Thursday July 18, 2019
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Here’s How Facebook Fought Fake News About Itself

Facebook, said the report that came out on Tuesday, has now stopped using Stormchaser but the technology still exists

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FILE - Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc's F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

Facebook deployed software programmes like Stormchaser and “Night’s Watch” for years to track and curb fake news and misinformation about itself along with WhatsApp, the media reported.

According to a Bloomberg report that quoted former Facebook employees, the social media giant actively monitored perception of itself on the platform.

“It used a dedicated software programme called Stormchaser to track viral negative rumours and hoaxes about itself, both on Facebook and on WhatsApp”.

Users who posted such misinformation or hoaxes might be greeted with a friendly rebuttal from Facebook.

Stormchaser even tracked joke memes claiming CEO Mark Zuckerberg was an alien.

The former employees, however, argued that Facebook should have used Stormchaser to fight misinformation about issues that affect the world.

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FILE – The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York’s Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

Another software programme called “Night’s Watch” (named after HBO’s famous ‘Game of Thrones’ series) helped the company observe how news stories about itself spread on social media.

Stormchaser was also allegedly used to track #deleteFacebook protests.

The data from “Stormchaser was also used to send people in India and Brazil more information about a plan for WhatsApp to share account information with its parent company, Facebook”.

Also Read: UN: Government Must Accelerate Investments in Key Areas to Meet Global Development Goals

Facebook, said the report that came out on Tuesday, has now stopped using Stormchaser but the technology still exists.

The social networking giant with over 2.38 billion users is busy fighting the spread of fake news and misinformation on its platform, amid the governments’ scrutiny over users’ privacy violations. (IANS)

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US Lawmakers Call Facebook’s Digital Coin Libra as ‘Delusional’

Under Facebook subsidiary Calibra, the social networking giant has planned to introduce a digital wallet for Libra. The wallet will be available on Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app and is expected to be launched in 2020

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Bitcoin, which has risen in value for eight consecutive days, received a boost after Facebook has said it would offer its own cryptocurrency, the Libra coin by end of June 2020. Pixabay

The US lawmakers attacked Facebook’s upcoming digital cryptocurrency Libra at a Senate hearing here, calling it “delusional” and “dangerous” and directing the social networking giant to clean up its house first before launching a new business model.

David Marcus, Head of Facebook subsidiary Calibra, was grilled at the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, reports Tech Crunch.

Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown who began the hearing blasted Facebook, saying it was “delusional” to think people would trust it with their hard-earned money.

“We’d be crazy to give them a chance to let them experiment with people’s bank accounts,” said Brown, adding that “like a toddler who has gotten his hands on a book of matches, Facebook has burned down the house over and over and called every arson a learning experience.

Republican Senator Martha McSally echoed his views: “Instead of cleaning up your house, you are launching a new business model.”

Marcus said Facebook “will only build its own Calibra cryptocurrency wallet into Messenger and WhatsApp”.

Marcus told lawmakers that Libra – controlled by a non-profit called the Libra Association — will comply with all US regulations and unless all concerns are answered, would not be launched.

Earlier on Monday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he was “uncomfortable” with Libra. US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has also raised “serious concern” over Libra.

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FILE – Representations of virtual currency are displayed in front of the Libra logo in this illustration picture. VOA

Marcus, in a prepared testimony, said the Libra Association would be regulated by the Swiss government because that’s where it’s headquartered.

“The Libra Association expects that it will be licensed, regulated, and subject to supervisory oversight. Because the Association is headquartered in Geneva, it will be supervised by the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA),” Marcus wrote.

US President Donald Trump last week tweeted that he is not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air.

“Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behaviour, including drug trade and other illegal activity,” Trump said.

Also Read: New Twitter Desktop Look Left Users Baffled

“Similarly, Facebook Libra’s avirtual currency’ will have little standing or dependability. If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National and International.

“We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than evera It is called the United States Dollar!” he further tweeted.

Facebook has said it is not going to launch its digital coin Libra unless regulators are fully satisfied and all necessary approvals are in place.

Under Facebook subsidiary Calibra, the social networking giant has planned to introduce a digital wallet for Libra. The wallet will be available on Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app and is expected to be launched in 2020. (IANS)