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  • Geebo 9:02 am on October 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Brett Kavanaugh, , , Joel Kaplan   

    Is Facebook falling apart at the seams? 

    Is Facebook falling apart at the seams?

    Once again, it has been less than a stellar week for social media juggernaut Facebook. First, there was the latest data leak which exposed 50 million users accounts. Then came the lawsuit against Facebook that alleges they had a hand in the trafficking of a then 15-year-old girl from Houston. While those were the main headline grabbers of the week, Facebook is also facing a few lesser controversies, both internal and external.

    But first, we go back to the lawsuit story and Facebook has issued a statement regarding their policy on human trafficking. While Facebook did not comment on the lawsuit itself, they did say that they work closely with several anti-trafficking agencies and report any apparent instances of child sexual exploitation the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). While I’m not saying that Facebook was complicit in human trafficking, both craigslist and Backpage used to claim that they reported child trafficking to NCMEC as well, however, the NCMEC said that two marketplace sites were never really helpful in fighting trafficking.

    Facebook is also facing internal strife as many employees are upset that Facebook’s Vice President for Global Public Policy, Joel Kaplan, was seen publicly supporting Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh at the Congressional hearings on Kavanaugh. As I’m sure you’re aware of, Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual assault. This has led many Facebook employees to claim that it makes look Facebook look bad in light of the accusations against Kavanaugh. Much like when Facebook board member Peter Thiel publicly supported Donald Trump as a Presidential candidate, Facebook is not admonishing Kaplan in any way except for CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying that it’s not something he would have done.

    So with all the controversy surrounding Facebook since the 2016 election, you think to yourself that you may want to finally delete your Facebook account. Good luck with that, as Facebook is trying to make it more difficult to delete your account. It used to be if you wanted to delete your account you had a 14-day grace period to recover your account in case you changed your mind. Facebook has now increased that waiting period to 30-days. Almost like a drug dealer, Facebook will do almost anything to keep its users coming back. A desperate tactic in a desperate attempt to keep users engaged at any cost.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on October 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Internet providers file their own suit against California Net Neutrality 

    Internet providers file their own suit against California Net Neutrality

    If you were looking for a sign that the state of California was trying to protect consumers with its new net neutrality legislation, look no further. Four broadband industry groups that represent companies like AT&T, Verizon, Charter, Comcast, and T-Mobile, have joined with the DOJ in suing California. Much like the DOJ, the internet providers are arguing that California is violating federal mandates by imposing their own regulations against providers that perform interstate services.

    Once again, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai tries to spin the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality as pro-consumer. Pai issued a statement that read in part

    “The Internet is inherently an interstate information service. As such, only the federal government can set policy in this area,” Pai said. “Not only is California’s Internet regulation law illegal, it also hurts consumers.”

    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra fired back by referring to the industry groups as ‘power brokers’ who have an ‘interest in maintaining their stronghold’. AG Becerra also released a statement of his own regarding the latest suit.

    “California, the country’s economic engine, has the right to exercise its sovereign powers under the Constitution,” he said in a statement, “and we will do everything we can to protect the right of our 40 million consumers to access information by defending a free and open Internet.”

    It has been shown in the past that the FCC has given little input to the American people who were opposed to the repeal of net neutrality protections ever since they announced their intention to do so, going as far as forbidding the states from make their own net neutrality legislation. This has not stopped the states from defying this edict with California being at the forefront of that movement. With the federal government siding with the major internet providers over the protection of consumers doesn’t it fall to the individual states to do what they can to protect their citizens? This is what ‘states’ rights’ is really about.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on October 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Texas woman sues Backpage and Facebook over human trafficking 

    Texas woman sues Backpage and Facebook over human trafficking

    A woman from the Houston, Texas, area, only identified as Jane Doe, has filed a lawsuit against Backpage where she was allegedly trafficked while she was underage. This should come as no surprise as former Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer had admitted to the fact that Backpage knowingly made money off of the sex trafficking of girls and women. Jane Doe is also suing two area Houston hotels which is also not unheard of as many trafficking victims believe that the hotels should do more to be aware of trafficking victims. What is really making headlines about this suit is that the victim has also filed a suit against Facebook for allegedly failing to prevent her from being approached by a pimp.

    The victim claims that she was 15 in 2012 when a pimp first approached her through Facebook. As online traffickers tend to do, the pimp consoled her after a fight with her parents. The pimp was said to be Facebook friends with a number of her real friends and promised the victim a job as a model. When the victim met the pimp she was beaten and sexually assaulted before being advertised on Backpage. The suit claims Facebook allows traffickers to “stalk, exploit, recruit, groom … and extort children into the sex trade.” Even though I’ve been a very vocal critic of Facebook, at first glance I thought the suit against Facebook may have no merit, however, the victim makes a very valid point when it comes to the social media kingpin.

    The victim claims that Facebook allowed her abuser to use a false identity that allowed him to approach the girl. For some time, Facebook has prided itself on having its users use their real names, even going as far as to ban accounts that use pseudonyms. As has been demonstrated in the past, Facebook seems to enforce their own policies rather arbitrarily and haphazardly. While I’m far from being a legal expert it seems that since banning false accounts is a well established and practiced Facebook policy, this policy may allow the suit against Facebook to proceed.

