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Woman arrested in Abu Dhabi over a Facebook post

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An Australian woman has been jailed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), apparently pending deportation, after posting a picture of a badly-parked car on Facebook. The crime: “Writing bad words” on social media.

Jodi Magi, 39, is currently being held in Abu Dhabi, where she has lived since 2012, the ABC’sPM program reported Monday.

The dispute began in February, when Magi took a photo of a car without disability stickers parked across disabled parking spaces in her apartment block, and posted the image on Facebook. Although she reportedly obscured the number plate, someone in her building is said to have complained about the post.

Jodi Magi

The case came up in a Abu Dhabi court in June, according to the ABC, and Magi was found guilty of “writing bad words on social media about a person.” Told she would be deported, Magi tried to voluntarily self-deport and went back to court to pay the fine, which is roughly A$3,600.

Instead, she was imprisoned Sunday. It is not clear how long she will be held for. A spokesperson for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) described the charge as a “cyber crimes offence” to Mashable Australia.

“I’m putting my life in the hands of chaos,” Magi told the news outlet. “No one is talking to me. No one is telling me what is going on. I’ve been driving around for literally about four hours.”

The DFAT spokesperson said that consular assistance had been provided to Magi since May 25. “On 12 July, the Ms Magi presented herself to a court in Abu Dhabi to pay a court-ordered fine and was taken into custody pending deportation to Australia. This is normal practice in Abu Dhabi.”

The spokesperson added that Australians travelling overseas are subject to the laws of the country they are in. “The Australian Government’s travel advice for the UAE warns that local laws that appear harsh by Australian standards nevertheless apply to Australian travellers or residents.”

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told media Tuesday she believed Magi would soon be deported back to Australia.

Mashable Australia has reached out to the United Arab Emirates embassy in Canberra for comment.

In Abu Dhabi, Magi teaches Emirati women graphic design, according to her blog. She describes herself as “an Australian who loves a creative challenge, appreciates the stimulation travel brings and believes in the importance of questions.”

On her Facebook page, friends commented and expressed sympathy for her situation. One called her “brave,” while another wrote: “Be strong Jodi you’re not alone, we are all thinking of you.”

In 2014, Robert Alan Black, a 70-year-old American, was arrested in the UAE for taking a photograph of a venue that authorities had declared off-limits for photos. In 2013, an American man, Shezanne Cassim, was imprisoned for making a 19-minute video that made fun of teens from Dubai.

source:http://mashable.com/2015/07/13/australian-abu-dhabi-facebook/

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Facebook paid users to track smartphone use

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Facebook paid users, including teens, to track their smartphone activity as part of an effort to glean more data that could help the social network’s competition efforts, according to a new report that may raise fresh privacy concerns.

An investigation by the online news site TechCrunch said the effort, which had been known as the Onavo Project and later rebaptized as Facebook Research, was used to gather data on usage habits.

The news could be a further embarrassment for Facebook, which has been under heightened scrutiny over failing to crack down on manipulation of its platform and for sharing private data with its business partners.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook said it shut down the application on Apple’s iOS on Wednesday after the article was published, but apparently kept it active for Android users.

The report said the initial Onavo app was shuttered for violating Apple’s privacy policy and that the newer version may also contravene Apple’s terms.

The program paid users ages 13 to 35 up to $20 a month for “root” access to their devices to track their location, app usage, spending habits and other activity.

According to a statement to TechCrunch, Facebook claimed there was nothing secret about the effort and that it obtained parental consent for teens where required.

Facebook did not immediately respond to further requests for comment.

The project may have allowed Facebook to scoop up more data about younger users as it fends off a challenge from rival services like Snapchat, which has become more popular than Facebook among US teens.

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Instagram is down for some users (FB)

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It’s not clear exactly how many people are affected, or what’s causing the outage. Business Insider has reached out to the Facebook-owned photo sharing app for more information.

The app’s news feed is refusing to refresh for some users, while the homepage on desktop won’t load.

Down Detector, a website that tracks outages of popular websites, reported a spike in users saying Instagram was down on Monday, with particular hotspots on both coasts of the United States and the UK.

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INSTAGRAM READY TO GIVE INFLUENCERS AND CELEBS SPECIALIZED TOOLS VIA CREATOR ACCOUNTS

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Instagram plans to offer high-profile influencers special tools that will provide them with a deeper insight into various data regarding their followers. These tools will be delivered in the form of Creator Accounts, which will only be available to select Instagram users (i.e. influencers, celebs).

An Instagram official recently told The Hollywood Reporter that the company wishes to make sure that “Instagram is the best place, and easiest place, to build fan communities and also build creators. personal brands.”

These creator accounts are meant to function like business-focused profiles and will offer growth insights, including information about follows and unfollows. Influencers will also be able to see weekly and daily data about their followers count changes so that they can better understand what might have caused a decline in their fan base or a spike in new followers.

Also, direct messaging tools that will enable Instagram users to filter notes from brand partners and friends will be available as well. Furthermore, influencers will be allowed to choose how they want to be contacted via flexible labels.

According to Instagram. these new features are being tested with a small beta group at the moment, but they are expected to be rolled out to everyone sometime in 2019.

 

 

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