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“They have put their astronomical profits before people”: Facebook whistleblower slams big tech

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A former Facebook employee has slammed the social media company during a US hearing, saying the organisation “harms children, stokes division and weakens democracy”

Frances Haugen is the former product manager now turned whistleblower, and has appeared at a hearing on Capitol Hill.

Facebook has hit back at the claims, saying Haugen was speaking about the areas of the company in which she has no knowledge about.

This comes as scrutiny around the company’s operations and dealings grows… with many pushing for further regulation.

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers who were conducting the hearing were united in the need for change at the organisation.

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal says this moment is the very definition of a bombshell.

Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn believes the social media giant “is not interested in making significant changes to improve kids’ safety on their platforms at least not when that would result in losing eyeballs on posts or decreasing their ad revenues.”

This all follows Haugen appearing on an episode of 60 minutes saying that Facebook continuously chooses profit over the mental health of its users.

At the hearing, Haugen also criticised the leadership of the company’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, saying no one is currently holding him accountable except for himself.

William is an Executive News Producer at TICKER NEWS, responsible for the production and direction of news bulletins. William is also the presenter of the hourly Weather + Climate segment. With qualifications in Journalism and Law (LLB), William previously worked at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) before moving to TICKER NEWS. He was also an intern at the Seven Network's 'Sunrise'. A creative-minded individual, William has a passion for broadcast journalism and reporting on global politics and international affairs.

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TikTok’s parent company loses $7bn

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TikTok’s Parent company sees losses grow as it tries to outplay Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has experienced a loss of more than $7 billion dollars in operating costs, tripling last year’s records.

The company attributes the huge loss to its massive investment in global growth. It detailed the results in a financial report which was provided to internal stakeholders.

In the first quarter of 2022, the company recorded a profit in its operating costs, with the company’s revenue expanding by more than 80% to $61.7 billion in 2021.

But expenses that are focused on expanding its products worldwide continue to swell at a rapid rate.

While TikTok is one of ByteDance’s most successful and well-known products, the company owns a wide range of digital platforms including: Douyin, Toutiao, Vigo Video, Helo, Lark and BytePlus. In total, it attracts hundreds of millions of users in China alone and 1 billion TikTok users worldwide.

The internal report was emailed to all ByteDance’s 130,000 employees. In a note of assurance, company execs “remain confident in the strength of our business and organisation.”

The ability for ByteDance to continue to invest in the company’s growth is clearly a strong advantage the company has over its competitors in the market.

A new report found Australians spent more time on TikTok in the last 12 months than on Facebook, a leader for many years in the space.

With other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube scrambling to compete with TikTok, it seems ByteDance must have a long-term expansion strategy in mind.

The company is evidently trying to arrive at a place where such massive losses relating to operating will be a distant memory.

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Australian government will temporarily change telco laws amid Optus data breach

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Australians impacted by the Optus data breach are set to be given greater protection as authorities scramble to protect the personal information that was leaked online

Today, the Australian federal government has announced it will temporarily change the country’s telecommunication laws, paving the way for Optus to share sensitive data.

The move will see the divers licenses, alongside Medicare and passport numbers of impacted customers provided to financial institutions.

Allowing enhanced monitoring for those who were compromised in the cyberattack.

Optus will be working hand-in-hand with banks to monitor fraudulent activity, hopefully avoiding any breaches.

The government says all of the personal information must be immediately destroyed once it is no longer deemed necessary.

When announcing the changes, Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said financial institutions have been proactive throughout this process – but elements of the Optus response have previously been criticised.

The breach affected nearly 10 million customers and former customers, sending the country into a panic.

Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers says this latest move is designed to help keep impacted residents safe from cyber crime.

This unprecedented move now sits with the Governor General who is required to give final approval.

Australians are told the regulations will remain in place for a period of 12 months.

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Another twist in the Musk and Twitter deal

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The trial between Twitter and Elon Musk is still set to go ahead

The trial between Twitter and Elon Musk is set to go ahead, in a strange series of events. This comes despite Musk’s recent change of heart over the deal to buy the social media platform

Delaware Court judge Kathaleen McCormick says neither party has applied for a “stay” in the action. Now, proceedings are still due to begin on October 17.

This comes a day Musk performed a U-turn, deciding to go ahead with the multi-billion dollar deal to buy the social media giant.

Musk’s lawyer says his client has “reconsidered his position” and is now “committed to completing the transaction.”

The transaction values Twitter at $54.20 per share, bringing the total sale price to around 44 billion.

The trial was scheduled to run over five days with Twitter arguing the Tesla CEO should be required to complete the transaction.

Musk launched a counterclaim, alleging the company suffered a substantial reduction in its value, rendering the deal invalid.

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