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Facebook removed 1.3 billion accounts in Oct-Dec




Facebook removed more than 1.3 billion accounts between October and December 2020, Facebook’s VP of Integrity Guy Rosen wrote in a blog post on Monday.

“We take a hard line against this activity and block millions of fake accounts each day, most of them at the time of creation. Between October and December of 2020, we disabled more than 1.3 billion of them,” Rosen wrote on Monday. “We also investigate and take down covert foreign and domestic influence operations that rely on fake accounts.”

Moreover, Rosen said that Facebook has more than 35,000 people working to tackle misinformation on the platform, adding that the platform uses artificial intelligence to crack down on “deceptive behavior.”

“We’re making progress thanks to these significant investments in both people and in technology such as [artificial intelligence].”

Facebook also removed more than 12 million pieces of content about COVID-19 and vaccines that global health experts flagged as misinformation.

“But it’s not enough to just limit misinformation that people might see,” Rosen said. We also connect people to reliable information from trusted experts.”

Rosen said that they feed users information through labels that attach to certain posts and notifications that appear in people’s feeds on both Facebook and Instagram.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding a Big Tech hearing on Thursday with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifying before the committee.

The hearing will be guided by the following principles: increasing meaningful transparency, enhancing oversight and accountability, pushing for consistency and objectivity and exploring competition issues so innovation is unleashed, not quashed.

“Unfortunately, Big Tech has broken any sense of trust that they can be fair stewards for speech and the truth,” Energy and Commerce ranking member Cathy McMorris Rodgers said in a statement. “It is time for Energy and Commerce Republicans to act. To be clear, we will not pursue government regulation of speech, but it’s a dereliction of our duty to our constituents to do nothing. As the committee of jurisdiction, we have the honor and duty to lead our conference on these issues.”

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Kyle Rittenhouse Found ‘Not Guilty’ On All Counts




After three and a half days of deliberation, the jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on all counts. “Jurors in the polarizing case said they had voted to acquit Rittenhouse, 18, of homicide, attempted homicide and other charges related to the August 2020 shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin” reports The Washington Post.

Rittenhouse testified during the trial during which he  became so emotional he was unable to speak in between sobs as he attempted to describe the shootings. The judge called a brief recess for Rittenhouse to regain composure.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Rittenhouse said on the stand. “I defended myself.”

National Review reports “As the verdict was announced, Rittenhouse, overwhelmed with emotion, burst into tears and dropped to the ground, struggling to breathe. After collecting himself, he embraced the defense counsel who represented him throughout the trial.”

Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, who was 26 at the time. Rittenhouse testified that he fired in self-defense and pleaded not guilty to all counts.

National Review reports:

“Rittenhouse was arrested on August 26, 2020, after shooting three people during the riots that followed the police killing of Jacob Blake, a black man who was brandishing a knife and in the process of violating a restraining order when police arrived on scene.

He was initially indicted on charges of first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional reckless homicide, failure to comply with an emergency order from a local government, and possession of a dangerous weapon.”

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