Microsoft’s Kate Crawford: ‘AI is neither artificial nor intelligent’,
Zoë Corbyn, 6 juin 2021, TheGuardian
Microsoft’s Kate Crawford: ‘AI is neither artificial nor intelligent’,
Zoë Corbyn, 6 juin 2021, TheGuardian
Facebook allows advertisers to target children interested in smoking, alcohol and weight loss
Social media giant gave organisation behind a page for Australian 13- to 17-year-olds option to run alcohol, smoking and gambling ads for as little as $3 Facebook is allowing businesses to advertise to children as young as 13 who express an interest in smoking, extreme weight loss and gambling for as little as $3, research by the lobby group Reset Australia has found. The organisation, which is critical of digital platforms, set up a Facebook page and advertising account under the name (...)
Alphabet : revenue soars for Google owner as Covid lockdown boom continues
Tech firm beat Wall Street forecasts with $55bn in revenue, even as it faced antitrust lawsuits Google’s parent company, Alphabet, more than doubled its profits to a record $17.9bn (£12.9bn) in the first quarter, as the lockdown-enforced surge in the use of digital services fuels an advertising boom for the Silicon Valley giant. The company, which revealed in filings last week that Google UK’s staff earned an average of £240,000 each last year, said it was “still scratching the surface” over (...)
How Facebook let fake engagement distort global politics: a whistleblower’s account , by Julia Carrie Wong,TheGuardian, 12 Apr. 2021
The inside story of Sophie Zhang’s battle to combat rampant manipulation as executives delayed and deflected
“What we have seen is that multiple national presidents believe that this activity is sufficiently valuable for their autocratic ambitions that they feel the need to do it so blatantly that they aren’t even bothering to hide,” Zhang told the Guardian.
She argues that Facebook is allowing its self-interest to interfere with its responsibility to protect democracy, and that the public and regulators need to know what is happening to provide oversight.
A Facebook spokesperson, Liz Bourgeois, said: “We fundamentally disagree with Ms Zhang’s characterization of our priorities and efforts to root out abuse on our platform.
Revealed: the Facebook loophole that lets world leaders deceive and harass their citizens , Julia Carrie Wang, TheGuardian, 12 Apr. 2021
A Guardian investigation exposes the breadth of state-backed manipulation of the platform
Facebook has repeatedly allowed world leaders and politicians to use its platform to deceive the public or harass opponents despite being alerted to evidence of the wrongdoing.
The Guardian has seen extensive internal documentation showing how Facebook handled more than 30 cases across 25 countries of politically manipulative behavior that was proactively detected by company staff.
The investigation shows how Facebook has allowed major abuses of its platform in poor, small and non-western countries in order to prioritize addressing abuses that attract media attention or affect the US and other wealthy countries. The company acted quickly to address political manipulation affecting countries such as the US, Taiwan, South Korea and Poland, while moving slowly or not at all on cases in Afghanistan, Iraq, Mongolia, Mexico, and much of Latin America.
Details from 500 million Facebook users found on website for hackers , Associated Press in New York, 3 Apr 2021, The Guardian
Details from more than 500 million Facebook users have been found available on a website for hackers.
The information appears to be several years old but it is another example of the vast amount of information collected by Facebook and other social media sites and the limits to how secure that information is.
The availability of the data set was first reported by Business Insider. According to that publication, it contains information from 106 countries including phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates and email addresses.
Facebook has been grappling with data security issues for years. In 2018, the social media giant disabled a feature that allowed users to search for one another via phone numbers, following revelations that the political firm Cambridge Analytica had accessed information on up to 87 million users without their knowledge or consent.
In December 2019, a Ukrainian security researcher reported finding a database with the names, phone numbers and unique user IDs of more than 267 million Facebook users – nearly all US-based – on the open internet. It is unclear if the current data dump is related to this database.
The Menlo Park, California-based company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In a statement provided to other publications, Facebook said the leak was old and stemmed from a problem that had been fixed in 2019.
China-based hackers used Facebook to target Uighurs abroad with malware
Company says hackers used malware to infect devices and enable surveillance after setting up fake profiles to build trust Facebook has blocked a group of hackers in China who used the platform to target Uighurs living abroad with links to malware that would infect their devices and enable surveillance. The social media company said on Wednesday that the hackers, known as Earth Empusa or Evil Eye in the security industry, targeted activists, journalists and dissidents who were (...)
Facebook guidelines allow users to call for death of public figures
Exclusive : public figures considered to be permissible targets for otherwise-banned abuse, leaked moderator guidelines show Facebook’s bullying and harassment policy explicitly allows for “public figures” to be targeted in ways otherwise banned on the site, including “calls for [their] death”, according to a tranche of internal moderator guidelines leaked to the Guardian. Public figures are defined by Facebook to include people whose claim to fame may be simply a large social media following (...)
Facebook leak underscores strategy to operate in repressive regimes
Exclusive : users are allowed to praise mass killers and ‘violent non-state actors’ in certain situations Facebook users are permitted to praise mass murderers and “violent non-state actors” in certain situations, according to internal guidelines that underline how the tech corporation is striving to operate in repressive regimes. The leak also reveals that Facebook maintains a list of “recognised crimes” and instructs its moderators to distinguish between those and “crimes not recognised by (...)
