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August 27, 2016 / 23 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘social networks’

Chinese Consortium to Buy Israeli Games Company Playtika for $4.4 Billion

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

A consortium including an affiliate of Shanghai Giant Network Technology Co., one of China’s largest online games companies, announced on Saturday that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Caesars Interactive Entertainment to acquire CIE’s social and mobile games business Playtika in an all-cash deal for $4.4 billion.

Playtika, co-founded in 2010 by CEO Robert Antokol, pioneered free-to-play games on social networks and mobile platforms. It is the creator of such popular titles as Slotomania, House of Fun and Bingo Blitz, which rank among the top-grossing games on Apple’s App Store, Google Play and Facebook. Playtika’s games are played daily by more than 6 million people in 190 countries, in 12 languages and on more than 10 platforms. Through its core technology and expertise in big data, analytics, and M&A, Playtika has successfully developed a scalable platform that is primed for future international expansion. Playtika is headquartered in Herzliya, Israel, with offices in Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Canada, Japan, Romania, Ukraine and the US.

The Consortium includes Giant Investment (HK) Limited; Yunfeng Capital, a private equity firm founded by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. founder Jack Ma; China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co., Ltd.; China Minsheng Trust Co., Ltd.; CDH China HF Holdings Company Limited; and Hony Capital Fund.

Following the transaction Playtika will continue to run independently with its headquarters remaining in Herzliya, Israel, and its existing management team will continue to run day-to-day operations.

“This transaction is a testament to Playtika’s unique culture and the innovative spirit of our employees who for the past six years have consistently designed, produced and operated some of the most compelling, immersive and creative social games in the world,” said Antokol. “We are incredibly excited by the commercial opportunities the Consortium will make available to us, particularly in its ability to provide us access to large and rapidly growing emerging markets. This is an amazing milestone for all Playtikans and we truly value how unique this opportunity is to continue executing our vision with such a strong partner.”

“Playtika’s growth has been exceptional, and highlights its outstanding team, excellent corporate culture, cutting-edge big data analytics, and its unique ability to transform and grow games,” said Giant’s founder and Chairman Shi Yuzhu. “We are looking forward to Playtika continuing to innovate and excel.”

“It has been a particularly rewarding experience growing Playtika from a 10-person start-up, when CIE acquired them in 2011, into a global leader,” said Caesars Interactive Entertainment Chairman and CEO, Mitch Garber. “Playtika today is a highly profitable growth company with more than 1,300 employees, multiple top grossing titles and millions of daily users. Robert is a true visionary and Israeli business leader who has created not only a great business, but also the most unique corporate culture I have seen in my career.”

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and other closing conditions, and is expected to close in the third or fourth calendar quarter of 2016.

CIE’s World Series of Poker and real-money online gaming businesses will not be included in the transaction, and the virtual currency used on the Playtika platform will continue not to be exchangeable for real money.

JNi.Media

EU Counter-Anti-Semitism Czar: Our Goal to Allow Jews Fear-Free Life in Europe

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

The EU’s coordinator for combating anti-Semitism, Katharina von Schnurbein, this week told the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs about the European Union’s efforts to combat anti-Semitism. “The goal of all this activity is that Jews will be able to live in Europe without fear,” she said. “The fact that we have reached a situation whereby Jews send their children to schools behind barbed wire fences or send them to public schools without knowing whether they will be exposed to incitement there – this situation is unacceptable. The fact that we see security guards outside synagogues – and we have grown used to this – this is also unacceptable. But it doesn’t end there. There are security guards outside government buildings. The security situation is no longer limited to Jewish communities. We are convinced that it is the responsibility of society as a whole to combat anti-Semitism.”

Von Schnurbein said the general increase in anti-Semitic incidents throughout Europe and the “atmosphere of hatred,” particularly online, are very worrying. She said that since her appointment in December, the EU’s activity against anti-Semitism has included dialogue with the major Internet companies — Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft — which brought about the formation of the Code of Conduct. Under the code, the online giants pledged to fund organizations that would help them monitor the situation and train people who will report any inciting content online.

