New York, other states, to sue Facebook next week

By Diane Bartz and Karen Freifeld | Reuters

WASHINGTON – A group of U.S. states led by New York is investigating Facebook Inc for possible antitrust violations and plans to file a lawsuit against the social media giant next week, four sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The complaint would be the second major lawsuit filed against a Big Tech company this year. The Justice Department sued Alphabet Inc’s Google in October.

More than 40 states plan to sign on to the lawsuit, one source said, without naming them.

Facebook declined to comment. A spokesman for the New York attorney general’s office declined to comment.

The Federal Trade Commission, whose commissioners met on Wednesday, could file a related complaint with an administrative law judge or in district court.

It is not known what the states plan to include in their complaint. One allegation often made against Facebook is

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How Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post is taking on Google and Facebook with ‘insanely unique’ ad technology for publishers

Jarrod Dicker, VP of commercial technology and GM of Zeus, talked with the Press Gazette about the success of Zeus Performance, which powers more than 100 sites, his team’s plans to roll out Zeus Insights and the Zeus Prime network in 2021, and how this technology suite will help position customers to compete with the big platforms.

“We’re actually building a new ecosystem with all these different publishers,” he says, explaining that the Zeus network of publishers could in the future be serious competition for “Facebook, Google and others” that currently dominate the US digital advertising market. The more publishers using Zeus, the greater the appeal for advertisers.

Zeus customer the Seattle Times also weighed in with their experience:

Kati Erwert, the Seattle Times’ senior vice-president for product, marketing and public service, described her publisher’s experience with Zeus so far as “extremely successful”.

“We launched in January of 2020 with

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Fort Worth Museum of Science and History Opens High-Tech Exhibit With Grant From Facebook

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is opening a high-tech exhibit in Spring 2021.

a group of people standing in a room

© Provided by NBC Dallas

The new exhibit will link science with current events like the upcoming Mars rover landing, tracking hurricanes, or marking Covid-19 cases worldwide, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History said.


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The new 2,500-square-foot studio was sponsored by Facebook with a $255,000 grant.

According to Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, the Current Science Studio will involve a low-touch, interactive experience and cutting-edge media, including holograms and a giant orb floating from the ceiling that can display content from NASA and NOAA.

“It’s important we partner with organizations with a forward-thinking view on the use of technology,” Doug Roberts, Ph.D., an astrophysicist and Chief Public Engagement Officer at the Museum, said. “This makes science relevant and accessible whether you are looking at big data or a

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Libra cryptocurrency linked to Facebook changes name to Diem amid backlash

Dec. 1 (UPI) — The Libra cryptocurrency project Facebook launched in 2019 changed its name Tuesday to get a fresh start.

The association for the cryptocurrency project headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, announced in a press release it was changing its name from Libra Association to Diem Association. The group will now be known as Diem Network, and the digital currency will be called the Diem Dollar, Bloomberg reported.

Diem, which means “day” in Latin, signals a “new day for the project,” the release said.

The name change is also about “reinforcing its organizational independence as it progresses toward regulatory approval for launch” of its first digital coin, according to the release.

“We like the connotation of it kind of being a new day for the project,” Diem Association CEO Stuart Levey told Bloomberg. “We wanted a new start.”

“The Diem project will provide a simple platform for fintech innovation to

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Best New Online Retailer May be Facebook

(Award-winning tech columnist Jon Markman publishes of Strategic Advantage, a popular daily newsletter about the digital transformation of business, entertainment and society — and how to invest in it. Click here for a free two-week trial.)

The growth of online shopping is probably peaking right now and that is bad news for shareholders of many ecommerce companies. Investors should switch out to Facebook ((FB) -Get Report).

Adobe Systems ((ADBE) -Get Report) released on Saturday the first look at online Black Friday sales. Shoppers spent $9 billion, up 21.6% from a year ago. Unfortunately the comparisons will get more difficult moving forward.

It’s time for investors to look for sales growth in unconventional places.

