Enterprise

Facebook CEO doesn’t care about fake political ads, employees say

Employees express displeasure

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Image source: Anthony Quintano

Do you still get your news from Facebook? Amidst all the baby photos and memes, the social media network remains one of the most voluminous content aggregators today. Unfortunately, since its launch all those years ago, Facebook’s credibility has consistently been called into question. Can you rely on everything you see on Facebook?

Of course, Facebook’s open framework allows just about anyone to share anything, even it’s untrue. Who remembers the whole debacle with fake news from years ago? Authenticity is still a sensitive issue in today’s social media networks. Inauthentic content can notoriously steer political conversations, especially during elections.

Unfortunately, despite the inherent risk, Facebook itself doesn’t seem to care. The social network’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has issued a conclusive statement on his site’s policy regarding content freedom.

For context, the US is on the cusp of its next presidential elections. Incumbent President Donald Trump is awaiting the winner of a heated Democratic race. Currently, the Democratic party includes former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Senator Bernie Sanders.

Earlier this month, Trump’s reelection campaign released a 30-second video ad. The video allegedly depicts Biden bribing Ukraine a total of US$ 1 billion in aid if the latter drops a current investigation against his son. Various news sources, like CNN, have refused to broadcast the “demonstrably false” content. Facebook, however, ran the ad, regardless.

In retaliation, Warren, one of Biden’s competitors, ran a demonstrably false ad of her own: a video proclaiming that Zuckerberg and Facebook support Trump’s reelection. Unlike Trump’s ad, however, Facebook refused to run the ad, showing a blatant contrast in approaches.

Amidst all the controversy, Zuckerberg issued a revealing speech at Georgetown University. In his speech, he doubles down on his website’s allegedly rigid campaign against disinformation. “We’ve found a different strategy works best: focusing on the authenticity of the speaker, rather than the content itself,” he said. “I don’t think it’s right for a private company to censor politicians or the news in a democracy.”

The defensive call to action was unsatisfactory for a lot of people, especially his own coworkers. Soon after the speech, Facebook’s own employees issued an internal letter addressed to the company’s leaders. Instead of dwelling on the value of free speech, the letter focuses the discussion on sponsored content. “Free speech and paid speech are not the same thing,” the letter said.

According to the letter, paid misinformation “increases distrust [on Facebook] by allowing similar paid and organic content to sit side-by-side” and “undoes integrity product work.” The disgruntled employees suggest a more rigorous screening of political ads (like those for corporate ads), louder visual separation from other content, and restricted targeting.

“This is still our company,” the letter concludes.

Years after the brouhaha against fake news, Facebook is still in the same mire. How can we trust Facebook content?

SEE ALSO: US: Facebook will turn into “dream come true for child pornographers”

Enterprise

MediaTek hosts world’s first demo of Wi-Fi 7

Here’s what to expect

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We’ve come a long way from dial-up. Now, the name of the game is Wi-Fi 6. Amid the rise of 5G connectivity, the home internet sector is adopting the current standard for their devices. But, of course, the advance of technology is not stopping. As Wi-Fi 6 tries to take over the entire market, the industry is already working on Wi-Fi 7. With development well underway, what can you expect from the upcoming standard?

Naturally, better speeds. Recently, MediaTek showcased the world’s first live demo of the new technology. In an impressive show, the standard will reportedly achieve speeds 2.4 times faster than what Wi-Fi 6 can do. The technology can maximize uses for the current spectrums available for Wi-Fi at up to 6GHz. The technology can also reduce latency and interference using MLO and MRU features.

According to MediaTek, Wi-Fi 7 will support the ever-growing need for faster internet speeds brought on by emerging uses for online users. These needs include AR/VR applications, cloud gaming, 4K video calling, and 8K streaming. With technology advancing the way it is, high-speed internet — even faster than what’s available today — is turning into a necessity to cope with multi-user households.

MediaTek predicts that products that can support Wi-Fi 7 will start coming out in 2023.

SEE ALSO: Mediatek, AMD collaborate on new Wi-Fi 6E Modules

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Facebook faces British privacy lawsuit worth billions

For allegedly selling its users’ data

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The hits just don’t stop coming. Since being called out for alleged manipulation during the 2016 elections (and arguably before that), Facebook has endured hit after hit from privacy pundits, security firms, and global courts. Now, after much deliberation, criticisms and lawsuits against the platform are finally coming to roost. In Britain, for example, Facebook stands to lose billions in a privacy lawsuit from Britain.

As reported by Reuters, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority senior adviser Liza Lovdahl Gormsen filed the huge lawsuit to represent British citizens who used the platform between 2015 and 2019 — which approximates 44 million people. The suit alleges that Facebook used unfair terms and conditions to force users to give up their rights to their own information. The entire lawsuit is worth GBP 2.3 billion (or approximately US$ 3.15 billion). Though Facebook is worth over US$ 100 billion now, such a lawsuit likely isn’t insignificant to the company.

But, of course, it doesn’t come without precedent. Last year, the company was scrutinized extensively because of whistleblower Frances Haugen’s revelations. According to the former Facebook employee, the platform knowingly creates ruptures in societies everywhere in the world. Besides its effect on mental health and geopolitics, Facebook was also criticized for selling personal data and treating its users as marketable products.

While Britain’s claim is already extensive, it is far from the only country looking to break the company up. The platform is also facing issues in its own home turf for the same charges. The year is just starting, and this likely won’t be Facebook’s last trip to the legal battlefield.

SEE ALSO: Facebook will force at-risk users to use two-factor authentication

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Samsung inexplicably delays Exynos 2200 launch

No new date set yet

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Before launching the next Galaxy S flagship series, Samsung often unveils the attached Exynos processor ahead of time. However, this year’s Exynos 2200 is still suspiciously absent. According to sources, Samsung was initially set to launch the new chips on January 11. Since it’s already February 12, the chip’s launch is obviously delayed for an inexplicable reason.

The delay did not come with any warning. The Exynos 2200’s launch date came and… nothing. No word from Samsung on a delay reason or even a new launch date. Even Ice Universe, one of the most knowledgeable sources for Samsung, is scratching their head, wondering why Samsung suddenly backed out of the date.

It isn’t Samsung’s first delay, though. Since the start of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the world is going through a massive semiconductor shortage. Several devices have been delayed or are undergoing stock problems. Samsung had already pushed back dates in the past. However, this is a rare last-minute delay.

Of course, despite the delay, Samsung still has time to release the Exynos 2200 before the Galaxy S22’s launch. According to a recent source, Samsung is set to launch the next flagship series on February 8. The upcoming chipset will reportedly perform at par with the recently launched Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Amid inexplicable delays, Samsung still has several launches up its sleeve.

Postponements likely won’t mean much in the grander scheme of things, but it will be an interesting tale to hear why Samsung had to back all of a sudden.

SEE ALSO: Samsung unveils 2022 sustainability initiatives

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