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Target unveiled its new flagship food brand, Good & Gather, on Monday. Yahoo Finance's Jennifer Rogers, Myles Udland, and Dan Roberts discuss.
Big tech companies are in the spotlight today as companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook testify in a U.S. government hearing against the French digital tax. Yahoo Finance's Zack Guzman, and Jessica Smith discuss.
Netflix recently announced that it will curb the depiction of tobacco use on screen, largely due to a study by Truth Initiative that stated Stranger Things had more tobacco use on screen than any other program on a streaming platform or cable. However, the streaming titan also stated that it will continue to show pot use on screen stirring up more controversy. Yahoo Finance’s Dan Roberts, Anjalee Khemlani and Brian Cheung discuss.
Twitter is being criticized for running promoted tweets by China’s largest state news agency that paint pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong as violent, even though the rallies, including one that drew an estimated 1.7 million people this weekend, have been described as mostly peaceful by international media. Every day I go out and see stuff with my own eyes, and then I go to report it on Twitter and see promoted tweets saying the opposite of what I saw.
The social-media platform Twitter has suspended hundreds of accounts alleged to be part of a Chinese government-backed campaign to sow political discord in Hong Kong, the company announced on Monday.The action came as Facebook took similar action, removing seven pages, three groups and five accounts involved in what Facebook called "coordinated inauthentic behaviour as part of a small network that originated in China and focused on Hong Kong".In all, Twitter said that 936 accounts originating from within China have been suspended for a number of violations of the company's "platform manipulation policies," including spam, coordinated activity, fake accounts and ban evasion."Covert, manipulative behaviours have no place on our service," Twitter said. "They violate the fundamental principles on which our company is built."The social media activity of the suspended accounts, which shared both English- and Chinese-language material, were part of efforts to undermine the "legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground", said Twitter."Based on our intensive investigations, we have reliable evidence to support that this is a coordinated state-backed operation," said Monday's announcement.Facebook's investigation was prompted by a "tip" from Twitter, Facebook head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher said in a statement on Monday."We will continue monitoring and will take action if we find additional violations," said Gleicher, adding that Facebook had shared the findings with other industry partners and law enforcement agencies.Examples of the "coordinated inauthentic behaviour" identified by Facebook included posts that compared protesters to cockroaches, accused journalists of corruption and of colluding with "rioters", and claimed that protesters, not police, had been responsible for the widely reported injury of a medic who may lose the use of one eye.The young woman was injured when she was struck by a pellet fired by police during demonstrations in Hong Kong's Tsim Sha Tsui neighbourhood earlier this month.Also on Monday, Twitter announced that it would no longer accept advertising from state-controlled news media entities.Though its statement did not single out Chinese state media, government-backed news agency Xinhua has recently utilised Twitter's "promoted tweet" service to expand the reach of posts related to the ongoing unrest in Hong Kong.In one such promoted tweet published over the weekend, Xinhua tweeted that "[people from] all walks of life in Hong Kong called for a brake to be put on the blatant violence and for order to be restored."Twitter said on Monday that affected accounts would be given a 30-day grace period to withdraw from the platform's advertising products, after which the company would "stringently enforce these policies."A determination of what accounts would be affected by the ban would be made based on factors including financial ownership, control of editorial content and direct or indirect exertion of political pressure, Twitter said.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2019 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
China said on Tuesday it had a right to put out its own views after Twitter and Facebook said they had dismantled a state-backed social media campaign originating in mainland China that sought to undermine protests in Hong Kong. Twitter Inc said on Monday it suspended 936 accounts and the operations appeared to be a coordinated state-backed effort originating in China. Facebook Inc said it had removed accounts and pages from a small network after a tip from Twitter.
