A senior Facebook executive on Tuesday said the world’s biggest social network unintentionally helped put Donald Trump in the White House but warned against dramatic rule changes.
The Trump campaign did effectively use Facebook to rally support for his presidential run, and the social network should be mindful of that without making moves that stifle free political discourse, Andrew Bosworth said in a lengthy post on his personal Facebook page triggered by The New York Times publishing an internal memo he wrote.
“So was Facebook responsible for Donald Trump getting elected?” Bosworth asked.
“I think the answer is yes, but not for the reasons anyone thinks.”
Bosworth contended Trump was not elected because of Russia or misinformation or Cambridge Analytica, but rather because he ran “the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser.”
Since Facebook has the same ad policies in place now, the outcome of the 2020 election could be the same as it was four years ago, he added.
Facebook has maintained a hands-off policy on political ads, in contrast with Google which in November placed restrictions on how advertisers can target specific groups of voters.
“As tempting as it is to use the tools available to us to change the outcome, I am confident we must never do that or we will become that which we fear,” Bosworth wrote.
That doesn’t mean Facebook should not draw a line when it comes to how it is used, he reasoned. Clearly inciting violence, thwarting voting, and other blatant transgressions should be banned, but voters should be trusted to decide what kind of leaders they want to elect, according to Bosworth.
“If we don’t want hate-mongering politicians then we must not elect them,” Bosworth wrote.
“If we change the outcomes without winning the minds of the people who will be ruled then we have a democracy in name only. If we limit what information people have access to and what they can say then we have no democracy at all.”
– War rooms – Bosworth’s comments came with Facebook under pressure to better protect user data and prevent its services from being used to spread misinformation, exacerbate social divides and sway political opinions as was the case in 2016 in the US.
Keeping the social network secure while thwarting misinformation and fending off the competition with new features were among priorities laid out by executives at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Tuesday.
“The innovation piece is important to us while we keep people in the company focused on security,” said Facebook vice president of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson.
Facebook provided visitors a look at a revamped “Privacy Checkup” tool for users which is rolling out this week.
“What is top of mind for me is regulation and how the privacy landscape is developing,” Everson said.
“We would like help on the regulatory front for privacy and security.”
Facebook priorities this year include preventing the platform from being used by malevolent actors to influence the US election, according to Everson.
The social network is in nearly 200 countries around the world, where scores of elections take place annually and will apply lessons learned through experience to the US, Everson said.
Facebook will once again have a “war room” to coordinate responses to the election or voter manipulation efforts by state actors or others in real-time.
“The war room model has been working around the world,” Everson said.
“We have 70 to 90 elections each year, so we have been getting better. War rooms are part of our strategy.”
Facebook will ban hyper-realistic deepfake videos ahead of the US election but will still allow heavily edited clips so long as they are parody or satire.
Everson re-affirmed Facebook will stick with its controversial policy of allowing politicians to post information proven to be false.
“We do not believe we are in the position to be the arbiter of truth, but we have been clear that we are continuing to evaluate how we can do it better,” Everson said.
“We don’t want people to mislead on our platform.”
Facebook last month took down a network of accounts it said was using fake identities while spreading pro-Trump messages at the social network and its Instagram service.
Unbeaten Deontay Wilder landed a devastating right hand to knock out Luis Ortiz in the seventh round and retain his World Boxing Council heavyweight title.
The 34-year-old Wilder remains on course to achieve his goal of unifying all four heavyweight belts despite being largely outboxed by Ortiz before the explosive one-punch finish at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas late Saturday night.
“When I see the right shot, it is baby good night,” Wilder said.
Unbeaten in 43 fights, Wilder showed why he is widely regarded as the most destructive puncher in the resurgent heavyweight division.
The “Bronze Bomber” recorded his 10th straight title defence to equal Muhammad Ali who achieved the feat between 1974 and 1978. Only four heavyweights in the history of boxing have made more than 10 consecutive title defences.
Wilder waited patiently for his big moment and when it came, with just nine seconds left in the round, it was stunning.
He followed a pawing jab with a crushing straight right that sent Ortiz’s head snapping back and his body crashing into the ropes before landing on the canvas.
“That was a punch intended to hurt for sure,” said the American. “I got him at the right angle, my feet were planted perfectly and I felt the torque.”
