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October 16, 2019

Unmoved by defections and criticism, Facebook officially launches Libra

Facebook has faced criticism since the summer when it unveiled plans to create a separate, private currency system to allow users to make cross-border payments more easily

Facebook officially moved forward with its plans Monday to create a new digital currency called Libra, despite several high-profile defections from the project and intense criticism from US regulators and politicians.

The Libra Association, the nonprofit that will govern the currency, officially signed on 21 charter members on Monday at the organization’s inaugural meeting in Geneva. Originally the Libra Association had 27 potential members, but several companies dropped out in [...]

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October 15, 2019

Apple TV+ Creators Asked to Avoid Portraying China Critically: Report

After facing flak for pulling a Hong Kong protest tracking app from its App Store, Apple has now reportedly urged Apple TV Plus show runners to avoid portraying China negatively.

It also comes amid anger at perceived efforts by US businesses to maintain access to one of the globe’s biggest markets by playing along with China’s Communist government, CNET reported on Saturday.

Early last year, Apple’s head of international content development, Morgan Wandell, and its SVP of Internet software and services, Eddy Cue, gave the China-related guidance to some show developers, the report added quoting BuzzFeed News that cited unnamed [...]

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October 15, 2019

Let YouTube be YouTube

YouTube’s latest attempt to crack down on hate speech has produced significant collateral damage. Policies designed to limit the spread of holocaust denialism wound up censoring videos that attacked denialism; a history teacher who dedicated his life to chronicling Nazi abuses found himself banned.

These errors were more than just predictable, and they are more than just the latest illustration of the difficulty of applying the standards and practices of old media to new media. What they show is the fundamental difference between a social media company and a media company.

Society expects major publishers to censor odious views, and there can be [...]

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October 15, 2019

Google Chrome Has Become Surveillance Software, It’s Time to Switch

Chrome has become like spyware for Google, allowing more tracker cookies than any other browser. My tests of Chrome versus Firefox unearthed a personal data caper of absurd proportions.

You open your browser to look at the Web. Do you know who is looking back at you?

Over a recent week of Web surfing, I peered under the hood of Google Chrome and found it brought along a few thousand friends. Shopping, news and even government sites quietly tagged my browser to let ad and data companies ride shotgun while I clicked around the Web.

This was made possible by the Web’s biggest snoop of all: Google. Seen from the inside, its Google Chrome browser [...]

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