Category: Business

Fake likes can be purchased and social networking websites are doing little to prevent this manipulation. A couple of months later researchers paid a few dollars to a company to draw attention. In 30 minutes, the post had 100 more likes. The researchers had similar results on a Christmas tweet and on a holiday place on Vestager’s Instagram accounts the European Union’s justice commissioner, from Vera Jourova. Businesses like Facebook and Twitter are poorly policing automated bots and other procedures for manipulating social media platforms, according to a report published on Friday by researchers in the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence. With a small amount of money, the researchers discovered anyone can hire a company to get likes, clicks and opinions. The group, an independent organisation which advises the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, tested the tech companies’ ability to prevent paid influence campaigns by turning to 11 Russian and five European companies that sell fake social networking engagement. For $300, the investigators purchased over 25,000 likes, 3,500 comments, 20,000 views and 5,000 followers, including on posts from prominent politicians like Vestager and Jourova. Roughly 80 percent of the fake clicks stayed, the investigators said. And virtually all the accounts that had been used to generate the clicks remained active three weeks after the researchers reported them to the companies. The report spotlights the ongoing challenges for Facebook, YouTube and Twitter as they try to combat other types and disinformation of manipulation that is online. After Russia interfered in the United States’ 2016 presidential election, the companies made adjustments to reduce the spread of online disinformation and interference. In recent months, the platforms have announced takedowns of Africa, Saudi Arabia and, most recently, accounts in China, where new strategies were being tested by Russia. But the report also brings renewed attention to an often-overlooked vulnerability for platforms: companies which sell comments, enjoys and clicks on social media networks. Lots of the businesses are in Russia, according to the researchers. Since the networks’ software ranks posts in part by the quantity the action can cause positions that are more prominent. “We spend so much time considering how to regulate the social networking companies – but not so much about how to regulate the social networking manipulation industry,” said Sebastian Bay, one of the investigators who worked on the report. “We need to take into account if this is something which should be allowed but, perhaps more, to be quite conscious that this is so widely available.” From May to August, the researchers analyzed the ability of the social networks to handle the for-hire manipulation industry. The researchers said they had discovered hundreds of suppliers of social media manipulation. “The openness of this industry is striking,” the report says. “In fact, manipulation providers advertise openly on major platforms.” Engagements were purchased by the researchers on about a hundred articles. Following their purchase, the researchers identified nearly 20,000 accounts that were used to manipulate the media platforms that were social and reported that a sample of these to internet companies. Over 95 percent of the accounts were still active online, three months later. The researchers directed all the clicks to posts on media accounts they had made for the experiment. But they analyzed some confirmed accounts, like Vestager’s, to see if they were better protected. They were not, the researchers said. The researchers said this to limit their influence on real conversations, they had purchased engagement on posts from politicians that were at least six months old and comprised apolitical messages. Researchers discovered that the large tech companies weren’t equally bad in removing manipulation. Twitter identified and removed more than the others, the researchers discovered; on average, retweets and half the likes bought on Twitter were removed, they said. Facebook, the world’s biggest social media, was best at blocking the production of accounts under false pretenses, but it rarely took down content. Was the easiest and cheapest to control. The researchers found YouTube the worst in removing inauthentic accounts and also the most expensive to manipulate. The investigators reported 100 accounts used for manipulation in their test to each of the social networking firms, and YouTube was the only one that did not suspend any and provided no explanation.

