Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said he cannot wrongly identify an airline seat number like millions of travellers do all the time, and all over the world, and then attempt to consolidate the error in any form, through act, word, or gesture.
Social media was awash recently when business mogul, Tonye Cole, revealed how an unidentified young man refused to give up his seat for the playwright during an international flight.
Speaking on Saturday in his first official statement on the issue, the social critic advised airlines to impose fines on passengers who wrongly took seats on boarding and join proceeds from such initiative with donations from passengers to tackle worthy causes globally, especially health-related case.
Soyinka noted that one would rejoice in the thought of such benefits to humanity in its efforts to eradicate all kinds of diseases, especially malnutrition, and ensure the supply of nutrients that prevent the premature onset of brain impairment.
He said, “Those who permit themselves to be persuaded, even for one second that I, Wole Soyinka, having wrongly identified a seat number like millions of travellers all the time, and all over the world, would then attempt to consolidate the error in any form, through act, word, or gesture, qualify to be the first beneficiaries of this vastly improved humanitarian policy.’’ (Punch)
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A distraught wife took to Facebook to call out a Facebook user who was hanging out with her husband, and also disclosing how much they both love each other on the platform.
The Facebook user identified as Precious John had written ‘this is my feature (future) man. He really loves me just the way I do’. However the man’s wife identified as Gift Uzor stormed the page to call out the Facebook user hanging out with her husband, who according to her is the father of four children.
The wife wrote; Precious u are nothing but a public dog…So u don’t c any man to hangout with again except my husband, the father of four children. God will punish u and ur generation. U will never see any good in ur life
Reacting to being called out by her lover’s wife, Precious John wrote in response ‘chilling with another woman’s husband. As u can c his hand there, he’s fun to be with…
This obviously is going to get nasty, if care is not taken. The issue of sidechicks has created much euphoria on the social media among Nigerians.
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Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a combined Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill. Photo: AFP
Facebook chairman Mark Zuckerberg offered apologies to US lawmakers Tuesday as he made a long-awaited appearance in a congressional hearing on the hijacking of personal data on millions of users.
Reading from his written testimony, Zuckerberg repeated a statement he had previously made, saying the misuse of data “was my mistake, and I’m sorry.”
“It will take some time to work through all of the changes we need to make, but I’m committed to getting it right,” Zuckerberg told a Senate hearing.
Zuckerberg was making his first formal appearance at a Congressional hearing, seeking to allay widespread fears ignited by the leaking of private data on tens of millions of users to a British firm working on Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
The scandal has sparked fresh calls for regulation of social media platforms, and Facebook in the past week has sought to stem criticism by endorsing at least one legislative proposal, which would require better labelling and disclosure on political advertising.
Senator Charles Grassley, chair of one of the committees holding the hearing, said the scandal involving the British firm Cambridge Analytica “was clearly a breach of consumer trust and a likely improper transfer of data.”
The revelation on data mishandling “has exposed that consumers may not fully understand or appreciate the extent to which their data is collected, protected, transferred, used and misused,” Grassley said.
He added that the Judiciary Committee “will hold a separate hearing exploring Cambridge and other data privacy issues.”
Mark Zuckerberg has hit back at Apple CEO Tim Cook for disparaging Facebook’s business model.
A critique from Mr Cook suggesting the social media platform was trading privacy for profit was “extremely glib and not at all aligned with the truth”, Mr Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of Facebook, said in an interview with Vox.
Days earlier, excerpts emerged of an interview in which Mr Cook faulted Facebook’s reliance on attracting advertisers who can use the site’s data to precisely target customers. He praised Apple’s model of selling thoroughly vetted products as superior and suggested Mr Zuckerberg had blundered into the scandal now engulfing the company.
Mr Zuckerberg pushed back on those comments, saying he rejected the premise that “that if you’re not paying that somehow we can’t care about you”.
“The reality here is that if you want to build a service that helps connect everyone in the world, then there are a lot of people who can’t afford to pay”, Mr Zuckerberg said. “And therefore, as with a lot of media, having an advertising-supported model is the only rational model that can support building this service to reach people”.
He also drew a contrast between his company’s free service and Apple’s line of high-priced products.
“If you want to build a service which is not just serving rich people, then you need to have something that people can afford”, Mr Zuckerberg said, adding that “at Facebook, we are squarely in the camp of the companies that work hard to charge you less and provide a free service that everyone can use”.
The barbs flew between the two tech executives as Mr Zuckerberg seeks to steer his company through a data privacy crisis.
After it was revealed that a third party researcher obtained some 50 million Facebook users’ personal information and passed it along to political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which went on to work for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, the social media giant has faced a torrent of criticism from both elected officials and tech titans like Mr Cook.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Recode’s Kara Swisher, Mr Cook called it “creepy” to find targeted advertisements are “chasing me around the web” and said Facebook’s revenue model compromised personal privacy.
“We’ve never believed that these detailed profiles of people, that have incredibly deep personal information that is patched together from several sources, should exist”, Mr Cook said, going on to say Facebook needed to be better regulated.
