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Facebook ‘digital gangsters’ violated privacy laws: MPs

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A scathing British parliamentary report on Monday branded Facebook “digital gangsters” that knowingly violated data privacy and competition laws.

Lawmakers’ 18-month investigation into disinformation and “fake news” also accused Facebook of failing to faithfully fight Russia’s alleged attempts to influence elections.

Cultural select committee chair Damian Collins said Facebook “deliberately sought to frustrate our work by giving incomplete, disingenuous and at times misleading answers to our questions.”

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Facebook co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg turned down three requests to appear before the committee.

“Companies like Facebook should not be allowed to behave like ‘digital gangsters’ in the online world, considering themselves to be ahead of and beyond the law,” the report said.

“Social media companies cannot hide behind the claim of being merely a ‘platform’ and maintain that they have no responsibility themselves in regulating the content of their sites.”

The committee urged a compulsory code of ethics for all tech companies that would be overseen by an independent regulator.

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It said Facebook should be obliged to take down “sources of harmful content” and disinformation.

“We further recommend that the Government launches an independent investigation into past elections — including the UK election of 2017, the UK Referendum of 2016, and the Scottish Referendum of 2014 — to explore what actually happened with regard to foreign influence,” the report said.

British media quoted a response from Facebook saying it shared the committee’s concerns about fake news and election integrity.

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“We are open to meaningful regulation and support the committee’s recommendation for electoral law reform,” the company was quoted as saying.

But it added: “No other channel for political advertising is as transparent and offers the tools that we do”.

The world’s largest social media platform has come under growing pressure over the past two years over its handling of users’ private data as well as Russia’s alleged attempts to influence US and various European elections.

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The committee had earlier found that Facebook’s engineers had flagged potentially malicious Russian activity as early as 2014 — long before it became public.

It also accused Facebook of offering Netflix and other popular apps preferential access to people’s data even after it had tightened its privacy rules.


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‘He looks like a florescent green helium balloon’: CNN panel breaks into hysterics at Sean Spicer on #DWTS

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A CNN panel couldn't stop laughing as Republican Scott Jennings rushed to the side of former press secretary Sean Spicer, who debuted on "Dancing With the Stars" Monday night dressed in a bright-green ruffled shirt and dancing the Salsa.

"No way. What the Hell?" Rye asked the second she saw the video of Spicer.

"So, you’ve seen it," Lemon asked Jennings. "So, is this the guy you remember?"

But Rye, blindsided by the chartreuse, cut in.

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CNN

‘Not a single Republican reached out to ask what can we do’: Trump’s ‘my African-American’ fan blasts GOP

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President Donald Trump once called Gregory Cheadle "My African-American" during a California campaign rally in 2016, but now Trump's champion is out and he says it's due to the GOP's white supremacy.

In an interview with CNN's Don Lemon, Cheadle asked how any person of color could be part of a party that doesn't want them.

"Well, he and the party have just shown that they have no interest in any of group but white," said Cheadle. "Whites are the primary group. Everyone else may get crumbs. But his agenda is targeted towards benefitting whites. For the GOP as well. The GOP is they want to slash Social Security. They want to slash welfare. They don't say diddly-squat about cutting subsidies, loan guarantees, government contracts and whatever else for the wealthy. So they're all about themselves."

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The real reason Trump is so jealous of Obama is that he might win an Emmy: Trump biographer

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A CNN panel broke out into laughter talking about President Donald Trump's pathetic jealousy of his predecessor, President Barack Obama.

Obama's new book is slated to score major profits, so he was given a substantial advance for the book. Former first lady Michelle Obama has already enjoyed considerable success from the release of her book and tour. The couple has since made a production deal with Netflix for their company that will focus on fiction and non-fiction stories with a positive social message. Meanwhile, Trump is struggling to win reelection.

"Why is this president so fixated on the former president?" wondered Lemon. "Whether it is North Korea, federal judges, a racist birther lie about the former president not being born here, that’s the one that got him into the political scene. It seems like this president has an obsession with former President Obama. What’s going on?"

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