Hashtag Trending – Russia reached 126M Facebook users, Shopify CEO responds to pundit’s claims

Facebook reveals just how many Americans were reached by Russian content during last year’s U.S. election. Bell and Virgin are already shipping unlocked iPhone X-es. And Shopify CEO Tobias Lutke responds to a short seller’s allegation that his company makes most of its money by essentially operating a pyramid scheme.

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From Facebook: The social media giant has found itself in the news again after it was revealed that approximately 126 million people may have seen posts generated by a Russian agency between June 2015 and August 2017. That number comes from Facebook’s submission to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, which will be hearing its testimony this week. According to Facebook, 29 million people saw content directly produced by the Russian agency, and were estimated to have shared it with five times that number. Facebook also emphasized that while 126 million sounds like a big number, it actually represents approximately four-thousandths of one percent – or 0.004 per cent – of all News Feed content.

On Google Trends, it’s been revealed that Bell and its Virgin Mobile subsidiary are already selling unlocked iPhone X devices. According to an internal document obtained by Mobile Syrup, the company is getting a head start on complying with new CRTC regulations that state all smartphones sold on or after December 1, 2017, must be sold unlocked. In addition to the iPhone X, the carriers are also selling all iPhones, iPads, Google devices, Samsung Note 8, and even the BlackBerry KeyOne unlocked.

And once again on Facebook, Shopify CEO Tobias Lutke has publicly responded to allegations by short-seller Andrew Left that most of the company’s profits are built on affiliate marketing, which Left called an “old-fashioned get-rich-quick scheme.” During a Tuesday conference call with investors, Lutke called Left’s allegations “preposterous claims” by a “short-selling troll” insulting the hard work of Shopify’s many customers. In response, Left said that while Shopify provides an effective e-commerce platform for small and medium-sized businesses, he continues to believe it depends on affiliate marketing to drive its growth. Shopify shares dropped more than 8.5 per cent after the news.

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former IT World Canada associate editor turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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