downgrade its stock to hold from buy last Thursday.

“Facebook has now become part of the broader ‘establishment,’ which doesn’t necessarily look out for the regular people, and thus, is now treated with suspicion. Legitimate concerns about the machinations behind the scenes at Facebook have surfaced now, and it is clear that big tech is not promoting individual empowerment, but instead exploiting the masses for profit, power and pushing of ideology,” McCall said.

Fox News’ James Rogers contributed to this article.

Includes video:

On this site, use search word: 


Teens insist social media makes them feel better: poll

Image result for human brain,pictures




Image result for trump, google, photos

“Maybe I did a better job because I’m good with the Twitter”



Young people

The study found widespread apprehension about the future. Seeking intimacy? Or isolation?

Facebook Censors at Random

December 10, 2018

The social network’s rules on political advertising burden nonprofits and are impossible to understand.

If you used Facebook in late November, you probably saw a stream of fundraising campaigns for charities and cultural organizations. That’s because Facebook offered up to $7 million in matching donations for nonprofits that used its platform to raise funds on Giving Tuesday. But this gesture masks the negative impact Facebook’s newly adopted advertising policies have had on nonprofit organizations that rely on social media.

Image result for facebook, pictures

In response to public scrutiny stemming from the Cambridge Analytica scandal this year, Facebook has implemented enforcement measures aimed at improving election security and discouraging anonymous political messages. These measures have been poorly executed and inconsistently applied. They unfairly burden charitable organizations and small businesses, yet are easy for organized or well-funded actors to circumvent.


Several paid advertising campaigns run by my colleagues and clients have been inexplicably obstructed by Facebook’s policing in the past several months. Facebook refused to allow my New York cultural nonprofit, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, to pay to promote a post encouraging people to vote in the midterms because our page was not “authorized to run ads related to politics.” A campaign promoting a lecture about sculpture at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts was blocked because Facebook’s censors mistakenly believed it was intended to influence an election in Ireland.

Similarly, Arts Japan 2020, an entity that highlights Japan-related cultural programs in the U.S., was unable to promote a post celebrating an award given by the emperor of Japan to an American arts curator. Facebook claimed the topic was of “national importance.” These harmless posts remain on Facebook in unpromoted form, but unpromoted content has a limited reach.

The problem is widespread. The Atlantic reported on Nov. 2 that Facebook’s election-security policies have caused it to block advertising campaigns from organizations including community centers, national parks and charities that serve wounded veterans.

Representatives of charities are often reluctant to register as political advertisers on Facebook because of privacy concerns. Facebook requires users to disclose significant personal information before promoting posts about politics or national issues. To be authorized to run such advertisements on behalf of my nonprofit organization, I would have to send Facebook my residential address, my Social Security number, and a photo of myself holding my passport or driver’s license. I’m loath to entrust any entity with all of that sensitive information—especially Facebook, which could use its facial-recognition software to match my personal information with photos of me that might appear online.

But suppose I did submit those items and was therefore allowed to promote political content. If I subsequently broke the rules, Facebook wouldn’t necessarily hold the nonprofit I represent responsible. Under Facebook’s policies, the person who operates an ad account is accountable for any ads placed by that account.

The only real protection Facebook’s identification requirements might provide is a guarantee that Facebook users can determine the true identity of the marketer responsible for a political advertisement. Or can they? A well-resourced advertiser with nefarious intent could simply hire a patsy (or use fake credentials) to pass Facebook’s screening process and establish a nominal presence at an American address.

As several reporters have recently discovered, Facebook allows many advertisers who pass its invasive screening process to run political ads under any identity they choose. A recent Vice article describes how Facebook approved political ads by reporters who pretended to be 100 different senators. And Business Insider was able to post political Facebook ads that purported to be from Cambridge Analytica.

In the name of election security, Facebook has implemented an opaque and shape-shifting definition of “issues of national importance” and an intrusive vetting process that is poorly enforced. These don’t protect users or the American public. Unless Facebook offers more transparency and accountability, determined marketers will remain able to circumvent the process. And despite benevolent gestures on Giving Tuesday, nonprofits and small businesses will continue to suffer under Facebook’s arbitrary restrictions.

Mr. Gallant, a social-media marketing consultant, is executive director of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.