Ortiz tried to get up but he clearly could not continue. The fight was officially stopped at 2:51 of the seventh.
It was a repeat of their 2018 fight where Wilder had battled adversity to deliver a 10th-round stoppage.
Wilder’s win now sets up another money-spinning rematch with Tyson Fury scheduled for February.
If he comes through that a unification showdown against the winner of next month’s rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia for the other three major heavyweight belts could follow.
The fights with Fury, and Ruiz or Joshua, would generate millions for Wilder.
The last two years in heavyweight boxing have provided plenty of rousing match-ups and renewed enthusiasm in contrast to the previous 15 years or so which were dominated by the Klitschko brothers.
“I am looking for a unification bout,” Wilder said. “I want one champion, one face, one name that goes by Deontay Wilder.
“The heavyweight division is too small to have so many belts lingering around. It should be just be one champion and I think I am the perfect man for that job.”
The 40-year-old Ortiz, who was coming off three straight victories, was trying to become the first Cuban to win the world heavyweight title.
‘It was a war’
“This is boxing. I told everyone it wasn’t going to go 12 rounds,” said Ortiz.
Ortiz won most of the early rounds. He was the aggressor from the opening bell as he tagged Wilder with a left hook to the face in the opening round.
Ortiz also suffered a cut to his right temple area in the opening round due to an accidental clash of heads. But there was little blood flow and his corner did a good job of containing it as the rounds continued.
Both fighters were waiting for an opening in the second round and by the third Ortiz was building up points because he was the busier of the two.
Ortiz landed a big overhand shot in the fourth which excited the crowd and pumped up Wilder, who pounded his chest and yelled bring it on.
Ortiz’s plan to was to fight inside and pay attention to defence while Wilder was constantly looking for the knockout shot and hoping Ortiz would eventually tire himself out.
That transpired in the seventh as Ortiz walked straight into a punch that appeared to come out of nowhere, sending the Cuban into dreamland.
“I don’t care about losing rounds because it is a 12-round fight,” said Wilder. “I wanted to time my punches and do the right thing.
“I had to strategically move Ortiz. I had to time myself and calculate my punches. It was a war.”
Ortiz wasn’t so sure it should have been stopped even though he barely managed to wobble to his feet after the knockdown.
“I was clear-headed. When the count was at seven I was still trying to get up. Maybe the count was quicker than I thought,” he said.
The wreckage of a private jet that disappeared while flying from Las Vegas to Monterrey, in northern Mexico, was found Monday, with no sign that any of the 13 people on board survived, officials said.
Air-traffic controllers said they lost contact with the Bombardier Challenger 601 jet Sunday evening, after it abruptly lost altitude over the state of Coahuila, in northern Mexico.
“On an overflight of the area, (officials) sighted the remains of the aircraft in a mountainous, difficult-to-access area in the municipality of Ocampo, Coahuila,” the state public security ministry said in a statement.
Images of the wreckage on Mexican TV showed the badly charred and shattered remains of the fuselage, with only the wings and tail left intact.
A state aviation official had initially said there were 11 passengers on board the plane, but the ministry corrected the figure to 10, plus three crew: the pilot, the copilot and a flight attendant.
According to Mexican media reports, authorities believe the charter jet was flying a group of passengers back from Saturday night’s middleweight title fight in Las Vegas, in which Mexican boxer Saul “Canelo” Alvarez defeated Daniel Jacobs of the United States.
Its destination was the wealthy industrial city of Monterrey, in Nuevo Leon state, which borders Coahuila.
It is a three-hour flight from Las Vegas, in the US state of Nevada, to Monterrey.
Authorities said bad weather could have played a part in the crash.
“There has been a lot of atmospheric activity and instability recently. Over the past four days, we’ve had rainstorms, hail and winds with gusts of more than 60 kilometres (37 miles) per hour,” Francisco Martinez, Coahuila’s deputy public safety minister, told TV network Milenio.
The 2017 Country Music Association Awards (CMA’s) on Wednesday blended somber reflections on recent tragic events including the Las Vegas mass shooting with performances by top music stars and even a dose of political humor.
Eric Church opened the live three-hour broadcast from Nashville, Tennessee which aired on ABC with a rendition of the hymn “Amazing Grace.”
