Facebook Bitcoin Scammers Target Aussie Celebs to Con Investors

Fraudsters and Facebook are profiting from scam ads featuring photos of popular Australian TV hosts that convince unwary Aussies to part with their cash and invest in bitcoin.

You might expect this scam on an obscure internet chat room, maybe on the darknet, but nope, con-artists are using the world’s most popular social media platform and one of its biggest ad platforms to do it – and as far as Facebook is concerned it’s OK by them.

The scammers doctored photos of TV presenters Karl Stefanovic and Waleed Aly in a fictional news segment on popular evening talk show The Project, where Stefanovic tells Aly how much he is making by using Bitcoin Trader.

Facebook profits as Bitcoin scammers

Source: Facebook / Outline

Maximizing the con

After creating fake Facebook pages the scammers pay the social media giant to promote their posts as widely as possible, to maximize views and rip-off as many people as they can.

One of the sponsored posts said:

The Project co-host Waleed Aly was left in disbelief as Stefanovic pulled out his phone and showed viewers how much money he’s making through this new money-making program that now has everyone in Australia whispering.

The scammers also falsified quotes from Stefanovic, in which he says:

It’s the single biggest opportunity I’ve seen in my entire lifetime to build a small fortune. I urge everyone to check this out before the banks shut it down.

After the fake ads were reported to the social media giant they said the scam doesn’t breach their terms or conditions, and that the complaint was “rejected, with the platform saying the advert was acceptable”, a report says.

Facebook profits as Bitcoin scammers

Source: Facebook / Outline

This is despite the fact its guidelines say that it does not allow “deceptive, false, or misleading content, including deceptive claims, offers, or business practices”.

The fraudsters posted Facebook-approved ads as recently as Tuesday, encouraging people to invest a minimum of $250, and “guarantees” them a return 10 times bigger, within weeks.

We’ve been here before

Just days ago on CCN.com, we reported on a New York fraudster who faces 20 years imprisonment for another Facebook crypto scam.

Patrick McDonnell AKA “Jason Flack” was charged with nine counts of allegedly convincing others to invest in crypto through Facebook and Twitter.

Further back, in 2017, scammers used fake testimonies from billionaire businessmen Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Richard Branson to con investors.

While UK personal finance expert, Martin Lewis, was embroiled in a year-long legal battle with the social media giant, because they failed to stop scammers using his photos in more than 1,000 fraudulent adverts for a bitcoin “investment” opportunity.

Lewis eventually won the legal battle and Facebook donated $5.5 million to a scam-watch website.

Coinbase Custody Launches Staking Program on Tezos

Coinbase Custody’s 60 institutional clients, who currently store around $600 million on the platform, will be able to stake or “bake” Tezos (XTZ) from today forward. Staking or baking dividends are akin to interest in the regular world. By holding tokens and putting them up for stake, new blocks get minted. The larger your coin stash, the better your odds of finding a block.

Earning Interest by Minting Blocks

Proof-of-stake is one of two primary models for cryptocurrencies, the first and most successful having been proof-of-work. A version of proof-of-stake called delegated proof-of-stake is present in platforms like Tron. Ethereum will be moving to proof-of-stake sometime in the near future. Tezos has a different governance model and calls its version “baking.”

But the concept is the same: holding coins and enabling baking puts you in a position to earn revenue from your holdings, thus giving the network some form of security as well as incentive to hold coins.

Coinbase writes:

Proof-of-Stake (“POS”) assets incentivize participants to help secure the blockchain by “staking”, or “delegating”, their assets to someone running the blockchain software. If you delegate to a trusted node (also known as a validator), you can share in the rewards that the validator receives for mining blocks. Anyone holding the blockchain’s token can participate in this process, making POS networks one of the first crypto-native ways to earn passive income on crypto assets.

MyTezosBaker.com says that using 01no.de as your baker, with a stack the size shown in the screenshot on the Coinbase blog (about 10 million XTZ), you would earn over $645,000 in a year, or about 7% interest. In and of itself, this is a decent return, especially on a crypto-asset.

