Facebook paid $7.3m for Mark Zuckerberg’s security last year

In all the company has spent about $20m on security and private planes for Zuckerberg since 2015. The security funds were required ‘due to specific threats to his safety’

Facebook increased its spending on security for Mark Zuckerberg by 50% last year, the company has disclosed, paying more than $7.3m (£5.1m) to protect its top executive.

The security funds were required “due to specific threats to his safety arising directly as a result of his position as our founder, chairman, and CEO,” the under-fire social media company said in a new filing to US regulators.

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Australia doesn’t exist! And other bizarre geographic conspiracies that won’t go away

A theory denying the existence of the country is gaining ground. But the suggestion that countries and cities are mere figments of our imagination is a meme that dates back to the birth of the web

Australia doesn’t exist. The signs were there the whole time: in what country is the only thing more poisonous than the snakes the spiders? How did we ever believe that kangaroos were a thing?

This discovery, believed by some to be a joke or a conspiracy theory, has been circulating on social media in recent weeks after being formulated on Reddit in early 2017. Except it turns out not to be the only theory of its kind: through the years, online sleuths have found that all sorts of places don’t exist.

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Facebook says its ‘voter button’ is good for turnout. But should the tech giant be nudging us at all?

What do we really know about the influence of the ‘voter button’? One Icelandic media lawyer decided to find out

n the morning of 28 October last year, the day of Iceland’s parliamentary elections, Heiðdís Lilja Magnúsdóttir, a lawyer living in a small town in the north of the country, opened Facebook on her laptop. At the top of her newsfeed, where friends’ recent posts would usually appear, was a box highlighted in light blue. On the left of the box was a button, similar in style to the familiar thumb of the “like” button, but here it was a hand putting a ballot in a slot. “Today is Election Day!” was the accompanying exclamation, in English. And underneath: “Find out where to vote, and share that you voted.” Under that was smaller print saying that 61 people had already voted. Heiðdís took a screenshot and posted it on her own Facebook profile feed, asking: “I’m a little curious! Did everyone get this message in their newsfeed this morning?”

In Reykjavik, 120 miles south, Elfa Ýr Gylfadóttir glanced at her phone and saw Heiðdís’s post. Elfa is director of the Icelandic Media Commission, and Heiðdís’s boss. The Media Commission regulates, for example, age ratings for movies and video games, and is a part of Iceland’s Ministry of Education. Elfa wondered why she hadn’t received the same voting message. She asked her husband to check his feed, and there was the button. Elfa was alarmed. Why wasn’t it being shown to everyone? Might it have something to do with different users’ political attitudes? Was everything right and proper with this election?

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Game on for Ian Dallas, a man who tells a good tale | Rebecca Nicholson

The creator of Bafta award winner Edith Finch is pushing the boundaries of storytelling

What Remains of Edith Finch was a surprise best game winner at the Bafta Games awards on Thursday night. The indie release had been nominated in several other categories, but its top prize victory was such a shock that its creative director, Ian Dallas of Giant Sparrow, claimed not to have prepared a speech. “I wrote a speech for all the other awards, but this one I figured there would be something in Japanese,” Dallas told the BBC, a joke referring to Nintendo, which dominated elsewhere with Super Mario Odyssey and the stunning The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a game so all-encompassing it seems to have the special ability of making time disappear.

Edith Finch is a remarkable little game, though to call it little is, perhaps, to do it a disservice. It is short, at two to three hours (and as a result, relatively cheap), but it is vast in its imagination, scope and literary ambition. Dallas has spoken before of the influences behind this eerie and beautiful story of a girl returning home to explore the history of her cursed family, citing HP Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe and particularly Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude as reference points.

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