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Google to de-rank RT and Sputnik news outlets
by Paul Hill
In a recent Q and A between Alphabet chairman, Eric Schmidt, and journalists, it was admitted that Google is trying to find a way to de-rank the RT and Sputnik news outlets on Google News, which are often critical about the West and particularly its collective foreign policy. Ever since the election of Donald Trump, U.S. politicians have been trying to draw links between the Russian state, which partially funds RT and Sputnik, and Trump’s election win.
Schmidt said that Google was trying to find a way to make news from RT and Sputnik appear lower in the Google News rankings so that less people would end up on the sites. He did reiterate, however, that he didn’t want to ban the sites outright because “that’s not how we operate.”
Sputnik and RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan responded to the news saying:
The company’s decision to de-rank RT is quite baffling considering that it recently stated that RT didn’t break the rules on its other platform, YouTube, at all in the election process or at any other time. Google, Facebook, and Twitter all stated that while there were Russian presences on their platforms, but that their reach was miniscule.
As a side note, it’s important to mention that Eric Schmidt has been referred to by Hillary Clinton as a “longtime friend” and that he was spotted at the Clinton campaign headquarters on election night wearing a staffer’s badge.
Source: BBC News
By Vlad Dudau
17 million tweets went out during last night's presidential debate, most of them about Trump
by Vlad Dudau
Yesterday’s presidential debate in the US was a big deal, with enthusiasm, irony, outrage and sarcasm reaching epic proportions online. Twitter, the popular social network, says that the event prompted a new record for the company, with over 17 million tweets being sent out by those following live.
The social media platform says that overall questions and tweets were a record for any presidential debate, and that a large number of these were related to Donald Trump’s attitude towards women. In terms of actual policy, terrorism, foreign affairs, the economy, healthcare and guns were the most tweeted subjects. The debate also sparked its own hashtags, including #MuslimsReportStuff and #LockerRoomTalkIn5Words. This was the most RT'd tweet:
Trump walked away at the end of the night with 16,000 new followers, while Clinton gained 25,000 new followers over the course of the debate.
The news comes just as Twitter has been struggling to gain new users and as the social network has been considering putting itself up for sale. Bids from big players like Disney, Verizon, Microsoft, and Salesforce were expected, but more recent reports indicate that bidders have now backed off, leaving the stagnant company in a cooling off period.
Perhaps the presidential debate shows once again that Twitter’s biggest asset, and its strength relies on covering live events in real-time.
Hillary Clinton used BleachBit to wipe emails
by Paul Hill
The open source disk cleaning application, BleachBit, got quite a decent ad pitch from the world of politics after it was revealed lawyers of the presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton, used the software to wipe her email servers. Clinton is currently in hot water, being accused of using private servers for storing sensitive emails.
South Carolina Representative, Trey Gowdy, spoke to Fox news about Hillary Clinton's lawyers using BleachBit to wipe the private servers. He said:
Two of the main features that are listed on the BleachBit website include “Shred files to hide their contents and prevent data recovery”, and “Overwrite free disk space to hide previously deleted files”. These two features would make it pretty difficult for anyone trying to recover the deleted emails.
A visit to the BleachBit website shows that the software maker is quite pleased with itself, even misquoting Gowdy just to hammer home how well its software works. A red alert box on the homepage of the BleachBit software reads 'South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, says Hillary Clinton's team deleted emails “so even God couldn't read them” using BleachBit'.
BleachBit said in its blog post that it hasn't received a warrant or subpoena yet and that the cleaning process isn't reversible anyway. After the news that Clinton used the software broke, traffic to the site spiked. The site saw a second, bigger, spike after the story went viral on Twitter.
Source: BleachBit via Politico |Email image via Shutterstock