India: Surgical strike controversy embroils PM Modi, DS Hooda and Rahul Gandhi — Even Pakistan

December 9, 2018

“Modi is squarely guilty of compromising national security and strategic interests by unwarranted chest thumping.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. (File)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. (File)

Lt Gen (retired) DS Hooda, who was the chief of the Northern Command of the Army in September 2016 during the surgical strike, said that the strikes have been politicised and overhyped.

Modi Rahul Hooda surgical strikes

Soon after General DS Hooda’s remark, Rahul Gandhi said Modi has “no shame in using military as a personal asset”.

Congress on Saturday used Lt Gen (retired) DS Hooda’s recent comment on surgical strikes as an opportunity to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). DS Hooda, who was the Northern Army Commander in 2016 when India carried out surgical strikes across LoC, said that the strikes have been politicised and overhyped. Congress president Rahul Gandhi used this remark to accuse PM Modi of using surgical strikes for political gain.

“Spoken like a true soldier General [DS Hooda]. India is so proud of you. Mr 36 [Modi] has absolutely no shame in using our military as a personal asset. He used the surgical strikes for political capital and the Rafale deal to increase Anil Ambani’s real capital by Rs 30,000 crore (sic),” Rahul tweeted.

Congress leader Randeep Surjewala also took to Twitter to thank General Hooda for “exposing” PM Modi. “Thank you Lt Gen Hooda for exposing the petty politicisation by PM Modi! No one can use the valour and sacrifice of our brave soldiers to score cheap political points…Modi is squarely guilty of compromising national security and strategic interests by unwarranted chest thumping!” Surjewala wrote.


Lt General DS Hooda, in September 2016, was part of the planning team for the strikes on Pakistani terror launchpads. “I do think the surgical strike was overhyped and politicised…but from the military point of view, the strike was much needed,” he said on Saturday. Speaking to ANI, he also said that the strikes were important from the military point of view to send a strong message to Pakistan. “We had lost so many soldiers in Uri. It was important to send a strong message to Pakistan. We wanted to tell Pakistan that if they come to our side and carry out such strikes [Uri attack], then we can also go to their area and carry out bigger and better strikes,” Hooda said.
Read the rest:
See also:

Russian bots fomenting unrest in France? Yellow Vest protests fueled by Russia, Facebook

December 9, 2018

Image result for yellow vest protests, paris, photos

The outbreaks of violence were on a smaller scale on Saturday than the destruction and looting of a week earlier, when some 200 cars were torched in the worst rioting in Paris in decades.

The government had vowed “zero tolerance” for anarchist, far-right or other trouble-makers seeking to wreak further havoc at protests that have sparked the deepest crisis of Macron’s presidency.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe congratulated police for the operation, and promised Macron would address the protesters’ concerns.

“The dialogue has begun and it must continue,” Philippe said. “The president will speak, and will propose measures that will feed this dialogue.”

Authorities also launched an investigation into social media activity from accounts allegedly drumming up support for the protests, sources told AFP.

According to the UK’s Times newspaper, hundreds of online accounts linked to Russia were used to stoke the demonstrations.

Citing analysis by New Knowledge, a cybersecurity company, the Times said the accounts spread disinformation and used pictures of injured protesters from other events to enhance a narrative of brutality by French authorities.

Read the rest:


France: Macron scrapping fuel tax is ‘not enough,’ says man who inspired Yellow Vests

December 8, 2018

Six weeks after posting a Facebook video calling on protesters to take up the yellow vest as a symbol, the movement is changing French politics. Ghislain Coutard tells DW he’s shocked to see how quickly it spread.

Ghislain Coutard holds up his yellow vest in a video posted to Facebook in late October in which he called on anti-fuel tax protesters to use the vest as a symbol of solidarity.

Ghislain Coutard is one of the few recognizable faces of the so-called Yellow Vests movement, which has been protesting gas prices in France since mid-November. On October 24, Coutard responded to a call-to-action put out on Facebook by posting his own short video to the social media site. In his video, Coutard suggested that everyone planning to join the first protest on November 17 use the yellow safety vest as a symbol of solidarity. The video went viral, receiving over five million views, and Coutard’s spontaneous idea took off, giving the Yellow Vests movement its name, and earning Coutard the nickname “Giletman” — or “Vestman” — among activists.

