“Haugen made sure to distinguish between user-generated content and Facebook’s algorithms, which prioritize the content in news feeds and drive engagement. She suggested that Facebook should not be responsible for content that users post on its platforms but that it should be held liable once its algorithms begin making decisions about which content people see.
“They want you to believe that you must choose between a Facebook full of divisive and extreme content or losing one of the most important values our country was founded upon: free speech,” she added. “That you must choose between public oversight of Facebook’s choices and your personal privacy. That to be able to share fun photos of your kids with old friends, you must also be inundated with anger-driven virality. They want you to believe that this is just part of the deal.
“I am here today to tell you that’s not true. These problems are solvable. A safer, free-speech-respecting, more enjoyable social media is possible.”
Source : Algorithms shouldn’t be protected by Section 230, Facebook whistleblower tells Senate | Ars Technica
“For more than a year, a group of workers in Bessemer, Alabama have campaigned to unionize their warehouse under the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), hoping to force the retail giant to collectively bargain with its warehouse workers for the first time. On Friday, those hopes came to an abrupt end. In a unit-wide election, workers at the warehouse voted against unionization by a more than 2-1 margin, with 738 votes in favor to 1,798 against. ”
Source : Unionizing Amazon’s Bessemer warehouse was never going to be easy – The Verge
“On Monday, Parler’s website was reachable again, though only with a message from its chief executive saying he was working to restore functionality. The internet protocol address it used is owned by DDos-Guard, which is controlled by two Russian men and provides services including protection from distributed denial of service attacks, infrastructure expert Ronald Guilmette told Reuters. ”
Source : Parler partially reappears with support from Russian technology firm | Reuters
“Le ministère l’accuse ainsi de forcer les consommateurs et les annonceurs à utiliser ses services sur les appareils sous Android via des applis qu’il est impossible d’effacer (comme Google Maps), ce qui restreint considérablement la concurrence. Pour rappel, Google avait écopé d’une amende de 4,3 milliards d’euros en 2018 de la part des autorités européennes de la concurrence pour pratiques déloyales dans l’écosystème Android, afin de renforcer sa position dominante, notamment dans le domaine de la recherche sur internet.”
Source : La Californie attaque elle aussi le monopole de Google en justice
“Ce mode opératoire a de quoi donner des sueurs froides aux autorités américaines et au-delà : l’entreprise revendique plusieurs dizaines de milliers de clients, à la fois dans les administrations et dans les entreprises. La liste des victimes connues pourrait donc nettement s’allonger dans les prochains jours, et pas seulement aux Etats-Unis.
Selon FireEye, l’attaque est d’ailleurs encore en cours. « Cela pourrait se révéler être l’une des campagnes d’espionnage les plus importantes de l’histoire », a pronostiqué auprès de l’agence Associated Press Dmitri Alperovitch, expert en cybersécurité et fondateur de l’entreprise CrowdStrike, spécialisée dans la traque des pirates informatiques de haut niveau.
Dans un communiqué, Orion a reconnu l’existence de « vulnérabilités », conséquences d’une attaque « ciblée et hautement sophistiquée », selon les mots de son PDG, Kevin Thompson. L’entreprise dit travailler actuellement avec le FBI et les services de renseignement pour comprendre le déroulé précis des faits.”
Source : Etats-Unis : des pirates ont réussi à infiltrer les départements du Trésor et du commerce
“Our Community Guidelines prohibit spam, scams, or other manipulated media, coordinated influence operations, and any content that seeks to incite violence. Since September, we’ve terminated over 8000 channels and thousands of harmful and misleading elections-related videos for violating our existing policies. Over 77% of those removed videos were taken down before they had 100 views. ” […]
Yesterday was the safe harbor deadline for the U.S. Presidential election and enough states have certified their election results to determine a President-elect. Given that, we will start removing any piece of content uploaded today (or anytime after) that misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, in line with our approach towards historical U.S. Presidential elections.
Source : Supporting the 2020 U.S. election
After writing about the potential breakup of Facebook for years, it’s somewhat surreal for me to see the prospect actually arrive. But it’s here: the Federal Trade Commission voted 3-2 to sue Facebook for illegally maintaining a monopoly in social networking, arguing it has used acquisitions and harsh restrictions on third-party developers to prevent competitors from ever gaining a foothold.
If successful, the FTC’s case — which was joined by 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam — could force the company to divest itself of Instagram and WhatsApp, radically reshaping the digital economy. The move comes less than six weeks after the Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit accusing Google of also maintaining an illegally monopoly on search.
“For nearly a decade, Facebook has used its dominance and monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users,” said Letitia James, New York’s attorney general. “Today, we are taking action to stand up for the millions of consumers and many small businesses that have been harmed by Facebook’s illegal behavior.”
Source : The FTC seeks to break up Facebook – Platformer
“Implementing a pro-competition policy in America will be no easy task. Incumbent companies maintain their power with an array of unfair tactics to exclude rivals – acquisitions of nascent competitors, heavy lobbying of regulators, and lavish expenditures on campaign donations. To be successful in today’s economy, a pro-competition policy would need to tackle the new monopolies as well as the old ones – the Googles and Facebooks and the pharmaceutical and telecom companies alike. The payoffs would be large, however. Based on my research, I estimate that monopolies cost the median American household about $300 a month. Taking into account all the other inefficiencies monopolies entail, I estimate that the lack of competition deprives American workers of about $1.25tn of labor income every year. No wonder, then, that American workers are angry.”
Source : Monopolies cost Americans $300 a month. We’re no longer the land of free markets | US economy | The Guardian
“Venntel, a government contractor that sells location data of smartphones to U.S. law enforcement agencies including ICE, CBP, and the FBI, gathers information through a highly complex supply chain of advertising firms, data resellers, and ultimately innocuous-looking apps installed on peoples’ phones around the world, according to a cache of documents obtained by Norwegian media organization NRK and shared with Motherboard.”
Source : How an ICE Contractor Tracks Phones Around the World
“It might be too early to know whether a widespread, permanent shift away from major outlets will last, especially given the reach of Facebook, Twitter and Fox News. While conservative threats of mass migration away from mainstream apps and news have occurred periodically, people still seem to return to the biggest platforms. Ms. Zepeda, a longtime Facebook user, said she would keep her Facebook account to maintain access to the pictures she’s uploaded over the years. But she expects to drop the social network as a daily destination, joining one of the many Facebook groups that are planning a “Mass Exit off Facebook to Parler & MeWe,” scheduled for Friday. “I’m tired of the bias towards Democrats and liberals,” she said.”
Source : How Some Conservatives Have Switched to Parler, Rumble and Newsmax – The New York Times