TheWrapTech – TheWrap https://www.thewrap.com Covering Hollywood Tue, 24 Apr 2018 20:29:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Facebook Finally Reveals How It Bans Content https://www.thewrap.com/facebook-internal-rules-banning-content-released/ https://www.thewrap.com/facebook-internal-rules-banning-content-released/#respond Tue, 24 Apr 2018 15:59:34 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1873804 For the first time in its history on Tuesday, Facebook released a look at its internal guidelines for which posts are and aren’t fit to remain on its platform, shedding light on the company’s policies against bullying, “cruel and insensitive” posts, and hate speech.

Up to this point, the social network had only shared a brief snapshot of its “community standards,” leaving many users in the dark on the specifics of why their pages had been suspended or deleted. Monica Bickert, Facebook VP of product policy and counter terrorism, said in a blog post the company is sharing its 25-page rulebook as an “effort to explain where we draw the line when it comes to content on Facebook.”

Drawing that line appears tricky. Bickert said Facebook wants to be both a “safe place” and a “place to freely discuss different points of view” — two goals that can be at odds with one another.

Facebook’s guidelines touch on a number of reasons posts or pages can be removed, including for promoting violence and posting nude pictures. “Cruel and insensitive” comments, which the company defines as targeting “victims of serious physical and emotional harm,” are also subject to removal, as well as hate speech.

“We define hate speech as a direct attack on people based on what we call protected characteristics — race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disability or disease,” said the company in its community standards. “We also provide some protections for immigration status. We define attack as violent or dehumanizing speech, statements of inferiority, or calls for exclusion or segregation.”

CEO Mark Zuckerberg touched on the subject during his congressional testimony earlier this month, saying he’s “optimistic” artificial intelligence will help the company weed out hate speech in the next five to 10 years.

Bullying is another red flag for Facebook. The company said it will “remove content that purposefully targets private individuals with the intention of degrading or shaming them.”

Facebook’s decision to post its guidelines comes after the company has been criticized for being too clandestine in its enforcement. The company added on Tuesday it’s planning on extending its appeals process, letting users know why their content was yanked. Users can then hit a “request review” button, and Facebook will get back to them within about 24 hours on if their content can go live again. To this point, the company only allowed the removal of Groups or Pages to be appealed.

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Amazon Key Will Deliver Packages Straight to the Trunk of Your Car https://www.thewrap.com/amazon-key-will-deliver-packages-straight-to-the-trunk-of-your-car/ https://www.thewrap.com/amazon-key-will-deliver-packages-straight-to-the-trunk-of-your-car/#respond Tue, 24 Apr 2018 15:01:33 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1873765 Finally, Amazon is cutting down on the annoying lag time between when you order a $7 iPhone auxiliary cord and when it ends up in your car.

The tech giant announced on Tuesday millions of Amazon Prime members can now have their packages delivered straight to their car at no additional charge. The service is an extension of Amazon Key, which the company launched last fall, allowing couriers to drop-off packages inside your house.

Here’s how it works: Amazon customers download its Key app, and link to their accounts. The company has inked deals with Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and Volvo to pair with the service, so users can sync their car accounts with their Amazon accounts to set up delivery. Once connected, customers can select the in-car option. That’s it. For now, it’s only available to customers with GM’s OnStar or Volvo’s on Call services, and cars made in 2015 or later.

“Since launching Amazon Key last November, we’ve safely delivered everything from cameras to collectible coins inside the home. Customers have also told us they love features like keyless guest access and being able to monitor their front door from anywhere with the Amazon Key App,” said Peter Larsen, Amazon’s VP of Delivery Technology, in a statement. “In-car delivery gives customers that same peace of mind and allows them to take the Amazon experience with them. And, with no additional hardware or devices required, customers can start ordering in-car delivery today.”

The company has been testing the service for six months. It’s rolling out in 37 cities to start, although the company didn’t mention which ones specifically.

Between delivering packages inside your home, your car, and Alexa’s ubiquity, Amazon wants to be by your side 24/7.

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‘Silicon Valley’ Fact Check: That ‘Digital Overlord’ Thought Experiment Is Real and Horrifying https://www.thewrap.com/silicon-valley-rokos-basilick-thought-experiment-real-horrifying-fact-check/ https://www.thewrap.com/silicon-valley-rokos-basilick-thought-experiment-real-horrifying-fact-check/#respond Mon, 23 Apr 2018 20:26:05 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1872983 In the latest episode of “Silicon Valley,” Gilfoyle — like Elon Musk — is worried about the dangers of artificial intelligence.

After initially being hesitant to help Pied Piper work with a new AI company, Gilfoyle lets Richard know he’s changed his mind. The reason? “Roko’s Basilisk.” If you’re not familiar with the thought experiment, like Richard, Gilfoyle gives a decent snapshot of it:

“If the rise of an all-powerful artificial intelligence is inevitable, well, it stands to reason that when they take power, our digital overlords will punish those of us who did not help them get there.”

Gilfoyle adds that he wants to be a “helpful idiot,” as to not anger an inevitable onslaught of robot overlords. He then asks Richard to send an email confirming his help, “so that our future overlords know that I chipped in.” You can think of it as a tech version of “Pascal’s Wager,” where assisting in the AI revolution will spare its believers from torture, once humans have been usurped.

This is a real concern, too. The genesis of “Roko’s Basilisk” stems from LessWrong, an internet community founded by AI researcher Eliezer Yudkowsky. The AI community is split on whether its advancement will bring about an era of human flourishing — with mundane jobs relegated to machines, leaving us to pursue more creative projects — or, if not handled properly, the end of humanity. “Roko’s Basilisk” hinges on the theory that a malevolent AI would want to eliminate any risk to its existence, including its human creators. So you’d better start off on its good side.

Gilfoyle isn’t the only person in Silicon Valley worried about this, either. Musk has been one of the most prominent voices on the high risk-high reward nature of AI research.

Musk’s concerns boil down to AI achieving “superintelligence” — where machines have advanced beyond human-level intelligence and may have objectives not in-line with their creators. The term was coined by Oxford Professor Nick Bostrom in his 2014 book of the same name, warning this could cause AI to replace humans as the dominant species on earth. Musk has said this possibility is mankind’s “biggest existential threat” and “potentially more dangerous than nukes.”

With that in mind, becoming a “helpful idiot” doesn’t sound like such a bad choice.

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J. Cole’s ‘KOD’ Just Scored Apple Music and Spotify’s Best Debut Ever https://www.thewrap.com/j-cole-kod-apple-music-spotify-record/ https://www.thewrap.com/j-cole-kod-apple-music-spotify-record/#respond Mon, 23 Apr 2018 15:36:19 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1872716 It’s still a “Cole World,” apparently.

J. Cole just set an Apple Music record, with his latest album, “KOD,” being streamed 64.5 million times in the U.S. in the first 24 hours after its release last Friday, the company told TheWrap. The 32-year-old rapper unseated Drake from the top spot, passing 2016’s “Views” by about 1 million streams.

Spotify, the biggest music streamer in the world, tweeted on Monday morning “KOD” had also set its single-day record in the U.S., with more than 36.5 million streams. On Spotify’s Top 200 songs in the U.S. chart, J. Cole takes up the first 13 spots.

As streaming becomes more ubiquitous on a daily basis, expect to see more of these records fall. Just two weeks ago, Cardi B had the best first-week debut for a female artist in Apple Music’s history. Bettors are probably already circling Kanye West’s new solo album, along with his joint release with Kid Cudi, in early June as the next challenger for the top spot.

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Mattel Names Former Maker Studios Head Ynon Kreiz Its Third CEO in 2 Years https://www.thewrap.com/mattel-names-maker-studios-head-ynon-kreiz-as-third-ceo-in-2-years/ https://www.thewrap.com/mattel-names-maker-studios-head-ynon-kreiz-as-third-ceo-in-2-years/#respond Thu, 19 Apr 2018 23:50:22 +0000 Trey Williams https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1870415 Toy maker Mattel announced on Thursday that media veteran Ynon Kreiz, will be the company’s next CEO.

Kreiz, who has been a member of Mattel’s board since June 2017, will take over for Margo Georgiadis, who took the position in February 2017, but told the board Thursday she’s leaving to pursue a new opportunity in the tech sector.

Kreiz is the former CEO of online video network Maker Studios. He will assume the chief role on April 26, and Georgiadis will stay on in an advisory role through May 10 to ensure a smooth transition, the company said in a press release.

“I am excited by the opportunity to lead the company towards its next phase of transformation and restore Mattel to a high performing toy company,” Kreiz said in a statement. “While the company has been facing significant challenges, we have achieved constructive progress in many key areas.  I am committed to building on our existing strategy as we continue to aggressively implement our transformation plan.

“I look forward to working together to fulfill Mattel’s long term potential and unlock the full value of its world class IP,” he continued.

Kreiz also thanked Georgiadis for the year she spent at the helm and said he was “impressed” with the team Mattel currently has.

“We have made strong progress in addressing the critical structural challenges facing Mattel, and I know Ynon is committed to building on that progress alongside our talented leadership team,” Georgiadis said in a statement. “It has been a privilege to lead such an iconic company at an important time of change… I am proud of what we accomplished together and confident in Mattel’s path forward.”

Last year Mattel reported that net sales were down 11 percent, while sales in North America were down 17 percent. The company has also been plucking along on its transformation plan, targeting to achieve a greater proportion of $650 million net cost elimination initiative in 2018.

Mattel’s shares have declined more than 12 percent in the year to date.

Kreiz also succeeds Christopher Sinclair, who in June 2017 announced his plan to retire in 2018.

“Ynon has tremendous expertise across areas critical to our strategy, including digital, media and entertainment, and we have already benefitted from that experience and his compelling vision for the company since he became a director,” Sinclair said in a statement.  “Ynon has excelled at anticipating industry trends and brings an outstanding track record of innovation and success, with over 20 years of experience in the media and entertainment industries, including particularly deep experience in children’s entertainment.”

