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Facebook’s anti-conservative bias audit sparks backlash

Facebook audit which found the company needs to do “significant work” to satisfy the concerns of conservatives has prompted a backlash from conservatives and liberals alike.

The Menlo Park, Calif. firm conducted the year-long audit in consultation with 133 conservative organizations or politicians and was led by former Republican Sen. Jon Kyl. It found that interviewees had concerns about Facebook’s content distribution and algorithms, content policies and enforcement, ad policies and ad enforcement, and workplace viewpoint diversity.

“Facebook insists that it is committed to safety, equal treatment and building community. …This may involve some tradeoffs between safety and free expression, we do not believe there is any need to cut off robust diversity of thought,” Kyl stated in the report. “Indeed, conservatives consistently expressed the view that, while platform users should be protected from harm, no one has a right to not feel offended or to be immune from criticism.”

HATE SPEECH ALGORITHMS ARE BIASED AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE, RESEARCHERS FIND

Westlake Legal Group Facebook-civils Facebook's anti-conservative bias audit sparks backlash fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone c7b0ff26-ce88-584d-b467-633f986a6fa5 article

Facebook’s audit of alleged anti-conservative bias prompted a backlash.

FACEBOOK, TWITTER ACCUSE CHINA OF DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN AGAINST HONG KONG PROTESTERS

The report detailed a range of recently announced policy changes meant to address some of these concerns, but the audit itself was blasted by Republicans and liberal activists.

“Merely asking somebody to listen to conservatives’ concerns isn’t an ‘audit,’ it’s a smokescreen disguised as a solution,” said Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., in a statement shared with Fox News. “Facebook should conduct an actual audit by giving a trusted third party access to its algorithm, its key documents, and its content moderation protocols. Then Facebook should release the results to the public.”

Liberal groups such as Color of Change and Muslim Advocates, which urged the tech giant to conduct a civil rights audit in recent years, slammed Facebook for even agreeing to probe potential anti-conservative bias.

“When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg agreed to a ‘bias’ study last year, he conceded to Joel Kaplan’s political views and the right-wing’s playbook of victimhood, undermining the company’s stated commitment to protect civil rights on the platform,” said Color of Change President Rashad Robinson in a statement emailed to Fox News. “Claims of anti-conservative bias are simply an attempt to distract users and the media from the conservative movement’s attacks against black communities and other marginalized groups.”

Muslim Advocates called the allegation of anti-conservative bias an “unsubstantiated cynical ploy” by the Trump administration and its allies.

“Facebook’s anti-conservative bias report is a smokescreen masking the reality that the company continues to allow violent, white nationalist content to thrive on its platforms,” said Madihha Ahussain, Muslim Advocates Special Counsel for Anti-Muslim Bigotry, in a statement.

FACEBOOK ANTITRUST PROBE COULD WRAP BEFORE 2020 ELECTION

Both organizations also hit Facebook for Kyl’s own history of what they characterize as anti-Muslim views.

Nick Clegg, Facebook’s VP of Global Affairs and Communications, said the audit is ongoing and that the tech giant will inevitably make mistakes that will offend some of its users.

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“But even if we could craft [our policies] in a way that pleased all sides, when dealing with such nuanced issues, involving policies that apply to billions of posts, we will inevitably make some bad calls, some of which may appear to strike harder at conservatives,” Clegg, the United Kingdom’s former deputy prime minister, said in a blog post.

The audit discussed a range of policies and areas where Facebook could make changes, including providing more transparency in its News Feed ranking, sharing more details about how its Community Standards evolve, building an oversight board for content decisions and boosting its appeals process for content that’s been removed from the platform.

