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Facebook sues company for selling ‘fake likes and followers’ to people

Online social media and networking service, Facebook, is suing a company and three individuals in Zealand for allegedly selling fake likes, views, and followers to users of its photo-sharing platform, Instagram.

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Facebook's new policy on political ads and threat to SMEs in Nigeria

Online social media and networking service, Facebook, is suing a company and three individuals in Zealand for allegedly selling fake likes, views, and followers to users of its photo-sharing platform, Instagram.

The company has gone ahead to suspend accounts associated with the defendants whom were earlier warned about the violations their actions constituted against Facebook‘s terms of use.

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Protecting their platform 

In a statement, Facebook said it took action by suing the company in a US Federal Court, in order to show that such fraudulent services won’t be tolerated.

“By filing the lawsuit, we are sending a message that this kind of fraudulent activity is not tolerated on our services and we will act to protect the integrity of our platform.”

The statement by Facebook continued by saying that the company have also profited greatly from the service of selling those fake engagements to many Instagram users.

Why are users buying fake followers and engagements 

Large numbers of social media following has the capacity to attract lucrative sponsorship deals for owners of such accounts. In other words, owners of accounts with large followers, who are also called Social Media Influencers, have the capacity to leverage their so called popularity for money-making; by selling products on behalf on themselves or third parties and getting paid for it.

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The company has tried hard to prevent fake engagements 

In 2018, Instagram increased its effort to stop users from getting artificial followers and engagement, even as Facebook dealt with the aftermath of a number of scandals; including the Cambridge Analytica Data-sharing saga.

They also went as far as removing pages, groups, and accounts showing “inauthentic behaviour’’ in many countries across the world, including the Philippines, Russia, and Iran.

What must have prompted to that?

This decision was made after the company was accused of playing a role in influencing the 2016’s US presidential Election and the Brexit Referendum.

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Zoom’s market valuation hits $50 billion mark, thanks to COVID-19

Zoom’s share price now trades at an eye-watering 55 times estimated revenue compared with an average of 7 times for information technology stocks in the S&P 500, according to information obtained from Bloomberg.

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Zoom Video Communications’ shares surged to record highs on Friday, as bullish runs in the last hours of trading helped the company to close with a market capitalization of more than $50 billion. The stock gained about 9.7% to jump to $179.48, thereby giving it a market value of $50.6 billion. 

Note that this is the first time Zoom’s valuation is reaching this high level since it became a quoted company. The tech giant, which owns popular video conferencing software “Zoom”,  has gained more than 160% this year. This is because investors are betting that the surge in Zoom users amid the COVID-19 pandemic, would eventually translate to long-lasting revenue growth.

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READ ALSO: How VCs are encouraging terrible business practices by founders

Zoom’s share price now trades at an eye-watering 55 times estimated revenue compared with an average of 7 times for information technology stocks in the S&P 500, according to information obtained from Bloomberg.

Following the significant jump in the company’s valuation, the net worth of its founder and Chief Executive Officer, Eric Yuan, also rose significantly by more than $800 million on Friday. He now has a net worth of $9.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. 

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Meanwhile, in reaction to Zoom’s overnight success, Gennie Gebhart, a researcher with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said she hoped Zoom would change course and offer protected video more widely. It should be recalled that some users of the app had raised security concerns back in April, as Nairametrics reported

READ ALSO: Did Satoshi Nakamoto cause the panic sell-off in Bitcoin market

Meanwhile, Zoom has recruited Alex Stamos, a former chief security officer at Facebook, and other top security experts to help deal with the security issues which led to some top companies banning its use. While discussing efforts being made to deal with the security challenges, Stamos told Reuters:

 “At the same time that Zoom is trying to improve security, they are also significantly upgrading their trust and safety. The CEO is looking at different arguments. The current plan is paid customers plus enterprise accounts where the company knows who they are.” 

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Central banks digital currencies pose a threat against the U.S dollar

In general, digital currencies could weaken the power of U.S. sanctions and the ability of the U.S. Treasury to watch illicit financial flows.

