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Author: Guardian staff and agencies

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Facebook: two top executives to leave company

Chief product officer Chris Cox, who helped create news feed feature, and Chris Daniels, who heads WhatsApp, to depart

Two of Facebook’s top executives are leaving the company, it says. Facebook’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, and Chris Daniels, who heads the messaging app WhatsApp, are departing. It isn’t clear what future plans the executives have.

Related: Did you make it through the Facebook outage without calling the police?

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Facebook platforms suffer outages in Americas and Europe

Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger have all been encountering problems on Wednesday

Facebook has been suffering from outages across the world since around 12pm ET Wednesday.

All four of the company’s main applications – Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger – were encountering problems, according to The outages appeared to be concentrated in the Americas and Europe.

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Google paid former executive $35m after sexual assault allegation

Former search executive Amit Singhal was reportedly forced to resign after an employee claimed he groped her at an off-campus eventGoogle paid the former search executive Amit Singhal $35m in an exit package when he was reportedly forced to resign afte…

Backpack Kid: teen behind ‘flossing’ dance craze to sue Fortnite creators

Russell Horning is credited with making the dance move a global phenomenon in 2016

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Russell Horning, aka the Backpack Kid, against a video game company, alleging they breached his copyright for including his signature dance move “flossing” in their wildly popular game Fortnite.

Horning, 16, is credited with popularising “The Floss”, and became famous when he did the dance on Saturday Night Live during a performance by Katy Perry in 2016.

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Facebook admits failings over incitement to violence in Myanmar

Report finds platform was used to spread hate and cause harm, and that posts have been linked to offline violence

Facebook has admitted it did not do enough to prevent the incitement of violence and hate speech in Myanmar, after a report it commissioned concluded that it had become a platform for harmful and racially-inflammatory content.

The report by San Francisco-based nonprofit Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) found that, in Myanmar, “Facebook has become a means for those seeking to spread hate and cause harm, and posts have been linked to offline violence.”

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Tim Cook calls for US federal privacy law to tackle ‘weaponized’ personal data

  • Apple CEO warns of ‘data industrial complex’
  • Facebook and Google chiefs also voice support for regulation

Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, called on Wednesday for a federal privacy law in the US to protect against voracious internet companies hoarding so much digital data that the businesses know citizens “better than they know themselves” – and then often sell the information on.

Cook warned in a keynote speech that personal data was being “weaponized” against the public and endorsed tough privacy laws for both Europe and the US. The iPhone and Mac computer giant has stood out in its explicit declarations that Apple prefers to protect its customers’ personal data.

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Musk mocks ‘Shortseller Enrichment Commission’ after SEC settlement

Shares drop as Tesla boss attacks regulator just hours after judge’s order scrutinizing deal

Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, mocked the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, hours after a federal judge ordered him and the regulator to justify their settlement of securities fraud charges.

“Just want to that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work,” Musk, a frequent critic of investors betting against the electric car company, wrote on Twitter. “And the name change is so on point!“

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Elon Musk and Tesla to pay $40m to settle SEC case over tweets

  • Musk will step down as Tesla chair but stay as CEO
  • Billionaire sent tweet about taking company private

Elon Musk is to step down as chair of Tesla for three years and pay a fine after reaching a deal with the US financial regulator over tweets he made about taking the firm into private ownership.

Under the settlement Musk would remain as chief executive but must leave his other post within 45 days. Both he and the company will each pay a $20m (£15.3m) fine.

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Facebook says nearly 50m users compromised in huge security breach

Attack gave hackers ability to take over accounts in what is believed to be largest breach in Facebook’s history

Nearly 50m Facebook accounts were compromised by an attack that gave hackers the ability to take over users’ accounts, Facebook revealed on Friday.

The breach was discovered by Facebook engineers on Tuesday 25 September, the company said, and patched on Thursday. Users whose accounts were affected will be notified by Facebook. Those users will be logged out of their accounts and required to log back in.

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Google staff protest against plan for censored Chinese search engine

More than 1,000 employees sign letter calling on executives to review ethics and transparency

More than 1,000 Google employees have signed a letter protesting against the company’s secretive plan to build a search engine that would comply with Chinese censorship.

The letter’s contents were confirmed by a Google employee who helped organise it but wished to stay anonymous. It calls on executives to review the company’s ethics and transparency; says employees lack the information required “to make ethically informed decisions about our work”; and complains that most employees only found out through media reports about the project, nicknamed Dragonfly.

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