Westlake Legal Group Facebook-civils Facebook's anti-conservative bias audit sparks backlash fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone c7b0ff26-ce88-584d-b467-633f986a6fa5 article   Westlake Legal Group Facebook-civils Facebook's anti-conservative bias audit sparks backlash fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone c7b0ff26-ce88-584d-b467-633f986a6fa5 article

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Facebook, Twitter accuse China of disinformation campaign against Hong Kong protesters

Twitter and Facebook suspended almost 1,000 accounts that were tied to a Chinese disinformation campaign that targeted pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

On Monday, Twitter announced that it had suspended 936 accounts that were related to the disinformation efforts. In a blog post, the company said the “coordinated state-backed campaign” was intended to “sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground.”

The Jack Dorsey-led company said it had conducted “intensive investigations” into the suspicious accounts, which were taken down due to violations of Twitter’s policy against platform manipulation.

BERNIE SANDERS WANTS TO BAN POLICE USE OF FACIAL RECOGNITION

Westlake Legal Group twitter-violative-content Facebook, Twitter accuse China of disinformation campaign against Hong Kong protesters fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article 252c727e-32c1-5ee7-b4c7-ea07ea0c9373

An example of content in violation that was taken down, provided by Twitter.

Facebook conducted its own investigation, based on a tip from Twitter, and removed seven pages, three groups and five accounts involved in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” that originated in China and also targeted Hong Kong.

“They frequently posted about local political news and issues including topics like the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our investigation found links to individuals associated with the Chinese government,” Facebook said in a blog post.

According to the social network, about 15,500 accounts followed one or more of the pages and about 2,200 accounts had joined at least one of the groups.

WARREN WON’T SUPPORT SANDERS’ WASHINGTON POST-BIAS-AMAZON CLAIM

Westlake Legal Group image-5 Facebook, Twitter accuse China of disinformation campaign against Hong Kong protesters fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article 252c727e-32c1-5ee7-b4c7-ea07ea0c9373

This is a sample of the content posted by some of these pages, according to Facebook. Translation: Protesters. ISIS fighters. What’s the difference? (Facebook)

“We are making progress rooting out this abuse, but as we’ve said before, it’s an ongoing challenge. We’re committed to continually improving to stay ahead,” Facebook said. “That means building better technology, hiring more people and working more closely with law enforcement, security experts and other companies.”

Hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy protesters have taken to the streets in Hong Kong to protest against police brutality and a now-suspended extradition bill. The demonstrators, who have been mostly peaceful, have also clashed with local police and brought Hong Kong’s main airport to a standstill recently.

HATE SPEECH ALGORITHMS ARE BIASED AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE, RESEARCHERS FIND

Westlake Legal Group getty-images-hong-kong-protesters Facebook, Twitter accuse China of disinformation campaign against Hong Kong protesters fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article 252c727e-32c1-5ee7-b4c7-ea07ea0c9373

Protesters march while holding umbrellas during the demonstration. Over 1 million Hong Kongese protesters filled the streets of Hong Kong Island to protest against police brutality, the extradition bill, and other grievances despite a constant heavy downpour. (Getty Images)

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Both Twitter and Facebook have faced increasing scrutiny over their response to disinformation campaigns in the wake of Russia’s manipulation of social media during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

Westlake Legal Group getty-images-hong-kong-protesters Facebook, Twitter accuse China of disinformation campaign against Hong Kong protesters fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article 252c727e-32c1-5ee7-b4c7-ea07ea0c9373   Westlake Legal Group getty-images-hong-kong-protesters Facebook, Twitter accuse China of disinformation campaign against Hong Kong protesters fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article 252c727e-32c1-5ee7-b4c7-ea07ea0c9373

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Josh Hawley: Tech giants have a business model based on ‘taking stuff from us’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6070892268001_6070901311001-vs Josh Hawley: Tech giants have a business model based on 'taking stuff from us' Sam Dorman fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 95d55dc7-b982-54d4-a0a0-aa60db4b34fc

Social media giants like Facebook make their money off of taking Americans’ personal information and should come under greater scrutiny, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., argued.

“They’ve developed a business model that is premised on taking stuff from us,” he said during an interview that aired on Friday’s “Special Report.”

He added that tech giants were taking “our information and our private data without telling us and then selling it without our permission and then trying to get us addicted to their platforms so they can direct more ads to us.”

