Facebook allowed an exiled Moldovan oligarch with ties to the Kremlin to run ads calling for protests and uprisings against the pro-Western government, even though he and his political party were on U.S. sanctions lists. The ads featuring politician and convicted fraudster Ilan Shor were ultimately removed by Facebook but not before they were seen millions of times in Moldova, a small nation of about 2.6 million sandwiched between Romania and war-torn Ukraine. Seeking to exploit anger over inflation and rising fuel prices, the paid posts from Shor's political party targeted the government of pro-Western President Maia Sandu, who earlier this week detailed what she said was a Russian plot to topple her government using external saboteurs. “Destabilization attempts are a reality and for our institutions, they represent a real challenge,” Sandu said Thursday as she swore in a new government led by pro-Western Prime Minister Dorin Recean, her former defense and security adviser. “We need decisive steps to strengthen the security of the country.” The ads reveal how Russia and its allies have exploited lapses by social media platforms — like Facebook, many of them operated by U.S. companies — to spread propaganda and disinformation that weaponizes economic and social insecurity in an attempt to undermine governments in Eastern Europe. Shor's ads have helped fuel angry protests against the government and appear to be aimed at destabilizing Moldova and returning it to Russia's sphere of influence, according to Dorin Frasineau, a foreign policy adviser to former Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita, whose resignation led to the formation of the new government on Thursday. “Even though he is on the U.S. sanctions list, I still see sponsored ads on Facebook,” Frasineau said, saying he had spotted what he believes were fake accounts sharing the posts this week. He said the Moldovan government sought answers from Facebook to no avail. “We have talked with Facebook, but it is very hard because there is no specific person, no contact.” Rules governing the sanctions list prohibit U.S. companies from engaging in financial transactions with listed individuals and groups. The U.S. Treasury Department, which manages the sanctions program, declined to comment publicly when asked about the ads. In a statement to The Associated Press, Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, said it removed the posts as soon as it found them. “When Ilan Shor and the Shor Party were added to the U.S. sanctions list, we took action on their known accounts," a company spokesperson said. “When we identified new associated accounts, we took action on those, as well. We adhere to U.S. sanctions laws and will continue working to detect and enforce against fake accounts and pages that violate our policies.” Meta, which recently announced deep layoffs, did not respond to questions about the size of its staff in Moldova, or the number of employees who speak Moldova's languages. Like many big tech firms based in the U.S., Meta has sometimes struggled to moderate content in languages other than English. The ads were identified by researchers at Reset, a London-based nonprofit that researches social media’s impact on democracy, who shared their findings with The Associated Press. Felix Kartte, a senior adviser at Reset, said Meta’s response to disinformation and propaganda in Moldova could have sweeping implications for European security. “Their platforms continue to be weaponized by the Kremlin and Russian secret services, and because of the company’s inaction, the U.S. and Europe risk losing a key ally in the region,” said Kartte, who is based in Berlin. Nine different paid posts from the Shor Party ran on Facebook after the U.S. imposed sanctions. Most were removed within a week after the sanctions announcement, though Shor bought another paid post in January, two months after he was sanctioned. All were clearly identifiable by Shor's name. The posts can be found on Facebook’s online advertisement library, which contains a searchable catalogue. The library confirms the ads placed by Shor and his party were seen millions of times before they were ultimately removed. The most recent ad, taken down a month ago, was pulled because it failed to include a disclaimer about the ad's sponsor, according to a notation attached to one of the videos in the library. The library does not mention the sanctions. The ads weren’t money makers for Meta, generating only about $15,000 in revenue, a pittance for a company that earned $4.65 billion in the last quarter. Nonetheless, they were effective. One ad, which ran on Facebook for just two days — October 29-30 — was seen more than a million times in Moldova. In the post, which cost Shor’s party less than $100 to upload, the oligarch accuses Sandu’s