The figure inherently assumes a constant price of Tezos. The price may rise or fall, which would definitively have an impact on the returns. In one sense, a falling price might help stakers – if other large holders sell, you stand to make even more by holding your stake.

Will Staking Bring More Clients on For Coinbase Custody?

The Wall Street Journal notes that Coinbase is the largest company so far to offer staking rewards to custodial clients:

Coinbase will be the largest company in the sector to start offering this service. A startup called Staked offers a similar service, and another one was just launched by a company called Battlestar Capital. These services are essentially cooperatives using pooled capital for the staking service. Another startup, BlockFi, accepts cryptocurrencies as deposits for interest-bearing accounts and as collateral for loans.

Readers should not forget about another service, open to everyone, which allows you to stake certain Ethereum tokens, including the Dai, for interest. Compound Protocol pays anywhere from 3 to 5% interest on, and updates your balance by the minute. You don’t have to be an institutional investor to take advantage of Compound both short and long-term.

Derivative financial products built on blockchain technology are likely to explode during the elusive next bull run. Coinbase’s position as a custodian with blockchain roots puts it in a good position to pick up more institutional business moving forward. However, traditional firms like Fidelity and JP Morgan have entire divisions devoted to exposing large clients to blockchain assets, and their reach is nothing to understate.

Crypto Mom: Dismissive U.S. Regulators Miss the Point of Cryptocurrency

If ever there was a canary in the regulatory coal mine, it’s Crypto Mom. U.S. SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, who is affectionately known as Crypto Mom by the community, admitted that regulators, who have so far denied a bitcoin ETF, have missed the mark on crypto.

In a sit-down interview with crypto and blockchain journalist Laura Shin, Peirce appears to suggest that crypto’s potential has been stifled by a narrow-minded SEC that refuses to embrace change. She places the fate of a bitcoin ETF in the hands of the market, however, though Crypto Mom is quick to point out where regulation has failed.

“In general, the agency hasn’t been great on innovation and so this is sort of the natural area for me to be looking at because this is where innovation and the SEC are meeting.” *

Indeed, Peirce serves as a bridge of sorts between blockchain innovators and regulators, one whose voice validates the frustration felt by much of the industry. She said in response to an audience question about U.S. regulators and the New York Department of Financial Services:

“[Regulators are] dismissive of this space in a way that misses the point.”

That doesn’t mean crypto is off the hook. Crypto Mom points to the U.S. capital markets, whose very strength is thanks in part to regulation. The winning point went to crypto when she added that “regulators must still look at new spaces.”

An accurate description of Blockchain innovators vs. U.S. SEC / Source: Giphy.com

Semi-Punt on bitcoin ETF timing

No doubt, the question on everyone’s mind in the audience was on the future of a bitcoin ETF. Peirce semi-punted here, refusing to predict whether the SEC would approve a bitcoin ETF in 2019. Crypto Mom famously dissented from her peers on the Winklevoss ETF decision, which was ultimately rejected. She remains the only grown up in the room on the topic.

“I don’t know whether this product or another exchange-traded product would be good for investors, but I think investors can make that decision better than I can. Sometimes things that [require fighting for] make it to market and they fall, and that’s the way it is, but that’s the market’s decision”

Having said that, bitcoin ETF applicants can appeal a rejection at the SEC staff level or a commissioner can overrule the early denial.

A previous interview between Crypto Mom and the Chamber of Digital Commerce

ICOs

On ICOs, the SEC sounds a lot like the IRS, with Peirce saying: “It’s better that you reach out to them than we [come to you].”

It works in favor of a project when there’s no centralized point of marketing to investors. Without what Cryp0to Mom describes as a monopoly on information, a project “looks a lot less centralized, it looks a lot less like a securities offering.” When in doubt, shout it out.

“You’ve got to be aware that you could trip [securities rules] and end up in a not a good place,” she said.

