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Facebook has been accused of removing thousands of posts shared during the 2016 election by accounts linked to Russia after a Columbia University social-media researcher, Jonathan Albright, used the company's data-analytics tool to examine the reach of the Russian accounts.

Albright, who discovered the content had reached a far broader audience than Facebook had initially acknowledged, told The Washington Post on Wednesday that the data had allowed him "to at least reconstruct some of the pieces of the puzzle" of Russia's election interference.

"Not everything, but it allowed us to make sense of some of this thing," he said.

Facebook confirmed that the posts had been removed. But a spokesman said it was because the company had fixed a glitch in the analytics tool — called CrowdTangle — that Albright had used which provided "an unintended way to access information about deleted content."

“We identified and fixed a bug in CrowdTangle that allowed users to see cached information from inactive Facebook Pages,” the spokesman said in a statement. "Across all our platforms we have privacy commitments to make inactive content, that is no longer available, inaccessible. With this fix, the information from all Inactive Pages will now not be available on CrowdTangle."

Facebook's decision to remove the posts from public view raised questions about whether the company could be held liable for suppressing potential evidence, given its role in the wide-ranging investigation of Russia's election interference.

Legal experts and scholars on the subject say scrubbing the data Albright used for his research is Facebook's prerogative as long as it isn't knowingly removing content sought under a court order or by government request.

"If Facebook has no reason to think that it should retain the data (subpoena, court order), then it can make choices about what appears on its platform," said Danielle Citron, a professor of law at the University of Maryland, where she teaches and writes about information privacy.

Citron said Facebook and other private tech companies have in the past argued, successfully, that they have free-speech interests and enjoy immunity from liability for the content posted by their users — immunity that extends to their ability to remove it if it violates their terms of service.

Albert Gidari, the director of privacy at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, said it's likely that Facebook has kept copies of "anything at issue as part of its preservation obligation" in light of special counsel Robert Mueller's search warrant and the House and Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenas.

Gidari said that because there hasn't been any allegation against Facebook itself, the company has no obligation, absent a court order, to maintain information "that later may be evidence."

But the question becomes more complicated when considering the ethical obligations of a company whose tools were exploited by a foreign adversary to try to influence a US election.

Gidari, for his part, said he doesn't think "any platform has an independent or ethical obligation to run a research playground for third-party data analysts."

But Tom Rubin, a lecturer at Stanford Law School, said that Facebook's "credibility as a global social platform and its responsibility as an internet giant require it to fully embrace an independent, urgent and public review of the facts."

"Facebook’s Russia predicament is of its own doing — it controls the platform, runs the ads, and profits mightily," said Rubin, who previously served as the assistant US Attorney in New York heading investigations and prosecutions of computer crimes.

"The investigation here is as serious as it gets: illegal and hostile foreign influence on the US presidential election," Rubin said. "The issue confronting Facebook is the extent to which it should commit to complete transparency, and the answer to that is straightforward."

Citron agreed. "For transparency’s sake and for our broader interest in our democracy, people should know the extent to which they have been played by the Russians and how a hostile state actor has interfered with, manipulated, and generally hacked our political process," she said.

That is what Albright said was his mission when he downloaded the last 500 posts shared by six accounts that Facebook has confirmed were operating out of Russia. Those accounts — Blacktivists, Being Patriotic, Secured Borders, Heart of Texas, LGBT United, and Muslims of America — were among the 470 pages Facebook shut down in September as part of its purge of "inauthentic accounts" linked to Russia's Internet Research Agency.

The data Albright obtained using CrowdTangle showed that the Russians' reach far exceeded the number of Facebook users they were able to access with advertisements alone — content including memes, links, and other miscellaneous postings was shared over 340 million times between the six accounts.

The other 464 accounts closed by Facebook have not yet been made public. If they are, an analysis of their combined posts would likely reveal that their content was shared an estimated billions of times during the election.

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All hell was let loose yesterday as the rumour went viral that soldiers were forcefully injecting school children with monkey pox infected vaccines, there were more than four versions of the rumour, some added that the soldiers were shooting and killing students who refuse to be vaccinated, in all the different stories, none sounded any convincing to me.

I noticed long ago that the knowledge base of our people here in the southeast is very low and have been making countless efforts to create avenues for self-discovery, mindset revolution and personal
development but most people do not see beyond their noses, they are easily carried away by frivolities and shadows, the ruling class also enjoys the myopic and lopsided mindset of the masses because it helps greatly in making them vulnerable to easy manipulation.