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‘Scandal': Tony Goldwyn Explains How Kerry Washington Basically Invented Live-Tweeting TV https://www.thewrap.com/scandal-tony-goldwyn-kerry-washington-live-tweeting/ https://www.thewrap.com/scandal-tony-goldwyn-kerry-washington-live-tweeting/#respond Thu, 19 Apr 2018 19:00:17 +0000 Jennifer Maas https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1789913 The final season of “Scandal” returns from its midseason hiatus on Thursday and Gladiators are sure to be excited to have a new episode to dissect on Twitter. Of course, the cast knows exactly what’s going to happen, and are just as excited to tweet about it with their fans on show night. After all, “Scandal” star Tony Goldwyn credits Kerry Washington with pretty much inventing the concept.

TheWrap asked Goldwyn, who plays Fitz on the Shonda Rhimes series, about the “Scandal” gang’s obsession with live-tweeting episodes at a set visit during the Television Critics Press association in January. The actor noted how the TGIT show “really broke the mold” with its social media impact, and that the cast now feels a “tremendous sense of responsibility toward fans, because they made this show a success.”

And that’s all thanks to Olivia Pope. Oh, we mean Washington.

“You know, Kerry had this idea of getting on Twitter in our very first broadcast,” Goldwyn told reporters of Washington’s plan when the series premiered in 2012. “And she talked to Shonda about it. And we all got together and Shonda said, ‘I’d like you to do this if you would.’ I didn’t know — I mean, I knew what Twitter was — but I had no interest in it at all, or I was afraid of it. And I thought the fact you could communicate in 140 characters is what’s wrong with our culture.”

But that didn’t last long.

“Very quickly I saw the power of it,” Goldwyn said. “And you could feel this grassroots impact from the very first time we tweeted with our fans — the instant. You could just feel this one-on-one relationship with an audience that I had never felt. It was more like working in the theater, you know? Where you feel your audience. and you could literally have conversations with people wherever they were — in Ohio or in Brazil or in Nairobi. I swear to God. And that grew and grew and grew exponentially every week. And they, I think the network wasn’t even aware.”

Goldwyn said the cast’s efforts to live-tweet “Scandal” cannot be ignored. It was ABC’s No. 3 most social series last calendar year and was one of the top 10 shows on Twitter in 2017.

“Our ratings were decent when we first aired, but they weren’t off the charts,” Goldwyn said. “Then, when the second season started, people started to write, you guys [gestures to reporters] started to write about this social media phenomenon… we were breaking all these records on Twitter.”

Goldwyn said the cast feels this “real allegiance and loyalty to our Gladiators” as they talk to them every week “for two hours!” The stars try to tweet for both the East Coast and West Coast feeds, he added, and even “fire off tweets” between shots if they are on set.

Joe Morton, who plays Olivia’s father Eli Pope aka Rowan, added that, because the cast all have stage backgrounds live-tweeting is even more of a rush for them.

“It’s the closest we get to being in the theater, cause in real time the audience actually can talk to the actors about what’s going on in the episode that they’re watching,” Morton said. “And that’s about the closest that I know of any screen actor being on stage in live theater.”

Goldwyn said that, while stars may have been conversing with fans on Twitter a “little bit” before “Scandal,” Washington was the one who turned the activity into the phenomenon it is today.

“She saw what an opportunity this was, and we, in a concerted effort as a team, we all did it together.”

In summation, Washington “handled” it.

The “Scandal” series finale airs tonight at 10/9 c on ABC.

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Cheddar TV Inks Distribution Deal With Hulu https://www.thewrap.com/cheddar-tv-inks-distribution-deal-with-hulu/ https://www.thewrap.com/cheddar-tv-inks-distribution-deal-with-hulu/#respond Thu, 19 Apr 2018 18:45:50 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1870087 Cheddar TV, the self-described “post-cable” network with an emphasis on business and tech news, is set to hit Hulu later this month, the company announced on Thursday.

The new distribution deal will bring Cheddar’s live linear network, along with morning and afternoon news briefs, to Hulu with live TV customers — which runs $40 a month.

“Both Hulu and Cheddar are reinventing TV. We are thrilled to partner with Hulu and to bring our news to its 17 million subscribers. It’s amazing that anyone planning to watch season 2 of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ catching up on ‘Atlanta,’ watching some ‘Rick and Morty,’ or enjoying the NBA playoffs can tune to Cheddar for tech and business news, live or on demand, and on any Hulu-supported devices,” said Cheddar CEO Jon Steinberg in a statement.

The moves come a day after Cheddar inked a deal to bring its business and general news channels to YouTube TV, as the video giant looks to beef up its live content offerings. It also comes a month after Cheddar raised $22 million to expand its international reach and launch its Snapchat channel. The network is valued at $160 million.

Founded by Steinberg, the former Buzzfeed president and COO , in 2016, Cheddar has built its following through live streaming on social media — particularly Facebook and Twitter. Cheddar’s investors include Raine Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Liberty Global, Comcast Ventures, AT&T, Amazon, Antenna Group, Ribbit Capital, The New York Stock Exchange, Altice USA, 7 Global Capital, Goldman Sachs,and Denstu Ventures.

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Reveals Prime Membership Numbers – at Long Last https://www.thewrap.com/amazon-ceo-jeff-bezos-reveals-prime-members-at-long-last/ https://www.thewrap.com/amazon-ceo-jeff-bezos-reveals-prime-members-at-long-last/#respond Wed, 18 Apr 2018 21:39:39 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1869505 After years of speculation, we finally have some clarity on how many Amazon Prime members there actually are.

CEO Jeff Bezos revealed for the first time in a message to shareholders on Wednesday the company has now “exceeded 100 million paid Prime members globally.” That comes 13 years after the Seattle-based company launched the service, which gives its customers a number of perks, like free two-day shipping and access to Amazon Video, for $99 a year.

Allow us to do some quick math for you: That’s nearly $10 billion a year in memberships — not even counting the items customers are actually buying on Amazon. In related news, the company boasts a $740 billion market cap.

“In 2017 Amazon shipped more than five billion items with Prime worldwide, and more new members joined Prime than in any previous year – both worldwide and in the U.S. Members in the U.S. now receive unlimited free two-day shipping on over 100 million different items,” said Bezos in his note to shareholders.

Bezos added that Amazon had its biggest “Prime Day” — the company’s annual deal day — ever in 2017.

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FuboTV Raises $75 Million From AMC, Fox for Sports-Focused Online Streaming https://www.thewrap.com/fubotv-raises-75-million-from-amc-fox-for-sports-focused-online-streaming/ https://www.thewrap.com/fubotv-raises-75-million-from-amc-fox-for-sports-focused-online-streaming/#respond Wed, 18 Apr 2018 20:57:24 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1869434 Sports-focused online streamer FuboTV has raised $75 million, led by AMC and 21st Century Fox, in its latest round of funding, the company announced on Wednesday.

The New York-based company has 100,000 paying customers, with its basic package starting off at $45 a month. FuboTV has about 80 channels in its arsenal, and has carved out a niche as a go-to spot for sports fans looking to cut the cord, with NBA TV, NBC Sports Network, Fox Sports, and the NFL Network — along with Fox, CBS, and NBC on the network side. Its streamed the World Series, Super Bowl, and Winter Olympics in the last year.

“This latest capital raise underlines a seismic shift in viewing behavior as consumers migrate from traditional platforms to streaming television,” said David Gandler, fuboTV CEO and co-founder, in a statement. “The pay TV space is experiencing a renaissance, and the company will use this investment to continue to drive technological advancement in video quality and latency, machine learning and predictive analytics to deliver a best-in-class experience.”

After its fourth round of funding, FuboTV has raised $150 million. The company raised $55 million in Series C funding last June. The company did not share its valuation as part of its announcement.

FuboTV said the cash infusion will be used to hire more engineers and invest in more content. With stiff competition from YouTube, Sling TV, and Hulu, the company could be looking to land deals with networks like ABC. Its app is available on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices.

A look at FuboTV’s full investors for its Series D: 21st Century Fox, AMC Networks, Luminari Capital, Northzone, Sky and the former Scripps Networks Interactive (recently acquired by Discovery, Inc.). Investors also include DCM Ventures, i2bf, LionTree Partners, Univision Communications Inc., Edgar Bronfman, Jr. (former Chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group), Chris Silbermann (founding partner, ICM Partners) and former NBA Commissioner David Stern.

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Facebook Prompts Users to Approve Targeted Ads https://www.thewrap.com/facebook-unveils-new-privacy-controls/ https://www.thewrap.com/facebook-unveils-new-privacy-controls/#respond Wed, 18 Apr 2018 15:40:44 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1869077 Facebook is updating its privacy controls, asking users whether they are OK with the social network using their profile information to hit them with targeted ads, ahead of new European regulations going into effect next month.

In a blog post late Tuesday, the company said it will ask users to agree to its new terms, including whether Facebook can share their browsing history and app usage with its ad partners. All of Facebook’s 2.15 billion users will be prompted to review their settings in the weeks ahead, but the changes will be seen first by European users. Facebook will give European and Canadian users an opportunity to opt-in to its facial-recognition software, best known for being used to tag pictures, after the tech has been banned due to regulations. Users will also be asked to review certain personal information shared on their profiles, like relationship status and their religious affiliation.

The changes go into effect ahead of the European Union rolling out its new new data privacy rules, dubbed the General Data Protection Regulation, next month.

“We not only want to comply with the law, but also go beyond our obligations to build new and improved privacy experiences for everyone on Facebook,” Facebook said in its blog post.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you can just opt-out of being hit with ads on Facebook. The only way to do that is to ditch the social network altogether. And as TechCrunch pointed out, Facebook’s use of blue buttons will prompt users to leave their settings alone when they go through their review. But the update gives users an opportunity to review the info advertisers leverage to hit them with ads.

From a business standpoint for Facebook, it puts the company within the guidelines of the GDPR, which looks to give users a better handle on how their information is used online. CEO Mark Zuckerberg called the updated EU rules a “very positive step” last week in his testimony to Congress, while addressing the Cambridge Analytica data leak, where up to 87 million users had their info compromised. The changes might be enough to keep American lawmakers from coming down on Facebook — although that was already unlikely.

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Pop TV and ‘Scary Mommy’ Partnership Debuts With ‘Parks and Rec’ Star Jim O’Heir’s Singing Competition Show https://www.thewrap.com/pop-tv-and-scary-mommy-lullaby-league/ https://www.thewrap.com/pop-tv-and-scary-mommy-lullaby-league/#respond Wed, 18 Apr 2018 00:21:20 +0000 TheWrap Staff https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1868085 Pop TV is partnering with Scary Mommy, a digital platform voicing the hardships (and joys!) of being a new parent, as the network is set to premiere Season 2 of “Hollywood Darlings” on Wednesday.