Hawley contended that conservative values included backing property rights, a concern which should extend to Americans’ private data on platforms like Google.

CROSSFIT QUITS FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, ACCUSES SOCIAL MEDIA GIANT OF CENSORSHIP, BEING ‘UTOPIAN SOCIALISTS’

“I think that consumers… their information is their information. They ought to be able to control it,” he told Fox News host Bret Baier. He also praised the Trump administration for probing whether Facebook broke anti-trust laws.

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Baier suggested that breaking up big tech companies would put Americans at a disadvantage by giving that business to China and others.

“I’m not sure that these companies really are our most successful or really represent the best of America in the way that they say they do,” Hawley responded.

He then questioned what exactly companies like Google and Facebook have given the country in the last 10-15 years.

“They have been willing to partner with the repressive Chinese government to make a buck whenever it suits them, they have advanced a left-wing agenda whenever they can,” he said.

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“Are they creating jobs in the middle of our economy, are they creating jobs in the middle of our country? No to all of those things,” Hawley said.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6070892268001_6070901311001-vs Josh Hawley: Tech giants have a business model based on 'taking stuff from us' Sam Dorman fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 95d55dc7-b982-54d4-a0a0-aa60db4b34fc   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6070892268001_6070901311001-vs Josh Hawley: Tech giants have a business model based on 'taking stuff from us' Sam Dorman fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 95d55dc7-b982-54d4-a0a0-aa60db4b34fc

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Rabbi Abraham Cooper: Trump is right to work with social media firms to reduce gun violence and online hate

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6068474582001_6068474472001-vs Rabbi Abraham Cooper: Trump is right to work with social media firms to reduce gun violence and online hate Rabbi Abraham Cooper fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc c60bcf46-ccd3-5a3c-8170-31068a37c531 article

As we debate how to respond to the plague of gun violence so tragically illustrated by the weekend mass murders of 31 people in Ohio and Texas, President Trump has taken an important step by inviting social media company executives to a meeting Friday to discuss how hatred and violent extremism are fueled online.

The meeting Friday at the White House will be just the first step in what will certainly be a long and critically important effort, but it is a welcome start.

The president said Monday that he has asked the Justice Department to “work in partnership with local state and federal agencies, as well as social media companies, to develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike.”

BIG TECH INVITED TO WHITE HOUSE TO DISCUSS VIOLENT EXTREMISM

We all recognize that there is no one solution to sharply reduce gun violence in the U.S., of course. But without question, an important factor we have to deal with is social media and the role they play in mainstreaming hatred and encouraging violence among a small fraction of the 4.8 billion people around the world who are social media users.

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Among other needed steps, the American people should demand that our leaders dial back their rhetoric on immigration. We should work harder to keep weapons out of the wrong hands. And we should restart a national discourse on how to best treat mental illness without stigmatizing it.

None of these things will happen unless we demand our elected officials drop the posturing and get to work on a bipartisan basis, replacing confrontation with cooperation. Shooters don’t inquire about political party affiliation when they open fire on innocent men, women and children. Elected officials should reach across the aisle on this issue that is, quite literally, a matter of life and death.

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The Anti-Defamation League reports that in 2018 domestic extremists killed at least 50 people in the U.S. – more than the 37 extremist-related murders documented in 2017, though still lower than the totals for 2015 (70) and 2016 (72).

The 50 deaths from domestic terrorism make 2018 the fourth-deadliest year since 1970. And last year marked the fifth consecutive increase in hate crimes involving minorities, with Jews in the lead among religious targets.

Woe to us if the young and the angry are convinced they can find meaning only through hate and violence.

Space doesn’t permit a full discussion here of all the many things that need to be done to address gun violence, so I’ll focus on the pivotal role of social media.

The Wall Street Journal featured an article this week in which experts referenced a “loneliness epidemic” among teens, which leaves them increasingly vulnerable to toxic influencers with a gift for speaking their language.

