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Facebook deletes multiple accounts in Nigeria, others 

Facebook has disclosed that it had deleted hundreds of pages, groups and accounts on its platforms for “coordinated inauthentic behaviour”.

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Facebook’s employees protest over Mark Zuckerberg’s stance on President Trump’s post ,Facebook's cryptocurrency, Tech Hub, Here is why Facebook is under probe again, Facebook Accelerator Nigeria Opens with Season Two Bootcamp, Nigerian, Ghanian startups to participate in Facebook Accelerator Programme , Facebook acquires tech startup , Facebook deletes multiple accounts in Nigeria, others , COVID 19: Facebook provides free Ads to help WHO combat Misinformation

Facebook Inc has disclosed that it had deleted hundreds of pages, groups and accounts on its platforms for “coordinated inauthentic behaviour” linked to three operations in Nigeria, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt.

Facebook revealed that it tracked three marketing firms in Nigeria, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, involved fake accounts, which spread content on topics like UAE’s activity in Yemen and the Iran nuclear deal.

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According to the social media platform, an operation in Indonesia involved a network of over 100 fake accounts on Facebook and Instagram posting content in English and Indonesian either in support or criticizing the West Papua independence movement which is active in the country’s restive easternmost region of Papua.

Global Lead for Threat Disruption, Facebook, David Agranovich, said, “This was a network of pages designed to appear like local media organizations and advocacy organizations.”  

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Mark Zuckerberg Facebook founder and CEO.

He explained that his team, which had been monitoring Indonesia in light of increasing tensions in Papua, had tracked the false accounts, which would disseminate content, buy ads, and drive people to other sites, to an Indonesian media firm called InsightID.

There has been an increase in protests and unrest in Papua since late August, which suffered some of its worst bloodsheds in decades in September, with 33 people killed and scores injured.

Researchers had independently warned in September that there had been a rise of fake Twitter and Facebook accounts on Papua, with some of the fake accounts posting pro-government content.

Agranovich said Facebook also removed fake accounts related to two other unconnected networks in the Middle East and Africa.

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One, according to Facebook, was based out of Egypt but targeted the rest of the region by posting content in support of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, as well as criticism of Qatar, Iran, Turkey and Yemen’s separatist movement.

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The executive said this operation used fake accounts “to masquerade as local media organizations in a variety of those countries … and amplify the content they were posting.” 

According to Agranovich, Facebook found evidence some of the pages had been purchased, with regular changing ownerships, as well as deep links to Egyptian newspaper El Fagr, “which is known for its sensationalistic content.” 

As a result of the investigation, Facebook has also removed El Fagr’s official media pages from its platforms, he said.

[READ ALSO: Facebook acquires tech startup]

The social media giant has recently been cracking down on such accounts after coming under fire in the last few years for its self-admitted sluggishness in developing tools to combat extremist content and propaganda operations.

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Earlier this year, it removed accounts from Iraq, Ukraine, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Thailand, Honduras and Israel.

 

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - abiola.odutola@nairametrics.com.

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Facebook’s employees protest over Mark Zuckerberg’s stance on President Trump’s post

Meanwhile, Facebook has reacted to this development. A spokesman for the company told CNBC on Monday that Facebook understood the concerns and was open to its employees expressing their bias freely.

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Facebook’s employees protest over Mark Zuckerberg’s stance on President Trump’s post ,Facebook's cryptocurrency, Tech Hub, Here is why Facebook is under probe again, Facebook Accelerator Nigeria Opens with Season Two Bootcamp, Nigerian, Ghanian startups to participate in Facebook Accelerator Programme , Facebook acquires tech startup , Facebook deletes multiple accounts in Nigeria, others , COVID 19: Facebook provides free Ads to help WHO combat Misinformation

In a rare move, hundreds of Facebook’s staff walked away from their remote working desks on Monday and took to Twitter to accuse social media giant’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, of inadequately policing U.S. President Trump’s post on Facebook’s platform.