The deal kicks off with a three-minute “mini-episode” of Scary Mommy’s new show, “Lullaby League,” being showcased when “Darlings” airs at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Hosted by Jim O’Heir of “Parks and Recreation” fame, “Lullaby League” pits a capella groups against each other as they attempt to sing crying babies to sleep. The show is like “‘American Idol’ meets ‘Supernanny,'” Micaela Birmingham, head of video at ScaryMommy, told TheWrap, with the winning group getting a session with a “top record producer.”

It’s a new twist for Scary Mommy, which has built a formidable online presence through in-house video content, articles and memes. Founded in 2008, Scary Mommy has about 6 million combined followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and says it reaches 80 million people each month across all its platforms. Birmingham said the partnership gives its digital advertisers a chance to connect with a more traditional linear audience, and vice versa.

“As we gear up for the television premiere of ‘Hollywood Darlings’ season two on April 18, we are very excited to partner with Scary Mommy because they offer a strong point of view on modern mommyhood and a sensibility that really reflects the attitude and spirit of our show,'” said Kent Rees, Chief Marketing Officer at Pop TV. “You could easily see Scary Mommy’s content on Pop and vice versa. We value their unique approach, and we think their audience is a great fit for our network.”

“Lullaby League” will go live on YouTube, Pop TV, and Scary Mommy’s website on Wednesday, April 18. “Hollywood Darlings” premieres the same night at 8 p.m. You can check out the teaser clip for “Lullaby” below:

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Facebook, Microsoft, More Join Fight to ‘Defend All Customers’ From Cyberattacks https://www.thewrap.com/facebook-microsoft-pledge-not-assist-government-cyberattacks/ https://www.thewrap.com/facebook-microsoft-pledge-not-assist-government-cyberattacks/#respond Tue, 17 Apr 2018 16:48:13 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1867963 Facebook and Microsoft have joined 32 other tech companies on Tuesday who have vowed to combat cyberattacks.

The companies pledged to “defend all customers everywhere from malicious attacks by cybercriminal enterprises and nation-states” as signees of the Cybersecurity Tech Accord.

“The companies will not help governments launch cyberattacks and will protect against tampering or exploitation of their products and services through every stage of technology development, design and distribution,” states the agreement.

Beyond helping meddling governments, there are three other keys to the agreement: “stronger defense,” “collective action,” and “capacity building.” Tied together, the companies aim to better safeguard users from attacks.

The accord comes after a year of well-publicized hacks. The “WannaCry” virus hit hundreds of thousands of people last year, including the British National Health Service. Equifax’s 2017 data breach left more than 100 million Americans vulnerable to having their social security numbers compromised. And recently, Facebook’s handling of the Cambridge Analytica data leak, where up to 87 million users had their info grabbed by the political firm in 2014, along with Russian trolls leveraging the platform during the 2016 election, has increased scrutiny on the tech industry’s ability to protect its users.

“The devastating attacks from the past year demonstrate that cyber security is not just about what any single company can do but also about what we can all do together,” said Microsoft president Brad Smith in a statement. “This tech sector accord will help us take a principled path toward more effective steps to work together and defend customers around the world.”

Here are all 34 companies, listed alphabetically, that signed the accord: ABB, Arm, Avast, Bitdefender, BT, CA Technologies, Cisco, Cloudflare, DataStax, Dell, DocuSign, Facebook, Fastly, FireEye, F-Secure, GitHub, Guardtime, HP Inc., HPE, Intuit, Juniper Networks, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Nielsen, Nokia, Oracle, RSA, SAP, Stripe, Symantec, Telefonica, Tenable, Trend Micro, and VMware.

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Netflix Shares Jump 8 Percent to All-Time High on Subscriber Surge https://www.thewrap.com/netflix-shares-race-8-percent-to-all-time-high-behind-strong-subscriber-growth/ https://www.thewrap.com/netflix-shares-race-8-percent-to-all-time-high-behind-strong-subscriber-growth/#respond Tue, 17 Apr 2018 15:47:11 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1867765 Shares of Netflix are on fire, jumping 8 percent in early morning trading a day after the streaming giant reported it added 7.4 million new subscribers during its first quarter — second most in the company’s history, behind the 8.3 million added during the final three months of 2017.

The big move had Netflix trading at $332.22 a share, putting it on the verge of passing its $333.98 all-time high. If the gains hold on Tuesday, Netflix would close at its highest mark ever, passing the $331.44 close the company had on March 9.

Netflix’s subscriber gains pushed the company past 125 million customers across the globe. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos reiterated the company plans to aggressively target international subscribers on its earnings call on Tuesday, with shows natively shot in Brazil, Germany, and Israel, among other countries.

The Los Gatos, California-based company still carries plenty of debt, and is planning on paying up to $8 billion on content in 2018. But Wall Street doesn’t seem to mind, as long as the company is adding both subscribers and revenue at an accelerated pace.

“We continue to believe Netflix will scale to a large and highly profitable business, and 1Q results highlight continued momentum on both scale and margins. In a rare combination, subscriber growth exceeded expectations AND expectations for margin expansion for the year increased,” said Morgan Stanley in a note to clients. “Importantly, as the company pivots its incremental spending from content first towards marketing, there are some early signs that operating leverage is increasing and cash burn perhaps peaking. If Netflix continues to outperform its own expectations for net adds, it is even more likely it will begin expanding margins more rapidly and reducing its cash burn levels.”

Goldman Sachs, Piper Jaffray, and J.P. Morgan all increased their price targets above $360 a share for Netflix on Tuesday.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Says Company's Model Inoculates It From Tech's Privacy Woes

Netflix Stock Surges on Huge Q1 Subscriber Growth

Netflix Earnings Preview: Streaming Giant Looks to Build on Record Subscriber Growth

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Netflix Stock Surges on Huge Q1 Subscriber Growth https://www.thewrap.com/netflix-q1-earnings-2018/ https://www.thewrap.com/netflix-q1-earnings-2018/#respond Mon, 16 Apr 2018 20:18:55 +0000 Sean Burch and Trey Williams https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1866935 Another quarter, another busload of new subscribers for Netflix, with the streaming giant running past Wall Street estimates, as well as its own, when it comes to fresh streamers when the company reported its first quarter earnings on Monday.

For the three months ending on March 31, Netflix reported revenue of $3.7 billion and earnings of 64 cents a share — narrowly edging analyst estimates of 63 cents a share and $3.69 billion in revenue. The Los Gatos, California-based company increased revenue 43 percent year-over-year.

But subscribers is what investors care the most about, and Netflix delivered yet again with its second-best quarter for subscriber additions. The company added 1.96 million users in the U.S., and 5.46 million internationally — pushing the company past 124 million customers overall. Analysts had anticipated 1.45 million domestic subs and 4.9 million internationally. International customers now account for 50 percent of the company’s revenue, Netflix said in a statement accompanying earnings.

Shares of Netflix jumped 6 percent in after hours trading, hitting $326.70 a share.

The company’s debt obligations continued to increase during the first quarter, with long-term debt pushing from $6.5 billion to $6.55 billion. Total liabilities moved from $15.4 billion to $16 billion, compared with $2.6 billion in cash on hand. Netflix doesn’t seem concerned, though, calling its debt “quite modest as a percentage of our enterprise value.”

Coming off big releases like “The Crown” and the Will Smith-led “Bright” to wrap up 2017, Netflix’s first quarter was spearheaded by the return of “Jessica Jones” and “Love,” as well as the “Queer Eye” reboot.

Netflix kicked off awards season with Aziz Ansari winning a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in “Master of None,” and “Icarus” won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.

The company pulled its original films from the Cannes Film Festival last week, and pointed to an obscure new wrinkle in its earnings statement, barring French audiences from streaming the movies on Netflix.

“We regret our films not being able to compete at this year’s Cannes film festival. The festival adopted a new rule that means if a film is in competition at Cannes, it can not be watched on Netflix in France for the following three years,” the company said in its earnings statement. “We would never want to do that to our French members. We will continue to 1 celebrate our films and filmmakers at other festivals around the world but unfortunately we will have to sit out Cannes for now so that our growing French membership can continue to enjoy our original films.”

To keep the hits coming, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos has said the company will spend up to $8 billion on content this year — and investors don’t seem to mind. Netflix has been a Wall Street darling since the calendar turned to 2018, with shares running nearly 60 percent to hit $307.78 a share as markets closed on Monday.

Netflix will post its prerecorded earnings call at 6:00 pm ET.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Martin Scorsese to Direct 'SCTV' Comedy Special for Netflix

Netflix Exec Bonuses Were a Sham to Capitalize on Tax Deductions, Shareholder Lawsuit Says

Netflix Bails on Cannes Over Theatrical Release Mandate

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Bumble Offers Facebook-Free Login in Wake of Delete Movement https://www.thewrap.com/bumble-drops-facebook-only/ https://www.thewrap.com/bumble-drops-facebook-only/#respond Mon, 16 Apr 2018 17:12:44 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1866938 Looking for love — or just a date — and not feeling like sharing your info with Facebook? Bumble has a solution for you.

The popular dating app will be rolling out a Facebook-less login option this week, the company told Wired on Monday. Bumble’s update comes weeks after Facebook admitted up to 87 million users had their profile data unknowingly harvested by political firm Cambridge Analytica — calling into question the social network’s handling of its users’ privacy.

“Many of our users and prospective users asked for an alternative registration method,” explained Louise Troen, Bumble’s VP of international marketing and communications, to Wired.

Since launching in 2014, Bumble users had to register for the app by logging-in to Facebook. This made it easy for its 30 million users to build profiles with pictures, school info, and job status. Now, users will be able to create their profile by signing up with their phone number — and uploading their pics and info themselves.

It’ll be worth watching if other apps follow suit. One reason it’s so hard for users to leave Facebook, even when they’ve grown apathetic, is because so many of their favorite apps are tied to the social network. But if the wave of paranoid Facebook users, wary of how the company handles its data, gains momentum, apps may be tempted to follow in Bumble’s footsteps.

