Activist Groups Launch Campaign To Break Up Facebook

A coalition of activist groups on Monday announced a campaign to break up Facebook, arguing that the huge social network “has

Facebook Faces 'Oppenheimer Moment' Over Trump Scandal

A coalition of activist groups on Monday announced a campaign to break up Facebook, arguing that the huge social network “has too much power over our lives and democracy.”

The groups created a website, and a Facebook page, to garner support for a petition to the US Federal Trade Commission to require the social media firm to spin off Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger into competing networks, and to “impose strong privacy rules.”

The effort was launched by a handful of groups focusing on digital rights, privacy and other social causes.

“Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have amassed a scary amount of power,” the groups said on their website.

“Facebook unilaterally decides the news that billions of people around the world see every day. It buys up or bankrupts potential competitors to protect its monopoly, killing innovation and choice. It tracks us almost everywhere we go on the web and, through our smartphones, even where we go in the real world.”

The effort comes with Facebook under fire in the US and elsewhere over the hijacking of private user data on some 87 million users, adding to concerns on how internet platforms were manipulated to spread misinformation during the 2016 US election.

Responding to the campaign, a company spokesman said Facebook “is in a competitive environment where people use our apps at the same time they use free services offered by many others.”

The spokesman said in an emailed statement that “the average person uses eight different apps to communicate and stay connected.”

Chief executive and founder Mark Zuckerberg told a US congressional panel last month that it “doesn’t feel like” Facebook is a monopoly.

Facebook has an estimated two billion users worldwide, and its Messenger and Whatsapp messaging services each have more than one billion.

Any breakup would require a lengthy investigation by US authorities and a potentially long court battle as well.

The latest campaign was launched by the activist organizations Demand Progress, MoveOn, and SumOfUs, along with the groups Citizens Against Monopoly, Jewish Voice for Peace and Muslim Grassroots Movement.

It comes as Zuckerberg prepared to appear before European Parliament members to answer questions on the data scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, which obtained Facebook user data while working on the 2016 Donald Trump campaign.

AFP

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Trump ‘Demands’ Probe Of Alleged Spying On His Campaign

US President Donald Trump delivers remarks on reducing drug costs in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington,

Trump Thanks North Korea For 'Gracious' Pledge To Destroy Nuclear Site
US President Donald Trump delivers remarks on reducing drug costs in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP

 

United States President, Donald Trump, demanded Sunday that the Justice Department investigate whether his presidential campaign was “infiltrated” or spied on for political purposes, prompting it to announce it would look into those issues.

Trump has described the infiltration allegations as being potentially “bigger than Watergate,” but Democrats say he is attempting to undermine the year-old investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with his campaign, headed by special counsel Robert Mueller.

“I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!” Trump tweeted.

Trump’s angry order came amid building pressure from the year-old Russia meddling investigation, and as US media reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigations sent a Britain-based American professor to speak separately with Trump campaign advisers in 2016.

A New York Times report described the professor as “an informant,” saying the federal agency was looking into evidence that Carter Page and George Papadopoulos had suspicious contacts with Russia.

The Washington Post called him “a longtime US intelligence source,” and said he met with a third campaign adviser — Sam Clovis — as well as Page and Papadopoulos.

Trump and his supporters have cast the man as a mole possibly sent by the Obama administration to burrow into his campaign.

The Justice Department tasked its internal watchdog with looking into the issues raised by Trump.

But it paired that inquiry with an existing “review” of the application process for FISA national security warrants, which Republicans allege was abused in connection with the surveillance of Page.

Expanding an ‘ongoing review’ 

“The department has asked the inspector general to expand the ongoing review of the FISA application process to include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election,” spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement.

Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the Russia investigation, said: “If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action.”

While Trump allies in Congress have demanded more information about the informant, law enforcement officials have refused, saying the source — not yet officially identified — could be in danger if named.

Efforts to identify the FBI informant — and Trump’s claims — have drawn fire from Democratic lawmakers.

“It would be at best irresponsible, and at worst potentially illegal, for members of Congress to use their positions to learn the identity of an FBI source for the purpose of undermining the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in our election,” said Senator Mark Warner, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat.

“Trump’s claim of an embedded ‘spy’ is nonsense. His ‘demand’ DOJ investigate something they know to be untrue is an abuse of power, and an effort to distract from his growing legal problems,” tweeted Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

Joaquin Castro, another House Democrat, responded to Trump’s demand for Justice Department action by tweeting: “@realDonaldTrump – Let Mueller do his job. Stay out of it. You need to be subpoenaed for obstruction of justice/conspiracy/money laundering.”

“Obstruction in broad daylight,” Democratic lawmaker Eric Swalwell wrote.

Trump lawyer Rudolph Giuliani, a former Justice Department prosecutor and assistant attorney general, told CNN on Friday that it was unclear whether an FBI informant had been embedded in the campaign while adding that the agency “should tell us if there was.”

AFP

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Black Founders Matter Hopes To Raise $10M To Fund Black Founders

  So many problems to solve. Such an elegant solution. Black Founders Matter has a campaign to sell apparel to

 

So many problems to solve. Such an elegant solution.

Black Founders Matter has a campaign to sell apparel to generate revenue and awareness for Black and female founders while promoting its own name — a name that sounds a lot like a social movement with dreams of being a fund.

So far, it’s working.

The Black Founders Matter campaign has sold $10,000 worth of T-shirts and sweatshirts bearing the words “Black Founders Matter.” The apparel sells from $49.99 to $69.99, and the people who buy it are both paying for the advertising and providing it by sporting the swag in public.

