Facebook Promised Poor Countries Free Internet. People Got Charged Anyway.

Facebook says it’s helping millions of the world’s poorest people get online through apps and services that allow them to use internet data free. Internal company documents show that many of these people end up being charged in amounts that collectively add up to an estimated millions of dollars a month.

To attract new users, Facebook made deals with cellular carriers in countries including Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines to let low-income people use a limited version of Facebook and browse some other websites without data charges. Many of the users have inexpensive cellphone plans that cost just a few dollars a month, often prepaid, for phone service and a small amount of internet data.

Because of software problems at Facebook, which it has known about and failed to correct for months, people using the apps in free mode are getting unexpectedly charged by local cellular carriers for using data. In many cases they only discover this when their prepaid plans are drained of funds.

In internal documents, employees of Facebook parent

Meta Platforms Inc.

FB -2.40%

acknowledge this is a problem. Charging people for services Facebook says are free “breaches our transparency principle,” an employee wrote in an October memo.

In the year ended July 2021, charges made by the cellular carriers to users of Facebook’s free-data products grew to an estimated total of $7.8 million a month, when purchasing power adjustments were made, from about $1.3 million a year earlier, according to a Facebook document.

Mir Zaman, right, who owns a convenience store in Muzaffarabad, transfers mobile data to customer Sheikh Imran.



Photo:

Saiyna Bashir for The Wall Street Journal

The documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal were written in the fall of 2021 and are not part of the information made public by whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager.

Facebook calls the problem “leakage,” since paid services are leaking into the free apps and services. It defines leakage in internal documents as, “When users are in Free Mode and believe that the data they are using is being covered by their carrier networks, even

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Maine Voices: Let’s solve to make large-pace internet common in Maine

The new yr is whole of resolutions, but one particular is high on the checklist for Maine: superior-velocity world-wide-web entry, also identified as broadband. In a condition with such a rural footprint, making higher-pace broadband entry a universal actuality for all Mainers is most likely our most crucial plan precedence in 2022.

Fewer than 50 % of Mainers have legitimate “high-pace internet” or “broadband,” with our condition lagging driving the U.S. countrywide normal and the rest of New England. Proxima Studio/Shutterstock.com

Expanding obtain is the remedy to a problem that has plagued Maine for decades. Listed here are the information: Much less than 50 per cent of Mainers have legitimate “high-speed internet” or “broadband,” with our state lagging powering the U.S. nationwide normal and the rest of New England. Rural Mainers are particularly likely to have insufficient broadband, and lower-cash flow homes are even even more confined by a deficiency of affordability and trustworthiness of services. Forty % of Maine homes earning significantly less than $20,000 do not have broadband, in contrast to just 5 p.c of households making $75,000 or extra. This is not a pattern that we can find the money for to perpetuate.

All in all, extra than 85,000 homes in Maine deficiency obtain to broadband, in accordance to federal benchmarks – and that amount only increases the more our expectations capture up with the moments. Federal benchmarks – download speeds of at least 25 megabits per 2nd and and upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps ended up established about a decade back, and substantial-velocity world-wide-web is even increased-speed now.

That requirements to improve, specially in a earth in which on-line accessibility is far more essential than ever. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote function, length studying and telehealth are phrases that have turn out to be ingrained in our way of life, and in approaches by no means thought of attainable. They are now necessary to participation in the contemporary economic climate. Finally, significant-velocity web accessibility has the possible to substantially improve the top quality for Mainers from Eliot to Fort Kent.

As the

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Elmo’s feud with a pet rock has eaten the internet

When describing Elmo of “Sesame Street,” the words that very likely arrive to intellect include “adorable,” “cuddly” and “lovable.”

But in 2022, two new text can be additional to that description: “unhinged” and “savage.”

That is due to the fact the iconic fuzzy pink monster has kicked off the year heading significantly viral for a very long-standing feud with the rock. Not The Rock. A literal rock, confusingly named “Rocco.”

On Monday, Elmo grew to become the topic of lots of tweets right after a clip of him yelling about Rocco, a pet rock belonging to his “Sesame Street” close friend Zoe, went viral.

Elmo assumes he can choose an oatmeal raisin cookie that has been presented to the inanimate Rocco. When Zoe tells Elmo he can’t try to eat the cookie, he … absolutely loses his interesting.

“Rocco’s a rock, Zoe! Rocco will not know the change!” Elmo shouts.

Smoke nearly rises out of the tiny monster’s ears when Zoe tells him that “Rocco needs to eat” the cookie.

“How? How is Rocco likely to take in that cookie, Zoe? Notify Elmo! Rocco doesn’t even have a mouth! Rocco’s just a rock! Rocco’s not alive!” he shouts, evidently at the end of his rope with Zoe.

The clip, which is from an episode of “Sesame Street” that aired May well 3, 2004, has been liked additional than 400,000 periods and viewed a lot more than 7.2 million moments given that it was posted on Twitter.

Who actually is Rocco?

Each and every feud has an origin story.

