Social media celebrates 40 years of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

Asharq Al-Awsat then and now.
Updated 05 July 2018
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Social media celebrates 40 years of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

  • The newspaper was launched in 1978 with London as its headquarters

Twitter was flooded with celebratory messages on Thursday for Saudi international newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat on its 40th anniversary.

The newspaper was launched in 1978 with London as its headquarters, and belongs to the Saudi Research and Marketing Group. It covers news throughout the MENA region, the US, Europe and Asia and has bureaus and correspondents in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Washington, New York and Belgium.

The idea behind establishing an Arab newspaper in the center of the UK came from Hishem Ali Hafiz (co-founder of Arab News) and his brother, Mohammed Ali Hafiz, according to Asharq Al-Awsat’s first Editor in Chief, Jihad Khazen. Currently, it is run by Ghassan Charbel and is printed in 18 destinations.

Arab News’ Editor in Chief, Faisal J. Abbas, was among the first to contribute to the Asharq Al-Awsat 40th anniversary hashtag on the social media site: “I want to thank Asharq Al-Awsat for all that it has given me.”

The editor in chief established the media-supplement (section) for Asharq Al-Awsat, which has displayed some of the biggest experiences and unions of the most influential press institutions and journalists.

“Fourteen years I’ve spent here, and I still feel so welcome. It’s a factory of professionalism and journalism. Forty years of enriching knowledge and journalism,” said Mosaed Al-Ziyani, UAE bureau chief at Asharq Al-Awsat.

Saud Kateb, the Saudi deputy minister for public diplomacy affairs, tweeted: “My beloved (newspaper) and companion for 20 years: I’ve been living and breathing journalism, not for a job, because of it.”

“On this day, 40 years ago, Asharq Al-Awsat saw the light, taking the first steps for Arabic journalism for the first time in history to step out of its local sphere into the international arena,” said Saudi journalist Nasir Al-Haqbani.


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.