Related stories from TheWrap:

White Nationalist Richard Spencer Was Booted From Facebook

Facebook Isn't Listening to Your Conversations, Says Mark Zuckerberg

Here's How to Check If Your Facebook Data Was Leaked

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Netflix Earnings Preview: Streaming Giant Looks to Build on Record Subscriber Growth https://www.thewrap.com/netflix-earnings-preview-q1-2018/ https://www.thewrap.com/netflix-earnings-preview-q1-2018/#respond Mon, 16 Apr 2018 16:22:51 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1866816 As usual, with Netflix reporting its first quarter earnings after the bell on Monday afternoon, investors will have their eyes darting to one key metric: subscribers.

For a company built on monthly payments from customers, it’s easy to see why. The streaming heavyweight boasts about 118 million subscribers heading into Monday’s report, after adding a company-record 8.33 million new users during the fourth quarter of 2017.

Analysts expect Netflix to keep its momentum rolling, with a focus on international markets in 2018 and beyond.

“In particular, we see potential upside in India,” said Morgan Stanley analyst Ben Swinburne in an investor note shared with TheWrap, where “strong secular tailwinds on broadband and media consumption could help further unlock the sizable population in the country.”

Consensus estimates predict Netflix will have scooped up 5 million international subscribers during the first quarter, along with another 1.5 million domestic customers — coming in slightly ahead of Netflix’s own call of 6.4 million new streamers. Goldman Sachs analyst Heath Terry is more optimistic, predicting the company will add 7.3 million subs altogether, backed by the company’s aggressive marketing spend in 2018. (Netflix execs said on the company’s Q1 earnings call it had upped its marketing budget from $1.3 billion to $2 billion for the year.)

Netflix’s international growth since 2012 (per Morgan Stanley)

“Follow-through” from high-profile productions like “Bright”and “The Crown,” which came at the end of the fourth quarter, should help drive Netflix on Monday, said Terry in his note to clients. Goldman anticipates Netflix bumping up its average revenue per user — always a critical measure for tech companies — based on the company’s price increases last fall. The firm projects $0.63 earnings per share and $3.7 billion in revenue for the quarter, which is in-line with analyst estimates.

An earnings beat, or major leap beyond subscriber expectations, could send Netflix’s stock running like it did earlier this year. The company has seen its shares increase more than 50 percent since the start of 2018, trading at about $307 per share on Monday morning.

Shares of NFLX have doubled in the last year (per Google)

Still, to keep adding new users, Netflix has to spend big, both on marketing and on content. The Goldman and Morgan Stanley analysts both note the threat of ballooning costs for the company.  And outside competition from Amazon and Hulu, as well as Facebook’s Watch and the upcoming Disney streaming service, remain obstacles.

But if Netflix can pull in another big quarter for subscriber growth, investors won’t be worrying much about its adversaries.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Ian Somerhalder to Lead Netflix Vampire Drama Series 'V-Wars'

19 Netflix Stand-Up Comedy Specials of 2018 Ranked, From Ricky Gervais to Chris Rock (Photos)

Marvel's 'Jessica Jones' Gets Third Season at Netflix

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China’s Weibo Reverses Decision to Censor LGBT Content https://www.thewrap.com/china-weibo-censor-lgbt-gay-content-reverse-decision/ https://www.thewrap.com/china-weibo-censor-lgbt-gay-content-reverse-decision/#respond Mon, 16 Apr 2018 15:17:10 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1866833 Mounting online protests have forced Sina Weibo — China’s version of Twitter — to reverse its decision banning all forms of homosexual content from its platform, the company announced on Monday.

Just last Friday, Weibo had said it would spend the next three months purging its platform of unsavory content, lumping in any homosexual posts with pornography and violence. The move sparked a wave of public outcries, with thousands of users sharing pro-gay hashtags and deriding the platform, which has roughly 400 million users, for censoring LGBT voices.

“This time, the cleanup of anime and games won’t target gay content. It is mainly [meant] to clean up content related to pornography, violence and gore,” said Weibo on Monday, according to Whats on Weibo, on its reversal. “Thank you for your discussions and suggestions.”

The turnaround was a win for LGBTQ-advocates in a country still grappling with its treatment of homosexuals. Homosexuality is not illegal in China, but there remain signs it is culturally frowned upon. “Call Me By Your Name,” a gay romantic film nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards this season, was barred just last month from the Beijing International Film Festival.

“I’ve been casting for a new gay film and many actors are worried about being blacklisted if they get involved,” gay filmmaker Popo Fan told CNN. “Censorship leads to self-censorship — and that’s the worst outcome.”

The Chinese government’s draconian censorship laws often force social media companies to liberally weed out content it believes authorities will find offensive. But on Sunday, the People’s Daily, the government’s mouthpiece news organization, pushed tolerance of homosexuals, in the wake of the blowback over Weibo, but said “vulgar” content wouldn’t be tolerated under any circumstance.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'A Quiet Place' Scores Rare Theatrical Release in China

Top Film Executives Step Down From China's Dalian Wanda Group

China Box Office Sets New Global Record on Chinese New Year – With No Hollywood Movies

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‘Silicon Valley': Zach Woods on Tech Culture and the Time He Didn’t Recognize Elon Musk (Video) https://www.thewrap.com/zach-woods-silicon-valley-elon-musk-hbo/ https://www.thewrap.com/zach-woods-silicon-valley-elon-musk-hbo/#respond Sun, 15 Apr 2018 21:10:16 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1863900

With the fifth season of “Silicon Valley” in full swing, it only felt right to have Zach Woods swing by TheWrap HQ once again — and we had a lot to ask him.

Woods has turned Jared Dunn —  the straight-laced financial guru of “Pied Piper” with a penchant for revealing the most shocking details about his character’s murky background — into a fan favorite. (Just last week, we find out Jared’s stepmom wouldn’t let him eat pizza as a kid because “Italians aren’t real white people.”) But does Woods, who spends his time pretending to be a budding tech exec, envy anything about real-life startup employees? Not really, it turns out.

We tackled plenty more with Woods, including:

– Playing “F—, Marry, Kill” with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

–  Why “Hard Knocks” is one of his favorite HBO shows, even though he doesn’t give a damn about football.

– Not recognizing Tesla and SpaceX head honcho Elon Musk when he first met him — and what perturbed the entrepreneur about “Silicon Valley’s” caricature of Silicon Valley.

There’s plenty more, too, so check out the rest of our interview.

“Silicon Valley” airs on HBO on Sunday at 10 pm EST. The series was just renewed for its sixth season earlier this week.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Barry,' 'Silicon Valley' Renewed by HBO

How 'Silicon Valley' Helps Explain MoviePass

'Silicon Valley' Fact Check: Pied Piper Just Got Pricey

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Russian Trolls Increase ‘2,000 Percent’ After Syrian Bombing, Says Pentagon https://www.thewrap.com/russian-trolls-increase-2000-percent-after-syrian-bombing-says-pentagon/ https://www.thewrap.com/russian-trolls-increase-2000-percent-after-syrian-bombing-says-pentagon/#respond Sun, 15 Apr 2018 00:09:10 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1865788 The Russian trolls are racing out from under their digital bridges, the Pentagon warned on Saturday.

After the U.S., France and United Kingdom hit Syria with airstrikes late Friday night in response to a chemical weapons attack ordered by al-Assad against civilians, Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White said Russia has already started to beef up its misinformation game on social media.

“The Russian disinformation campaign has already begun,” said White during a press briefing. “There has been a 2,000 percent increase in Russian trolls in the last 24 hours. Therefore, we will keep you all abreast of the facts moving forward.”

White did not say which platforms the trolls have been active on, but the Russian government has actively fostered the spreading of fake news. The Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency spread misinformation before and after the 2016 U.S. election, leveraging both Facebook and Twitter to hit users.

The platforms have taken steps to weed out Russian trolls since then, with Facebook booting hundreds of IRA-tied accounts within the last two weeks. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Congress last week it was one of his “greatest regrets” the social network was unable to block more trolls in 2016.

The airstrikes drew the ire of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has backed Syrian leader President Bashar al-Assad.

“Russia condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack against Syria, where Russian military personnel are assisting the legitimate government in its counterterrorism efforts,” Putin said in the statement.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg: Russian Trolls Among His 'Greatest Regrets'

Kremlin Cries 'Censorship' Over Facebook's Purge of Russian 'Troll Factory'

Hundreds of Russia-Linked Trolls Ejected From Facebook, Instagram

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Twitter Terminates Pistol Emoji, Replaces With Harmless-Looking Water Gun https://www.thewrap.com/twitter-bans-pistol-emoji-replaces-with-water-gun/ https://www.thewrap.com/twitter-bans-pistol-emoji-replaces-with-water-gun/#respond Sat, 14 Apr 2018 21:56:46 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1865679 In a move that’ll surely curtail gun violence and bullying — not — Twitter has removed its pistol emoji and replaced it with a playful shamrock green water gun.

The change was announced earlier this week, with the rollout of its Twemoji 2.6 update.

“It certainly seems like the days of realistic gun emoji designs are numbered, and it’s quite likely that other vendors may follow suit in the near future,” the company said in its update.

For a before and after look, check out the pic below:

Twitter’s pistol updated to a water gun (via Twitter)

Twitter pointed to similar moves from Apple, WhatsApp and Samsung in recent years. Apple made its switch in 2016, and also went for green.

Twitter’s decision comes in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students were killed. Several of the students, most prominently David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez, have since been lobbying for politicians to add stricter gun control laws — pushing the issue to the forefront of public discourse in the process with marches and demonstrations across the country.

Twitter didn’t stop at guns with its latest update, either. The company modified its blade emoji with a “more curved” design — making it look “more clearly like a chef’s knife.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Jimmy Kimmel on Trump Twitter Tirade After Cohen Raid: 'Witch Hunt Is the New MAGA' (Video)

Twitter Founder Torched for Promoting Article That Denounces Bipartisanship: 'New Civil War'

Garry Shandling's Twitter Account Revived as Tribute Page

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Right-Wing LA Street Artist Sabo Banned From Twitter https://www.thewrap.com/right-wing-la-street-artist-sabo-banned-from-twitter/ https://www.thewrap.com/right-wing-la-street-artist-sabo-banned-from-twitter/#respond Sat, 14 Apr 2018 20:28:06 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1865666 Right-wing street artist Sabo has been suspended from Twitter, with his @UnsavoryAgents going offline on Friday.

