Tag: category-/News/Politics

Truecaller: Spam calls jumped over 300% in 2018

According to the yearly report published by Stockholm-based phone number-identification service Truecaller, spam calls grew by 300 percent year-over-year in 2018. The report also found that telecom operators themselves are much to blame. Between January and October of this year, Truecaller said, users worldwide received about 17.7 billion spam calls. That’s up from some 5.5 […]

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Facebook and Twitter face growing scrutiny for their role in sparking France’s ‘Gilets Jaunes’ protests

The French government announced it is investigating the possibility that Russia manipulated social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter to foment discord that has inspired growing protests across the country. The Gilets Jaunes or “yellow vests,” appeared at first to be largely a spontaneous social movement of protestors angry about an impending tax on diesel that […]

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Facebook will bring political ad transparency tools to India ahead of 2019 elections

As India inches closer to its general elections, Facebook announced today that it is bringing transparency to political ads on its platform in the country early next year. This would make India the fourth market — after the U.S., Brazil, and the U.K. — where Facebook offers users a disclaimer on political ads. Facebook began […]

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ProBeat: Twitter’s biggest mistake was giving Donald Trump a pass

Twitter’s stock took a hit yesterday after news resurfaced that Fox News had not tweeted for three weeks. The publication stopped tweeting after activists posted news host Tucker Carlson’s home address on Twitter, which reportedly did not remove it in a timely fashion. Also yesterday, an alt-right activist handcuffed herself to Twitter’s NYC headquarters. This […]

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Google to vet political advertisers for European Parliament elections

Google has announced a raft of initiatives designed to “support the democratic process” during the European Parliament elections next May. The announcement comes amid mounting pressure on technology companies to tackle attempts to subvert elections through the spread of misinformation. Arguably the most notable facet of Google’s latest efforts is that it will now require all […]

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Facebook’s ‘independent oversight group’ is destined to fail

If there was any doubt about how big Facebook has gotten, CEO Mark Zuckerberg compared the struggles Facebook faces with deciding what kind of content to allow on its platform to the struggles cities face in mitigating crime. “No one expects crime to be eliminated completely, but you expect things will get better over time,” […]

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Facebook rebuttal claims ‘inaccuracies’ in scathing New York Times investigation

A highly detailed investigation by the New York Times has again raised questions about Facebook’s response to the Russian manipulation, fake news, and hate speech that have become rampant on its platform. Today, the company issued a rebuttal of sorts that address some concerns raised by the story. In the unsigned rebuttal, the company says: […]

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France leads effort to save internet from itself with ‘Paris Call’ and Facebook embed

As the geopolitical picture continues to churn with uncertainty, France is making a strong and surprising bid to assume a central leadership role in fixing the hot mess otherwise known as the internet. Following a weekend-long tribute to the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I that drew global leaders to Paris, French […]

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Mark Zuckerberg rejects request to appear before U.K. and Canada-led committee

Facebook has declined a request to send CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before an “international grand committee” on the topic of fake news and disinformation — though the committee continues to grow. U.K. MP Damian Collins — one of the organizers of the committee, along with Canadian MP Bob Zimmer — tweeted this morning that […]

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Homeless ballot prop opposed by billionaire tech CEOs is winning in San Francisco

San Francisco voters appear to have ratified Proposition C, an initiative to increase taxes on businesses earning more than $50 million in gross annual receipts to provide services for homeless people. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, 59.9 percent of ballots cast voted yes on C while 40.1 percent voted no on C, according to […]

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Mapping tech adds truth to election debate

Presented by Mapbox When truth is increasingly subjective, maps can be a canvas for people to understand data, and through that understanding drive faith and confidence in how government is elected. A U.S. election is an incredibly complex data pipeline. Who can vote is determined by fifty-six different sets of eligibility rules and eligibility lists. […]

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U.S. Supreme Court ends fight over Obama-era net neutrality rules

(Reuters) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused a request by the Trump administration and the telecommunications industry to wipe away a lower court decision that had upheld Obama-era net neutrality rules aimed at ensuring a free and open internet, though the justices’ action does not undo the 2017 repeal of the policy. The […]

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Twitter purged over 10,000 bots that tried to discourage U.S. voter turnout

(Reuters) – Twitter (TWTR.N) deleted more than 10,000 automated accounts posting messages that discouraged people from voting in Tuesday’s U.S. election and wrongly appeared to be from Democrats, after the party flagged the misleading tweets to the social media company. “We took action on relevant accounts and activity on Twitter,” a Twitter spokesman said in […]

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Snapchat will help you find your polling place on Election Day

It’s no secret that many of Snapchat’s core users are young adults. That’s also the group of voters who say they’re least likely to vote in this U.S. election cycle, so the company will be adding some new features on Election Day encouraging Snapchatters to get out the vote. In time for the U.S midterm elections […]

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Alexa can now talk about the midterm elections

Amazon today announced a series of updates to Alexa’s knowledge base so the intelligent assistant can deliver helpful information ahead of, during, and after the U.S. midterm elections scheduled to take place on Tuesday. Alexa was asked millions of election-related questions in the lead-up to the 2016 election, Amazon VP of Alexa information Bill Barton said […]

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Trump directs U.S. Commerce Department to set 5G wireless spectrum strategy

(Reuters) — U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday signed a presidential memorandum directing the Commerce Department to develop a long-term comprehensive national spectrum strategy to prepare for the introduction of next-generation 5G wireless networks. Trump is also creating a White House Spectrum Strategy Task Force and wants federal agencies to report on government spectrum needs […]

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Trump disputes China-Russia cellular spying story in tweet from iPhone

Spy services around the world routinely surveil foreign politicians, so a N.Y. Times report that both China and Russia have been monitoring U.S. President Donald Trump’s cellphone calls isn’t particularly surprising. But Trump brought additional attention to the story this morning, claiming in a tweet that “I rarely use a cellphone” — the latest in […]

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Facebook’s biggest political advertiser is…Facebook

Today, Facebook released a report detailing the U.S. groups that have spent the most on Facebook political ads since May, and the top spot belongs to a familiar face. Since May, Facebook has spent more than $12 million on “ads related to politics and issues of national importance,” spread across Facebook and Instagram. The next […]

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Despite new rules, tracking political ad spend across Facebook, Google, and Twitter remains difficult

This year, Facebook, Google, and Twitter have all created archives of political ad spending on their platforms, making publicly available for the first time information about how much are spending, and how effective it is. However, all three companies have different standards when it comes to what constitutes a political ad, and what information they’re […]

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U.S. legislators urge Canada to block Huawei from 5G networks

(Reuters) — Two leading U.S. lawmakers, both sharp critics of China, urged Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday to consider dropping China’s Huawei from helping to build next-generation 5G telecommunications networks. Senators Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, and Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, said they had “grave concerns” about the prospects of Huawei equipment […]

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