Facebook, in recent days, has been embroiled in scandal after scandal. On Wednesday, it was revealed that the initial numbers exposed by the Facebook data leaks were far higher than the 50 million declared by the social media platform. In fact, the numbers are closer to 87 million, a good 30 million more than the declared figures! However, with Zuckerberg’s confessions in front of the Congress, the other scandals Facebook has been going through has been brought to light.
1. Cambridge Analytica
Cambridge Analytica, the political analysis firm, acquired the data of millions of Facebook users via an app created by a Professor at Cambridge. The data breach was considered a massive violation of information and was also linked to the 2016 Trump Presidential Elections. According to recently revealed reports, the analytics firm had used the revealed information to get an idea of the voters way ahead of the elections. The revelations sparked a massive reaction from the Senators in Washington. This, in turn, led to the #DeleteFacebook moment, with Zuckerberg being summoned to testify against the issue. After a long and omminous silence, he came forward and clarified all the questions posed by the members. The issue is still going on, without a clear idea on the resolve.
2. Retaining deleted videos of the users
One of Facebook’s responses to the Cambridge Analytica incident was to allow users to download their data archive on the social network in order for users to fully understand what information Facebook stores. This move inadvertently trigged more outcry when users discovered that videos recorded on the platform they had thought they had deleted were still present in Facebook’s archives. Facebook in turn, apologized and called the retention an unintentional “bug.” But the error will likely do little to reassure the public in the wake of a much larger ongoing scandal.
3. Facebook’s internal struggles
When the entire date leaks breach happened, Andrew Bosworth, the Vice President of Facebook, said the growth of Facebook as a company was far more important than the breach of certain individual’s privacy. This sparked off a huge controversy, with Bosworth going on record to clarify that he didn’t mean what he said.
My statement on the recent Buzzfeed story containing a post I wrote in 2016 pic.twitter.com/lmzDMcrjv5
— Boz (@boztank) March 29, 2018
4. The Russian Meddling
One of the dominant scandals of the 2016 Trump Presidential elections was the fact that Facebook had allowed the Russians to spread their political propaganda on the social networking site. Facebook had admitted last year that fake Russian accounts had been purchased for more than $ 100,000 in ads. Facebook was additionally implicated in its role of distributing misinformation, also known as “fake news,” from phony news sites, more often than not targeted at Hillary Clinton during the campaign, but rampant on both sides nonetheless.
5. Photo and link scan over messenger
One of the other privacy infringements which came to light during the data leaks breach was the fact that Facebook scans images and links sent via messenger. According to the company policy, the policy is followed to make sure the content used is as per Facebook standards. While the practice may seem standard, users took offence to the policy as they felt it was an impeachment to their privacy rights. Facebook has said it is looking into the issue and will get it fixed as soon as possible.
With Mark Zuckerberg coming forward and saying he will address everyone’s concerns with what is perhaps the largest online social media platform, the issue looks to be resolved soon.
Google Job Search Feature Comes To India
Technology giant Google announced the launch another India focused product making it easier for users to search for jobs in India. In a blog post, the company announced their latest job search feature for India under Google for Jobs feature.
In the blog post, the company added, “Now we’re bringing job search to India. With this new experience, we aim to connect Indians to numerous opportunities across the country. No matter who you are or what kind of job you’re looking for, it will now be easier to find job postings that match your needs and skills.” Under this feature, users will be able to see in depth results of relevant job opportunities from across the web when users search for “jobs near me,” “jobs for freshers,” or similar job seeking queries.
Google also partnered with a number of organizations from across the industry including IBM Talent Management Solutions, LinkedIn, QuikrJobs and TimesJobs among others for this purpose. The tech giant aims to add a new functionality to the search engine to show a comprehensive listing of jobs on the results page.
With from a roster over a million listings, from some 90,000 employers nationwide, the company claims its tool can help job seekers at every level, from recent college grads to experienced managers. Users can click on the listings to bring up more information about the company and the role, as well as links to apply for the said role on various platforms.