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Central banks digital currencies pose a threat against the U.S dollar.

A new report by America’s biggest bank, JP Morgan Chase, said the U.S dollar is being faced with a major threat as many  central banks’ digital currencies continue to gain traction.

Analysts, including Josh Younger, the head of U.S. interest-rate derivatives strategy and Michael Feroli, the chief U.S. economist, wrote in a report saying this:

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“There is no country with more to lose from the disruptive potential of digital currency than the United States.

This revolves primarily around U.S. dollar hegemony. Issuing the global reserve currency and the medium of exchange for international trade in commodities, goods, and services convey immense advantages.” 

Aditi Kumar and Eric Rosenbach also recently penned an opinion piece for Foreign Affairs in which they noted that “Just recently, America’s arch-rival China became the first major economy to carry a real test of a national digital currency.”

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(READ MORE: Why the strong dollar is giving Nigeria headache)

In general, electronic currencies could weaken the power of U.S. sanctions and the ability of the U.S. Treasury to watch illicit financial flows. A digital Chinese currency (yuan) combined with China’s developed electronic payment systems may give China more future influence than it ever bargained for.  

What Nigerians should know about Digital currencies

A digital currency is a cash balance recorded electronically on a store value card or other physical devices, which could someday replace the physical notes of the naira, for instance.

Digital currencies can be decentralized, that is where the control over the cash supply can come from diverse sources. Digital  currencies can also be centralized, where there is a midway point of control over cash supply, just like the way central banks work.

Central banks digital currencies pose a threat against the U.S dollar.

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Although JP Morgan does not see the U.S dollar being overthrown as the world’s reserve currency anytime soon, experts warned that the U.S dollar dominance could weaken. This is because its processing trade settlement and the SWIFT system could make it more vulnerable.

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The American bank continued by saying:

“Offering a cross-border payment solution built on top of a digital dollar would, particularly if designed to be minimally disruptive to the structure of the domestic financial system, be a very modest investment to protect a key means to project power in the global economy,

“For high-income countries and the U.S. in particular, digital currency is an exercise in geopolitical risk management.” 

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said months ago that the Federal Reserve was taking a critical view on the issues regarding a digital currency.

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Dollar gains against major currencies

U.S dollar stood firm against major currencies on Monday as fears over rising tensions between America and China over Beijing’s plans to begin

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The US dollar remains king, U.S dollar gains against major currencies, America threatens China with sanctions.

The U.S dollar was up on Monday morning during London’s trading session after protests in Hong Kong yesterday escalated U.S-China tensions.

US dollar stood firm against major currencies on Monday as fears over rising tensions between America and China heightened.

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The American Dollar Index that monitors the U.S dollar against a basket of other major currencies was slightly up 0.02% to 99.945 by 11.10 am Nigerian local time.

What it means: Nigerians hoping to meet a foreign exchange payment obligation, transactions via the dollar to countries like Europe, Japan, would have the need to pay fewer dollars to fulfill such transactions.

(READ MORE:Reports: China may defer loans owed by Nigeria and others)

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Meanwhile, the friendship between the Americans and Chinese has soured lately since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. US President Trump and President Jinping of China have traded words against each other issues surrounding COVID-19, including accusations of lack of transparency and cover-ups. 

 

American Dollar remains king as stimulus fails to stop global financial market panic,Demand for “Inflow dollars” drive exchange rate to as high as $N420/$1 compared to “Cash dollars”, U.S dollar drops against major currencies, tension rises between America and China, U.S dollar gains against major currencies, America threatens China with sanctions.

Consequently, the U.S. Commerce Department added 33 Chinese businesses to a blacklist on Friday, and some U.S. Senators proposed sanctions on those businesses.

“The biggest concern is the tension between the United States and China, things were already bad, and it is likely to get worse because of the Hong Kong security law. This supports risk-off trades, which is positive for the dollar and the yen,” Tekuya Kanda, the general manager of research at Gaitame.com Research Institute, told Reuters.

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