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Facebook says it faces ‘government investigations’ over whistleblower documents



Facebook says it faces 'government investigations' over whistleblower documents
“As of September 2021, we were subject to government investigations and requests related to the allegations of a former employee and the release of internal company documents related to, among other things, our algorithms, advertising and user statistics, and content enforcement practices, as well as misinformation and other unwelcome activities. on our platform and the well-being of the user,” the company said in its submit quarterly income with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The filing did not specify whether the government’s “investigations and requests” refer to known investigations by the United States Senate and British Parliament, or to unconfirmed investigations by federal agencies in the United States and governments abroad.

Facebook declined to provide details about the disclosure. “We are always ready to answer questions from regulators and will continue to cooperate with government investigations,” spokesperson Andy Stone said in a statement to CNN Business.

Facebook sent a “legal hold” to its employees Tuesday night, telling them not to delete internal documents and communications, Facebook spokesman Genevieve Grdina told CNN. “Requests to retain documents are part of the process of responding to legal investigations,” she said in a statement. (The New York Times was first to report The news.)
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is said to have started “investigating” the revelations from the whistleblower, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter. In particular, the agency is reportedly looking into whether Facebook violated its $5 billion settlement with the agency in 2019 over the company’s data privacy practices.

Juliana Gruenwald of the FTC’s Office of Public Affairs declined to comment, adding, “FTC investigations are non-public, so we generally don’t comment on whether we’re investigating a particular case.”

Facebook has a harder time curbing vaccine misinformation than it shows, leaks suggest
Haugen, a former Facebook product manager who left the company in May, provided the documents as evidence supporting at least eight complaints to the SEC alleging that facebook (FB)misled investors and the public about issues surfacing internally. She also provided redacted versions of the documents to Congress. The leaked documents also formed the basis of the Wall Street Journal’s “Facebook Files” series and, more recently, a large number of reports by a consortium of news organizations collectively referred to as the “Facebook Papers.” CNN is a member of the consortium.
The SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether it opened an investigation based on Haugen’s complaint and disclosures by another anonymous former Facebook employee turned whistleblower that turned out on Friday.
The documents provide the most in-depth look at many of Facebook’s biggest issues and how they’ve been discussed internally — an unprecedented insight into the nearly $890 billion company, whose apps are now used by more than 3.6 billion people worldwide.

Facebook has aggressively pushed back many of Haugen’s claims and much of the coverage surrounding the documents, which the company says mischaracterizes its investigation and efforts. “Yes, we are a business and we make a profit, but the idea that we are doing that at the expense of people’s safety or well-being doesn’t understand where our own commercial interests lie,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. .

On Wednesday, the White House responded to CNN reporting the day before about internal documents suggesting Facebook has had a harder time curbing vaccine misinformation than it has publicly said. In particular, employees noted that the content of “doubting vaccines” is rife in comments, which the company’s systems were ill-equipped to deal with, according to the documents. Over the summer, Facebook and the White House had a tense stalemate over President Joe Biden’s criticism of the company’s handling of vaccine misinformation.

“Unfortunately, it’s not surprising for us to learn that Facebook was aware of these issues,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday. “In July, our Surgeon General came to this briefing room to brand misinformation as a public health problem and, most importantly, convey that social media platforms are an important channel for smuggling bad information, given their massive role in our society. And since then, we’ve continued to see platforms regularly amplify anti-vaccine content rather than accurate information.”

Despite the spate of recent critical reporting about the company and Facebook’s disclosure, it’s not clear that Facebook shareholders are concerned. After Facebook reported Monday that its quarterly profit had grown to more than $9 billion, the company’s shares rose a whopping 3% in after-hours trading.
Facebook shares are currently down nearly 11% since last month, but that may reflect investor concerns about the impact of Apple’s privacy changes on the social media giant’s advertising business.



The Wheel of Time book up




The Wheel of Time book up

As we expected, the first The wheel of time book has risen on Amazon’s best-selling list. Here’s a full look at the list from November 28 to December 4.

When the Amazon series The wheel of time premiered, we expected the books to make it onto Amazon’s best-selling list. The first book came in before the series premiered, but it was on the low end. Now that the series is in full swing, Robert Jordan’s first book tops the list.

The eye of the world by Robert Jordan took three places this week to get into the Top 3. He’s not quite at the top of the list, but he is in second place.

Outlander Book 9 up, Mercy down

There was a lot of movement on the Amazon bestselling book list. One of the most notable movers is Go tell the bees I’m gone by Diana Gabaldon. Unsurprisingly, the book moved up six places to take over the top spot on the list. The book also took first place on the list of most read books of the week.

The whole Top 3 has actually changed. The Throne of glass collection by Sarah J. Maas finished in third place. All eight books put together make an excellent Christmas present, so it’s no surprise it’s so high on the list now.

It did mean Dune by Frank Herbert was knocked out of the Top 3 for the first time in ages. It lost three places and dropped to fourth place.

However, that was not the biggest loss. The dark hours by Michael Connelly and Apples never fall of Liane Moriarty lost nine places each. However, Grace by David Baldacci lost the most places. It dropped to 19th place after losing 17 spots.