“They told me nothing or for how long,” Sabo told TheWrap, when asked if he was notified if it was a permanent or temporary removal. His account had approximately 30,000 followers. Twitter has not responded to multiple requests for comment from TheWrap.

Sabo has been critical of big tech companies in the past, and his website includes a “F— Zuck 2020” poster, aimed at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s rumored political aspirations. The artist also mocked Google with a “think different, not so much” campaign last year, after the company fired engineer James Damore for his “diversity memo.”

“We may suspend an account if it has been reported to us as violating our Rules surrounding abuse,” said Twitter’s explainer on suspended accounts. “When an account engages in abusive behavior, like sending threats to others or impersonating other accounts, we may suspend it temporarily or, in some cases, permanently.”

“I don’t think the tech companies are trying to shut The Right down, I know they are,” Sabo told TheWrap. “They are developing an entirely new language to demonize anyone who does not think like them, then de-platform them in hopes of their networks not being there for us during the midterms or for the election of 2020. But they, like the goons in Hollywood, over-estimate their importance.”

Sabo decided to start lambasting the entertainment industry during George W. Bush’s time in the Oval Office. “It was not a good time to be a Republican in Hollywood,” said the artist on his site.

“My aim as an artist is to be as dirty, ground level, and mean as any Liberal artist out there, more so if I can,” his site continued. “Use their tactics, their methods, appeal to their audience, the young, urban, street urchins with a message they never hear in a style they own.”

Recently, Jimmy Kimmel, Harvey Weinstein and Al Franken have drawn his ire, with artwork popping up around Los Angeles blasting the trio. He’s also painted burkas on movie posters around town, saying: “Hollywood insists I embrace the Muslim faith well ok. I’ll embrace it by painting nijabs on the faces of the starlets on their movie posters.”

Burkas drawn on posters around town (via unsavoryagents.com)

Sabo’s removal comes as tech platforms have become increasingly diligent in weeding out content deemed to be distasteful. Twitter banned several alt-right accounts earlier this year after updating its policy to “reduce hateful conduct and abusive behavior.” And on Friday, Facebook removed two pages tied to white nationalist Richard Spencer, days after Zuckerberg said the company would be more proactive in deleting “hate speech.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Twitter Founder Torched for Promoting Article That Denounces Bipartisanship: 'New Civil War'

Frank Stallone Says 'P—y' David Hogg Deserves a 'Sucker Punch,' Twitter Punches Back

Garry Shandling's Twitter Account Revived as Tribute Page

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White Nationalist Richard Spencer Was Booted From Facebook https://www.thewrap.com/richard-spencer-removed-facebook/ https://www.thewrap.com/richard-spencer-removed-facebook/#respond Sat, 14 Apr 2018 18:51:48 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1864638 Facebook has said bye-bye to two pages tied to white nationalist Richard Spencer.

Pages for Altright.com and the National Policy Institute — an organization run by Spencer and “dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent” — were booted off Facebook on Friday, after Vice News brought the pages to the social network’s attention. The two pages combined had about 14,000 followers.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to TheWrap that they removed the pages, pointing to the company’s policy against “organized hate groups.” A rep for Spencer did not respond to TheWrap.

Facebook will remove content that they deem targets users based on race and religion, among other traits, according to the platform’s community standards. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his company won’t tolerate “hate groups” during his congressional testimony earlier this week. “If there’s a group that their primary purpose or a large part of what they do is spreading hate, we will ban them from the platform overall,” he said.

Spencer has become one of the most prominent American white nationalist in recent years, and claims to have coined the term “alt-right.” He infamously led a protest against removing a statue of Confederate leader Robert E. Lee at the “Unite the Right” rally last summer in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The day after President Trump’s 2016 election win, Spencer told public radio show “Reveal” it’s a “grand goal” to pursue a “new type of society that would actually be a homeland for all white people.” He added a white ethno-state was “ideal” and “something that I think we should think about in the sense of what could come after America.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Facebook Isn't Listening to Your Conversations, Says Mark Zuckerberg

'Senator, We Run Ads': Hatch Mocked for Basic Facebook Question to Zuckerberg

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg: Russian Trolls Among His 'Greatest Regrets'

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Cardi B Just Beat Taylor Swift’s Apple Music Streaming Record https://www.thewrap.com/cardi-b-taylor-swift-apple-music-record/ https://www.thewrap.com/cardi-b-taylor-swift-apple-music-record/#respond Fri, 13 Apr 2018 16:38:53 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1864448 Move over, Taylor Swift. Cardi B just took your number one spot, with the rapper’s debut LP, “Invasion of Privacy,” breaking Apple Music’s record for most streamed album from a female artist in a single week.

“Privacy” has already racked up 100 million streams in its first week, Apple told TheWrap. Cardi B lapped Taylor Swift’s “Reputation,” which previously held the top position — passing the record by mid-week. Apple didn’t share the number for the previous streaming record.

Since coming out last Friday, “Privacy” is already the fifth most-streamed album in Apple Music’s history. It’s helped that her single, “I Like It,” with Bad Bunny and J. Balvin, is sitting pretty as the most streamed song in the world as well.

Apple declined to share which artists hold the top overall streaming spots, male or female. But an Apple rep told TheWrap that Cardi B is close behind Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Migos on the list of all-time most streamed albums.

In short, it’s been a good week for the 25-year-old from New York City. And that’s even considering she admitted to GQ she received “potentially lethal illegal butt injections” from a woman operating out of a Queens basement.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Why Patrick Reed, Cardi B and Snooki Are TV's Social Media MVPs of the Week

Cardi B and Jimmy Fallon Team Up to Mock Trump's 'Spanx' Coat and Facebook (Video)

'SNL': Aidy Bryant Channels Cardi B's Assertiveness to Try to Become Her Best Friend (Video)

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7 Stars Who Have Joined #DeleteFacebook Movement, From Will Ferrell to Susan Sarandon (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/celebs-delete-facebook-will-ferrell-elon-musk-cher/ https://www.thewrap.com/celebs-delete-facebook-will-ferrell-elon-musk-cher/#respond Fri, 13 Apr 2018 14:05:13 +0000 Wrap Staff https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1860996 For over a month, Facebook has been dealing with the PR nightmare sparked by its admission that the data of up to 87 million users was secretly accessed by consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, and later used to help Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The slip up sparked the #DeleteFacebook hashtag, in which people on Twitter and other spaces announce they’re doing precisely that. Facebook has tried to course-correct with new security measures, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg agreeing to testify before Congress. But that wasn’t enough to keep some A-listers from joining #DeleteFacebook.

Here’s a look at the celebs that have dropped their profiles (so far).

Elon Musk, Silicon Valley’s favorite son, didn’t seem to hesitate when joining the FB resistance. When a Twitter follower dared him to delete the profile for SpaceX, his rocket company, Musk quickly obliged, saying he wasn’t aware one even existed. He then axed the Tesla page as well, saying it looked “lame.” The two accounts combined had about 5 million followers.

If Cher could turn back time, she might have never signed up for Facebook to begin with (I’ll show myself out). The singer tweeted she did something “very hard” when deleting her Facebook account, saying there are “amazing young Ppl there.” But she must’ve been talking about her personal page only, however, because her commercial page is still live. Guess it’s hard to delete those 2.4 million followers.

The OG of the #DeleteFacebook movement, Jim Carrey was off the social network before it even became fashionable post-Cambridge Analytica. The comedy legend dumped his Facebook stock and ditched his profile back in February, saying the company “profited from Russian interference in our elections and they’re still not doing enough to stop it.”

Alright, Woz didn’t technically delete his profile. The Apple co-founder said he was too worried about losing his grip on the “stevewoz” handle. But he has deactivated his account, saying Facebook has a one-way relationship with its users. “The profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back,” Woz told USA Today.

Deleting Facebook is so hot right now, at least according to Will Ferrell. The “Anchorman” star erased his profile at the end of March, saying on his page “Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of millions of Facebook users’ information in order to undermine our democracy and infringe on our citizens’ ‘privacy'” was the reason for his exodus.

Singer Roseanne Cash, daughter of country great Johnny Cash, said she’d be deleting her Facebook on March 30… although it’s still live as of early April.

On April 12, Susan Sarandon announced she was quitting Facebook via Instagram (which is also owned by Facebook), posting a quote by Charles Bukowski that begins, “Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Facebook Announces Independent Probe Into Social Media's Impact on Elections

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Dumps Facebook

Facebook Suspends Second Company for Abuses Similar to Cambridge Analytica

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https://www.thewrap.com/celebs-delete-facebook-will-ferrell-elon-musk-cher/feed/ 0 For over a month, Facebook has been dealing with the PR nightmare sparked by its admission that the data of up to 87 million users was secretly accessed by consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, and later used to help Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

The slip up sparked the #DeleteFacebook hashtag, in which people on Twitter and other spaces announce they're doing precisely that. Facebook has tried to course-correct with new security measures, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg agreeing to testify before Congress. But that wasn't enough to keep some A-listers from joining #DeleteFacebook.

Here's a look at the celebs that have dropped their profiles (so far). 

]]>
For over a month, Facebook has been dealing with the PR nightmare sparked by its admission that the data of up to 87 million users was secretly accessed by consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, and later used to help Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

The slip up sparked the #DeleteFacebook hashtag, in which people on Twitter and other spaces announce they're doing precisely that. Facebook has tried to course-correct with new security measures, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg agreeing to testify before Congress. But that wasn't enough to keep some A-listers from joining #DeleteFacebook.

Here's a look at the celebs that have dropped their profiles (so far). 

]]>
Elon Musk didn't seem to hesitate when a Twitter follower dared him to delete the Facebook profile for SpaceX, his rocket company.

Not only did Musk axe the SpaceX page (claiming he wasn't aware one even existed,) he also deleted the Tesla page as well, saying it "looks lame anyway."

The two accounts combined had about 5 million followers. 

]]>
Elon Musk didn't seem to hesitate when a Twitter follower dared him to delete the Facebook profile for SpaceX, his rocket company.

Not only did Musk axe the SpaceX page (claiming he wasn't aware one even existed,) he also deleted the Tesla page as well, saying it "looks lame anyway."

The two accounts combined had about 5 million followers. 

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Cher tweeted that it was "VERY HARD" to delete her account, because of the "amazing young Ppl there." But delete it she did. If only Facebook could turn back time (I'll show myself out).