government of corruption and kleptocracy. “You and I will have to pull them out of their offices by the ears and throw them out of our country like evil spirits,” Shor tells the audience. Shor, 35, is an Israeli-born Moldovan oligarch who leads the populist, Russia-friendly Shor Party. Currently living in exile in Israel, Shor is implicated in a $1 billion theft from Moldovan banks in 2014; is accused of bribery to secure his position as chair of a Moldovan bank, and was named in October on a U.S. Treasury Department sanctions list as working for Russian interests. The U.S. says Shor worked with “corrupt oligarchs and Moscow-based entities to create political unrest in Moldova” and to undermine the country’s bid to join the EU. The sanctions list also names the Shor Party and Shor's wife, a Russian pop star. The U.K. also added Shor to a sanctions list last December. Last fall, Moldova was rocked by a series of anti-government protests initiated by the Shor Party, which saw thousands take to the streets in the capital, Chisinau, at a time of skyrocketing inflation and an acute energy crisis after Russia reduced gas supplies to Moldova. Many of the protesters called for early elections and demanded Sandu's resignation. Around the same time, Moldova’s government filed a request to the country’s Constitutional Court to declare the Shor Party illegal, a case that is ongoing. Moldova’s anti-corruption prosecutors’ office also opened an investigation into the financing of the protests, which prosecutors said involved at least some Russian money. On Monday, Sandu went public with what she claimed was a plot by Moscow to overthrow the government using external saboteurs, to put the nation “at the disposal of Russia” and to derail it off its course to one day join the EU. Sandu said the purported Russian plot envisioned attacks on government buildings, hostage-takings and other violent actions by groups of saboteurs. Russia has since strongly denied those claims. Once part of the Soviet Union, Moldova declared its independence in 1991. In recent years, the country has lurched from one political crisis to another, often caught in limbo between pro-Russian and pro-Western sentiments. But in 2021, after decades of largely oligarchic power structures and various Russia-friendly leaders, Moldovans elected a pro-Western, pro-European government, which put it on a more distinctly Western-oriented path. In June, Moldova was granted EU candidate status, the same day as Ukraine. — McGrath reported from Sighisoara, Romania.
Facebook’s corporate parent has agreed to pay $725 million to settle a lawsuit alleging the world’s largest social media platform allowed millions of its users’ personal information to be fed to Cambridge Analytica, a firm that supported Donald Trump’s victorious presidential campaign in 2016. Terms of the settlement reached by Meta Platforms, the holding company for Facebook and Instagram, were disclosed in court documents filed late Thursday. It will still need to be approved by a judge in a San Francisco federal court hearing set for March. The case sprang from 2018 revelations that Cambridge Analytica, a firm with ties to Trump political strategist Steve Bannon, had paid a Facebook app developer for access to the personal information of about 87 million users of the platform. That data was then used to target U.S. voters during the 2016 campaign that culminated in Trump’s election as the 45th president. Uproar over the revelations led to a contrite Zuckerberg being grilled by U.S. lawmakers during a high-profile congressional hearing and spurred calls for people to delete their Facebook accounts. Even though Facebook’s growth has stalled as more people connect and entertain themselves on rival services such as TikTok, the social network still boasts about 2 billion users worldwide, including nearly 200 million in the U.S. and Canada. Also read: Meta brings Facebook Reels to Bangladesh The lawsuit, which had been seeking to be certified as a class action representing Facebook users, had asserted the privacy breach proved Facebook is a “data broker and surveillance firm,” as well as a social network. The two sides reached a temporary settlement agreement in August, just a few weeks before a Sept. 20 deadline for Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his long-time chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, to submit to depositions. The company based in Menlo Park, California, said in statement Friday it pursued a settlement because it was in the best interest of its community and shareholders. “Over the last three years we revamped our approach to privacy and implemented a comprehensive privacy program," said spokesperson Dina El-Kassaby Luce. “We look forward to continuing to build services people love and trust with privacy at the forefront.”
