Jul 7, 2020

Hong Kong: Facebook, Google and Twitter among firms 'pausing' police help

Facebook and WhatsApp are "Pausing" co-operation with requests for user information from the Hong Kong police. No personal information about users in the region was held at or disclosed from its Hong Kong office, it added. "We believe freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and support the right of people to express themselves without fear for their safety or other repercussions," Facebook said. WhatsApp - which is owned by Facebook - said it "Believes in the right for people to...

Jul 7, 2020

Microsoft and Zoom join Hong Kong data 'pause'

Microsoft and Zoom have said they will not process data requests made by the Hong Kong authorities while they take stock of a new security law. While Office 365 is provided directly by the firm to Hong Kong residents, the service is run by a local firm 21Vianet on the other side of the border, allowing Microsoft to remain one step removed. "We're actively monitoring the developments in Hong Kong SAR, including any potential guidance from the US government. We have paused processing any data...

Jul 6, 2020

Huawei: UK government weighs up ban of Chinese firm's products

The government has received a report into Huawei that is likely to change its policy over the Chinese firm's role in the UK's telecoms networks. One of the company's spokesmen took a tougher line over the weekend, following newspaper reports that the government might ban the purchase of new Huawei 5G equipment by the end of the year. "UK policy is being dictated by [the] Trump administration... shouldn't the US respect a United Kingdom in the post-Brexit era being in a position to chose its...

Jul 3, 2020

Is Facebook losing the boycott battle?

An advertising boycott wants Facebook to do more about hate speech and misinformation.

Jul 3, 2020

George Floyd: Twitter drops 'master', 'slave' and 'blacklist'

Social media platform Twitter is dropping the terms "Master", "Slave" and "Blacklist" in favour of more inclusive language. The terms are frequently used in programming codes which originated decades ago. Replacing the terms could cost millions and take months, according to experts. Last month, GitHub, the world's biggest site for software developers, said it was working on changing the term 'master' from its coding language. Google's Chromium web browser project and Android operating system...

Jul 3, 2020

Redskins sponsor, FedEx, urges team to rebrand

The headline sponsor of the Washington Redskins, Fedex, has called on the American football team to change its controversial name. "We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name," it said in a statement. Six years ago FedEx shareholders voted to allow the Redskins to keep its name after the shipping giant received a complaint from the Wisconsin-based Oneida Indian tribe. As firms assess their stance on issues around race, following the death of...

Jul 3, 2020

Hong Kong: Divisions over whether to stay after new security law imposed

Two young men who have British National passports say they're debating their future in the country.

Jul 3, 2020

Coronavirus: Air France set to cut more than 7,500 jobs

Air France-KLM plans to cut more than 7,500 jobs at its French arm as the airline industry reels from the coronavirus crisis. Europe's second-biggest airline will cut 6,560 staff at Air France, with its regional French carrier Hop! losing 1,020 jobs, the company said on Friday. Air France also said that a wider "Reconstruction plan" would be presented at the end of July, along with one for the wider Air France-KLM group. Loans to Air France were contingent on the carrier scrapping some...

Jul 2, 2020

Amazon fires at 13-year high in June

AFP Fires in Brazil's Amazon rainforest rose by almost 20% in June - a 13-year high for the month, according to government data. Many forest fires in the country are started deliberately by illegal loggers and farmers wanting to quickly clear ground. In June, the country's National Institute for Space Research recorded 2,248 fires using satellite imagery, as opposed to 1,880 fires in June 2019. Last year's fires peaked in August, with 30,901 - threefold the number for the same period the...

Jul 2, 2020

Zuckerberg: Advertisers will be back to Facebook 'soon enough'

"My guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough" the Facebook chief executive has said. The second is to privately play down the impact of the boycott: reassure advertisers and resist any fundamental changes to Facebook's business model. The boycott isn't hurting Facebook as much as you might think. The vast majority of companies are still advertising with Facebook. One advertising executive sent me an expletive-riddled text yesterday, dismissing the idea its...

Jul 1, 2020

Facebook bans 'violent' Boogaloo-linked network

It said the network was loosely linked to the broader far-right "Boogaloo" movement but was distinct because it actively sought to commit violence. "Members of this network seek to recruit others within the broader boogaloo movement, sharing the same content online and adopting the same offline appearance as others in the movement to do so." The Boogaloo movement shares followers with some neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, as well as libertarians and anarchists. The social media site...

Jun 29, 2020

Could a boycott kill Facebook?

