Beyond the Bricks: Week of 4/5
by Bryanne McDonough | published Apr. 12th, 2018
Facebook now estimates that up to 87 million users may have had their data leaked to Cambridge Analytica — significantly more than the 50 million previously reported. Over 80 percent of those users are from the United States. Facebook has released tactics to reduce the abuse of its user data. This included banning certain apps who were found to be sharing information with organizations such as Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook will be limiting the access that apps have to events, groups and pages. Users will only be able to give approved apps access to event times, not the entire guest list and posts on the page. Previously, any member of a group could give an app access to the group, including the member list. Going forward, apps will have to be approved by Facebook and admins of the page.
Apps that wish to collect information from Facebook will have to be approved and must agree to a strict set of requirements. A feature that allowed searching for users using phone numbers and email adresses will be disabled, as "malicious actors" have been using it on a large scale to scrape public user information.
On April 9, 2018, Facebook alerted the 87 million users who may have been affected by the data breach and allowed users to control which apps are now able to access their data.
A 1,000-person caravan traveling through Mexico from Honduras has broken up, according to President Trump. The migrants were headed to the United States to seek asylum from violence in Central America.
On the evening of April 4, 2018, Trump signed an order to deploy National Guard troops to the Mexican border. After the announcement, pressure from Mexico and the U.S. forced the caravan to disband in Mexico City. Mexico deported 400 migrants, while processing paperwork to allow some of the migrants to stay. Others will continue to the U.S. on their own to seek asylum.
The National Guard will still be sent to the border, with orders to prevent illegal crossings and drug trafficking. Mexico's senate retaliated by passing a resolution to suspend cooperation on these matters. Ricardo Anaya, a Mexican presidential candidate, called for further action, stating that Mexico should also suspend anti-terrorism cooperation until the troops were withdrawn.
Dozens of news anchors across the country were required to read an identical statement from their parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, regarding the spread of falsehoods through mainstream media. The broadcaster owns 193 stations, making it the country's largest broadcasting group.
A video shows news anchors from these stations all reading the same statement in an eerie unison. The statement attacked some media outlets for sharing one-sided stories, including "fake news."
"Some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control exactly what people think," read dozens of news anchors in recorded promotional videos. "This is extremely dangerous to our democracy."
John Oliver, among others, has criticized Sinclair in the past for forcing its news stations to present conservatively biased news stories. Critics of Sinclair called their statement ironic. In a tweet, Trump defended the broadcasting group:
"So funny to watch Fake News Networks, among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with, criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased. Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke."