By Guest Nicole
Si Perú gana el mundial...' así empiezan todos los resultados de esta aplicación de Facebook que muestra resultados como: 'Prometo no caer en sus mentiras', 'Prometo dejar de bebes', 'Prometo abrir la puerta a los testigos de Jehova', entre otras.
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
While experts were arguing about Apple and would it buy Bitcoin or not, Twitter announced its desire to participate. The Chief Financial Officer of Twitter Ned Segal said on Wednesday that Twitter is looking for options to pay employees in cryptocurrency. It was also said that Twitter wants to put a part of its funds into Bitcoin.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to regulate or shut down social media companies, one day after Twitter Inc. for the first time added a warning to some of his tweets prompting readers to fact-check the president's claims.
Trump, without offering any evidence, reiterated his accusations of political bias by such technology platforms, tweeting: "Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen."
Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-social-media-twitter-fact-check-1.5586285
The link was regarding a Chinese man and his connections to the Coronavirus.
See how much "Big Brother" has taken over our lives?
These huge social media monopolies must be curbed.
Twitter has posted a draft deepfake policy. For now, its plan is to place a notice next to tweetfakes, warn users before sharing, or add information explaining “why various sources believe the media is synthetic or manipulated.” Twitter’s asking the public to provide feedback.
via .ORGWorld News
By Guest Indiana
It has been one week since U.S. border officials denied entry to a 17-year-old Harvard freshman just days before classes were set to begin.
Ismail Ajjawi, a Palestinian student living in Lebanon, had his student visa canceled and was put on a flight home shortly after arriving at Boston Logan International Airport. Customs & Border Protection officers searched his phone and decided he was ineligible for entry because of his friends’ social media posts. Ajjawi told the officers he “should not be held responsible” for others’ posts, but it was not enough for him to clear the border.
The news prompted outcry and fury. But TechCrunch has learned it was not an isolated case.
Since our story broke, we came across another case of a U.S. visa holder who was denied entry to the country on grounds that he was sent a graphic WhatsApp message. Dakhil — whose name we have changed to protect his identity — was detained for hours, but subsequently had his visa canceled. He was sent back to Pakistan and banned from entering the U.S. for five years.
Yesterday was a historic one for Facebook (+0.69%). It announced
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. to its rules for advertisers to settle a cluster of lawsuits claiming it allowed ad buyers to illegally discriminate against minorities—mainly people of color. The backstory: Two years’ worth of investigative reports (and a handful of high-profile lawsuits) uncovered how some ad buyers abused FB’s platform to block minority groups from seeing ads about certain opportunities for housing, employment, and credit.
Going forward, Facebook
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. age, gender, and ZIP code targeting for housing, employment, and credit-related ads on all platforms, plus... There will be a new advertising process tailored specifically for marketers purchasing ads in those sectors. And FB will launch an Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. for housing ads (like it did for political ads) to allow users to search all active housing ads on FB, whether or not they’re being targeted by them. Zoom out: As Axios puts it, internet platforms that sell ads aren’t regulated the same way TV and radio are. This probably isn’t the last time you’ll watch a tech company address ad transparency.
via .ORGWorld News
Yesterday, Facebook’s CEO posted a manifesto outlining plans for a seismic shift in strategy—one toward encrypted, private, and ephemeral communication.
Instead of focusing on the kind of publicly shared content that 1) made Facebook worth hundreds of billions and 2) continues to haunt you in your “On This Day” feature, Facebook will become a “Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. communications platform.” The motive: People increasingly want to communicate privately or in smaller groups instead of “the digital equivalent of a
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ,” Zuck said. Don’t believe him? Poll your 10 group chats. And to adapt to that evolution, Facebook (+0.73%) will rebuild many of its features. How does that happen?
Glad you asked, since we’ve got
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. to figure it out. “I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever,” Zuck wrote.
