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Micro-blogging Giant Twitter Goes Briefly Down in Various Parts of the World for Nearly Half an Hour

The outage took place after WikiLeaks - the whistleblowing website responsible for releasing Hillary Clinton's private emails

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Washington, November 8, 2016: Micro-blogging giant Twitter was briefly down in various parts of the world for nearly half an hour early Monday morning, the media reported.

The outage took place after WikiLeaks — the whistleblowing website responsible for releasing Hillary Clinton’s private emails — claimed a cyber attack on its e-mail services, the Independent reported.

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The outage began at around 12.15 am (India time) on Monday and continued for around half an hour though reports suggested the impact varied from user to user.

The social media site did not confirm the loss of service via @twitter or @support.

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The outage was experienced shortly after WikiLeaks posted a message to its Facebook account claiming an ongoing denial-of-service (DoS) attack on its servers following reports of a brief outage.

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“We are still under a DoS attack on our e-mail publication servers and it appears that Twitter is down as well, we are unable to confirm if this is an attack on Twitter at this time,” the report said.

According to Downdetector.com, many Twitter users were still experiencing problems in Japan more than a couple of hours later. (IANS)

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Australia Proposes To Strengthen Regulations of Facebook, Google

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia -- 68 per cent of its population -- while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users - which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users

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Australia recommends strengthening regulation of Facebook, Google. Pixabay

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Monday proposed measures to counter the dominant market positions of Google and Facebook and strengthen monitoring on their access to information, advertising and consumers personal data.

The regulatory body, which recommended 11 preliminary measures in the report, was directed to conduct a public inquiry into the impact of digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content in 2017 by then treasurer and current Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“Acting as an intermediary between consumers and news outlets, platforms are inherently influential in shaping consumers’ choices of digital journalism,” said the report cited by Efe news.

This influential position and filtration of news items could place the consumer in a so-called filter bubble, increasing the risk of consumers being exposed to unreliable news, according to the report.

“The algorithms operated by each of Google and Facebook, as well as other policies, determine which content is surfaced and displayed to consumers in news feed and search results,” it said.

“The ACCC considers that the strong market position of digital platforms like Google and Facebook justifies a greater level of regulatory oversight,” Chair Rod Sims said.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

The commission called for the creation of a regulatory authority with powers to monitor these digital platforms and recommended establishing an automatic mechanism to take down content that violates copyright.

The ACCC said consumers should be informed about the manner in which these platforms collect and use their data to create personalized advertising.

This would include a reform of privacy laws to require the user’s express consent to data collection and “enable consumers to require erasure of their personal information where they have withdrawn their consent”.

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ACCC said that it found that “competition may have been distorted in multiple sectors where consumer data is used”.

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia — 68 per cent of its population — while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users – which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users.

In 2017, Google registered 90 per cent of search traffic originating from Australian desktops and 98 per cent from mobile phones. (IANS)