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White House sees YouTube, Facebook as 'Judge, Jury & Executioner' on vaccine misinformation
WASHINGTON, July 23 (Reuters) - The White House has YouTube, not just Facebook, on its list of social media platforms officials say are responsible for an alarming spread of misinformation about COVID vaccines and are not doing enough to stop it, sources familiar with the administration's thinking said.
The criticism comes just a week after called Facebook and other social media companies "killers" for failing to slow the spread of misinformation about vaccines.
A senior administration official said one of the key problems is "inconsistent enforcement." YouTube - a unit of Alphabet Inc's Google - and Facebook get to decide what qualifies as misinformation on their platforms. But the results have left the White House unhappy.
"Facebook and YouTube... are the judge, the jury and the executioner when it comes to what is going on in their platforms," an administration official said, describing their approach to COVID misinformation. "They get to grade their own homework."
Social media companies have come under fire recently from President, his press secretary, Jen Psaki, and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who have all said the spread of lies about vaccines is making it harder to fight the pandemic and save lives.
A recent report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), which has also been highlighted by the White House, showed 12 anti-vaccine accounts are spreading nearly two-thirds of anti-vaccine misinformation online. Six of those accounts are still posting on YouTube.
The fight against vaccine misinformation has become a top priority for the White House at a time when the pace of vaccinations has slowed considerably despite the risk posed by the Delta variant, with people in many parts of the country hostile to being vaccinated.
The requests to Facebook and YouTube come after the White House reached out to Facebook, Twitter and Google in February about clamping down on COVID misinformation, seeking their help to stop it from going viral, another senior administration official said then.
"Facebook is the 800-pound gorilla in the room when it comes to vaccine misinformation... but Google has a lot to answer for and somehow manages to get away with it always because people forget they own YouTube," said Imran Ahmed, CCDH founder and chief executive.
The senior administration official cited four issues on which the administration has asked Facebook to provide specific data, but the company has been reticent to comply.
These include how much vaccine misinformation exists on its platform, who is seeing the inaccurate claims, what the company is doing to reach out to them and how does Facebook know the steps it is taking are working.
The White House’s broad concern is that the platforms are "either lying to us and hiding the ball, or they're not taking it seriously and there isn't a deep analysis of what's going on in their platforms," the official said.
U.S. senators aim to stop vaccine misinformation by going after tech's legal immunity
WASHINGTON, July 22 (Reuters) - Two Democratic U.S. senators on Thursday will add to the stack of bills going after Section 230 - a law that protects tech companies from being sued over content posted by users - making such platforms responsible for health-related misinformation.
The legislation introduced by Amy Klobuchar and Ben Ray Lujan requires internet platforms such as Facebook to take down health and vaccine-related misinformation during public health emergencies or be held liable for that failure.
It also directs the Department of Health & Human Services to issue guidelines on what constitutes health misinformation.
"These are some of the biggest, richest companies in the world and they must do more to prevent the spread of deadly vaccine misinformation," Klobuchar said.
The bill quotes a study from the Center for Countering Digital Hate that found social media platforms failed to act on 95% of coronavirus-related disinformation reported to them.
Kevin Martin, a vice president of public policy at Facebook, said the company supports reforming Section 230.
"We believe clarification on the difficult and urgent questions about health related misinformation would be helpful and look forward to working with Congress and the industry as we consider options for reform."
The Health Misinformation Act is not the first bill targeting tech firms' liability shield from Senator Klobuchar, who chairs the Senate antitrust subcommittee.
Earlier this year, she co-sponsored another bill called the Safe Tech Act with two fellow Democrats. It aims to make social media companies more accountable for enabling cyber-stalking, targeted harassment and discrimination on their platforms.
Credit Suisse reiterates outperform rating and raises price target from 2755 to 3350. Wow !
Strong results from TWTR, SNAP, and IBM cloud bode extremely well for GOOGL ER next Tuesday, IMHO
I HOPE MANY ARE PAYING ATTENTION TO TODAY’S NEWS.
Alphabet’s ROBOTIC’S COMPANY READY FOR LAUNCH. 😎
) is a must for any trader. Their watchlist which covers pre-market movers is one of the best researched in the industry. I don’t start trading without reading their daily email each morning!