Committee Chairman MK Avraham Neguise (Likud) thanked von Schnurbein for the Code of Conduct legislation, which he said would allow social media companies to “remove hate speech inciting to violence within 24 hours,” which is “a correct and important step, the fruits of which I hope we will see immediately.”

Neguise told the meeting, which was also attended by EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen, of a survey conducted ahead of the meeting among rabbis and Jewish community leaders in Europe. The survey, commissioned by the European Jewish Association and the Rabbinical Center of Europe, indicates that anti-Semitism is intensifying in Western European countries, but pointed out that the involvement of Muslim refugees in anti-Semitic incidents is marginal. The same survey showed that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Eastern Europe is decreasing.

“We are currently monitoring the process to see if there really is a change. We want to see a real change on the ground,” von Schnurbein said. “Today, only 13 of the 28 member states properly apply the [Code of Conduct] law . . . We are pressuring them to implement it.”

Rabbi Aryeh Goldberg of the Rabbinical Center of Europe said, “You cannot on the one hand constantly try to undermine the foundations of Judaism – be it brit milah (male circumcision ritual) or kosher shechitah (slaughtering of animals for food in accordance with Jewish law) – and on the other hand talk all the time about wanting to eradicate anti-Semitism.”

Yogev Karasenty, the Diaspora Affairs Ministry’s Director for Combating Anti-Semitism, said “It is not at all certain that the legislation trickles down to the ground level. There are Internet companies which declare a policy [of removing inciting content] but do not implement it.”

Yaakov Haguel, head of the World Zionist Organization’s Department for Countering Anti-Semitism, mentioned an EU survey conducted a few years ago which revealed that 74% of the victims of anti-Semitic attacks do not report them to the authorities. This indicates, he said, that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe is significantly higher than what the official figures show.

Addressing von Schnurbein and Faaborg-Andersen, Haguel said, “These Jews are your citizens, they are European citizens, proud citizens who want to live in Europe, who want to raise their children in Europe, who pay taxes. Before legislation and enforcement and education – what kind of atmosphere is being created for your citizens there? For us, the Jewish people, it is very concerning, but you, who represent the sovereign governments of each country, are responsible for the Jewish citizens, just as you are responsible for all the other citizens.”

NGO Monitor President Gerald M. Steinberg spoke of the “new anti-Semitism” and said the rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents and terror attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions “is directly linked to the incitement we hear about every day in Europe and the world. It is obvious that phrases such as ‘war crimes,’ ‘genocide,’ ‘violation of international law,’ ‘ethnic cleansing’ and ‘apartheid’ — which are said repeatedly in reference to Israel — feed this anti-Semitism.”

Ido Daniel, Program Director at Israeli Students Combating Anti-Semitism, mentioned that in 2014 the organization filed some 14,000 complaints with new media companies regarding anti-Semitic content online, and in 2015 the number of complaints to Twitter, Google, Facebook and Instagram rose to about 29,000. The trend is continuing in 2016, and the organization expects to file over 30,000 complaints by the end of the year, he told the committee.

“The social networks allow many people to disseminate inciting messages which are then translated into physical acts against Jews,” said Daniel, who noted that Jewish students from Brussels told him that they conceal their real last names on Facebook to avoid receiving hateful and insulting messages.

MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) said, “History has already shown us what happens when displays of hatred and violence are not dealt with. There is terror all over the world now, and the social networks serve as a [broad platform] for this activity. This is not only Israel’s — it is the problem of entire world. Terror strikes in Brussels, Paris, Turkey and the United States. It’s a global problem.”

Rut Zach of the Foreign Ministry’s Department for Combating Antisemitism said that since von Schnurbein’s appointment “we can see concrete action against anti-Semitism in Europe,” adding that the left in Europe must take the lead on this issue. “The left is supposed to protect human rights,” she said.

Carol Nuriel, Acting Director of ADL’s Israel office, presented the findings of a poll showing that one in every three Europeans holds anti-Semitic opinions. Another survey conducted by ADL after the terror attacks at the offices of the satirical weekly French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, the kosher supermarket Hypercacher and the Jewish Museum in Brussels indicated a 10-20% decrease in anti-Semitism in France, Germany and Belgium.

