Manchester United kicked off the new Premier League season with a 2-1 victory thanks to goals from Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw in Friday nights clash with Leicester City.
World Cup winner Pogba, who was handed the captains armband, got the hosts off to a flying start with a confident and composed penalty after Daniel Amarteys inexplicable handball, placing the ball in the top corner after an audaciously slow run-up.
The visitors mustered a decent response, though United always looked in control and the game appeared to be put beyond doubt late on by the rampaging Shaw – though Leicester netted an even later consolation.
Pogba started despite only returning to training on Monday, and his cool penalty after just three minutes broke the deadlock – though it would be Uniteds only shot on target until shortly before half-time, with Leicester taking control of proceedings while the hosts played on the break.
Kelechi Iheanacho twice got in behind the Red Devils back-line, but was thwarted by some excellent last-ditch defending, while David de Gea put his shaky World Cup behind him with a superb stop to deny James Maddison.
Man of the match: Eric Bailly
Mourinho spent all summer bemoaning the lack of a world-class centre-back, yet it looks like he had one at Old Trafford all along. United may not have played sparkling attacking football, but they were solid at the back with Bailly especially impressive. He bailed out Victor Lindelof on several occasions, and bullied Iheanacho with his sheer power and physicality. If he can stay fit, he can be a huge player for United this season.
But United begun to reassert control, and for all Leicesters promising play they struggled to fashion any clear chances; it was Claude Puel who blinked first, making a double change on the hour-mark that saw Jamie Vardy enter the fray.
FAKE NEWS HYSTERIA: Everywhere you look, online misinformation has been rife this week.
It started with the U.K. parliaments interim report on fake news, made a pitstop on Tuesday when Facebook suspended a number of dodgy accounts, U.S. lawmakers held a hearing Wednesday into social media and foreign interference, and, as Joanna explored in Thursdays Morning Tech, speculation is swirling that Russians have been meddling in Frances Benalla affair.
I called up Jason Reifler, a professor at the University of Exeter, who co-authored an influential research paper on the effects of fake news sites on the 2016 U.S. election. “Misinformation has always been a problem,” he told me. “There are no easy technical fixes to make misinformation go away.”
And its an issue that will only grow ahead of Swedens elections in September, the U.S. mid-terms in November and next years European elections.
Yes, it is right to clamp down on out-right falsities online. But it remains an open question whether such disinformation actually changes voter behavior (currently, academic literature suggests it doesnt) and if regulation, as well as potential online content censorship, would help to solve the problem.
— Whats the global consensus? As always, tackling these issues is very culturally specific. The Poytner Institute has a good breakdown of the roughly 25 countries worldwide that are taking steps to tackle misinformation.
— Definitions matter: From the Atlantic Council: disinformation: the deliberate spread of false information; misinformation: the unintentional spread of false information. But “Fake News” is a moniker that has lost much of its meaning.
— Its not about a one-off event: Ever since this issue popped onto most peoples radar in 2016, policymakers looked for a smoking gun when it comes to misinformations ability to alter global events. Sorry to say, that has proven maddeningly difficult to verify as much of peoples online consumption of content has been steered toward buttressing their existing prejudices, and not toward changing their underlying beliefs.
But — and its a big but — misinformation may have a longer-term effect in changing the political discourse by bringing extremist views (from both the left and right) into mainstream debates. That, says Reifler, is when the overblown hysteria over fake news turns into something more concrete.
If radically-partisan views move from the fringes to the center of political debate — often fueled by social media campaigns propped up by trolls and automated accounts — then you dont need to alter individual voters habits. Youve already won by changing the context in which the discussion takes place.
“Misinformation is a much larger problem than one-off fake news sites,” said Reifler. “It can change what is considered legitimate political discourse and that may influence elections.”
Hello and welcome to Morning Tech. Its still deathly quiet across Europe. Got an event to tell us about? Submit it to our calendar.
EU TECH — THE BEST OF TIMES, THE WORST OF TIMES: Lets start off with the good news. Europes tech investment, so far this year, is on track for another record year, according to figures by data provider DealRoom.
In total, European & Israeli firms have pocketed €10.3 billion in the six months through June compared to €8.7 billion for the same period last year. The country that garnered the most investment? The U.K., followed by Germany, France and Israeli, respectively. (And who said there was a French tech bump?)