After the launch of Instagram Reels in August, Meta has now brought Facebook Reels to everyone in Bangladesh, introducing short-form, entertaining video experiences and tools to creators and audiences on the Facebook app. It is available for both iOS and Android users, Meta said in a statement Sunday. "Reels gives people a new outlet to express their creativity with the ability to record videos, select music, and add photos and timed text. It helps creators expand the reach of their content, and for new creators to be discovered," it added. Meta has expanded the availability of Facebook Reels for iOS and Android to more than 150 countries across the globe. READ: Tweets with racial slurs soar since Musk takeover "We're also introducing better ways to help creators to earn money, new creation tools and more places to watch and create Facebook Reels," the company said. Meta is focusing on making Reels the best way for creators to get discovered, connect with their audience and earn money. The company also wants to make it fun and easy for people to find and share relevant and entertaining content. Since Facebook Reels' launching in the US, it has seen creators like Kurt Tocci (and his cat, Zeus) share original comedic skits, author and Bulletin writer Andrea Gibson offer a reading of their published poetry, Nigerian-American couple Ling and Lamb try new foods and dancer and creator Niana Guerrero do trending dances, like the #ZooChallenge. Bangladeshi content creators like Raba Khan, Ridy Sheikh, and Petuk Couple also shared their reels under the #ReelDeshi hashtag and invited others to create their videos to show what makes them real "deshis." These one-minute travel stories, dance challenges and recipes, show glimpses of the historic sites, music and food of Bangladesh. READ: 'Kill more': Facebook fails to detect hate against Rohingya "At Meta, we are always testing new ways for people to express themselves and entertain others. Reels have been inspiring Bangladeshi creators on Instagram, and now people on Facebook can discover more entertaining content, and creators can reach new audiences," Jordi Fornies, Meta's director of emerging markets in Asia Pacific, said. "We are excited to see the creativity and connections that Reels will unlock for the Bangladeshi Facebook community." According to Meta, video makes up more than 50 percent of the time spent on Facebook. "There is growing interest in watching fun, entertaining short-form videos, and expressing themselves by making their own."
Facebook parent Meta is laying off 11,000 people, about 13% of its workforce, as it contends with faltering revenue and broader tech industry woes, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a letter to employees Wednesday. The job cuts come just a week after widespread layoffs at Twitter under its new owner, billionaire Elon Musk. There have been numerous job cuts at other tech companies that hired rapidly during the pandemic. Zuckerberg said that he had made the decision to hire aggressively, anticipating rapid growth even after the pandemic lockdowns ended. “Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected,” Zuckerberg said in a statement. “Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I’d expected. I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that.” Meta, like other social media companies, enjoyed a financial boost during the pandemic lockdown era because more people stayed home and scrolled on their phones and computers. But as the lockdowns ended and people started going outside again, revenue growth began to falter. Also read: Competition with TikTok: Facebook parent Meta reports revenue down Of particular concern to investors, Meta poured over $10 billion a year into the “metaverse” as it shifts its focus away from social media. Zuckerberg predicts the metaverse, an immersive digital universe, will eventually replace smartphones as the primary way people use technology. Spooked investors have sent company shares tumbling more than 71% since the beginning of the year and the stock now trades at levels last seen in 2015. An economic slowdown and a grim outlook for online advertising — by far Meta’s biggest revenue source — have contributed to Meta's woes as well. This summer, the company posted its first quarterly revenue decline in history, followed by another, bigger decline in the fall. Some of the pain is company-specific, while some is tied to broader economic and technological forces. Last week, Twitter laid off about half of its 7,500 employees, part of a chaotic overhaul as Musk took the helm. He tweeted that there was no choice but to cut the jobs “when the company is losing over $4M/day," though did not provide details about the losses. Snap, the owner of Snapchat, also recently laid off 1,000 workers and online real estate broker Redfin said Wednesday it is cutting 862 employees. Meta and its advertisers are bracing for a potential recession. There’s also the challenge of Apple's privacy tools, which make it more difficult for social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snap to track people without their consent and target ads to them. Although Meta has been hurt by broader economic trends that have curtailed spending on digital ads, the company’s challenges have been compounded by the rise of TikTok at the same time Zuckerberg is pouring billions into a metaverse that so far seems like a distant mirage, said Forrester Research analyst J.P. Gownder. “They are making a big bet on something that may not happen for another five to 10 years,” Gownder said. “What they need to be doing is trying to solve some of their fundamental business problems. This (mass layoff) is only a stopgap.” Zuckerberg said Meta is cutting costs across its business, but he added that this alone won't big costs in line with its revenue growth. In addition to the layoffs, a hiring freeze at the company will be extended through the first quarter of 2023, Zuckerberg said. The company has also slashed its real estate footprint and he said that with so many employees working outside of the office, the company will transition to desk sharing for those that remain. More cost cuts at Meta will be rolled out in coming months, Zuckerberg said. Zuckerberg told employees Wednesday that they will