With no internet on mobile networks, Kashmir militants go back to using satellite telephones. Srinagar: In the absence of internet services in Jammu and Kashmir, militants have turned into’traditional modes of communicating’, based on intelligence reports obtained by the J&K Police. Following an online blackout was enforced in J&K ahead of the scrapping of Article 370 by the Narendra Modi government, militant groups working from the Valley were initially relying upon word communicating, but are currently using internet-enabled satellite phones, sources said. Net-enabled satellite phones are like contemporary smartphones, however they link directly to satellites instead of using mobile towers for internet access. The authorities are now ascertaining the scale at which these satellite phones are being used. Official sources said the authorities have discovered net-enabled satellite phones used in Kashmir on at least two events in the previous two months. Why militants switched to satellite phones. Prior to the advent of mobile phones, Thuraya satellite telephones were one of the most preferred modes of communication one of the militants. According to senior security officials, use of the phones, known as’Suraya’ in militant parlance, diminished since services such as SMS and mobile internet gave them an easier way to communicate with one another in addition to their direction in Pakistan. ‘It is not that the militants had fully stopped using satellite phones. During many experiences, we recovered the apparatus. Security forces would also recover the devices from infiltrating militants too. However the use of satellite apparatus had massively reduced through time,’ said a senior J&K Police officer, who didn’t wish to be named. ‘There’s an understanding that some internet-based programs are safer modes of communication that can’t be traced. Militants resorted to using these applications not just for passing messages but additionally sending tons of places,’ the officer said. In the initial days of this communication blackout in Jammu and Kashmir, militant groups allegedly began relying on word of mouth to pass messages. However, the police officer stated they are now getting’new inputs which the militant groups might now be using satellite telephones again’, and that using the new net-enabled ones,’they cannot just communicate with each other but also use the internet for multiple purposes’. Decrease in counter-insurgency But, other senior police officials advised ThePrint that the online ban had also directly influenced the security forces’ intelligence-gathering mechanism, resulting in a decrease in counter insurgency operations. ‘We are, nevertheless, using all means available to us to gather intelligence. On the outskirts, we are inclined to get reports of militant sightings, but after CASOs are ran more routinely, the militants will not take chances to enter Srinagar.’

USA came along with Hong Kong. The Human Rights and Democracy Act mandates an annual review, to check whether Hong Kong has enough autonomy to justify its special status with the US, BBC reported. The US move came almost simultaneously along with a key improvement in the estuary state on Thursday where police and firemen entered a university that was under police siege for at least 10 days. I signed these bills out of admiration for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong. They’re being filmed in the hope that Leaders and Representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all,’ Trump said in a statement on Wednesday. China said it would take’company counter steps’ – accusing Washington of’absolutely sinister intentions’, overseas media reported. The Chinese state media said the bill was’unnecessary and groundless, and will damage exchanges between the region and the US’. The US President is looking for a deal with China, in order to finish a damaging trade war between the two nations. He had been noncommittal about whether he would sign the bill, stating he had been’with’ Hong Kong but that Mr Xi was also’an incredible man’, BBC reported. However, the bill had widespread congressional support, which meant that even if he vetoed it, lawmakers could potentially have voted to overturn his decision. Trump also signed a second bill, which bans the export of crowd-control munitions to the police in Hong Kong – such as tear gas, rubber bullets and stun firearms’ (The invoices ) have been enacted in the hope that leaders and agents of China and Hong Kong will have the ability to amicably settle their differences, resulting in long-term peace and prosperity for all,’ he added. On Sunday, Hong Kong held local council elections which were seen as a barometer of public opinion to the government and the protesters. The elections saw a landslide victory for its pro-democracy movement, together with 17 of those 18 councils now commanded by pro-democracy councillors.

Mukesh Ambani in discussions to sell news assets to Times group. Billionaire Mukesh Ambani is currently in talks to sell his information media resources to India’s Times Group, as Asia’s richest guy intends to overthrow a company that’s been losing money, people familiar with the issue said. Bennett Coleman & Co., the publisher of the Times of India, will be looking to hire consultants for due diligence about the information properties of Ambani’s Network18 Media & Investments Ltd., the people said, asking not to be named because the discussions are private. Ambani is considering a variety of options, ranging from a exit to a stake sale, one of those people said. Talks are at an early stage and might not result in a deal, the people stated, adding more suitors could emerge. A representative for Bennett Coleman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comments, even though a spokesman for Reliance Industries Ltd. said the parent of Network18 evaluates opportunities on a continuous basis and declined to comment further. The tycoon’s plan to eliminate the news resources comes as he pursues talks to sell a stake in Network18’s entertainment division that encompasses different movie, music and humor channels to Sony Corp.. Bloomberg News reported last week that the Japanese giant is presently analyzing the books of the Indian press business and is thinking about several potential deal structures. Ambani’s oil-to-petrochemicals conglomerate is in the midst of streamlining its own operations and pivoting more toward comparatively new ventures like technology and retail for earnings. Last month, Reliance Industries introduced a digital-services holding company that would finally supply services from e-commerce to amusement on a telecommunications network constructed over the last few years with about $50 billion in investment. Network18, developed by Reliance Industries at 2014, owns and operates 56 local channels spanning entertainment and news. Its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Ltd. houses news channels.