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Published: October 18th, 2018

A mini sidekick phone for your phone, Facebook is being sued again over false video metrics and Twitter reveals over 10 million tweets from the Russian and Iranian troll campaigns.

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First from Google: Have you ever thought that maybe your smartphone gets a little lonely and could use a tiny phone friend? Yeah, me neither…but no matter what I think that tiny phone sidekick already exists and NBA star Stephen Curry is helping make it popular. It’s called Palm phone and like it sounds it’s a small smartphone that fits in the palm of your hand. It’s meant to be a ‘smartphone lite’, allow users to make calls and use limited apps, the idea behind it is to help us break away from our mobile device addiction. It connects to Android and iPhones similar to a smart watch. So far it’s only available in the U.S. through Verizon so I guess we’ll have to wait before our Canadian phones can have their own phone sidekicks.

Next from LinkedIn: Facebook is in hot water, yet again. It’s being sued, yet again for falsifying its video metrics. The case dates back to 2016 when the social media giant admitted that it had misrepresented the average amount of time people were spending watching its videos. It miscalculated the metrics by 60 to 80 per cent. Now a small group of advertisers are sueing Facebook again claiming that it knew and hid the problem for more than a year before resolving the issue. They found newly unredacted documents to support their claims and say they were tricked into thinking the platform’s video ad revenue was more lucrative that it actually was, and this lead to media organizations emphasising Facebook video over other potentially more lucrative advertising options. A Facebook spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that these claims are false and without merit, saying “we told our customers about the error when we discovered it and updated our help centre to explain the issue.”

Finally from Google: Twitter has released an archive of 10 million tweets from the Russian and Iranian troll accounts that were shut down earlier this year. It published the data to allow academics to study the tweets and misinformation strategies conducted by the two countries. The tweets occurred over a 5 year period between 2013 and 2018. Nine million of the tweets were found to come from Russian-backed accounts affiliated with the Russian Internet Research Agency and the other one million came from a company based in Iran. Facebook which also shut down ‘influence campaigns’ from Russia and Iran earlier this year, also released similar data after the 2016 U.S. election.