Facebook suspends 200 apps over data misuse investigation

Facebook said it has looked into thousands of apps till date as part of an investigation that Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg announced on March 21. (Reuters)
Updated 14 May 2018

Facebook suspends 200 apps over data misuse investigation

BENGALURU: Facebook has so far suspended around 200 apps in the first stage of its review into apps that had access to large quantities of user data, in a response to a scandal around political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
The apps were suspended pending a thorough investigation into whether they misused any data, said Ime Archibong, Facebook’s vice president of product partnerships.
Facebook said it has looked into thousands of apps till date as part of an investigation that Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg announced on March 21.
Zuckerberg had said the social network will investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before the company curtailed data access in 2014.
“There is a lot more work to be done to find all the apps that may have misused people’s Facebook data – and it will take time,” Archibong said.
“We have large teams of internal and external experts working hard to investigate these apps as quickly as possible.”
Facebook was hit by the privacy scandal in mid-March after media reports that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed data to build profiles on American voters and influence the 2016 presidential election.
The incident led to backlash from celebrities and resulted in the company losing billions in market value. Zuckerberg apologized for the mistakes his company made and testified before the US lawmakers.
The company, however, regained much of its lost market value after it reported a surprisingly strong 63 percent rise in profit and an increase in users when it announced quarterly results on April 25.


Lebanese news agency boycotts politicians’ press conferences, including Hezbollah’s Nasrallah

Updated 07 August 2020

Lebanese news agency boycotts politicians’ press conferences, including Hezbollah’s Nasrallah

  • The Lebanese news agency LBCI has said it will no longer provide coverage of any politician’s press conference, including Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah
  • “Let your accomplishments speak for you and don’t distract people with storytelling,” an LBCI presenter said

LONDON: The Lebanese news agency LBCI has said it will no longer provide coverage of any politician’s press conference, including Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, following Tuesday’s massive explosions.

“The Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International decided that what comes after Aug. 4 is not like what came before,” a presenter announced on live television on Friday.

“Because after the earthquake is not the same as before, because your (Lebanese government) neglect and failure is one of the main reasons for what we have come to ... because after Aug. 4, we need actions and not words, achievements and not speeches.

“Let your accomplishments speak for you and don’t distract people with storytelling,” she said.

“Finally, we tell people: While you are waiting for the speeches of your leaders, there are mothers who are waiting for the return of their children from the rubble — the priority is for them, not for you.”

Many Lebanese welcomed LBCI’s announcement, with several taking to social media to praise the move — especially given that Nasrallah spoke at a press conference at 5:30 p.m. local time, his first address since the blasts.

“Not only Nasrallah, but all speeches, by all parties. They are nothing more than propaganda. They own their own propaganda bullhorns, so let them use those to address their sheep, rather than block the airwaves for the rest of us,” Raghda Azad, a policy adviser, told Arab News.

“Not that LBC is a model or anything, but all television outlets should stop unquestioning and uncritical reports of so-called leaders,” she added.

However, some doubt the move will not be followed by other stations.

“I think it would be great if they all do. But I think because many people care what he says, stations feel like they should oblige,” Aya Chamseddine, a Beirut-based researcher, told Arab News.

“Generally, people tend to — even if they loathe him — root themselves in front of TVs to watch and listen. His speeches are theatrics above all,” she said. “His narrative will be predictable. He will say they know more than anyone what it means to lose people. He’ll be insulting.”

A Lebanese media expert, who did not want to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue, disagrees with the move.

“CNN, even when it hates (US President) Trump, carries his speeches. Nasrallah is the biggest political player in the region; when he speaks people would want to listen because of his effect on politics and our daily lives,” he said.

“The issue is analyzing what he says later, and tearing it apart when it is false or stupid, like CNN does after every Trump speech or statement.”

The boycott comes three days after Beirut was rocked by two blasts when 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate confiscated six years ago and left in a port storage hangar exploded.

The massive explosions left at least 140 people dead, over 5,000 injured and more than 300,000 homeless. Many say that government corruption and negligence are behind the explosion.