— Wheres the money going? Traditional favorites like enterprise software (i.e. all the back office tech that we mostly take for granted), health and financial services come out on top. Something to keep an eye on: the growing amount of money heading to so-called “deep tech” — companies based on groundbreaking new science or technologies — has grown by more than 30 percent in a year.
— Rise of the corporates: While U.S. tech firms still rely heavily on traditional venture capitalists, Europes entrepreneurs take a more Chinese approach to raising cash by turning to traditional corporates. The upside: the ability to tap into these companies existing business networks. The downside: being swallowed by a traditional company that is loathe to embrace change.
— And the rub: Europes having a good year. But the U.S. and China are having even better ones. American firms garnered a staggering $23 billion in the second quarter alone, while their Chinese counterparts received a further $21 billion, according to CB Insights, another data provider.
THE TAX LADY COMETH: Everyones favorite commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, may be on vacation, but her reach is still felt as both Apple and Google continue to respond to the actions of Europes competition chief.
— Apple: Just as Apple became the first public company worth $1 trillion, the iPhone maker said it only paid two-thirds of its 2016 state aid fine (€13 billion, plus €1 billion in interest) into escrow while it appeals the European Commissions ruling. The final chunk, according to Apple, will be transferred by the end of the year.
— Google: Here are a couple of dates for the diary. Google has until October 10 to appeal last months blockbuster €4.3 billion Android fine, and until October 28 to implement the European Commissions ruling, according to POLITICOs Simon Van Dorpe. Company executives have already said the search giant will likely appeal, though expect last-minute haggling as Google tries to leverage its position ahead of potentially opening up Android to greater competition at the end of October. Read more below or click here.
DATA BREACH: Frances privacy regulator doesnt just fine U.S. tech companies, it appears. The CNIL issued a €50,000 levy against DailyMotion, the local online video site owned by Vivendi, after the company failed to protect 82 million email addresses and 18 million passwords from hackers. DailyMotion got off relatively easy. If the hack had happened under Europes new data protection rules, the fine could have been significantly higher.
— Talking of data breaches: Reddit, the popular social network, suffered two hacks that put its users data at risk. The site, though, has been criticized for not doing enough to inform people if their accounts have been hacked.
AMAZON TAX: The online retailers main U.K. subsidiary paid just £1.7m of tax on profits of more than £72m last year, by utilizing share-based awards that offer companies a legal way to reduce tax payments. The FT reported.
INTERNET OF THINGS: Dublin is taking on the likes of Amsterdam and Barcelona in the race to become a so-called smart city. The Irish capital has penned a deal with SoftBank, the Japanese tech and telecoms giant, to test internet of things technology such as sensors and other gadgetry to improve Dublins transport and climate mitigation systems. “Many companies have their European headquarters in Dublin, so were looking for collaborations,” Hidebumi Kitahara, SoftBanks vice president of business strategy said.
FACEBOOK: A judge in California will rule Friday on efforts by Six4Three, a creator of a bikini-finding app now banned on Facebook, to unseal insider documents at the social media giant, which allegedly highlight Mark Zuckerbergs efforts to clamp down on competition and to share peoples data without their permission. Facebook vigorously denies the accusations. But if the judge rules to make the reams of documents public, it could prove to be another embarrassment for the beleaguered tech giant.
— WhatsApp $$ plan: The Facebook-owned messaging service will start charging companies who want to use it to contact customers. The move comes after WhatsApps co-founders publicly fell out with Facebooks top management over putting ads onto the internet messenger.
ELECTION MEDDLING: U.S. policymakers reasserted that Donald Trumps administration would not tolerate any Russian meddling in the countrys upcoming mid-term elections. The move comes after the White House was criticized for not taking the potential interference seriously enough, POLITICO reported.
5G PODCASTING: Everyone these days has a podcast. And now, Deutsche Telekom is wading into the fray. The carriers startup incubator, known as Hub:Raum, has started its own weekly show — known as Sneakers & Suits — with its first guest (not surprisingly) Alexander Lautz, head of Deutsche Telekoms 5G program. Take a listen to what he sees as the future for the next generation of mobile networks.
— Talking of 5G: MVNO Europe, a trade group of so-called mobile virtual network operators, is calling on Germanys telecoms regulator to ensure its members have full access to the countrys 5G networks once theyve been built, likely early next decade. Their gripe? That the likes of Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone (which will actually build these costly networks) wont give them unfettered access to run their networks through wholesale agreements. Expect the regulator to weigh in later this year.