Veteran hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood then took the reins, with Underwood declaring “This has been a year marked by tragedy impacting countless lives, including so many in our country music family.”
Underwood referenced mass shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, fatal car attacks in New York and Charlottesville, Virginia., and deadly storms that hit Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
“Tonight,” she proclaimed, “we’re going to do what families do, come together, pray together, cry together and sing together, too.”
The hosts then dedicated the 51st CMA Awards “to all those we’ve lost, and to all of those who are still healing. We love you, and we will never forget you,” Paisley said.
Two hours into the show a screen with the pictures and names of the 58 people killed by a gunman in Las Vegas at a country music festival on October 1 filled the stage.
Earlier the hosts lightened things up with banter about CMA’s edicts on avoiding controversial subjects, before launching into jokes about President Donald Trump for his cable news-watching and Twitter habits in a song parody take-off on Underwood’s hit “Before He Cheats,” replacing it with “Before He Tweets”.
Paisley sang about Trump tweeting “from a gold-plated White House toilet seat.”
“It’s fun to watch it that’s for sure, ’til little Rocket Man starts a nuclear war. Maybe next time he’ll think before he tweets,” which drew cheers and applause, but fans’ reaction on social media was divided.
Country music legend Garth Brooks was among the big winners, taking home the top award Entertainer of the Year for a second straight year.
Female vocalist of the year went to Miranda Lambert while Chris Stapleton was again named male vocalist of the year.
Las Vegas police on Tuesday (October 3) said that Stephen Paddock, the retiree who killed 58 people in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, strafed the concert crowd with bullets for nine to 11 minutes before taking his own life, and had set up cameras inside and outside his hotel suite so he could see police as they closed in on his location.
Authorities said that Paddock left an arsenal of 49 guns but no clear clues as to why he staged the attack on a crowd of 20,000 from a 32nd-floor window of the Mandalay Bay hotel. More than 500 people were injured, some trampled.
The investigation into the motives of the mass shooting turned to the gunman’s girlfriend in the Philippines, where she turned up after the massacre, authorities said. Law enforcement authorities were hoping to obtain some answers from a woman identified as Paddock’s live-in companion, Marilou Danley, who they say was a “person of interest” in the investigation.
Danley, an Australian citizen reported to have been born in the Philippines, had been sharing Paddock’s condo at a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada, about 90 miles (145 km) northeast of Las Vegas, according to police and public records. Investigators were examining a $100,000 wire transfer Paddock, 64, sent to an account in the Philippines that “appears to have been intended” for Danley, a senior U.S. homeland security official told Reuters on Tuesday.
President Donald Trump arrived Wednesday in Las Vegas to meet survivors of the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
Air Force One touched down at McCarran International Airport as the FBI was questioning the girlfriend of gunman Stephen Paddock for clues to what drove him to mass murder.
“We’re going to pay our respects and to see the police who have done really a fantastic job in a very short time,” Trump said as he departed the White House.
“It’s a very, very sad day for me, personally,” said the 71-year-old.
Paddock’s girlfriend returned to the United States from the Philippines late Tuesday and was met by FBI agents waiting to hear whatever she might know about the motive for the Sunday night massacre, which left 58 dead and more than 500 injured.
“They’re learning a lot more,” Trump said of the investigation. “And that’ll be announced at the appropriate time.”
Although the FBI was eager to talk to her, Marilou Danley, 62, is not in custody — she is classified as a “person of interest” to investigators — and is free to go wherever she wants, US media reported.
She was out of the country when Paddock opened fire with high-powered rifles from a 32nd floor hotel room at a sea of concertgoers below on the Las Vegas Strip.
Authorities are investigating reports that while she was in the Philippines, Paddock wired her $100,000.
Danley is an Australian citizen who moved to the United States 20 years ago to work on the casino strip, the Australian government confirmed Tuesday.
Authorities have been at a loss as to how a 64-year-old gambler and retired accountant had hauled a vast arsenal of weapons to the hotel and launched his assault.
Investigators say the shooting appeared to be extensively planned: Paddock set up one camera in the peephole of his hotel room door and two in the hallway.
“I anticipate he was looking for anybody coming to take him into custody,” said Sheriff Joe Lombardo.