Read more: Paris to close tourist sites on Saturday

In the weeks since Coutard posted his video, the Yellow Vests have gained international attention and shaken France to its core with nation-wide protests, often involving violent clashes with the police. DW spoke to Coutard, who works as a mechanic and serves as the spokesperson for the Yellow Vests in the southern city of Narbonne.

Ghislain Coutard serves as the spokesperson for the Narbonne chapter of the Yellow Vests.Ghislain Coutard serves as the spokesperson for the Narbonne chapter of the Yellow Vests.

DW: How did you come up with the idea to use the yellow vest as a symbol?

Ghislain Coutard: It was really simple. I was making my video and I saw the vest that I use all the time for work. I thought to myself: it’s highly visible, we all have one in our cars because it’s required by law. So why not use it as a sort of color code. Just to see if people want to go out and protest. And bingo! That’s exactly what happened.

You’ve said you were inspired by Eric Drouet, a truck driver who called for protests on November 17.

That’s right. I’ve talked to him recently and he said he thinks the yellow vest was the final touch that was missing. So Eric Drouet put out the call and I came up with the symbol and it took off.

You made that video at the end of October. Now it’s the biggest issue in France. Are you surprised by what has happened in the last few weeks?

Yeah, it’s crazy to me. I drive around France for my job, so I stop everywhere I see the Yellow Vests. I introduce myself and most of the time they recognize me. It’s amazing. I had a good idea, you could say, but I didn’t think that it would catch on with so many people.

Were you shocked by the violence in Paris last weekend?

I was shocked, but the media only shows the images of the Yellow Vests attacking the authorities. But you can see that the authorities only need a small excuse to launch all their tear gas canisters. That’s not right. For me, the tactics of the police have been a total failure.

Recent yellow vests protests in Paris and other cities and roadways around France have turned violent, eliciting a response from French President Emmanuel Macron.Recent yellow vests protests in Paris and other cities and roadways around France have turned violent, eliciting a response from French President Emmanuel Macron.

Are you happy with the direction the movement is going in?

Yes, completely. We are starting to see results. The president has already canceled the tax planned for 2019.

Why are you still organizing if you’ve already reached that goal?

It’s not enough. We still have to fight the current taxes, the ones that have been in place for years. We should have woken up years ago, and now we have to make up for the years we missed.

What has to happen for the Yellow Vests to be satisfied?

I think the president has to come out of his hole and face the French people. Not with a press release, but in reality, on the ground. But that will never happen, I don’t think. He’s too removed. He’s so proud of not taking any steps backward. The problem is that he’s stubborn and we’re stubborn, too. At some point, someone is going to have to cave, and we’re counting on him to do the caving.

French yellow vest movement exposes general discontent

The movement has resisted taking sides politically or being politically influenced. Is there friction among Yellow Vests activists who have different political opinions?

Yeah, we’re really good at misunderstanding each other. We can be easily divided, to be honest. For example in Narbonne, the city where I live, there are three zones of activity. We aren’t able to bring the three together to make one. Everyone wants to manage their own zone, to do it their way. It’s one of the faults of the French: We aren’t able to agree very easily. That’s the main problem of the Yellow Vests: to come to an agreement and move in the same direction. But I think in a few weeks time, we’ll get there.

Read more: France’s Emmanuel Macron finds respite amid mass protests

What are your politics?

Me, I’m not political at all. I’d like to have the right to vote on the important laws that get passed. We don’t have a right to decide on these things, just the right to choose a president every five years.

Why did you personally get involved in the cause of fighting gas taxes?

The price of gas has become incredible compared to the years before. I can live on my salary. But I have lots of friends whose salaries are a bit less than mine and they are barely surviving. The smallest problem with the car becomes a catastrophe. You have to go into debt and then it never ends.

Protest in yellow vests in Nizza‘Yellow Vests’ protests in Nice, France

Are you against Macron’s attempt to improve the environment?

No, actually we would all love to drive with clean energy, but the government’s plan doesn’t stand up. That’s not how we’re going to achieve anything. We can’t even pay for our cars now, so it’s impossible to all buy electric cars or hybrids.

What do you think is the future of the movement?

I think it’s going to get rough. It’s inevitable. In my opinion, the anger is too intense. Macron responded too late. Most people I meet on the street want him to step down.

And it’s nice to see that people in Belgium, Italy and Germany have taken up the yellow vest as a symbol, as well. I hope it becomes an international movement. When we’re angry, we put on the yellow vest to show it.