receive an email letting them know if they are among those being let go. Access to most company systems will be cut off for people losing their jobs, he said, due to the sensitive nature of that information. “We’re keeping email addresses active throughout the day so everyone can say farewell,” Zuckerberg said. Former employees will receive 16 weeks of base pay, plus two additional weeks for every year with the company, Zuckerberg said. Health insurance for those employees and their families will continue for six months. Even with Wednesday's reductions, Meta still has more than 75,000 workers around the globe. In fact, the company had 71,970 workers at the end of 2021, and less than 59,000 at the end of 2020. Brad Gerstner, the CEO of Meta shareholder Altimeter Capital, wrote an open letter to Zuckerberg last month urging him to tighten Meta's belt. “Meta has drifted into the land of excess — too many people, too many ideas, too little urgency,” Gerstner wrote. “This lack of focus and fitness is obscured when growth is easy but deadly when growth slows and technology changes.” Gerstner urged Zuckerberg to streamline costs and focus the company in an open letter posted on Medium. His suggestions include cutting 20% of the company’s workforce — which still would only set Meta back to 2021 levels of staffing, backing Gerstner’s point that the company has become bigger than it needs to be. Meta's Wednesday layoffs, while historic for the company, breaks no tech industry records. Hewlett Packard let go about 2/3 of its workforce between 2010 and 2021, going from 324,600 employees to 111,000 as of Oct. 31, 2021 for HP Inc. and HP Enterprises, which had been one company back in 2010. And its peak in 1986, IBM had about 400,000 employees worldwide. At the end of last year, IBM had about 282,000 full-time workers. It's not yet clear if Meta — and the social media economy — is on a similar trajectory. A decade ago, Facebook successfully pivoted its business from running a website on desktop computers to an app — then multiple apps — on smartphones. While it is possible that it will be able to make the switch again to a new communications platform in the metaverse, the world — and the company — have changed tremendously. “Meta has three huge problems to overcome: It is no longer an innovative groundbreaker; its grip on market domination is dwindling; and the promise of the metaverse, the centerpiece of Zuckerberg’s vision for the future of his company, has been diminished by a combination of consumer apathy, business skepticism, and the realities of a sinking worldwide economy,” Gerstner wrote. Shares of Meta Platforms Inc. added $5, or 5.2% to close at $101.47 on Wednesday.
Facebook parent Meta is laying off 11,000 people, about 13% of its workforce, as it contends with faltering revenue and broader tech industry woes, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a letter to employees Wednesday. The job cuts come just a week after widespread layoffs at Twitter under its new owner, billionaire Elon Musk. There have been numerous job cuts at other tech companies that hired rapidly during the pandemic. Zuckerberg as well said that he had made the decision to hire aggressively, anticipating rapid growth even after the pandemic ended. “Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected,” Zuckerberg said in a prepared statement. “Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I’d expected. I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that.” Read: Competition with TikTok: Facebook parent Meta reports revenue down Meta, like other social media companies, enjoyed a financial boost during the pandemic lockdown era because more people stayed home and scrolled on their phones and computers. But as the lockdowns ended and people started going outside again, revenue growth began to falter. An economic slowdown and a grim outlook for online advertising — by far Meta’s biggest revenue source — have contributed to Meta’s woes. This summer, Meta posted its first quarterly revenue decline in history, followed by another, bigger decline in the fall. Some of the pain is company-specific, while some is tied to broader economic and technological forces. Last week, Twitter laid off about half of its 7,500 employees, part of a chaotic overhaul as Musk took the helm. He tweeted that there was no choice but to cut the jobs “when the company is losing over $4M/day,” though did not provide details about the losses. Meta has worried investors by pouring over $10 billion a year into the “metaverse” as it shifts its focus away from social media. Zuckerberg predicts the metaverse, an immersive digital universe, will eventually replace smartphones as the primary way people use technology. Meta and its advertisers are bracing for a potential recession. There’s also the challenge of Apple’s privacy tools, which make it more difficult for social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snap to track people without their consent and target ads to them. Read: Facebook parent settles suit in Cambridge Analytica scandal Competition from TikTok is also an a growing threat as younger people flock to the video sharing app over Instagram, which Meta also owns. “We’ve cut costs across our business, including scaling back budgets, reducing perks, and shrinking our real estate footprint,” Zuckerberg said. ”We’re restructuring teams to increase our efficiency. But these measures alone won’t bring our expenses in line with our revenue growth, so I’ve also made the hard decision to let people go.” Zuckerberg told employees Wednesday that they will receive an email letting them know if they are among those being let go. Access to most company systems will be cut off for people losing their jobs, he said, due to the sensitive nature of that information. “We’re keeping email addresses active throughout the day so everyone can say farewell,” Zuckerberg said. Read: 'Meta must pay': Facebook algorithms fuelled anti-Rohingya atrocities, says Amnesty Former employees will receive 16 weeks of base pay, plus two additional weeks for every year with the company, Zuckerberg said. Health insurance for those employees and their families will continue for six months. Shares of Meta Platforms Inc. jumped 4% before the opening bell Wednesday.
