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Top UBER exec outs himself as UBER Files whistleblower

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The man who led UBER’s controversial lobbying efforts in Europe has identified himself as the whistleblower behind the UBER Files investigation

Lobbyist Mark MacGann has come out as the whistleblower who leaked thousands of compromising documents on the US ride-hailing firm.

MacGann led Uber’s lobbying efforts in Europe, Africa and the Middle East between 2014 and 2016. 

The one-time cheerleader-in-chief for Uber in Europe, MacGann now looks set to become one of its sharpest critics.

Lobbyist Mark MacGann with the French President

He’s told The Guardian newspaper he wanted to speak out because he believed Uber broke the law in dozens of countries.

He also claims Uber misled people about the company’s business model.

In his wide-ranging interview, MacGann detailed the personal journey that led him to leak the data years after leaving Uber.

“I regret being part of a group of people which massaged the facts to earn the trust of drivers, of consumers and of political elites,” he said.

“I should have shown more common sense and pushed harder to stop the craziness. It is my duty to [now] speak up and help governments and parliamentarians right some fundamental wrongs. Morally, I had no choice in the matter.”

UBER Files investigation

Journalists have accused the company of having “broken the law” in its war against local taxi companies as it entered new markets.

The Guardian has shared more than 100,000 documents, dating from 2013 to 2017.

The Uber files consists of confidential company data that MacGann had access to at Uber.

But many experts are now warning that all entrepreneurs can learn lessons from Uber’s failings.

It includes company presentations, briefing notes, security reports and tens of thousands of emails and WhatsApp, iMessage and chat exchanges between the company’s most senior staff at the time.

They include Travis Kalanick, Uber’s combative co-founder and then chief executive, David Plouffe, a former Barack Obama campaign aide who became a senior vice-president at Uber, and Rachel Whetstone, a British PR executive who has also held senior roles at Google, Facebook and now Netflix.

When MacGann departed Uber in 2016, Whetstone described him as “a wonderful leader”. Plouffe called him a “talented public policy professional” and “terrific advocate for Uber”.

In response, Uber has tried to distance itself from the investigation and the practices of former management.

Business

Did the Simpsons predict Musk’s Twitter takeover?

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New Twitter boss Elon Musk claims The Simpsons predicted his takeover years ago

Elon Musk has alluded to the fact that The Simpsons predicted his takeover of Twitter in a 2015 episode.

The episode titled “The Musk who fell to Earth” showcases Lisa Simpson feeding birds in a letter box with the label “Home Tweet Home.”

During the episode, Musk flies in on his rocket ship before meeting the Simpsons family.

Before Musk leaves, the show throws to the bird house. Lisa Simpson then says “I guess humanity wants its change one bird house at a time.”

Fans of the series have been quick to jump on its so-called prediction capabilities. They often draw parallels between the episodes and monumental events in history.

Lovers of the show are convinced it predicted Donald Trump’s Presidential run, Disney’s purchase of Fox and the 9/11 attacks.

More recently, they’re certain the show predicted England and America’s 2022 World Cup match in an 1997 episode.

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British lawmakers want to fine social media

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Social media companies could be fined if they don’t remove harmful content, according to a new plan from the UK Government

Lawmakers want to make it illegal to encourage users to harm themselves online.

It’s part of a crackdown on online behaviour on content that leads to self harm.

In a statement, Digital Secretary Michelle Donelan said these firms “can no longer remain silent bystanders”.

She says they’ll face fines for allowing this abusive and destructive behaviour to continue on their platforms.”

It follows the death of Molly Russell in 20-17, which sparked concern for harmful content online.

A coroner ruled social media platforms fed her content that “romanticised acts of self-harm”.

Sexually explicit materials will also be banned under the new policy.

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Twitter adds millions of users after cutting staff

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elon musk twitter

Twitter boss Elon Musk says new user signups to the social media platform are at an “all-time high”.

That’s despite his recent struggles with a mass exodus of advertisers and users fleeing to other platforms.

Musk says signups to Twitter are averaging over two million per day over the past week.

Reported impersonations on the platform spiked earlier this month, before and in wake of the Twitter Blue launch.

Musk says buying Twitter will speed up his ambition to create an “everything app” called X.

Musk’s “Twitter 2.0 The Everything App” will have features like encrypted DMs, longform tweets and payments.

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