Weekly Digital News Roundup: 9/24 – 9/28
Edward Snowden joins Twitter and follows NSA
- According to BBC News, fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has opened an account on the social network website Twitter. His opening tweet was: “Can you hear me now?” In his profile, Snowden says he “used to work for the government. Now I work for the public”. He quickly gathered thousands of followers.
- So far, Snowden, who is wanted in the US for leaking secrets, only follows one other Twitter user – the US National Security Agency (NSA). He is believed to be living in Moscow where he is sheltering from US prosecutors. The @Snowden account was verified by Twitter and within nine hours of joining, Snowden had accumulated more than 710,000 followers.
- Snowden left the US in 2013 after leaking to the media details of extensive internet and phone surveillance by US intelligence. His information made global headlines when the Guardian newspaper reported that the NSA was collecting the telephone records of tens of millions of Americans. Snowden is believed to have downloaded 1.7 million secret documents before he left the US. In the US he faces charges that could put him in prison for up to 30 years.
Why it’s so hard to kill Facebook privacy hoaxes
- According to the Washington Post, Facebook privacy hoaxes just won’t die. It seems like every few months, some extended family member or high school “friend” will post a big block of legalese-style text, urging others to share it in their own feeds with a promise that it will somehow protect their privacy. Two different ones are circulating now. One claims that Facebook will now start charging a subscription fee in order to keep posts private — unless the user copy and pastes the message advertising the fee into their Facebook status.
- Since people are now conditioned to getting at least some of their news through Facebook, why wouldn’t they learn about a change to the social network on it first? And even if someone isn’t sure where one of these hoaxes started or hasn’t done their own research on them, they may have felt safe assuming it was true if it was promoted by someone they trust online.
Ralph Lauren, Creator of Fashion Empire, Is Stepping Down as C.E.O.
- According to the New York Times, Ralph Lauren, the quintessential American designer who built a fashion empire based on sweeping fantasies of country-club prep and the Wild West, is stepping down from his post as chief executive of the company. Taking the helm at Ralph Lauren is Stefan Larsson, a former H&M executive and president of Old Navy, Gap’s down-market brand, which he is credited with reviving.
- The change may be viewed as a move by Ralph Laurento get its financial house in order. Earnings at the upscale apparel company, known for its Polo brand, have been pressured by a strong dollar and intense competition in the luxury space. Its latest quarterly earnings of $1.09 a share topped analyst estimates, but revenue dipped 5.3 percent on a year-over-year basis. The company’s share price has slumped by almost half this year.
- Whether or not changes lie ahead for the company, it is a big moment for a fashion house that Mr. Lauren began in the streets of New York, selling ties out of rented drawer space in a closet of an office in the Empire State Building. Now, on top of its men’s and women’s clothing lines, Ralph Lauren has a foothold, through licensing, in everything from cosmetics to leather goods, to footwear and eyeglass frames. The company logged sales of $7.6 billion in its last fiscal year.