Facebook has sought to tamp down a public outcry by vowing to institute tougher privacy safeguards that limit how many personal data outside apps can harvest. The company has said that, in the years since researcher Aleksandr Kogan gleaned reams of user data and shared them with Cambridge Analytica, it has tightened its rules to bar that scale of a collection. (The Independent)
Before Facebook suspended Aleksandr Kogan from its platform for the data harvesting “scam” at the centre of the unfolding Cambridge Analytica scandal, the social media company enjoyed a close enough relationship with the researcher that it provided him with an anonymised, aggregate dataset of 57bn Facebook friendships.
Facebook provided the dataset of “every friendship formed in 2011 in every country in the world at the national aggregate level” to Kogan’s University of Cambridge laboratory for a study on international friendships published in Personality and Individual Differences in 2015. Two Facebook employees were named as co-authors of the study, alongside researchers from Cambridge, Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley. Kogan was publishing under the name Aleksandr Spectre at the time.
A University of Cambridge press release on the study’s publication noted that the paper was “the first output of ongoing research collaborations between Spectre’s lab in Cambridge and Facebook”. Facebook did not respond to queries about whether any other collaborations occurred.
“The sheer volume of the 57bn friend pairs implies a pre-existing relationship,” said Jonathan Albright, research director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism. “It’s not common for Facebook to share that kind of data. It suggests a trusted partnership between Aleksandr Kogan/Spectre and Facebook.”
Facebook downplayed the significance of the dataset, which it said was shared with Kogan in 2013. “The data that was shared was literally numbers – numbers of how many friendships were made between pairs of countries – ie x number of friendships made between the US and UK,” Facebook spokeswoman Christine Chen said by email. “There was no personally identifiable information included in this data.”
Facebook’s relationship with Kogan has since soured.
“We ended our working relationship with Kogan altogether after we learned that he violated Facebook’s terms of service for his unrelated work as a Facebook app developer,” Chen said. Facebook has said that it learned of Kogan’s misuse of the data in December 2015, when the Guardian first reported that the data had been obtained by Cambridge Analytica.
“We started to take steps to end the relationship right after the Guardian report, and after investigation, we ended the relationship soon after, in 2016,” Chen said.
On Friday 16 March, in anticipation of the Observer’s reporting that Kogan had improperly harvested and shared the data of more than 50 million Americans, Facebook suspended Kogan from the platform, issued a statement saying that he “lied” to the company, and characterised his activities as “a scam – and a fraud”.
On Tuesday, Facebook went further, saying in a statement: “The entire company is outraged we were deceived.” And on Wednesday, in his first public statement on the scandal, its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, called Kogan’s actions a “breach of trust”.
But Facebook has not explained how it came to have such a close relationship with Kogan that it was co-authoring research papers with him, nor why it took until this week – more than two years after the Guardian initially reported on Kogan’s data harvesting activities – for it to inform the users whose personal information was improperly shared.
And Kogan has offered a defence of his actions in an interview with the BBC and an email to his Cambridge colleagues obtained by the Guardian. “My view is that I’m being basically used as a scapegoat by both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica,” Kogan said on Radio 4 on Wednesday.
The data collection that resulted in Kogan’s suspension by Facebook was undertaken by Global Science Research (GSR), a company he founded in May 2014 with another Cambridge researcher, Joseph Chancellor. Chancellor is currently employed by Facebook.
Between June and August of that year, GSR paid approximately 270,000 individuals to use a Facebook questionnaire app that harvested data from their own Facebook profiles, as well as from their friends, resulting in a dataset of more than 50 million users. The data was subsequently given to Cambridge Analytica, in what Facebook has said was a violation of Kogan’s agreement to use the data solely for academic purposes.
In his email to colleagues at Cambridge, Kogan said that he had created the Facebook app in 2013 for academic purposes, and used it for “a number of studies”. After he founded GSR, Kogan wrote, he transferred the app to the company and changed its name, logo, description, and terms and conditions. CNN first reported on the Cambridge email. Kogan did not respond to the Guardian’s request for comment on this article.
“We made clear the app was for commercial use – we never mentioned academic research nor the University of Cambridge,” Kogan wrote. “We clearly stated that the users were granting us the right to use the data in broad scope, including selling and licensing the data. These changes were all made on the Facebook app platform and thus they had full ability to review the nature of the app and raise issues. Facebook at no point raised any concerns at all about any of these changes.”
Kogan is not alone in criticising Facebook’s apparent efforts to place the blame on him.
“In my view, it’s Facebook that did most of the sharing,” said Albright, who questioned why Facebook created a system for third parties to access so much personal information in the first place. That system “was designed to share their users’ data in meaningful ways in exchange for stock value”, he added.
Whistleblower Christopher Wylie told the Observer that Facebook was aware of the volume of data being pulled by Kogan’s app. “Their security protocols were triggered because Kogan’s apps were pulling this enormous amount of data, but apparently Kogan told them it was for academic use,” Wylie said. “So they were like: ‘Fine.’”
