Tag Archives: Meta

Russia Opens Criminal Case and Calls to Classify Facebook Meta as ‘Extremist Organization’ – All Services Including Instagram and Whatsapp Will be Banned in Russia

Jim Hoft
March 12th, 2022

The Russian government moved to categorize the social media giant Meta Platform as an ‘extremist organization’ after an internal email showed that it would temporarily allow its users to call for violence and murder against Russian nationals.

Earlier this month, Russia blocked access to Facebook after imposing partial restrictions on the social media giant for refusing Russia’s request to stop fact-checking their state-run media.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that Meta would allow users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion.

Now, Russia opened a criminal case against Meta for permitting violence, including death threats in their platform against Russian nationals. Russia’s prosecutor general office also called to label them as an ‘extremist organization.’

CNBC reported:

Russia opened a criminal case against Facebook’s parent Meta Platforms on Friday after the social network changed its hate speech rules to allow users to call for “death to the Russian invaders” in the context of the war with Ukraine.

Russian prosecutors asked a court to designate the U.S. tech giant as an “extremist organization,” and the communications regulator said it was restricting access to Meta’s Instagram.

“A criminal case has been initiated … in connection with illegal calls for murder and violence against citizens of the Russian Federation by employees of the American company Meta, which owns the social networks Facebook and Instagram,” Russia’s Investigative Committee said.

The committee reports directly to President Vladimir Putin. It was not immediately clear what the consequences of the criminal case might be.

No comment was immediately available from Meta in response to a Reuters request.

Orwell’s “Two Minutes Hate” Becomes Reality as Facebook Now Allows Violence & Hate Directed at Russians

By Matt Agorist
March 11th, 2022

Over the last 6 years, Facebook, now Meta, has clamped down on any and all calls for violence by users on its platform. Users who advocated for violence were banned and some of them were reported to authorities in the company’s attempt to make its platform a more peaceful place. But all that has changed now as the world slips into a scene from George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984.

On Thursday night, Reuters reported that Meta Platforms will now allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians in what they refer to as a “temporary change to its hate speech policy.”

Users can now openly advocate for the assassination of world leaders, so long as they are considered political enemies of the West. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko are fair game in Meta’s new world.

“As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders.’ We still won’t allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians,” Meta spokesperson Andy Stone said in a statement.

If the user gets too detailed about how and where they are going to kill these Russians, only then will Facebook and Instagram draw the line.

Citing the Reuters story, Russia’s US embassy demanded that Washington stop the “extremist activities” of Meta allowing its users to call for violence.

“Users of Facebook & Instagram did not give the owners of these platforms the right to determine the criteria of truth and pit nations against each other,” the embassy said on Twitter Thursday night in response to the change.

☝️We demand that 🇺🇸 authorities stop the extremist activities of @Meta, take measures to bring the perpetrators to justice. Users of #Facebook & #Instagram did not give the owners of these platforms the right to determine the criteria of truth and pit nations against each other. https://t.co/1RkrjRmEtA pic.twitter.com/sTacSm4nDt

— Russian Embassy in USA 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbUSA) March 11, 2022

To be clear, these calls for violence are not only allowed against the Russian military and its leaders, but Facebook now considers it fine and dandy for its users to call for violence against the Russian people as well — so long as it is “in the context of the Ukrainian invasion.”

“We are issuing a spirit-of-the-policy allowance to allow T1 violent speech that would otherwise be removed under the Hate Speech policy when: (a) targeting Russian soldiers, EXCEPT prisoners of war, or (b) targeting Russians where it’s clear that the context is the Russian invasion of Ukraine (e.g., content mentions the invasion, self-defense, etc.),” it said in the email.

Anyone who has read Orwell’s 1984 should see a familiar theme with this move by Facebook — it’s called Two Minutes Hate. Two Minutes Hate was a daily public ritual in the novel during which members of the Outer Party of Oceania must watch a film depicting the enemies of the state and openly and loudly express hatred for them.

The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge-hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.

No other political speech is allowed except for hatred of those who oppose the party. As Orwell explained, in re-directing the members’ subconscious feelings away from the Party’s government of Oceania, and towards non-existent external enemies, the Party minimizes thoughtcrime and the consequent, subversive behaviors of thought criminals.