47 firearms seized
Meanwhile, victims began to be identified in the media, each new story stirring emotions as America once again grappled with calls for reforms to its permissive firearm control laws.
US officials have reacted cautiously to a claim by the Islamic State jihadist group that the shooter had carried out Sunday night’s massacre on its behalf.
Authorities said Paddock, who had no criminal record, smashed windows in his hotel room shortly after 10pm on Sunday and rained fire on a crowd of some 22,000 attending a country music concert below.
In footage of the massacre, the sustained rattle of gunfire is heard as people scream and bolt for cover with little idea of where the shots were coming from.
Paddock fired through the door of his hotel room and hit a security guard in the leg. But when a SWAT team stormed the room where Paddock had been staying since September 28, they found he had killed himself.
Authorities have seized 47 firearms from three locations.
‘Mind of a psychopath’
So far, investigators have found nothing to explain Paddock’s actions, but were continuing to hunt and trace every possible clue about a gunman they described as a “psychopath.”
“For this individual to take it upon himself to create this chaos and harm is unspeakable,” Lombardo told journalists Tuesday, saying the shooter’s degree of preparation made it clear the attack was extensively premeditated.
Details have gradually emerged about some of the victims — a kindergarten teacher from California who had married her childhood sweetheart, a Tennessee nurse, a high-school secretary from New Mexico.
Stories of heroism also surfaced. Bruce Ure, deputy police chief of the small Texas city of Seguin, was in the concert’s VIP section when the gunfire broke out.
He sheltered from the bullets between two buses, then tended to three strangers who had been shot, loading them into a passing car and riding with them to hospital.
“They were all crying, and I was too,” he told AFP. “They were saying that ‘We’re going to die, we’re going to die,’ and I still remember telling them: ‘Not tonight, not tonight. Tonight’s not your night. You’re going to be ok.’ Because I truly believed it.”
While the White House has rebuffed calls to reopen the fraught US debate on gun control, Congress did shelve a controversial plan to make it easier to purchase gun silencers and make it more difficult to classify certain ammunition as “armor piercing.”
‘Two doors from a lunatic’
According to his brother, Paddock was a high-stakes gambler and their bank-robber father was once on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list.
But Eric Paddock said his brother had led an otherwise normal life.
“He liked to play video poker. He went on cruises. He sent his mother cookies,” he said.
Paddock’s neighbors in Mesquite, Nevada, 80 miles (130 kilometers) northeast of Las Vegas, were similarly dumbfounded to discover the killer lived in their midst.
“It just blew me away,” said Rod Sweningson. “We’ve never even thought about locking our doors. We didn’t know we lived two doors down from a lunatic.”
The Las Vegas attack is the deadliest shooting in recent US history, surpassing the toll of 49 dead in an attack on a Florida nightclub in June 2016.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, on Monday night went dark in tribute to the victims of the attacks in Las Vegas and Marseille.
At least 59 people were killed and hundreds wounded Sunday when a gunman opened fire on a concert inLas Vegas in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
Earlier Sunday, a man knifed two young women to death outside the main train station in Marseille, France’s second-biggest city.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for both attacks via the jihadists’ propaganda outlet Amaq, which said they were carried out by its “soldiers”. It did not provide any evidence for either claim.
“Tonight we will turn off the Eiffel Tower from midnight in homage to the victims of the attacks in Marseille and Las Vegas,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo wrote, adding the hashtag “we are united”.
The French capital has repeatedly switched off the night-time lights on its most famous landmark to show solidarity with victims of terror attacks from London to Kabul.
Reacting to the horrific incident, the Kardashian clan including Kim, Khloe and Kourtney said they sent prayers to the victims. Ariana Grande in her reaction said, “My heart is breaking for Las Vegas’.
Woke up to the most devastating news about Las Vegas. I’m praying for everyone in Las Vegas!
Investigators have so far found “no connection” between international terrorist groups and a mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed at least 58 people and injured more than 500, an FBI special agent said Monday.
The Islamic State group, through its propaganda arm, had earlier claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming the shooter was a recently converted “soldier.” Police said the attack was carried out by Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old retired accountant.
“As this event unfolds we have determined to this point no connection with an international terrorist group,” said Aaron Rouse, the special agent in charge of the Las Vegas office of the FBI.