To be clear, the current state of ecommerce is robust. The global pandemic pushed millions of new consumers online. By all accounts they became comfortable quickly.

The Adobe Digital Insights survey revealed

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A new Facebook cloud game mixes Telltale writing and reality TV. Users will decide the story.

Just weeks into Facebook’s debut into the cloud gaming market, it has its first “exclusive” title that’s a perfect fit for Facebook users: a reality show that lives completely in the cloud.

a group of people posing for a picture

© The Washington Post; Facebook

Coming Wednesday, “Rival Peak” is a Facebook Watch program in which artificial intelligence-driven “contestants” will live, work and exist for every minute of the day within the fictional region of Rival Peak, a mountainous forest region that emulates the Pacific Northwest. With a diverse cast of internationally-based characters, Facebook users will decide what each contestant of the show will do in the game, how they behave, and who will basically be “voted out” by the end of every week of its 12-week run.


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The game/show is being developed by Pipeworks Studios and Genvid Technologies, including former staff of the beloved-but-shuttered Telltale Games, who created some of the strongest narrative adventure games

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Facebook will start paying UK news sites for news stories

As with the US News section, the UK tab will offer a mix of personalized and curated top stories. Facebook will normally show top headlines and stories, but will add news digests with original and “authoritative” reporting during major news cycles. The tab will build on the success of the US site, Facebook said, “where we’ve found more than 95 percent of the traffic Facebook News delivers to publishers is new audiences that have not interacted with those news outlets in the past.”

Facebook didn’t say how much it would pay publishers, but some expect millions of pounds each year from multi-year details, The Guardian reported. That means Facebook could be paying tens of millions in the UK alone, much-needed revenue for struggling news outlets. It may also feature smaller local sites that

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Why Facebook Is Spending $1 Billion on a Company You’ve Never Heard Of

Facebook wants to be where you run your business online. To be fair, it’s already pretty good at it. Regardless of what you think of Facebook’s many issues–like privacy, fake news, or content moderation–when it comes to providing businesses a platform to reach customers, it’s hard to argue there are many more effective options.

Still, it’s trying to get better. Or, at least, stickier. We’ll get back to that part in a minute.

Facebook announced on Monday that it would spend $1 billion to acquire Kustomer, a CRM that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help businesses manage customer support. Mostly that means it gathers customer communications across various channels such as social media, email, chat messages, and website chatbots. That way, no matter how a customer communicates with your business, you can keep all of the conversations managed in one place. 

In a blog post about the acquisition, Facebook says

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Facebook to pay UK publishers for content with January launch of News tab

Facebook is launching its News tab in the UK in January in a move that’s expected to see the company pay news publishers tens of millions of pounds annually to license their articles, The Guardian reports. In an article announcing the launch, Facebook says it also aims to help publishers expand their audience, potentially benefiting both their subscriber numbers and ad revenue.

For news publishers, the most important aspect of the service will likely be the payments Facebook says it will make to include their content. Although Facebook is declining to say how much money it’s expecting to pay as part of the scheme, The Guardian reports that some publishers are expecting to make millions of pounds a year from the service, at a cost to tens of millions of pounds to Facebook overall.

The social media giant says it’s already partnered

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Facebook and Google ‘complicit’ in censorship and repression in Vietnam, Amnesty International says


Facebook and Google are “complicit” in censorship across Vietnam, Amnesty International says.

Angela Lang/CNET

Amnesty International has released a new report condemning tech giants as being complicit in censorship across Vietnam, with “state-sponsored harassment rampant” on YouTube and Facebook, the report said. The two social media platforms are “tools of the Vietnamese authorities’ censorship and harassment of its population,” according to the human rights organization’s 78-page report published Monday.

Amnesty International said the two social media platforms have turned into “hunting grounds for censors, military cyber-troops and state-sponsored trolls.” It interviewed dozens of human rights activists, journalists, lawyers, writers and former prisoners of conscience, as well as relying on info from Facebook and Google. 

Online censorship includes geo-blocking content that has been deemed to be critical of the

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