The search results can also be narrowed down to fewer and more relevant listings by adding filters such as preferred title, location and contract type. “We’ll continue to add relevant filters, and surface more pertinent job related information in the future. This new jobs search experience will be available in English on the Search app on Android and iOS, in Google search on the desktop and mobile,” the company further added.
Both the desktop and the Android versions of the search engine have been integrated with the new tool along with an open source framework called Open Documentation. All third party job search platforms and direct employers, big or small can make their job openings discoverable through the Open Documentation framework. At present, the Indian online job market is showing healthy growth with 63% of people slated to access online job postings and more than 50% of job related queries originating from mobile users.
Walmart To Buy Controlling Stakes In Flipkart By Next Week
America’s biggest retail firm Walmart Inc., may buy close to a 51% stake in India’s biggest ecommerce startup Flipkart by the end of next week. Reuters reported, according to two sources close to the matter, Walmart could acquire controlling stakes in Flipkart as early as next week.
The investment talks met a snag when SoftBank was reportedly not ready to sell its shares in the Indian ecommerce firm to Walmart. Currently, the Japan based venture firm owns about one fifth of Flipkart through its Vision Fund. However, sources report the stalemate ended but it is still unclear if SoftBank agreed to sell some of its shares in Flipkart. Sources also revealed, Walmart offered to buy SoftBank shares at a valuation of $12 billion, a price the Japanese tech investor considered to be low. MoneyControl reported Walmart may retain Flipkart’s management team including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kalyan Krishnamurthy. This investment could increase Flipkart’s valuation to about $20 billion, up from $12 billion last year.
India has become ground zero for the ecommerce ecosystem with big global players looking to invest in Indian firms and break into the market. Amazon India has also gone into overdrive in an attempt to emerge as the biggest shareholder of the Indian ecommerce industry which is expected to reach a market capitalization of $ 28 billion by 2020. Flipkart, on the other hand, envisioned as the ‘Amazon of India’ has raised over $6 billion in funding rounds so far and owns India’s largest online fashion retailers Myntra and Jabong.
According to a report by Morgan Stanley, India had up to 60 million online shoppers in 2016, which makes up to only 14% of the internet user base in the country. However, by 2026, these numbers are expected to rise to over 50%. Experts suggest, in the long run, this deal between Walmart and Flipkart could be a win for both the companies. Flipkart could also be the best available option for Walmart to access India’s growing retail market, while Flipkart could leverage Walmart’s enormous funds to battle Amazon. Amazon and Walmart have been bitter competitors in America for over two decades. It will be interesting to see, to say the least, who wins this battle and who wins the war in the Indian ecommerce battleground.
Marissa Mayer Creates Tech Startup Incubator
Marissa Mayer, the former chief executive officer (CEO) of Yahoo, is starting a brand new business incubator called Lumi Labs in partnership with long time colleague, Enrique Munoz Torres. According to reports, the new business incubator will aim to focus on consumer media and artificial intelligence.
While the incubator in itself is extremely intriguing, what makes the idea all the more exciting is the fact that Mayers is going back to the roots of her work. It is a homecoming of sorts for her as Mayer has rented out Google’s original office in Palo Alto, California, where she had started her career as a 24 year old Stanford University graduate.
Thinking about what’s next, I returned to my roots, rented the original Google office where I started my career, and founded a lab with my longtime friend and teammate @eamunozt. A bit of info: https://t.co/6A058GJUvp
— marissamayer (@marissamayer) April 18, 2018
This particular Google office has a lot of special things attached to its name. The office was home to online payments company, PayPal, which was started by a host of co founders including Tesla founder, Elon Musk. Marrisa was selected as the 20th employee of Google in the year 1999 and was in fact, the first female engineer to get a job at the largest search engine!
Mayer left the Google office after 13 long years and joined Yahoo in the year 2012 for five long years! Despite being regarded as the Geek Goddess at Google, she failed to revive Yahoo’s stalled business even after trying her best. While not a lot has been revealed about the new business incubator Mayer’s and Torres are working on, the premise in itself looks extremely exciting. With more and more people venturing into the field of artificial intelligence, the fact that Mayer’s business will be combined with consumer media is what will eventually make all the difference!
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