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| March 19, 2019

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Facebook and Google broke down barriers to broadcast media — even for mass killers

March 16, 2019 |

The killing of 49 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, was engineered to be viewed and shared on the world’s largest technology platforms, taking full advantage of Silicon Valley’s laissez-faire approach to content moderation.

It began with a racist manifesto uploaded to the document-sharing…


L.A. Times – Business

Gutfeld on media coverage of Hanoi and Cohen

February 28, 2019 |

The U.S.-North Korea summit is a bigger story than the Michael Cohen testimony in Congress, but Cohen got more news coverage.
FOX News

Your friends’ social media posts are making you spend more money, researchers say

February 20, 2019 |

American families don’t save money like they used to. In 2018 the personal saving rate hovered somewhere around 7%. That’s up from an all-time low of 3% right before the Great Recession hit, but it’s well below the rate of a few decades ago.

There are a lot of potential explanations for this. Wage…


L.A. Times – Business

Nick Sandmann attorney: Media, celebrities who attacked student ‘need to be punished and pay a high price’

February 8, 2019 |

An attorney for Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic High School student who was vilified after a confrontation with a Native American activist went viral last month, told Fox News on Thursday that the celebrities, media and other groups who allegedly defamed his client “need to be punished and they need to pay a high price for what they did.”
FOX News

Tony Romo dubbed Super Bowl ‘MVP’ on social media

February 4, 2019 |

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo made his Super Bowl debut as a commentator and made quite the impression.
FOX News

For 1K in Media, It’s Bad News

January 27, 2019 |

For many reporters, it’s been a hard week. Roughly 1,000 editors, writers, and other media employees were laid off, and more cuts may be coming, the Cut reports. It began Wednesday when Verizon—the owner of AOL, Yahoo, and the Huffington Post—said 7% of its staff was getting…
Newser

Clickbait Media Uses Bitcoin and Russia to Pump Headlines Again

January 16, 2019 |

Clickbaiting Telegraph Uses Bitcoin and Russia to Pump Headlines Again

In the past week or so, a number of publications, including cryptocurrency websites, but also “reputable” mainstream outlets, have given stage to a “Kremlin economist” with a bold prediction – Russia will invest billions in bitcoin to tackle U.S. sanctions, possibly triggering a new bull run as early as next month. The claim was quoted in multiple reports, although never double-checked or substantiated.

Also read: Russia Not Ready for the Petro, Proposes Plan to Aid Venezuela Without It

Moscow Said to Dump Billions Into Bitcoin

The statements came from Vladislav Ginko, a lecturer at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (Ranepa). Last week he told the Australian online edition Micky that new U.S. sanctions will push Moscow to diversify its cash reserves and there are limited options by which they can do so. One of them is to replace part of the $ 466 billion saved by the Central Bank of Russia with cryptocurrency. He insisted that Russia’s elite is also being forced to dump U.S. assets and currency and “invest hugely into bitcoins.” The expert economist stated categorically:

U.S. sanctions may be mitigated only through Bitcoin use.

Ginko further suggested that the first wave of significant Russian government investment into bitcoin, “worth billions of dollars,” could come within the next few weeks. “I believe that Russia will start diversifying its reserves with bitcoin in February, when the U.S. Congress will introduce new sanctions,” he said. The economist also shared his opinion that the Russian government is not against cryptocurrencies and noted that President Putin has referred to fintech as a key driver of the country’s economy.

Clickbait Media Uses Bitcoin and Russia to Pump Headlines Again

Toward the end of the interview, Vladislav Ginko admitted that much of his work recently has been focused on persuading Russian officials that bitcoin is the best way to alleviate the effects of tough U.S. sanctions and prove to various stakeholders of Russian society the need for investing central bank money into the “heavily oversold bitcoin.”

Some ‘Exclusive’ Reports

The report was promoted by the Australian media outlet as exclusive, although Ginko has been actively spreading his views and forecasts on social media and in conversations with many journalists. A number of other crypto and mainstream media outlets, including Fortune, have quoted Micky’s report. However, Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper has published its own article, posting additional information – again, unconfirmed by an official government source from Russia.