Facebook staff expressed disappointment and disgust over the decision of Facebook’s management to allow a statement posted by President Trump, in which he wrote “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

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A tweet by Dan Abramov, a software engineer at Facebook,  said “The React Core team is joining the Facebook employee walkout in solidarity with the Black community. Facebook’s recent decision to not act on posts that incite violence ignores other options to keep our community safe. We implore the Facebook leadership to #TakeAction.”

READ ALSO: “There will be no downsizing”, Access Bank assures its employees in spite of the pandemic

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(READ MORE: COVID 19: Facebook supports WHO, provides free Ads to combat Misinformation)

“Mark is wrong, and I will endeavor in the loudest possible way to change his mind,” wrote Ryan Freitas, identified on Twitter as director of product design for Facebook’s News Feed. He added that he had mobilized “50+ like-minded folks” to lobby for internal change.”

 

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In addition, two top Facebook employees have informed the management of Facebook their intention to resign if Mark Zuckerberg does not reverse his decision, on moderating Trump’s posts, the New York Times reported Monday.

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Meanwhile, Facebook has reacted to this development. A spokesman for the company told CNBC on Monday that Facebook understood the concerns and was open to its employees expressing their bias freely.

“We recognize the pain many of our people are feeling right now, especially our Black community,” “We encourage employees to speak openly when they disagree with leadership. As we face additional difficult decisions around content ahead, we’ll continue seeking their honest feedback.” 

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Why Nigeria must invest in digital technology – El Rufai

Nigeria needs to look for a way to move from the agrarian and industrial into the services sector, and ICT is a way to do that.

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El-Rufai: How Vodafone recorded its ‘biggest’ investment mistake in Nigeria, FG concludes plan to borrow N2 trillion from Pension Fund, Infrastructure: Tapping into pensions funds - a step in the right direction? 

If Nigeria is to join the richer countries of the world, she must invest aggressively in technology, improve local production, and cut cost of governance.

These were some of the opinions presented by experts during a virtual colloquium tagged Government Unusual: Innovative Economic Solutions to Unlock Mass Prosperity held on Saturday afternoon.

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While making a presentation at the Rauf Aregbesola colloquium, Governor Nasir El Rufai noted that investment in digital technology must become a priority if Africa hoped to join the league of developed countries. He said,

Investing aggressively in digital technology is the only way Africa can preserve its growth and continue to lift people out of poverty. We must invest in the digital because henceforth, every sector of governance and living will depend on the digital.

READ ALSO: FG sets committee to support tech start-ups with affordable internet access amid lockdown

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He added that one of the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic was the need for Nigeria to embrace technological advancement so that Nigerians could benefit from the numerous opportunities that came with it; and pointed at the recent decision to crash right of way charges as the first way to go.

In agreement with his position, CEO Lotus Capital, Mrs Hajara Adeola, added that investment in technology was the best way to get Nigerian youths to take advantage of global opportunities without migrating to other countries.

Nigeria needs to look for a way to move from the agrarian and industrial into the services sector, and ICT is a way to do that. Our youths are innovative and capable, so if we can train our youths in technology, then we can get homegrown solutions to some of our issues without them having to migrate” she said during the panel discussion.

Infrastructure for business

Unless infrastructural developments are shaped and directed towards business developments, the country will continue to invest in infrastructure which have no benefits.

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“You don’t shape infrastructure as how you think it makes sense. you do it in a way that follows the money because ultimately that is where prosperity comes for everybody,” Chairman of Citibank Nigeria limited, Yemi Cardoso said.

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The global terrain continues to change and Nigeria must develop a framework to align its growth strategy with the changes, identifying and eliminating bottlenecks as we go forward.

The colloquium, which was held online (via zoom), had over 700 participants across several countries, and was also streamed live on Youtube.

Panelists at the colloquium were Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor, Kaduna State; Sen. Abubakar Bagudu, Governor, Kebbi State; Mrs. Hajara Adeola, CEO, Lotus Capital Limited; Mr. Bismarck Rewane, CEO, Financial Derivatives; Dr. Joe Abah, Country Director, Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI); Dr. Yemi Cardoso, Chairman, Citibank Nigeria, and Boason Omofaye, the Moderator.

Dr Yemi Kale, Statistician General of the federation and CEO of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) was also present.

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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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