Washington, OCT 18 (AP/UNB) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday defended the social media platform's refusal to take down content it considers newsworthy "even if it goes against our standards." But while he promoted free expression, limitations were place on coverage of his remarks at Georgetown University.
Reporters were not allowed to ask questions — only students were given that chance, filtered by a moderator. Facebook and Georgetown barred news organizations from filming. Instead organizers provided a livestream on Georgetown's social media site and made available video shot by Facebook.
"It's quite ironic," said Sally Hubbard, director of enforcement strategy at the Open Markets Institute and a former state prosecutor. More generally, she said of Facebook, "The key to free expression is to not have one company control the flow of speech to more than 2 billion people, using algorithms that amplify disinformation in order to maximize profits."
Facebook, Google, Twitter and other companies are trying to oversee internet content while also avoiding infringing on First Amendment rights. The pendulum has swung recently toward restricting hateful speech that could spawn violence. The shift follows mass shootings in which the suspects have posted racist screeds online or otherwise expressed hateful views or streamed images of attacks.
Facebook also has come under criticism for not doing enough to filter out phony political ads.
"Right now, we're doing a very good job at getting everyone mad at us," Zuckerberg told the packed hall at Georgetown.
He said serious threats to expression are coming from places such as China, where social media platforms used by protesters are censored, and from court decisions restricting the location of internet users' data in certain countries.
"I'm here today because I believe that we must continue to stand for free expression," he said. People of varied political beliefs are trying to define expansive speech as dangerous because it could bring results they don't accept, Zuckerberg said. "I personally believe this is more dangerous to democracy in the long term than almost any speech."
Taking note of mounting criticism of the market dominance of Facebook and other tech giants, Zuckerberg acknowledged the companies' centralized power but said it's also "decentralized by putting it directly into people's hands. ... Giving people a voice and broader inclusion go hand in hand."
John Stanton, a former fellow at Georgetown who heads a group called the "Save Journalism Project," called the CEO's appearance "a joke."
Zuckerberg "is the antithesis of free expression," Stanton said in a statement. "He's thrown free speech, public education and democracy to the wayside in his thirst for power and profit."
The social media giant, with nearly 2.5 billion users around the globe, is under heavy scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators following a series of data privacy scandals, including lapses in opening the personal data of millions of users to Trump's 2016 campaign.
Facebook and other social media platforms have drawn accusations from President Donald Trump and his allies that their platforms are steeped in anti-conservative bias.
Zuckerberg recently fell into a tiff with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a leading Democratic presidential candidate, who ran a fake political ad on Facebook taking aim at the CEO. Warren has proposed breaking up big tech companies. With the phony ad, she was protesting Facebook's policy of not fact-checking politicians' speech or ads in the same way it enlists outside parties to fact-check news stories and other posts.
"We think people should be able to see for themselves," Zuckerberg responded Thursday on the fact-checking issue. "If content is newsworthy, we don't take it down even if it goes against our standards."
The social media network also rebuffed requests that it remove a misleading video ad from Trump's re-election campaign targeting Democrat Joe Biden.
A spokesman for Biden said Zuckerberg's speech was an effort "to cloak Facebook's policy in a feigned concern for free expression."
"Facebook has chosen to sell Americans' personal data to politicians looking to target them with disproven lies and conspiracy theories, crowding out the voices of working Americans," campaign spokesman Bill Russo said in a statement.
Several of the students' questions to Zuckerberg at Georgetown pointed up the conflict. One asked, if Facebook supports free speech, "why is conservative content disproportionately censored?" But another asserted that the policy of not fact-checking political ads is pro-conservative.
"I think it would be hard to be biased against both sides," Zuckerberg replied, smiling.
Asked about the handling of questions, Facebook spokeswoman Ruchika Budhjara said, "They were submitted by students as they walked into the room. And they're being picked at random by Georgetown."
