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Australia is deplorably racist, as people of colour are reminded when they speak up | Jack Latimore

There can be no reconciliation until politicians acknowledge the harmful impacts of race baiting Theres no question that Australia is a far more racist country than its political class like to admit. No amount of spin should be capable of disorientating hard facts sufficiently to obfuscate that reality. Yet incredibly I still receive abusive mail ridiculing me for jumping at shadows, protesting it just aint so. I understand how a certain amount of privilege in life provides a buffer to the kinds of racialised discrimination, prejudice and hate speech that…

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Facebook loses $120 billion in market cap after awful Q2 earnings

Facebook’s share price fell more than 20 percent in after-hours trading today after the company announced its slowest-ever user growth rate and a scary warning that its revenue growth would rapidly decelerate. Before today’s brutal Q2 earnings, Facebook’s share price closed today at $217.50 — a record high — but fell to around $172 after the earnings call. That’s a market cap drop of roughly $123 billion. In two hours, Facebook lost more value than most startups and even public companies are ever worth. Facebook sees mixed Q2 earnings with…

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Democracy at risk due to fake news and data misuse, MPs conclude

Parliamentary inquiry to demand urgent action to combat relentless targeting of hyper-partisan views Democracy is at risk unless the government and regulators take urgent action to combat a growing crisis of data manipulation, disinformation and so-called fake news, a parliamentary committee is expected to say. In damning conclusions to a report leaked by former Vote Leave campaign strategist Dominic Cummings before its official publication on Sunday, the digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) committee in a post on his personal blog, saying that it had been leaked to him. Cummings,…

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Mark Zuckerberg’s remarks on Holocaust denial ‘irresponsible’

Facebook founder had suggested site did not need to remove unintentional denial Mark Zuckerberg has been criticised by Jewish groups and anti-racism organisations for suggesting Holocaust denial should be allowed on Facebook because it could be unintentional. In an published in detail in April, a year after the Guardian obtained ban hate speech because it creates an environment of intimidation and exclusion and in some cases may promote real-world violence. But the companys definition of hate speech requires violent or dehumanising speech, statements of inferiority, or calls for exclusion or…

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Shadow Politics: Meet the Digital Sleuth Exposing Fake News

When we met in early March, Jonathan Albright was still shrugging off a sleepless weekend. It was a few weeks after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had killed 17 people, most of them teenagers, and promptly turned the internet into a cesspool of finger pointing and conspiracy slinging. Within days, ultraconservative YouTube stars like Alex Jones had rallied their supporters behind the bogus claim that the students who survived and took to the press to call for gun control were merely actors. Within a week, one of…

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Odds and Ends 

Facebook tests subscription Groups that charge for exclusive content

Facebook is starting to let Group admins charge $4.99 to $29.99 per month for access to special sub-Groups full of exclusive posts. A hand-picked array of parenting, cooking and “organize my home” Groups will be the first to get the chance to spawn a subscription Group open to their members. During the test, Facebook won’t be taking a cut, but because the feature bills through iOS and Android, those operating systems get their 30 percent cut of a user’s first year of subscription and 15 percent after that. But if Facebook…

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Facebook Gave a Russian Internet Giant a Special Data Extension

Since March, when news broke that the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica used a Facebook app to amass data on as many as 87 million people without their consent, the social networking giant has been forced to repeatedly answer for how it has given away user data and who it's given that data to. In the immediate wake of the scandal, Facebook rushed to defend itself in a blog post, saying that in 2014, it changed an element of its API to prevent apps from collecting data on their users'…

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Odds and Ends 

Instagram launches IGTV app for creators, 1-hour video uploads

Instagram is ready to compete head-on with YouTube. Today at a flashy event in San Francisco, the company announced it will begin allowing users to upload videos up to one hour in length, up from the previous one-minute limit. And to house the new longer-form videos from content creators and the general public, Instagram is launching IGTV. Accessible from a button inside the Instagram homescreen, as well as a standalone app, IGTV will spotlight popular videos from Instagram celebrities. The launch confirms TechCrunch’s scoops over the past month outlining the…

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Facebook Bug Made Up to 14 Million Users’ Posts Public for Days

Facebook has found itself the subject of another privacy scandal, this time involving users' privacy settings. A glitch caused up to 14 million Facebook users to have their new posts inadvertently set to public, the company revealed Thursday. The bug, which reportedly occurred while Facebook was testing a new feature, went live on May 18. Facebook told CNN, which first reported the issue, that it began rolling out a fix on May 22. The bug was fully corrected by May 27. If some of your posts have been affected by…

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Odds and Ends 

Teens dump Facebook for YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat

A Pew survey of teens and the ways they use technology finds that kids have largely ditched Facebook for the visually stimulating alternatives of Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram. Nearly half said they’re online “almost constantly,” which will probably be used as a source of FUD, but really is just fine. Even teens, bless their honest little hearts, have doubts about whether social media is good or evil. The survey is the first by Pew since 2015, and plenty has changed. The one that has driven the most change seems to…

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Instagram code reveals upcoming music feature

Instagram is preparing to let you add music to your Stories, judging by code found inside its Android app. “music stickers” could let you search for and add a song to your posts, thanks to licensing deals with the major record labels recently struck by Facebook. Instagram is also testing a way to automatically detect a song you’re listening to and display the artist and song title as just a visual label. Listenable music stickers would make Instagram Stories much more interesting to watch. Amateur video footage suddenly looks like…

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This Guy Printed out the Terms of Service for the Worlds Most Popular Apps

Dima Yarovinsky “I Agree” is a project by designer Dima Yarovinsky that visually showcases the lengthy ‘terms of service’ we agree to in order to use the world’s most popular online services like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Tinder. The project was part of an artist’s showcase on display at the Visualizing Knowledge 2018 Conference earlier this month in Helsinki, Finland. [h/t DesignBoom] Dima Yarovinsky I took the content of the “terms of service†of the leading online services that we use on a daily basis (including Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Tinder…

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Bannon and Cambridge Analytica planned suppression of black voters, whistleblower tells Senate

Appearing before the Senate Judiciary committee today as part of the ongoing investigation of Cambridge Analytica and various forms of meddling in the 2016 elections, former employee and whistleblower Christopher Wylie said that the company and its then-VP Steve Bannon were pursuing voter suppression tactics aimed at black Americans. Although Wylie insisted that he himself did not take part in these programs, he testified to their existence. “One of the things that provoked me to leave was discussions about ‘voter disengagement’ and the idea of targeting African Americans,” he said.…

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Facebook Just Tapped the Next Mark Zuckerberg

Earlier this week, Facebook announced a grand reshuffle of its leadership. First reported by Recode, the new structure includes teams for the company’s apps, new platforms and infrastructure, and central product services. Most of the people moving into new roles have been with the company for close to a decade or longer, and many have proven themselves adept at the skill Facebook appears to value over all others: growth. Chris Cox Is the New Mark Zuckerberg If there were ever a question as to who would step in to fill…

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Odds and Ends 

8 big announcements from Google I/O 2018

Google kicked off its annual I/O developer conference at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. Here are some of the biggest announcements from the Day 1 keynote. There will be more to come over the next couple of days, so follow along on everything Google I/O on TechCrunch.  Google goes all in on artificial intelligence, rebranding its research division to Google AI Just before the keynote, Google announced it is rebranding its Google Research division to Google AI. The move signals how Google has increasingly focused R&D on computer vision,…

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