— And even more German 5G: Audi and telecoms maker Ericsson signed a deal today to deploy 5 technology to speed up work in the automakers production facilities. The first trial will include connecting up robots that perform gluing operations on car bodies on the production line. Further details are thin on the ground, but the benefit to factories comes through 5Gs quick latency — meaning no gaps or lag in connection compared to older telecom connection or simple WLAN. “It allows for faster data throughput rates and more network capacities, as well as promising highly secure availability,” the two companies said in a statement. “Ultra-low latency ensures fast response times between equipment in the factory system.”
HATE SPEECH — SPOTIFY REMOVES ALEX JONES: The Swedish streaming service pulled the plug on the outspoken far-right talk show host after Spotify claimed he had violated its policies against hate speech. Facebook and YouTube banned the controversial host last week.
DIGITAL INDUSTRY — KEEP CALM & CLICK ON: Morning Tech loves to get caught up in all things digital. So it comes as somewhat of a surprise that many Brits arent as tech-obsessed as you might imagine. That was the take-out from an annual report by local telecoms regulator Ofcom, which says roughly three-quarters of Brits say they would be fine if they were cut off from the internet.
COPYRIGHT — ILLEGAL MUSIC DOWN: Anyone remember Napster, the long-gone service that let you download almost any song in the world (illegally) for free? Well, those days are certainly way behind us after a YouGov poll showed that only one in 10 Brits (down from 18 percent of the population 5 years ago) illegally download music. The main driver for the change? Services such as Spotify allow people to access limitless music for a low price. “Many dont feel they need to go to the same lengths to acquire the music they want,” said Russell Feldman, YouGovs Director of Digital, Media and Technology. “Now they have it at their fingertips.”
BROADCASTING — PROSIEBEN TAKES ON NETFLIX: Max Conze, chief executive of Germanys ProSiebenSat.1 Media, wants the company to launch an “all-out digital attack” to compete with digital players like Netflix. Its part of a broader strategy expected to be fully unveiled in November. More from Bloomberg.
GERMANY BLOCKCHAIN: Dorothee Bar, the countrys digital minister, took to Twitter, claiming that Germany shouldnt classify digital tokens as securities as that would slow down blockchain innovation.
FACEBOOK — THE TECH QUEEN HAS SPOKEN: Facebook is facing a mountain of issues, from Russian election meddling and Holocaust denial to the threat of regulation. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he feels “a deep sense of responsibility” to try to fix his companys problems. But Kara Swisher argues in a New York Times op-ed that Zuckerberg and Silicon Valley have weaponized social media, and we are all paying the price.
Morning Tech wouldnt happen without Kate Day and Zoya Sheftalovich.
***POLITICO Pro Articles***
Google has until October 28 to execute EU Android order
— By Simon Van Dorpe
Google has until October 28 to implement the European Commissions decision fining it €4.3 billion over its Android mobile operating system, a person familiar with the matter said.
Googles 90 days compliance deadline started running from the moment the decision was officially notified to Google, which, according to the person, was on Monday July 30.
The notification came 12 days after the Commissions decision and announcement on June 18, which is significantly longer than last year, when it took only three days — between June 27 and June 30 — for an antitrust decision over Googles comparison shopping service to be notified to the company.
Google has to stop three types of contractual restrictions that it imposed on Android device manufacturers and network operators “to ensure that traffic on Android devices goes to the Google search engine,” EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said when announcing her decision.
Android runs on 24,000 different devices belonging to more than 1,300 brand owners, according to Google.
October 28 is also the day by which the Mountain View, California-based company needs to put up bank guarantees for the €4.3 billion fine it owes the EU. The largest fine in antitrust history will flow back to EU member countries if, and after, the courts confirm the Commission decision.
Google has until October 10 to challenge the Commissions decision in front of the EU General Court, whose two months and 10 days deadline is also calculated from the day Google was notified.
Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai announced the tech giants intention to appeal the decision immediately after Vestagers press conference.
WASHINGTON — Facebook shut down more than two dozen “inauthentic” accounts and pages on Tuesday that sought to inflame social and political tensions in the United States, and said their activity was similar — and in some cases connected — to that of Russian accounts during the 2016 election.
The action marked the social media giants first significant acknowledgment of an ongoing, coordinated propaganda campaign on its site since it implemented new safeguards after the 2016 vote.
