At the same time Cambridge Analytica announced it's suspending CEO Alexander Nix, Channel 4 News released a second report on the company based on undercover videos. In this report, it shows executives claiming that their work was responsible for Trum…
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The whole Cambridge Analytica fiasco has led to Facebook being the subject of many potential regulatory investigations and users worried about the social network’s data sharing practices. There’s also a movement going on over on Twitter with the #deletefacebook hashtag encouraging users to delete their Facebook profile for good. Continue reading
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Apple continues efforts to bolster Apple Pay adoption, and is currently hosting a "Lose your wallet" event in Los Angeles, offering users of the service exclusive discounts on food, fashion and more.
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President Trump plans to name Brad Parscale, the digital director of his 2016 campaign, to run his re-election bid, according to the Drudge Report. The Associated Press has since corroborated the report.
Parscale, who started off with the campaign by building its website, became known for commanding an ambitious data project, as laid out in a Businessweek profile from the time. He was also known for his use of social media during the campaign. Businessweek described him as one of the few people trusted with ghost-writing Trump’s tweets.
The campaign’s — and Parscale’s — Facebook strategy has drawn particular scrutiny. As The Verge has reported, Facebook’s system rewards more…
Did Facebook’s ad platform give Donald Trump an unfair advantage in the 2016 election? That’s a question I tried to answer last October, when I looked at how the dynamics of the ad platform can promote more polarizing ads. It came up again over the weekend, as more people digested Antonio García Martínez’s op-ed in Wired, which examines the same issue. Here’s how he put it:
During the run-up to the election, the Trump and Clinton campaigns bid ruthlessly for the same online real estate in front of the same swing-state voters. But because Trump used provocative content to stoke social media buzz, and he was better able to drive likes, comments, and shares than Clinton, his bids received a boost from Facebook’s click model, effectively…
Apple Australia has published a series of new iPhone X ads to its YouTube channel showcasing the smartphone’s camera being used at various weddings.
Titled “First Dance”, the short ads continue the company’s “Shot on iPhone” series by demonstrating the general quality of the iPhone X camera rather than highlighting any specific feature.
Of the four videos, three are 15-second spots that focus on a single nuptial event – “Meg and Ann-Marie”, “Nick and Rob”, and “Anthony and Ron” – while one minute-long ad includes clips from several weddings.
All of the ads feature same-sex couples tying the knot, following the recent change in Australian law to formally recognize same-sex unions.
The ads are set to the music “Never Tear Us Apart”, as sung by Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barrett.
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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OnePlus has a history of questionable promo campaigns and this one might get your blood boiling too – “the OnePlus 5T smashes the competition, literally”. Here’s the setup. A OnePlus 5T goes head to head versus Apple’s iPhone X and iPhone 8 and Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Note8. The challenges include unlocking the phone, shooting a photo, play music and so on. We don’t want to give away the outcome, we’ll just say you’ll get flashbacks of the infamous OnePlus One campaign that had people smashing their old phones. Source
There are plenty of links between the Trump campaign and the Russians. But the Mueller indictments and a Facebook exec’s commentary may be deflating this particular theory.
Robert Mueller and his team are the latest U.S. officials to argue that Russia tried to use Facebook to interfere with the 2016 election.
But the indictments against Russian nationals that Mueller unveiled last Friday, coupled with commentary from a Facebook ad executive, may also undermine a compelling theory among some analysts and lawmakers — that the Trump campaign worked in concert with Russian agents to place Facebook ads and other posts during the election.
Here, for instance, is Hillary Clinton, talking to Recode co-founder Walt Mossberg at last year’s Code Conference:
Clinton: “The Russians — in my opinion and based on the intel and the counterintel people I’ve talked to — could not have known how best to weaponize that information unless they had been guided.”
Mossberg: Guided by Americans.
Clinton: Guided by Americans and guided by people who had polling and data information
Here’s another version of the argument, via a Vanity Fair report last fall:
Mapping the full Russian propaganda effort is important. Yet investigators in the House, Senate, and special counsel Robert Mueller’s office are equally focused on a more explosive question: did any Americans help target the memes and fake news to crucial swing districts and wavering voter demographics? “By Americans, you mean, like, the Trump campaign?” a source close to one of the investigations said with a dark laugh.
But on Friday, two different disclosures made that theoretical cooperation harder to imagine.
- Mueller’s detailed, 37-page indictment didn’t offer any suggestion that the Trump campaign worked with Russians to exploit Facebook and other digital platforms. In fact, it says that when the Trump campaign did interact with Russian plotters, it was at the lowest level possible — local Trump campaign workers and activists — and that the Trump campaigners who did interact with Russians had no idea they were talking to Russians — they just thought they were talking to enthusiastic Trump fans.
- Facebook ad executive Rob Goldman, via Twitter, said the majority of Russian-financed pro-Trump ad spending on Facebook didn’t show up until after the election. It’s worth noting that while Goldman’s comments generated serious blowback this weekend, particularly after Donald Trump retweeted him, Goldman hasn’t backed away from his assertion. (It’s also worth noting that I’ve talked to current and former Facebookers who back Goldman up. They feel bad that his comments have turned into a pro-Trump cudgel to beat up the media, but they think his commentary is also correct.)
If you take both of those items at face value, it doesn’t leave you much room to believe that the Trump campaign worked with Russians in a sophisticated campaign to buy ads on Facebook aimed at electing Trump.
That doesn’t rule out active Trump/Russian collaboration in other parts of the campaign. And there are certainly many other connections between Trump and Russia that remain unsettling, at the very least. Recall, for instance, Donald Trump, Jr.’s email expressing excitement over proposed campaign help from Russian backers.
You can add other caveats as well.
Perhaps Goldman is flat-out wrong. Or perhaps Mueller will eventually make a much more explicit connection between Russians and high-level Trump campaign officials, which will include Facebook activities. And, or, perhaps the Trump campaign and Russians collaborated, but only on unpaid Facebook posts.
But some people have been waiting to see evidence of a connection between the Trump campaign and Russian social media activity for more than a year. Right now, they are still waiting.