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The companies boycotting Facebook in an effort to fight hate speech have been advertising for years on VK.com, “a Russian social media platform that bans gay-rights groups and is known as a haven for white supremacists,” the Washington Free Beacon said in a report this week.

VK (short for VKontakte), based in Saint Petersburg, describes itself as the largest social network in Russia.

In the past few weeks, advertisements for hundreds of brands — including Adidas, Starbucks, Patagonia, and Pepsi – have been disappearing from Facebook as the Stop Hate for Profit boycott campaign gears up.

The campaign is an effort to pressure the social network led by CEO Mark Zuckerberg into cracking down on hate speech.

But advertising has continued on VK.com, according to the Washington Free Beacon — though it’s not clear if these companies are, as of Wednesday, actively running ads on VK.

AMID FACEBOOK BOYCOTT OVER HATE SPEECH, ADS FOR 530 BRANDS SET TO DISAPPEAR FROM PLATFORM

The Free Beacon report cites, from July of last year, the Anti-Defamation League when it said that the Russian social media service has become “‘an international hub for white supremacists’ who have been kicked off mainstream U.S. social media websites such as Facebook” but continue to be active on VK.

In this photo illustration the VKontakte (VK) logo is seen displayed on a smartphone.

In this photo illustration the VKontakte (VK) logo is seen displayed on a smartphone.
(Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Back in 2016, The Atlantic cited VK in a report, “American Neo-Nazis Are on Russia’s Facebook.”

That report said “white supremacists” had been migrating to VK for several years after Facebook took measures at that time to crack down on hate speech.

The Free Beacon added that though VK has taken steps to cull hate groups from its site, “organizations like the National Socialist Movement and the Ku Klux Klan still maintain an active presence on the website.”

BLACK WORKERS HIT FACEBOOK WITH CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT ALLEGING DISCRIMINATION AND BIAS

“We completely disagree with the statement claiming that we are ‘an international hub for white supremacists.’ VK has never tolerated calls to violence, nor nationalist or extremist propaganda, regardless of their place of origin. If such content is found, the VK Team reacts quickly to remove it and block offenders,” VK told Fox News in a statement.

“Thanks to user reports and proactive monitoring, we delete hundreds of thousands of pieces of content and block thousands of profiles every month for promoting violence and cruelty or distributing shocking content on our platform, regardless of where the offender is from,” VK said.

“There is more information about what we do to fight against calls to violence in our ‘Safety Guidelines’ section,” according to VK.

Fox News sought comments from companies cited in this story; only a few responded.

Starbucks told Fox News it is not doing any paid advertising on VK.com.

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Adidas told Fox News in a statement: “The swift and resolute action taken with Facebook and Instagram was only a first step. We are already underway with developing criteria that we will hold every one of our partners accountable to. We all have a responsibility for creating and maintaining safe environments, and we will soon address this across any company we may work with.”

Fox News’ Christopher Carbone contributed to this article.

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This story originally appeared on Engadget

Facebook has released a long-awaited civil rights audit that’s bound to ramp up pressure to change policies that allow hate speech and other troubling content to flourish. It revealed that executive decisions by the company caused “significant setbacks for civil rights” and that the site could become an “echo chamber” of extremism if it doesn’t take stronger measures. “The company must recognize that failure to do so can have dangerous (and life-threatening) real-world consequences,” the report states.

Throughout the document, Facebook was faulted for placing free expression above hate speech. It singled out misinformation by Donald Trump around mail-in votes in Nevada and Michigan that could potentially affect the upcoming US elections in November 2020. Despite the false statements, Mark Zuckerberg left the posts as they were.

“Allowing the Trump posts to remain establishes a terrible precedent that may lead other politicians and non-politicians to spread false information about legal voting methods, which would effectively allow the platform to be weaponized to suppress voting,” according to the report. It also found “troubling” Facebook’s decision to allow Trump’s comment “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” to stay up without any content warning, when other platforms like Twitter flagged it.