The company disclosed these steps to lawmakers and the White House in a series of briefings this week, according to a source who attended one of the sessions. More than 290,000 Facebook users followed the now-shuttered pages, which were created between March 2017 and May 2018. The most followed — titled “Aztlan Warriors,” “Black Elevation,” and “Mindful Being” — reached more than 290,000 users.
The topics also included the hashtag #AbolishICE, a popular new rallying cry on the left following outrage over the Trump administrations separation of immigrant families along the Mexican border.
The accounts also ran about 150 ads on Facebook and Instagram, at a cost of $11,000 paid in U.S. dollars. One of the ads was created as recently as last month. Of 30 events created by the accounts since May 2017, most had fewer than 100 people interested in attending. But one was substantial, collecting 4,700 interested and 1,400 confirmed attendees.
Though the company said it couldnt conclusively identify the source of the phony pages, company officials said they resembled the activity of the Kremlin-connected Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg, whose top officials were indicted earlier this year by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for seeking to disrupt the 2016 presidential election.
“Some of the activity is consistent with what we saw from the IRA before and after the 2016 elections. And weve found evidence of some connections between these accounts and IRA accounts we disabled last year,” the company wrote in a memo posted on its website Tuesday afternoon.
Facebook suspended 32 accounts and pages in all.
Muellers indictment of 13 IRA officials described a large-scale disinformation campaign intended to sow social division and impersonate Americans in order to interfere with the 2016 campaign, largely to harm Hillary Clintons chances. As part of that effort, these Russian “trolls” exacerbated divisions among Democrats by highlighting progressive causes and candidates.
In its briefings and blog post, Facebook emphasized that it couldnt conclusively attribute the latest wave of misleading Facebook accounts to Russia, in part because the actors took more sophisticated steps to cover their tracks.
“Its clear that whoever set up these accounts went to much greater lengths to obscure their true identities than the Russian-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) has in the past,” the company wrote. “We believe this could be partly due to changes weve made over the last year to make this kind of abuse much harder.”
However, Facebook also indicated that at least one of the events hosted by a page titled “Resisters” had been shared by an IRA account that Facebook disabled in 2017. “Resisters” also briefly listed an IRA account as one of its administrators, a slip that helped Facebook identify the false account and the other 31 pages and profiles it deleted Tuesday morning.
Facebooks disclosure comes days after President Donald Trump seemed to say that Russians are not actively interfering in the U.S. political process. Trump has faced withering bipartisan criticism for repeatedly questioning his own intelligence agencies conclusions that Russia was behind an interference effort in 2016 and was poised to do so again in this years elections.
Most recently, Trump infuriated his critics when he said he believed Russia would interfere in the 2018 election on behalf of Democrats.
“Based on the fact that no president has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats,” he tweeted. “They definitely dont want Trump!”
In a statement Tuesday, a top Senate Democrat insisted the Russian government was behind the newly-revealed activity.
“Todays disclosure is further evidence that the Kremlin continues to exploit platforms like Facebook to sow division and spread disinformation, and I am glad that Facebook is taking some steps to pinpoint and address this activity,” said Senator Mark Warner, (D-Va.), the vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I also expect Facebook, along with other platform companies, will continue to identify Russian troll activity and to work with Congress on updating our laws to better protect our democracy in the future.”
Despite widespread criticism of the social networks handling of a series of recent data scandals, European politicians and political groups continue to buy advertising on its global platform, according to a review of advertising spending on Facebook by POLITICO.
Groups ranging from the European Peoples Party in the European Parliament to Emmanuel Macons La République En Marche to the far-right Alternative for Germany are some of the most active spenders on the social network.
This continued use of Facebook to reach potential voters raises questions about these lawmakers vocal criticism of the tech company, which has faced widespread rebukes following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal earlier this year.
While lawmakers scream and shout about Facebooks wrongdoings, many are more than happy to buy ads.
It also highlights that while several governments across Europe, in the United States and elsewhere are investigating the companys activities, many of these same political groups are also major purchasers of political advertising on its social network.
Last month, Facebook made it easier to check whos buying ads — and not just political ones — on its platform as part of efforts to win back peoples trust. However, the steps were not exhaustive as the company still does not disclose how much groups are spending on advertising. It also has limited the transparency efforts to so-called public pages that are open to all Facebook users, whereas the majority of peoples time is spent on private pages.
Below is a breakdown, based on POLITICOs review of political advertising, for European groups, as well as those in France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
The list has its limits. It only includes ads bought through political groups public pages, and covers ads that are currently active.