Why are we still test running on democracy 18 years after returning to civil rule? Sure enough, the creators of the rumour are smart and got their desired result. I do not want to look at this one in particular because it happens every time, Politicians and Priests are among the worst things that have happened to the entire southeast region, they don't want the people to know so much so as not to challenge the lies that they sell to them, a current member of the house of the assembly in one of the states in this region rushed to his Facebook timeline to use the forceful injection rumour to score a cheap point and attract the sympathy of his followers as against certain other political party
and a particular ethnic group, this is someone who should know better, a lawyer by profession, he doesn't bother how low his people's reasoning are as long as it helps the divide and win strategy.

Who really didn't buy into this unfounded false news, very few people who asked the right questions got attacks and were branded in many unacceptable ways, people went ahead to defend their ignorance even when it was becoming obvious that they should have thought before acting. Women jumped fences and gates of school premises in a bid to rescue their children from the false rumour that was spread.  It was heartbreaking, disappointing and totally gullible for people to react the way they did in a 21st century. Let's talk about this in part 2 and 3 as we look at the dangers of
buying into such unconfirmed reports.


ABOUT THE WRITER
Onyedika Agbo is a Political analyst and Youth developer who strongly believes that Nigeria can be great and one of the best countries of the world, if not the very best.

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The forthcoming Local Government election in Enugu State won't be any different from the ones conducted by Enugu State Independent Electorate Commission (ENSIEC) under the two former governors of the State, Chimaroke Nnamani and Sullivan Chime, these two former Chief Executives installed their choice men who they used to secure their second tenure through massive rigging and that is exactly what is about to play out in the November 2017 local government elections in Enugu, APC and other opposition parties in the State are also not helping matters.

The major challenge in local government elections in Enugu and most other States in the Southeast is that the polls is conducted by sitting governors who use the State funds and State-owned electoral body to stampede any form of competition that may arise from those who would want to unseat them in the general elections. They use the same old tactics since the time of Chimaroke, which includes trying to disqualify candidates of other parties using ENSIEC, they also impose outrageous fees on these candidates in the name of forms and tax clearance. This year's nomination form for chairmanship is at N300,000,

The Government does not pay attention to awareness creation as per campaigns and electioneering, like in the instance of voter education which the State electoral body ought to enlighten the masses on, the ruling party enjoys the loophole to help them starve the people of the timetable, guidelines and other information on the processes in the exercise. APC and other opposition parties like in the previous years are approaching the election to fulfill all righteousness, they have not demonstrated much readiness to show that they are contesting against a State ruling party in an election.

PDP with their incurable impunity has started showing that they have no regards for people's opinion by desperately imposing candidates at the primary election level, an example of this is the case of Amebo council war in Igbo-Eze South L.G.A, where a young man by the name Jude Nkem Onah won the primary as the choice candidate of the party delegates but is now being short-changed by some high ranking members of the party, Onah's case has been reported to many stakeholders including the State chairman, their house of rep and even the governor as the gods of their party who all turned deaf ears to the young man's cry simply because he has no god father, the story is the same in many other wards and local government areas, despite the call by the governor that the position of councilors is 'akamu' (Pap) and should be left exclusively for youths.

Ordinarily a party that fails to allow popular aspirants emerge as their flag bearers through due process during primary elections is bound to fail in the main election but that's not going to happen, you will see these imposed unpopular persons declared winners through the survival of the fittest system in the November 4th election, they will be ones to score themselves, claiming that the exercise was peaceful and extremely free and fair, when less than twenty percent of the people actually have their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) and most people don't even know what the exercise is all about.

Those who feel less concerned and don't get involve especially the youths are the ones at the receiving end when these highest-bidder business men mount the leadership position at our various local government secretariats, the allocations and Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) that should be used for the development of the citizens are shared as entitlements and compensation to a few individuals who will assume ownership of the government by relationship, party positions and appointments plus the ones that will be carted away as returns on daily, weekly and periodic basis. The BIG question is why don't we bother? How long shall the youths continue to keep quiet stay away from getting involved? Most young people would prefer to waste time, energy and data on social media for uploading of selfie and other photos, chatting, browsing porn sites and other useless things instead of fully taking their destinies in their own hands, which starts from obtaining their PVCs and forming strong alliances with one another on individual basis and collectively in groups to constructively access and engage those who are contesting, so that they can choose the best man for the job through their votes and also have the chances of nominating and supporting any one of their own who they feel has and demonstrated outstanding leadership and people oriented traits. Surely the Southeast can be turned into a first class society with a stable economy and be made the Igbo nation of our dreams if we all see it as our collective responsibility.



ABOUT THE WRITER
Onyedika Agbo is a Political analyst and Youth developer who strongly believes that Nigeria can be great and one of the best countries of the world, if not the very best.

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Businessman Dapo Abiodun had the ambition to become the next governor of Ogun State come 2019 before the sudden death of his son DJ Olu. 

 His campaign posters have been on social media as far back as February this year and a couple of dedicated social media accounts have been spreading and campaigning for the Ogun State Prince.

Its not clear if he'll still go on with his governorship campaign now that his son is dead.

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INEC The Independent National Electoral Commission has fixed September 22, 2018 as the official date for the Osun state Governorship election 

INEC confirmed via a statement released in Abuja and signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Augusta Ogakwu, that the tenure of the state governor ends on November 26, 2018 and pursuant to the provisions of Section 178(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as well as Section 25(7) and (8) of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended, the earliest date for election into the office shall be May 30, 2018 while the latest date for the election shall be October 27, 2018.

 The commission in the timetable fixed June 23, 2018 for the Notice of Election while the commencement of public campaigns by political parties follows the next day. Also, publication of the official register of voters as well as the final list of nominated candidates shall be on August 23, 2018.

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Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose has officially declared his intention to run for 2019 presidential elections. 

It was revealed on the governor's official twitter page where he posted a signed letter of invitation to a declaration ceremony where he'll make the announcement in person. With his beef and constant backlash on the current government, it can be rightfully predicted that he has always been eyeing Aso Rock. 

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Rochas Okorocha, Imo state governor during an interactive session with some top media practitioners in Owerri, the state capital yesterday September 19th disclosed that Igbos play the worst politics among the ethnic and geopolitical zones in Nigeria. He said;

“Igbo have to change their strategy, in order to reclaim their relevance in Nigeria’s power equation. Quote me anywhere, Igbo play the worst politics in Nigeria. Today, Hausa have realized they can win an election without Igbo. Hitherto, Hausa used to think they could not win elections without Igbo. Now, they believe with the combined massive populations of Lagos and Kano, they no longer need Igbo to win, hence, the latest alliance between Hausa and Yoruba. So, where is Igbo today in Nigerian politics?” he asked rhetorically.

Governor Rochas also spoke on the agitation for the creation of Biafra by IPOB members. According to him, the approach used by the group is childish. He said if Nigeria were to break up today, it is the Igbos that would be at a loss. 

“I’ve always said Igbo have this feeling of abandonment. IPOB would have made better impact if they had operated under any other name other than Biafra, to push their demand for equity in sharing of the nation’s political and economic resources. The call for secession was childish. IPOB should have fought their struggle like the Niger Delta youths, Arewa youths and Yoruba group. Who is Nnamdi Kanu to ask Rochas to follow him to war? Check it out,  no Hausa man living in the South East owns a duplex neither can you see a Yoruba man who lives in a room and parlour apartment of his own or an investment worth N20 million. But, should Nigeria break up today, Igbo will lose trillions in properties and other investments in Lagos, the North and other parts of the country. This is why we all must condemn IPOB’s call for break up.”

Speaking further, he said

"The South South has produced a president, the South West has produced a president and vice president while the North has produced many presidents. By political calculation, it was expected that very soon, Igbo would have a chance to produce the president, but, the same Igbo want to break away from Nigeria. Where is our wisdom. Regrettably, IPOB  activities has created fears in the minds of Hausa and other ethnic nationalities in the country, that, once Igbo becomes president, they would secede. So, where are we? This is why I said IPOB were childish in their struggle. We should all condemn the call for secession because if Nigeria breaks up, Igbo will lose. Igbo need to change their strategy and political calculation, to remain relevant in Nigerian politics,”. 

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo led by Sir Nnamdi Richard Anyaehie has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency in the state due to “excesses” of Governor Rochas Okorocha.

In a statement by the publicity secretary of the party, Chief Enyinna Onuegbu, PDP expressed frustration that the entire Imo landscape and inhabitants have been in mourning mood since the night of Friday 25th August 2017 when the Governor rolled out bulldozers to demolish the popular Owerri Main Market, the Hausa Quarters, and other private properties along Douglas Road Owerri.