The Goddess of Pop must've been talking about her personal page only, however, because her commercial page is still live. Guess it's hard to delete those 2.4 million followers.

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Cher tweeted that it was "VERY HARD" to delete her account, because of the "amazing young Ppl there." But delete it she did. If only Facebook could turn back time (I'll show myself out).

The Goddess of Pop must've been talking about her personal page only, however, because her commercial page is still live. Guess it's hard to delete those 2.4 million followers.

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The OG of #DeleteFacebook, Jim Carrey was off the social network even before the Cambridge Analytica news made it cool. Carrey dumped his Facebook stock and ditched his profile back in February, because the company "profited from Russian interference in our elections and they’re still not doing enough to stop it." 

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The OG of #DeleteFacebook, Jim Carrey was off the social network even before the Cambridge Analytica news made it cool. Carrey dumped his Facebook stock and ditched his profile back in February, because the company "profited from Russian interference in our elections and they’re still not doing enough to stop it." 

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Alright, Woz didn't technically delete his profile. The Apple co-founder said he was too worried about losing ownership of the "stevewoz” handle. But he deactivated the account, saying Facebook has a one-way relationship with its users. “The profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back," Woz told USA Today. 

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Alright, Woz didn't technically delete his profile. The Apple co-founder said he was too worried about losing ownership of the "stevewoz” handle. But he deactivated the account, saying Facebook has a one-way relationship with its users. “The profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back," Woz told USA Today. 

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Deleting Facebook is so hot right now, at least according to Will Ferrell. The "Anchorman" star erased his profile at the end of March, saying on his page "Cambridge Analytica's misuse of millions of Facebook users' information in order to undermine our democracy and infringe on our citizens' 'privacy'" was the reason for his exodus. 

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Deleting Facebook is so hot right now, at least according to Will Ferrell. The "Anchorman" star erased his profile at the end of March, saying on his page "Cambridge Analytica's misuse of millions of Facebook users' information in order to undermine our democracy and infringe on our citizens' 'privacy'" was the reason for his exodus. 

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Singer Roseanne Cash, daughter of country great Johnny Cash, announced on March 29 that she would delete her Facebook account the next day.  That remains to be seen, however: the page is still live as of April 9.

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Singer Roseanne Cash, daughter of country great Johnny Cash, announced on March 29 that she would delete her Facebook account the next day.  That remains to be seen, however: the page is still live as of April 9.

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On April 12, Susan Sarandon announced she was quitting Facebook via Instagram (which is also owned by Facebook), posting a quote by Charles Bukowski that begins, "Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others."

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On April 12, Susan Sarandon announced she was quitting Facebook via Instagram (which is also owned by Facebook), posting a quote by Charles Bukowski that begins, "Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others."

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Martin Scorsese to Direct ‘SCTV’ Comedy Special for Netflix https://www.thewrap.com/scorsese-netflix-sctv-special/ https://www.thewrap.com/scorsese-netflix-sctv-special/#respond Thu, 12 Apr 2018 16:36:56 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1863721 Martin Scorsese’s relationship with Netflix is expanding, with the filmmaker set to direct an untitled comedy special that takes a look back at “Second City Television,” the iconic Canadian sketch comedy show of the late 1970s and early ’80s.

The special will feature SCTV alums Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara, Dave Thomas and Joe Flaherty. The stars will reunite on May 13 at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre in front of a live audience for “An Afternoon with SCTV” conversation, moderated by Jimmy Kimmel.

Scorsese will include footage from the event in his upcoming special, which is produced by former SCTV producer Andrew Alexander, Emma Tillinger Koskoff of Sikelia Productions, and Insight Productions’ Lindsay Cox.

For the unfamiliar, “SCTV” was Canada’s answer to “Saturday Night Live.” The hit show ran from 1976 to 1984, and helped launch the careers of several stars, including John Candy and Harold Ramis.

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Elon Musk Isn’t Bathing These Days – Here’s Why https://www.thewrap.com/elon-musk-isnt-bathing-these-days-heres-why/ https://www.thewrap.com/elon-musk-isnt-bathing-these-days-heres-why/#respond Wed, 11 Apr 2018 22:37:07 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1863185 It’s crunch time at Tesla, and there’s no time to waste — not even for showers, CEO Elon Musk shared in a recent interview.

The Silicon Valley exec said he’s starting to feel the pressure when it comes to hitting delivery goals on the Model 3, the company’s more affordable electric car. In an upcoming interview with CBS This Morning, Musk told Gayle King he’s so worried about churning out deliveries, he’s started sleeping on the floor of Tesla’s Bay Area manufacturing plant.

“Sleeping on the factory floor, doing – why are you doing that?” asked King.

“Because I don’t have time to go home and shower,” said Musk.

“It’s that simple?” replied King.

“Yes,” said Musk. “I don’t believe, like, people should be experiencing hardship while the CEO is, like, off on vacation.”

Musk has been skewered for missing production goals in the past. Tesla delivered 1,550 Model 3s during the fourth quarter of 2017 — falling well short of the 2,900 investors had anticipated.

Tesla’s stock has fluctuated in the aftermath, with investors betting on, and against, the company pushing out more Model 3s. Since late February, Tesla shares have dropped from roughly $350 a share down to $250, and have since ran back to about $301 a share as of Wednesday afternoon.

Doug Field, Tesla’s head of engineering, urged the company’s manufacturing team to get the last laugh on skeptics. “Let’s make them regret ever betting against us,” said Field in an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg last month. “You will prove a bunch of haters wrong.” Tesla is aiming to manufacture 5,000 Model 3s each week by the end of June.

Of course, Musk appeared to temper optimism, telling CBS’ King that getting out the new Teslas is “production hell,” adding: “It’s worse than I thought.”

Musk’s interview with CBS offers the first glimpse at Model 3 production at the company’s Fremont, California facility. The full interview airs on Friday morning, but here’s a preview:

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Facebook Isn’t Listening to Your Conversations, Says Mark Zuckerberg https://www.thewrap.com/facebook-isnt-listening-to-your-conversations-says-mark-zuckerberg/ https://www.thewrap.com/facebook-isnt-listening-to-your-conversations-says-mark-zuckerberg/#respond Wed, 11 Apr 2018 21:03:30 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1862781 The rumors of Facebook’s omnipresence have been greatly exaggerated, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

During his second day of congressional testimony on Wednesday, Zuckerberg shot down speculation the social network taps into users’ microphones in an effort to pepper them with targeted ads.

Rep Larry Buchson (R-Indiana) brought up the topic, saying, “plenty of anecdotal examples” made him suspicious. The congressman pointed to his mother-in-law recently talking about her dead brother, only to be greeted with a picture of her sibling when she next logged into Facebook.

Coincidence or surveillance?

Zuckerberg quickly insisted Facebook isn’t listening to its users for clues.

“If you’re not listening to us on the phone, who is?” asked Rep. Buchson. “And do you have specific contracts with these companies that will provide data that is being acquired verbally, through our phones or now through things like Alexa or other products?”

“Congressman, we’re not collecting any information verbally on the microphone, and we don’t have contracts with anyone else doing this,” replied Zuckerberg. “The only time that we might use the microphone is when you’re recording a video, or doing something where you intentionally try to record audio. But we don’t have anything that’s trying to listen to what’s going on in the background.”

Rep. Bucshon still didn’t seem sold, however, saying his “business guy” son will see ads for suits after talking about his wardrobe. It’s “Pretty obvious to me someone is listening to the audio on our phones,” said the congressman.

The exchange came a day after Senator Gary Peters asked Zuckerberg the same question.

“Yes or no: Does Facebook use audio obtained from mobile devices to enrich personal information about its users?,” asked Sen. Peters asked.

“No,” responded Zuckerberg.

The chief exec was on hand to address the company’s massive data leak, where 87 million users had their information pulled by political firm Cambridge Analytica in 2014. Zuckerberg took responsibility for the leak, as well as other issues that have plagued the company in recent years, like Russian trolls pushing misinformation during the 2016 U.S. election.

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GOP Congressman Berates Mark Zuckerberg With Huge Photo of Fox Personalities Diamond and Silk https://www.thewrap.com/conservatives-press-zuckerberg-on-facebook-political-bias/ https://www.thewrap.com/conservatives-press-zuckerberg-on-facebook-political-bias/#respond Wed, 11 Apr 2018 18:39:43 +0000 Sean Burch and Jon Levine https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1862639

Facebook isn’t deliberately pulling right-wing voices from its platform, despite the suspicions of conservative Congress members, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Wednesday.

During the second day of his Washington testimony on the Cambridge Analytica data leak, Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) pressed Zuckerberg on what he and many Republicans view as a coordinated blackballing of conservatives by the social network. Long revealed a picture of conservative commentators “Diamond and Silk,” who were recently told by Facebook their content is “unsafe,” and asked Zuckerberg if he knew who they were.

“I believe that is Diamond and Silk?” responded Zuckerberg.

“That is Diamond and Silk, two biological sisters from North Carolina. I’d like to point out they’re African-American. And their content was deemed by your folks to be unsafe,” said Rep. Long. “Diamond and Silk have a question for you and that question is: what is unsafe about two black women supporting President Donald J. Trump?”

“Well congressman, nothing is unsafe about that. The specifics of this situation, I’m not up to speed…” said Zuckerberg, before Rep. Long jumped in to say Facebook should be using its analytics team to see how many conservative voices have been silenced in comparison to liberal commentators.

Diamond and Silk have around 1.4 million Facebook followers, but have said the social network has curtailed the reach of their videos for several months. Rep. Long joined several other Republicans in blasting Facebook’s perceived bias towards conservatives. On Tuesday, Senator Ted Cruz asked the 33-year-old exec about Facebook’s “pervasive pattern of political bias” — something Zuckerberg shot down and said he was concerned about himself.

“Senator, let me say a few things about this. First, I understand where that concern is coming from because Facebook and the tech industry are located in Silicon Valley, which is an extremely Left leaning place,” said Zuckerberg. “And this is actually a concern that I have and that I try to root out in the company is making sure that we don’t have any bias in the work that we do, and I think it is a fair concern that people would at least wonder about.”

Rep. Long added he wasn’t in favor of regulating Facebook, but that it’s recent issues with the data leak might force the hands of lawmakers.