    What’s your opinion? Do you feel that Facebook should be doing more to prevent human trafficking on its platform or is this lawsuit without merit? Please leave your comment and let us know.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on October 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Jeff Sessions, ,   

    California sued by the Trump administration over new net neutrality laws 

    California sued over new net neutrality laws by the Trump administration

    California Gov. Jerry Brown

    This past Sunday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed what’s being called the strictest net neutrality laws in the country for his state. Not surprisingly, the Trump Administration has a problem with this because when the FCC repealed net neutrality regulations earlier this year, they unilaterally proclaimed that states could not enact their own net neutrality legislation. Almost immediately after Governor Brown signed the legislation into law, the DOJ filed a lawsuit against the state of California.

    FCC Chairman, and former Verizon employee, Ajit Pai told reporters that the repeal of net neutrality will lead to “better, faster, cheaper Internet access and more competition.” Right, because there was so much competition in the internet service market prior to net neutrality being enacted. How many internet service providers are available in any given market? While many larger cities may have a choice between the phone company or the cable company when it comes to getting their internet. Many smaller towns only have one provider and that’s it. That’s because many of the big ISPs have entered into agreements with municipalities making them a virtual regional monopoly. Rates haven’t gotten any cheaper either as the big providers like Comcast, Cox, and Verizon continue to raise their rates.

    Commenting on the lawsuit, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said: “the Justice Department should not have to spend valuable time and resources to file this suit today, but we have a duty to defend the prerogatives of the federal government and protect our Constitutional order.” He’s right but not in the way he thinks he is. The DOJ should not be wasting time and resources in this suit because the majority of Americans are in favor of net neutrality. Not that I think the Federal Government will spend too much money on this suit as it appears like a big portion of the Trump Administration has been bought and paid for by the internet service conglomerates, and they’re not even trying to hide it very well.

     
  • Geebo 10:15 am on October 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Another day, another Facebook leak. 50m users this time. 

    Another day, another Facebook leak. 50m users this time.

    It must be a day ending in Y because once again, a security breach in Facebook has exposed the user information of some 50 million accounts. It was reported this past Friday, that there was a flaw in Facebook security that potentially could have led hackers to have access to these millions of accounts. What makes matters worse with this latest Facebook security breach is that the information could have led to the hijacking of other accounts outside of Facebook.

    The information exposed is called an access token. Access tokens allow you to login to other services using your Facebook account. Facebook is so entrenched in our lives that our Facebook accounts now act as our logins to a multitude of other platforms including those not owned by Facebook. So potentially, not only could your Facebook account have been taken over but most of your online life could have been assumed if you’re that reliant on your Facebook login.

    Facebook has said they have fixed the problem but once again this is Facebook closing the barn door after the horses have already gotten out. The data breaches are becoming so prevalent that we’ve just accepted them as inevitable. Is this really the platform we want to be trusting with our personal information? We share so much on Facebook that even without access bad actors could determine so much about us that they could use to our advantage. With Facebook leaking our information on top of that it shows that we’ve clearly given up on security for convenience.

     
  • Geebo 10:24 am on September 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Whatsapp   

    Founder revolts hit Facebook hard 

    Founder revolts hit Facebook hard

    Instagram is the widely popular photo-sharing app prized by most younger people. Whatsapp is the most popular messaging app in the world even though its popularity is not reflected here in the US. Both apps were developed on their own and eventually were bought by Facebook for billions of dollars. Now, the founders of both apps may be regretting their decisions to sell to Facebook.

    On this past Monday, Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger announced that they would be leaving Facebook in the upcoming weeks. It’s been alleged that they’re leaving Facebook after Facebook reportedly stopped promoting Instagram on the main Facebook site and saw Instagram more as an adversary rather than a partner. Whatsapp founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum left Facebook last year. Earlier this week, Acton took to the media regretting his decision to sell to Facebook by saying “I sold my users’ privacy to a larger benefit.” Acton was said to be so upset with Facebook that he resigned before his stock in Facebook could be fully vested which cost him $850 million.

    So you would think that with these incidents that Facebook may start looking at their internal infrastructure to keep key figures from defecting. You’d be wrong. Instead, a top Facebook executive by the name of David Marcus fired back at Acton calling him low-class

    “Lastly — call me old fashioned,” he wrote. “But I find attacking the people and company that made you a billionaire, and went to an unprecedented extent to shield and accommodate you for years, low-class. It’s actually a whole new standard of low-class.”

    If this is the official attitude of the Facebook faithful then it’s no wonder why app developers are leaving in droves.

     
  • Geebo 9:32 am on September 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5G, ,   

    Is the FCC forcing 5G on cities? 

    Is the FCC forcing 5G on cities?

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

    When he’s not unilaterally gutting net neutrality regulations against the wishes of the public, FCC chairman Ajit Pai continues to act like the telecommunications in this country is own personal fiefdom. While not satisfied with giving consumers less choice when it comes to internet providers, Pai has shown his true colors once again when it comes to playing favorites with the teclos vs. the American public. The former Verizon mouthpiece has just given the country’s cell phone carriers a major weapon to wield when it comes to installing new cell towers for 5G mobile broadband coverage.

