- Published in World
Washington, November 23 (RHC)-- Facebook has admitted that CEO Mark Zuckerberg secretly met with President Donald Trump over dinner at the White House in October. Also at the meeting was Facebook investor Peter Thiel, a major Trump donor and chair of the data technology company Palantir, a defense contractor whose case management system is used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to surveil, track and deport immigrants.
According to news reports, it’s not clear what Thiel, Zuckerberg and Trump discussed. Massachusetts Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren tweeted: “This is how the government keeps working for giant corporations and the wealthy and well-connected. It’s no wonder that companies like Facebook have been allowed to consolidate economic and political power without any real accountability.”
Edited by Ed Newman
Apparently, like a psycho, the current emperor has redesigned the world political map according to the immeasurable limits of his megalomania and paranoia.
Branded by the United States government as the main fake news spreaders, social networks, Facebook and Twitter, recently announced the launch of several measures to brake the misinformation that thrives on their servers.
Hence only a year to the presidential elections in the U.S., Facebook is preparing not to repeat again the 2016 mistakes and debacle, with a plan to avoid international interference.
"We have a responsibility to deter any abuse and interference on our platform," said the group commanded by Mark Zuckerberg.
To reach this goal, the social network is testing a user profile verification system with a sort of video-selfie, which implies facial recognition and that, he believes, could be a 0brake on fake accounts.
On the other hand, a little less than a week ago, and having the same intention, Twitter published that, as of November 22nd it will no longer spread political advertising anywhere in the world.
"Although internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertising companies, that power brings about significant risks in politics," said Jack Dorsey, co-founder and president of the company, in a tweet.
Undoubtedly, the new policies, from both Facebook and Twitter, will help to contain the flow of what has been called euphemistically post-truth, and avoid international interference that, according to the United States government, influenced in the 2016 elections.
To please the continuous pressures of the Congress in this regard, in recent months both networks have closed hundreds of pages and user accounts of alleged enemies that "influence" the U.S. elections; however, it remains to be seen what the policy of these networks will be for the fake news generated by people like the U.S. president, Donald Trump.
It’s no secret to anyone that most of the fake news of the U.S. presidential campaign in 2016 was spread by Trump's campaign advisors.
Donald Trump raised false statements like that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama founded ISIS or that Obama was born in Kenya, information that was published "as statements of the Republican candidate" in the traditional media.
According to the study «Media and Post-truth: Analysis of Fake News in U.S. Presidential Elections of 2016 », by Priscilla Muñoz Sanhueza, the election process was tainted by a shroud of fake news, which had its peak from August 2016 until elections day, where more fabricated information was shared on Facebook than the "True" (which, for the most part, favored Donald Trump).
The same study recalls that the mythomania of the current president is nothing new: «There are records that since 2011 he began to question Obama's country of birth on television and Twitter, quoting alleged sources and websites like WND.com and FreedomOutpost.com , which are characterized by publishing fake news (Maheshwari, 2017) ».
It’s also memorable the sayings of the Republican like: “in New Jersey was celebrated the 9/11 attack; that his commercial empire began with a "small loan" from his father, when he inherited forty million dollars ».
In March 2017, again using Twitter, he accused Barack Obama of having ordered to spy on him in October 2016, tapping the telephones of his operations center, without delivering any evidence, which was denied by a spokesman for the former president.
As if that weren’t enough, in April 2019, The Washington Post published a report that assured that after 800 days in office, the U.S. president had made more than 10,000 "fake or misleading" statements.
If anyone still doubts about this personal characteristic of the current White House owner, just have to review the contents of Trump's last intervention during the 74th Session at the United Nations Assembly.
What can be done when even the so-called quality press remains silent, with complicity, before Trump's cynical lies about Iran, China, Venezuela or Cuba.
For those who witnessed the intervention of the U.S. ambassador to the UN, regarding the vote on a bill against the Blockade of Cuba, there’s no doubt that, in Donald Trump’s imperial era, lies have taken over truth.
Apparently, like a psycho, the current emperor has redesigned the world political map according to the immeasurable limits of his megalomania and paranoia.
Regarding this last trait of his personality, more than once he has summoned, as if they were federal companies, the owners of the social networks to accuse them of censoring his person or the supporters of conservative thinking that took him to the oval office.
It’s worth wondering: If Trump manages to survive, regardless of his lies, the impeachment to which the Democrats attempt to submit him, can anyone dare to put a bridle of honesty on him?
SAN FRANCISCO: Disinformation campaigns helped lead to the assassination of Martin Luther King, the daughter of the US civil rights champion said on Thursday after the head of Facebook said social media should not fact check political advertisements.
The comments come as Facebook Inc is under fire for its approach to political advertisements and speech, which Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg defended on Thursday in a major speech that twice referenced King, known by his initials MLK.
King's daughter, Bernice, tweeted that she had heard the speech
"I'd like to help Facebook better understand the challenges #MLK faced from disinformation campaigns launched by politicians. These campaigns created an atmosphere for his assassination," she wrote from the handle @BerniceKing.
King died of an assassin's bullet in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968.
Zuckerberg argued that his company should give voice to minority views and said that court protection for free speech stemmed in part from a case involving a partially inaccurate advertisement by King supporters.
The US Supreme Court protected the supporters from a lawsuit.
"People should decide what is credible, not tech companies," Zuckerberg said.
"We very much appreciate Ms King's offer to meet with us. Her perspective is invaluable and one we deeply respect. We look forward to continuing this important dialogue with her in Menlo Park next week," a Facebook spokesperson said.
Several state attorneys general united forces to investigate if the social media giant Facebook violated antitrust laws, hurting its users in the process.
The prosecutors will check whether Facebook “stifled competition and put users at risk,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James who is leading the probe.
Even the largest social media platform in the world must follow the law and respect consumers.
The attorneys general of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia are also taking part in the probe.
In recent years Facebook has greatly expanded its business ventures, acquiring Instagram and WhatsApp Messenger which unlike their parent company are growing fast.
Meanwhile the social media behemoth is facing a litany of accusations for violating users’ privacy and misusing their data. In July, the Justice Department (DoJ) launched a probe into whether the big tech firms are complying with antitrust laws. The officials did not explicitly call out Mark Zuckerberg’s company but hinted that they will be going after the major players.
Congress also started an investigation into Facebook and other IT giants. The House Judiciary Committee head, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), voiced concern that “a handful” of companies have taken control over the vast sectors of online commerce and communications. The issue even came up in the 2020 presidential race with Democratic nomination hopefuls, like Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, arguing that Facebook is too powerful and needs to be “broken up.”
Facebook, of course, denies it violated any antitrust rules, and said it is eager to work with lawmakers to come up with regulations to “protect” users.
Last Tuesday, Kristinn Hrafnsson —Wikileaks’ editor in chief— stated before a group of foreign press correspondents that the case of Julian Assange, incarcerated in UK and claimed by the U.S., is part of a conspiracy against press freedom.
It is not an isolated case —pointed out the Icelander journalist before adding that the recent attacks on media in California, U.S., the searches carried out by the Federal Police at the headquarters of ABC network in Sydney, Australia, and the incarceration of Swedish journalist Olin Bin, in Ecuador, are also part of a global strategy to stamp out investigative journalism.
Even more disturbing, nonetheless, is the fact that more important than press “freedom” or investigative journalism, the truth itself seems really in danger of vanishing. While the truth is incarcerated in the role of Julian Assange, lies are unleashed and multiplied like never before in the media and social networks.
At the same time Hrafnsson offered his statement in London, an international survey carried out that day and released in Canada showed that 86% of people have taken for granted at least one fake news they have read in social networks.
According to the 82% of people consulted in the Ipsos survey for the Canadian analysis group Center for International Governance Innovation, the platforms of social networks were regarded as the main responsible for the dissemination of fake news. The 77% of users had pointed at Facebook as the main source of fake news while 62% chose Twitter.
The problem is truly alarming if we take into account that there is an increasingly high number of people using social networks as information source. In the words of communication connoisseurs, beyond the technological progresses, the rising number of users in social networks has to do with the discredit of traditional media in recent years. However, is there any credibility in social networks after the results of this survey went public?
To make things worse, it was released a fake video in Instagram with the one and only Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook. In the video, manipulated by artificial intelligence, Zuckerberg stands there saying, while describing his own personality: “Imagine this for a second: a man, with a total control of data stolen from millions and millions of people, all their secrets, their lives, their futures.”
The fake video shows Zuckerberg bragging about his dominance. The video was created by Israel’s emerging company Canny AI, and artists Bill Posters and Daniel Howe, allegedly for an artistic project called Spectrum, which was screened at the British International Documentary Festival Sheffield Doc/Fest.
It is shocking that Instagram —which belongs to Facebook— will not blocked the video. Therefore, it will be added to a series of other manipulated videos, known as “deepfake” due to the use of artificial intelligence with extremely realistic results.
The most popular of this sort of “masterpieces” falsifying reality, which Facebook denies to block by the way, is the ridiculously false video released one month ago where the Speaker of the House of Representative of the U.S., Nancy Pelosi, was talking as if she were drunk.