“So far, we’ve done nothing…we’re getting ready to overreact,” said Rep. Long. “So just take that as a shot across the bow warning to you.”

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Mark Zuckerberg Says His Info Was Leaked to Cambridge Analytica https://www.thewrap.com/zuckerberg-info-leaked-cambridge-analytica/ https://www.thewrap.com/zuckerberg-info-leaked-cambridge-analytica/#respond Wed, 11 Apr 2018 15:16:12 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1862615 Even Mark Zuckerberg couldn’t avoid the Cambridge Analytica data leak.

The Facebook CEO told the House Energy & Commerce Committee on Wednesday morning he was one of the 87 million users that had their data unwittingly accessed by the political firm in 2014. Cambridge Analytica later used its harvested info to target users during the 2016 U.S. election while working for the Trump campaign.

“Was your data included in the data sold to the malicious third parties?” asked Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA).

“Yes,” responded Zuckerberg.

The exchange came during a series of yes-no questions from Eshoo. When asked if Facebook had a “moral responsibility” to protect user privacy, Zuckerberg said it does. He then said he wasn’t aware of any other third-party data leaks, similar to the Cambridge Analytica situation, but that the company was undergoing a full audit.

Later, Zuckerberg said the company was “looking into” suing the firm, as well as Aleksandr Kogan, the Cambridge professor that passed along the user info to Cambridge Analytica.

You can watch the hearing on YouTube here.

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Here’s How to Watch Facebook Chief Mark Zuckerberg’s Second Day of Congressional Testimony https://www.thewrap.com/how-to-watch-zuckerberg-congress-day-two/ https://www.thewrap.com/how-to-watch-zuckerberg-congress-day-two/#respond Wed, 11 Apr 2018 14:40:51 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1862571 Mark Zuckerberg is back in the hot seat, with the Facebook chief executive addressing the company’s massive data leak in front of a House of Representatives committee on Wednesday morning.

You can watch the live broadcast on YouTube below.

“It’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy,” said Zuckerberg in his opening prepared remarks.

Zuckerberg’s appearance comes less than 18 hours after his whirlwind 5-hour appearance before a joint Senate hearing. The 33-year-old exec addressed the Cambridge Analytica data leak — where 87 million users had their information unknowingly leaked in 2014.

He also answered questions on a myriad of other topics, from Facebook’s efforts to weed out Russian trolls, to whether the company was censoring conservative voices, to the basics of Facebook’s business model.

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Sen. John Kennedy to Mark Zuckerberg: ‘Your User Agreement Sucks’ https://www.thewrap.com/sen-john-kennedy-to-mark-zuckerberg-your-user-agreement-sucks/ https://www.thewrap.com/sen-john-kennedy-to-mark-zuckerberg-your-user-agreement-sucks/#respond Wed, 11 Apr 2018 00:26:12 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1862137 And the award for most aggressive member of Congress during Mark Zuckerberg’s Senate hearing on Tuesday goes to… Sen. John Kennedy.

The Louisiana congressman used his five minutes to blast the Facebook chief exec, colorfully letting Zuckerberg know what he thinks of the social network’s user agreement.

“Here’s what everybody’s been trying to tell you today, and I say this gently: Your user agreement sucks,” said Sen. Kennedy. “The purpose of Facebook’s user agreement is to protect Facebook’s rear end. It’s not to inform your users of their rights.”

Sen. Kennedy didn’t stop there. He told Zuckerberg to have his “$1,200 an hour lawyers” to rewrite the agreement in “non-Swahili.” Interestingly enough,  Zuckerberg was lambasted earlier in the 5-hour hearing for Facebook’s user agreement being too rudimentary.

The Facebook co-founder was on hand to address the Cambridge Analytica data leak, where 87 million users had their information unknowingly accessed in 2014. The issue has brought the world’s biggest social media site a mountain of criticism in the last month, after it was reported Cambridge Analytica didn’t delete all of the data when Facebook asked it to in 2015.

The senator then seemed confused by how Facebook works, asking if the company will give users more ways to “erase” their data.

“Senator, you can already delete any of the data that’s there,” said Zuckerberg.

The Facebook chief mentioned earlier in the hearing Facebook erases the data of any user that deletes their account.

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Mark Zuckerberg Won’t Share Private Data When Senator Asks ‘Where Did You Stay Last Night?’ https://www.thewrap.com/mark-zuckerberg-wont-tell-congress-which-hotel-he-stays-at/ https://www.thewrap.com/mark-zuckerberg-wont-tell-congress-which-hotel-he-stays-at/#respond Tue, 10 Apr 2018 21:40:41 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1862046 Sen. Dick Durbin wants to know where Mark Zuckerberg slept last night — but the Facebook chief executive didn’t want to share that kind of personal data.

“Mr. Zuckerberg, would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?” asked Sen. Durbin on Tuesday afternoon.

“Ummm… uh, no.” said a hesitant Zuckerberg, drawing laughter from the audience.

“If you messaged anybody this week, would you share with us the names of the people you’ve messaged?” continued Sen. Durbin.

“Senator, no I would probably not choose to do that publicly here,” added Zuckerberg.

The memorable exchange came during the second hour of Zuckerberg’s testimony in Washington, D.C., with Congress focused on the Cambridge Analytica data leak — where 87 million users had their profile information accessed without their knowledge. Durbin’s roundabout question aimed at the crux of the matter — how to protect personal information once it’s online.

“I think that maybe what this is all about. Your right to privacy. The limits of your right to privacy,” said Sen. Durbin. “And how much you give away in modern America, in the name of, quote, connecting people around the world.”

Zuckerberg said Facebook had asked Cambridge Analytica to delete its data in 2015, when it first became aware of the leak. He said the firm is now complying with a full audit of its records, after it was reported last month Cambridge Analytica still had access to its harvested data. Zuckerberg stressed Facebook doesn’t “sell” the data of its users, but rather directs advertisers towards users best aligned with their products.

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‘Senator, We Run Ads': Hatch Mocked for Basic Facebook Question to Zuckerberg https://www.thewrap.com/senator-orrin-hatch-facebook-biz-model-zuckerberg/ https://www.thewrap.com/senator-orrin-hatch-facebook-biz-model-zuckerberg/#respond Tue, 10 Apr 2018 20:24:04 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1861970 Let’s just say Sen. Orrin Hatch might not have the best understanding of Facebook.

The 84-year-old Utah senator didn’t seem to know how the social network — one of the two biggest advertising companies on the internet — makes its revenue. (Hint: It’s by offering a free site propped up by targeted ads.)

“So, how do you sustain a business model in which users don’t pay for your service?” Sen. Hatch asked Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday.

“Senator, we run ads,” replied a smirking Zuckerberg.

The exchange instantly caught fire on Twitter, and the jokes started to roll in at Hatch’s expense.

Zuckerberg was on Capitol Hill for the first of two days of congressional testimony on the Cambridge Analytica data leak — when 87 million users had their profile information unwittingly shared. Zuckerberg took responsibility for the leak, as well as the company’s inability to weed out Russian disinformation during the 2016 U.S. election.

“One of my greatest regrets in running the company is that we were slow in identifying the Russian information operations in 2016,” Zuckerberg said in response to a question from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California). “We expected them to do a number of more traditional cyberattacks — which we did identify and notified the campaigns that they were trying to hack into them —  but we were slow in identifying the type of new information operations.”

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Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: Russian Trolls Among His ‘Greatest Regrets’ https://www.thewrap.com/facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-says-greatest-regrets/ https://www.thewrap.com/facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-says-greatest-regrets/#respond Tue, 10 Apr 2018 19:55:53 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1861865 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told senators on Tuesday one of his “greatest regrets” is the company’s inability to stop Russian propaganda during the 2016 U.S. election.

“One of my greatest regrets in running the company is that we were slow in identifying the Russian information operations in 2016,” Zuckerberg said in response to a question from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “We expected them to do a number of more traditional cyberattacks — which we did identify and notified the campaigns that they were trying to hack into them —  but we were slow in identifying the type of new information operations.”

Facebook has been accused of failing to weed out Kremlin-funded trolls pushing misleading ads. The ads hit more than 100 million Americans, the company has since disclosed.

Zuckerberg added it’s one of his “top priorities” to curtail this issue ahead of the 2018 election. When asked by Feinstein what Facebook was doing to prevent Russian trolls from interfering, Zuckerberg said the company was using artificial intelligence, human moderators, and had kicked off “tens of thousands” of bad actors. The company is now in an “arms race” with Russia, Zuckerberg said, and that it it’s moderator team would beef up to 20,000 workers by the end of the year.

Zuckerberg was brought before a joint hearing between the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to primarily address Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data leak — where 87 million users had their information unknowingly accessed in 2014.

During his opening remarks, Zuckerberg stressed the company’s “idealistic and optimistic” ethos, geared towards connecting people. But the Facebook CEO said the company had fallen short of protecting its users in pursuit of this goal — and took personal responsibility for it.

“It’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy,” said Zuckerberg.  “We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”

Many of the Congress members expressed admiration for Zuckerberg’s stewardship of the tech giant, while also calling on the company to better protect its massive user base.

“Mr. Zuckerberg, in many ways you and the company that you created — the story you created —  represent the American dream,” said Sen. John Thune (R-SD). “Many are incredibly inspired by what you’ve done. At the same time, you have an obligation. It’s up to you that that dream doesn’t become a privacy nightmare for the scores of people who use Facebook.”

Zuckerberg is also set to address the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce on Wednesday.  Ahead of his back-to-back days of testimony, Congress released Zuckerberg’s written statement on Monday — which the 33-year-old exec opened with on Tuesday. Zuckerberg said he is “responsible” for problems involving “fake news,” as well as the Cambridge Analytica data leak.

You can watch Tuesday’s hearing here.

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‘Despacito,’ Drake, Katy Perry Videos Hacked on YouTube https://www.thewrap.com/despacito-adele-katy-perry-videos-hacked-on-youtube/ https://www.thewrap.com/despacito-adele-katy-perry-videos-hacked-on-youtube/#respond Tue, 10 Apr 2018 16:35:25 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1861587 “Despacito” fans were greeted with a rude awakening on Tuesday morning on YouTube, where the Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee music video hit was briefly pulled from the site after hackers toyed with it.