The Russian expert is quoted as saying that Moscow is ready to invest as much as $ 10 billion in the world’s most popular cryptocurrency as part of its de-dollarization efforts and in order to prevent interruptions of U.S. dollar payments for Russian oil and gas. Another unverified claim by Ginko, which has been quoted by The Telegraph, is that the cryptocurrency industry now accounts for 8 percent of Russia’s GDP.

In the meantime, Micky has come out with another article on the same topic, claiming to have obtained documents from Australian crypto OTC brokerage Lupo Toro reportedly showing “large and unusual increase in the volume of OTC bitcoin purchases placed by Russian nationals.” The so-called “Moscow Files” have been published under a title starting with “The Putin Pump?”

Clickbaiting With Bitcoin

Crypto prices did not see much pumping during a bearish 2018, but this didn’t diminish the spate of hyperbole-laden headlines. The cryptocurrency is a very convenient target for alarmists, attention-seekers, and clickbaiters. Bitcoin does not have a CEO and can’t complain about fake news, so the mainstream media simply doesn’t care about the actual facts. In this particular example, Russia’s Billions, Shift to Bitcoin, Ditching the Dollar, and Putin’s Pump have been an irresistible choice of words for many online editors. A reply to Barry Silbert’s tweet linking The Telegraph’s article sums it all up very well:

This is what happens when journalism becomes shitposting. ANY PROOFS? What’s wrong with reporters these days?

Russia does seek ways to decrease its dependency on the U.S. dollar. It has increased its holdings of the euro, Chinese yuan, Japanese yen, and has discussed the introduction of a common digital currency within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and BRICS. But according to one real government official, Moscow is not looking at bitcoin. Elina Sidorenko, chair of the crypto working group in Russia’s parliament, recently noted that “there’s not a bit of common sense” in Ginko’s statements.

“The Russian Federation, like any other country in the world, is simply not ready today to somehow combine its traditional financial system with cryptocurrencies … The implementation of this idea in the next at least 30 years is unlikely to be possible,” she commented. Sidorenko believes the only way to use digital assets at the state level would be to create an international cryptocurrency as a unit of account between countries. A convertible “cryptoruble” has its supporters in the Moscow corridors of power as well – it fits in Russia’s “Sovereign Democracy” concept better than any decentralized crypto.

Clickbait Media Uses Bitcoin and Russia to Pump Headlines Again

Another telling statement recently came from the chairman of the parliamentary Financial Markets Committee, Anatoly Aksakov. No one is going to ban Bitcoin in Russia, he said. His main concern was that if crypto holders are pushed against the wall by the state, they will revert back to investing in the U.S. dollar. The legislation on digital financial assets the State Duma is about to adopt on second reading in February will simply not mention cryptocurrency at all – a decision that reflects Putin’s own admission that “cryptocurrency is something that goes beyond national borders.”

It seems that anyone who thinks Russia will fully embrace Bitcoin doesn’t know Russia very well, and anyone who thinks Russia will completely ban Bitcoin doesn’t know Russia enough. In the end, Russia may decide to treat Bitcoin like Snowden: we didn’t want you here but since you’ve come, you can stay and do your thing. And of course, we don’t want you to harm the interests of “our American partners.”

‘Misunderestimating’ Russia

Misunderstanding, underestimating, and most often misinterpreting Russia remains a common mistake, as the following video humorously conveys:

Sadly, the case of “Kremlin economist” Vladislav Ginko won’t be the last time that mainstream media is badly wrong about Russia – or about Bitcoin.

Do you think Russia will invest in bitcoin, and if so, do you expect Moscow to officially admit it? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.

The post Clickbait Media Uses Bitcoin and Russia to Pump Headlines Again appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

CNN

Zimbabweans say social media blocked in wake of violent protests

January 16, 2019 |

Zimbabweans said they were unable to access social media Tuesday after protests erupted over a sharp increase in fuel prices was announced by the government.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – World

Crypto Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018

January 15, 2019 |

Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018

Over the last two years, as cryptocurrencies gained mainstream attention, scammers have become far more prevalent. One particular social media scam that can be found on prominent websites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is the impersonation of well-known crypto industry executives and blockchain luminaries. Unfortunately even a verified account means nothing these days and these giant corporations have allowed fraudulent acts to flourish giving criminals the opportunity to rake in millions.