“The awareness of the danger of violence against Jews created a sort of solidarity with the Jewish communities, and it is very important to preserve this solidarity,” Nuriel stressed. “Another conclusion is that when elected officials act – and we all remember French Prime Minister Manuel Valls’s historic speech – there are results on the ground.”

Ambassador Faaborg-Andersen said, “We are all in agreement about the urgency of the battle against anti-Semitism, which is a despicable phenomenon. The EU is committed 100 percent to this fight.”

Chairman Neguise concluded the meeting by saying that the committee calls on the EU to act against anti-Semitism through legislation and education. He also urged the organizations combating the phenomenon to work together.

JNi.Media

Bennett: Cabinet Meeting Targeted Terrorists Who Do Exits for their Families

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

Using hi-tech terminology, former startup mogul and current security cabinet minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) described the young Arab terrorists who have been attacking Israeli civilians as entrepreneurs whose murderous attacks are a form of “exit,” as in the much yearned for exit of hi-tech startup ventures.

“In other words, this one terrorist, who usually suffers from psychological and other problems, decides to do an exit for his family, because when he goes out and gets killed his family starts receiving a monthly stipend,” Bennett told Israel Radio Sunday morning.

According to Bennett, he presented the Saturday late-night meeting of the cabinet with a list of solutions, many of which have been adopted. “Significant decisions have been made,” Bennett told Israel Radio, adding, “The test will be in how they are carried out.”

“We’re talking about a new kind of terrorism, viral terrorism,” Bennett explained. “It’s not organized from above the way we’ve been accustomed to in the past. It emanates from a general inspiration over the Internet, on Facebook and on the social networks, followed by local, personal initiatives. The main inspiration is when an attack succeeds and then this success is reported over the networks.”

“The first incomprehensible thing is that until this day, for every terrorist that was killed, his family started to receive a stipend from the Palestinian Authority. … We now decided that the families of terrorists in the PA will no longer receive this money. We’ll make sure to prevent it.”

Asked how long the IDF could maintain its closure of the Hebron area, with its estimated 700 thousand Arabs, Bennett said the closure is not a solution to the viral problem. “If we proceed with antiquated action it won’t block terrorism. We must adopt new actions to deal with this new kind of terrorism.”

“It is unacceptable that the family of a terrorist will celebrate while we are in mourning. It is unacceptable that the family members of the murderer of Hallel Areil would praise him — and, indeed, they have been arrested and are under interrogation at the moment. This is something we didn’t do in the past. I’d like to see this not as a one-time thing, but as part of the protocol from now on. … These are family members who have contributed to the murder in active and passive illegal ways.”

Regarding the thawing of a construction bid that was frozen a year and a half ago, for 42 new housing units in Kiryat Arba, where the murder of Hallel Ariel took place last Thursday, Bennett told the interviewer, Aryeh Golan, who wondered how this move would prevent terrorism, that the aim of the terrorists is to kick the Jews from Judea and Samaria, and so the proper response is to make certain, with action, that the reverse is taking place.

“You wanted us to leave, but instead we are deepening our roots,” Bennett said, adding that 42 housing units are not nearly close to the number of new housing units that should be built to enhance Jewish life in Judea and Samaria.

“The history of Zionism is filled with examples of new communities that were erected in places where our people have fallen,” he told his interviewer. “Kiryat Shmona, Givat HaShlosha, Ma’ale HaKhamisha,” Bennett cited Jewish communities inside the green line who were named after eight, three, and five victims of Arab violence, consecutively. “The Zionist response has always been to build. For the past one hundred years that’s what we do and will continue to do.”

As to Facebook, which Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) has accused of adding a monstrous contribution to murder of innocent Israeli civilians, Bennett agreed that users of Facebook and other social networks have been instructing Arab youths on how to carry out murderous attacks on Jews, with clear technical details.

