Archive for the ‘oath’ Category

Verizon cuts 10,000 jobs and admits its Yahoo/AOL division is a failure

December 13th, 2018
A Verizon logo on a red background.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Spencer Platt)

Verizon is parting ways with 10,400 employees in "a voluntary separation program," despite the Trump administration providing a tax cut and various deregulatory changes that were supposed to increase investment in jobs and broadband networks. The cuts represent nearly seven percent of Verizon's workforce and were announced along with a $4.6 billion charge related to struggles in Verizon's Yahoo/AOL business division.

Verizon described the voluntary buyouts as well as ongoing Yahoo/AOL failures in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Tuesday. The buyouts affect "US-based management employees" in multiple business segments, not just Yahoo and AOL.

Here's what Verizon says about its Yahoo/AOL problem:

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Posted in AOL, Biz & IT, oath, Policy, verizon, yahoo | Comments (0)

Tumblr’s porn ban is going about as badly as expected

December 5th, 2018
This image carefully avoids any "female-presenting nipples" which would otherwise land it on Tumblr's naughty list.

Enlarge / This image carefully avoids any "female-presenting nipples" which would otherwise land it on Tumblr's naughty list. (credit: zharth)

In the run up to its total ban on pornography, Tumblr is using "algorithms" to determine if current posts are pornographic at all.

For some reason, the blogging site hopes that people running porn blogs will, after the December 17th ban, continue to use the site, but restrict their postings to the non-pornographic. As such, it isn't just banning or closing blogs that are currently used for porn; instead, it's analyzing each image and marking those it deems to be pornographic as "explicit." The display of explicit content will be suppressed, leaving behind a wasteland of effectively empty porn blogs.

This would be bad enough for Tumblr users if it were being done effectively, but naturally, it isn't. No doubt using the wonderful power of machine learning —a thing companies often do to distance themselves from any responsibility for the actions taken by their algorithms—Tumblr is flagging non-adult content as adult content, and vice versa. Twitter is filling with complaints about the poor job the algorithm is doing.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, oath, porn, Pornography, Tech, Tumblr, verizon | Comments (0)

Verizon/AOL helped advertisers track kids online, must now pay $5M fine

December 4th, 2018
A boy tapping the screen of a tablet computer.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Westend61)

Verizon-owned AOL helped advertisers track children online in order to serve targeted ads, in violation of a federal children's privacy law, and has agreed to pay a fine of $4.95 million, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced today.

"The Attorney General's Office found that AOL conducted billions of auctions for ad space on hundreds of websites the company knew were directed to children under the age of 13," Underwood's announcement said. "Through these auctions, AOL collected, used, and disclosed personal information from the websites' users in violation of COPPA [Children's Online Privacy Protection Act], enabling advertisers to track and serve targeted ads to young children."

In addition to paying the largest-ever fine for violating COPPA, the Verizon-owned company "has agreed to adopt comprehensive reforms to protect children from improper tracking," the announcement said.

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Posted in AOL, Biz & IT, children's privacy, COPPA, oath, online tracking, Policy, Privacy, verizon, yahoo | Comments (0)