    It is called 5G because it is the fifth generation of mobile broadband implementation. We’ve been using 4G coverage for close to ten years now. While 5G will be multitudes faster than its predecessor, it will require more towers since the 5G signal can only go shorter distances than 4G. This requires not only an upgrade to existing towers but will require the construction of new towers as well. The FCC just ruled that the cell phone carriers can legally sue cities if the cities and municipalities take too long in allowing clearance to build the new towers. This gives the carriers the go-ahead to build towers wherever they want regardless of environmental or historical factors. This comes as a surprise as FCC Chairman Pai was opposed to rolling out 5G a few months ago citing security concerns.

    Once again, Pai touts that the construction of new towers will mean new jobs and better communications infrastructure, but at what expense, so phone companies could randomly sue your town if they don’t approve of putting a cell phone tower in your backyard? As usual, Chairman Pai shows just how much dedication he has to his former industry rather than looking out for the good of the American people.

     
  • Geebo 9:10 am on September 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Facebook blames failure to stop hate speech on ‘glitch’ 

    Facebook blames failure to stop hate speech on 'glitch'

    Once again, Facebook finds itself in the middle of a PR nightmare when it comes to hate speech. No, I’m not talking about John Oliver’s scathing critique of Facebook (NSFW) when it comes to the ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, although he was spot on. No, today I’m speaking about something that hits much closer to home.

    BBC News has published a report that alleges Facebook is mostly paying lip service when it comes to the removal of hate speech on its platform. The BBC found that when hate speech was posted in a group that was dedicated to “Making America Great Again” and that hate speech was reported, Facebook was telling the person who flagged the content that it had been removed. However, the BBC’s investigation showed that the content remained. A spokesperson for Facebook said that there is a ‘glitch’ in their reporting system and they are “looking into it”, which seems to be a typical response for Facebook hoping that things like this just blow over.

    Once again, this is nothing new for Facebook. It has basically become the graffiti-strewn public bathroom wall of the world. With its userbase stagnating, Facebook is looking for any way to keep its users engaged on the platform which includes hate speech. We can’t realistically expect Facebook to do anything about the hate-fueled nonsense that consistently pollutes our news feeds. What should be done is that Facebook should be left to the hate mongers while the rest of us log off of the toxic platform.

     
  • Geebo 9:11 am on September 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Joshua Grey, , , Richmond, ,   

    Young man shot and killed in LetGo robbery in Virginia 

    Young man shot and killed in LetGo robbery in Virginia

    It’s actually been quite some time since I last posted about someone losing their life while using a classifieds app but unfortunately it has happened again. Last week, 23-year-old Joshua Grey was shot and killed after listing his iPhone for sale on the marketplace app LetGo. Joshua was said to have met his assailant alone at a local intersection in Richmond, Virginia. The killer shot Joshua and then took his iPhone. Joshua was able to get to a nearby convenience store where he tragically died from his injuries.

    Police in Richmond have released surveillance video of Joshua’s alleged killer and are looking for the public’s help in bringing the man to justice. The video can be seen here courtesy of WTVR. Police are asking anybody with any information regarding Joshua’s murder to contact Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000 or at the Richmond Crime Stoppers website. Anyone contacting Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous.

    Again I have to stress that if you use any classifieds site or app it’s imperative that you meet the other person involved in the transaction at a local police department. Many police stations have set up public meeting zones at their locations to better protect those buying and selling through classifieds. Geebo has partnered with Safe Trade Stations to provide our users with a list of safe places to do business. Just meeting someone in a public place during the day is no longer enough as criminals have become more brazen in their violent methods.

    Our condolences go out to the friends and family of Joshua Grey.

     
  • Geebo 10:21 am on September 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    NYT suing the FCC over alleged Russian involvement in net neutrality proceedings 

    NYT suing the FCC over alleged Russian involvement in net neutrality proceedings

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

    Once again, it appears that the FCC is actively trying to boondoggle the public when it comes to their repeal of net neutrality protections that had been put in place by the Obama Administration. If you’ll recall during the public appeal period leading up to the repeal, the FCC claimed that their website designed to elicit public opinion fell victim to a denial of service attack by net neutrality supporters. That turned out to not be true. Instead, the real reason the FCC site failed may be more insidious.

    The New York Times has been actively pursuing the FCC through Freedom of Information Act requests to get the logs of the email and IP addresses the attackers used to bring down the website. Not surprisingly, the FCC has been very uncooperative when it comes to releasing the logs. The Times believes that the site’s crashing was due to Russian interference from over 500,000 fake email addresses that originated from Russia. The New York Times has now resorted to suing the FCC to obtain these records.

    This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following the Trump Administration’s net neutrality debacle. Between the allegations of ties the Trump Administration has to Russia and the fact that FCC chairman Ajit Pai is a former Verzion executive it’s apparent to anyone who takes a close look at the situation that the current FCC is probably in the pockets of the big internet service providers and also appear to be covering up another possible scandal in this administration’s long list of them.

     
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