Bomb threat spurs evacuation at Facebook’s Silicon Valley campus

Facebook's campus is seen on the edge of the San Francisco Bay in Menlo Park, California in this aerial photo taken January 13, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 12 December 2018
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Bomb threat spurs evacuation at Facebook’s Silicon Valley campus

  • Another Silicon Valley company to face a security threat in the recent past was YouTube
  • Facebook and police said everyone was safe

SAN FRANCISCO: A bomb threat prompted authorities on Tuesday to evacuate a building at the Silicon Valley headquarters of Facebook Inc. near San Francisco, police said, but hours after a sweep of the structure began there was no word of explosives found.
The New York Police Department received an anonymous tip about a bomb threat regarding Facebook’s campus in Menlo Park, California, and alerted local authorities at about 4:30 p.m., said Nicole Acker, a spokeswoman for the Menlo Park police.
Acker said the evacuation was confined to a three-story facility on campus that she said was not the headquarters building, but a company spokesman said by email that “a few” buildings on the site had been evacuated.
Shortly before 8 p.m., San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad investigators with dogs trained to detect explosives were still combing the building in question and the evacuation remained in effect, Acker told Reuters by telephone.
But Facebook and police said everyone was safe. Acker said she had received no information of anything suspicious having been found inside the building.
“This is what we do for any bomb threat. We have to be very thorough,” she added.
Another Silicon Valley company to face a security threat in the recent past was YouTube. In May, a woman opened fire at its headquarters in San Francisco, wounding three people before she shot herself dead.


Nestle, AT&T pull YouTube ads over pedophile concerns

Updated 22 February 2019
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Nestle, AT&T pull YouTube ads over pedophile concerns

  • A video from a popular YouTuber and a report from Wired showed that pedophiles have made unseemly comments on innocuous videos of kids
  • YouTube has faced advertiser boycotts in the past, including a widespread boycott in early 2017

SAN FRANCISCO, US: Several companies, including AT&T and Nestle, are pulling advertisements from YouTube over concerns about inappropriate comments on videos of children.
A video from a popular YouTuber and a report from Wired showed that pedophiles have made unseemly comments on innocuous videos of kids. The comments reportedly included timestamps that showed where kids innocently bared body parts.
YouTube says it disabled comments on tens of millions of videos and deleted offending accounts and channels.
Nestle and Fortnite maker Epic Games say they paused ads on YouTube while the company works on the issue. AT&T says it has removed ads until YouTube can “protect our brand from offensive content of any kind.”
YouTube has faced advertiser boycotts in the past, including a widespread boycott in early 2017. Since then YouTube has made efforts to be more transparent about how it deals with offensive comments and videos on its site.
But the latest flap shows how much of an ongoing problem offensive content continues to be, said eMarketer video analyst Paul Verna.
“When you think about the scope of that platform and what they’re up against, it is really like a game of whack-a-mole to try to prevent these problems from happening,” he said.
Still, because of the powerful advertising reach of YouTube’s parent Google, brands are unlikely to stay away from YouTube for long, he said.
Digital ad spending in the US is expected to grow 19 percent in 2019 to $129.34 billion this year, or 54 percent of estimated total US ad spending, according to eMarketer, with Google and Facebook accounting for nearly 60 percent of that total.
“At the end of the day, there’s a duopoly out there of Google and Facebook,” for digital advertising, he said. “Any brand that doesn’t play the game with either is potentially leaving a big marketing opportunity on the table.”