Voter manipulation on social media now a global problem, report finds

New research by the Oxford Internet Institute has found that social media manipulation is getting worse, with rising numbers of governments and political parties making cynical use of social media algorithms, automation and big data to manipulate public opinion at scale — with hugely worrying implications for democracy. The report found that computational propaganda and […]

Manila-based payments processing startup PayMongo raises $2.7 million in seed funding

Manila-based financial tech startup PayMongo has raised $2.7 million in seed funding to give merchants in the Philippines and other Southeast Asian markets simple ways to set up online payments. Investors included Founders Fund, Peter Thiel and Stripe, with participation from Y Combinator (PayMongo is the first Philippine fintech company it has funded), Global Founders […]

The cyber libel trial against independent news startup Rappler’s CEO and one of its former writers starts in Manila

The cyber libel trial against Maria Ressa, the CEO and executive editor of independent media startup Rappler, started today in Manila, in a case that will be closely watched because of its implications for press freedom in the Philippines. Also on trial is Reynaldo Santos Jr, a former researcher and writer for the site. If […]

How US national security agencies hold the internet hostage

Three of Google’s planned submarine cables are on indefinite hold while Team Telecom investigates Mark Harris 23 hours Team Telecom, a shadowy US national security unit tasked with protecting America’s telecommunications systems, is delaying plans by Google, Facebook and other tech companies for the next generation of international fiber optic cables. Team Telecom comprises representatives […]

Grab raises more money — again

Southeast Asia’s highest-capitalized startup is sitting on even more money from investors today after ride-hailing Grab announced it has raised $300 million from Invesco. The deal takes Singapore-based Grab $7.5 billion raised to date. The money is part of its ongoing — feels-like-everlasting — Series H round which was started last June via a $1 […]

After criticism over moderator treatment, Facebook raises wages and boosts support for contractors

Facebook has been repeatedly (and rightly) hammered for its treatment of the content moderators who ensure the site doesn’t end up becoming a river of images, videos and articles embodying the worst of humanity. Those workers, and the hundreds (if not thousands) of other contractors Facebook employs to cook food, provide security and provide transportation […]

Facebook says it filed a US lawsuit to shut down a follower-buying service in New Zealand

Facebook is cracking down on services that promise to help Instagram users buy themselves a large following on the photo app. The social network said today that it has filed a lawsuit against a New Zealand-based company that operates one such “follower-buying service.” The suit is in a U.S. court and is targeting the three […]

Grocery delivery startup Honestbee is running out of money and trying to sell

Honestbee, the online grocery delivery service in Asia, is nearly out of money and trying to offload its business. The company has held early conversations with a number of suitors in Asia, including ride-hailing giants Grab and Go-Jek, over the potential acquisition of part, or all, of its business, according to two industry sources with […]

Go-Jek brings in Misfit co-founder and ex-Facebook head to lead Vietnam business

Ambitious ride-hailing startup Go-Jek’s Southeast Asia expansion plan suffered a blow when it lost the leadership team behind its business in Vietnam, but now it has replaced them with the former head of Facebook in the country. Christy Trang Le, who led Facebook’s business in Vietnam for nine months before quitting for family reasons in […]

Grab plans to raise $2B more this year to fund an acquisition spree in Southeast Asia

Always be raisin’. That appears to be the motto of Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing companies Grab and Go-Jek. Fresh from closing a near-$1.5 billion raise from SoftBank’s Vision Fund as part of a huge, multi-billion Series H deal, Grab said today that it plans to extend the round to $6.5 billion to amp up its battle […]