Crying US COVID-19 nurse video slamming poor working conditions slated as ‘fraudulent’

Crying US COVID-19 nurse video slamming poor working conditions slated as ‘fraudulent’
A viral video of a nurse which suggested she had to quit her job due to inadequate protection while treating coronavirus patients has been called “fraudulent.” (Screenshot/CBS)
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Updated 07 April 2020

Crying US COVID-19 nurse video slamming poor working conditions slated as ‘fraudulent’

Crying US COVID-19 nurse video slamming poor working conditions slated as ‘fraudulent’

LONDON: A viral video of a nurse which suggested she had to quit her job due to inadequate protection while treating coronavirus patients has been called “fraudulent.”
CBS News tweeted the video on April 5 with the caption: “In tears, a nurse says she quit her job after she was asked to work in a coronavirus ICU without a face mask.”

The video was also shared by US presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders.

The clip, posted on the nurse’s Instagram page on March 31, shows her crying shortly after she said she had quit her position at an unnamed hospital in the Chicago area because she had been assigned to a COVID-19 patient and was not allowed to wear her N95 mask outside of the unit.
“I quit my job today,” the woman who uses the social media handle Imaris said. “I went into work and I was assigned to a COVID patient on an ICU unit that has been converted to a designated COVID unit. None of the nurses are wearing masks, not even surgical masks, in the hallways when they’re giving reports to each other.
“Nurses are not being protected,” she said.
“I had my own N95 mask. I told my manager, ‘I understand we’re short on supplies, but let me protect myself. Let me feel safe’,” she added.
However, Jordan Schachtel, the national security correspondent for Conservative Review, started a thread on Twitter on Monday questioned the veracity of the video’s claims and called the nurse a “fraud.”
He said the nurse began to backtrack on her story soon after Sanders shared the video.

Health care workers in the unit were actually assigned a N95 mask per one patient’s room, the nurse clarified in a tweet to the senator, which was not included in the video shared by CBS News.

“We were each assigned 1 N95 per 1 COVID patient’s room but was not allowed to wear it outside of the room, wear our own N95 mask around the Nurses station or Halls, which I came prepared with,” a tweet appearing to be from the same nurse reads.
Schachtel said the nurse had said she was “not allowed” to wear masks around anyone, even COVID patients.
“Bottom line: Hospital did have adequate supply of PPE & masks & was taking proper precautions, while making prudent decision not to blow through supplies. She shows up, 1st day on job, wants to break protocol & do her own thing. They say no. She quits & goes full crisis actor,” he tweeted.

He added that the nurse failed to disclose her career history after finding Facebook and Twitter posts from March 26 from a woman who appears to match the nurse in the video, which claim she had been off work for two weeks and would be returning to work in four days, indicating she left her position on her first day back on the job.
Schatchel pointed out the woman was also attempting to become an Instagram model.

“So she had been on the job for a day or two, after taking a year off to pursue something resembling an Instagram model career, and she ‘quit’ because of the conditions. Deliberate misrepresentation of her career means you cannot take her other statements at face value,” Schachtel said.

The nurse admitted in a post written a day before her first day back at work that she suffered from anxiety and bi-polar depression and noted that she was “feeling a heavy toll” by going to work in the ICU after a break from nursing.


Facebook’s slowdown warning hangs over strong ad sales, while Zuckerberg talks ‘metaverse’

Zuckerberg this week announced that Facebook was setting up a team to work on building a shared digital world. (File/AFP)
Zuckerberg this week announced that Facebook was setting up a team to work on building a shared digital world. (File/AFP)
Updated 29 July 2021

Facebook’s slowdown warning hangs over strong ad sales, while Zuckerberg talks ‘metaverse’

Zuckerberg this week announced that Facebook was setting up a team to work on building a shared digital world. (File/AFP)
  • Facebook expects revenue growth to slow down significantly despite strong ad sales
  • Facebook expects Apple’s recent update to its iOS operating system to impact its ability to target ads and therefore ad revenue in the third quarter

