The tech giant Facebook is more concerned with preventing right-wing dissidents from having free speech on their platform than they are with protecting the sanctity of children, which has been shown in how they administrate their ‘Messenger Kids’ application.
It was revealed by The Verge on Monday that an alleged technical error allowed the application designed to provide a safe chat room experience for children aged 6 to 12 to be infiltrated by grown adults. This supposed design flaw caused the protections to fail and allowed children to join chats with potential predators.
Facebook was forced to acknowledge the problem and alert many parents who mistakenly trusted the Orwellian corporation to protect their kids with the following message:
We found a technical error that allowed [CHILD]’s friend [FRIEND] to create a group chat with [CHILD] and one or more of [FRIEND]’s parent-approved friends. We want you to know that we’ve turned off this group chat and are making sure that group chats like this won’t be allowed in the future. If you have questions about Messenger Kids and online safety, please visit our Help Center and Messenger Kids parental controls. We’d also appreciate your feedback.
The problem with Facebook’s software arose when app users initiated group chats. Although the protections were always applied in one-on-one chats, group chats allowed the initiator of the conversation to invite Facebook user they wanted into the chat. This opened the back door for potential predators to target children.
Facebook attempted to minimize the error in a statement they released to the press.
“We recently notified some parents of Messenger Kids account users about a technical error that we detected affecting a small number of group chats,” a Facebook representative told The Verge.
“We turned off the affected chats and provided parents with additional resources on Messenger Kids and online safety,” they added.
Privacy groups have alleged that Facebook is systemically violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in how they collect the data of children, and this adds another potential violation for the tech behemoth that remains under widespread scrutiny for its suspect business practices.
Facebook will have to pay an astounding $5 billion fine as a result of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission regarding improprieties related to Cambridge Analytica. Once considered a model company, Facebook is quickly becoming known as one of the most disreputable corporate entities in the world.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg maintains that Facebook’s dedication to their users’ privacy is among their top priorities, even as their lawyers argue that none of their users have privacy on their platform in the court of law.
“I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever. This is the future I hope we will help bring about,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook note from March.
Zuckerberg’s company has refused to protect the rights of any of their users throughout its existence, not even the most vulnerable of society. Lip service will not be enough to save the reputation of this disgraced tech giant, as they attack the free speech of conservative and libertarian voices on their platform.
Twitter Posts Job Posting for Developing Paid Subscription Service; Will Platform Become Pay-to-Use?
Will it lead to the downfall of the platform?
Shares for Twitter’s stock surged more than 8% on Wednesday as the company posted an online job listing for a developer who would work on a new system designed as a pay-to-use platform.
The job listing advertises the opening for a project team termed “Gryphon.” The company describes the team as creating a “subscription platform” that “can be reused by other teams in the future.”
In a statement to CNN on the job listing, Twitter underplayed the announcement, stating that it was only a job listing, not a product announcement.
“We’re conducting this survey to assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version of Tweetdeck. We regularly conduct user research to gather feedback about people’s Twitter experience and to better inform our product investment decisions, and we’re exploring several ways to make Tweetdeck even more valuable for professionals.”
CEO Jack Dorsey has resisted shareholder demands to reorganize Twitter to prioritize profitability, most recently fending off a buyout attempt staged by oligarch Paul Singer challenging his leadership of the company. Dorsey kept his position of power over the company after reaching an agreement with profit-hungry shareholders, and the new development of paid subscription software could signal he intends to further satisfy them.
The company’s major investors will likely be pleased by any sign the company intends to convert its service into a pay-to-use model, evolving away from the tradition business model of micro-targeted ads towards its user base. However, a change to a subscription model could prove to be a threat to Twitter’s appeal, especially when newer free speech platforms are gunning for the platform’s user base and the company caves to the demands of censorious liberal journalists in suspending a variety of public figures deemed inconvenient to the neoliberal societal model.
Ultimately, the greed and thirst for power of the privileged elites of Silicon Valley could possibly bring about an end to their era of domination over online political speech, heralding a renaissance of the internet.
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