The report noted that the site doesn’t enable free speech the way Zuckerberg has repeatedly preached that it does. “When it means that powerful politicians do not have to abide by the same rules that everyone else does, a hierarchy of speech is created that privileges certain voices over less powerful voices,” it found.

The Auditors believe that Facebook should do everything in its power to prevent its tools and algorithms from driving people toward self-reinforcing echo chambers of extremism, and that the company must recognize that failure to do so can have dangerous (and lifethreatening) real-world consequences.

The report, led by civil rights leader Laura W. Murphy and the civil rights law firm Relman Colfax, had a number of recommendations. To start with, Facebook needs to apply its rules more consistently and “take steps to address concerns about algorithmic bias or discrimination.” The report also suggested that the site engage more with civil rights leaders, much as ad boycott organizers suggested at recent meetings. Finally, it said Facebook should invest resources to “study and address organized hate,” and prohibit “praise, support and representation of… white nationalism.”

In response to the report, COO Sheryl Sandberg said that Facebook has made some progress, having committed to hiring a civil rights leader to bring “much-needed civil rights expertise in-house.” It also expanded voter suppression policies, announced that it will include a link directing people to a voting information hub and committed to building a more diverse workforce.

However, the company also repeated talking points it has used before. “Facebook stands firmly against hate,” it’s “making progress… but still a long way to go,” and “it is the beginning of the journey, not the end,” Sandberg wrote. The company committed to making some, but not all the changes suggested in the report. Facebook said earlier that it will not “make policy changes tied to revenue pressure.”

Given the tide of advertisers, civil rights leaders, users and now its own audit turning against it, that might not fly anymore, however. “Facebook has what I call an appeasement strategy: Tell us what we need to hear, and Facebook can keep doing whatever they like,” said Free Press co-executive officer Jessica J. Gonzales, who participated in a call with Zuckerberg and Sandberg yesterday. “What they really need is a comprehensive sweep of the site of white supremacists, homophobes, anti-Semites and other hateful groups.”

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We’re a bit googly eyed over Fatboy’s Toní collection that’s ripe and ready for summer enjoyment! This boldly designed series of outdoor furniture is bound to become a new classic with its two bistro chairs, two tables, and fun accessories. Designed in collaboration with Erik Stehmann, Fatboy has reimagined the bistro chair by replacing its traditional woven cane with aluminum for the Toní Chair and Toní Armchair, making the design sturdy yet lightweight enough to carry wherever you need. Add an extra level of comfort with a high-quality, water-resistant seat pad that can easily be attached with a loop and toggle fastening. Storage is just as easy, stack up to four chairs for a quick cleanup.

Toní’s Bistreau Table will give you something to gather around, with a sweet two-in-one feature that’s parasol holder by day and candleholder by night! This table works great for a balcony or terrace, with adjustable legs to help make sure it’s level. Toní Tablo is a large rectangular table well-suited for dinners outdoors. Seating eight easily, it features a parasol holder that can convert into a three-armed candelabra come evening.

Feel free to use Toní indoors or outdoors with ease, thanks to every piece being stainless, UV, and weather resistant. Choose from anthracite, desert, industrial red, lemon, and mist green to carry your aesthetic right along with it.

Erik Stehman

The Toní collection is available at fatboy.com.

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At this point, digital privacy is long gone. There’s always another device, feature or service tracking what we say, what we look at online and the places we go.

Some devices are more intrusive than others, and you may be feeding digital assistants more information than you realize. You can fight back. Tap or click here to stop all the smart tech in your home from listening.

Social media is another big offender. Tap or click for my answers to your most-asked social media privacy questions. No judgment here.

When it comes to your phone, you can limit app permissions and disable certain features. But there’s still a map hiding deep within the settings of your iPhone that tracks everywhere you go. Here’s how to find it.

There are no secrets kept from an iPhone

Ever wonder how your iPhone is able to automatically pull up directions to work when you get in the car? Or when you leave for the day, do you wonder how your phone knows you’re heading home?