Also read: Analysis: Using Technical Indicators to Trade Crypto in 2019

Rampant Crypto Impersonation Continues to Plague Social Media Channels

We’ve heard all about the milestones in 2018 and all the crazy cryptocurrency market action but one thing that happened and pulled in record revenues last year was social media impersonation. Miscreants were allowed to flourish in great number, creating phony Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook profiles. They have copied profiles such as Vitalik Buterin, John McAfee, Elon Musk, Barry Silbert, Erik Voorhees, and many more. They have even cloned businesses such as the Binance Exchange, and other major cryptocurrency infrastructure providers.

Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018
A fake Elon Musk account scamming Twitter users for ETH on a Donald Trump tweet. Notice that another phony Elon account had liked the tweet and a fake Vitalik profile as well.

The swindlers usually present a “giveaway promotion” asking a user to send 1 ETH in return for 10 ETH but these addresses never see any outgoing transmissions. Other copycat chisellers actually pretend they are well-known individuals and message people directly asking for money in exchange for phony services. All of the major social media platforms have been riddled with impersonation scammers and even when provided with evidence of wrongdoing and proof of a verified account these corporations have yet to produce results.

Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018
A phony John McAfee profile scamming for ETH on Twitter.

Last February, social media cryptocurrency community member impersonators were making $ 5,000 a night in ethereum on Twitter. By the summer of 2018, it was recorded that millions of dollars worth of digital assets were taken from impersonation scams. On June 9 John Backus reported that 468 known scammer addresses collected 8,148 ETH which was worth $ 4.9 million at the time.

Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018
Vitalik Buterin begs the cryptocurrency community not to trust impersonators.

One particular person sent $ 18,000 to a fake Erik Voorhees account. Even the Maltese Prime Minister was impersonated by scam peddlers last August. Lots of Good Samaritan crypto users have flagged some of the known addresses with a message that says “Fake Phishing.” The CEO of Bitcoin.com and other members of the company (including the author of this post) have been impersonated by scammers on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018
Bitcoin.com’s CEO Roger Ver shares a list of copy cat impersonators who fraudulently use his name and profile pictures still to this day.

Verified Accounts and Evidence Does Nothing As Fraudulent Twitter, Facebook and Instagram Profiles Continue to Scam for Millions

After submitting screenshots of these malicious scoundrels in action and even sending in identification, these companies still do not delete these accounts. Last summer I had submitted daily complaints to Twitter concerning impersonators and evidence of the wrongdoing and all the platform did was send an auto-response.

Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018
Even though Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (a Bitcoin supporter and Lightning Network investor) promised to get rid of these scams they haven’t stopped and impersonation is still rampant on the social media platform.

In fact, it takes weeks and help from multiple friends reporting these impersonators or otherwise, the social media giants will do nothing. Even at the end of 2018, after Twitter CEO promised users the platform would crack down on these accounts, they continued to be prevalent. Wired columnist Nicole Kobie explained the situation in great detail on Nov. 17 stating:   

Verified Twitter accounts – including Google’s G-Suite and Matalan – are getting hacked and pretending to be Elon Musk. The bitcoin scams are making thousands but why can’t Twitter do anything about them?

Instead of dealing with obvious fraudulent activities, even when users verify their accounts, the social media giants have spent millions on annoying cosmetic updates, censoring and deplatforming right-wing pundits, and sold people’s profile data to firms like Cambridge Analytics. A portion of crypto investors lost significant sums of money after last year’s digital asset market volatility, and alternatively, copycat social media profiles did extremely well scamming people.

What do you think about the fraudulent impersonation scams on social media platforms? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. 


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter, and Bitcoin.com’s CEO Roger Ver. 


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The post Crypto Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018 appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Sean Hannity: To obstruct Trump’s agenda, Democrats and the media have to pretend borders don’t matter

January 11, 2019 |

Speaker Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, this is not a manufactured crisis. These are real statistics, real people, real lives and many deaths. This is about life and death.
FOX News