Boycotts can be extremely effective - as Facebook is finding out. It's convinced a series of major companies to pull its advertising from Facebook - including Coca-Cola, Unilever and Starbucks. There are more reasons to believe this boycott isn't as damaging to Facebook as you might think. In some ways Facebook looks like a good choice of company to lobby. The structure of Facebook gives Mark Zuckerberg a huge amount of power to affect change.

Jun 28, 2020

Starbucks suspends social media ads over hate speech

Starbucks has announced it will suspend advertising on some social media platforms in response to hate speech. The coffee giant joins global brands including Coca-Cola, Diageo and Unilever which have recently removed advertising from social platforms. A Starbucks spokesperson also told BBC News that the social media "Pause" will not include YouTube, owned by Google. The announcement came after Coca-Cola called for "Greater accountability" from social media firms. Coca Cola said it would pause...

Jun 27, 2020

How Facebook scammers target people at risk of suicide

A BBC investigation has uncovered dozens of Facebook pages claiming to sell a deadly poison to people who are contemplating suicide. When I shared the evidence with the experts, their assessment was unanimous: the people running these Facebook pages are almost certainly scammers. People feeling suicidal might search for the chemical and find these pages. Facebook's decision to remove all the pages identified by the BBC hasn't deterred the scammers. If Facebook "Could take out from being used...

Jun 26, 2020

George Floyd: US phone giant Verizon joins Facebook ad boycott

US telecoms operator Verizon has become the latest major company to pull advertising from Facebook platforms. The company joins Ben and Jerry's and a growing list of firms boycotting the social media giant over its handling of controversial posts. Verizon is believed to be the biggest advertiser so far to back the Stop Hate for Profit campaign. "Our brand safety standards have not changed. We're pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable...

Jun 26, 2020

Facebook to tag harmful posts as boycott widens

The firm said it would halt Twitter, Facebook and Instagram advertising in the US "At least" through 2020. In a speech on Friday, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg defended the firm's record of taking down hate speech. Shares of Facebook and Twitter both fell more than 7% on Friday. The organisers, which include Color of Change and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, have said Facebook allows "Racist, violent and verifiably false content to run rampant on its...

Jun 26, 2020

Justin Bieber files defamation lawsuit after assault claims

Justin Bieber is suing two women for defamation after they accused him of sexual assault. Bieber denied the claims and vowed to speak to Twitter to urge the social media giant to take legal action. Responding to the claims, Bieber shared screenshots from articles from the day the alleged assault took place, which show him with his then-girlfriend Selena Gomez. Bieber shared a screenshot of a tweet which claimed he was spotted at restaurant inside a Four Seasons Hotel on 10 March, the day...

Jun 24, 2020

Zimbabwe's Cook Off: How an $8,000 romcom made it to Netflix

Zimbabwe's first film to feature on streaming service Netflix is a romantic comedy about a struggling single mother who finds love and good fortune in a TV cooking show contest. With an all-Zimbabwean cast of young actors, veterans of the industry, and distinguished figures in music, comedy and poetry, Cook Off has battled the odds, winning awards at film festivals before attracting the attention of Netflix. "The road wasn't easy, like everything in Zimbabwe, it's a big fight, especially with...

Jun 24, 2020

George Floyd: Ben & Jerry's joins Facebook ad boycott

Ben and Jerry's has joined a growing list of firms pulling advertising from Facebook platforms throughout July. It's part of the Stop Hate For Profit campaign, which calls on Facebook to have stricter measures against racist and hateful content. Ben and Jerry's Tweeted that it "Will pause all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram in the US". Earlier this week outdoor brands The North Face, Patagonia and REI joined the campaign. Ben and Jerry's said it is standing with the campaign and...

Jun 24, 2020

Steve Bing: Film producer took his own life, coroner says

Filmmaker Steve Bing took his own life, a coroner in Los Angeles has confirmed. In Hollywood, Bing was known for co-writing the 2003 film Kangaroo Jack; financing 2004's The Polar Express, voiced by Tom Hanks; and producing the 2000 remake of Get Carter starring Sylvester Stallone and Martin Scorsese's Rolling Stones documentary Shine a Light. Sir Mick, said it was "So sad to hear of Steve Bing's passing". At the age of 18, Steve Bing inherited a $600m property fortune from his grandfather...