(Bloomberg) -- U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson made his first public attempt to renegotiate the Brexit deal by telling the European Union he wants to explore different ways to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.In a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, Johnson said he wants to replace the so-called backstop provision in the divorce agreement with a “legally binding commitment” not to build infrastructure or carry out checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland -- the U.K.’s new frontier with the EU -- as long as the bloc promises the same.Johnson also talked to Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar for almost an hour on Monday, and agreed to meet him in Dublin next month. But in an indication the impasse is likely to continue, Varadkar reiterated that the EU won’t reopen the Brexit deal or ditch the backstop.The most contentious part of the Brexit deal agreed between Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, and the 27 other EU governments in November, the backstop would keep the U.K. following EU customs and many other trading rules indefinitely unless it’s superseded by a trade agreement that removes the need for controls or checks along the Irish border. The EU has said it’s needed as a permanent guarantee and isn’t up for negotiation.Johnson said both sides must look at other ways to keep the border free of checks and wants a commitment “to put in place such arrangements as far as possible before the end of the transition period,” which could be as early as the end of 2020. A transition will only apply if the U.K. leaves with a deal.No SpecificsBut Johnson didn’t set out what the arrangements should be, and acknowledged there “will need to be a degree of confidence” about what would happen if they were not “fully in place” at the end of the transition period. That suggests he is prepared to replace the backstop with a different guarantee.What a No-Deal Brexit Would Mean for the Irish Border: QuickTakeJohnson made the removal of the backstop from the Brexit deal, which was not approved by the British Parliament, his key pledge on becoming prime minister last month. He’s repeatedly said that if the EU doesn’t comply, the U.K. will leave the bloc on Oct. 31 without a deal.If he succeeds, it might still not be enough for some hardline Brexiteers.“Even without the backstop, this is still the worst ‘deal’ in history,” Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said on Twitter.Time Pressure“Time is very short,” Johnson said in his letter, which was published late Monday. “But the U.K. is ready to move quickly, and given the degree of common ground already, I hope that the EU will be ready to do likewise.”In many ways, Johnson’s position echoes May’s. She also wanted to avoid a hard border in Ireland, while having different regulations between the U.K. and EU, and wanted to find alternative “arrangements” to deliver this. She, too, was willing to offer a guarantee if those arrangements couldn’t be agreed.Deal HopesJohnson said earlier Monday that while he would prefer to negotiate Britain’s exit from the EU, he was determined to get the country out of the bloc, and was ready for any “bumps in the road.” His argument is that by talking up Britain’s readiness for a no-deal Brexit and willingness to go through with one, he’s more likely to persuade the EU to give ground.The prime minister travels to Berlin and Paris this week to discuss Brexit with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron. EU leaders were “showing a little bit of reluctance” to change their position, he said, but he was “confident” they’ll eventually shift and give him a deal.The main opposition Labour Party’s Brexit spokesman, Keir Starmer, said Johnson’s plan didn’t contain any solutions.“This letter confirms that Johnson has no negotiating strategy,” Starmer said on Twitter. “He suggests (unspecified) alternatives to the backstop. And if they don’t work: further (unspecified) alternatives to the backstop. Why didn’t anyone think of that before!”No-Deal RowWith Johnson showing no sign of backing down over his willingness to leave the EU without an agreement, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn demanded the prime minister release the latest assessment of the impact of a no-deal Brexit, after the government said a leaked copy of its plans was no longer current.The Sunday Times newspaper reported that “Operation Yellowhammer,” the government’s plans for leaving the EU without a deal, warned of a three-month “meltdown” at ports, along with shortages of food and medicine. Michael Gove, the minister in charge of Brexit preparations, said on Sunday this was out-of-date information based on “worst-case planning.”“If the government wants to be believed that it doesn’t represent the real impact, it must publish its most recent assessments today in full,” Corbyn said in a statement. “Boris Johnson’s denials can’t be trusted, and will do nothing to give businesses or consumers any confidence that the dire state of affairs described in these documents aren’t right around the corner.”What ‘No-Deal Brexit’ Means and Why It’s a Big Risk: QuickTakeMeanwhile the government is about to launch a publicity blitz aimed at preparing the public for a no-deal Brexit, according to a government official.Whereas previous information campaigns were aimed at businesses -- with long technical briefings on how different sectors should prepare for the possibility that the U.K. leaves the European Union without a deal -- the new one will be more user-friendly, said the official, who asked not to be identified.PWJ2AN6KLVR6EU citizens living in Britain are being urged to apply for settled status ahead of the Brexit deadline. But despite the government warning that free movement from the bloc will end on Oct. 31, the official said most changes are likely to be symbolic in the short term. The Home Office said in a blogpost that EU citizens still had until December 2020 to make their settlement applications.(Updates with Varadkar call in third paragraph, Farage tweet in ninth.)\--With assistance from Jessica Shankleman.To contact the reporters on this story: Robert Hutton in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Ian Wishart in Brussels at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Robert Hutton at email@example.com, Stuart Biggs, Robert JamesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.