Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

Employees work in Facebook’s “War Room,” during a media demonstration on October 17, 2018, in Menlo Park, California. (AFP)
Updated 18 October 2018
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Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

  • Days after the surprise victory of President Donald Trump, CEO Mark Zuckerberg brushed off assertions that the outcome had been influenced by fictional news stories on Facebook
  • Facebook offered reporters a peek into the war room to show off its improved ability to prevent foreign interference in the upcoming US midterm elections

MENLO PARK, California: Facebook is showing off its new “war room,” a center for combating fake accounts and bogus news stories ahead of upcoming elections.
It’s the social network’s latest public signal that it takes election interference seriously ahead of the midterms.
Facebook didn’t always take the risk of election interference seriously. Days after the surprise victory of President Donald Trump, CEO Mark Zuckerberg brushed off assertions that the outcome had been influenced by fictional news stories on Facebook.
That attitude shifted as criticism of the company mounted.
Facebook offered reporters a peek into the war room to show off its improved ability to prevent foreign interference in the upcoming US midterm elections.
But critics fear the war room is more of a publicity stunt than an effective solution.


Dubai-based radio presenter dies hours before show

Updated 16 January 2019
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Dubai-based radio presenter dies hours before show

  • Aramouni was due to present his regular Drive Time slot when he died
  • The Arab-American had previously worked for a radio station in Lebanon

DUBAI: A Dubai-based radio station suspended its regular programing after one of its presenters died a short time before he was due on air.

US-born James Aramouni, 28, had just returned from visiting his family in Lebanon and was due to present his Drive Time show on Dance 97.8 when he died on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019.

The radio station is owned by the media group Shock Middle East which also owns Heart 107.1 FM.

Aramouni, joined the group in October 2017 as the Dance 97.8 Drive Time presenter, having previously worked on a radio station in Beirut.

Group managing director, Cameron Plant said he “quickly became one of the stations leading presenters.”

“James was a much-loved member of the Shock Middle East family and we are devastated to hear of his passing,”

“We will miss his creativity, energy and his contribution to Dance FM. We ask you to respect the privacy of his family during this difficult time.”

Digby Taylor, Aramouni’s program director, told local press that the DJ was one of the biggest talents he had worked with throughout his 40-year career.

He said Aramouni was hugely popular with his colleagues and lived with several of the other presenters

“This was a young man who should have had many, many years ahead of him. He was in the prime of his life and should have had such a long career ahead.”

Aramouni had spent New Year in South Africa and posted a photograph of himself with a friend in front of Table Mountain.

In one of the comments in the thread that followed he told a friend: “it was amazing bro. i wanna move there!!”

But after his death the thread became a place for tributes, with one frined writing: “R.I.P my brother!!You were a great man!!I will never forget the day I met you.”

The radio station Dance 97.8 suspended regular programming for three days as a mark of respect.

No details have been given into the cause of his death.