But one thing is clear: While lawmakers scream and shout about Facebooks wrongdoings, many are more than happy to buy ads on its network to push their own political messages.
So heres whos buying ads (as of Monday):
— EU groups: The European Peoples Party and the Socialists and Democrats are the only major European political groups to buy space on Facebook, according to the companys new transparency service. For the EPP, messages focused on polling people about how the EU had changed their lives, while the S&D promoted “Friendship Day,” complete with its own hashtag.
— France: Taking a page out of last years presidential election, Emmanuel Macrons En Marche! continued with its digital spin, using Facebook to push messages around helping those with disabilities and (what else?) promoting French cooking.
— U.K.: Mimicking last years general election, Labour and the Liberal Democrats remain extremely active on Facebook, while the Conservatives and UKIP are silent. Interestingly, Momentum — the grassroots group with ties to Jeremy Corbyn — continues to buy online ads, with a recent focus on the elections for Labours National Executive Committee.
— Germany: The countrys traditional parties have been slow to take to social media to promote themselves — it is a land where the street poster remains a key political tool, after all. But the Alternative for Germany, the far-right group that did well in last years national election, has not been shy in spreading its messages through paid-for advertising on Facebook.
Campaign group Fair Vote U.K. announced Saturday that it is preparing a lawsuit against Facebook on behalf of users whose data was used by the tech giant without their consent during the Brexit referendum campaign.
The suit follows the leak of an interim report on fake news from the culture, media and sport select committee that underlined the ease with which companies could harvest user data without consent.
“It is now abundantly clear the status quo with regard to how we hold internet giants to account does not work. The solution is urgent reform to properly regulate and oversee companies like Facebook. Because the breaches took place before the GDPR came into effect, the fines are simply not great enough to deter this behaviour,” said Kyle Taylor, director of Fair Vote U.K. and a claimant on the file, in a statement.
The U.K.s Information Commissioners Office in early July issued a £500,000 fine against the social media giant over the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. The data watchdog said that Facebook had broken the countrys data protection laws by offering consumer information to a third party app.
Friday's QuakeCon keynote included a 15-minute Doom Eternal gameplay premiere, showing off the idTech7 engine in action for the first time. As predicted after its E3 tease, this sequel will follow Doom II's lead from 1994 and bring the new series' demons and terrors of Hell to Earth.
The gameplay sequence confirms that Doom Eternal will further emphasize movement and explosive weaponry, and the most noticeable change comes from a new super shotgun that doubles as a grappling hook. With this weapon equipped, aim until a small skull icon turns golden in your field of view, at which point you can extend a chain and either zip yourself toward a particular demon or use its body to swing yourself in a circular motion around it.
Doomguy also comes equipped with two new weapons by default: a retractable blade on his left wrist and a shoulder-mounted flamethrower. In practice, the latter looks like a solid option to pester a crowd of foes rushing you at once, while the former just adds more gore and amputation possibilities to the game's "glory kill" mechanic (in which rushing a foe and pummeling them to death feeds your health bar, but at the cost of potentially getting crowded by other nearby foes).
Should the game's aggressive AI and huge monster counts not be challenge enough, players will be able to toggle an "invasion" option during the campaign mode. This will allow other online players to team up and invade your game as AI opponents. We only saw a tiny tease of this feature, so we're still wondering exactly how invading characters' health and powers will scale, or whether they'll be low-health monsters that must respawn repeatedly within a campaign. id Software emphasized that this mode would be wholly optional for those who want to "rip and tear by yourself."
While id Software's presenters hinted at "lore" and world-building aspirations, it all really just sounds like an excuse to send the Doomslayer to a variety of outposts beyond the demon-wracked cityscape in the reveal's first bloody encounter. We saw a cloudy, gothic church scene at one point, along with an assault on an outpost on Mars' moon Phobos. That sequence included better looks at two new standard weapons: the Ballista, a laser launcher whose rounds explode inside of bad guys, and the Heavy Cannon, a combination machine gun and sniper rifle.
Otherwise, this is all rockets, shotguns, air-dashes, grappling swings, and move-and-pummel stuff, complete with a new industrial-sludge soundtrack that already sounds on par with Mick Gordon's Doom 2016 score. Sadly, id Software didn't bring a release date to this QuakeCon reveal.