This is especially good advice in light of “dated” regulator guidance such as the Howey Test that blockchain founders must use.

Meanwhile, SEC officials are still hammering away at clear regulatory guidance on ICOs, an issue that has had them stumped for a while.

*Peirce’s direct quotes are courtesy of social media updates of the event.

Newsflash: Bithumb Hacked Again: $13 Million in EOS, 20 Million XRP On the Move

Bithumb was hacked for the second time in less than a year as attackers managed to steal 3 million EOS coins and 20 million XRP. The subsequent laundering of the $21 million dollar haul was then tracked in real time by a twitter analyst, as the hacker swapped the tainted coins for other cryptocurrencies on non-KYC exchanges.

Bithumb hacked again: 3 million EOS gone!

The news broke late on Saturday morning (UST) as crypto entrepreneur and analyst Dovey Wan relayed reports apparently coming from a security firm who were auditing for Bithumb.

The attack was at first feared to have struck the cryptocurrency’s exchange’s cold wallet. However it was later confirmed that it was an online ‘hot wallet’ that had been hacked. As Wan stated, this is the second time in less than a year that Bithumb has fallen prey to the same trap:

“And this is the second time Bithumb saw a MAJOR hack, last time it’s hacked with a loss over $30m.. lol and after the first hack it was STILL able to get the fiat license from Korea and WTF??”

As more news filtered through it was revealed that the EOS was on the move via the non-custodial, non-KYC exchange ChangeNow. Dovey Wan posted this screenshot of substantial sums of EOS passing through ChangeNow’s transaction logs.

It gets worse: 20 million XRP hacked

It was then revealed that XRP had also been stolen in the attack, with 20 million coins leaving the hot wallet along with the EOS. The stolen XRP funds equated to around $6 million. Wan tweeted the XRP address on the hot wallet that had been hit:

“XRP hacked wallet address – rLaHMvsPnPbiNQSjAgY8Tf8953jxQo4vnu stolen 20,000,000 xrp (worth $6,000,00)”

By this point Bithumb had started to move all the remaining funds from the hot wallet into the cold wallet. The stolen coins meanwhile were being laundered through an intricate web of back-and-forth transactions between multiple exchanges and addresses, as seen below.

The EOS attacker’s address can be found here (note the number of inbound transactions from people begging for money). By a few hours after the attack, the stolen coins had been tracked as far as the following exchanges.

Bithumb apologizes, suggests an ‘accident involving insiders’

The official Bithumb Twitter account sparked into action this morning to remind users that they’re funds were safe.

“We deeply apologize to our members for delaying the cryptocurrency deposit and withdrawal service, we would like to inform you of the circumstances of the grounds and confirm that your assets are safe.”

In the accompanying blog, the exchange operator appeared to confirm that the theft had involved people working at Bithumb. From the post:

“As a result of the internal inspection, it is judged that the incident is an ‘accident involving insiders’. Based on the facts, we are conducting intensive investigations with KISA, Cyber Police Agency and security companies.”

Bithumb says it ‘expects to recover’ the stolen funds, and that from now on it would be applying the same rigour to its internal security as it had its external:

“We constantly monitor and block external hacking. However, it was our fault that we only focused on defense of outside attack and lack of verification of internal staff.”

Why Bitcoin Plunged to 15th in Chinas Bizarre Crypto Rankings

China Electronic Information Industry Development (CCID), which operates directly under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, released its crypto rankings for March, featuring top 35 crypto assets in the likes of Ethereum, Bitcoin, EOS, TRON, and Ontology.

Bitcoin dropped from 13th to 15th since last month while TRON climbed up the rankings to secure the number 2 spot. EOS topped the rankings, and Ethereum fell behind TRON at third.