Police raids across Europe after encrypted phone network shut down
Belgian, Dutch and French police ‘looked over shoulders’ of gangs after hacking Sky ECC network Police in Belgium and the Netherlands have arrested at least 80 people and carried out hundreds of raids after shutting down an encrypted phone network used by organised crime groups. Belgian, Dutch and French police said they had hacked into the Sky ECC network, allowing them to look “over the shoulders” of suspects as they communicated with customised devices to plot drug deals and murders. (...)
14-hour days and no bathroom breaks : Amazon’s overworked delivery drivers
Drivers report being underpaid and having to urinate in bottles in their vehicles to keep up with delivery rates James Meyers worked as a driver for several Amazon delivery service providers in Austin, Texas, for about one year until he quit in October 2020 citing the immense workloads and poor working conditions. Fourteen-hour shifts were common because delivery service providers wouldn’t allow drivers to return any packages from their routes and the pressure to meet delivery rates meant (...)
Facebook faces US investigation for ’systemic’ racial bias in hiring
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission indicates it suspects company policies may fuel broad discrimination A US agency investigating Facebook for racial bias in hiring and promotions has designated its inquiry as “systemic”, meaning it suspects company policies may be contributing to widespread discrimination. Attorneys for three job applicants and a manager who claim the company discriminated against them told Reuters of the news on Friday. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (...)
Zoom sees revenues soar 326% year-over-year as office life remains on hold
Company announces revenues of $2.6bn with little sign of slowing, but vaccines could change picture A year of working from home may have driven many of us to the brink but it’s been great news for Zoom, the video conferencing business. On Monday, the company announced its revenues had soared 326% year-over-year to $2.6bn and there was little sign of slowing at the end of the year. Sales soared 369% in the last quarter to $882.5m. “We are humbled by our role as a trusted partner and an (...)
Uber accused of using ’loaded questions’ in survey of drivers
Uber accused of using ’loaded questions’ in survey of drivers Unions say questions are designed to help get sympathetic changes in employment law Uber has been accused of using “loaded questions” in a consultation with drivers, after a landmark court ruling handed workers rights to improved conditions. The firm may have to pay out over £100m in compensation to 10,000 drivers, after the UK supreme court ruled last week they are entitled to holiday pay, a company pension and the national (...)
’We deserve more’ : an Amazon warehouse’s high-stakes union drive
Workers in Bessemer, Alabama, are pushing for a union – and experts say if they triumph, it could pave the way to organizing fulfillment centers in other states Darryl Richardson was delighted when he landed a job as a “picker” at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. “I thought, ‘Wow, I’m going to work for Amazon, work for the richest man around,” he said. “I thought it would be a nice facility that would treat you right.” Richardson, a sturdily built 51-year-old with a short, charcoal (...)
Google fires Margaret Mitchell, another top researcher on its AI ethics team
The dismissal comes after prominent Black researcher Timnit Gebru was fired in December ; both had called for more diversity among research staff Google has fired one of its top artificial intelligence researchers, Margaret Mitchell, escalating internal turmoil at the company following the departure of Timnit Gebru, another leading figure on Google’s AI ethics team. Mitchell, who announced her firing on Twitter, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. In a statement to (...)
Facebook’s botched Australia news ban hits health departments, charities and its own pages
Social media company’s ban on sharing news has also affected dozens of government, not-for-profit and community pages The Bureau of Meteorology, state health departments, the Western Australian opposition leader, charities and Facebook itself are among those to have been hit by Facebook’s ban on news in Australia. On Thursday morning Facebook began preventing Australian news sites from posting, while also stopping Australian users from sharing or viewing content from any news outlets, both (...)
Uber drivers are workers, UK supreme court rules
Decision means drivers will be entitled to basic rights such as paid holidays, say lawyers The UK supreme court has dismissed Uber’s appeal against a landmark employment tribunal ruling that its drivers should be classed as workers with access to the minimum wage and paid holidays. Six justices handed down a unanimous decision backing the October 2016 employment tribunal ruling that could land Uber with a big compensation pay out and lead to better terms for millions of workers in the gig (...)
Facebook moderators ’told not to discuss working conditions’
Workers in Dublin office claim US company used NDAs to try to stop them talking to Leo Varadkar Facebook has been accused of using nondisclosure agreements to try to build a “wall of secrecy” and prevent its moderators from discussing working conditions with Leo Varadkar, the Irish tánaiste (deputy PM). The moderators claim that Facebook warned them they could not break a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) they had signed with the company during discussions with Varadkar, and warned them that any (...)
Facebook bans misinformation about all vaccines after years of controversy
Company will remove posts with false claims and groups with repeated violations will be shut down Facebook has banned misinformation about all vaccines following years of harmful, unfounded health claims proliferating on its platform. As part of its policy on Covid-19-related misinformation, Facebook will now remove posts with false claims about all vaccines, the company announced in a blogpost on Monday. These new community guidelines apply to user-generated posts as well as paid (...)