“Just as Facebook are using algorithms which automatically and semi-automatically block pornographic material from being uploaded, so can they decide—at a moment’s notice—to impose the same controls on content that encourages terrorism,” Bennett said.

JNi.Media

Security Cabinet Meets Sat. Night on Answers to Terror [video]

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

The security cabinet is meeting Saturday night following the two murderous attacks on Jewish civilians in Judea and Samaria last Thursday and Friday. Two ministers, Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) and Gilad Erdan (Likud) have pointed a finger at one of the culprits in the wave of terror — Facebook, or, rather, the entire Internet and its social networks. Bennett plans to present a plan to take care of “viral terrorism,” including a demand to deny the use of Facebook and the Internet throughout the Hebron Mountain area, where so many terrorists have originated.

Appearing on Channel 2’s “Meet the Press,” Internal Security Minister Erdan attacked Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg, saying, “Facebook is sabotaging police efforts to capture terrorists.” He even added that “the blood of the murdered is on Zuckerberg’s hands,” and called for a citizen’s rebellion against Facebook.

Bennett plans to demand at the cabinet meeting tonight the arrest of every Hamas activist in Judea and Samaria released in the Gilad Shalit deal who have since committed any violations. This has been done once before during the “Return, oh brothers” operation to locate the three Israeli boys kidnapped exactly two years ago, an act that preceded the 2014 Gaza War.

Bennett also insists on a full-scale military operation in areas A and B which are under PA control officially. He also demands blocking Arab traffic on Route 60, where the drive-by murder of Michael Mark was carried out Friday. “We can no longer continue with the old program,” he said, “we must switch the disc.”

The government meanwhile has ordered several steps in response to the attacks. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Liberman approved a bid for 42 new housing units in Kiryat Arba, the late Hallel Yaffa Ariel HY”D’s home town. The bid had been frozen 18 months ago and thawed on FRiday.

The IDF has imposed a complete closure on Hebron and neighboring villages, which includes roughly 700 thousand Arabs. In addition, the IDF has moved two paratrooper units and one infantry unit to the Hebron area.

David Israel

French Jewish Students Sue Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

Monday, May 16th, 2016

The Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF) and SOS-Racisme, on Sunday filed a lawsuit against the three social networks Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for failing to delete content deemed racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic or pro-terrorism, as required by French law, The Local reported.

The two groups cited a survey carried out between March 31 and May 10 by their own members together with a third association, SOS Homophobie.

In this “first mass test of social networks,” the three groups discovered 586 instances of content they deemed “racist, anti-Semitic, Holocaust denying, homophobic, or defending terrorism or crimes against humanity,” the two groups said in a joint statement.

Only a small percentage of these postings was deleted by the host network within a “reasonable time,” as required under a 2004 French law: 4% on Twitter, 7% on YouTube and 34% on Facebook.

“It’s a mystery whether the moderating teams in social media are actually working,” said UEJF president Sacha Reingewirtz,.

Dominique Sopo, head of SOS-Racisme, said the social media giants are being hypocritical: “These platforms seem more shocked about content with bare breasts, which is swiftly censored, than about incitement to hatred,” she said, adding, “Our legal step aims at getting the authorities to apply the law so that these organization submit to it in full.”

According to The Local, the suit has been filed under an article of the French legal code which requires a judge to issue a fast-track preliminary ruling in a complaint.

David Israel

Erdogan’s Party Finds Terror Weapon Deadlier than Car Bombs:Twitter

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party vowed to annihilate Tweeter “slander” that “is much more dangerous that a vehicle loaded with a bomb.”

Ali Sahin, the vice chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was quoted by Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper as saying, “People must be held responsible for the content they write. If as a result of a tweet they write, people loot shops and burn vehicles, the one who wrote it must bear its costs.

“A tweet containing lies and slander is much more dangerous that a vehicle loaded with a bomb. The explosion of a vehicle loaded with a bomb would be limited, but a tweet filled with lies and slander can lead to a climate of conflict.”

The party took the cue from Erdogan, who has blamed the Twitter social network for the success of opposition elements to stage mass protests that are well into their second week.

