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Facebook Whistleblower’s Claims ‘Don’t Make Any Sense’- Mark Zuckerberg Reacts

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Mark Zuckerberg has hit back at the testimony of the Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, saying her claims the company puts profit over people’s safety are “just not true”.

In a blogpost, the Facebook founder and chief executive addressed one of the most damaging statements in Haugen’s opening speech to US senators on Tuesday, that Facebook puts “astronomical profits before people”.

“At the heart of these accusations is this idea that we prioritise profit over safety and wellbeing. That’s just not true,” he said.

He added: “The argument that we deliberately push content that makes people angry for profit is deeply illogical. We make money from ads, and advertisers consistently tell us they don’t want their ads next to harmful or angry content.”

Zuckerberg said many of the claims made by Haugen – and in the Wall Street Journal, based on documents she leaked – “don’t make any sense”. The most damaging reporting in the WSJ, reiterated at length by Haugen in testimony to the US Senate on Tuesday, was that Facebook failed to act on internal research showing that its Instagram app was damaging teenagers’ mental health.

“Many of the claims don’t make any sense. If we wanted to ignore research, why would we create an industry-leading research programme to understand these important issues in the first place?” he said.

Responding to Haugen’s claims that Facebook’s attempts to limit harmful content were constantly hampered by a shortage of staff, he said: “If we didn’t care about fighting harmful content, then why would we employ so many more people dedicated to this than any other company in our space – even ones larger than us? If we wanted to hide our results, why would we have established an industry-leading standard for transparency and reporting on what we’re doing?”

Haugen’s testimony, and accompanying statements by US senators in the hearing, repeatedly questioned whether Facebook could be trusted. “Facebook has not earned a right to just have blind trust in them,” said Haugen, a former Facebook employee who worked on the company’s unit monitoring electoral interference before she quit in May.

Zuckerberg said a change to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm in 2018 was implemented because it increased wellbeing. According to Haugen, internal Facebook research showed that the change to News Feed – a customised scroll of content that is a core part of Facebook users’ interaction with the platform – had amplified divisive content.

Zuckerberg said: “This change showed fewer viral videos and more content from friends and family – which we did knowing it would mean people spent less time on Facebook, but that research suggested it was the right thing for people’s wellbeing. Is that something a company focused on profits over people would do?”

Addressing company staff in the Facebook post, made late on Tuesday, Zuckerberg said he expected many employees would not recognise the business portrayed in the WSJ coverage and Haugen’s testimony.

“I’m sure many of you have found the recent coverage hard to read because it just doesn’t reflect the company we know,” he wrote. “We care deeply about issues like safety, wellbeing and mental health. It’s difficult to see coverage that misrepresents our work and our motives. At the most basic level, I think most of us just don’t recognize the false picture of the company that is being painted.”

Zuckerberg opened the post with a reference to Monday’s platform outage when the company’s services – including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms – went offline for nearly six hours. Facebook has 3.5 billion monthly active users across its platforms including Instagram and WhatsApp.

“The deeper concern with an outage like this isn’t how many people switch to competitive services or how much money we lose, but what it means for the people who rely on our services to communicate with loved ones, run their businesses, or support their communities,” he said.

 

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EndSARS: CNN, Amnesty International Must Apologise To FG -Lai Mohammed

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The Federal Government has demanded an apology from Amnesty International, CNN and DJ Switch for misleading the world that there was a massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate on Oct. 20, 2020.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed made this demand on the occasion of the first year anniversary of the famous #EndSARS protests in Nigeria.

According to the Minister who spoke during a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, CNN, Amnesty, and DJ Switch are all guilty of spreading fake news.

Mohammed maintained that there was no massacre of Nigerian youths at the Lekki Toll Gate incident during the protest last year and the trio mentioned only gave false and misleading reports.

The Minister insisted a professional analysis of what transpired at the Lekki Toll Gate revealed that the military didn’t massacre anyone while if truly there was any killing as widely reported, the families of the victims and those affected would have appeared with evidence before the Judicial Panel of Inquiry.

Not done, Lai Mohammed further accused the trio of spreading ‘tales by moonlight’ about what he described as the phantom killings at the Lekki Toll Gate during the EndSARS protests last year.

He said: “…During the sitting, CNN was summoned but it never showed up, thus missing a great opportunity to prove its allegation of massacre at the toll gate. Also, Amnesty International had a golden opportunity to convince the world, but it rather opted for issuing meaningless press releases.”

“In its latest attempt to grasp at straws and redeem whatever is left of its battered credibility on this issue, CNN has continued with its baseless report that soldiers shot at protesters. In a report currently running on the network, CNN brazenly and unashamedly held on to its flawed narrative, relying on an unidentified mother whose son was reportedly shot dead at Lekki, but without convincing evidence of who shot him dead. The same CNN that tweeted on Oct. 23rd 2020 that 38 people were shot dead at Lekki is now struggling to convince the world that one boy was killed at Lekki. What a shame!”

“The testimony of ballistic experts before the Judicial Panel of Inquiry in Lagos contradicts the tales by the moonlight by Amnesty International, CNN, a runaway DJ, and their ilk.”

 

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BREAKING: Police Arrest #EndSARSMemorial Protesters At Lekki Tollgate

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Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command have arrested two protesters at the Lekki tollgate where the #EndSARS Memorial Protest is scheduled to hold in the state today.

One of those arrested claimed to be a journalist while the other was seen carrying a placard.

The police had reportedly warned that anyone seen at the tollgate without an ID card will be arrested.

The arrested journalist told newsmen that he works with LegitTV and that his phone, driver’s license and other documents were taken away from him.

Speaking from a Lagos State Task Force van where he was kept by the police, the journalist who identified himself as Abisola stated that he lost his ID card in transit.

About 30 police trucks and armed personnel are currently at the tollgate to enforce a ban on protests issued by the police command.

A car procession in honour of those believed to have lost their lives at the tollgate when soldiers dispersed #EndSARS protesters on October 20, 2020, is scheduled to hold at the tollgate today.

What #EndSARS protests were about

The #EndSARS protests which were held in October 2020 were against the activities of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a unit of the Nigeria Police Force which was accused of police brutality.

The epicentre of the protests was the Lekki tollgate in Lagos where many youths gathered day and night to air their grievances against police brutality and bad governance.

They were dispersed from the location by gun-wielding soldiers on October 20, 2020, an action which some quarters believe led to the loss of lives.

This was followed by the destruction of private and public properties by hoodlums in Lagos, an incident that informed the latest warning issued by the police in the state.

PUNCH

 

 

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Police Threaten To Punish Inspector For Voting At APC Congress

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The Zone 1 Command of the Nigeria Police Force, Kano, on Tuesday said its attention had been drawn to a trending picture on the social media, of a police inspector casting his vote at the Kano State congress of the All Progressives Congress alongside his principal, the state party chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas.

A statement by the Zonal Public Relations Officer, DSP Abubakar Ambursa, added that the inspector had been identified as Bashir Mohammed of the Special Protection Unit, Base 1, Kano.

According to the statement, the Inspector is attached to the Government House, Kano, from where he was deployed to work with Abbas as a security aide.

“In view of this seemingly unprofessional conduct of the inspector, the AIG (Assistant Inspector General of Police) has referred the matter to the Zonal X-Squad for investigation.

“If the inspector is found to have committed the offence, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against him,” the statement said.

The police assured members of the public that further development on the matter would be communicated.

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