Hackers have been exploiting a vulnerability in DLink modem routers to send people to a fake banking website that attempts to steal their login credentials, a security researcher said Friday.
The vulnerability works against DLink DSL-2740R, DSL-2640B, DSL-2780B, DSL-2730B, and DSL-526B models that havent been patched in the past two years. As described in disclosures here, here, here, here, and here, the flaw allows attackers to remotely change the DNS server that connected computers use to translate domain names into IP addresses.
According to an advisory published Friday morning by security firm Radware, hackers have been exploiting the vulnerability to send people trying to visit two Brazilian bank sites—Banco de Brasils www.bb.com.br and Unibancos www.itau.com.br—to malicious servers rather than the ones operated by the financial institutions. In the advisory, Radware researcher Pascal Geenens wrote:
The attack is insidious in the sense that a user is completely unaware of the change. The hijacking works without crafting or changing URLs in the users browser. A user can use any browser and his/her regular shortcuts, he or she can type in the URL manually or even use it from mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android phones or tablets. He or she will still be sent to the malicious website instead of to their requested website, so the hijacking effectively works at the gateway level.
Geenens told Ars that Banco de Brasils website can be accessed over unencrypted and unauthenticated HTTP connections, and that prevented visitors from receiving any warning the redirected site was malicious. People who connected using the more secure HTTPS protocol received a warning from the browser that the digital certificate was self-signed, but they may have been tricked into clicking an option to accept it. Other than the self-signed certificate, the site was a convincing spoof of the real site. If users logged in, their site credentials were sent to the hackers behind the campaign. The spoof site was served from the same IP address that hosted the malicious DNS server.
People who tried to visit Unibanco were redirected to a page hosted at the same IP address as the malicious DNS server and fake Banco de Brasil site. That page, however, didnt actually spoof the banks site, an indication that it was probably a temporary landing page that had not yet been set up. The malicious operation was shut down early Friday morning California time after Geenens reported the malicious DNS server and spoof site to server host OVH. With the malicious DNS server inoperable, people connected to infected DLink devices will likely be unable to use the Internet until they change the DNS server settings on their router or reconfigure their connecting devices to use an alternate DNS server.
The best defense against router attacks is to ensure devices are running the most up-to-date firmware and are secured with a strong password. A good defense-in-depth move is also to configure each device that connects to use a trusted DNS server, such as 18.104.22.168 from Cloudflare or 22.214.171.124 from Google. These settings, which are made in the operating system of the connecting device, will override any settings made in the router.
The Microsoft Azure cloud computing service threatened to stop hosting Gab, a self-described "free speech social network," unless the site deleted two anti-Semitic posts made by a neo-Nazi who previously ran for a US Senate seat.
Gab founder Andrew Torba yesterday posted a screenshot of Microsoft's notice, which said that Microsoft had "received a complaint of malicious activity" and that Gab must take action within two business days or face the possible "suspension of your deployment(s)."
"Gab's hosting provider, Microsoft Azure, has given us 48 hours to take action on two posts or they will pull our service and Gab will go down for weeks/months," the website's official Twitter account said.
Patrick Little, the neo-Nazi referenced above, "voluntarily removed the posts cited by Microsoft," Gab said in a followup tweet. Little's now-deleted posts said that Jews should be raised as "livestock" and that he intended to destroy a "holohoax memorial."
"I'll delete the posts, but this is a violation of our rights as Americans," Little wrote in a Gab post. "Having to self sensor [sic] on @gab for this most likely means the vendors and service providers that gab depends on will force ever more censorship."
Even that Gab post contained an anti-Semitic statement, with Little writing, "we will have no rights until the jews are expelled."
Torba pushed back against Microsoft yesterday, noting that Microsoft's first notice to Gab incorrectly labeled the anti-Semitic posts as "phishing URLs."
"You are correct that the complaint was mistakenly labeled 'phishing,' but after an initial review we have concluded that this content incites violence in contravention of Microsoft Azure's Acceptable Use Policy," Microsoft told Torba in a response. "We see that the posts in question have now been removed and thank you for your prompt attention to this matter, which we now consider closed. If we receive other complaints about similar content that seeks to incite violence or otherwise violates our Acceptable Use Policy, we will ask that you take similar measures to address."
"If they receive other complaints, we may get similar requests in the future. This should be fun," Gab wrote on Twitter.
Torba doesn't want to keep Gab on Microsoft Azure in the long run. "We are actively looking into other hosting providers and our long-term goal is building our own infrastructure," Torba wrote, according to the BBC.