It’s not only part of location services but a separate and more in-depth thing called “Significant Locations.” Prepare yourself for a shock when you look at yours.

Want to know how to access it and, if you’d like, turn it off? Here are your steps:

  • Open your iPhone’s settings
  • Tap on Privacy
  • Select Location Services
  • Then tap System Services
  • Scroll down until you see Significant Locations and tap on that.

TECH SMARTS IN YOUR INBOX: The tech world changes by the minute. Keep up with The Current, my smart, funny (and ad-free) newsletter. Tap or click here to try it.

After entering your password or opening up your phone with FaceID, you’ll see a list of locations you’ve visited. Now, some of them may seem a bit off to you, but that’s because the location is not always precise.

Tap on a place and it will open up a page with more specifics, including a map. Even if it didn’t peg you exactly right, it will have you in the area.

RELATED: Your AirPods are capable of a lot more than you think. Tap or click for 9 smart tricks, like listening with a friend or an easy way to find a lost earbud.

You can turn it off

Individually, you can edit locations so they will no longer be stored in your phone. To do that, tap on any city it had you in. Then, on the next screen, tap on the “Edit” button in the upper right-hand corner.

That will bring about a red circle next to the location, which you can then tap on to remove it.

If you’d like to turn off Significant Locations altogether, you just need to scroll to the top of the page that lists the city locations and tap on the green button on the top-right in the tab.

STOP TRACKING: If you use Google Maps, you may want to shut down that tracking, too. Tap or click to turn off Google location tracking for good.

Why does the phone track us like this?

Apple says this feature exists so that our phones can learn the places that are significant to us and therefore provide personalized services, like predictive traffic routing and improved Photos Memories.

That said, it certainly feels like an invasion of privacy and you might not be comfortable with it.

And who else can get their hands on it? According to Apple, no one. The company says the data that goes between your cloud-connected devices is encrypted. Unless someone steals your phone and password, there is nothing they can do to access it.

BONUS TECH SMARTS TIP: How to turn off political ads on your Facebook and Instagram feed

You’ve probably already seen a plethora of political ads from local and national candidates on your social media feeds. It’s only going to get more intense as the months drag on.

But this year, you don’t have to deal with political ads if you don’t want to — on Facebook and Instagram at least. If you’d like your social media feeds to be a bit quieter in the lead-up to Election Day, here’s how you can disable political ads in settings.

Tap or click to stop political ads in a few simple steps. Do it now while you’re thinking about it.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

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InfinityPages makes it easy to expand your web presence for product launches, announcements, and more.

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Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.


Whether you’re running a mom-and-pop bakery, a laundry pickup service, an ecommerce empire, or practically any other business, having a prominent web presence is important. But for some businesses, that means more than just having a company website. Being able to create multiple landing pages for products, announcements, special promotions, and myriad other reasons can help your business better cater to specific customers and run more customized marketing and acquisition campaigns. One of the most budget-friendly ways to do that is with InfinityPages.

InfinityPages specializes in letting you build fully-custom landing pages in just seconds. Their intuitive drag-and-drop builder makes it easy to design your page exactly how you’d like it and push it live fast without needing developers or designers. With professional templates, elements, widgets, forms, and more, InfinityPages gives you a starting-off point, and then complete control over your landing pages. Once your landing page is built and launched, InfinityPages hosts pages on their cloud servers with 99.9% uptime, ensuring your customers have the best browsing experience possible. Plus, they give you an accurate analytics center for tracking your pages and various campaigns.

With InfinityPages, there’s no limit to the number of sites or pages you can build, nor is there a limit on the number of elements you can use in your pages. You can add integrations like chat widgets, custom embeds, email opt-in forms, and much, much more. You can even download your websites as many times as you’d like for future reference. InfinityPages helps you learn more about your users, all while better connecting with them and driving engagement.

If you want to add to your company’s web presence, landing pages are a great tool. A lifetime subscription to InfinityPages’ Startup Plan is normally $300, but you can get one today for just $39.99.

