Break Up Big Tech? Some Say Not So Fast

For years, the US government stood by as big tech companies like Facebook and Google growth hacked and gobbled up competitors on their way to dominance, with barely a mention of “anticompetitive” concerns. But that lax attitude is changing. Word continued to leak this week about possible antitrust investigations by the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, who reportedly divvied up companies like a couple might divide household chores. (The DOJ calls dibs on Google and Apple, while the FTC gets Facebook and Amazon.) House Democrats, meanwhile, are launching an antitrust probe of their own over competition in the tech industry more broadly. It’s too soon to tell whether any of this activity will lead to meaningful regulation, or …

Big Tech: Breaking Us Up Will Only Help China

Over the past week, both Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt made the same appeal to American nationalism, with differing degrees of subtlety: Breaking up Big Tech will only help China. It’s a politically expedient plea as calls for regulating tech intensify amid growing concern about China’s tech prowess and an escalating US-China trade war. But the argument rests on the idea that what’s good for Facebook and Google is good for America. It also ignores how Silicon Valley is simultaneously seeking growth through partnerships with some of those same Chinese competitors, such as Google’s investment in JD.com and reported talks with Tencent to bring Google Cloud to China. Sandberg made her case against …

Facebook still a great place to amplify pre-election junk news, EU study finds

A study carried out by academics at Oxford University to investigate how junk news is being shared on social media in Europe ahead of regional elections this month has found individual stories shared on Facebook’s platform can still hugely outperform the most important and professionally produced news stories, drawing as much as 4x the volume of Facebook shares, likes, and comments. The study, conducted for the Oxford Internet Institute’s (OII) Computational Propaganda Project, is intended to respond to widespread concern about the spread of online political disinformation on EU elections which take place later this month, by examining pre-election chatter on Facebook and Twitter in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish, and Swedish. Junk news in this context refers to …

Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Might Work Like Loyalty Points

If Facebook’s pivot from town square to private living room wasn’t laden with enough irony, here’s a new twist: Big business, it appears, has been invited to join us by the fireplace. On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported new potential details about Facebook’s long-awaited cryptocurrency plans. The company is reportedly seeking dozens of business partners, including online merchants and financial firms, in an effort to extend the reach of its blockchain-based marketplace. Facebook’s would-be partners are being asked to pitch into an investment fund, valued at $1 billion or more, that would serve as backing for Facebook’s coin and mitigate the wild speculative swings that make cryptocurrencies like bitcoin hard to spend. The pitch, according to the Journal, involves …

Some reassuring data for those worried unicorns are wrecking the Bay Area

Joanna Glasner With the exception of Intel, all of these companies have a double-digit percentage of employees at headquarters, so it’s not as if they’re leaving town. However, if you’re a new hire at Silicon Valley’s most valuable companies, it appears chances are greater that you’ll be based outside of headquarters. Tesla, meanwhile, is somewhat of a unique case. The company is based in Palo Alto, but doesn’t crack the city’s list of top 10 employers. In nearby Fremont, Calif., however, Tesla is the largest city employer, with roughly 10,000 reportedly working at its auto plant there.(Tesla has about 49,000 employees globally.) Unicorns flock to San Fran, workers less so High-valuation private and recently public tech companies can also be pretty …

Canada says Facebook broke privacy laws and ‘refused to act responsibly’

Top watchdog promises to force change following investigation into Cambridge Analytica data sharing scandal Facebook broke Canadian privacy laws when it collected the information of some 600,000 citizens, a top watchdog in the country said on Thursday, pledging to seek a court order to force the social media company to change its practices. Canadas privacy commissioner, Daniel Therrien, made his comments while releasing the results of an investigation, opened a year ago, into Cambridge Analytica. Though Facebook unintentionally uploaded email contacts of up to 1.5 million new users since May 2016, adding that the contacts were not shared with anyone and we are deleting them. Letitia James, the New York attorney general, said on Thursday in a statement that when …

Facebook spent $20 million on Mark Zuckerberg’s security last year

According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, Facebook dramatically increased spending on security for CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his family, TechCrunch reported. Zuckerberg draws a $1 annual salary from the company but receives other types of compensationnamely, the millions of dollars the company spends keeping him safe. According to the filings, Facebook compensated Zuckerberg $22,554,542total in 2018, $2,597,320 of which was for Zuckerberg’s travel on a private jet. The remainderjust about $20 millionwent toward security costs for Zuckerberg and his family. By comparison, Facebook compensated Zuckerberg $9,101,965 in 2017 and $6,015,431 in 2016 for security costs. Facebook faced scandal after scandal in 2018, from revelations of data misuse by now-defunct data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica, …

