Connect with us

SOCIAL

‘Terrified’: Musk Twitter buyout bid rattles tech world

Published

on

'Terrified': Musk Twitter buyout bid rattles tech world


Elon Musk’s bid to take over Twitter left tech world unnerved – Copyright POOL/AFP/File Britta Pedersen

Joshua MELVIN

Elon Musk’s shock offer to buy Twitter drew immediate fears Thursday – and some cheers – over putting the platform in the hands of a mercurial billionaire who advocates fewer limits on what people can post.

Tech watchers reacted to the Tesla chief’s proposal for one of the world’s most influential information exchanges with immediate worries about accountability, public discourse and even how it could impact democracy.

Twitter is too important to be owned and controlled by a single person,” tweeted venture capitalist Fred Wilson. “The opposite should be happening. Twitter should be decentralized.”

However, the $43 billion pitch faces uncertainty on several fronts, including potential board or shareholder resistance, as well as lack of information on how Musk would actually fund the all-cash offer.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has already come out against the proposal, saying it’s too low, drawing a sharp reply from Musk questioning Saudi Arabia’s “views on journalistic freedom of speech.”

Still, Musk provided some detail Thursday on his vision, saying he’d like to lift the veil on the algorithm that runs on the platform, even allowing people to look through it and suggest changes.

He also reiterated his stance favoring a more hands-off approach to policing the platform’s content, a thorny matter that has fueled criticism of Twitter, especially for the highest-profile instances of violations of its terms of service.

Donald Trump’s critics had long called for him to be kicked off the site, yet his supporters then voiced their outrage after he was barred over worries his tweets could spur violence.

“I do think that we want to be just very reluctant to delete things and just be very cautious with permanent bans. Timeouts, I think are better,” Musk told a conference on Thursday, without addressing Trump directly.

“I think we want to really have, like a sort of obsession and reality, that speech is as free as reasonably possible,” he added.

– ‘Sounds ridiculous’ –

Critics argued that free speech absolutism on social media can be very messy in the real world.

“I am frightened by the impact on society and politics if Elon Musk acquires Twitter,” tweeted Max Boot, a Washington Post columnist.

“He seems to believe that on social media anything goes. For democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less,” Boot added.

Yet supporters of Musk’s hostile takeover bid came to the exact opposite conclusion, welcoming the prospect.

“This is the best news for free speech in years!” tweeted Nigel Farage, a populist British politician who helped lead the campaign for Brexit.

American conservatives like Senator Ted Cruz also voiced their backing for less moderation.

“If the left thinks they’re right, why are they so terrified of free speech?” he tweeted in reply to Boot’s criticism.

Yet both left and right of the political spectrum in the United States have been skeptical of the power concentrated in the hands of social media platforms and their lack of accountability.

US national lawmakers have been deadlocked for so long over how to regulate Big Tech that individual states have launched their own rules, probes and lawsuits.

“Twitter as a private company just reduces the little public accountability social media have as fiduciaries to the public,” tweeted Maya Zehavi, a tech entrepreneur.

Facebook’s parent firm Meta is public, but founder Mark Zuckerberg has effective control over the company because of the shares he owns.

Critics have repeatedly argued that a barrier to Facebook evolving past its reputation as a troubled but profitable social network is the ability for its head to remain in power.

The idea of taking Twitter, which is currently publicly owned, toward a structure that would concentrate power in Musk’s hands struck some as contradictory.

It has been called the world’s town square for the exchange of ideas, and thus a place where the right to speak is primary.

“‘I have to buy and take the public square private in order to save it!’ Try saying it out loud. It sounds ridiculous,” tweeted Renee DiResta, technical research manager at Stanford Internet Observatory.



Source link

SOCIAL

Pig butchering and the other peculiar cyber-scams on the rise

Published

on

Pig butchering and the other peculiar cyber-scams on the rise

Pointing to a computer screen. Image by Tim Sandle.

The countdown to holiday period shopping is on. While sales are up, so are risks. Barclay’s estimate a 70 percent increase in scams the last year. Hence, consumers need to be even more vigilant with the deals they’re seeking out and the websites they are purchasing from.

To help Digital Journal  readers be more mindful as to the key risk factors, James Walker, CEO at Rightly, explains the main issues. This includes an uptick in recent ‘brushing scams’ and fake reviews, as well as further details around other types of scams to watch out for.

Walker sees this period of time as providing ample situations for “Fraudsters to take advantage of innocent consumers. There are multiple tactics scammers use to convince people to part with their money, particularly in the run-up to a day which promises huge savings. One scam in particular we’ve been seeing an increase in is the so-called brushing scam in the lead up to the festive season, which involves unsuspecting people receiving unsolicited deliveries.”

Expanding on the strange deliveries, Walker says: “If you receive an unexpected package, it may be a scam that online sellers use to falsely inflate ratings and post fake reviews, and may mean your personal data has been compromised. If you have received an unexpected package from a company such as Amazon and suspect it to be a brushing scam, contact customer support directly. They can tell you whether your real account has been compromised and will cancel the fake account. The same goes for other marketplaces like eBay.”

Expanding on this tactic, Walker explains: “Unfortunately, such scams have also led to significant increase in fake reviews on Amazon, with an estimated 61 percent of all reviews classified as fake as fraudulent sellers try to manipulate buyers into making a purchase. Always be cautious when buying online and do as much background research as possible on a company or product before buying anything.”

Among the most prevalent scams, Walker cites:

Social media scams

This is where scammers take over your social profile, gaining access to influence your friends and family. But this is only the start of taking over someone’s life, this can lead to the opening of bank accounts and creating fake identities in your name.

Burner businesses

This is when scammers buy a company for a reasonable amount and appear to trade, genuinely selling goods and services. They build up lots of sales, and then when the time is right, they move the money out and close down the business, leaving people out of pocket and either with fake goods or none at all.

Tickets to events

With the football World Cup taking place, it’s not too surprising to see that ticket scams are on the rise. Ticket selling scams happen when a scammer uses tickets as bait to steal your money. The scammer usually sells fake tickets, or you pay for a ticket, but never receive it. They are common when tickets for popular concerts, plays, and sporting events sell out. Additionally, scam artists purporting to represent musicians or bands have invited promoters to send offers for non-existent tour dates in a phishing email.

Pig butchering

It sounds unpleasant, but so called ‘pig-butchering’ scams are on the rise. These scams happen when someone seemingly friendly and open befriends you online and over time, through a series of conversations, persuades you to part with money. It’s often a little at first, suggesting you put some cash into a ‘too-good-to-be-true’ investment. Only, of course, the investment is a scam and fraudulent.

Source link

Continue Reading

DON'T MISS ANY IMPORTANT NEWS!
Subscribe To our Newsletter
We promise not to spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

Trending

en_USEnglish