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The decision strikes down an Obama-era amendment allowing autodials by debt collectors.

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This story originally appeared on PC Mag

If there’s one thing that can unite Americans, it’s a disdain for robocalls. You can expect fewer autodials, though, since the Supreme Court this week struck down a 2015 law allowing automated messages by debt collectors.

Nearly 30 years ago, Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), which generally prohibits robocalls to home and mobile phones. A recent amendment, however, allows pre-recorded messages to be made if collecting debts to the government—including student loan and mortgage balances.

The robocall restriction survived strict scrutiny because of the government’s “compelling interest in collecting debt,” according to this week’s Supreme Court decision. “Severing this relatively narrow exception to the broad robocall restriction fully cures the First Amendment unequal treatment problem and does not raise any other constitutional problems,” the ruling, written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, said.

This case began when the American Association of Political Consultants and three other organizations—which “make calls to citizens to discuss candidates and issues, solicit donations, conduct polls, and get out the vote”—filed a declaratory judgement against the U.S. Attorney General and FCC, claiming the 2015 law violates their First Amendment rights. Plaintiffs believe their outreach would be more effective and efficient, the court document said, if they could make robocalls. But, as they are not collecting government debt, the law prohibits it.

“As the government concedes, the robocall restriction with the government-debt exception cannot satisfy strict scrutiny,” the July 6 ruling said. “The government has not sufficiently justified the differentiation between government-debt collection speech and other important categories of robocall speech, such as political speech, issue advocacy, and the like.”

A majority of conservative justices—Kavanaugh, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch, as well as liberal-leaning Sonia Sotomayor—agreed that the 2015 government-debt exception violates the First Amendment. Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Elena Kagan, meanwhile, would have upheld the government-debt exception, “but given the contrary majority view, agreed that the provision is severable from the rest of the statute,” according to the decision.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, who previously opposed the Obama Administration’s 2015 “carve-out” for federal debt collectors, praised Monday’s ruling: “I am glad to hear that Americans, who are sick and tired of unwanted robocalls, will now get the relief from federal-debt-collector robocalls they have long deserved,” he said in a statement.

Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel—often in opposition to Pai—also agreed with this week’s decision, tweeting that “robocalls are OUT OF CONTROL.” “Now let’s do something radical,” she added. “Let’s use it to finally stop these calls and the scams behind them.”

The FCC has been working to combat illegal robocalls and malicious caller ID spoofing through policy initiativesenforcement actionspublic and private partnerships, and consumer education.

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© 2020 Fortune Media IP Limited. All Rights Reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy | CA Notice at Collection and Privacy Notice | Do Not Sell My Info | Ad Choices 
FORTUNE is a trademark of Fortune Media IP Limited, registered in the U.S. and other countries. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.
Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions: http://www.djindexes.com/mdsidx/html/tandc/indexestandcs.html.
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Fossil hunter Clayton Phipps explains a career pivot 65 million years in the making.

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We talk about adapting and pivoting your business all of the time at Entrepreneur, and this week’s Get a Real Job guest pulled off a pivot that I believe is the granddaddy of them all. It is 65 million years in the making.

Clayton Phipps was born into the cattle ranching business, and in 2003 discovered a dinosaur fossil on his family’s land. He went on to discover one of the most famous fossils ever, known as the Dueling Dinosaurs, which is the remains of two dinosaurs that were locked in mortal combat when they were instantly buried.

Related: Scientists Say They Can Recreate Living Dinosaurs Within the Next 5 Years

These days, Clayton, along with his 12-year-old son, Luke, and a small team of fossil experts, explores the badlands of Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas, to help ranchers and cowboys uncover valuable dinosaur bones hidden on their land. And it is all captured on Discovery Channel’s new show, Dino Hunters. (Episodes can be seen on Fridays at 9 or on the Discovery GO app.)

Thanks for listening! Here’s a look at Dino Hunters:

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