To reach these vulnerable young people we have to turn to social media to counter the influence of hate groups and individuals that play an important role in recruiting would-be lone-wolf domestic terrorists.

An important early step will be for Congress and the president to enact legislation that makes domestic terrorism a federal crime. This would provide the FBI with increased leeway to monitor social media so agents can identify and track dangerous individuals before they act. Only the FBI can bring to bear the tools and expertise needed for this huge effort.

But it’s just not the feds. Silicon Valley must do more, and this is why it is so encouraging that President Trump has reached out to tech companies to begin a dialogue Friday.

For more than two decades, the Simon Wiesenthal Center – where I am associate dean and director of global social action – has tracked how hate merchants use the Internet to recruit vulnerable young people. We’ve seen how the most prolific messengers are not just the usual suspect hate groups, but often loosely tied consortiums hiding behind screen names.

We’ve pressured Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to make a dent in the online marketing of extremist hate and terrorism.

But even as the social media companies have taken proactive measures, bigots have migrated to platforms that allowed them to open 24/7 online hate communities. The most recent mass killers found their voices on 8chan.

Democracies have to begin to deconstruct vicious online breeding grounds of hate and terror. And parents must also intervene to keep the online merchants of hate from preying on our kids’ vulnerabilities.

Woe to us if the young and the angry are convinced they can find meaning only through hate and violence. 

Social media – despite the name – too often have the opposite effect of bringing people closer. Rewarding human interaction has suffered. When kids are in their bedrooms “virtually engaging” with others, they are in reality still alone.

As challenging as it may be, it is imperative that we engage with our children so they know they are valued and loved as human beings – and that they have something other than a clever meme to offer society.

We all have a role to play in modeling behavior so our kids will emulate us by seeking out experiences that create the positive feedback loop they crave. As hard as it may be to get through to teens, we must work even harder at giving them opportunities to become active members of a goodwill community.

Old-fashioned “good deeds” may be the best inoculation against the seeds of hatred and alienation that have resulted in tragedies in El Paso, Dayton, Poway, Pittsburgh and Charleston.

These days, it seems that every mass shooting triggers a pseudo-cathartic exercise of hurling as much vitriol as we can muster against the other side – namely people whose views on issues like gun control differ from our own.

Inevitably, the vitriol begets more vitriol and our civil discourse becomes even more toxic, until the next tragic episode. Americans are in uncharted water, but we shouldn’t be searching for a “morning-after-a-hate-crime-or-terror-attack” pill to ease our pain after each outrage.

The only historical analogy we can point to where discourse led to bloodshed is the Civil War. But the Civil War was fought on far less morally ambiguous grounds. There was a clear “right” and “wrong.” Slavery was immoral and a stain on our national conscience that needed to end, whatever the cost, as President Abraham Lincoln insisted.

But in 2019, we must wage a different battle with an atomized legion of lone-wolf wannabees inspired to deadly attacks by white supremacists via social media. The war isn’t to end a repugnant institution like slavery by defeating a visible enemy, but rather for the hearts and minds of new generations against an enemy that is everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

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We need to find some answers quickly.

In this war, our points of reference should always be how we can ensure that our children and grandchildren are safe and that all Americans get the respect they deserve – with the right to be heard.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY RABBI ABRAHAM COOPER

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6068474582001_6068474472001-vs Rabbi Abraham Cooper: Trump is right to work with social media firms to reduce gun violence and online hate Rabbi Abraham Cooper fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc c60bcf46-ccd3-5a3c-8170-31068a37c531 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6068474582001_6068474472001-vs Rabbi Abraham Cooper: Trump is right to work with social media firms to reduce gun violence and online hate Rabbi Abraham Cooper fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc c60bcf46-ccd3-5a3c-8170-31068a37c531 article

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Facebook and Google are keeping tabs on what porn you’re watching

If you thought Facebook and Google were creepy with how much they know about you — think again. They even know what type of porn you watch.

