Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook building a version of Instagram for children under 13
Facebook building a version of Instagram for children under 13
Credit: Logo via Instagram, Illustration by Ashley Winkler for Pendect

Facebook is building a version of the photo-sharing tool Instagram specifically for children under the age of 13, an effort to get its popular products into the hands of the next generation of internet users. Instagram, bought by Facebook almost a decade ago for $1 billion, has become one of its most popular products at a time when its main social networking property has failed to resonate with some younger users.

The new project will be overseen by the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri and led by Vice President Pavni Diwanji. BuzzFeed notes that Instagram had just this week published a blog post addressing bullying among its younger teenage users. "To address this challenge, we're developing new artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to help us keep teens safer and apply new age-appropriate features."

Buzzfeed closes lays off 47 HuffPost employees, closes Canada edition
Buzzfeed closes lays off 47 HuffPost employees, closes Canada edition
Credit: Courtesy of HuffPost

Less than a month after Buzzfeed acquired HuffPost, it now has laid off 47 US HuffPost employees – mostly journalists – and closed HuffPost’s Canadian operation, with more layoffs expected in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Business • Media & Advertising
Buzzfeed to acquire HuffPost
Buzzfeed to acquire HuffPost
Credit: Homepage of HuffPost (Public Domain)

BuzzFeed has agreed to acquire HuffPost, as part of a larger deal with Huffpost's owner Verizon Media Group.

"This is a real vote of confidence after years of many shocks in our industry and few success stories," so Mark Schoofs, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News, in an email to staff.

Technology • Internet & Web
Whistleblower alleges Facebook of ignoring global political manipulation
Whistleblower alleges Facebook of ignoring global political manipulation
Credit: / Alex Haney

According to a 6,600-word memo that has been obtained by BuzzFeed News, a former Facebook data scientist accuses Facebook of ignoring political manipulation on a global scale.

In the memo, Sophie Zhang gives "concrete examples of heads of government and political parties in Azerbaijan and Honduras using fake accounts or misrepresenting themselves to sway public opinion".

One of the examples given is that 672,000 fake accounts have been removed that globally manipulated the narrative during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Zhang also stated that she has "personally made decisions that affected national presidents without oversight, and taken action to enforce against so many prominent politicians globally that I’ve lost count".

Regional News • Americas • United States
CNN and Buzzfeed obtain more records of Robert Mueller's investigation
Robert Mueller at the White House, 2021
Robert Mueller at the White House, 2021 Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Public domain

CNN and Buzzfeed obtained further reports and notes from "special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 election [...] in response to Freedom of Information Act lawsuits by BuzzFeed News and CNN." The notes contain interviews with major witnesses during Robert Mueller's investigations, including Steve Bannon and multiple witnesses whose names had been retracted.

Some of the key takeaways of these notes are:

  • Steve Bannon, Trump's former campaign manager, expressed severe mistrust of Roger Stone, accusing Stone of having leaked damaging information to the press to get Paul Manafort as a replacement for Corey Lewandowski as campaign manager. Bannon called Stone a "nasty piece of work" with a "sketchy background."

  • Bannon described Trump asking frequently about "dirt" on Hillary Clinton and her missing emails to hurt her campaign. According to Bannon, Trump assumed the emails could contain information that would link "crooked Hillary" to the conspiracy theory about an illicit uranium deal.

  • FBI agents visited a male, unnamed witness who asked "if the agents were there to inquire about the campaign, and about Erik Prince, a military contractor and unofficial adviser to Trump’s campaign."