PDP said: “It has been the saddest three days in the history of Imo State only comparable to the genocide of the Civil War days. Indeed all Christian denominations, in all places of worship last Sunday had a common sermon and prayer point for the Almighty God to deliver Imo State from the evil clutches and despoliation by a Governor who claims a mandate freely given by majority of the people he has now turned round to punish like Pharaoh did to the children of Israel. We know their prayers shall overcome Okorocha’s wickedness.

“The Peoples Democratic Party, Imo State Chapter wishes to place on record that the Governor of Imo State had no reason whatsoever to visit the inhabitants of Owerri Capital City with this brazen demolition of the Owerri Main Market and the Hausa Quarters in the thick of the rainy season and the dead of the night.

“The claim by the State Government of having given ample notice and having an alternative site (a naturally water logged ditch at Ohii in Mbaitoli L.G.A) is sheer falsehood. This is because the Owerri Main Market cannot justifiably be relocated to a Local Government that is not within the Owerri Capital Territory nor in Owerri Federal Constituency. The residential areas and indigenous population in Owerri cannot be relocated to the place where Okorocha claims to be a new site.

“We also know that the uncompleted alternative site is already allocated to a private property development company and third parties who are expecting the forceful eviction of traders in the Main Market by Okorocha to provide them with tenants for their uncompleted and water logged markets stalls at Ohii; A case of robbing Peter to pay Paul”.

“It must be recalled that the ordinary market value of one stall in Owerri Main Market is above N5million and for a state government to destroy a market of over 3,000 lock up stores is the height of callousness and poor sense of basic economics.

“In Imo State, while it is unarguable that there is a dearth of functional industries and employment generating private sector investments, we have a market economy sustained by our agricultural produce and from history the Owerri Main Market has been the final destination of the collective produce of Imo State farmers.

“It is not proper to diminish the vastness and economic potentials of the Owerri Main Market by describing it as indigenes market called Eke-Ukwu Owerri. This is because, even the previous State Administrations and the Owerri Municipal Council had built several lock-up stalls with private sector participation and allocated to members of the public over the years.

‘The majority of these stalls do not belong to indigenes of Owerri. These stalls had also been serially numbered and had registered title. Several owners had used their title deeds as collateral for securing bank facilities in pursuit of improving the capacity or value of their businesses. Who will pay the loans secured with the title documents of properties in the Owerri Main Market?

“It is also clear that the administration of Okorocha does not know that by virtue of the provision of Fourth Schedule, Section 1, sub-section (e) to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended); that the establishment, maintenance, and regulation of Markets is within the exclusive competence of Local Governments.

“The state administration under Okorocha’s tenure has illegally usurped this function of the Owerri Municipal Council and brought unquantifiable losses on owners of Stalls in the Owerri Main Market. The itinerant traders and their patrons who use the environs of the market have been forced into an unmitigated refugee status.”

“We have it on good authority that the plan of Okorocha is to recover the prime location of the Owerri Main Market and allocate same (as is his practice) to a Private Limited Liability Company to develop into a Shopping Complex. Like every Imo resident knows, such proposed developer company must have some link with family and friends of our insatiable leaders of today.

“It must also be recalled that as far back as a year ago, a High Court had granted orders of injunction against any demolition and removal of the market. The said matter is still pending in Court. The Okorocha Administration true to its character of disregarding the rule of law and due process chose to wait for the annual vacation of the High Courts in Imo State this August in order to flout the extant court orders.

“In addition to the malicious destruction of the Owerri Main Market is the national security risk occasioned by the insensitive destruction of the popular Hausa Quarters along Douglas Road Owerri. This is against the backdrop that tendencies inimical to the unity of Nigeria exemplified in the agitations for breakup of Nigeria has been on the rise since the All Progressives Congress (APC) took over the reins of leadership at the National level.

“We therefore find the destruction of residential and business premises at Hausa Quarters along Douglas Road Owerri a deliberate effort to evoke separatist agitations and cause a war between the otherwise hospitable Imo State indigenes and our northern brethren who had been long resident in Owerri peacefully many years before Okorocha returned from elsewhere to become Governor of Imo State.

“That a man who prides himself as the Chairman of APC Governors Forum could be this insensitive to national security issues shows indeed the quality of leadership evident in that political party. It may be worthwhile for the Presidency to really investigate the intention of Okorocha by this calamity he has wrought on the psyche of Imo State residents likely to engender an attack on Imo indigenes resident in the Northern parts of Nigeria. The leadership of APC must indeed be wondering whose interest Okorocha is serving in Imo State.

“The State Governments apologists have presently embarked on an organized media campaign founded on the falsehood that nobody died as a result of the Gestapo destruction of Owerri Main Market. The truth must prevail, which is that lives were lost and several were wounded by gun shots with many admitted at the Federal Medical Centre Owerri. There is also the likelihood that many more Imo residents will die from shock, high blood pressure and maybe suicides in the aftermath of this genocide against our people.

“On the claim that the Owerri Main Market environs had become a hideout for suspected criminals, Okorocha and his apologists need to be reminded that maintenance of law and investigation of crime is the statutory work of the Nigerian Police Force (which has a Police Station within the market) and other security agencies. It is not the work of Okorocha administration to usurp the functions of the security agencies.

“It is also laughable that the same Okorocha administration that has consistently used the services of hoodlums and miscreants as revenue agents to terrorize Imo State residents is now claiming that Owerri Main Market had been a hideout of criminals.

“The Governor needs to tell Nigerians why over 500 youths suspected to be from Ohaji/Egbema L.G.A (the hotbed of cultism) where his Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations), Mr. Kingsley Uju, and the head of Imo Entraco (in charge of demolitions in Owerri) Mr. Jeff Nwoha hail from, were brought into Owerri in government vehicles to lead the onslaught against the market and traders while being given cover by soldiers said to have been procured from outside Imo State.

“For Imo residents, we are in solidarity with their plight under the ‘Okorocha plague’ and remind them that Almighty God shall provide a solution as we await 2019 to do away with Okorocha and his proposed holdovers’ democratically”.

 

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BBC claims President Muhammadu Buhari have something in common with Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe who has been accused of running the country “from his hospital bed”

According to a report by BBC Africa, the presidents of Nigeria, Angola, Zimbabwe, Benin and Algeria all have something in common; an apparent lack of faith in the health systems at home.

In terms of time spent abroad getting medical help, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, 74, is the first among equals, but in the past year all these heads of state have traveled overseas for health reasons. In many cases they are leaving behind poorly funded health services, which most of their citizens have to rely on.

In 2010, the average amount spent on health in African countries per person was $135 (£100) compared to $3,150 in high-income countries, the UN’s World Health Organization said. In Zimbabwe, for example, state-run hospitals and clinics often run out of basic medicines like painkillers and antibiotics, according to health watchdog Citizens Health Watch. It says that the public health care system “continues to deteriorate at alarming levels” with lack of money being the main problem.

 

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Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has told governorship aspirants for the All Progressives Congress, APC, ticket in Anambra State that he can’t be bought.

The chairman of the party’s primary committee made the declaration to journalists Tuesday shortly after the inauguration of the primary and appeal committees by the APC National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso.

“Look at me, do I have a price tag? The truth of the matter is here with me is an elder statesman, Dr Hassan Lawan. He has no price tag. He is the chairman of the appeal committee, we are going together to Anambra with his own team.

“Conducting primaries is not a rocket science, if you put in place just and fair framework, there won’t be agitations,” the Borno State governor said.

While inaugurating the committee, Izunaso said: “We want to thank you for agreeing to serve in this committee regardless of the fact that you were suppose to travel and you had to cancel your journey, we want to thank every member of this committee for accepting to serve. The Anambra assignment is a very important assignment in the sense that Anambra is the first in the series of election for APC.

“The primary is slated for Saturday August 26 in Awka, we have 12 aspirants that scaled through the screening process for the election, 11 men and one female. The party has not zoned the governorship ticket to any senatorial zone in the state. Any such information should be disregarded.

“This assignment is for the simple majority. Whosoever emerges from the simple majority ballot, will be declared winner on the spot. For Anambra State, we are having slightly above 4,500 delegates from the 21 local government areas of the state and 326 electoral wards. We have 12 delegates per wards and 26 delegates per LGA and statutory delegates from the state to the national level.”

Responding, Shettima said: “It is an onerous responsibility but be rest assured that we shall be fair, just and transparent in carrying out our operation in this assignment. We shall commence business as early as possible and see to it that we complete the assignment before 6.00pm on Saturday.”

 

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