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NOAA Assailing Agency for Undermining its Weather Forecasters as It Defends President Donald Trump’s Claim

They say NOAA's action risks the credibility of the nation's weather and science agency and may even risk lives

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NOAA, Agency, Weather Forecasters
President Trump, left, listens as Kenneth Graham, director of NOAA's National Hurricane Center, on screen, gives an update during a briefing about Hurricane Dorian at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. VOA

Former top officials of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are assailing the agency for undermining its weather forecasters as it defends President Donald Trump’s claim that Hurricane Dorian had threatened Alabama.

They say NOAA’s action risks the credibility of the nation’s weather and science agency and may even risk lives.

The critics served both Republican and Democratic presidents. Among them are four former top NOAA officials and a former disaster response chief.

NOAA, Agency, Weather Forecasters
President Trump, left, listens as Kenneth Graham, director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, on screen, gives an update during a briefing about Hurricane Dorian at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. VOA

On Friday, a NOAA statement from an anonymous spokesperson lent support to Trump’s warning days earlier that Alabama faced danger from Dorian. Alabama had never been included in official hurricane advisories and his information was outdated.

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The statement undermined a National Weather Service tweet from Sunday that had said Alabama would see no impact from Dorian. (VOA)

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Snap Help US Anti-Trust Agency Into Facebook’s Business Practices

Facebook competitors like Snap are reportedly helping the US FTC as it launches an anti-trust investigation into the social networking giant's business practices

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Snapchat, Facebook, Anti-trust agency, agency, probe
Snap are reportedly helping the US FTC as it launches an anti-trust investigation into the social networking giant's business practices. Pixabay

Some Facebook competitors like Snap are reportedly helping the US FTC as it launches an anti-trust investigation into the social networking giant’s business practices.

According to a Wall Street Journal report on Monday, Snap which is the parent company of Snapchat, has created a dossier under “Project Voldemort” that apparently contains Facebook secrets.

“The files in ‘Project Voldemort’ chronicled Facebook’s moves that threatened to undermine Snap’s business, including discouraging popular account holders, or influencers, from referencing Snap on their Instagram accounts,” the report claimed.

Snap and Facebook share a bitter history, with the latter copying several of Snapchat-first features into its Instagram and other products.

From launching “Camera Effects Platform” to encourage augmented reality (AR) effects — a move reported by The New York Times as Facebook’s “brazen heist” over Snapchat – to adding Snapchat-style “Stories” and camera special effects in all its core social apps: Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, The Mark Zuckerberg-run company has done it all.

It is Snapchat which has popularised animated AR selfie masks and facial filters.

Facebook has also added Geostickers to Instagram, offering location-specific tags in two cities (New York City and Jakarta) that users can paste over images. Snapchat launched Geofilters back in 2014.

Snapchat, Facebook, Anti-trust agency, agency, probe
In a historic judgment, the US FTC in July slapped a massive $5 billion fine on Facebook over users’ privacy violations in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Pixabay

Originally launched by Snapchat, the “Stories” feature shows photos and videos shared in chronological order that disappear after 24 hours.

Facebook introduced something similar in its app Instagram.

Today, Messenger, WhatsApp and the main Facebook app have all added “Stories” feature (In WhatsApp, it is called ‘Status’).

According to the WSJ, the FTC has made contact with dozens of tech executives and app developers.

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In a historic judgment, the US FTC in July slapped a massive $5 billion fine on Facebook over users’ privacy violations in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, along with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) directing the social networking platform to pay $100 million penalty for making misleading disclosures regarding the risk of misuse of user data.
Democrat Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon is even demanding jail term for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, saying he should face serious consequences for letting his social media platform misuse consumers’ personal data. (IANS)