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Little Miss Patriot, QAnon Accounts Suspended From Instagram

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Accounts like @little.miss.patriot, who gained hundreds of thousands of followers by posting right-wing conspiracy theories on Instagram, were booted by the platform.

Last updated on September 2, 2020, at 1:13 p.m. ET

Posted on September 1, 2020, at 8:46 p.m. ET

Some of the most popular pro-QAnon accounts on Instagram, which have been spreading right-wing conspiracy theories with increasing frequency over the summer, were suspended Tuesday under Facebook’s new policies against groups tied to violence.

The account holder behind @little.miss.patriot, who gained nearly 300,000 followers in just a few months by posting pastel-colored infographics of various debunked claims about President Donald Trump and Democrats, posted on their backup account that their main Instagram handle had been suspended without warning.

“I have no idea how long my page is disabled for, it will not let me log in, I have no information,” the anonymous account holder wrote on their backup page, little.miss.patriot.2.

The account holder behind @qthewakeup also announced that they can no longer access their main page, writing on their backup page: “Can’t stop, won’t stop.”

As did the person behind @greatawkening3, who claimed to have 117,000 followers when they were suspended.

Several smaller conspiracy theory pages, while they remain active, have also had their posts flagged as “false information” by Instagram’s fact-checkers.

And right-wing journalist Liz Crokin posted that her Instagram was “under attack,” though she didn’t clarify what she meant.

An Instagram spokesperson confirmed to BuzzFeed News on Wednesday that the accounts were taken down under Facebook’s new policies against accounts “tied to offline anarchist groups that support violent acts amidst protests, US-based militia organizations and QAnon.”

However, several accounts that promote QAnon — the collective delusion about Trump fighting a child sex trafficking ring led by liberal global elites — remain active on the platform, without any apparent censorship of their content. In addition, many lifestyle bloggers who have pivoted to conspiracy theory content, such as @roseuncharted and @luvbec, have thus far faced no apparent consequences for sharing the misinformation.

In the announcement of the crackdown, Facebook said it had “removed over 790 groups, 100 Pages and 1,500 ads tied to QAnon from Facebook, blocked over 300 hashtags across Facebook and Instagram, and additionally imposed restrictions on over 1,950 Groups and 440 Pages on Facebook and over 10,000 accounts on Instagram” as of Aug. 19.

The company vowed to continue to monitor extremist groups the crop up on their platforms.

“These movements and groups evolve quickly, and our teams will follow them closely and consult with outside experts so we can continue to enforce our policies against them,” the statement read.

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Facebook ex-HR boss worries grads will miss out due to coronavirus

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Fiona Mullan, former vice president of global human resources at Facebook.

Fiona Mullan

LONDON — Graduates are likely to find the workplace “much more challenging” in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the former vice president of global human resources at Facebook, who said companies are finding it harder to offer them a satisfactory experience.

Fiona Mullan, who spent almost six years at Facebook, said she is particularly concerned that graduates won’t be able to form the same kinds of relationships with their colleagues that they normally would when they enter the world of work.

“We made some of our best friends in that first job,” Mullan told CNBC via Zoom last week. “We did that because we went on holiday together or we went on boozy nights together or … we learned together. That cohort experience for graduates is going to be much more challenging.”

Mullan, who is now chief people officer at cellphone top-up company Ding, said she’s interested to see whether the pandemic ends up diluting company cultures or whether there’s a difference in job satisfaction levels between employees who joined pre-Covid and post-Covid. “How will it be for people who have never been inside an office or met a physical person of the company that they’re going to work for?”

While some industries such as travel and retail have been decimated by the pandemic, tech on the whole has continued to grow, albeit slightly slower than before, said Mullan.

“The tech industry will be better positioned to continue to invest in graduate hiring than other industries,” Mullan said. However, she highlighted that there likely will be fewer graduate roles available at tech companies this year as a result of the virus.

Engineers, moderators and software developers

In terms of recruitment, Mullan said social media platforms will continue to focus on hiring engineering talent, moderators, and people with the skills to develop software that can automate moderation.

“They’re building for the future and their appetite for the market’s best technical talent is always a strategic plan,” she said. “If they miss a year, they feel the negative impact of that in future years so they will be keen to continue to invest there.”

Indeed, The Telegraph newspaper on Monday reported that TikTok was hiring a new “university relations recruiter” at its London office to find at least nine people to start work at the company next year. Some of the new recruits will reportedly work on developing the company’s machine-learning software that underpins the app’s recommendation algorithm, while others will work in marketing, content development and creative strategy.

Focus on efficiencies

Looking ahead, Mullan said tech firms would likely look to make their finance, legal, and HR teams more “efficient” in the pandemic.

Chris Bray, a recruiter at Heidrick & Struggles who helps U.S. tech giants to find talent in Europe, agreed that strategic decisions around recruitment were now being made, after a difficult period earlier in the year. 

“At the outset of Covid, we witnessed a semi-paralysis amongst many large players, with spending reined in and recruitment strategies put on hold,” he told CNBC.

However, he added: “Over the past quarter, a definite pattern has emerged now that uncertainty is the new-normal and a number of companies have thrived during their first six months in a Covid economy, they are starting to make braver moves and we are seeing a lot of more strategic decision making.”


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Hong Kong book closed early due to strong demand

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The Ant Group Co. logo is displayed at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China, on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

GUANGZHOU, China — Ant Group will close its Hong Kong institutional book building process a day earlier than expected due to strong demand for its record initial public offering (IPO), a person familiar with the matter told CNBC.

The Chinese financial technology giant is carrying out a dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong, issuing an equal number of new shares in each location.

Ant Group’s listing will raise a total of just under $34.5 billion, making it the biggest IPO of all time. The Hong Kong portion will raise around $17.24 billion, before a so-called overallotment option is exercised.

Of the Hong Kong shares issued, 97.5% will go to institutional investors.

According to the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly, the book building will now close at 5 p.m. Hong Kong time on Wednesday, instead of Thursday at 5 p.m. as expected.

A book building process is a period during which investors indicate their interest in an IPO, and submit the number of shares and price they want to subscribe to. If demand is high, the book can be closed early.

Ant Group declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.

Ant Group priced its Shanghai-listed shares at 68.8 yuan each and its Hong Kong shares at 80 Hong Kong dollars.

The company’s Hong Kong shares are slated to begin trading on Nov. 5 with the Shanghai portion expected at the same time.


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Uber and Lyft spending big on Facebook ads for Yes on 22 in California

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Uber and Lyft spending big on Facebook ads for Yes on 22 in California