Tuesday, March 5, 2019

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facebook business

Nearly 4 in 10 women on Facebook lead small businesses - Campaign US

Posted: 04 Mar 2019 05:20 AM PST

Women-led businesses are flourishing and contributing to economic growth around the world, according to a new survey.

Ahead of International Women's Day on March 8, Facebook has released research revealing that 39 percent of people identifying as owners or managers of small businesses on the social platform are women across. The survey includes information from millions of women on Facebook across 95 countries.

One insight from the report shows the importance of women mentoring other women, with more than two in three female business owners saying they have a role model and 70 percent serving as mentors to other women.

Women-run businesses benefit from technology, the research states. The majority of survey participants – 81 percent – say social media is beneficial to their business. However, women-led companies are still facing financial obstacles, with only one in five survey respondents saying they currently have a bank loan or line of credit.

Facebook also discovered that International Women's Day events increased 30 percent from 2017 to 2018 and the top countries that celebrated the holiday last year include: the U.S., Brazil, Mexico, India and Argentina.

Throughout the month of March, Facebook will host eight #SheMeansBusiness "Female Founders" events in the U.S., starting on International Women's Day in Austin, Texas.

The social network plans on sharing stories about some of its female community leaders, such as Nadia Martinez, founder and owner of Kallie & Co, who launched a sustainable, socially conscious business on Facebook and Instagram that supports local artisans across the U.S. and Mexico.

If women business leaders can't attend one of the events in person, they can host their own "Female Founders" activities by downloading Facebook's online template, which includes an agenda, questions, planning materials and more.

Facebook also teamed up with artist Kenesha Sneed to design stickers and frames for the platform's new Stories feature launch. Sneed, who is a small business owner herself, used inspirations from fellow female artists and mentors to create the art for Facebook.  

Facebook prepares to push Oculus VR headsets for businesses - CNET

Posted: 04 Mar 2019 05:20 PM PST


The next big step for Oculus may be into our office buildings.

Sarah Tew/CNET

When Facebook pitches its Oculus virtual reality headsets to the masses, it talks of their ability to make you feel as though you're inside a game, visiting another planet or scuba diving next to massive blue whales, without ever leaving your couch.

Its next act might be to take that other-worldliness to your work.

Via a job posting, Oculus VR is looking for a software expert to work in its Seattle, Washington offices to help build special versions of its $199 Oculus Go and $399 Oculus Quest mobile VR headsets for businesses. This person would help make the headsets work with various types of business software, the job posting said. An Oculus spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Oculus Go is an entry-level headset that works without the need for a computer or mobile phone to power it. The Quest is a mid-level device that's also self contained, offering higher quality visuals and controls. Both headsets put screens so close to your eyes they trick your brain into thinking you're in the computer-generated world.

The job posting, first noticed by Variety and which as of time of writing is no longer accepting applicants, is the latest sign of Facebook's willingness to invest in efforts to broaden the appeal of its headsets. Microsoft has taken a similar tack with its $3,500 HoloLens augmented reality headset, which overlays computer images on the real world. In Microsoft's case, the company explicitly says it does not want to sell the device to you and me -- yet.

For Oculus, finding success with the business world could help bolster sales as developers continue searching for a "killer app" that will convince consumers to buy in. But it will still have competition.

HTC, for example, announced its Vive Focus VR headset for businesses last November, and Microsoft has been helping partners such as Lenovo, Dell and H-P build VR headsets for businesses as well.

Facebook prohibits foreign-funded ads for Indonesia election - Fox Business

Posted: 04 Mar 2019 08:35 PM PST

Facebook says it will not allow foreign-funded advertisements for upcoming presidential and legislative elections in Indonesia, the world's third-largest democracy, hoping to allay concerns that its platform is being used to manipulate voting behavior.

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The announcement on Facebook's website said the restriction in Indonesia took effect Monday morning and is part of "safeguarding election integrity on our platform."

Facebook and other internet companies are facing increased scrutiny over how they handle private user data and have been lambasted for not doing enough to stop misuse of their platforms by groups trying to sway elections. Critics say foreign interests, and Russia in particular, used Facebook to harvest private data and disseminate paid ads that may have influenced the outcomes of the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the U.K. referendum on leaving the European Union.

Indonesians vote for president and national and regional legislatures on April 17. The presidential campaign pits incumbent leader Joko Widodo against ultranationalist former Gen. Prabowo Subianto, who was narrowly defeated by Widodo in 2014.