Isn’t censoring Twitter a violation of rights?

Not at all. The opposite is true, according to the party’s logic.

“Sahin said people’s personal rights, legal personalities of companies and public institutions were being attacked while commercial activities were harmed due to news spreading on social media,” Hurriyet reported.

Sahin added, “The elected government is being conspired against, there is an intention to topple the government through social media and people are being sworn at. All these things should have a cost, a sanction. Cursing at people is not freedom… Social media must be brought under order and regularity. Such a draft law can be considered.”

Now it all makes sense.

Anyone wanting to topple Erdogan’s government and cursing it  through social media is violating the freedom of others, especially that of Erdogan to remain at the helm. Got it?

Erdogan is doing his best to prove to the world that he is an ego-centric power seeker.

An article for CBS Marketwatch by freelance journalist Craig Mellow described Erdogan as a prisoner of his own desires. “Like other transformational leaders who came before him, Prime Minister Erdogan in his third term now looks more like a captive of power than an agent wielding it for the nation’s good,” Mellow wrote.

With one speech one day last week, Erdogan managed to sink the country’s stock market by 5 percent. That’s pretty good work for one day.

As the Jewish Press reported on Sunday, Erdogan might have been able to let the protest movement die from lack of oxygen had he talked them eye-to-eye, as he finally plans to do on Tuesday, instead of calling them vandals and terrorists.

“Erdogan decried what he called the ’interest rate lobby,’ which ‘thinks they can threaten us with speculation on the stock exchange,” Mellow wrote. “That lobby duly dumped more Turkish shares, bringing the decline in the benchmark Istanbul Stock Exchange National 100 Index to 15% since the protests began.

Mellow praised Erdogan for his first years in office, when he turned Turkey around and created one of the world’s healthiest baking systems and ushered in a period of tremendous economic growth.

“Along the way, Erdogan laid down what looked like a promising blueprint for a modern Islamic state that honored its own traditions without sending secret police house-to-house to enforce them,” Mellow continued. “Turkey’s reputation changed. No longer the butt of Europe, Turkey became its vibrant oasis….

“But… Erdogan in his third term now looks more like a captive of power than an agent wielding it for the nation’s good. A la Putin, he is constructing an end-run around term limits that would allow him to stay in charge of Turkey by being elected president….

Recep Erdogan is teetering on the edge of a classic tragedy, wherein a powerful and potentially positive character is done in by a moral flaw that is revealed by extraordinary events.”

But at least Erdogan will make sure to make Turkey safe from those awful Tweets that can cause car bomb explosions.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

State Says Terrorists Can’t Use Social Media – and You Can Help

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

The Office of the State Dept. Spokesperson responded to a question as to whether or not U.S. based social media companies, such as Facebook, violate sanctions if Foreign Terrorists Organizations (FTOs) agree to their company’s contractual agreement before establishing an account.

We received the question by email, along with the DOS answer.

The answer: “This is an issue governed by U.S. law, including laws that regulate interactions with designated entities. For example, persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are prohibited from knowingly providing material support or resources to an entity that has been designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

“Additionally, it is illegal for persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to engage in transactions with an entity that has been designated a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224.”

President Bush signed Executive Order 13224 on September 23, 2001. Executive Order 13224 gives the U.S. Government a powerful tool to impede terrorist funding and is part of our national commitment to lead the international effort to bring a halt to the evil of terrorist activity.

The assortment of Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN) lists is ginormous, but to make matters short, download the Complete Specially Designated Nationals List (in PDF format) and just find the first “Abu” (Abu Marzook, a Hamas official, in this case) and proceed from there to search for each name on, say, Facebook. Any active Facebook page run under one of the names on the U.S. ginormous list is grounds for a complaint with the operator and the Dept. of Homeland Security.

There’s a text only version as well.

There’s also SDN Search, an online application to search the SDN list.

Something nice to do with your free time on Chanukah.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/yoris-news-clips/state-says-terrorists-cant-use-social-media-and-you-can-help/2012/12/12/

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