Amazon bestselling books: November 28 to December 4

  1. Go tell the bees I’m gone by Diana Gabaldon (+6)
  2. The eye of the world by Robert Jordan (+3)
  3. Throne of glass bundle of Sarah J. Maas (new acquisition)
  4. Dune by Frank Herbert (-3)
  5. The list of the judge by John Grisham (-2)
  6. Great shot by Jeff Kinney (+2)
  7. The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles (-3)
  8. fear no evil by James Patterson (new addition)
  9. Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson (new acquisition)
  10. State of terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Rodham Clinton (–)
  11. becoming by Nora Roberts (new acquisition)
  12. Project Greetings by Andy Weir (-2)
  13. The wish by Nicholas Sparks (return)
  14. It ends with us by Colleen Hoover (-1)
  15. The dark hours by Michael Connelly (-9)
  16. Evelyn Hugo’s Seven Husbands by Taylor Jenkins Reid (-4)
  17. The Christmas Pig by JK Rowling (return)
  18. Apples never fall by Liane Moriarty (-9)
  19. Grace by David Baldacci (-17)
  20. The last thing he told me by Laura Dave (-6)

Which Amazon Books Are You Reading Right Now? What’s on the list to buy this week? Share your top picks in the comments below.

Get your Amazon books with two days of free shipping with Amazon Prime.

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JetBlue-Backed Weather Startup Goes Public Through SPAC Deal




A JetBlue Airbus A220 aircraft outside of a hangar. Source: JetBlue.

Skift Take

Silicon Valley sometimes mocks travel companies for not being as agile as tech startups. So it’s refreshing to learn that JetBlue Airways has been a valuable mentor to, a tech startup now valued at over $700 million.

Sean O’Neill, a weather information company, said Tuesday it plans to go public through a merger with Pine Technology, a blank check company. The target for the pro forma enterprise value of the combined company would be approximately $729 million. provides real-time weather forecasts relevant to business operations. The 120 corporate customers include AeroMexico, Azul, Delta and United, plus several other non-travel companies.

While not a travel startup, stands out because it is backed by JetBlue Technology Enterprises, the investment arm of the American airline JetBlue Airways.

JetBlue Technology Ventures joined others, including Koch Strategic Platforms, National Grid Partners and SoftBank Group’s SB Energy, by participating in a $75 million private investment in public equity (PIPE) to support the transaction.

In 2017, JetBlue became the startup’s first commercial customer for its services.

“Since that time, [the startup] has consistently delivered valuable results for JetBlue by minimizing operational disruption at the airport,” said Amy Burr, president of JetBlue Technology Ventures.

The startup’s investor pitch deck, embedded below, includes an aviation-related example. An unnamed airline suffered a snow storm in April 2019 that required it to defrost planes but was unable to do so as winds hit more than 50 miles per hour. The carrier used’s micro-forecasts to find periods when winds decreased, allowing for de-icing. By acting on the forecasts, the airline was able to avoid delays and save about $2 million.

More about JetBlue Tech Ventures

Updated March 4, 2021

The proposed transaction — part of a series of travel-related SPAC deals — is expected to close in the first half of 2020, at which point will then await regulatory approval to trade on the Nasdaq exchange in New York under the TMW symbol.

This is the pitch deck for investors:

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Aramark chooses stake in US multi-concept operator Starr Restaurants




Aramark to pick stake in US multi-concept operator Starr Restaurants
Aramark chooses stake in US multi-concept operator Starr Restaurants
The partnership between the two companies is expected to fuel culinary innovation. Credit: Nenad Maric/Pixabay.

Aramark, a Philadelphia food services, facilities and uniforms provider, has agreed to purchase a minority stake in local company Starr Restaurant Organization (Starr Restaurants).

The move is part of a strategic alliance between the two companies.

The partnership with Starr Restaurants, a multi-concept operator, is expected to support culinary innovation and enhance the hospitality experience for Aramark customers.

It is also expected to create joint business development opportunities for both companies.

Marc Bruno, Chief Operating Officer of Aramark US Food and Facilities said, “Aramark and Starr Restaurants are both rooted in a passion for service and in providing memorable experiences for our customers and customers.

“Through this strategic partnership, we look forward to strengthening Aramark’s culinary authority by infusing our kitchens and concepts with the creativity and innovation that Starr Restaurants is known for.”

In addition, the partnership will enable Aramark to operate certain Starr Restaurants concepts and brands through an exclusive licensing agreement.

This arrangement is expected to help Starr Restaurants increase exposure through Aramark’s customer network, which includes business dining, sports and entertainment and higher education.

The deal with Starr Restaurants is part of Aramark’s growth strategy to develop strategic relationships and improve the customer experience.

It will also create space for knowledge sharing between culinary teams and senior leadership.

Starr Restaurant Organization founder and CEO Stephen Starr said, “This partnership is a unique opportunity for both Starr Restaurants and Aramark. It’s a great opportunity to bring my two career passions together with an industry leader like Aramark.

“The company’s impressive and consistent growth and its deep commitment to providing quality hospitality experiences make it the perfect foodservice partner for Starr Restaurants.”

In another recent development, delivery kitchen operator Reef Technology bought 2ndKitchen, a virtual kitchen for hotels and other hospitality businesses.

Under the agreement, the existing businesses of the two companies will be consolidated under the Reef brand and operate under Reef’s Hospitality unit.

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