If the masses direct their hatred and fear toward a single enemy, Vladimir Putin and Russians, then they will be unconcerned with the atrocities carried out by their own governments.

Instead of Putin, Emmanuel Goldstein — the principal enemy of the people of Oceania — is the target of the hatred and calls for violence for the two-minute period. He is seen and heard on the “telescreen” during the Ministry of Truth’s propaganda display.

Just as anyone who questioned the party in 1984 was associated with Goldstein, we are seeing the same scenario play out with Russia. If you do not parrot the establishment’s talking points on Ukraine, you are a puppet of Putin and worthy of hate and disdain.

The foresight by Orwell is uncanny and should be an indicator that Western society is slipping into dark times.

Yes, Vladimir Putin is a tyrant, thug, criminal, who is committing mass murder and deserves your scorn and ire. This war is horrific and he bears the brunt of the responsibility.

However, when hatred and violence are condoned and sanctioned by the largest social media network in the world — with a sordid track record of manipulating its users — you should begin to question your reality.

The Russian people are not our enemy. Just as Americans have no say in their government invading Iraq and Afghanistan, and drone bombing children in the Middle East, the Russians have no say in their dictator waging a war in Ukraine.

We cannot be so blinded by fear that we are willing to relinquish control of our emotions to known liars and manipulators, simply because they encourage it by allowing it. As Orwell warns us, this fear will consume you. We have to do better.

If humanity is no better than easily steered blind hatred for our fellow humans, then what’s left that’s worth fighting for?

Source: The Free Thought Project

Meta-Facebook Manager of Community Development Staffer Caught In Hotel Child Sex Sting Operation

A Manager of Community Development at Meta/Facebook was busted in a Chris Hansen-style pedophile sting operation by independent journalists.

Andy Ngo reported,

Exclusive: High-level Facebook staffer allegedly caught in amateur child sex sting operation

A live stream video posted on YouTube on Feb. 16 by “Predator Catchers Indianapolis” purports to show Meta/Facebook Manager of Community Development Jeren Andrew Miles, of Palm Springs, Calif., being caught in a child sex sting in Columbus, Ohio.

Miles, 35, allegedly communicated sexually explicit texts with a person who said they were a 13-year-old boy. He allegedly made plans for the boy to meet him at Le Meridien Columbus hotel, which is how and where the “Predator Catchers” group interviewed him.

Miles serves on the board of directors for LGBTQ+ group, Equality California. He has since completely deleted his social media accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Miles previously worked as the Director of Community Affairs for Lyft, according to an archive on LinkedIn.

Eric Schmutte, the man recording the live stream and one-half of “Predator Catchers Indianapolis,” tells me

he is sending all the chat logs and evidence to law enforcement in Columbus, Ohio and Palm Springs, Calif., where Miles purportedly lives.

Jeren Miles’ Facebook and Twitter pages have been deleted, but his Facebook was archived.

Lawsuit Claims Michigan Election Chief Illegally Accepted Zuckerberg Money to Swing 2020 Election

A lawsuit filed against Democrat Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson asserts she illegally accepted private money for the 2020 presidential election to swing the election for President Joe Biden.

The Chicago-based Thomas More Society filed the lawsuit in the Michigan Court of Claims, alleging Benson violated election law by spending private election funding on partisan purposes that denied Michigan voters’ constitutional equal access voting rights.

The Center Square previously reported Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan contributed $400 million nationwide into the 2020 election through their Chicago-based nonprofit, the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL).

The 166-page filing claims that nearly half of CTCL’s funds flowed to Democrat-dominated areas where Biden won. For example, the lawsuit says CTCL made 19 payments exceeding $100,000 all to jurisdictions that Biden carried in 2020.

The lawsuit cites an America Public Media report finding some cities spent little of the money on personal protective equipment (PPE).

The Michigan Legislature aimed to ban private funding of public elections via Senate Bill 303, which Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed in 2021.

Thomas More Society Special Counsel Thor Hearne said that Benson spent CTCL money to boost Democrat-dominated areas in the 2020 election via increased mail-in voting and ballot harvesting.