Facebook spent $22.6m to keep Mark Zuckerberg safe last year

Security costs for the tech billionaire and his family more than doubled last year, as an outcry over Facebooks practices grew Facebook more than doubled the money it spent on top executive Mark Zuckerbergs security in 2018 to $22.6m, a regulatory filing has showed. Zuckerberg drew a base salary of $1 for the past three years, and his other compensation was listed at $22.6m, most of which was for his personal security. Nearly $20m went toward security for Zuckerberg and his family, up from about $9 million the year prior. Zuckerberg also received $2.6m for personal use of private jets, which the company said was part of his overall security program. Facebook in the past few yearsrevelations that Cambridge Analytica, …

Facebook asks for public input about its plans for a content oversight board

In November, Facebook announced its plans to create an external content oversight board that would serve as something of a “supreme court” for Facebook’s more controversial content policy decisions. With the release of a draft charter in January, the company took the first steps to describe how this content review board would function. Today, Facebook is opening a public consultation process to help it answer more questions around the oversight board’s design. Over the next six weeks, Facebook says it will accept submissions from the public about its plans. Public submissions will include two parts: a questionnaire and free-form questions. The latter will focus on gathering input around membership, case decisions and governance. The questionnaire portion, however, is a more straightforward …

Will Facebooks New Ban on White Nationalist Content Work?

In a move that’s months in the making, Facebook announced Wednesday that beginning next week, it will take down posts supporting both white nationalism and white separatism, including on Instagram. It’s an evolution for the social network, whose Community Standards previously only prohibited white supremacist content while allowing posts that advocated for ideologies like race segregation. The odyssey to this moment started last May, when Motherboard published excerpts of leaked internal training documents for Facebook moderators that outlined the platform’s stance on white nationalism, white separatism, and white supremacy. In short, Facebook banned white supremacist content, but allowed white separatist and white nationalist content because it “doesn’t seem to be always associated with racism (at least not explicitly.)” The company …

Daily Crunch: Facebook admits password security lapse

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Facebook admits it stored ‘hundreds of millions’ of account passwords in plaintext Prompted by a report by cybersecurity reporter Brian Krebs, Facebook confirmed that it stored “hundreds of millions” of account passwords in plaintext for years. The discovery was made in January, said Facebook’s Pedro Canahuati, as part of a routine security review. None of the passwords were visible to anyone outside Facebook, he said. Facebook admitted the security lapse months later, after Krebs said logs were accessible to some 2,000 engineers and developers. 2. To …

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Reddit moved fast during the New Zealand shooting. It wasn’t fast enough

Today, in Christchurch, New Zealand, shootings at two different mosques killed 49 people, one of the worst mass shootings in modern history. And the entire act of violence played out online, as the shooter live streamed part of his spree, where it was uploaded and reposted across the internet. It’s not the first internet-broadcast shooting. A reporter and cameraman in Virginiawere killed in 2015, and the ensuing footage was uploaded while that murderer was on the lam. It’s happened via Facebook Live and amid gang violence in Chicago. However, the visceral nature of this footage left people appalled at how easy it is to disseminate carnage. The New Zealand massacre was livestreamed on Facebook, announced on 8chan, reposted on YouTube, …

Venture investors and startup execs say they dont need Elizabeth Warren to defend them from big tech

Responding to Elizabeth Warren’s call to regulate and break up some of the nation’s largest technology companies, the venture capitalists that invest in technology companies are advising the presidential hopeful to move slowly and not break anything. Warren’s plan called for regulators to be appointed to oversee the unwinding of several acquisitions that were critical to the development of the core technology that make Alphabet’s Google and the social media giant Facebook so profitable… and Zappos. Warren also wanted regulation in place that would block companies making over $25 billion that operate as social media or search platforms or marketplaces from owning companies that also sell services on those marketplaces. As a whole, venture capitalists viewing the policy were underwhelmed. …

How to prepare for an investment apocalypse

Micah Rosenbloom Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific