© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Frances Haugen, a former product manager on Facebook’s civic misinformation team, leaves the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, Britain October 25, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
By Catarina Demony and Clara-Laeila Laudette
LISBON (Reuters) -In her first public address since she leaked a trove of damaging documents about Facebook (NASDAQ:)’s inner workings, whistleblower Frances Haugen urged her former boss, Mark Zuckerberg, to step down and allow change rather than devoting resources to a rebrand.
“I think it is unlikely the company will change if [Mark Zuckerberg] remains the CEO,” Haugen told a packed arena on Monday at the opening night of the Web Summit, a tech fest drawing dozens of thousands to the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.
The former Facebook product manager replied in the positive to the question of whether Zuckerberg should resign, and added: “Maybe it’s a chance for someone else to take the reins… Facebook would be stronger with someone who was willing to focus on safety.”
The social network, with nearly 3 billion users, changed its name to Meta last week, in a rebrand that focuses on building the “metaverse,” a shared virtual environment that it bets will be the successor to the mobile internet.
But early adopters of the virtual worlds known as the metaverse blasted Facebook’s rebranding as an attempt to capitalise on growing buzz over a concept it did not create to deflect from recent negative attention.
Commenting on the rebranding, Haugen said it made no sense given the security issues that have yet to be tackled.
“Over and over Facebook chooses expansion and new areas instead of sticking the landing on what they’ve already done,” Haugen told an animated crowd which frequently burst into applause as she spoke.
Facebook’s announcement came amid strong criticism from lawmakers and regulators over the corporation’s business practices – particularly its enormous market power, algorithmic decisions and the policing of abuses on its services.
The social media network, which operates a dual class share structure through which Zuckerberg and a small group of investors control the company, has hit back saying the documents leaked by Haugen were being used to paint a “false picture.”
Haugen told British and American lawmakers last month that Facebook would fuel more violent unrest worldwide unless it curbed its algorithms which push extreme, divisive content and prey on vulnerable demographics to keep them scrolling.
“A key problem is that the foundation of the platform’s security is based on monitoring content language by language, which does not scale to all the countries where Facebook operates,” Haugen noted.
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Futures rise as easing China COVID curbs lift travel, leisure stocks
© Reuters. A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., June 22, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
By Shreyashi Sanyal
(Reuters) – Travel and leisure shares propped up U.S. stock index futures after China relaxed some COVID-19 quarantine requirements for international travelers, raising hopes of a revival in global growth.
Airlines, cruises, casinos and hotels were among the gainers in premarket trading after China’s slashing of the quarantine time for inbound travelers by half boosted hopes of a big jump in international travel and spending.
Shares of Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) Inc rose 2.5% to top the list of gainers on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, after the company’s Shanghai Disney Resort said it would reopen the Disneyland theme park on June 30 after being shut for more than three months.
Wall Street’s main indexes started the week on soft footing after worries of surging inflation and an aggressive Federal Reserve dominated sentiment amid few market moving catalysts till the start of earnings season in two weeks.
Investors are now looking at data to determine whether the economy can withstand large interest rate hikes by the U.S. central bank to stamp out inflation.
A survey from the Conference Board is expected to show its consumer confidence index slipped to a reading of 100.4 in June, from 106.4 in May, at 10 a.m. ET.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are set to post losses in June and are on course to log two straight quarterly declines for the first time since 2015.
Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) shed 2.8% as it forecast first-quarter revenue below estimates on expectations of more discounts and pandemic-related disruptions in China, its most profitable market.
Occidental Petroleum Corp (NYSE:OXY) climbed 3.1% after top investor Warren Buffett raised stake in the shale producer.
Euro below $1.06 as Lagarde keeps July policy options open
© Reuters. A shopper pays with a ten Euro bank note at a local market in Nice, France, June 7, 2022. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
By Saikat Chatterjee
LONDON (Reuters) – The Aussie and the Canadian dollar climbed on Tuesday on firmer oil prices while the euro held below $1.06 as European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde offered no fresh insight on the central bank’s policy outlook.
The ECB is widely expected to follow its global peers by raising interest rates in July to check soaring inflation though economists are divided on the magnitude of the rate hike to protect a struggling economic recovery due to high oil prices.
Oil prices are up 10% in barely a week on supply constraint concerns with Brent crude holding above $117, pushing the Canadian dollar and the Australian dollar up 0.3% and 0.4% respectively. [O/R]
“Oil is helping the Norwegian crown and the Canadian dollar to outperform and the euro is again running into resistance at the 1.06 level,” said Kenneth Broux, an FX strategist at Societe Generale (OTC:SCGLY) in London.
The euro held below $1.06 after the ECB’s Lagarde said the central bank would move gradually but with the option to act decisively on any deterioration in medium-term inflation, especially if there were signs of a de-anchoring of inflation expectations.
Money markets are pricing in about 238 basis points (bps) of cumulative rate hikes by mid-2023 compared to around 280 bps two weeks ago.
Broader currency market moves were contained in a big week for markets in economic data terms. German inflation figures are due on Wednesday, French data on Thursday and euro zone numbers on Friday.
At the other end of the dial, higher oil prices caused the partially convertible Indian rupee to open at a record low, and fall further to 78.67 per dollar.
The U.S. dollar index struck a two-decade high of 105.79 this month and was last steady at 103.93.
Elsewhere, the offshore Chinese yuan moved higher after China reduced COVID quarantine for international travellers.
China’s economy recovering but foundation not solid, premier says
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is seen on a screen as he attends a news conference via video link after the closing session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing, China March 11, 2022. REUTERS/Ryan Woo
BEIJING (Reuters) -China’s economy has recovered to some extent, but its foundation is not solid, state media on Tuesday quoted Premier Li Keqiang as saying.
China will strive to drive the economy back onto a normal track and bring down the jobless rate as soon as possible, Li was quoted as saying.
“Currently, the implementation of the policy package to stabilise the economy is accelerating and taking effect. The economy has recovered on the whole, but the foundation is not yet solid,” Li was quoted as saying.
“The task of stabilising employment remains arduous.”
China’s economy showed signs of recovery in May after slumping the previous month as industrial production revived, but consumption remained weak and underlined the challenge for policymakers amid the persistent drag from strict COVID-19 curbs.
China’s nationwide survey-based jobless rate fell to 5.9% in May from 6.1% in April, still above the government’s 2022 target of below 5.5%.
In particular, the surveyed jobless rate in 31 major cities picked up to 6.9%, the highest on record. Some economists expect employment to worsen before it gets better, with a record number of graduates entering the workforce in summer.
Li vowed to achieve reasonable economic growth in the second quarter, although some private-sector economists expect the economy to shrink in the April-June quarter from a year earlier, compared with the first quarter’s 4.8% growth.
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