In the Cambridge email, Kogan characterised this claim as a “fabrication”, writing: “There was no exchange with Facebook about it, and … we never claimed during the project that it was for academic research. In fact, we did our absolute best not to have the project have any entanglements with the university.”
The collaboration between Kogan and Facebook researchers which resulted in the report published in 2015 also used data harvested by a Facebook app. The study analysed two datasets, the anonymous macro-level national set of 57bn friend pairs provided by Facebook and a smaller dataset collected by the Cambridge academics.
For the smaller dataset, the research team used the same method of paying people to use a Facebook app that harvested data about the individuals and their friends. Facebook was not involved in this part of the study. The study notes that the users signed a consent form about the research and that “no deception was used”.
The paper was published in late August 2015. In September 2015, Chancellor left GSR, according to company records. In November 2015, Chancellor was hired to work at Facebook as a user experience researcher.
Neither Facebook nor Chancellor has responded to numerous queries about his knowledge of Kogan’s and GSR’s activities. (The Guardian)
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg vowed Wednesday to “step up” to fix problems at the social media giant, as it fights a snowballing scandal over the hijacking of personal data from millions of its users.
“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” Zuckerberg said, in his first public comments on the harvesting of Facebook user data by a British firm linked to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Writing on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg announced new steps to rein in the leakage of data to outside developers and third-party apps, while giving users more control over their information through a special toolbar.
Zuckerberg said measures had been in place since 2014 to prevent precisely the sort of abuse revealed at the weekend.
“But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it,” he said.
The scandal erupted when a whistleblower revealed that British data consultant Cambridge Analytica (CA) had created psychological profiles on 50 million Facebook users via a personality prediction app, created by a researcher named Aleksandr Kogan.
The app was downloaded by 270,000 people, but also scooped up their friends’ data without consent — as was possible under Facebook’s rules at the time.
Facebook says it discovered last week that CA may not have deleted the data as it certified.
“This was a breach of trust between Kogan, Cambridge Analytica and Facebook,” Zuckerberg wrote. “But it was also a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us and expect us to protect it.”
“We need to fix that.”
– Probe by special counsel? –
Zuckerberg’s admission follows another day of damaging accusations against the world’s biggest social network as calls mounted for investigations on both sides of the Atlantic.
Max Schrems, a Vienna-based activist who has brought online data protection cases before European courts, told AFP he complained to the Irish Data Protection Authority in 2011 about the controversial data harvesting methods.
Schrems also recounted a seven-hour meeting with Facebook representatives the following year to discuss concerns around apps operating in this fashion but said they said they saw no problems with their policies.
“They explicitly said that in their view, by using the platform you consent to a situation where other people can install an app and gather your data,” Schrems said.
ABC News reported meanwhile special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, was looking at Cambridge Analytica’s role in the Trump effort.
Citing anonymous sources, ABC said several digital experts who worked on Trump’s campaign have held closed-door interviews with Mueller’s team.
The British firm has maintained it did not use Facebook data in the Trump campaign, but its now-suspended CEO boasted in secret recordings that his company was deeply involved in the race.
– #DeleteFacebook –
The data scandal has ratcheted up the pressure on Facebook — already under fire for allowing fake news to proliferate on its platform during the US presidential election.
A movement to quit the social network gathered momentum, while a handful of lawsuits emerged which could turn into class actions — in a costly distraction for the company.
One of those calling it quits was a high-profile co-founder of the WhatsApp messaging service acquired by Facebook in 2014.
“It is time. #deletefacebook,” Brian Acton said in a tweet protesting the social media giant’s handling of the crisis.
Both Facebook and CA have denied wrongdoing, as attention focused increasingly on Kogan, the inventor of the controversial app — personality survey dubbed This Is Your Digital Life.
But Kogan said in an interview he was “stunned” by the allegations against him, claiming CA had assured him his activities were above board.
“I’m being basically used as a scapegoat by both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica,” he told the BBC. “We thought we were acting perfectly appropriately. ”
The University of Cambridge psychologist said CA had approached him to do the work, and that he did not know how the firm would use the data collected with his app.
European Union officials have called for an urgent investigation while British, US and EU lawmakers have asked Zuckerberg to give evidence.
Responding to Zuckerberg’s comments Wednesday, US Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts was the latest lawmaker to call on Zuckerberg to appear.
“You need to come to Congress and testify to this under oath,” Markey tweeted.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has urged Facebook and CA to cooperate with the national information commissioner’s probe.
“The allegations are clearly very concerning,” she told MPs.
“People need to have confidence in how their personal data is being used.”
Facebook shares steadied Wednesday, gaining 0.74 percent after steep declines this week that wiped out some $50 billion in market value.
But questions abounded on the future of Facebook, which has grown from a startup in a Harvard dorm room to become one of the world’s most powerful companies.
Analyst Brian Wieser at Pivotal Research said Facebook “is exhibiting signs of systemic mismanagement,” possibly from growing too fast.
“Investors now have to consider whether or not the company will conclude that it has grown in a manner that has proven to be untenable,” Wieser said in a research note.