Portland-based founders Marceau Michel and Kathryn Brown launched Black Founders Matter  after struggling to raise early-stage funds for their startups — despite what they say is a market demand for their products, according to their website, BlackFoundersMatter.org.

Just 1 percent of venture-backed companies are launched by a Black founder, while 99 percent are white or Asian, according to the Kapor Center for Social Impact.

Michel is the founder of Werk Horse, an on-demand staffing company. Brown founded ScoutSavvy, a diverse and inclusive recruiting app. She’s the brains behind the Fund Female Founders campaign. Both chose to believe that even if investors wouldn’t take a chance on them, the public would.

“Black Founders Matter has a simple premise of selling T-shirts and sweatshirts for the purpose of not necessarily being political, ‘but literal,'” Michel told Tech Crunch:

“The goal is to hit $10 million in sales within the next two years, and then funnel that money into Black-led startups. “We can shake up venture funding and what it looks like and who gets it,” Michel said. As Michel works to get all the funds in place, he’s working to build a committee that will ultimately decide how to delegate the money.”

You can buy the Black Founders Matter merchandise on Shopify.

If you choose to shop there, you will not be investing in Michel and Brown’s startups, according to their FAQ section. But you will be investing in startups like them:

“And you will not be compensated in shares or a stake in our companies. You are strictly purchasing limited edition merchandise with our campaign logos … Your purchase will be counted as revenue in the typical payment-for-goods model.”

So how does this help Black founders?

Black founders need cash flow to pay for early-stage startup expenses, including business services, accounting, legal, growth, and more while they figure out product/market fit, according to the Black Founders Matter website. “Many Black founders like us don’t have the luxury of waiting for the product/market fit to jumpstart our revenue.”

The goal is to sell $500,000 in merchandise over the course of the campaign. If you buy the merchandise, “take a picture of yourself wearing it and post it on social media,” the campaign requests. “Your purchase … helps early-stage founders like Marceau with cash flow that they can use to grow their startups.

“Our long-term mission is to launch a fund that distributes funds to Black founders, but we don’t know what that looks like yet.”

Michel said he’s trying to “create something I think the whole world needs. I’m not just trying to solve a problem for Black people, but for everyone,” he told Tech Crunch:

Once people start looking at Black people as CEOs, founders, CFOs and CTOs, Michel is convinced “‘they’re not going to shoot us’ and it will shift ‘the misconception people have about Black people.'”

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R. Kelly Calls Time’s Up Campaign ‘Public Lynching’

FILE PHOTO Singer R. Kelly arrives for the 2013 American Music Awards in Los Angeles. Frederic J. BROWN / AFP  

FILE PHOTO Singer R. Kelly arrives for the 2013 American Music Awards in Los Angeles. Frederic J. BROWN / AFP

 

R. Kelly’s management has lashed out at a campaign for the music business to dump him over his alleged treatment of women and girls, denouncing a “public lynching.”

The R&B singer, best known for his ballad “I Believe I Can Fly,” supports the Time’s Up movement for gender equality, his management said, suggesting that his eyebrow-raising relationships have been consensual.

“We fully support the rights of women to be empowered and make their own choices,” his management said in a statement late Monday.

“Since America was born, black men and women have been lynched for having sex or being accused of it.

“We will vigorously resist this attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture,” it said.

The Women of Color division of the Time’s Up movement had on Monday called on Kelly’s record label, streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music and concert venues to drop the 51-year-old star.

The group said it hoped to build on momentum after the conviction last week of comedian Bill Cosby to build a world “in which women of all kinds can pursue their dreams free from sexual assault, abuse and predatory behavior.”

Singer and activist John Legend quickly backed the #MuteRKelly campaign, although entertainment companies have yet to comment.

Kelly was acquitted in 2008 of charges of child pornography after a video allegedly showed him in sexual acts with an underage girl.

Last month, a woman filed a complaint with police in Dallas alleging that Kelly knowingly gave her a sexually transmitted disease during a relationship that began when she was 19.

And last year, BuzzFeed News reported that Kelly was holding six women in virtual slavery with power over their clothing, diet and sexual encounters. He has denied all the allegations.

AFP

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Fayose’s deputy gets campaign council

Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose has set up a campaign council for the his  candidate in the July 14 election, Prof. Kolapo

Prof. Olusola

Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose has set up a campaign council for the his  candidate in the July 14 election, Prof. Kolapo Olusola.

Peoples Democratic Party PDP) has fixed May 8 as its primaries, the All Progressives Congress (APC) will hold its primary three days earlier, on May 5.

Environment Commissioner Chief Bisi Kolawole has been appointed director-general of the Kolapo Olusola Eleka Campaign Council.

His appointment was conveyed in a public service announcement on the radio and television channels of the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State (BSES).

The announcement said Kolawole would coordinate the campaign activities of the deputy governor, but was silent on other members.

Kolawole, a two-time commissioner under Fayose, represented Efon in the House of Assembly between 2007 and 2011.

He served as director-general of the Prince Adedayo Adeyeye Movement (PAAM) in the run-up to the 2014 election.

According to a notice of primary and election timetable forwarded to Ekiti PDP from the national secretariat, the governorship shadow election holds on May 8, while appeals hold on May 10.

Last day for withdrawal by candidate and replacement of withdrawn candidate is May 30, and last day for submission of candidate’s nomination form is June 13.

Last day of campaign is July 12, while the governorship election holds on July 14.

The post appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.