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Different Reasons to Ban Political Ads



Even Facebook, which allows political ads, can still ban them. Just for different reasons.

Facebook made a well-known decision to allow political ads, which led to a great deal of discussion. (By contrast, Twitter decided to ban them altogether.) Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has strongly defended his company’s policies. He argued that in a democracy, people should be able to see clearly what politicians are saying. That way they can make their own judgements.

Facebook’s decision raises many questions. These include whether it is even possible to allow political ads without opening the door to fake news and misinformation.

Election laws were written long before campaigns took to social media and started sending individually targeted posts and messages through sites like Twitter and Facebook.  This can allow for more information—and more misinformation.  People can learn about their candidates, but how much of what they learn is tainted and untrue?  These are important issues about political advertisement on social media generally.

Independent Reasons to Ban Ads

However, sometimes there are independent reasons to ban ads.

Recently, the BBC gave Facebook an open and shut reason for banning a political ad by Britain’s conservative Tory party. The ad, which showcased some of the BBC’s popular presenters speaking about Brexit delays, upset the BBC. The BBC argued that the ad took the clips of its presenters out of context. It also said that it falsely made it appear as if the BBC supported the Tory party. Therefore, it argued, the ad could damage its impartiality, which is so essential to a news service.

Here’s why Facebook deleted the ad on time

Facebook deleted the ad, citing its violation of the BBC’s intellectual property rights. Facebook told the media that it will act in accordance with its policies and take required actions whenever it receives valid IP claims against content on its platform.

The Tory party argued that other political parties use BBC footage, and that it was being singled out by the BBC for IP enforcement of its Facebook ads.


Attack of the Ransomware


A significant increase in cyber breaches in the first half of 2019

Cybersecurity experts from Bitdefender, a cybersecurity and antivirus company based in Romania, noted a significant hike in ransomware – over 64.66% – from January to May 2019. This is in addition to a 74% increase in ransomware-related cyber breaches since last year.

One of the most widespread ransomwares, GandCrab, is no longer a  major threat  anymore.  Nevertheless, eliminating it did not reduce the overall threat. Instead, new threats come up every week and every month, and security solutions are now more important than ever for businesses, governments and non-profits.

Some ransomware has focused on certain industries and has targeted specific types of infrastructure like educational institutions, and large organizations.  Other ransomware is less discriminating.


The expansion of the ransomware market


The proliferation of ransomware gets a significant boost from the lack of security solutions and the “it won’t happen to us” attitude that many organizations and businesses still cling to. Furthermore, to get their data back, affected organizations pay ransoms in cryptocurrency, which in turn encourages further attacks.


With more than 832 million types of malware out there, organizations across the gamut are at risk.  Diligent implementation of cybersecurity solutions and prevention tools are essential to detect and deter potential cyberattacks.


Hospitals a Choice Target for Cyber Attacks

Complex computer and data systems.  Sensitive personal information.  The need to function without interruption or downtime.  Insufficient cyber-defenses.  These are some of the weaknesses that make hospitals a target of choice for hackers and cyber attackers.

This year alone, approximately 32 million people have had their sensitive health-related information breached by hackers in over 311 cyberattack incidents against health care providers.  These attacks, even when not directly targeting patient care, have led to increased death rates among heart patients.

Complex Systems and a Large Amount of Data

The complex computer and data systems of hospitals make them an easy target for hackers.   Hospitals have to maintain several systems simultaneously to work properly. This includes medical records of people, internet-connected medical devices, and billing records. After mergers with other organizations, which have been increasing in recent years, the systems get even more complicated and confusing.

Cybersecurity experts believe that the hospitals make an attractive target for cybercriminals because hackers know that the hospitals have a complex network and insufficient cybersecurity tools. Furthermore, hospitals have to be open 24/7 and cannot afford any interruptions, making them a soft target.  Cybercriminals are aware that their ransomware demands won’t go unanswered when it comes to hospitals and public health.

Additionally, hospitals also often have weak cybersecurity and do not receive significant assistance from the government to shore up their cyber defences.

Attractive Information

Hackers also target hospitals because they have sensitive data like patient records, social security, and patient addresses. Hackers know that they can sell such data and earn large amount of money on the dark web.