All of FB’s messaging platforms will start looking more like WhatsApp—with end-to-end encryption becoming standard. It’ll also consider deleting messages by default after a month or year. Will the changes dent business? Well, private/encrypted messaging tools could breed new business ventures like payments and commerce—which have become Facebook’s “current pet obsessions,”
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Keep in mind: Zuck
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. he doesn’t “view this as replacing the public platform,” but instead developing more “around the intimate and private communications.” Which, Zuck admits, could use work. “Frankly we don’t currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services...But we’ve repeatedly shown that we can evolve to build the services that people really want.” While this is a big shift for Facebook, money talks and a blog post without any follow through walks. Unless he can actually deliver on his promise of Facebook 2.0, Zuck will be stuck with his bad reputation for keeping data safe.
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
By Jack Ryan
n a bizarre battle between two corporate superpowers, the
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. has filed a motion for contempt against Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and its CEO Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. for failure to produce documents and logs identifying an individual Facebook user. The individual, known as Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , maintains a popular pro-Jehovah’s Witness Facebook page, and has shared or posted hundreds of Witness images, videos, and links. The case was initiated on October 12th 2018, when Watch Tower Associate General Counsel Paul Polidoro submitted a
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. to the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . On October 16, Judge Cathy Seibel signed Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , directing Facebook to produce the identity of the person behind the Facebook account. However, Facebook failed to yield to the subpoena, which has resulted in an ongoing war over compliance. After multiple attempts by Watch Tower to force Facebook to deliver personally identifying documents and logs, attorney Polidoro wrote a
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. on January 24th, 2019, requesting a pre-motion conference along with sanctions against Facebook for its “willful disregard” of the court order. Among the demands enumerated in the January letter, Polidoro asked the Judge to penalize the defendant, Facebook, a sufficient daily monetary fine as a punitive measures for non-compliance.
The irony of Watch Tower’s attorneys demanding monetary fines for failure to produce documents is not lost on the readers of JW Survey or the public at large. In multiple California child abuse lawsuits filed by the
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Watchtower of New York (the property-holding Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) has been sanctioned for its refusal to turn over a database of documents revealing the extent of its child abuse epidemic. In the case of Osbaldo Padron versus Watchtower,
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. for its non-compliance. The fines accrued for more than a year before Watchtower settled the case in a private agreement with the plaintiff. On January 29th 2019, Watch Tower of Pennsylvania futher argued its case by issuing a
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. This seven page document details its case against Facebook and was filed by the Southern District of New York clerk on February 1st, 2019.
Watchtower versus Facebook On page four of the Memorandum, Watchtower attorney and church elder Polidoro writes:
“ARGUMENT FACEBOOK SHOULD BE HELD IN CONTEMPT AND ORDERED TO COMPLY WITH THE DMCA SUBPOENA”
“This Court can and should hold Facebook in contempt for its failure to fully comply with the properly-issued DMCA Subpoena served by Watch Tower. First, upon receipt of a DMCA Subpoena, 17 U.S.C. § 512(h)(5) directs that service providers “expeditiously disclose to the copyright owner . . . the information required by the subpoena, notwithstanding any other provision of law and regardless of whether the service provider responds to the [infringement] notification.”
The complaint escalates in intensity on page 6, declaring:
“Facebook’s complete disregard of the judicial process raises the concern that the evidence sought by Watch Tower has been, or will soon be permanently lost. Service providers typically retain user activity logs ontaining the information needed to identify an infringer for a limited period of time. See Polidoro Decl. at ¶ 7. Once that user data is deleted, there isno other means of linking the infringing activity with the person responsible for the infringement. Id. In Digital Sin v. Does 1-176, the court highlighted this concern stating, “expedited discovery is necessary to prevent the requested data from being lost forever as part of routine deletions by the ISPs.” 279 F.R.D. 239, 242 (S.D.N.Y. 2012) (granting ex parte motion to take expedited discovery from third-party Internet Service Provider to identify an alleged infringer of a copyrighted motion picture).
Facebook’s blatant disregard of this Court’s authority and the judicial process warrants an order of contempt and a requirement to produce the information required by the subpoena immediately or by a deadline to be set by the court. If Facebook again fails to comply with the subpoena, the Court should order that Facebook pay a fine in an amount to be set by the Court for each day that it fails to comply with this Court’s order.” –
[bold, italics ours]
The January 29th Affadavit included
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , which identified the principal parties behind Facebook, naming CEO Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Secretary Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and CFO Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , along with their place of business address. Watch Tower Exhibit B Filed January 29th 2019 Watch Tower issues over 40 additional subpoenas
During the course of research into the Watchtower battle with Facebook over alleged copyright infringement, JW Survey has uncovered
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , all targeting individuals who have posted photos, publications, or videos on numerous social media and web sites, hosted largely inside the United States. Watch Tower’s chief strategy includes scouring the internet for “infringing” materials, which include, but are not limited to photos, documents, and videos which Watch Tower has produced using an all-volunteer workforce.
Once located, Watch Tower’s attorneys determine whether the individual behind the offending account is an “
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ” If they believe the person might be connected to insider leaks, or if they have posted already-leaked information, Tower attorneys initiateHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. measures. Watch Tower does not stop at DMCA content removal, however. Their legal team next files a
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. to identify the alleged infringer/s in an attempt to obtain all personally identifying information related to the individual who posted on one or more social media or web sites. DMCA Subpoena Cover Page
In the Facebook case cited here, Watch Tower’s subpoena includes the following language:
“YOU ARE COMMANDED to produce at the time, date, and place set forth below the following documents, and electronically stored information, or objects, and to permit inspection, copying, testing, or sampling of the material:”
“All identifying information, including subscriber registration information, the name(s), address(es), telephone number(s), any electronic mail addresses associated with the infringing Facebook account displaying the name, “Jose Antonio Gutierrez Garcia (Gran Muchedumbre)”, and any logs of Internet Protocol addresses including time stamps used to access the subject account or to upload the artwork available at the following URLs :”
[URLs provides on subpoena. Bold, italics ours]
The language above has been replicated in more than 40 unique cases launched by Watch Tower since 2017, with subpoenas being handed out like candy to a litany of social media and web site providers. The organizations include following:
Facebook Reddit Google/YouTube Microsoft One Drive Go Daddy Instagram Sound Cloud Digital Ocean Scribd In the majority of cases, Watch Tower has achieved its legal intentions by bullying social media sites into compliance, forcing them to turn over the personal details of members, who for the most part are ill-equipped to oppose the legal machine of a multi-billion dollar religious corporation.
There are however exceptions to the pattern of DMCA takedowns, followed by exposure of the “alleged infringer.” The Facebook case here cited is one of two cases where non-compliance has resulted in an excessive show of legal force by Watchtower. In the Facebook case, it is not clear whether Facebook has intentionally opposed the subpoena issued by Judge Seibel, or if the subpoena was misdirected and overlooked by Facebook.
Either way, Watch Tower’s blazing-guns response has made it clear they mean business and will stop at nothing to expose anyone deemed a threat to its religious corporation.
Watch Tower’s Legal Department
The orchestrated attacks on the “infringers” have become a driving passion for Watch Tower’s legal department, located primarily in its Patterson New York complex. Already laden down with an abundance of child abuse cases and other legal concerns, Watch Tower has allocated its top attorneys to this issue, including their legal Overseer
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. along with Paul Polidoro and Mario Moreno.
Polidoro is most noted for his appearance before the Supreme Court of the United States in the 2002 case of Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , where Watchtower won the right to cavass from door to door without purchasing a permit from state or local authorities. Brumley, like many of the other members of the Jehovah’s Witness legal department, is a congregation elder. His education was paid for by Watch Tower, with the intent of grooming him to oversee Watch Tower’s expanding global legal departments.
In a 1991 speech, Brumley discussed the legal wranglings of Watch Tower and stated that apostate Witnesses have never prevailed against the organization in a court of law. Brumley said:
The cases against apostate infringers has risen swiftly since 2017, when numerous leaked videos and documents surfaced, leaving Watch Tower scratching their heads, wondering how sensitive information was escaping their global network of trusted Witness Elders, Ministerial Servants, Circuit Overseers and Branch Committee members.
However, the recent cases do not represent the first time Watch Tower has initiated legal action against a web site. In 2005, the religious organization filed suit against the owner of watchtower.ca, demanding $100,000 (Canadian) and compliance with a detailed list of demands, including the surrender of the domain and all information posted on the site.
The legal bullying tactic worked, and the case was settled out of court, with Watch Tower taking control of the domain.
More recently, the legal fires have been re-ignited with the appearance of dozens of web sites and social media accounts devoted to creating transparency and exposing the internal practices and documents of the Jehovah’s Witness organization.
Most members are largely unaware of the secret
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and the hundreds of Body of Elders’ Letters used to manage the internal affairs of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Among the sites attacked by Watch Tower are Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and the site you are reading now, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . On February 23rd and February 27th 2018, both sites received lengthy, threatening letters from Watch Tower’s legal department demanding that they cease and desist the dissemination of material they consider copyrighted. They do not regard the use of their material on web sites or on video platforms “fair use.”
YouTube has been hit the hardest by Watch Tower’s repetitive subpoena warfare, particularly since 2017, when multiple sensitive videos were leaked to the public from numerous sources. Among those videos were the infamous Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , where two high-ranking Jehovah’s Witness Branch Committee members explained the intricacies of pillow-humping and various masturbation techniques found to be practiced by both male and female members of Watch Tower headquarters.
Masturbation is defined by Jehovah’s Witnesses as “self-abuse” and is Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Another popular YouTube channel under attack is the
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , featuring stop-motion Lego videos satirizing the Jehovah’s Witness religion. “Dubtown” episode Forcibly Removed by Watch Tower Watch Tower took exception to this channel in June of 2018, when the show featured a small clip of the upcoming July 2018
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. episode. This Lego video was released before Watch Tower had the opportunity to unveil its own broadcast, propelling the legal department even deeper into the ongoing apostate witch hunt.
Court documents in the Kevin McFree case reveal that Watch Tower claims that this satirical video has done “irreparable damage” to their organization. The anonymous owners of Kevin McFree have challenged Jehovah’s Witnesses in court, issuing a motion to quash Watch Tower’s subpoena. This infuriated Watch Tower’s legal department, which has hired the services of
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. a large NewYork-based law firm, to continue its quest to identify the person or persons behind these videos. Watch Tower has expressed serious concern over the length of time taken by any of the media organizations to comply with the subpoenas, arguing that service providers will delete user logs after a specific period of time, rendering Watch Tower unable to litigate against anonymous accounts which may have been closed or abandoned by their owners.
While Watchtower continues its quest to expose apostates and litigate against the numerous platforms which host content, new sites have emerged which currently have immunity to Watch Tower’s legal threats.
It seems that Watch Tower can easily obtain an order from a judge to identify a Facebook or YouTube user, but when the content is hosted outside of the United States, the problem becomes much more complex.
Enter Faith Leaks
While many countries comply with DMCA takedown requests, there are a number of web hosts in countries not governed by DMCA law, and those demands go largely ignored.
One such organization which appears to have worked out the legalities of posting leaked content is the
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , the creators of Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
According to the Truth and Transparency Foundation site:
“The TTF was founded in November 2017 by two ex-Mormons, Ryan McKnight and Ethan Gregory Dodge. Prior to that, they worked together to launch the website MormonLeaks. Their efforts and success would soon cause them to expand their whistleblowing and transparency efforts to all religions, forming FaithLeaks”
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. when they published secret documents obtained from an anonymous source, documents which revealed the extent of sexual abuse and the corresponding cover-up inside several Jehovah’s Witness Congregations in the Northeastern United States. The leak came to be known as the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
Faith Leaks currently hosts thousands of Jehovah’s Witness documents and policy letters, which have been submitted to their organization by anonymous sources. Thus far, Watch Tower has been unable to prevent Faith Leaks from publishing these documents, hosted in unknown locations. What now?
The future of Watch Tower’s continued quest to identify the individuals posting and leaking documents and videos is unclear. There is a war between those who wish to exercise transparency and freedom of speech, and the religious organization which believes it is entitled to identify anyone who would publish its works, which are produced by unpaid Jehovah’s Witnesses.
For the most part, the leaked documents are presented on platforms in which there is no monetary gain, but Watch Tower approaches the matter as if they are being irreparably harmed.
Watchtower Letter to Judge Seibel in the Facebook Case Warnings have been issued to Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses or current Witnesses who leak information – warnings which express the dangers of posting information using accounts which can be subpoenaed and identified. The popular sub-Reddit
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. posted Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. following a subpoena issued by Watch Tower to identify a user who posted leaked documents. In multiple
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Watch Tower claims that it is not seeking draconian sanctions against the subjects it calls “infringers”- but facts indicate otherwise. In the above referenced “Palmer Leaks” case, Watch Tower’s sister corporation, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , enforced the immediate disfellowshipping of the person accused of stealing, then leaking child abuse documents from more than one congregation. Disfellowshipping is as draconian as it gets.
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
Today marks the 15th anniversary of Facebook’s launch. Take a look back at CEO Mark Zuckerberg back thenBy TheWorldNewsOrg
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
By Guest Nicole SG
CBS News) -- It's the simple meme that's taking over your social media feeds: the "10 Year Challenge," where users upload side-by-side photos of themselves from a decade ago and now.
But it might not be so simple.
Facebook on Wednesday distanced itself from the "10 Year Challenge" after an article set off speculation that the social media giant could be secretly mining data from the photos to improve its facial recognition algorithms. It's a scenario that those who have studied social media companies don't rule out, despite Facebook's denials.
The photo challenge gives Facebook "a perfect storm for machine learning," said Amy Webb, a professor at NYU Stern School of Business with an upcoming book about how artificial intelligence can manipulate humans.
"It presented Facebook with a terrified opportunity to learn, to train their systems to better recognize small changes" in users' appearances, she told CBS News.
The "10 Year Challenge" popped up last week and across Facebook, Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) and Twitter millions of people have participated. The challenge generated 5.2 million engagements on Facebook in just three days, according to the social media monitoring tool Talkwalker. It was the latest in a constant stream of social media crazes — like the "Bird Box" challenge and Top Nine photo collage — that enticed users to join in with little concern for safety and privacy. There are also viral hashtags like #MyFirstConcertWas, which get users to reveal answers to popular security questions.
Speculation about the meme's ulterior motive flared up after Wired writer Kate O'Neill published an op-ed suggesting it wasn't just harmless fun.
O'Neill pointed out that the viral challenge has filled Facebook with labeled, side-by-side user photos taken within a fixed period of time. That's different, and easier to analyze, than the years of photos that users have already uploaded in no particular order. It's also more useful for technology that's trying to capture how people look and how they age.
Read more: https://www.kmov.com/news/is-the-year-challenge-on-facebook-a-privacy-scheme-disguised/article_009fef00-1a52-11e9-bcb9-3fcfa871c042.html
We're building an artificial intelligence-powered dystopia, one click at a time, says techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci. In an eye-opening talk, she details how the same algorithms companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use to get you to click on ads are also used to organize your access to political and social information. And the machines aren't even the real threat. What we need to understand is how the powerful might use AI to control us -- and what we can do in response.
On a press call with reporters, the Facebook C.E.O. denied knowledge of the Republican oppo-research firm his company hired to handle its aggressive public-relations campaign.
Speaking to reporters on a conference call Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg was unusually animated, his voice rising as he struggled to extricate himself from Facebook’s latest crisis. The original point of the call had been to discuss “content governance” on Facebook’s platform, and a new transparency memo regarding the social network’s community standards. Instead, the 34-year-old C.E.O. found himself fending off accusations that Facebook, at the height of the Russian interference and Cambridge Analytica scandals, had employed a Republican opposition-research firm to sway public opinion and smear its critics. Zuckerberg, famously stoic, even robotic in his mannerisms and emotions, sounded exasperated as he fielded almost all of the questions on the nearly 90-minute call, hardly any of which were related to content governance, transparency, or community standards.