“The Michigan Constitution guarantees every eligible citizen the right of equal protection when it comes to voting, and that means state officials may not put in place an election scheme that enhances the weight of votes cast by one class of voters or increases one favored class of voters’ access to the ballot,” Hearne said in a statement. “That’s just what happened here. Analysis of data that the Center for Tech and Civic Life provided to the Internal Revenue Service and other public records demonstrates that this scheme was designed to favor urban areas in Michigan and to disadvantage Michigan voters in rural and suburban more politically conservative areas.”

Hearne said the lawsuit aims to set the rules for future elections, not past elections.

“This case is not about relitigating the 2020 election,” Hearne said. “It is about making sure that these unfair and illegal activities cannot happen in any future election in Michigan. As Michigan’s chief election official, Secretary Benson is responsible for ensuring that every eligible Michigan voter has an equal right and opportunity to cast a ballot.”

A CNN report says 11 Republican-led states have prohibited private money from funding public elections.

Thomas More Society attorneys are representing Wisconsin voters in a similar lawsuit.

“The only way Michigan residents can stop a high-tech billionaire from California from directing the conduct of Michigan’s 2022 election is for the Michigan voters and citizens to prevail in this case against Secretary of State Benson,” Thomas More Society President and Chief Counsel Tom Brejcha said in a statement.

Peter Thiel to Retire from Board of Facebook Owner Meta

Madeleine Hubbard
February 7th, 2022

Facebook parent Meta announced Monday that PayPal co-founder and billionaire investor Peter Thiel will no longer serve on its board of directors. 

Thiel has served on the board since 2005 but decided to not run for re-election to the board during its 2022 annual stockholders meeting, according to a Meta press release.

“It has been a privilege to work with one of the great entrepreneurs of our time,” Thiel said. “Mark Zuckerberg’s intelligence, energy, and conscientiousness are tremendous. His talents will serve Meta well as he leads the company into a new era.” 

Thiel invested $500,000 in thefacebook.com in 2004, CNBC reports. The company has since evolved into Meta and hit above the $1 trillion market cap

“Peter has been a valuable member of our board and I’m deeply grateful for everything he has done for our company — from believing in us when few others would, to teaching me so many lessons about business, economics, and the world,” Zuckerberg, Meta founder and CEO, said.

Earlier this month, Thiel made news after hosting a fundraiser for Trump-backed Harriet Hageman, who is challenging Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).

Facebook Plummets 20% After Missing Across The Board; US Users Drop, Guidance Disappoints

Heading into today’s earnings from social media giant Facebook Meta (technically, the first quarter since the company changed its name), JPM previews expectations as follows: buy-side is at the top end of Q4 guide (21%reported growth), with the expectation that management steer to a Q1 deceleration q/q (consensus +16%) and reiterate $91-97b FY expense guide. With the new reporting structure, the bank expects RL to represent a LSD% of total revenue and would like to see additional disclosure around VR unit shipments, engagement, developers, etc. The bank also expects FB to have passed 10m active VR units.

If that sounds a bit too arcane, Loup Funds’ Gene Munster simplifies it, tweeting that “the most important metric is MAU/DAU growth. Street is looking for up 5%. If the base is growing, the company can power through IDFA and macro headwinds. If engagement declines, FB will need the metaverse to bail them out.”

As for why FB (not to be confused with META) matters, JPM writes that its earnings along with AMZN, Friday’s Payrolls and the upcoming CPI print, will determine whether the market can sustainable rise from here.

Unfortunately, if it really depends on Facebook then we have a problem because moments ago Facebook reported EPS and DAU which both missed, and while the company beat modestly on revenues, the kicker was the company’s revenue guidance was well below expectations, and as a result the stock is crashing a whopping 16% 23% after hours.

Here is what Facebook reported for Q4:

  • Revenue $33.67B, beating est. $33.43B
    • Advertising revenue $32.64 billion
  • EPS $3.67, missing estimate $3.84
  • Operating margin 37%, missing estimate 38.7%

Some context: earnings were 4% below expectations, and that is enough to make it the company’s biggest miss ever.

And visually:

It was also ugly across the board on the user side:

  • Monthly Active Users 2.91B, missing estimates 2.95B
  • Daily Active Users 1.93B, missing estimates. 1.95B

Digging through the numbers shows that the company’s DAUs in the US and ROW actually declined in Q4!

