Wednesday August 21, 2019
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To Reach Britain Illegally, People Buy Boats On Facebook: Report

Responding to the issues raised by The Telegraph, Facebook said that any ads, posts, pages or groups that co-ordinate people smuggling are not allowed on Facebook.

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Facebook staring at bigger problems this year, warns analyst. VOA

Smugglers and migrants are using Facebook to buy boats for crossing the Channel from the French port city of Calais to come to Britain, The Telegraph reported.

The Facebook “Marketplace” has been favoured by groups of Iranians and Iraqis intent on organising their own Channel crossings, because they can club together and buy a boat at a much lower price than if they had to pay a smuggling gang, the paper reported on Sunday.

The Telegraph spotted online advertisements for 25 boats for sale within a 40 mile radius of Calais that cost under 15,000 euros on a single day.

It is believed that smugglers are also finding the Facebook “Marketplace” a convenient place to buy boats as it allows them to source their vessels from a nearby place.

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This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

Marketplace was introduced in 2016 as a place for Facebook users to buy and sell within their local communities.

Responding to the issues raised by The Telegraph, Facebook said that any ads, posts, pages or groups that co-ordinate people smuggling are not allowed on Facebook.

Also Read: Social Networking Giant Facebook Has Multi-Year Plans to Overhaul its Systems: Mark Zuckerberg

“We work closely with law enforcement agencies around the world including Europol to identify, remove and report this illegal activity, and we’re always improving the methods we use to identify content that breaks our policies, including doubling our safety and security team to 30,000 people and investing in technology,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying. (IANS)

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Twitter, Facebook Shut Down China-backed Fake Accounts

The recent wave of anti-government protests has prompted widespread criticism of the police for their alleged brutality against protesters

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The Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.. VOA

As pro-democracy protests gain momentum in Hong Kong, Twitter and Facebook have suspended several accounts that were part of the Chinese government’s influence campaign and targeted protest movement and the call for political change in Hong Kong.

Twitter said it has suspended more than 200,000 accounts involved in coordinated inauthentic behaviour — including 936 accounts originating from within the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

“Overall, these accounts were deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground,” Twitter said in a blog post late Monday.

The company identified large clusters of accounts behaving in a coordinated manner to amplify messages related to the Hong Kong protests.

“As Twitter is blocked in China, many of these accounts accessed Twitter using VPNs. However, some accounts accessed Twitter from specific unblocked IP addresses originating in mainland China,” the micro-blogging platform added.

The accounts were suspended for a range of violations of Twitter’s platform manipulation policies like spam, coordinated activity, fake accounts, attributed activity and violative content.

The micro-blogging platform said it will also ban ads from China-backed media companies, for which it has already faced the flak from users.

Facebook said it has also removed seven Pages, three Groups and five accounts originated in China and involved in posting fake news pertaining to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.

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FILE – In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook’s developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

The individuals behind this campaign engaged in a number of deceptive tactics, including the use of fake accounts, “some of which had been already disabled” to manage Pages posing as news organisations, post in Groups, disseminate their content, and also drive people to off-platform news sites.

“About 15,500 accounts followed one or more of these Pages and about 2,200 accounts joined at least one of these Groups,a Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, said in a blog post.

“Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our investigation found links to individuals associated with the Chinese government,” he added.

Based on a tip shared by Twitter about activity they found on their platform, Facebook conducted an internal investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behaviour in the region and identified the malicious accounts.

Also Read: Apple ‘Bug’ Puts iPhones with Latest iOS to Hacking Risk

Since June, Hong Kong has been rocked by a wave of protests because of the extradition bill, which would have enabled fugitives to be extradited from Hong Kong to mainland China.

A mass rally in Hong Kong on Sunday, widely deemed the most important so far this month, attracted tens of thousands of people as the crisis entered the 11th consecutive weekend of anti-government protests.

The recent wave of anti-government protests has prompted widespread criticism of the police for their alleged brutality against protesters. (IANS)