For Elmo and Rocco, it is possible to have begun in 1999, when the rock manufactured his look in an episode of “Sesame Street.”

Because then, Elmo has constantly appeared to be to some degree aggravated by the pet rock.

All over that 2004 episode, Elmo is tormented by Rocco’s presence through numerous actions.

In one particular instance, it’s when Elmo is playing with Zoe and a human character, Gabi, as they jump though reciting the alphabet. In an additional, it’s when Rocco gets a change on a swing set prior

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How cut-and-pasted programming is putting the internet and society at danger | John Naughton

In 1 of individuals mouth watering coincidences that warm the cockles of every tech columnist’s coronary heart, in the same week that the overall web group was scrambling to patch a evident vulnerability that has an effect on numerous tens of millions of net servers across the globe, the British isles govt introduced a grand new Nationwide Cyber Protection Strategy that, even if basically executed, would have been largely irrelevant to the crisis at hand.

Originally, it looked like a prank in the amazingly well-known Minecraft recreation. If another person inserted an seemingly meaningless string of characters into a discussion in the game’s chat, it would have the effect of getting about the server on which it was jogging and down load some malware that could then have the capacity to do all sorts of nefarious issues. Since Minecraft (now owned by Microsoft) is the ideal-providing video video game of all time (more than 238m copies bought and 140 million every month active consumers), this vulnerability was certainly worrying, but hey, it’s only a movie game…

This slightly comforting considered was exploded on 9 December by a tweet from Chen Zhaojun of Alibaba’s Cloud Stability Team. He released sample code for the vulnerability, which exists in a subroutine library identified as Log4j of the Java programming language. The implications of this – that any application employing Log4j is probably susceptible – have been gorgeous, for the reason that an uncountable amount of courses in the computing infrastructure of our networked environment are penned in Java. To make issues worse, the mother nature of Java tends to make it pretty effortless to exploit the vulnerability – and there was some proof that a ton of poor actors had been now executing just that.

At this position a small gobbledegook-split may perhaps be in purchase. Java is a extremely well known high-stage programming language that is significantly valuable for consumer-server web purposes –

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Leading 10 Web-site Internet marketing Featured on the Protect of Complete Prestige Magazine

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“It’s a large honor to be featured by Full Prestige Journal,” reported Pete Pekofsky, the owner of Top 10 Web-site Marketing. “For over a decade, we’ve been functioning to encourage our clients’ firms using every tool in the electronic toolbox. It is wonderful to be seen for that get the job done by a magazine that sets the standard for excellence.”

Total Status selected Top Ten Web page Advertising and marketing for the reason that of their dedication to customer service and skill to make world wide web marketing and advertising work for just about every sizing business enterprise. Making use of tools like search engine optimization and custom made web page enhancement, Top rated Ten has been guiding shoppers to Website page A single on Google and viral social media stardom applying state-of-the-art electronic advertising and marketing approaches.

“We provide our clientele with regular monthly keyword position reviews along with an online visibility report of their internet site and conversion monitoring so they can see the progress from the do the job that our crew does each individual month,” Pekofsky reported. “The reports supply simple however valuable information to our shoppers. Our technical specific reviews assist me so I can evaluation and permit our group know what improvements are desired to the website for advancements.”

Pete Pekofsky left the nightclub business after proudly

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Australia Proposes New Legislation to Pressure On the internet Platforms to Out World-wide-web Trolls

Picture: Manan Vatsyayana (Getty Images)

Australia is hoping to make it more durable to be an online troll, but at what value?

Key Minister Scott Morrison has announced programs to introduce laws that, in selected scenarios, would pressure social media corporations to hand around the own data of customers who write-up defamatory responses, Reuters studies. Whilst I’m all for cracking down on trolls and eradicating loathe speech from on line platforms, this appears like a privateness nightmare waiting to occur.

Here’s how it would work: If a person suspects they are currently being defamed, bullied, or attacked on online platforms, a freshly established grievance mechanism would demand these platforms to take the offending posts down. If a web-site refuses to get rid of the content, the court technique could buy them to fork over details about the consumer behind the posts.

“The online world should not be a Wild West wherever bots and bigots and trolls and other individuals can just anonymously go about and damage people and hurt men and women, harass them and bully them and sledge them,” Morrison stated during a televised push conference on Sunday. “That’s not Australia. That’s not what can occur in the true planet, and there’s no circumstance for it to be equipped to be taking place in the digital earth.”

The proposed laws comes in the wake of a ruling from the country’s Superior Court in September that news publishers can be held liable for the remarks audience post on their social media web pages. Thanks to these liability worries, CNN has given that shut down its Fb website page in Australia. 

More so than penalizing social media providers that fail to adequately reasonable their platforms, Morrison wants to acquire the combat to the trolls themselves. And if on-line platforms refuse to enjoy ball, he would seem much more than all set to get the courts to compel them to do so.

“These on the web businesses have to have appropriate procedures to permit the takedown of this articles,” he said Sunday. “There desires to be an

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