After the longest reported downtime, WhatsApp messaging services are now operational again. For approximately 90 minutes, the instant messaging service was not available. Users reported receiving all messages now that WhatsApp is officially up and running. WhatsApp is currently functional on WhatsApp Web, Android, and iOS apps. Although some users claim that services on WhatsApp Web are still not functioning, phone app should be functional. Read WhatsApp down: Users report not being able to send, receive messages Many worldwide use WhatsApp, a popular messaging service owned by Meta, to send rapid texts. Earlier today, WhatsApp experienced a significant outage that lasted for about two hours. This prevented millions of WhatsApp users from sending or receiving messages globally. WhatsApp earlier claimed that it was working to resume operations. “We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble sending messages and we’re working to restore WhatsApp for everyone as quickly as possible,” a Meta spokesperson has said. Read Users report not able to send, receive messages Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are all owned by the US-based firm Meta.
Users in several countries, including in Bangladesh, are reporting problems with WhatsApp’s text sending and receiving capabilities – suggesting that the app may be experiencing a bug. The number of people reporting the outage of WhatsApp has sharply increased, according to Downdetector, a website that measures online outages throughout the world. According to the BBC, users in the UK cannot access the messaging service. Italian and Turkish social media users both complained about not being able to send messages on WhatsApp. Read Users report not able to send, receive messages According to Downdetector, more than 11,000 users in India have reported a WhatsApp outage, compared to 68,000 in the UK and 19,000 in Singapore, as of 7:50GMT (Bangladesh time 1:50pm). WhatsApp has claimed that it is working to resume operations. “We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble sending messages and we’re working to restore WhatsApp for everyone as quickly as possible,” a Meta spokesperson has said. Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are all owned by the US-based firm Meta. Read Top WhatsApp Alternatives for Free Calling and Group Chatting
Amnesty International has slammed Facebook owner Meta for its "failure to curb hate speech" on its social media platform that eventually "fuelled a storm of hatred" against the Rohingya Muslims over the years. Alleging in its report that Facebook’s algorithms "proactively amplified" anti-Rohingya content five years ago, Amnesty has sought compensation for the victims from Meta. Read:“Not possible for us to take any more people, Rohingyas must go back” In the report, 'The Social Atrocity: Meta and the right to remedy for the Rohingya', released on Thursday, the global NGO claimed that Facebook’s algorithmic systems were supercharging the spread of harmful anti-Rohingya content in Myanmar, but the company still failed to act. “In 2017, the Rohingya were killed, tortured, raped, and displaced in the thousands as part of the Myanmar security forces’ campaign of ethnic cleansing," said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty's secretary general. "In the months and years leading up to the atrocities, Facebook’s algorithms were intensifying a storm of hatred against the Rohingya which contributed to real-world violence," he added. While the Myanmar military was committing crimes against humanity against the Rohingya, "Meta was profiting from the echo chamber of hatred created by its hate-spiralling algorithms", Callamard said. "Meta must be held to account. The company now has responsibility to provide reparations to all those who suffered the violent consequences of their reckless actions," he stressed. Read:Momen briefs Japan about Rohingya situation; seeks support for permanent solution Sawyeddollah, a 21-year-old Rohingya refugee, told Amnesty International: “I saw a lot of horrible things on Facebook. And I just thought that the people who posted that were bad… Then I realised that it is not only these people – the posters – but Facebook is also responsible. Facebook is helping them by not taking care of their platform.” In 2017, the Rohingya Muslims were forced to leave their country and take refuge in Bangladesh after facing the most heinous ethnic cleansing campaign by the Myanmar Army. More than 730,000 Rohingya eventually fled their home country and took shelter in Bangladesh. Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a repatriation deal on November 23, 2017. On January 16, 2018, Bangladesh and Myanmar inked a document on 'physical arrangement', which was supposed to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland.