And then there was guidance which was even worse:

  • Q1 Rev. $27B to $29B, Est. $30.25B: FB expects year-over-year growth in the first quarter “to be impacted by headwinds to both impression and price growth.”
  • Sees 2022 total expenses in the range of $90-95 billion, updated from the prior outlook of $91-97 billion: FB: “Our anticipated expense growth is driven by investments in technical and product talent and infrastructure-related costs.”
  • Sees 2022 capital expenditures, including principal payments on finance leases, in the range of $29-34 billion, unchanged from the prior estimate

As a reminder, starting this quarter, the company reports its financial results based on two reportable segments:

  • Family of Apps (FoA), which includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and other services.
  • Reality Labs (RL), which includes augmented and virtual reality related consumer hardware, software and content

These are shown below:

Commenting on what was a dismal quarter, the CFO had this to say:

  • On the impressions side, we expect continued headwinds from both increased competition for people’s time and a shift of engagement within our apps towards video surfaces like Reels, which monetize at lower rates than Feed and Stories.
  • On the pricing side, we expect growth to be negatively impacted by a few factors:
    • First, we will lap a period in which Apple’s iOS changes were not in effect and we anticipate modestly increasing ad targeting and measurement headwinds from platform and regulatory changes.
    • Second, we will lap a period of strong demand in the prior year and we’re hearing from advertisers that macroeconomic challenges like cost inflation and supply chain disruptions are impacting advertiser budgets.
    • Finally, based on current exchange rates, we expect foreign currency to be a headwind to year-over-year growth.
  • In addition, as previously noted, we also continue to monitor developments regarding the viability of transatlantic data transfers and their potential impact on our European operations.

In kneejerk reaction to this dismal quarter, Facebook is down 23% or $75 to $245, the lowest price since Jan 2021.

The afterhours drop of $70, or about 23%, is the single biggest one-day drop in FB history. In market cap terms, FB has lost $165 billion in market cap, or roughly half the market cap of Ether.

Meanwhile, these guys had literally one job and, yet, 52 out of 62 highly paid Wall Street “professionals” just cost their clients billions…

Source: ZeroHedge

German Anti-Cartel Agency Targets Google, Warns Amazon, Apple, and Facebook They Could Be Next

Jack Davis, The Western Journal
January 8th, 2022

The German government’s antitrust office has announced that Google meets its standard for regulation, a step toward possible action against the Big Tech giant.

“The Federal Cartel Office can now tackle concrete forms of behavior that harm competition,” office president Andreas Mundt said, according to Reuters. “We have already started looking more intensively at Google’s processing of personal data and the topic of Google News Showcase.”

The decision means that over the next five years, Germany can investigate Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company.

The website TechCrunch called the action “as significant as it is unexpected.”

Germany’s FCO said in a release that “Google is of paramount significance for competition across markets.”

“The company has an economic position of power which gives rise to a scope of action across markets that is insufficiently controlled by competition,” the agency said.

Mundt said Google is not alone.

“We are vigorously conducting other proceedings against Amazon, Apple and Meta, formerly Facebook,” he said.

A Google spokesperson said the company has done nothing wrong.

“We are confident that we comply with the rules and, to the extent that changes are necessary, we will continue to work constructively with the FCO to find solutions that enable people and businesses in Germany to continue to use our products,” the spokesperson said.

The FCO began probing Google’s use of personal information in May, followed in June by looking at the selection of news offered in its Google News Showcase.

Germany’s move comes as French officials fined Facebook and Google more than 200 million euros, about $226 million, saying the companies made it too difficult to avoid being tracked online, according to The Hill.

The two tech giants “offer a button allowing the user to immediately accept cookies,” but they do not provide an option to “easily refuse the deposit of these cookies,” a data privacy watchdog announced in fining Google 150 million euros and Facebook 60 million euros.

“Several clicks are required to refuse all cookies, against a single one to accept them,” the group said.

“The restricted committee considered that this process affects the freedom of consent: since, on the Internet, the user expects to be able to quickly consult a website, the fact that they cannot refuse the cookies as easily as they can accept them influences their choice in favor of consent,” it added.

In Europe, websites must ask users before tracking them, according to The Associated Press.