EOS & TRON Trump Bitcoin in China Blockchain Rankings


Join CCN for $9.99 per month and get an ad-free version of CCN including discounts for future events and services. Support our journalists today. Click here to sign up.


china crypto rankings, bitcoin

Bitcoin fell to 15th in China’s crypto rankings, while EOS and TRON led the index. | Source: ccidnet.com

While Bitcoin dropping to 15th out of the 35 crypto assets on CCID’s ranking surprised many investors and analysts, it is important to understand the criteria CCID has been using to find the best blockchain projects from its point of view.

DApp-Focused Approach in Grading Crypto Assets, TRON and EOS Ahead

The top three cryptocurrencies on the CCID ranking are EOS, TRON, and Ethereum, all of which are dApp-focused blockchain networks that enable developers to build decentralized applications using blockchain technology.

The official statement of CCID published on March 22 specifically emphasized that blockchain networks designed to support dApps ranked as the top blockchain networks based on its criteria.

In recent years, many government agencies across the world including China and South Korea have experimented with blockchain technology to potentially run services or applications on a public ledger.

For instance, despite its strict policies on cryptocurrency trading, in September 2018, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) revealed its plans to implement blockchain technology in tracking charity donations for transparency.

The roughly translated document released by MCA read:

“Build a tamper-proof charity organization information query system and enhance the authority, transparency and public trust of information publishing and search services.”

For both government agencies and corporations that require large transaction capacity to process big chunks of data, scalability and flexibility-focused blockchain networks could appeal more than security and payments-focused blockchain networks.

Bitcoin, due to its hashrate or computing power that is supporting the network, is by far the most secure and reliable blockchain network in the market today.

bitcoin hashrate

Bitcoin’s hashrate stands near its all-time high. | Source: Blockchain.com

As such, given the track record of Bitcoin and the asset being the first cryptocurrency to guide the blockchain movement, investors may find it difficult to understand Bitcoin being ranked at 15th below cryptocurrencies less than two years old.

More importantly, throughout the past two years, Bitcoin remains as one of the few cryptocurrencies that has seen a consistent increase in its hashrate regardless of the 15-month-long bear market and the Bitcoin Cash versus Bitcoin SV hashrate war that led some of the Bitcoin network’s computing power to drop momentarily.

But, security or historical performance are not a part of CCID’s three major criterions which include basic-tech, applicability, and creativity. The criteria utilized by CCID naturally favors dApp and scalability-focused blockchain networks, hence Bitcoin and other security-focused blockchains ranking below most dApp blockchains.

China’s Shouldn’t Disregard Bitcoin

The ranking of CCID alone does not provide enough context for investors to analyze the performance or the progress of the development of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

It is difficult to create one single criterion for blockchain technology that satisfies all characteristics of a blockchain network, and as such, the CCID crypto ranking should only be taken as a reference, not as a definitive ranking of blockchains.

Based on applicability and creativity which CCID’s criteria features, in the future, it is highly likely that dApps with a higher number of dApps, transaction volume, and capacity will continue to rank higher than others.

But that doesn’t make them right.

Shaq Takes Seat at Papa John’s Board Table; Stock Picks Up on the News

Shaquille O’Neal has single-handedly put the down-and-out pizza franchise Papa John’s on a better road to success. He and Papa John’s execs announced a bevy of partnerships on Friday, including O’Neal taking a seat on its board.

Shaq’s moves show he’s as savvy a businessman as he is a champion NBA player. Few saw this coming, except execs at Papa John’s, whose stock has been under considerable pressure for years due to myriad factors.

We’ll see over the long run if Shaq can help it regain better financial footing, but in the meantime, it’s going to be fun to watch.


Join CCN for $9.99 per month and get an ad-free version of CCN including discounts for future events and services. Support our journalists today. Click here to sign up.


The Business Play

In what is akin to a three-point shot, Shaq first grabbed a seat on the pizza restaurant chain’s board. Second, his addition facilitated the pizza chain entering into a marketing agreement with the NBA champion. He will serve as the company’s brand ambassador.

Third, O’Neal will invest in nine Papa John’s restaurants in the Atlanta area.