LONDON: Facebook Inc. said on Wednesday it expects revenue growth to “decelerate significantly,” sending the social media giant’s shares down 3.5 percent in extended trading even as it reported strong ad sales.
The warning overshadowed the company’s beat on Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue, bolstered by increased advertising spending as businesses build their digital presence to cater to consumers spending more time and money online.
Facebook said it expects Apple’s recent update to its iOS operating system to impact its ability to target ads and therefore ad revenue in the third quarter. The iPhone maker’s privacy changes make it harder for apps to track users and restrict advertisers from accessing valuable data for targeting ads.
The company also announced on Wednesday that it would require anyone working at its US offices to be vaccinated against COVID-19, joining Alphabet Inc. and Netflix .
Monthly active users came in at 2.90 billion, up 7 percent from the same period last year but missing analyst expectations of 2.92 billion and marking the slowest growth rate in at least three years, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
“The user growth slowdown is notable and highlights the engagement challenges as the world opens up. But importantly, Facebook is the most exposed to Apple’s privacy changes, and it looks like it is starting to have an impact to the outlook beginning in 3Q,” said Ygal Arounian, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.
Brian Wieser, GroupM’s global president of business intelligence, said all social media companies would see slower growth in the second half of the year and that it would take more concrete warnings about activity in June and July for anyone to anticipate a “meaningful deceleration.”
Facebook’s total revenue, which primarily consists of ad sales, rose about 56 percent to $29.08 billion in the second quarter from $18.69 billion a year earlier, beating analysts’ estimates, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Its revenue from advertising rose 56 percent to $28.58 billion in the second quarter ended June 30, Facebook said. It pointed to a 47 percent increase in price per ad.
“In the third and fourth quarters of 2021, we expect year-over-year total revenue growth rates to decelerate significantly on a sequential basis as we lap periods of increasingly strong growth,” Chief Financial Officer Dave Wehner said in the earnings release.
Net income in the second quarter more than doubled to $10.4 billion, or $3.61 per share. Analysts had expected a profit of $3.03 per share.
The world’s largest social network has been ramping up its ecommerce efforts, which are expected to bring additional revenue to the company and make its ad inventory more valuable. The push will be key to how Facebook, which hosts more than 1 million online “Shops” on its main app and Instagram, can grow its ad business amid the impact of Apple’s changes.
It is also on the offensive to attract top social media personalities and their fans, competing with Alphabet’s YouTube and short-video app TikTok, which recently hit 3 billion global downloads. Facebook said this month it would invest more than $1 billion to support content creators through the end of 2022.
On a conference call with analysts, CEO Mark Zuckerberg also focused on another ambition for the company: the “metaverse.”
Zuckerberg this week announced that Facebook, which has invested heavily in virtual reality and augmented reality, was setting up a team to work on building a shared digital world, which he is betting will be the successor to the mobile Internet. Microsoft also dropped the buzzy Silicon Valley term on its earnings call this week, talking about its own plans for the converging digital and physical worlds.
“Facebook has its eye on a sci-fi prize,” said Sophie Lund-Yates, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. “This is little more than an ambition for Facebook at the moment...if the idea comes to fruition, it could be a valuable income source.”
The company also continues to face pressure from global lawmakers and regulators, including from the US Federal Trade Commission which has until Aug. 19 to refile its antitrust complaint against the company and from a group of states who said on Wednesday they would appeal the judge’s dismissal of their lawsuit. Facebook’s market cap hit $1 trillion for the first time last month when the judge threw out the original complaints.
The company, which has long been under fire from lawmakers over misinformation and other abuses on its apps, has also come under renewed scrutiny from President Joe Biden’s administration over the handling of false claims about COVID-19. At Facebook’s office in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, a group of critics set up an installation of body bags to protest the issue.


Big Tech starts requiring vaccines; Twitter closes re-opened US offices

US health authorities said Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should go back to wearing masks in indoor public places. (File/AFP)
US health authorities said Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should go back to wearing masks in indoor public places. (File/AFP)
Updated 29 July 2021

Big Tech starts requiring vaccines; Twitter closes re-opened US offices

US health authorities said Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should go back to wearing masks in indoor public places. (File/AFP)
  • Twitter is shutting reopened offices in the US amidst the spread of the DELTA COVID-19 variant
  • Google and Facebook announced it is now mandatory for all US employees to get vaccinated before coming back to offices

LONDON: Twitter Inc. is shutting its reopened offices in United States, while other big tech companies are making vaccination mandatory for on-campus employees, as the highly infectious Delta COVID-19 variant drives a resurgence in cases.
Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc. said on Wednesday all US employees must get vaccinated to step into offices. Google is also planning to expand its vaccination drive to other regions in the coming months.
Twitter, which on Wednesday also paused future office reopenings, had started allowing employees back to its campuses in San Francisco and New York at 50 percent capacity about a fortnight ago after more than 16 months.
US coronavirus cases have been rising due to the Delta variant, which emerged in India but has quickly spread and now accounts for more than 80 percent of US coronavirus cases.
Health authorities on Tuesday said Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should go back to wearing masks in indoor public places in regions where the coronavirus is spreading rapidly.
San Francisco-based ride-hailing company Lyft Inc, which had already made vaccinations mandatory for employees returning to the office, postponed its reopening to February from September.
“We anticipate the COVID situation will remain fluid for the upcoming months, making it difficult for us to land a clear return date without a possibility of moving it again,” Lyft CEO Logan Green said in a memo to staff.
According to a Deadline report, streaming giant Netflix Inc. has also implemented a policy mandating vaccinations for the cast and crew on all its USproductions.
Apple Inc. plans to restore its mask requirement policy at most of its US retail stores, both for customers and staff, even if they are vaccinated, Bloomberg News reported
Apple and Netflix did not immediately respond to requests for comments.
Many tech companies including Microsoft Corp. and Uber have said they expect employees to return to offices, months after pandemic-induced lockdowns forced them to shift to working from home.
Google also said on Wednesday it would extend its work-from-home policy through Oct. 18 due to a recent rise in cases caused by the Delta variant across different regions.


