Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg discuss Facebook on the Sway podcast and conclude the company is “fundamentally unethical” at its core.
Wall Street Journal: Facebook is rebuked by its own oversight board.
Donald Trump’s new social network — which he launched because he was “silenced” on other social media platforms — includes a terms of service that include a long list of prohibited activities, including that users have to agree not to “disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the Site,” Deadline reports.
“Five members of the U.S. House Judiciary committee wrote to Amazon.com Inc’s chief executive Sunday, and accused the company’s top executives, including founder Jeff Bezos, of either misleading Congress or possibly lying to it about Amazon’s business practices,” Reuters reports.
Ars Technica: “For two years, he ran websites and Facebook groups that spread bogus stories, conspiracy theories, and propaganda. Under him was a dedicated team of writers and editors paid to produce deceptive content—from outright hoaxes to political propaganda—with the supreme goal of tipping the 2016 election to Donald Trump.”
“Through extensive efforts, he built a secret network of self-reinforcing sites from the ground up. He devised a strategy that got prominent personalities—including Trump—to retweet misleading claims to their followers. And he fooled unwary American citizens, including the hacker’s own father, into regarding fake news sources more highly than the mainstream media.”
“Pundits and governments just might have given Russia too much credit, he says, when a whole system of manipulating people’s perception and psychology was engineered and operated from within the US.”
“I have been hacked and my Twitter account has been erased. I know who has done this. I will take care of this. M Waters.”
— Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), on Twitter.
Nieman Labs notes that when Facebook went down for nearly six hours earlier this week, traffic surged at news sites.
“We can’t count on Mark Zuckerberg to tell us the truth. He has lost all trust, if he ever had any.”
— Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), in a CNN interview on the Facebook CEO.
Washington Post: “After four years of almost continuous scandal, Facebook is approaching its latest controversy over political polarization and the toxic effects of social media in a more aggressive and defiant way than it has previously, say current and former employees, including executives who helped shape the company’s earlier responses.”
“Gone is the familiar script in which chief executive Mark Zuckerberg issues a formal apology — sometimes in long blogs on his personal Facebook page or over live-streamed video for a Congressional hearing — then takes responsibility and promises change.”
“In its place, the company has deployed a slate of executives to mount a public defense while quibbling with the details of allegations from Frances Haugen, the former project manager who left Facebook with tens of thousands of documents.”
Axios: Facebook’s perfect storm.
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp “abruptly went offline Monday morning, disrupting user access and communication in many countries for an extended period,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“While even the biggest tech companies occasionally go offline unexpectedly, the duration and widespread nature of the disruption for Facebook and all its platforms is unusual.”
“A former Facebook employee says tens of thousands of pages of internal company research she has provided to the Securities and Exchange Commission prove Facebook is lying to the public and investors about the effectiveness of its campaigns to eradicate hate, violence and misinformation from its platforms,” CBS News reports.
“That former employee, who anonymously filed the complaints with federal authorities against Facebook last month, will reveal her identity and speak her mind in an interview airing Sunday night on 60 Minutes.”
The New York Times reports she’ll accuse Facebook of contributing to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection by “relaxing its security safeguards for the 2020 election too soon after Election Day.”
“The Senate’s bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and President Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending package could live or die this week — and take Democrats’ fortunes with them. But all the minute-by-minute political drama obscures how much America could change if even a fraction of it passes,” Axios reports.
“Anything short of total failure could have a transformative impact on day-to-day life — from how we move around to our access to the internet, paid family leave and child care, health care and college.”
Washington Post: “The information was included in a giant trove of hundreds of thousands of transactions published this month by the hacking group Anonymous that exposed previously obscure details of far-right sites and launched a race among extremism researchers to identify the hidden promoters of online hate.”
A new poll conducted for the Future of Tech Commission found that 80% of registered voters—83% of Democrats and 78% of Republicans—agreed the federal government “needs to do everything it can to curb the influence of big tech companies that have grown too powerful and now use our data to reach too far into our lives.”
In an attempt to improve his company’s image, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg authorized a plan to boost pro-Facebook stories on the newsfeeds of its billions of users, the New York Times reports.
“The idea was that pushing pro-Facebook news items — some of them written by the company — would improve its image in the eyes of its users… But the move was sensitive because Facebook had not previously positioned the News Feed as a place where it burnished its own reputation.”
“Epik long has been the favorite Internet company of the far-right, providing domain services to QAnon theorists, Proud Boys and other instigators of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — allowing them to broadcast hateful messages from behind a veil of anonymity,” the Washington Post reports.
“But that veil abruptly vanished last week when a huge breach by the hacker group Anonymous dumped into public view more than 150 gigabytes of previously private data — including user names, passwords and other identifying information of Epik’s customers.”
Venture capitalist and Facebook board member Peter Thiel told an associate that Mark Zuckerberg agreed to not fact-check political posts if the Trump administration would steer clear of any “heavy-handed regulations,” New York magazine reports.
The anecdote is revealed in The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s Pursuit of Power.
Wall Street Journal: “For more than a month, Facebook researchers warned that comments on vaccine-related posts—often factual posts of the sort Facebook sought to promote—were filled with antivaccine rhetoric aimed at undermining their message… The comments ranged from personal objections all the way to debunked falsehoods and conspiracy theories.”
“The wave of negative comments worried global health institutions, including the World Health Organization and Unicef, the documents say… Even authoritative sources of vaccine information were becoming ‘cesspools of anti-vaccine comments.'”
Goddard spent more than a decade as managing director and chief operating officer of a prominent investment firm in New York City. Previously, he was a policy adviser to a U.S. Senator and Governor.
Goddard is also co-author of You Won - Now What? (Scribner, 1998), a political management book hailed by prominent journalists and politicians from both parties. In addition, Goddard's essays on politics and public policy have appeared in dozens of newspapers across the country.
Goddard earned degrees from Vassar College and Harvard University. He lives in New York with his wife and three sons.
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