Eating and Investing His Way to Success

Many are used to seeing O’Neal in the General Auto Insurance and Icy Hot commercials. Others are used to seeing him trade basketball jabs on TNT with Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith. Like silly kids sometimes, their jokes can leave you in tears, and them too.

It seems odd that the jester/NBA legend now holds a seat on a major corporation’s board, but think about this. When it comes to food, the 7’ 1’’ and roughly 325-pound O’Neal isn’t just devouring it. He’s investing in it.

O’Neal owns a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts franchise in Atlanta. Southerners know that when that light is on at the legendary doughnut shop, delicious hot treats are ready.

Then there’s Big Chicken, a fried chicken restaurant Shaq founded in Las Vegas. To be a little classier, the four-time NBA champion owns self-named Shaquille’s fine dining restaurant in Los Angeles.

There’s something the champ invests in that he can’t eat, but it’s close to his heart. He’s a minority owner of the Sacramento Kings NBA franchise.

Still Not Full!

O’Neal says he “fell in love with Papa John’s in 1989.” A few years after that, in 1992, O’Neal was drafted by the Orlando Magic. He stayed there until 2011.

Papa John’s will be one of the NBA legend’s first major board seats. He was drawn in not for the pizza, but from his understanding of the importance of corporate diversity.

We Bet You’re Thrilled

Chairman Jeff Smith said the company is naturally thrilled to partner with O’Neal.

Investors smelled more than freshly baked pizza on the news. They sent Papa John’s up four percent during pre-market trading. The stock closed up about six percent, which is even more impressive considering the Dow closed down 460 points.

Shaq made it clear that he approached the Papa John’s team about partnering in some manner. He was aware of the public relations debacles the firm had due to the company’s founder’s penchant for using the “n-word.”

John Schnatter used the derogatory word during a media training exercise. When asked how he would distance himself from racist groups, Schnatter reportedly complained that KFC founder Colonel Sanders got away with referring to African-Americans in a derogatory way all the time.

Schnatter quit soon after that.

O’Neal, who noted he was the first African-American to be appointed to the Papa John’s board, said:

I was worried about the 800 franchisees and how they were affected by the comment.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.

Bitcoin Price: Key Technical Indicator Shows BTC Surging to $5,500

Throughout the past three months, the bitcoin price has flirted with the $4,200 resistance level, often struggling to maintain momentum above the key $4,000 mark.

Several traders have demonstrated concerns over the extended period of stability demonstrated by bitcoin because, in late 2018, the cryptocurrency recorded a drop of around 50 percent following three months of stagnation in the $6,300 to $6,500 range.

However, a cryptocurrency technical analyst known to the community as “Galaxy” has said that once bitcoin breaks out of a key resistance level above $4,000, it could potentially recover to $5,500.


Join CCN for $9.99 per month and get an ad-free version of CCN including discounts for future events and services. Support our journalists today. Click here to sign up.


bitcoin price

1-Month Price Chart of Bitcoin (Source; Coinmarketcap.com)

The analyst explained:

“According to Bulkowski’s study, more than 60% of ascending triangles with declining volume end up breaking upwards with an average price rise of 35%.”

“That gives us a target of $5500 BTC once the breakout is confirmed.”

No Scenario For Bitcoin is Confirmed Yet

Many technical analysts and traders remain cautiously optimistic on the price trend of bitcoin, partially concerned about the inability of bitcoin to cleanly break out of $4,000 and test major resistance levels.

Throughout the past week, BTC has remained relatively stable in the $4,000 to $4,100 range, unable to rebound to the $4,200 level since late February.

At the time, economist and crypto market analyst Alex Krüger said that BTC endured a short-term correction as soon as it reached its first major resistance, following a prolonged upside movement.

He told CCN:

“It is a simple stops run. Prices had just gone up vertically for 16 days without a pullback. Take $ETH for example: +38% without a pullback. Lots of levered longs piled up. And people FOMOed in. BTC reached the first level strong resistance ($4200) and a correction ensued.”

