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Texas Sues Facebook Over Facial Recognition Tech

The company has already dished out $650 million in similar lawsuits elsewhere.

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For decades, Americans have understood the truth behind the old adage “don’t mess with Texas”, and it could be that Facebook is about to learn that lesson the hard way.

The social media giant is no stranger to controversy, particularly in regard to its morally-murky data-harvesting policies and tactics, and a great many privacy experts have suggested that the platform could be running afoul of the 4th Amendment of the United States on account of it.

It now appears as though the Lone Star State is going to test that theory in court.

The Texas Attorney General is suing Facebook’s parent company, saying it collected biometric data on Texans for commercial purposes without their informed consent.

Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the lawsuit Monday in a state district court. The suit claims Facebook parent Meta has been “storing millions of biometric identifiers” — identified as retina or iris scans, voice prints, or a record of hand and face geometry — contained in photos and videos people uploaded to its services, including Facebook and Instagram.

“Facebook will no longer take advantage of people and their children with the intent to turn a profit at the expense of one’s safety and well-being,” Paxton said in a statement. “This is yet another example of Big Tech’s deceitful business practices and it must stop. I will continue to fight for Texans’ privacy and security.”

Facebook responded with a fairly bland statement.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Meta Platforms Inc., which is based in Menlo Park, California, said the lawsuit was “without merit” and that the Texas law in question had never been enforced in the past.

A similar lawsuit in Illinois saw the company dish out $650 million over its use of biometric data.

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Musk Steps Back from Twitter Purchase After ‘Fake Users’ Concern

Or is Musk a better negotiator than we give him credit for?

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Free speech advocates around the world have been rejoicing in recent days, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk appeared to be on the verge of purchasing social media giant Twitter.

The site, which has grown restrictive for conservative viewpoints in recent years, was going to be “unlocked” by Musk, who firmly believed that a more open, inclusive Twitter would be a much more powerful tool than previously imagined.

But now, as his team uncovers concerns about the site’s real user number, Musk is taking a step back.

Tesla billionaire Elon Musk has put his plan to buy Twitter on what he called a temporary “hold,” raising fresh doubts about whether he’ll proceed with the $44 billion acquisition.

Musk tweeted early Friday that he wanted to pinpoint the number of spam and fake accounts on the social media platform. He has been vocal about his desire to clean up Twitter’s problem with “spam bots” that mimic real people, and he appeared to question whether Twitter was underreporting them.

But the company has disclosed in regulatory filings that its bot estimates might be low for at least two years, leading some analysts to believe that Musk could be raising the issue as a reason to back out of the purchase.

Musk wasn’t shy about his issue.

“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk tweeted Friday morning, indicating he’s skeptical that the number of inauthentic accounts is that low.

The eccentric billionaire would go on to insist that he still fully intends to purchase the site, leading some to speculate as to whether or not this might be a simple negotiating tactic.

 

Free speech advocates around the world have been rejoicing in recent days, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk appeared to be on the verge of purchasing social media giant Twitter. The site, which has grown restrictive for conservative viewpoints in recent years, was going to be “unlocked” by Musk, who firmly believed that a more open, inclusive Twitter would be a much more powerful tool than previously imagined. But now, as his team uncovers concerns about the site’s real user number, Musk is taking a step back. Tesla billionaire Elon Musk has put his plan to buy Twitter on what he called a temporary “hold,” raising fresh doubts about whether he’ll proceed with the $44 billion acquisition. Musk tweeted early Friday that he wanted to pinpoint the number of spam and fake accounts on the social media platform. He has been vocal about his desire to clean up Twitter’s problem with “spam bots” that mimic real people, and he appeared to question whether Twitter was underreporting them. But the company has disclosed in regulatory filings that its bot estimates might be low for at least two years, leading some analysts to believe that Musk could be raising the issue as a reason to back out of the purchase. Musk wasn’t shy about his issue. “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk tweeted Friday morning, indicating he’s skeptical that the number of inauthentic accounts is that low. The eccentric billionaire would go on to insist that he still fully intends to purchase the site, leading some to speculate as to whether or not this might be a simple negotiating tactic.  

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Sony Bucks Beijing By Refusing to Censor Spiderman Movie

At least someone is refusing to capitulate to China.

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China has long been exploiting their citizenry, thanks to their commitment to the cruel tenets of authoritarian communism and their unwavering disregard for even the most basic of human rights.  This has allowed the CCP to treat Chinese citizens like cattle, working low-paying jobs to produce goods that can then flood the international market, essentially milking them for money.

In order to keep the people of China happy in this arrangement, the government has had to severely limit the sorts of ideas that can be viewed in art or books, lest their human livestock were to get some strange ideas about freedom.

In order to do this, China has leveraged their enormous consumer base against some of the west’s most powerful entertainment companies, demanding that they tamp down certain references in books, films, television, and music.

A recent attempt to manipulate one Marvel’s biggest blockbusters has not gone Beijing’s way, however.

Sony reportedly refused the Chinese government’s demand to scrub the Statue of Liberty from Spider-Man: No Way Home.

According to Puck on Sunday, citing “multiple sources,” the Chinese government requested the Statue of Liberty be digitally removed from the film, despite its inclusion in a pivotal scene. Sony rejected the request.

The Chinese government then asked if the Statue of Liberty could be, according to Puck, “minimized in the sequence: if Sony could cut a few of the more patriotic shots of [Tom] Holland standing atop the crown, or dull the lighting so that Lady Liberty’s visage wasn’t so front-and-center.” Sony considered the request, but declined.

China has demanded several changes to major movies throughout the years, including a massive adjustment to the end of Fight Club, in which the protagonists’ plot to destroy the credit banking system was removed and replaced with an epilogue stating that all of the characters involved were arrested by police…even the character that was a figment of someone’s imagination the whole time.

China has long been exploiting their citizenry, thanks to their commitment to the cruel tenets of authoritarian communism and their unwavering disregard for even the most basic of human rights.  This has allowed the CCP to treat Chinese citizens like cattle, working low-paying jobs to produce goods that can then flood the international market, essentially milking them for money. In order to keep the people of China happy in this arrangement, the government has had to severely limit the sorts of ideas that can be viewed in art or books, lest their human livestock were to get some strange ideas about freedom. In order to do this, China has leveraged their enormous consumer base against some of the west’s most powerful entertainment companies, demanding that they tamp down certain references in books, films, television, and music. A recent attempt to manipulate one Marvel’s biggest blockbusters has not gone Beijing’s way, however. Sony reportedly refused the Chinese government’s demand to scrub the Statue of Liberty from Spider-Man: No Way Home. According to Puck on Sunday, citing “multiple sources,” the Chinese government requested the Statue of Liberty be digitally removed from the film, despite its inclusion in a pivotal scene. Sony rejected the request. The Chinese government then asked if the Statue of Liberty could be, according to Puck, “minimized in the sequence: if Sony could cut a few of the more patriotic shots of [Tom] Holland standing atop the crown, or dull the lighting so that Lady Liberty’s visage wasn’t so front-and-center.” Sony considered the request, but declined. China has demanded several changes to major movies throughout the years, including a massive adjustment to the end of Fight Club, in which the protagonists’ plot to destroy the credit banking system was removed and replaced with an epilogue stating that all of the characters involved were arrested…

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