The High Court (HC) on Tuesday ordered the authorities concerned to remove six 'fake' news stories and video links containing provocative content that is creating unrest in public life from Facebook and YouTube, along with steps to stop the spread of such content. The HC bench of Justice Md Khasruzzaman and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir passed the order after hearing a writ petition regarding the issue. Two government bodies, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) and the Digital Security Agency, were asked to submit a report within two weeks in this regard. At the same time, HC ordered an accountability strategy in accordance with the relevant laws, to verify the authenticity of all the news and videos posted on Facebook and YouTube. Lawyer Munshi Moniruzzaman and Arafat Hossain Khan appeared for the writ petition in the court while Deputy Attorney General Bipul Bagmar represented the state. On August 21, Barrister Arafat Hossain Khan, on behalf of lawyer Nilufar Anjum and barrister Ashraful Islam, served a legal notice to these two social media (Facebook-YouTube) authorities along with the relevant government agencies to remove six fake video links from the social platform. On August 25, failed to get a response, lawyer Nilufar Anjum and barrister Ashraful Islam filed a writ petition with the HC seeking its instructions on the issue. Read: HC directs IGP to report on seized goods’ storage Head of Public Policy of Facebook and YouTube Bangladesh Shabnaz Rashid Dia, BTRC Chairperson, Director General of Digital Security Agency and Inspector General of Police (IGP) were made respondents to the writ. According to the writ petition, the authorities concerned failed to monitor and control the provocative and fake contents posted on social media threatening the sovereignty and security of the state and the order of public life. This misleading information tarnishes the image of the state organs, which is a violation of the Constitution, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Act, Digital Security Act (DSA) and the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act. The writ also stated that Facebook and YouTube have recently been found to be not fully observing their monitoring strategy, especially in Bangladesh. Such actions are being committed to present Bangladesh as a failed state to the international community creating instability in the country, it added. The writ claimed that ignorance of the clear policy of BTRC and DSA and the recent regulation of Facebook-YouTube is spreading fake news against their own policy and creating violence and unrest.
Meta Platforms says it will no longer pay U.S. news organizations to have their material appear in Facebook’s News Tab as it reallocates resources in the face of the economic downturn and changing user behavior. The company said Thursday that most people “do not come to Facebook for news, and as a business it doesn’t make sense to over invest in areas that don’t align with user preferences.” Meta, then called Facebook, launched the partnerships in 2019. The “News Tab” section in the Facebook mobile app only displays headlines — and nothing else — from The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, Business Insider, NBC, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times, among others. The company did not say how much it was paying the news organizations, but reports put it in the millions of dollars for large outlets such as The Wall Street Journal. The Associated Press did not participate in the initiative. Read: How China’s TikTok, Facebook influencers push propaganda At the time the program launched, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the AP that he saw “an opportunity to set up new long-term, stable financial relationships with publishers.” But Meta, which is based in Menlo Park, California, said in a statement Thursday that a “lot has changed since we signed deals three years ago to test bringing additional news links to Facebook News in the U.S.” In a 3rd test, Facebook still fails to block hate speech On Wednesday, Meta Platforms Inc. posted its first revenue decline in its history and forecast weak results for the current quarter as well. Meta does not pay for news content that outlets post on its platform. The News Tab deals, the company said Thursday, were for “incremental content, e.g., ensuring that we had access to more of their article links and that we were including a range of topic areas at launch.” The company said Facebook News will continue in the other countries it’s currently in, and the shift in the U.S. won’t change the deals in those places — the U.K., France, Germany and Australia.