“As it is with any other asset class or market, the analyst emphasized that a prolonged bullish movement is often met with a large pullback.”

As such, it remains unclear whether bitcoin would be able to climb up to a reasonable range above $4,000 and hold its momentum, avoiding a short-term drop to its current level.

On the technical side, due to the difficulty bitcoin has had in finding any meaningful momentum or an upside price movement above $4,000, it may require a significant push to break out of $4,200 in the near-term, which it retraced from last month.

While bitcoin recorded a minor loss on the day, several major crypto assets in the likes of TRON, Cardano, and OmiseGo recorded gains in the range of 5 to 10.5 percent, with Cardano recording the largest gain against both bitcoin and the U.S. day among the three.

Bitcoin Hashrate Versus Price, What Does it Show?

Since January 2018, the bitcoin price has dropped by nearly 80 percent against the U.S. dollar. Consequently, analysts expected the hashrate of the Bitcoin network to decline, proportionally to the price of BTC.

However, throughout the past year, despite a noticeable dip in September 2018, the hashrate of BTC has continuously increased.

The gap in the hashrate and the price suggests that miners are willing to mine at a loss for two possible reasons: it is difficult to get rid of existing equipment and electricity commitment or are expecting the price of bitcoin to increase in the long run.

Elon Musk’s Tunnel Prototype Bores Virginia Transit Officials

Elon Musk’s The Boring Company is living up to its name, with the latest bunch of naysayers of its tunnel being Virginia transit officials.

After they visited the 1.5 mile prototype tunnel being built under Los Angeles, they laid into it with criticisms. They are just the latest among a string of people who have visited the project and left unimpressed.


Join CCN for $9.99 per month and get an ad-free version of CCN including discounts for future events and services. Support our journalists today. Click here to sign up.


Beware if You Have Claustrophobia

In Virginia, plans are underway to build a rail including a $1.3 billion bridge between Virginia and Washington. The troupe of Virginian transportation officials trekked to Musk’s project earlier this year to get ideas for their plan.

One of the main criticisms is the tunnel’s size… It’s small. Michael McLaughlin, Virginia’s chief of rail transportation, told the Commonwealth Transportation Board’s public transit subcommittee about the group’s findings last week. He stated:

If one day we decide it’s feasible, we’ll obviously come back to you.

Musk tried to explain the tunnel’s size during a proof-of-concept launch event last year. The project entails lowering autonomous, electric vehicles from street level into the underground tunnel.

Feasibility Concerns

One of the key concerns about the L.A. tunnel relates to its feasibility. They may sound simple enough. However, those related to regulations could stall the project or prevent it from ever becoming a reality. This is a concern for Virginia officials.

The state runs the risk of delaying any moves on its rail project if it waits for Musk’s tunnel to overcome challenges. Any technological advances being hailed in the prototype could be obsolete by the time all regulatory hurdles are jumped.

Where’s the Thrill?

Other officials who whizzed through the tunnel with McLauglin reported that nothing they saw would lead them to change their approach to transit in the near term. Scott Kasprowicz, a Commonwealth Transportation Board member, says:

I don’t mean to suggest that they don’t have a serious plan in mind, but I don’t consider the steps they’ve taken to date to be substantive. They’ve purchased a used boring machine. They’ve put a bore in the neighborhood where they developed the SpaceX product, and they’ve taken a Model 3 and put guide wheels on it. They’re running it through the tunnel at 60 miles per hour. None of that, I think, is really significant from a standpoint of moving this process forward.

A Mashable reporter took a ride through the tunnel and walked away with similar thoughts:

The elevator is slow, and construction is rough and exposed. Switching on the green light to signal ‘go’ still appears to be a manual process. Most notably, the tunnel ride in a Tesla Model X was bumpy and didn’t surpass a top speed of 40 mph.

Musk has stressed that the tunnel is a work in progress. He has acknowledged that there are areas of improvement constantly being identified. The question is if others will have the patience to wait, or will they pass like the Virginians?

