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Internet on edge as daredevil raccoon scales Minnesota skyscraper

Climbing raccoon prompts live stream, photos and hashtag #MPRraccoon as world watches Raccoons are not typically known for their bravery, but one is scaling the UBS tower in Minnesota with death-defying nerve. The raccoon was originally spotted on the roof of a nearby office block and was safely removed by maintenance workers. But rather than find safety elsewhere, it jumped over to the UBS tower, one of the largest skyscrapers in the city, where it has been scaling the building all day, and, at the time of writing, was over…

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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 

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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Canceling Roseanne Wasn’t About ConvictionIt Was About Capital

It happened so fast you almost could have missed it. Over the course of two days earlier this week, Roseanne Barr fired off a series of racist (and anti-Semitic, and otherwise conspiracy-minded) tweets, prompting left-wing outrage and calls to #BoycottABC and extreme right-wing joy. Then, amidst high-profile collaborators like Wanda Sykes announcing they’d be leaving Barr’s well-rated sitcom Roseanne, ABC announced it would be cancelling the show. And there could be no confusion about the cause: "Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values,” ABC Entertainment president…

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Data Protection Standards Need to Be Global

Whether it is Cambridge Analytica gaining access to private information on up to 87 million Facebook users, or the large-scale data breaches at Equifax or Yahoo, alarmingly loose standards for the use and protection of customer data continue to fuel a backlash against large tech companies. More importantly, these events demonstrate the need for a global set of consumer data principles. WIRED OPINION ABOUT Kai Keller (@kaimkeller) is a global leadership fellow at the World Economic Forum and leads the organization's work at the cross-section of innovation and financial stability. The…

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Rage Against the Machine beats X Factor’s Joe to Christmas No 1

After an Facebook campaign against Simon Cowell's chart domination, music fans celebrate their victory In recent years, it had become as predictable as elections in North Korea singer wins X Factor, singer’s debut single goes to No 1. So when Joe McElderry won the TV talent contest, he was no doubt confident he would celebrate Christmas at the top of the charts. Alas for the 18-year-old from South Shields, it wasn’t to be: a song almost his own age denied him the top spot after a successful online campaign. Killing…

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Revealed: Brexit insider claims Vote Leave team may have breached spending limits

Whistleblower alleges that electoral spending rules could have been manipulated over controversial donation and that Vote Leave tried to delete key evidence A whistleblower who worked for the official Vote Leave campaign has broken cover to raise concerns that the masterminds behind the 2016 vote including key figures now working for Theresa May in Downing Street may have flouted referendum spending rules and then attempted to destroy evidence. The allegations, from former volunteer Shahmir Sanni, are detailed in an interview in the Observer and supported by a mass of documents…

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How ISIS and Russia Won Friends and Manufactured Crowds

Since November 2016, a national battle has raged about the role of social media in politics. People bemoaned the viciousness of trolls, the impact of incendiary fake news, the frog memes and Twitter bots and YouTube conspiracy videos. All the stories of manipulation and unintended consequences began igniting angry debates and prompted a long overdue conversation: what is the proper role of social networks in public discourse? This important question stems from a new paradigm that started roughly a decade ago. That’s when social media turned everyone into a content…

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Florida Teachers Pension Fund Invested in Maker of School Massacre Gun

As Florida teachers grieve over the mass shooting that left 17 students and colleagues dead last week, some of them may be surprised to learn they’ve been helping fund the firearms industry—including the company that made the gun used that bloody Wednesday.  A state pension plan for Florida teachers held 41,129 shares in American Outdoor Brands Co. valued at more than a half-million dollars, according to a Dec. 31 securities filing listing the plan’s Students evacuating Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14. 2017 annual report. The fund had a $528,000 holding in…

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Odds and Ends 

Instagram now allows businesses to schedule their posts

Instagram today made a long overdue change to its product that social media managers have wanted for some time – it will allow businesses on Instagram to schedule their posts. Before, there were unofficial means to aid with this – like tools that would send out a push notification to remind you to publish a post at a given time, for example. But no functionality was available in Instagram itself. The closest Instagram got was the added support for Drafts, which allowed social media managers and other users to prep…

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Fired Google Engineer Loses Diversity Memo Challenge

Google’s firing of an engineer over his lawsuit accusing the internet giant of harassing him and others over their conservative political views. When he was dismissed in August, Damore accused Google of violating the employee right to engage in "concerted activity" to address workplace issues, a category which the labor board has found can include forms of activism ranging from lawsuits to strikes to social media posts. “Much of" Damore’s memo was probably protected under the law, the labor board’s attorney, Jayme Sophir, said in the Jan. 16 memo. But…

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How to Take Back Your Facebook News Feed

In December, Facebook announced yet another tweak to the News Feed. This time, the social network would begin prioritizing “meaningful” conversations between friends and family over stories from publishers, brands, and businesses. If this all sounds familiar to you, that’s because Facebook has made a number of similar changes in the past. I was skeptical about the latest shift. Over the last decade, my News Feed has increasingly begun to clog with life updates from hundreds of people I haven’t seen in years. Meanwhile, my closest friends—like many people’s—share less…

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Fake news sharing in US is a rightwing thing, says study

University of Oxford project finds Trump supporters consume largest volume of junk news on Facebook and Twitter Fake news sharing in US is a rightwing thing, says study University of Oxford project finds Trump supporters consume largest volume of junk news on Facebook and Twitter Alex Hern @alexhern Last modified on Tue 6 Feb 2018 07.25EST Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Trump supporters in 2016. Photograph: Bill Wechter/AFP/Getty Images Low-quality, extremist, sensationalist and conspiratorial news published in the US was overwhelmingly consumed and shared by rightwing…

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Odds and Ends 

GoDaddy is acquiring social media marketing platform Main Street Hub for $125M

GoDaddy is acquiring Main Street Hub, an Austin-based social media marketing platform. The deal is for $125M in cash plus up to $50M in potential future earn outs, and is expected to close late in Q2 2018. Founded in 2010 Main Street Hub has raised a total of $93M in debt and equity financing from Silicon Valley Bank, Vista Equity Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and other investors. For a monthly fee, Main Street Hub handles all aspects of a small business’ online presence including marketing automation, CRM, social media, reputation management…

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