Netflix set to produce company’s first Arabic original series

Netflix is set to produce its first Arabic original series. (Shutterstock)
Updated 26 February 2018
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Netflix set to produce company’s first Arabic original series

DUBAI: Netflix is set to produce the company’s first Arabic original series, the online streaming service announced in a press statement on Monday.
The series, titled Jinn (which means ghost), will revolve around a group of Arab teenagers who find themselves confronted by a ghost boy in the ancient city of Petra.
The supernatural drama will have its characters’ friendships and romances tested when they attempt to stop a great darkness threatening to end the world.
Set to be filmed in Amman, the show will be helmed by some of the Middle East’s hottest up-and-coming talent, with Lebanese Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya (Very Big Shot) directing and Jordanian Bassel Ghandour (Oscar-nominated Theeb) penning the script.
“This is a great opportunity to portray Arab youth in a very unique way. The level of authenticity Netflix is trying to achieve with this show is definitely what attracted me the most to be part of this project,” Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya said.
Netflix’s Vice President of International Orignal Series Erik Barmack said the company is “extremely excited to bring this story to a global audience, and to celebrate Arab youth and culture. We can’t wait to share more details later this year.”
The show would be the second project the company will be running in the region with its first being an Arabic stand-up comedy special starring Lebanese comedian Adel Karam.


Facebook suspends Boston analytics firm over data usage

In this Oct. 15, 2013, file photo, Chuck Goolsbee, site director for Facebook's Prineville data centers, shows the computer servers that store users' photos and other data, at the Facebook site in Prineville, Ore. (AP)
Updated 21 July 2018
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Facebook suspends Boston analytics firm over data usage

  • Facebook said Friday that Crimson Hexagon is cooperating and that so far its investigation hasn’t found evidence that the firm obtained Facebook or Instagram information inappropriately

NEW YORK: Facebook said Friday that it has suspended Boston-based analytics firm Crimson Hexagon while it investigates how it collects and shares Facebook and Instagram’s user data.
Facebook has been facing increased scrutiny over how third-party firms use its data since news broke in March that data firm Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed user data.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that Facebook had suspended Crimson Hexagon. The newspaper says among the firm’s clients is a Russian nonprofit with ties to the Kremlin.
“We don’t allow developers to build surveillance tools using information from Facebook or Instagram,” said Ime Archibong, Facebook’s vice president of product partnerships. “We take these allegations seriously, and we have suspended these apps while we investigate.”
Facebook said Friday that Crimson Hexagon is cooperating and that so far its investigation hasn’t found evidence that the firm obtained Facebook or Instagram information inappropriately.
Crimson Hexagon says on its website it has access to over one trillion consumer conversations from social media, forums, blogs and reviews.
In a blog posting , Crimson Hexagon Chief Technology Officer Chris Bingham said the company “abides completely” by the rules social media sites including Twitter and Facebook put in place to limit the ways third-party companies can use their data.
He said the firm only collects publicly available social media data. He contrasted that with Cambridge Analytica’s use of private user data.
Users of Crimson Hexagon’s platform, which include government customers, analyze the data to understand large-scale consumer trends and preferences, Bingham wrote.
“Government entities that leverage the Crimson Hexagon platform do so for the same reasons as many of our other non-government customers: a broad-based and aggregate understanding of the public’s perception, preferences and sentiment about matters of concern to them,” he wrote.