FEMA Data Breach Exposes Private Data of Nearly 3 Million Individuals

A data breach has occurred within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), resulting in the private data of nearly three million disaster victims being shared with an unnamed contractor.

The shared information includes home addresses, social security numbers and banking information for victims of U.S.-based disasters such as hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria in 2017 that utilized the organization’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance program, which seeks to aid and relocate individuals following a natural disaster.


Join CCN for $9.99 per month and get an ad-free version of CCN including discounts for future events and services. Support our journalists today. Click here to sign up.


FEMA press secretary Lizzie Litzow explains in a statement that the organization “provided more information than was necessary” to the contractor, and that FEMA has taken “aggressive measures to correct this error.”

Desperate Measures Are Called For

She claims:

FEMA is no longer sharing unnecessary data with the contractor and has conducted a detailed review of the contractor’s information system.

At the time of writing, it us unknown if the data breach has led to larger problems for victims such as identity theft or fraud. The Office of the Inspector General, which issued a report detailing the breach, is working with FEMA to ensure its employees receive additional security and privacy training from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A data filter has also been installed to ensure remaining information does not leave FEMA’s networks.

FEMA, data breach, disaster victim

FEMA says it’s working on a permanent fix of the data breach, but that it may not arrive until the year 2020. | Source: Shutterstock

FEMA has contacted security experts to conduct on-site checks. It has also installed additional controls to measure how wide and deep the breach goes. It warns that while a permanent fix is the main goal, it may not arrive until the year 2020.

Litzow says the organization is working with the contractor to ensure private user data is immediately deleted:

FEMA has worked with the contractor to remove unnecessary data from the system and updated its contract to ensure compliance with Department of Homeland Security cybersecurity and information-sharing standards. FEMA’s goal remains protecting and strengthening the integrity, effectiveness and security of our disaster programs that help people before, during and after disasters.

The Anger Grows

Several politicians and government officials have expressed their frustration with FEMA’s handling of the data. Bennie Thompson – Mississippi representative and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee – says:

This is unacceptable, and FEMA must demonstrate it will do better in the future. Safeguarding the information of Americans already suffering from a disaster should be of the utmost importance.

Can We Just Agree to Stop Hating on Facebook?

As far as crappy years go, you really don’t get much worse than cryptocurrency in 2018. Losing over 80% of your market cap in 12 months is kind of rough. But you know who also had a tough time? Facebook. Last year was a series of migraines for Mark Zuckerberg who saw some $19 billion shaved off his wealth.

Granted, he’s still up there with the world’s richest but (violins ready please) he lost more than all the top 500 billionaires on the list.


Join CCN for $9.99 per month and get an ad-free version of CCN including discounts for future events and services. Support our journalists today. Click here to sign up.


Zuckerberg didn’t only lose net worth. He also lost credibility, trust, and a handful of his closest top executives. His company also became public enemy number one after leaping from one scandal to the next.

From selling data to leaking it, Mark’s had a hazardous run lately. But is it time to say enough’s enough? Are we ready to stop hating on Facebook?

Facebook is Far from Alone in Working with Shady Clients

Sure, Facebook may have sold your data, maybe Mark even knew what unsavory establishments were doing with it, but you know what? Wake up.

If you think that Zuckerberg is the only successful businessman to turn a blind eye to the evil machinations of his clients, you’re wet around the ears.

Citigroup and JPMorgan not only financed Enron (the then-largest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history) but they even helped the company to fabricate transactions to alter their finances.

Let’s not even get started on evil FMCG giants like Nestle destroying the lives of people in developing countries across the globe, or selling misleading products. Or Gap, H&M, Urban Outfitters, and even Apple, using child labor to assemble their products.

Facebook may be selling your data but at least it isn’t sending children down coal mines or knowingly starving villages of people.

Let’s Talk Cambridge Analytica

This weekend actually marks the one-year anniversary of the scandal that sent the social media giant into a tailspin. And it seems like, a year later, Facebook is still in need of the Tylenol.