San Francisco, Oct 9 (AP/UNB) — Twitter says it mistakenly used the phone numbers and email addresses people provided for security purposes to show advertisements to its users.
The company said Tuesday that it "inadvertently" used the emails and phone numbers to let advertisers match people to their own marketing lists. Twitter is not saying how many users were affected.
The company also says that it did not share personal data with advertisers or other third parties. Twitter says it fixed the problem as of September 17.
Facebook settled with the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year over its privacy missteps. In addition to a $5 billion fine, the settlement included limits on how Facebook shares data with third parties.
Facebook also agreed not to use phone numbers given for security purposes to advertise to people.
Oakland, Oct 8 (AP/UNB) — Facebook has agreed to pay $40 million to advertisers who said it inflated the amount of time its users watched videos.
The San Jose Mercury News says the California-based social media giant denied any wrongdoing in a lawsuit settlement. The settlement notice was filed Friday by the plaintiffs in Oakland federal court.
Advertisers sued Facebook in 2016 over user metrics that supposedly measured the average length of time consumers spent viewing posted video ads. The lawsuit said that the time was inflated by up to 900 percent and that helped convince advertisers to buy Facebook's video advertising services.
Facebook publicly acknowledged an error in the formula. The company denied allegations that its engineers knew about problems for more than a year and did nothing.
Dhaka, Oct 2 (UNB)- Robi and Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aiming to collaborate for enhancing the knowledge and skills of MIST students in the latest digital technologies.
Robi’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Md Faisal Imtiaz Khan and MIST’s Acting Department Head of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), Brig. Gen. Mohammad Sajjad Hossain recently signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organisations at the MIST Campus located in Mirpur Cantonment. Robi’s Chief Strategy Officer, Ruhul Amin was present on the occasion.
Under the agreement, Robi and MIST will work jointly in academic collaboration, joint research and data analytics. MIST students will also be guided into the latest developments in data analytics, block chain, Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, as part of the agreement.
Besides, Robi will facilitate the MIST students to come up with the innovative digital business ideas to address the problems faced by the private and public sectors of the country.
Robi’s Vice President, Enterprise Business Intelligence, Hasib Mustabsir, Vice President, Resourcing and Employer Branding, Md Zaved Parvez were also present on the occasion.
Decked in a tutu, the mom, two-year-old Cozette's photoshoot went viral online, after their photographer, Cristal Malek of Cristal Malek Photography shared the images online.
As more and more would-be parents opt for maternity photoshoots to welcome their unborn child, there’s is a craze to make it unique and adorable all at the same time. And one such photoshoot of Cozette & Boudreaux from El Campo, Texas is winning the internet. Wondering why? Well, it’s because the sweet couple is a pair of French Bulldogs!
Yes, the cute couple posed in an adorable ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’ photoshoot and the results are heartwarming. Decked in a tutu, the mom, two-year-old Cozette’s photoshoot went viral online, after their photographer, Cristal Malek of Cristal Malek Photography shared the images online.
“And they call it puppy love,” the professional photographer wrote on Facebook. According to local KTRK, Malek has experience photographing dogs, but this was her first canine maternity shoot.
The dogparent Crystal Canion said her French bulldogs randomly bred together and she wanted to capture the pregnancy in a beautiful way. The cute would-be parents posed in front of a “we’re pregnant” sign, sealing it with a kiss, while in another photo the pooch is seen reading a book on pregnancy.
“Cozette loves to get dressed up and be fancy. She was just ecstatic. She loved all the different looks,” Malek told ABC News about her unique maternity photoshoot experience.
“The second the camera came out, Boudreaux posed the entire time,” Canion told InsideEdition. “He poses for all of his pictures, even when I take them at home.”
While Boudreaux knows what it takes to pose and create a magic on screen, their mother said that Cozette is the boss around the house of all four of dogs. “She keeps all these boys in line,” Canion added.
As the world fell in love with the parents, the couple welcomed three little girls and Malek went back to capture the newborns.