Russia fines Google 3 mln rbls for violating personal data law

Google could be fined up to 6 million roubles for not storing the personal data of Russian users in databases on Russian territory. (File/AFP)
Google could be fined up to 6 million roubles for not storing the personal data of Russian users in databases on Russian territory. (File/AFP)
Updated 29 July 2021

Russia fines Google 3 mln rbls for violating personal data law

Google could be fined up to 6 million roubles for not storing the personal data of Russian users in databases on Russian territory. (File/AFP)
  • Russia fines Google for violating personal data legislation amidst wider standoff between Russia and Big Tech

MOSCOW: Russia on Thursday fined Google 3 million roubles ($41,017) for violating personal data legislation, Google’s first fine for that offense, Moscow’s Tagansky District Court said.
Google confirmed the fine and offered no further comment.
The penalty comes amid a wider standoff between Russia and Big Tech, with Moscow routinely fining social media giants for failing to remove banned content and seeking to compel foreign tech firms to open offices in Russia.
State communications regulator Roskomnadzor said last month that Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., could be fined up to 6 million roubles for not storing the personal data of Russian users in databases on Russian territory.
Russia has previously fined Google for not deleting banned content. Google has also irked the Russian authorities by blocking some YouTube accounts owned by pro-Kremlin figures and media.


Twitter tests shopping in e-commerce move

People in the US with English language versions of the Twitter app tailored for Apple mobile devices will be able to see Shop Module. (Twitter)
People in the US with English language versions of the Twitter app tailored for Apple mobile devices will be able to see Shop Module. (Twitter)
Updated 29 July 2021

Twitter tests shopping in e-commerce move

People in the US with English language versions of the Twitter app tailored for Apple mobile devices will be able to see Shop Module. (Twitter)
  • Twitter tests new feature that allows businesses to sell goods from their profile pages at the messaging platform
  • Twitter first dabbled with the idea of incorporating shopping into the service more than five years, but shifted its attention to other features

LONDON: Twitter on Wednesday began testing a feature allowing businesses sell goods from their profile pages at the one-to-many messaging platform.
A “Shopping Module” being tried by a few brands in the US marked a move into e-commerce that comes as potential competition for rivals including online bulletin board Pinterest.
“Though we are in very early explorations, we’re excited about the potential of shopping on Twitter and eager to learn more as we go,” Goldbird product lead Bruce Falck said in a blog post.
San Francisco-based Twitter first dabbled with the idea of incorporating shopping into the service more than five years, but shifted its attention to other features, according to Falck.
“We’re back and putting more energy into testing out the potential for shopping on Twitter,” Falck said.
The goal of Shop Module is to give Twitter users a way from going from tweeting about products to purchasing them, according to Falck.
Businesses taking part in the pilot program will have a space atop their Twitter profiles where they can showcase products available to buy without leaving the app.
“Fundamentally, it’ll give us the chance to keep learning about which shopping experiences people prefer on Twitter,” Falck said.
“We’re starting small with a handful of brands in the United States.”
People in the United States with English language versions of the Twitter app tailored for Apple mobile devices will be able to see Shop Module, according to the San Francisco-based company.
According to research firm eMarketer, Facebook is leading the fast-growing market of “social commerce” that is expected to be worth some $36 billion in the United States this year


WhatsApp privacy case must be decided in a month, EU watchdog says

WhatsApp privacy case must be decided in a month, EU privacy watchdog said on Wednesday. (File/AFP)
WhatsApp privacy case must be decided in a month, EU privacy watchdog said on Wednesday. (File/AFP)
Updated 29 July 2021

WhatsApp privacy case must be decided in a month, EU watchdog says

WhatsApp privacy case must be decided in a month, EU privacy watchdog said on Wednesday. (File/AFP)
  • EU privacy watchdog gave the Irish data protection agency a month to issue a long-delayed decision on compliance by WhatsApp
  • The agency has been investigating WhatsApp to see if it complies with transparency obligations specified by EU privacy rules known as GDPR

BRUSSELS: EU privacy watchdog EDPB on Wednesday gave the Irish data protection agency a month to issue a long-delayed decision on compliance by Facebook’s WhatsApp after its peers objected to its draft finding.
The agency, which leads oversight of Facebook because the company’s European headquarters are based in Ireland, has been investigating WhatsApp to see if it complies with transparency obligations specified by EU privacy rules known as GDPR.
It sought feedback from its peers in December but was unable to find a consensus regarding its draft decision.
The other national watchdogs objected to the type of infringements identified by the Irish, whether the specific data in question was personal data and the appropriateness of the proposed sanctions.
The Irish agency said it would not follow the objections and referred them to the EDPB, which on Wednesday adopted a decision addressing the merits of the disagreements but did not provide details.
“The IE SA shall adopt its final decision, addressed to the controller, on the basis of the EDPB decision, without undue delay and at the latest one month after the EDPB has notified its decision,” the EU watchdog, which acts as a referee in disputes among the national agencies, said.
The other national enforcers have long criticized their Irish peer for taking too long to wrap up its investigations and the size of proposed fines.