The video involving Pelosi was released to the world in a tweet posted by the U.S. President Donald Trump. And now that we are referring to lies and Trump, the president of the nation of “press freedom,” the first champion against fake news, recently called for a mass boycott from Americans against AT&T, one of the greatest telecom giants of the country, to force them to make “huge changes” within CNN network, owned by that company. According to Trump, CNN is so unfair with such bad, fake news! When the world watches CNN, it gets a false picture of USA.”
And it was not a fake tweet, as it was Pelosi’s video. This tweet came out of the brain of the U.S. President who has turned the foreign policy of his nation into an anthology of lies and vulgar threats against those countries resilient to the Empire dominance. The same Trump who attacked the media for what he called “a fraudulent and highly inaccurate coverage of Iran,” stated immediately thereafter in another tweet that such reports had a positive impact since “Iran does not know what to do now, which is a good thing after all.”
In this new world, those who dare to denounce a crime, as in Assange’s case, are condemned by those who committed such crime. The goal will be always to achieve nobody knows what to think, not to mention when the information is true or false; and that is the only truth.
Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz/CubaSí Translation Staff
Social networks can be platforms for journalism… but their usefulness depends on the knowledge of their logic…
A digital media outlet is one thing and social networks are another. That must be clear, because many people (Internet users and even operators) sometimes mix up the logic of these spaces. A digital press outlet (let’s use terms that I know are going to upset some theorists) is a newspaper, a magazine or an audiovisual news program on the internet. May it be understood: digital journalism has its distinctive features, it is not about reproducing a newspaper on the web, but social authority and responsibility are and should be the same as those of the most conventional media (although digital media are, in fact, conventional).
Social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, etc, etc…) are confluence spaces of dissimilar content and intentions. They are not a space conceived for journalism, although they can be (in fact, they are) perfectly functional platforms for the promotion of journalistic products. And even to do, propose journalism. The quality of that journalism, obviously, is not defined by the characteristics of their format. It has to do with the quality of the staff, clarity in the approaches, command of the logic of every space, and, once again on this topic, clear classification of the contents. Because you can find anything on the networks, without seemingly honoring a thematic and conceptual coherence…, what we propose should ideally be convincing.
Let’s go over our context: the cultural journalism we do in our digital media. There is a lot of cultural journalism in Cuba (we must recognize it, quality is unequal) but the presence on the social networking is not always the most adequate. And the fact that the said presence on the main networks be effective is not a minor issue, because internet users in Cuba access cultural information not mainly on the sites of those media, but on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube profiles… We won’t talk about connection difficulties, but precisely because of those difficulties it is necessary to make better use of the potential of those networks, which are very popular and offer possibilities that haven’t fully been explored yet.
There’s a lack of trained staff (networks must be managed by network professionals), it’s necessary to create collaborative networks among the different media, it’s necessary to boost contents better and stimulate interaction. Because the number of followers and “I like” is important, but not the principal thing: the main thing is that the message be conveyed, capitalized and enables a rich debate that coexists and hopefully sets the pace for other discussions that abound on the networks. Platform, showcase, display… but also spearhead, public service.
Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff
In what is believed to be the longest outage ever suffered by Facebook and Instagram, which is also owned by the social media giant, users either have been unable to access the platforms, or use certain essential functions such as leaving comments or uploading photos.
According to the Down Detector, Facebook has been plagued by unknown problems since 12:01pm Wednesday (ET). While Facebook acknowledged on Twitter that it was aware of the issue and was scrambling to resolve it "as soon as possible," full access to the platform has not been restored even after 10 hours of work.
"I can't comment, even on my own thread, or post. I'm getting no new notifications after 20hrs. In North West Montana," a frustrated user wrote.
"Is facebook game over? Down for 8 hours already. What is the stock price of facebook today? XD," another quipped.
"I've logged in IG but all my stories and pics are gone :(" a user wrote on the Down Detector.
The outages have impacted different parts of the world, from the US, parts of Latin America, the Philippines to the UK, India, Canada, Turkey, and others.
While the outage has left many unnerved to the point of almost converting to Snapchat, chaos and panic caused by Instagram and Facebook withdrawal saw Twitter, the last social media bastion standing, awash with memes.
Deprived Instagram and Facebook followers served to bump up Twitter user numbers.
All joking aside, the outage apparently trigged withdrawal symptoms, with social media addicts frantically refreshing their pages.
@ThePerezHilton Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think today has been the longest/worst outage in the history of Facebook/Instagram! It’s driving me crazy!!! Really affecting my work!!
#FacebookDown #InstagramDown #WhatsAppDown
Some pointed out an ironic coincidence – the woes that befell Facebook and Instagram mark exactly 30 years since the internet was created.
Others used the outage as a case in point against monopolies, of which Facebook is a prime example.
@PrisonPlanet Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp all down at the same time. Is anyone talking about the weakness of monopolies? How on earth are all these things on the same backbone?