Archive Monthly Archives: April 2018

Facebook data breach hits 63,714 New Zealanders after 10 people download quiz

Tech company is alerting everyone affected as the countrys privacy chief demands to know if Cambridge Analytica used the information

Ten New Zealanders who downloaded an app on Facebook could have exposed up to 63,714 of their compatriots to the data mining tactics of Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook has told the country’s privacy commissioner that it is in the process of alerting New Zealanders who were affected by the breach, which occurred when ten users downloaded a personality quiz app.

“For New Zealand, we estimate a total of 63,724 people may have been impacted – 10 are estimated to have downloaded the quiz app with 63,714 friends possibly impacted,” said Antonia Sanda, head of communications for Facebook in Australia and New Zealand.

New Zealand’s privacy commissioner, John Edwards, said he was urgently seeking further information from Facebook on how New Zealanders data was used by Cambridge Analytica, and is working closely with his counterparts in the US, UK Australia and Canada to establish the severity and ramifications of the privacy beach.

“I think we have some real information deficits that I hope my colleagues in the UK and the US will uncover … I am not sure New Zealanders were ‘targeted’ but I think there is a level of complacency [in New Zealand]. And when you say we’re so far away, we’re only one click away really,” Edwards said.

Edwards deleted his own Facebook account shortly after the revelations regarding Cambridge Analytica broke, and said New Zealanders should seriously consider doing the same and then resetting their profile.

“I am actually quite concerned about the drip-feed of information [from Facebook]. These events occurred four years ago. There was knowledge about Cambridge Analytica targeting tactics a good two years ago, yet we are really only seeing Facebook confront this issue now,” Edwards said.

The scope for abuse [on Facebook] is huge. What we have seen with Cambridge Analytica is just a little taste of what could happen, the potential for political manipulation. It is almost an unimaginable scale of harm that a malicious actor could do with that level of information.”

Edwards said his office had not received any reports of social media being manipulated to influence the 2017 New Zealand general election, but said Facebook seemed to have “lost control” of its platform, and showed no sense of responsibility regarding the 2.5 million New Zealand accounts it administered, or respect for New Zealand’s privacy laws.

In an interview with the Guardian last month New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said she continued to operate a Facebook account, and had no additional security or protections than any other New Zealander.

Ardern used Facebook messenger to inform her partner Clarke Gayford that she had been elected leader of the Labour party in August last year, and that she was pregnant.

“Obviously social media in a political environment can be used for both further democratisation, but it can be used in the other direction as well,” Ardern said.

“We haven’t set up any direct plans to do any investigations beyond what we are seeing in the international frame, certainly we will be keeping a close eye on that.”

Edwards has no plans to independently investigate privacy breaches by Cambridge Analytica in New Zealand.


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Somaliland: ‘I convinced my sister not to do type III FGM on her daughter’

These are the young men struggling against all odds to enact change in a generation and improve the lives of Somali women

In Somaliland, Unicef estimates that about 98% of girls and women between 15 and 49 are subjected to some form of female genital mutilation almost a despairing figure. This is largely an issue in the hands of women, and not something openly discussed. Yet Unicef believes it is vital that men are part of any solution. Young men in the region who are against the practice are forming a growing movement for change, but the drought crisis is dominating peoples lives right now.

Khadar, 24

The first thing I did as a campaigner is convince my sister not to do Type III FGM on her daughter. I told her about the side effects and I also made her listen to Islamic scholars that are against the practice to show her that FGM is not religious. After a lot of negotiation, she agreed and didnt do it. I am proud of that. Khadar, is now working as a project co-ordinator for ActionAid. He was trained by the indigenous-Somali organisation Candlelight.

Men, in general do not speak about FGM. It remains a taboo, he says.

Men here are the heads of the household and this means they can play an important role in ending FGM, if they chose to.

While studying at the University of Hargeisa, Khadar was exposed to the realities and consequences of FGM on womens health. Once I realised the psychological and physical trauma, I was against it. He became an anti-FGM ambassador at his university and felt more confident in challenging some of his peers. When I tell others all the facts, especially young people, they are easily convinced. Lack of knowledge is the reason FGM is still practiced in Somaliland. I am confident that FGM can be eradicated in one generation.

Mohamed,
Mohamed, 23, uses social media to spread the message Photograph: Alice Rowsome

Mohamed, 23

Sitting opposite him drinking spiced tea, Mohamed nods his heads in agreement. Our parents generation really didnt talk about FGM but now, you know, we speak about it among our friends. This will make a big difference.

Also trained by Candlelight, Mohamed has embraced social media to campaign.

Men have seen first hand the impact of FGM on their wives. In some, lesser ways, men have been affected too. Many say that they struggle because they see their wife in pain and cannot have sex with them. They see that FGM takes away all sexual pleasure for women. They want their wives to have pleasure too. And so largely, they are against it.

FGM can cause divorces, a bad thing for society. But because there is no dialogue and because it is taboo, they dont speak out. he says.

Social media, both men agree, has proved an important tool. I have been posting many different articles about the work we are doing. Due to the sensitive nature of the topic, it has proved a good way for people to read about it in their own time, from the privacy of their phones and computers.

Ali,
Ali, 28, who leads Candlelights FGM campaign, warns that the drought is affecting everything. Photograph: Alice Rowsome

Ali, 28

Ali, who leads Candlelights FGM campaign, warns that the drought is affecting the anti-FGM campaign.

We cant go to communities who have no water or food and announce to them we are here to tell them to stop FGM. It would be absurd.

Most of Candlelights outreach campaigns are aimed at communities in rural areas where Type III FGM is the standard. Anti-FGM events they organise usually bring together community elders, religious leaders, local men and women, youth and university students like Ali and Mohamed.