The call was a reckoning more than two years in the making. Since the 2016 election, Facebook has been working to rehabilitate its public profile, culminating in an apology tour that took Zuckerberg to Capitol Hill in April. Addressing senators under oath, Zuckerberg had promised that he understood where Facebook had gone wrong, and described a good-faith effort to do better in the future. But as The New York Times reported Wednesday in a more than 5,000-word, five-byline bombshell, Facebook’s actual conduct had been far less responsive—and far more cynical. According to the Times, it wasn’t until the spring of 2016 that Facebook was tipped off to Russian interference on its platform, leading the company’s chief security officer at the time, Alex Stamos, to investigate. When Stamos presented his findings to Zuckerberg, C.O.O. Sheryl Sandberg, and other top executives, Sandberg was furious. “Looking into the Russian activity without approval, she said, had left the company exposed legally,” the Times reports.
Sandberg and Zuckerberg asked Stamos to study the issue further, but a paper containing the findings was never released, following objections from Joel Kaplan,Facebook’s vice president for U.S. public policy, and other Facebook executives. Republicans, Kaplan said, would accuse the company of siding with Democrats regarding whether Russia had sought to elect Donald Trump. Sandberg reportedly agreed. Later, as evidence of Russian infiltration became more dire, Zuckerberg and Sandberg agreed to release some of the findings in a blog post. But after Stamos and his team drafted the post, the Times reports, Sandberg and her deputies pushed to make it less specific. Critical information about the legitimacy of the 2016 election may have been buried.
While Facebook publicly downplayed the severity of the Russian problem, Stamos was still grappling with how to fix it. In September 2017, when Stamos informed Sandberg that the issue still wasn’t under control, a ferocious boardroom interrogation of Sandberg ensued. “You threw us under the bus!” she reportedly yelled at Stamos, who she apparently believed had betrayed the company by revealing its security problem.
Meanwhile, according to the Times, Sandberg was aggressively building inroads in Washington, doing everything possible to lobby and pressure lawmakers to keep regulation at bay. After Mark Warner and Amy Klobuchar introduced the Honest Ads Act, legislation that could compel social-media companies to say who bought ads on their sites, Facebook hired Luke Albee, Warner’s former chief of staff, to lobby against it, and tried to appeal to Klobuchar, who was featured on the Web site for Sandberg’s female-empowerment book Lean In. (Sandberg was notably absent during Thursday’s call with reporters.) In perhaps the ugliest and most revealing response to the mounting backlash, the Times reports that in October 2017, Facebook hired a political-consulting group called Definers Public Affairs, helmed in part by former Jeb Bush staffer and Crooked Media contributor Tim Miller, to ingratiate itself among conservatives and seed negative stories about its competitors:
On a conservative news site called the NTK Network, dozens of articles blasted Google and Apple for unsavory business practices. One story called [Apple C.E.O. Tim Cook] hypocritical for chiding Facebook over privacy, noting that Apple also collects reams of data from users. Another played down the impact of the Russians’ use of Facebook.
The rash of news coverage was no accident: NTK is an affiliate of Definers, sharing offices and staff with the public relations firm in Arlington, Va. Many NTK Network stories are written by staff members at Definers or America Rising, the company’s political opposition-research arm, to attack their clients’ enemies. While the NTK Network does not have a large audience of its own, its content is frequently picked up by popular conservative outlets, including Breitbart.
Among the details that have been most inflammatory is the claim that Definers promoted conspiracy theories tying criticism of Facebook to Democratic mega-donor George Soros, a Jewish billionaire who has been vilified by the far right and anti-Semites, and who was recently the target of an attempted bombing.
A research document circulated by Definers to reporters this summer, just a month after the House hearing, cast Mr. Soros as the unacknowledged force behind what appeared to be a broad anti-Facebook movement.
He was a natural target. In a speech at the World Economic Forum in January, he had attacked Facebook and Google, describing them as a monopolist “menace” with “neither the will nor the inclination to protect society against the consequences of their actions.”