Jun 23, 2020

Facebook bans 'loot-to-order' antiquities trade

Facebook has banned users trading in historical artefacts on the site. Facebook says all trade in ancient artefacts is banned on its platforms. "To keep these artefacts and our users safe, we've been working to expand our rules, and starting today we now prohibit the exchange, sale or purchase of all historical artefacts on Facebook and Instagram." Following our investigation, Facebook said it had removed 49 groups - but researchers continue to unearth evidence that trade is still ongoing....

Jun 22, 2020

Apple Mac computers make jump to its own chips

Apple has confirmed it will transition its Mac laptop and desktop computers to its own ARM-based processors. "We expect to ship our first Mac with Apple silicon by the end of the year," said chief executive Tim Cook, adding that it would likely be two years before its full product line had made the jump. Apple said it had already developed native versions of several of its own apps, including Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro. Some software was never updated and cannot easily be run on today's Mac...

Jun 19, 2020

Twitter labels Trump tweet 'manipulated media' for first time

Twitter has labelled a video tweeted by US President Donald Trump as having "Manipulated media" for the first time. In late May, Twitter added fact-checking verification notices to the president's tweets for the first time, following up two days later with hiding some tweets behind a warning. This latest warning is the first time Twitter has used the "Manipulated media" warning on one of the president's tweets - designed to indicate the photo or video has been significantly edited. Clicking...

Jun 18, 2020

Paulinho Paiakan: Amazon indigenous chief dies with coronavirus

AFP Paulinho Paiakan, one of the best known indigenous defenders of the Amazon rainforest, has died of coronavirus. Paiakan, who was around 65, was a chief of the Kayapo people. In 1998, Paiakan was convicted of the rape of an 18-year-old. Paiakan died on Wednesday in a hospital in southern ParĂ¡ state. "He worked all his life to build worldwide alliances around indigenous peoples to save the Amazon," Gert-Peter Bruch, founder of environmental group Planet Amazon, told the AFP news agency.

Jun 18, 2020

Coronavirus: American Airlines passenger removed for not wearing mask

American Airlines has removed a passenger from a flight after he refused to wear a face covering in compliance with its Covid-19 safety policy. While there is no federal law mandating masks on US flights, all major US airlines have been enforcing face covering rules for passengers and crew since mid-May. On Monday, American Airlines announced "a stronger policy for customer face coverings". The conservative activist described American Airlines' mask policy as "Absolutely insane" in a video...

Jun 18, 2020

Facebook removes Trump ad over 'Nazi hate symbol'

Facebook says it has removed adverts for US President Donald Trump's re-election campaign that featured a symbol used in Nazi Germany. "The inverted red triangle is a symbol used by Antifa, so it was included in an ad about Antifa," Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, said in a statement. Forget Twitter for now, Facebook is the platform that Mr Trump really cares about. Earlier this month, Facebook employees spoke out against the tech giant's decision not to remove or flag a...

Jun 17, 2020

Facebook to let users turn off political adverts

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg says users will be able to turn off political adverts on the social network in the run-up to the 2020 US election. Facebook has faced heavy criticism for allowing adverts from politicians that contain false information. "For those of you who've already made up your minds and just want the election to be over, we hear you - so we're also introducing the ability to turn off seeing political ads," Mr Zuckerberg wrote. Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram will give...

Jun 16, 2020

Apple faces two EU anti-competition probes

Apple faces two European Commission probes into whether it has broken competition rules. One investigation centres on iPad and iPhones being limited to installing apps from Apple's own App Store, among other restrictions imposed on third-party developers. The other involves Apple Pay, with one issue being that other services cannot use the iPhone's tap-and-go facility. Apple said it was "Disappointing" the EU was "Advancing baseless complaints". The latest development comes days before Apple...

Jun 12, 2020

Coronavirus: Twitter removes more than 170,000 pro-China accounts

Twitter has removed more than 170,000 accounts it says were tied to an operation to spread pro-China messages. Twitter also revealed it has shut down more than a thousand Russia-based misinformation accounts. While the 23,750 accounts were the main focus, 150,000 accounts were identified as helping to boost the messages online. Twitter said the two interconnected sets of accounts were caught early and typically had very few followers with low levels of engagement. Twitter also said it had...

Jun 11, 2020

George Floyd: Amazon bans police use of facial recognition tech

Technology giant Amazon has banned the police from using its controversial facial recognition software for a year. Like other facial recognition products, Amazon's Rekognition can use Artificial Intelligence to very quickly compare a picture from, for example, an officer's phone camera and try to match it with mugshots held on police databases that can hold hundreds of thousands of photos. Facial recognition technology has been criticised for some time over potential bias, with studies...