Gab "describes itself as a platform for free speech, but much of the content on the site presents far-right viewpoints, including racist and anti-Semitic posts," the BBC noted.
There were conflicting reports on whether Little removed the posts on his own or whether Gab itself deleted them. In another Gab post yesterday, Little had written that he would "delete my posts when the jews have been removed from power in this country."
Torba told Little on Gab that "this isn't a joke. We need to know if you plan to delete them asap or not. You said you would. Are you a man of your word or do you want to play games?"
"We took action and removed both posts," Torba wrote, according to the BBC report. "We had no choice." Torba also acknowledged that one of Little's posts "unquestionably breaks our user guidelines."
In a statement to media, Microsoft said, "We believe we have an important responsibility to ensure that our services are not abused by people and groups seeking to incite violence. Gab.ai is of course free to choose otherwise and work with another cloud service provider or host this content itself."
Gab's mobile app was previously banned by the Google Play Store and rejected by Apple when Gab sought inclusion on the iOS App Store.
Little proposed "rais[ing] jews as livestock"
Little's anti-Semitic posts were not limited to the two flagged in complaints to Microsoft.
In one of the posts flagged by Microsoft, Little wrote that "No amount of suffering could repay, eye for an eye, the debt the jew owes the world.. given their current population numbers."
That post then proposed "a plan to raise jews as livestock, providing a steady supply of vessels for vengeance for the hundreds of years of jew crops that will have to be raised for ritual death by torture."
The other Little post flagged by Microsoft said, "Count down to a live stream of me taking a sledge hammer to a holohoax memorial in twelve months."
Another post that Little made in the same thread remains on Gab despite containing a similar statement: "I will see the destruction of at least one US holocaust memorial in the next 12 months, or I will take a sledge hammer to one myself. This is a campaign vow for 2020," Little wrote.
Little continued to rant against Jews on his Gab account yesterday, writing that "The jews are planning on pulling out their well-worn blades of genocide shortly."
Little recently "embarked on a nationwide 'Name the Jew' tour," to spread anti-Semitic propaganda in at least 10 US cities, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) wrote last week.
"Little has been an outspoken anti-Semite for at least a year, but his latest speeches and online comments indicate he's operating at a new level of bigotry and paranoia," the ADL wrote. "He has fully embraced the neo-Nazi label, taking to social media to extol 'Saint Adolf's' efforts to eliminate the Jewish population."
We are introducing a bi-weekly summary of the most exciting recent news in marketing technology and trends. If youre trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.
LATAM retailer SACI Falabella will purchase the online retailer Linio for US $138 million. Linio operates in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama. E-commerce in Latin America is expected to grow by 19% in the next five years – well above the global average of 11%.
Investors will pour US $4.5 million into the influence marketer FLUVIP to help it grow in Spain, Latin America, and the US. FLUVIP uses machine learning and predictive artificial intelligence to measure the impact and cost of influence marketer campaigns on social media platforms.
Your customers could be turned off if you only talk to them using artificial intelligence, a Capgemini worldwide survey of internet users has found. The survey saw wide acceptance among shoppers for AI interactions, but it also discovered that shoppers are happier when chatbots and virtual assistants come with live-human interaction options.
Compliance with the European Unions General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is costing Fortune 500 companies US $7.8 billion, according to Fortune. A survey by PwC pegged the cost for 200 US companies of 500 or more employees at between $1 and $10 million.
A majority of US marketers view the European Unions General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as a threat to their ability to target audiences. Digiday talked to 46 US marketers who said they were more concerned about restrictions on reaching key market segments than the cost of fines for noncompliance.
Conversions of inbound marketing leads into sales is a lot lower than you may think at just 13 percent according to a study by Implicit, as reported by PMG360. Look for a 20 percent improvement when you nurture inbound leads with personalization, targeted reach, lead scoring and timely response.
Mark A. Browne
Mark A. Browne is Portada's Marketing Innovation Editor. He is a bilingual (EnglishSpanish) writer, media relations manager, and content creation professional with an established record providing journalism, copywriting and analytical content services to major publishers, PR agencies and businesses in the United States, Latin America and Europe. His award-winning career as a reporter and editor includes daily and weekly newspaper experience and free-lance writing for major print and on-line publications including US Banker, Bank Technology News, CardLine Europe, and CNSNews.