According to a new study, researchers have found that Facebook, Google and Oracle are keeping tabs on what porn is being consumed using a tool known as webXray, a tracking tool that sends data back to third parties.

“Our results indicate tracking is endemic on pornography websites: 93 [percent] of pages leak user data to a third-party; the pages that leak data do so to an average of seven domains; 79 [percent] have a third-party cookie (often used for tracking); of the pages with cookies, there is an average of nine cookies; and only 17 [percent] of sites are encrypted, allowing network adversaries to potentially intercept login and password details,” researchers wrote in the study.

Westlake Legal Group watching_porn_istock Facebook and Google are keeping tabs on what porn you're watching fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Chris Ciaccia article 9ba2189f-af5d-54fc-a30f-218b8e0061c9

BERNIE SANDERS SAYS HE’D ABSOLUTELY TRY TO BREAK UP FACEBOOK, GOOGLE, AMAZON

Even if a person were to enter into “incognito mode” on their browser, meaning that their results were supposedly not being tracked, they still were, the researchers found.

Using a hypothetical person named “Jack,” the researchers note that incognito mode only means the browsing history is not stored on Jack’s computer.

“The sites he visits, as well as any third-party trackers, may observe and record his online actions,” the study adds. “These third-parties may even infer Jack’s sexual interests from the URLs of the sites he accesses. They might also use what they have decided about these interests for marketing or building a consumer profile. They may even sell the data. Jack has no idea these third-party data transfers are occurring as he browses videos.”

The study, which looked at 22,484-sex related sites, was completed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pennsylvania and Microsoft, which competes with Google and Oracle for cloud computing services.

Google had trackers on 74 percent of the sites, Oracle had trackers on 24 percent and Facebook tracked 10 percent, according to the research.

“The fact that the mechanism for adult site tracking is so similar to, say, online retail should be a huge red flag,” study co-author Elena Maris told the New York Times.

Fox News has reached out to Google, Facebook and Oracle with a request for comment for this story.

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Westlake Legal Group watching_porn_istock Facebook and Google are keeping tabs on what porn you're watching fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Chris Ciaccia article 9ba2189f-af5d-54fc-a30f-218b8e0061c9   Westlake Legal Group watching_porn_istock Facebook and Google are keeping tabs on what porn you're watching fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Chris Ciaccia article 9ba2189f-af5d-54fc-a30f-218b8e0061c9

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Facebook and Google are keeping tabs on what porn you’re watching

If you thought Facebook and Google were creepy with how much they know about you — think again. They even know what type of porn you watch.

According to a new study, researchers have found that Facebook, Google and Oracle are keeping tabs on what porn is being consumed using a tool known as webXray, a tracking tool that sends data back to third parties.

“Our results indicate tracking is endemic on pornography websites: 93 [percent] of pages leak user data to a third-party; the pages that leak data do so to an average of seven domains; 79 [percent] have a third-party cookie (often used for tracking); of the pages with cookies, there is an average of nine cookies; and only 17 [percent] of sites are encrypted, allowing network adversaries to potentially intercept login and password details,” researchers wrote in the study.

Westlake Legal Group watching_porn_istock Facebook and Google are keeping tabs on what porn you're watching fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Chris Ciaccia article 9ba2189f-af5d-54fc-a30f-218b8e0061c9

BERNIE SANDERS SAYS HE’D ABSOLUTELY TRY TO BREAK UP FACEBOOK, GOOGLE, AMAZON

Even if a person were to enter into “incognito mode” on their browser, meaning that their results were supposedly not being tracked, they still were, the researchers found.

Using a hypothetical person named “Jack,” the researchers note that incognito mode only means the browsing history is not stored on Jack’s computer.

“The sites he visits, as well as any third-party trackers, may observe and record his online actions,” the study adds. “These third-parties may even infer Jack’s sexual interests from the URLs of the sites he accesses. They might also use what they have decided about these interests for marketing or building a consumer profile. They may even sell the data. Jack has no idea these third-party data transfers are occurring as he browses videos.”