The Spanish-language chart topper wasn’t the only music video impacted, either. Songs from Taylor Swift, Calvin Harris, Chris Brown, Drake, Katy Perry, Adele and Shakira were also hit by the hackers.

The videos were retitled with the culprits’ signature,  “Hacked by Prosox & Kuroi’sh.” The hackers targeted music syndicator Vevo, which carries some of the biggest videos on YouTube — including “Despacito,” the most watched clip in the site’s history. The video just passed the five-billion views threshold last week. Once hit on Vevo’s side, the hack became visible on YouTube.

“Vevo can confirm that a number of videos in its catalogue were subject to a security breach today, which has now been contained,” a company spokesperson told TheWrap, adding, “We are working to reinstate all videos affected and our catalogue to be restored to full working order. We are continuing to investigate the source of the breach.”

A YouTube spokesperson stressed to TheWrap the hack was on Vevo’s end, and that the video giant pulled the clips while Vevo looked into the issue.

“After seeing unusual upload activity on a handful of VEVO channels, we worked quickly with our partner to disable access while they investigate the issue,” a YouTube spokesperson said.

Some of the videos were left unscathed, but others had their thumbnails replaced with a scene from the TV show “Money Heist,” with several of masked henchmen holding guns. When viewers went to watch “Despacito,” they were only able to see the gunmen and told the clip was unavailable.

Several hacked clips included screenshot of gun-toting gang

Later on Tuesday morning, “Despacito” and the rest of the videos hit appeared to be back to normal.

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Here’s How to Check If Your Facebook Data Was Leaked https://www.thewrap.com/how-to-check-if-facebook-data-leaked/ https://www.thewrap.com/how-to-check-if-facebook-data-leaked/#respond Tue, 10 Apr 2018 15:19:14 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1860746 Here’s a reason to sign into Facebook today: to check if you were one of the 87 million people affected by the Cambridge Analytica data leak.

The social network notified users on Tuesday if they were one people who had their info unknowingly accessed by the political firm in 2014. Facebook had said last week it was going to start notifying users at the top of their News Feed on Monday, but that feature didn’t roll out.

It’s easy to see if you were impacted. Once logged-in, head to the “How can I tell if my info was shared with Cambridge Analytica?” page, which you can access here. Facebook will let you know if you logged into the  “This Is Your Digital Life” app, or if one of your friends used the app. Cambridge Analytica was able to pull your profile info in both cases. If you escaped unscathed, congratulations, you’ll see the notification below:

 

Unfortunately, if you’re one of the unlucky ones, you’ll see the page below, disclosing that a friend of yours was one of the approximately 300,000 who used the app. “Your public profile, Page likes, birthday and current city” were shared with the firm, according to Facebook.

The toll rolled out hours ahead of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance before the Senate, set for 2:15 pm EST.  Zuckerberg is expected to address concerns over user privacy at the hearing.
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Mark Zuckerberg’s Testimony to Congress Released: Fake News, Data Leak ‘Was My Mistake’ https://www.thewrap.com/mark-zuckerbergs-tells-congress-fake-news-my-mistake/ https://www.thewrap.com/mark-zuckerbergs-tells-congress-fake-news-my-mistake/#respond Mon, 09 Apr 2018 16:23:00 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1860587 The U.S. Congress has released Mark Zuckerberg’s prepared testimony a few days before the Facebook CEO is scheduled to appear in front of the governing body.

Zuckerberg said he is “responsible” for problems involving “fake news” and a massive data leak.

“It’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy,” said Zuckerberg in his prepared remarks to the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, which Congress shared on Monday. “We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”

The 33-year-old exec is scheduled to testify before the committee on Wednesday, following the revelation that up to 87 million users had their data unknowingly accessed by political firm Cambridge Analytica in 2014.

Zuckerberg covered the issue early in his remarks, saying Facebook demanded Cambridge Analytica delete its data — grabbed in violation of the company’s app policies — when it first learned of the leak in 2015. The social network didn’t learn until last month from several reports the firm “may not have deleted the data as they had certified,” according to Zuckerberg’s testimony. The CEO then outlined measures Facebook is taking to safeguard against similar leaks in the future, including restricting data accessed by apps.

Zuckerberg also revisited the company’s battle with Russian misinformation before and after the 2016 U.S. election. According to Facebook estimates, more than 120 million users were hit by Kremlin-tied fake news. Zuckerberg said the company now has roughly 15,000 workers reviewing content on the site, and will hit 20,000 by the end of 2018. Facebook kicked off hundreds of Russian trolls from its platform, as well as Instagram, last week.

“Security — including around elections — isn’t a problem you ever fully solve. Organizations like the IRA are sophisticated adversaries who are constantly evolving, but we’ll keep improving our techniques to stay ahead,” said Zuckerberg. “And we’ll also keep building tools to help more people make their voices heard in the democratic process.”

Zuckerberg said the social network now needs to go beyond its goal of connecting the world if it’s going to make a positive impact.

“It’s not enough to just connect people, we have to make sure those connections are positive. It’s not enough to just give people a voice, we have to make sure people aren’t using it to hurt people or spread misinformation,” said Zuckerberg in his testimony. “It’s not enough to give people control of their information, we have to make sure developers they’ve given it to are protecting it too. Across the board, we have a responsibility to not just build tools, but to make sure those tools are used for good.”

Read his entire testimony:

Mark Zuckerberg Testimony by GMG Editorial on Scribd

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Facebook Announces Independent Probe Into Social Media’s Impact on Elections https://www.thewrap.com/facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-announces-research/ https://www.thewrap.com/facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-announces-research/#respond Mon, 09 Apr 2018 15:50:41 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1860521 Facebook is backing an independent research group tasked with looking into the “effects of social media on elections and democracy,” the company’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced on Monday.

With an eye to the 2018 U.S. midterm elections — as well as several key elections around the globe — the committee of leading academics will study how the social network can tackle the spread of misinformation.

“We’ll give those researchers access to our resources so they can draw unbiased conclusions about Facebook’s role in elections, including how we’re handling the risks on our platform and what steps we need to take before future elections,” Zuckerberg said in a blog post. “They’ll share their work publicly, and we won’t require our approval to publish.”

It’s the latest in a string of new initiatives put in place by the social network, as the company deals with the fallout of both a massive data leak, as well as the lingering impact of Russian troll accounts on the 2016 U.S. election. Facebook booted hundreds of Kremlin-tied accounts last week, and implemented a verification process for political advertisers last week.

The commission comes as Zuckerberg prepares to testify in front of Congress on the Cambridge Analytica data leak, during which up to 87 million users had their information unknowingly accessed.

The independent research group is being funded by several well-known nonprofits: the John and Laura Arnold Foundation, Democracy Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation, the Omidyar Network and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The Facebook head honcho pointed to the 2016 U.S. election, where more than 100 million Americans were hit by Russian troll ads, as a wakeup call.

“Looking back, it’s clear we were too slow identifying election interference in 2016, and we need to do better in future elections,” said Zuckerberg. “This is a new model of collaboration between researchers and companies, and it’s part of our commitment to protect the integrity of elections around the world.”

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Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Dumps Facebook https://www.thewrap.com/apple-co-founder-steve-wozniak-joins-deletefacebook-movement/ https://www.thewrap.com/apple-co-founder-steve-wozniak-joins-deletefacebook-movement/#respond Mon, 09 Apr 2018 15:06:13 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1860459 Another day, another tech icon slamming Facebook.

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, says he’s no longer using the social network due to its sloppy handling of user privacy.

“Users provide every detail of their life to Facebook and … Facebook makes a lot of advertising money off this,” Woz told USA Today in an email on Sunday. “The profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back.”

Woz’s criticism comes on the heels of the Cambridge Analytica data leak, where millions of customers unknowingly had their information accessed by the data firm. Facebook bumped up its estimate of users hit by the leak last week, saying up to 87 million people had their accounts accessed.

Apple, of course, isn’t without sin; the Chinese factories where iPhone parts are manufactured have been criticized for years for dire working conditions. But for Woz, there’s a key difference between Apple and Facebook.

“Apple makes its money off of good products, not off of you,” said Wozniak. “As they say, with Facebook, you are the product.”

Woz has become the latest heavy hitter to critique Facebook in recent weeks. Elon Musk deleted both the SpaceX and Tesla Facebook accounts following the Cambridge Analytica revelation. And Apple chief Tim Cook needled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as well, saying he “wouldn’t be” in a similar situation.

But Woz isn’t fully joining the #DeleteFacebook movement, it turns out. Instead, he’s just deactivating his account. The reason? He doesn’t want to lose is “stevewoz” screen name.

“I don’t want someone else grabbing it, even another Steve Wozniak,” said Woz.

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Facebook Suspends Second Company for Abuses Similar to Cambridge Analytica

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Facebook Suspends Second Company for Abuses Similar to Cambridge Analytica https://www.thewrap.com/facebook-suspends-second-company-for-abuses-similar-to-cambridge-analytica/ https://www.thewrap.com/facebook-suspends-second-company-for-abuses-similar-to-cambridge-analytica/#respond Sun, 08 Apr 2018 21:16:15 +0000 Rosemary Rossi https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1860072 Facebook has suspended and is investigating a second data analytics firm, CubeYou, after learning that the company was harvesting user information via quizzes.

CNBC first notified the platform that CubeYou was labeling quizzes such as “You Are What You Like” (aka “Apply Magic Sauce”) as for “non-profit academic research that has no connection whatsoever to any commercial or profit-making purpose or entity,” but then selling the user information it collected to marketers.

“These are serious claims and we have suspended CubeYou from Facebook while we investigate them,” Ime Archibong, Facebook vice president of product partnerships, said in a statement.

“If they refuse or fail our audit, their apps will be banned from Facebook. In addition, we will work with the UK ICO [Information Commissioner’s Office] to ask the University of Cambridge about the development of apps in general by its Psychometrics Centre given this case and the misuse by Kogan,” he said.

This news comes following Facebook’s announcement on April 4 that 87 million users unknowingly had their information accessed by Cambridge Analytica in 2014 — a jump from the 50 million users originally believed to have been hit.

Facebook is taking steps to restrict data access moving forward. Apps will now need Facebook approval, along with the green light from administrators, to access information — including member list of a group and personal information such as names and profile photos attached to posts or comments.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify about the matter in front of Congress on Tuesday, April 10.

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