This week began with the company “mistakingly” removing ads that were critical of it. And it ended up with it suffering possibly the longest outage in its history.

Oh, and the departure of a couple more execs, another downturn in stock, and a criminal probe into how Facebook shares data. Jeez. They just won’t cut the company a break.

Facebook stock

This Facebook sh*tstorm isn’t going away anytime soon and it all started with the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Yet, it was that British political consulting firm hired by Trump that misused the Facebook accounts. Not Facebook itself.

Did Facebook know that they would target certain people and try to sway the results of the elections? Probably. But, isn’t that what any candidate in any election campaign does? Smear campaigns, spreading dirt on the opponent, making fake promises and false claims?

Maybe it used to be on a billboard. Now it’s on social media. But if you’re one of the blind sheep naive enough to believe in the promises of an unelected candidate, don’t blame Facebook.

Hating on Facebook for its possible enablement of Russian involvement in the election only makes you look bad.

But then, it isn’t middle America who’s making a scapegoat out of Facebook, is it? The wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal is less about the U.S. elections than it is about turning people against Facebook.

Facebook Is Selling Our Data

I just choked on my coffee! Facebook is selling our data! Sorry, did that come as a surprise to anyone else? I didn’t realize that was actually news.

Are Facebook users seriously trying to say they never noticed how the advertising coincided with their age group and other key demographics? Or how they’re constantly jogged to fill out a completed profile?

Facebook Targeted Ads

Targeted Ads on Facebook , Shutterstock

Facebook selling data to give us a more relevant user experience (and make a profit) is a pretty fair trade-off for years of using a free tool that allows us to manage our social lives throughout the globe.

Facebook (before we started hating it) reunited people after years of search or silence. It allowed traveling nomads like myself to keep in touch with kindred spirits I never wanted to lose.

Best of all, it didn’t even make us compose an email. All we had to do was send them a birthday greeting or like a post. Genius.

Facebook was the revolution of my generation. It was the Web 2.0, the first platform to truly make the internet interactive and allow people to have an identity on the web, form groups with similar interests, and even bypass the cost of running a website for their business. They could just launch a free Facebook page instead.

All this and so much more… Yet people are actually pissed that the company is trying to make a profit?

Wake up and smell the bacon. The only thing Facebook is guilty of (along with the landslide of other free content platforms) is breeding entitlement.

Internet Users Hating on Facebook Are Entitled

We are now entirely used to getting access to information for free. Most tweenagers and even those in their early 20s won’t remember the days when you had to buy a newspaper to get access to information.

Facebook and the other pioneering internet companies like Twitter, WordPress, and Medium helped to completely devalue my profession.

No one wants to pay for content anymore. We’ve come to expect getting everything for free. We are generation after generation of entitlement.

I’ve had to deal with dropping my rates, and working harder and longer hours for less money. Yet, you don’t see my hands clasped around a pitchfork, baying for blood. That’s a free market for you, baby.

If You Don’t Pay for the Product, You Are the Product

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. If you were too stupid to realize that if you aren’t paying for the product then you are the product, go back to your ivory tower.

As long as Facebook isn’t draining my bank account, I couldn’t honestly care less about what they do with my mundane and uninteresting data.

Yet sh**coin after sh**coin appearing on the company’s radar has forced them into looking at releasing their own coin, for which, they will be praised and criticized.

There’s something a little squeamish about watching Facebook bellyflop into the world of cryptocurrencies and launching a token into a system that works perfectly well without one. But hey, it’s a little early to send out the lynch mob on that one.

And as for the company’s foray into AI porn detection, well, I have no comment at the current time.  I certainly won’t be uploading my naked photos to the company, however, but let’s cross that explosives-laden bridge when we come to it.

For now, can we just stop grasping every data spill, every quitting employee, every revelation of what Zuckerberg is doing with our data and just agree to stop hating on Facebook?

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.