Wednesday September 19, 2018
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Aircel, Jio, or Facebook: Will the Giants be Accountable?

For many such businesses, Guidelines, goodwill, and integrity are only the initial eyewash to climb the ladder of material success.

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Facebook is working on launching Athena, its own Internet satellite, early in 2019, the WIRED reported. Pixabay
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by Salil Gewali

It quite seems that the Mobile company Aircel has taken off to Malaysia with its booty. No wonder, with a crafty shuffle of the legal papers this company successfully got itself declared bankrupt in India. Very understandable, Anil Ambani received first the big blow of Jio Mobile and now Aircel.  Do you know, till some days back Aircel was making its last-ditch efforts to loot the extra penny from the unsuspecting consumers? Even I got tempted and recharged my sim card with Rs 399 rupees as the plan was for 84 days. But I could use the service for not more than 15 days. Will the company “refund” my money, and also the money it has pinched from the lakhs of other customers like me? In this age of capitalism, by mere declaring bankruptcy/innocence, the company can be absolved from all of its sins. How is it morally acceptable and justified? Is it not the travesty of business integrity? Now we can’t overlook how Aircel customers are suffering in order to port out from Aircel to other service providers. Since the service has been suspended the customers are feeling rudderless, moving from the pillar to post, to restore the service through other companies.

Anil Ambani
“They are not just beggars, but in some cases,  they are like “robbers” because they disappear for good without refunding the poor customers’ hard-earned money”. Wikimedia Commons

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Moreover, how is the company bankrupt? How on earth it’s owner – Ananda Krishnan (partner being Mr. Raja Arshad…), one of the richest businessmen in Malaysia, having multi companies including media, oil, gas, and properties, is insolvent? No, not at all. His other business sectors are minting money like anything. But why is he not bothering to return back the customers’ money from the income of other sources? One angry customer from Police Bazar remarks – “Such companies’ owners are high-tech beggars with the digital pots in their hands because we are asked us to pay them online, lol!”.  But, instantly his another friend corrected, “They are not just beggars, but in some cases,  they are like “robbers” because they disappear for good without refunding the poor customers’ hard-earned money”.

Yes, for money and to fulfill their desire to amass wealth these incredibly rich people can go to an incredible extent. Guidelines, goodwill, and integrity are only the initial eyewash to climb the ladder of material success. These business virtues and ethics might be just junked away like the garbage if something goes amiss and the profit graph falls.

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Mark Zuckerberg
What about the super-rich Mark Zuckerberg? Is he content with his vast fortunes? He is virtually not. Wikimedia Commons

Does Anil Ambani not owe each of us money which we trustingly pay to his Reliance Communication? Please tell me if Ambani has refunded any of the customers’ money and also the security deposits to the tune of corers? So far not. Because rich men do not fear God, they usually fear less-money-in-their wallets.

What about the super-rich Mark Zuckerberg? Is he content with his vast fortunes? He is virtually not. So, his Facebook has other wings that shake hands with the depraved company like “Cambridge Analytica”.  They use our personal data as ingredients to cook up the dishes that sells in the black market.   What is most bizarre is that we still call such people great men and we idolize them without sense and without shame? But I myself prefer to call them cheaters, frauds and uncouth brutes. They are never sent to the jail, so they keep playing “golf” with the virtues of humanity.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali. 

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Facebook Introduces New Tools to Protect Elections Globally

In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the US Senate, saying they were too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference

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Facebook expands security tools to protect elections globally. Pixabay

In order to further secure candidates and campaign staff vulnerable to hackers and nation-state actors during the elections, Facebook has introduced additional tools to protect political campaigns in the US and around the world.

The social media giant has launched a pilot programme to expand its existing protections for users associated with US political campaigns ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections.

“Candidates for federal or statewide office, as well as staff members and representatives from federal and state political party committees, can add additional security protections to their Pages and accounts,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, wrote in a blog post late on Monday.

“We’ll help officials adopt our strongest account security protections, like two-factor authentication, and monitor for potential hacking threats,” Gleicher added.

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Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

Over the past year, the company has invested in new technology and more people to stay ahead of bad actors who are determined to use Facebook to disrupt elections.

“This pilot programme is an addition to our existing security tools and procedures, and we will apply what we learn to other elections in the US and around the world,” said Facebook.

“As we detect abuse, we will continue to share relevant information with law enforcement and other companies so we can maximise our effectiveness,” it added.

According to a report in Download, a working paper released last week revealed a significant drop-off in the engagements 570 fake news sites received on Facebook since the 2016 US presidential elections.

“At its peak, there were 200 million monthly engagements with the sites. As of July 2018, that’s dropped to 70 million,” the report added.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the US Senate, saying they were too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference.

“Our sophistication in handling these threats is growing and improving quickly. We now have about 15,000 people working on security and content review. We’ll have more than 20,000 by the end of this year,” he told the lawmakers.

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The Facebook CEO apologised for what happened and took responsibility for everything. He also said that there is an online propaganda “arms race” with Russia and it was important to make sure no one interferes in any more elections, including in India.

“The most important thing I care about right now is making sure no one interferes in the various 2018 elections around the world,” he testified before a 44-Senator panel. (IANS)