Facebook’s reputation is rapidly crashing down. For quite a while now, the social media platform has defended itself against claims of misinformation and anti-trust. However, though the company is holding its own in the courtroom, Facebook is now facing another internal battle. A Facebook whistleblower has revealed how consciously dangerous the platform is, especially in other countries.
Speaking to CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen filed complaints against her former company for actively fomenting hate and misinformation for the sake of growth. While a bigger chunk of Haugen’s tell-all campaign revolved around Facebook’s effect in the United States, she also revealed how much the platform can affect other countries.
Most notably, the platform is more harmful in countries where there are no robust misinformation regulations. Though imperfect, the United States still has some form of protection against misinformation. Other countries have even less.
And, according to Haugen, the lack of protection and fact-checking can lead to death. “In a village in Africa, someone will send in a picture of a massacre that is allegedly happening in the next village and say, ‘grab your guns, come save your cousins,’” Haugen said. “What do you think happens when a bunch of people with guns comes to the village?”
Haugen reports that Facebook doesn’t devote a lot of resources to prevent such situations from happening. In a more American example, she says that the platform enacts anti-misinformation protocol only temporarily (like the recently concluded presidential elections) and turns it off when the need has passed.
Haugen’s effects on the platform are still an unknown for now. However, the company already delayed an Instagram for kids app because of backlash from the whistleblower’s leaks.
Nintendo faces allegations of sexual misconduct
Company is investigating
Working at Nintendo must be a dream for every child from the 90s. However, besides the naturally steep point of entry for prospective workers in gaming, everyone has to reckon with a pervasive problem plaguing the industry: It’s just not inclusive. Like other developers, Nintendo is investigating a flurry of sexual misconduct allegations coming to light recently.
A ‘frat house’
Earlier this week, Kotaku brought a series of cases to light straight from past Nintendo of America employees. One tester, whom the report names as Hannah, reveals a litany of inappropriate sexually charged comments. While some are focused externally, like discussing which Pokémon is the best to have sex with, some comments are more targeted, like saying that it’s “a shame” that Hannah is a lesbian.
Unfortunately, the problems for women in the company only start there. Other female workers have reported cases of stalking and unwanted sexual advances, including being asked what color their panties were during company events. One called the environment a “frat house” filled with men. Pay is likewise unequal, favoring more compensation towards men than women.
Reporting inappropriate conduct isn’t welcome, either. Workers have said that they were further mistreated after they spoke to higher-ups about their issues. Perpetrators have also threatened to have their victims fired if the latter reported it. Others have also been called “overly sensitive” if they said anything against the company.
Now, Nintendo of America isn’t the only one at fault. The company outsources a chunk of its workers, including the ones reporting the issues, from a contracting company called Aerotek, which has rebranded into Aston Carter. Nintendo and Carter are currently being investigated by the National Labor Relations Board for harassment.
What they’re doing
For their part, Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser (also via Kotaku) has stated that the company is internally investigating the claims. Previous, Nintendo has come out in support for those who reported the same type of misconduct in other companies like Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft. The entire industry is now in a reckoning.
South Korea investigating Apple and Google for app payments
In hot water
Both Apple and Google are endlessly circulating in a maelstrom of controversy surrounding their respective app stores. Last year, app developers went up against the two giants for enforcing unfair payment systems against smaller developers. Since then, the issue has raged on. Now, South Korea is going after the two companies for the same problem.
As reported by Reuters, South Korean authorities, specifically the Korea Communications Commission, have decided to investigate Apple and Google for reportedly forcing developers into adopting payment systems inside App Store and Play Store.
Unfortunately, the report does not indicate what the companies exactly did to warrant an investigation. While one can easily cast it off as forcing the system unto others, it can also encompass a failure to meet the requirements on time. Google, for example, has stated that it has (and is still willing to) cooperate with authorities to resolve the issue.
Apple, on the other hand, has not commented on the issue.
Back in 2020, Fortnite, one of the most controversial instances of the issue, was expelled from the App Store and the Play Store for going against the margins demanded by Apple and Google. Since then, other apps, like Tinder, have also seesawed their way in and out of the issue.
Honor returns to the Philippines!
The former sub-brand is making its comeback as an independent, iconic brand
Huawei’s former sub-brand, Honor, returns to the Philippine market. The global smartphone brand has partnered with Iridium Philippines to launch the brand and cater to the different needs of Filipino consumers.
Daniel Wang, Director of Channel Management Department of Honor Device Com., Ltd., inked a deal with Ricky Sy, President of Honor Philippines/Iridium Technologies in a contract-signing event. The ceremony marked the comeback of the technology brand, making Honor products available in the Philippines through its local partner.
On becoming an iconic brand across the globe
Honor has invested in its research and development in the past year to provide high-quality products to its consumers. The company’s main goal is to come up with innovative products, thus, it continued to develop strategic partnerships with different supply chain manufacturers.
Currently, Honor is working with Intel, AMD, MediaTek, Microsoft, and Qualcomm to provide consumers with products that are technologically advanced.
Honor is presently available in more than 100 markets across the globe. The company aims to expand in the Philippines, one of its key markets in Asia, aiming to update its portfolio to capture the high-end and general market with PC, wearables, and more.
Its biggest edge, as compared to its former parent brand, is having Google Mobile Services across its devices.
“As HONOR returns to the Philippines, we are confident that the brand will be well received by Filipino consumers. The brand’s re-entrance would also mean that HONOR products will soon become more accessible to Filipinos,” said Ricky Sy, President of HONOR Philippines.
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