While Definers was encouraging reporters to investigate the financial ties between Soros’s family and groups critical of Facebook, it also played the other side, “lobbying a Jewish civil-rights group to cast some criticism of [Facebook] as anti-Semitic.” (On his call with reporters Thursday, Zuckerberg said he has “tremendous respect for George Soros.”)
Facebook’s lengthy statement in response to the Times story lists a “number of inaccuracies,” and the company denies it knew about Russian activity as early as spring of 2016. But the statement itself doesn’t contradict the Times’s reporting. Facebook’s board of directors also issued a statement that acknowledges it pushed Zuckerberg and Sandberg to move faster once it spotted Russian interference, but characterized the idea that they “knew about Russian interference, and either tried to ignore it or prevent investigations,” as “grossly unfair.”
Facebook’s contract with Definers may be more complicated. On Wednesday, Facebook terminated its relationship with the political consultancy, and on his call with reporters, Zuckerberg was adamant that he had never even heard of the company. “This type of firm might be normal in Washington, but it’s not the kind of thing I want Facebook associated with,” Zuckerberg said at one point. At another, he said, “I learned about this relationship when I read the New York Times piece yesterday.” When the question was posed a third time, he shrugged it off. “Someone on our comms team must have hired them.”
Journalists covering the story were incredulous. Definers is a well-known oppo firm, and prior to the end of its business relationship with Facebook, sent reporters myriad messages and e-mails in support of Facebook and decrying the company’s critics. It seems highly unlikely that Zuckerberg would not have been aware of its involvement in his company’s external public-relations campaigns. What’s more, Definers’ work was only one component of a broader P.R. effort led by Zuckerberg’s top deputies. According to the Times, Sandberg and Kaplan pressured members of the intelligence community not to criticize Facebook’s response to Russian interference. They also worked to cultivate Republican supporters in Congress to shore up Facebook’s political position. After the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke in March, Kaplan promoted Kevin Martin, a former Federal Communications Commission chairman who also served in the Bush administration, to lead Facebook’s U.S. lobbying. As part of this effort, the Times reports, Facebook broke ranks with much of Silicon Valley to support a sex-trafficking bill that holds Internet companies liable for sex-trafficking ads on their Web sites—a way to curry bipartisan favor on the Hill.
On one level, it is shocking that the Times story was reported at all. Facebook is a famously secretive organization, particularly within its upper ranks. That multiple executives vented their frustrations to the Times is evidence that the once-impenetrable social-media juggernaut has sprung a few leaks. But it is equally shocking, if not surprising, how Facebook appears to have closed ranks. At the moment, it’s not clear who, if anyone, will answer for the company’s P.R. skulduggery surrounding the 2016 election. Zuckerberg did not directly answer questions about whether any heads would roll during Thursday’s call, and signaled his steadfast support for Sandberg, his top lieutenant since 2008. “Sheryl is doing great work for the company,” Zuckerberg said. “She is leading a lot of the efforts to improve our systems. While these are big issues, we’re making a lot of progress, and a lot of that is because of the work she’s doing.”
Will this latest crisis be the one that finally turns public sentiment decisively against the company, or will it only scandalize the media? Facebook, after all, has weathered several storms that would knock out a smaller company with a less viable public-relations muscle. Congress may yet become a pain point, especially given the bipartisan desire to see Zuckerberg in the stockades and new regulations imposed. But Democrats and Republicans still disagree in their aims, and remain equally clueless when it comes to specifics. At least for now, the party that seems most injured by the Times bombshell is Definers, which lost a lucrative partnership and saw its name become radioactive. Facebook, despite deserving far worse, sails on.
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
In another horrific Facebook Live incident, a father killed his 11-month-old daughter before killing himself.By TheWorldNewsOrg
via Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. World News
By Money & Finance
“A lot of founding principles of Facebook are that if people have access to more information and are more connected, it will make the world better; people will have more understanding, more empathy. That’s the guiding principle for me. On hard days, I really just step back, and that’s the thing that keeps me going.”
via .ORGWorld News