The social media company, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp and has about 2.3 billion users for its Facebook site alone, said it's using a mix of automated and human intervention to identify foreign-funded election ads.

It said the restriction applies to any ads coming from an advertiser based outside of the country "if it references politicians or political parties or attempts to encourage or suppress voting."

The company said it had also prohibited foreign-funded advertisements for Nigeria's elections in February and for Ukraine's elections later this month.

For upcoming elections for the European Parliament and India, it has said advertisers will need to be authorized to buy political ads and a new tool will provide information about an ad's budget, the number of people it reached and demographics about who saw the ad, including age, gender and location.

'This is not a threat': Facebook denies it would have pulled investment from Europe and Canada if demands were not met - Business Insider

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 07:13 AM PST

Facebook has denied it threatened to pull investment projects from Europe and Canada if lobbying demands from COO Sheryl Sandberg were not met, the company told Business Insider.

According to court documents seen by Computer Weekly and The Guardian, Sandberg told government officials from the European Union and Canada that if she did not receive certain reassurances then Facebook would consider other "options" for investment and growth.

Canada gave her the written reassurance she sought the same day.

A spokesperson for Facebook, however, told Business Insider "this is not a threat." The company was simply doing the necessary due diligence needed to protect its users' data.

"Before we commit to opening a data centre anywhere in the world, we want to make sure we fully understand the country's laws and privacy protections. This is not a threat to withhold investment, but part of our duty to protect people's data," an official said.

The documents were apparently filed under seal as part of a lawsuit in California between Facebook and an app developer, Six4Three. Confidential documents from the case have leaked online before, in an apparent attempt to embarrass Facebook.

Facebook told Business Insider it would not comment further. "Like the other documents that were cherry-picked and released in violation of a court order last year, these by design tell one side of a story and omit important context. As we've said, these selective leaks came from a lawsuit where Six4Three, the creators of an app known as Pikinis, hoped to force Facebook to share information on friends of the app's users. These documents have been sealed by a Californian court so we're not able to discuss them in detail," the company said.

"If we could not get comfort from the Canadian government on the jurisdiction issue we had other options"

In Canada, Facebook was planning to build a datacentre. But before completing it, Sandberg wanted Canada's then minister of industry, Christian Paradis, to send a letter reassuring the company that the existence of the datacentre on Canadian soil would not be used by the country to extend its legal jurisdiction over non-Canadian data held by Facebook. (Paradis was a minister from 2011 to 2013.)

"Sheryl took a firm approach and outlined that a decision on the datacentre was imminent. She emphasised that if we could not get comfort from the Canadian government on the jurisdiction issue we had other options," Marne Levine, then Facebook's vice-president of global public policy, wrote, according to CW.

Paradis agreed to send the letter the same day, CW reported.

An ambush at a party

In the leaked messages, Levine also described how Facebook staff distracted aides to Paradis at a party so that other lobbyists could buttonhole ministers directly. One aide in particular "made us look like real jerks" to the Canadian government, Levine told colleagues, and she was determined to put that right. CW described the stunt like this:

Together with her entourage, Levine was dispatched by car to a Canadian reception for finance trade and foreign affairs ministers "so that we could cut the awful staff person out of the way".

Facebook's team distracted the minister's aide and other officials, allowing Levine to "touch base" with three government ministers and get their mobile phone numbers. "We were out of there in 20 minutes," said Levine.

Facebook believed it had a "great relationship" with Irish PM Enda Kenny

In Europe, Sandberg tried to influence privacy policy via the Irish government. The company gushed over its relationship with Irish prime minister Enda Kenny, according to Computer Weekly. The Irish government has historically been very friendly to tech companies, and many — including Apple and Google — have opened operations there as a result. Facebook was happy that Ireland would take on the presidency of the EU in 2013 and could thus influence revisions to the European Data Directive, which preceded GDPR. Facebook believed it had a "great relationship" with Kenny, the documents say.

The next year, according to a separate Freedom of Information request described by CW, Sandberg wrote to Kenny after meeting him in Davos to suggest that changes in data protection or tax rules would prompt Facebook to look at "different options for future investment and growth in Europe." The company believed the directive was "a threat to jobs, innovation and economic growth in Europe," CW reported.

Although the EU did later pass GDPR laws tightening consumer privacy, the documents suggest that prior to that Facebook got its message through to Kenny: "We used the meeting to press them to make the EU Data Protection Directive a priority for their presidency. The prime minister said they could exercise significant influence as president of the EU, even though technically Ireland is supposed to remain neutral in this role," the memo states.

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