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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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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.

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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. 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)

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Salesforce CEO Calls Facebook as ‘New Cigarettes’ for Kids

Zuckerberg, however, has promised his employees to "fight and win" if Democratic presidential hopeful Warren wins the 2020 election and moves forward with her stated plan to break up the big US tech firms

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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

Pitching for breaking up Facebook, US-based software giant Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has called the social networking platform “new cigarettes” which are making kids addictive.

Responding to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that he will make a speech about his views on free expression, Benioff said the company must be held accountable now.

“Facebook is a publisher. They need to be held accountable for propaganda on their platform. We must have standards & practices decided by law. FB is the new cigarette – it’s addictive, bad for us, & our kids are being drawn in. We need to abolish section 230 Indemnifying them,” he tweeted on Wednesday.

Section 230 of the US Communications Decency Act of 1996 gives automatic liability protection to social media firm for any content posted by their users.

In an interview with CNN later, the Salesforce chief pushed for the breakup of Facebook.

“They’re also acquiring other companies and co-mingling (data)… they probably should be broken up because they’re having an undue influence as the largest social media platform on the planet,” he was quoted as saying.

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The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

Zuckerberg was scheduled to make a speech on free expression on Thursday.

“Why I believe voice is important, how giving people voice and bringing people together go hand in hand, how we might address the challenges that more voice and the internet introduce, and the major threats to free expression around the world,” Zuckerberg posted.

Several US lawmakers like Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren have been pitching to break up Facebook.

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Warren in fact successfully run a fake ad on the social media platform that claimed “Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook just endorsed Donald Trump for re-election”.

Zuckerberg, however, has promised his employees to “fight and win” if Democratic presidential hopeful Warren wins the 2020 election and moves forward with her stated plan to break up the big US tech firms. (IANS)