The study, which looked at 22,484-sex related sites, was completed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pennsylvania and Microsoft, which competes with Google and Oracle for cloud computing services.

Google had trackers on 74 percent of the sites, Oracle had trackers on 24 percent and Facebook tracked 10 percent, according to the research.

“The fact that the mechanism for adult site tracking is so similar to, say, online retail should be a huge red flag,” study co-author Elena Maris told the New York Times.

Fox News has reached out to Google, Facebook and Oracle with a request for comment for this story.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Westlake Legal Group watching_porn_istock Facebook and Google are keeping tabs on what porn you're watching fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Chris Ciaccia article 9ba2189f-af5d-54fc-a30f-218b8e0061c9   Westlake Legal Group watching_porn_istock Facebook and Google are keeping tabs on what porn you're watching fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Chris Ciaccia article 9ba2189f-af5d-54fc-a30f-218b8e0061c9

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13 Pa. police officers to be fired over offensive Facebook posts

Thirteen officers in Philadelphia will be fired following an investigation into racist and offensive Facebook posts, the city police commissioner announced on Thursday.

In a news conference on Thursday, Commissioner Richard Ross said the officers are on a 30-day suspension with intent to dismiss.

The department had placed a total of 72 officers on administrative leave in June after a nonprofit group published the results of a two-year review of personal Facebook posts or comments from officers in Philadelphia and seven other departments.

PHILADELPHIA POLICE DEPARTMENT PUTS 72 OFFICERS ON DESK DUTY AMID INVESTIGATION INTO ANTI-MUSLIM SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS

Ross said about 3,100 offensive or potentially offensive Facebook posts were identified and connected to 328 active-duty Philadelphia police officers, adding that some posts date back to 2010.

He said the posts “clearly advocated violence or death against any protected class such as ethnicity, national origin, sex, religion and race or any speech advocating or supporting crimes affecting the integrity, honesty or trustworthiness of the police department.”

Westlake Legal Group Philadelphia-Police-2 13 Pa. police officers to be fired over offensive Facebook posts Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/us fnc beaef63b-4f9a-568f-8300-ff9bedd1f2e7 article

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross spoke during a news conference on Thursday. The Philadelphia Police Department is suspending 13 police officers with an intent to fire them following an investigation into offensive and sometimes threatening Facebook posts.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Ross told reporters that all but three of the 72 Philadelphia officers currently on leave will face some form of discipline. Four officers will be suspended for 30 days, while the rest will face disciplinary action ranging from reprimands to a five-day suspension.

The posts included “anti-Islamic posts such as ‘death to Islam,’” as well as “references to African-Americans as thugs,” “encouragement of police brutality,” and “homophobic memes which in some cases suggest violence against transgender individuals,” according to Ross.

“I continue to be very disappointed and angered by these posts, many of which violate basic human decency,” Ross said on Thursday.

“We need to move past this ridiculous hate that has consumed this country and has done so for centuries.”

Ross said on June 28 nearly all of the 72 officers on administrative leave, who have not been identified, received the first in a series of trainings. The department is also looking at software that would track and audit officers’ social media posts.

NEARLY 2 DOZEN ST. LOUIS OFFICERS FLAGGED OVER ALLEGED ‘RACIALLY CHARGED SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS’

The president of the Philadelphia police union said the Fraternal Order of Police is disappointed that the officers will be terminated without due process, adding that “the overwhelming majority of our members serve this city with integrity and professionalism.”

After publication of the database, which allegedly included nearly 180 posts tied to Phoenix officers that disparage black people, Muslims and transgender people, the police chief moved some officers to “non-enforcement” assignments while the department investigates.