But Somaliland is suffering from one of the worst droughts in years. The water and food security crisis has meant that all of their programmes in rural villages, that were due to start in January, have been cancelled until they are able to provide water and food to the communities they are targeting.

While people dont have enough food and water it is not sensible for us to talk about FGM with them, says Ali.

Alice Rowsomes trip to the region was facilitated by two Somali organisations, Candlelight and Transparency Solutions.

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Olivia Culpo’s Fall-Inspired Pizza Hack Sounds Almost Too Good To Be True

Most people wouldnt believe this, but Im not the biggest pizza fan.

To top it all off, everything about fall just kind of pisses me off. Loose leaves everywhere and pumpkin spice everything? No thanks

But if Olivia Culpo is making pumpkin and bacon pizza, youd at least have to try it. I mean, this is Olivia Culpo were talking about here! Would she ever do you wrong?

The 24-year-old model and former Miss USAsat down with US Weekly at her Rhode Island home where she revealed the unusual, but tasty (probably) way she bridges the gap between the wonderful fall season and pizza.

In a recent interview with Olivia Culpo, the model told US Weekly,

I love fall. There are a lot of traditions Ive been doing since I was a little girl growing up in New England: hay rides, pumpkin picking, baking with apples.

I had the brief chance to meet Olivia in Vegas earlier this year, but I never suspected shed be a risk-taking chef in the kitchen! I mean, pumpkin and bacon pizza?! That could go either way but she makes it work.

Culpo spoke to the magazine about how her fall-inspired pizza creation came about, saying,

My mom has a pizza pan thats been in our family for four generations.

So, what exactly did she put in that pizza pan? Ingredients used to make pumpkin and bacon pizza include: a medium sugar pumpkin, whole-wheat pizza dough, garlic powder, mozzarella cheese, arugula and more.

Interested in trying this out this fall season? Get the full recipe here.

The pizza serves up to 8 people because, you know, sharing is caring.

Oh, and if youre blown away by the fact that pumpkin can actually be used to make pizza, you need to try new things!

Back in September, an Instagram user and pizza lover named Anthony Rotio created his very own pumpkin spice pizza.

If you needed any more evidence that pumpkins and pizza go hand-in-hand, there you have it thanks to Olivia Culpo and other pizza-eating pumpkin lovers!

Why Falling In Love Is Never Like It Seems In The Movies

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Are female emojis sexist and harmful to girls?

(CNN)My girls will think it’s more than a little bit ironic that I am writing a story about emojis, those characters you find throughout texts and social media, since they believe I’m the last person on the planet to download them on my phone. (I only did that a few months ago!)

It is estimated that 6 billion emojis are sent every day, according to Swyft Media, with young girls believed to be responsible for more than a billion of the daily output. They are so popular that Oxford Dictionaries declared emoji the official word of 2015. Clearly, I am very slow to capitalize on this trend!

    So, as an emoji novice, if there is such an expression, I had no idea what female and male characters were available to choose from until I watched the newest #LikeAGirl video by Always, the creator of sanitary pads. In this latest video, which follows videos in 2014 and 2015 that went viral showcasing how a girls’ confidence plummets during puberty, girls are asked about the emojis that are available to represent them.

    “They’re all mainly pink. That’s pretty much it,” said one girl, as you see a series of girl emojis on the screen, including one of a girl getting a haircut and another of a girl putting her hand up, both wearing pink.

    Said another girl, “There (are) no girls in the professional emojis unless you count being a bride a profession.” (There are also emojis of girls as princesses and what appear to be Playboy bunnies.)

    Girls of various ages and backgrounds note how there are boy emojis for rock climbing, playing basketball and biking, but none for girls doing the same activities. “Except for the surfer. That one’s a girl. Nope, it’s just a guy with long hair,” says another girl in the video before she laughs.

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    An Apple spokesperson referred me to Unicode, saying it develops the standard for emoji characters. I asked if Apple would be pushing Unicode for greater representation of women in emojis, but the spokesperson has not gotten back to me.

    I can already hear the critics who will argue that representation in emojis seems like such a small matter as compared to other issues affecting young women and girls, or the men’s rights activists who will “start screaming about political correctness gone haywire,” as writer Sophie Kleeman put it in a piece titled “Hey, Unicode, It’s About Damn Time We Had Some Emojis for Professional Women.”

    No, it’s not the biggest issue affecting women and young girls, but it’s still an important one based on how intensely girls engage with emojis and how they internalize messages so subconsciously through their media, said Simmons, the author and educator.

    “The lack of emoji options for the working woman is worth examining because it’s a small yet clear example of a social scheme that still manages to reinforce traditional gender stereotypes at every turn — even when the issue is as seemingly innocuous as a tiny digital face,” wrote Kleeman, a staff writer for Mic, which focuses on news for millennials.

    Lucy Walker, an Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker who studied sociolinguistics and gender when she was younger, directed the new #LikeAGirl video.

    “With my background … I’ve always been aware of the important nuances in the ways we communicate and I recognize that language that reinforces stereotypes can have a profound impact on girls’ confidence,” said Walker in an email Q&A.

    Research shows that girls’ confidence tends to drop during puberty. Sixty-seven percent of the 16 to 24 year-olds surveyed by Always said that the available emojis implied that girls are limited in what they can do.

    See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

    There’s an obvious “lack of symmetry” of opportunity for girls in emojis and “clear messages about the things girls should and should not be doing,” said Walker. “And since emojis are so frequently used by young girls and teenagers, whose confidence is already dropping, this is especially regrettable.”

    As one girl said in the video with resignation, “Girls love emojis but there aren’t enough emojis to say what girls do. That’s just how things are.”

    Maybe that will change.

    What additional female emojis would you like to see? Share your thoughts with Kelly Wallace on Twitter @kellywallacetv.

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