Biden to tap Google foe Jonathan #$%$er to head DOJ's antitrust divisionPresident Joe Biden plans to name lawyer Jonathan #$%$er as the Justice Department's antitrust chief, the White House announced Tuesday. #$%$er has been described as a foe of Google GOOG, +2.02% GOOGL, 1.85%, representing companies that have pushed enforcers to sue the search giant, according to Bloomberg. The position requires Senate confirmation.
GOOG to launch robotics firm called Intrinsic.
Censor It All
Google Is Protecting Its Financial Stakes
Since Google has a direct financial interest in AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 “vaccine,” is it any wonder that its subsidiaries, like YouTube, are censoring information that threatens the future profitability of these products? I would think not.
More broadly, Silicon Valley has been pushing to transform the health care system as a whole into a system based on telemedicine and artificial intelligence (AI). Essentially, they’re looking to replace doctors with AI-driven apps and the like.
“They’ve started to sort of reimagine health care as a way of taking control over people's lives, telling them it's for the benefit of the public, the collective, and also their personal health, whereas it's really a way to implement these transhumanist or technocratic technologies under the guise of that being a health-related venture,” Webb says.
Google, of course, is intimately involved in all of this. They’re also partnered directly with the U.S. military. “So, the fact that they're censoring stuff that goes against the narrative that they want to put forth on matters relating to public health … really shouldn't surprise anyone,” Webb says.
Why is GOOGL $100 cheaper than GOOG ?
Pay attention: GOOG could catch AMZN in the months ahead.
GOOG GOING OVER $3,000. THEN I EXPECT ANOTHER STOCK SPLIT. 😎
It appears google may have conspired with Samsung and the other big semiconductor conpanies to drive Netlist, an American semiconductor out of business. Netlist's current lawsuits against both google and Samsung may reveil evidence of criminal conspiracy in violation of the Sherman Antitrust law and any such evidence may be the basis of the Department of Justice indicting google and breaking up google for its systematic anticompetitive conduct.
Alphabet Inc. $GOOGL
Total Debt (mrq) 28.25B
Alphabet Inc. $GOOGL
Book Value Per Share (mrq) 342.74
I remember early in the pandemic a CNBC panel said the worst FAANG stock to own was GOOG. What are they saying now?!
Bank of England eyes power of Amazon, Microsoft and Google in finance
The Bank of England is worried about the growing power of cloud computing in finance, calling for new regulations to govern the use of services like Amazon (AMZN) Web Services and Microsoft (MSFT) Azure in fields like banking and insurance.
The central bank flagged the growth of cloud computing as a key area of concern in its bi-annual Financial Stability Report, which looks at risks to the UK's financial stability and how prepared firms. Members of the Financial Policy Committee said: "Additional policy measures to mitigate financial stability risks in this area are needed."
"Cloud service providers are an increasingly integral part of the infrastructure of the financial system," Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey told journalists. "There's many good reasons for that — it is a model that works. But as they become more integral, obviously the risks to the system increase, the systemic risks increase, and it becomes much more an area of focus."
Bailey said the Bank of England was concerned about the security of new cloud systems, many of which are guarded by secrecy.
"The model has been developed in quite an opaque and closed fashion," he said. "I understand part of the reason for that — obviously, we don't want people publishing how this thing works in great detail so hackers get the guidebook as it were. But as regulators, as people interested in financial stability, we have to get more assurance that they are meeting the levels of resilience that we need."
Policymakers also have concerns about the relative lack of competition in the market.
"As the market becomes more concentrated on a small number of suppliers, those suppliers can exercise market power, not only in price but also of the terms," Bailey said. "That is where we do have a concern and do have to look carefully because that concentrated power on terms can manifest itself in the form of secrecy, opacity, not providing customers with the information they need to be able to monitor the risk in the service. We have seen some of that going on. Frankly we'll have to roll some of that back."
To the Netlist posters who pound Google shareholders and the company on this GOOG message board - any comments and observations on today's divergence between the two company's stock price movements?
They had some interesting insights about GOOG on (
). Definitely made me think twice about the company.
Ad revenue appears to be going through the roof these days from all the. amor players. Should bode very well for GOOG considering their top 2 most profitable lines of business are AdWords/Search Advertising and AdSense Network.
Search + YouTube + cloud = $3500 EOY
GOOG: UNSTOPPABLE GROWTH AND EXPANSIION: ad revenue, android, cloud
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