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In St. Louis, the top prosecutor placed nearly two dozen city police officers on an exclusion list last month after learning about “racially charged social media posts of current and retired city police.” Those officers are not allowed to bring cases to her office.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Philadelphia-Police-1 13 Pa. police officers to be fired over offensive Facebook posts Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/us fnc beaef63b-4f9a-568f-8300-ff9bedd1f2e7 article   Westlake Legal Group Philadelphia-Police-1 13 Pa. police officers to be fired over offensive Facebook posts Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/us fnc beaef63b-4f9a-568f-8300-ff9bedd1f2e7 article

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Jesse Watters: Here’s why Trump probably hasn’t been told anything about Area 51

Westlake Legal Group Trump-Area51_AP Jesse Watters: Here's why Trump probably hasn't been told anything about Area 51 fox-news/us/us-regions/west/nevada fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/topic/aliens fox-news/tech/topics/us-air-force fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc Charles Creitz article 7840f2ea-cfc1-5a60-a7e4-39340a131b9d

Ahead of a Facebook-advertised “storming” of Area 51, Jesse Watters considered whether President Trump has been told about what goes on at the secretive military installation.

If Trump is privy to top-secret information about the base, which has long been a point of discussion for conspiracy theorists who believe the facility holds government secrets about aliens and UFOs, it is surprising he hasn’t told the public, Watters said on “The Five.”

“I am surprised Trump has not slipped up about Area 51 yet,” he joked.

“The man cannot keep a secret. I don’t even think they told him about Area 51.”

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The “Watters’ World” host added Trump is often unusually open at campaign events — to a greater extent than past presidents.

“He’ll just let it go at a rally,” he said. “But if he has kept that secret, I am very proud.”

On Facebook, a page advertising the purported event went viral over the past week, as more than 1 million users responded they would go to the top-secret military installation on Sept. 20 at 3 a.m., with the creator writing “they can’t stop all of us.”

While it isn’t exactly known what the base is currently used for, Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews told The Washington Post that Area 51 is where, “we train American armed forces” and “is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force.”

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“The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets,” McAndrews added. She discouraged civilians from visiting the area.

Regarding the base’s publicly-known history, Area 51 is a government facility in the Nevada desert near Groom Lake, a salt flat located about 120 miles north of Las Vegas. The site was chosen in the 1950s to secretly test the Air Force’s U-2 aircraft and train pilots, according to the CIA.

The area had earlier been used during World War II as an aerial gunnery range for Army pilots.

Employees take small, unmarked passenger planes from the Las Vegas airport to get to the remote area, according to Business Insider.

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President Dwight Eisenhower approved the facility’s development in the 1950s, according to the CIA. The site was used by the Air Force to test the U-2 spy plane during the Cold War.

In 2013, the CIA acknowledged its existence, releasing its location and how it had been used to test military aircraft, including the F-117A, A-12 and TACIT BLUE, according to Business Insider.

Fox News’ Stephen Sorace contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Trump-Area51_AP Jesse Watters: Here's why Trump probably hasn't been told anything about Area 51 fox-news/us/us-regions/west/nevada fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/topic/aliens fox-news/tech/topics/us-air-force fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc Charles Creitz article 7840f2ea-cfc1-5a60-a7e4-39340a131b9d   Westlake Legal Group Trump-Area51_AP Jesse Watters: Here's why Trump probably hasn't been told anything about Area 51 fox-news/us/us-regions/west/nevada fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/topic/aliens fox-news/tech/topics/us-air-force fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc Charles Creitz article 7840f2ea-cfc1-5a60-a7e4-39340a131b9d

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Bernie Sanders says he’d ‘absolutely’ try to break up Facebook, Google, Amazon

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said Tuesday that he would “absolutely” look to break up Big Tech giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google on antitrust grounds.

Speaking at a Washington Post event, Sanders specifically singled out Facebook as having “incredible power over the economy, over the political life of this country in a very dangerous sense.”

He also stated that Amazon is “moving very rapidly to be a monopoly.”

Sanders’ comments come at a perilous time for Silicon Valley, which is facing increased scrutiny from lawmakers on Capitol Hill and the prospect of being broken up or subjected to stringent new regulations.

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Westlake Legal Group DOTCOM_1280X720_BIG_TECH_ON_THE_HOT_SEAT Bernie Sanders says he'd 'absolutely' try to break up Facebook, Google, Amazon fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/tech/companies/amazon fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article 0f898962-518b-5efd-8190-fcd87d919df8

In recent weeks, Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra came under fire from lawmakers, the Federal Reserve and the Trump administration, while Republicans accused Google of being biased. The FTC has reportedly come to a settlement with Facebook, the details of which have not been made public, that includes a $5 billion fine.

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“And it’s not just Amazon,” Sanders said, according to Politico. “I think we need vigorous antitrust legislation in this country because you are seeing – you name the area, whether it’s pharmaceuticals, whether it is Wall Street, whether it is high tech – fewer and fewer gigantic corporations owning those sectors.” He would appoint an attorney general “who would break up these huge corporations,” he added.

Westlake Legal Group Bernie-Sanders-thumb Bernie Sanders says he'd 'absolutely' try to break up Facebook, Google, Amazon fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/tech/companies/amazon fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article 0f898962-518b-5efd-8190-fcd87d919df8

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., pauses while speaking during a forum on Friday, June 21, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.,who is battling Sanders and almost two dozen other candidates for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination, called for the breakup of Amazon, Google and Facebook back in March.

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Westlake Legal Group DOTCOM_1280X720_BIG_TECH_ON_THE_HOT_SEAT Bernie Sanders says he'd 'absolutely' try to break up Facebook, Google, Amazon fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/tech/companies/amazon fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article 0f898962-518b-5efd-8190-fcd87d919df8   Westlake Legal Group DOTCOM_1280X720_BIG_TECH_ON_THE_HOT_SEAT Bernie Sanders says he'd 'absolutely' try to break up Facebook, Google, Amazon fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/tech/companies/amazon fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article 0f898962-518b-5efd-8190-fcd87d919df8

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Majority of conservatives don’t trust Facebook to treat everyone equally, study says

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6048458857001_6048460451001-vs Majority of conservatives don’t trust Facebook to treat everyone equally, study says fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/tech fnc Brian Flood article 9496ecfe-d195-5447-af59-e69f4f46395a

A whopping 76.7 of conservatives don’t trust that Facebook treats all of its user equally, regardless of political beliefs, according to a new poll.

The Media Research Center’s TechWatch published findings of the poll, conducted by McLaughlin and Associates, on Tuesday.

“More than three-fourths of conservatives don’t trust Facebook,” TechWatch’s Corinne Weaver wrote.

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The poll surveyed 1,000 likely voters – 359 of them were self-described conservatives — on June 18-24 and 63.4 percent of all participants expressed a lack of trust when it comes to Facebook. Only 23 percent said they trust the tech giant, while 13.2 percent don’t know either way.

But Facebook isn’t the only tech giant deemed untrustworthy, as 60.6 percent of conservative participants said they do not trust Google, either, along with 47.9 percent of all participants.

The surveyed also asked participants if they trusted Twitter and 63.2 percent of conservatives responded that they do not. But it appears voters on both sides of the aisle are skeptical of Twitter, as 53 percent of all participants said they don’t trust the social media giant.

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“Conservatives feared that Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Twitter had too much control over their users. 48.3 percent of them answered that Big Tech had ‘too much control over what information people see’,” Weaver wrote.

The study revealed that 40 percent of conservative feel tech companies have too much personal information, 48.3 percent feel they control too much information and 38.4 percent of conservatives feel tech companies censor certain political views.

The survey also revealed that roughly 38 percent of all participants feel “tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon have become so big and powerful” they should be broken up, while 22.8 percent said they did not have an opinion.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6048458857001_6048460451001-vs Majority of conservatives don’t trust Facebook to treat everyone equally, study says fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/tech fnc Brian Flood article 9496ecfe-d195-5447-af59-e69f4f46395a   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6048458857001_6048460451001-vs Majority of conservatives don’t trust Facebook to treat everyone equally, study says fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/tech fnc Brian Flood article 9496ecfe-d195-5447-af59-e69f4f46395a

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