Facebook apologises for misleading advertisers

Facebook fed inaccurate information to local advertisers for more than a year and is being forced to repay them, casting further doubt over the accuracy of the way the US tech platform collects data.

The tech giant, which has been criticised several times in the last few years over the reliability of its data, is giving free “credits” to multiple local advertisers after it realised it was miscalculating metrics such as the amount of people clicking on an ad on Facebook’s app or how much users prefer one advertiser over another.

Facebook informed advertisers last week it had miscalculated data.

Facebook informed advertisers last week it had miscalculated data.Credit:AP

Industry sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity said Facebook had apologised to some advertisers and media buying agencies in Australia. The advertisers are being offered one-off make-goods – the opportunity to advertise for free – if they were significantly affected. A Facebook spokeswoman claimed it had affected 0.1 per cent of the local advertising market, but multiple industry sources said that a number of companies across large advertising agencies were affected. The scale of impact is dependent on what the tool was used for.

The inaccurate data was provided to advertisers through a free “conversion lift tool”. The tool helps users understand the effectiveness of their advertisements and some may adjust spend based on the data provided. The global tech giant told affected advertisers the metric was undercounted between August 15, 2019 and August 31, 2020, citing a code error for the mistake.

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Australian News

Immigration Minister Alan Tudge apologises for affair with staffer on Facebook

After confessing to an extramarital affair he describes as the biggest mistake of his life, Immigration Minister Alan Tudge has issued a mea culpa on Facebook where he pleaded with voters to forgive him.

Sending a clear signal he plans to contest the next election, Mr Tudge has issued his most comprehensive apology to date on the relationship that he confirms destroyed his 20-year relationship with his ex-wife Terri.

“All of us make mistakes in life, but some of us make bigger ones than others,’’ Mr Tudge wrote at close to midnight on Saturday night.

“I made a huge one in 2017, hurt many in the process, and this week it was held up in lights nationally.”

In his plea for forgiveness, Mr Tudge also chose to highlight the fact that his ex-lover, former senior press secretary Rachelle Miller, was a mother.

“My mistake was an affair with a married woman with children,’’ he said.

“I was a married man. And she was my most senior media person. A minister and his or her media adviser work closely together, particularly at the national level. You are constantly on the road, travelling from one location to the other, working long hours and often under pressure.”

Mr Tudge’s previous comment on the national furore was previously restricted to a statement of three sentences after the Four Corners program was broadcast on Monday night.

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In that statement, he confirmed the affair, described his sexual relationship with a staff member in his office who reported directly to him as matter in his “personal life” and said he regretted his actions and the hurt it caused in his family and to Ms Miller.

But his new statement makes no mention of the bullying complaint Ms Miller has lodged with the Department of Finance or an alleged “fake redundancy” process to quietly get rid of her six months later in another minister’s office.

As revealed by the ABC’s Four Corners program, she confirms she entered into a consensual relationship with the Immigration Minister when he held the human services portfolio, but also felt bullied in the office and that her work performance was questioned as a result of the fallout from the affair.

She makes no claim of sexual harassment in the claim but says she did feel bullied and intimidated at times in the office.

At one point, Ms Miller told Mr Tudge that his behaviour was “not OK”; that she was stressed, anxious and sometimes reduced to tears.

“The next morning he was in the Canberra office I decided to speak up and let him know this was not appropriate behaviour and that I wanted it to stop. He replied in a very angry tone to: ‘Stop being such a precious petal’. This is when I decided to seek another role,” she said.

“Alan would contact me and text me at all times of the day and night and expect that I would immediately respond,” she said.

In his new statement, Mr Tudge said he accepted the blame for allowing the relationship to move from a professional one to a romantic affair.

“In this situation, the error was mine and I take responsibility,’’ Mr Tudge said.

“There is nothing that justifies what I did and I will regret my actions for the rest of my life.” The Victorian MP also said he felt deep regret for the impact on his wife and children.

“The affair ended my 20 year relationship with my wife, a beautiful person. We separated in late 2017 but remain close. I will never be able to say sorry to her enough for the hurt I caused,’’ Mr Tudge said.

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“I also regret the impact the affair had on my media adviser’s family and the hurt they too would have felt.

“Time heals a lot of wounds, but this week, those wounds were again reopened, three years later.

“I am sorry to put my family through this again.”

Mr Tudge said he was working to become a better person after the marriage breakdown and repair his relationships.

“Over the last three years, I have done a lot of reflection, much grieving over our family breakdown, and have worked to be a better person,’’ he said.

“To my community, the Knox locals who have repeatedly put their confidence in me as their representative, I have also let you down and I am sorry. But I commit to continuing to work as hard as ever on the things our local community needs to make it an even better place to live.”

“Over time, I hope to regain the trust of those I know and love and those whom I represent.”

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Australian News

St George Illawarra apologises to Nathan Blacklock after racism claims during NRL career

St George Illawarra has apologised to former player Nathan Blacklock for the racism he experienced during his career at the Dragons.

Blacklock, in an article published by The Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday, highlighted his experiences of racist behaviour while playing with the Dragons.

The Dragons released a statement on Sunday afternoon, apologising “unreservedly” to Blacklock and other Indigenous Australian players who might have been subjected to racism during their time with the club.

“Racism has no place in society, in rugby league and certainly not at the St George Illawarra Dragons,” Dragons chief executive Ryan Webb said in the statement.

“Everyone at the club was saddened to read over the weekend that racism played a contributing role in Nathan’s departure from the club in the early-2000s, and commend his bravery in speaking out.

“We have come a long way as a club with addressing matters pertinent to not only players of Indigenous background but across all cultures.”

Blacklock, who played for the Dragons in two stints between 1997 and 2004, said his experiences of racism at the club were “like a dagger to my heart”.

The 44-year-old said he did not speak up at the time as he was worried about the consequences for his playing career.

“I wanted to play first grade and didn’t want the attention that speaking out then would have brought,” Blacklock told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“My dad always told me to just keep my head down and do my job, but I feel times have changed now.

“I work with people from all races and all areas in my job with suicide prevention. It’s time to be true to myself and speak up in case anyone else is going through it.

“Those boys shouldn’t worry about their positions in the team. And I hope race never, ever picks a team.”

Webb said the Dragons were committed to standing up against racism.

“With a commitment to reconciliation, the club will continue to uphold these values in taking a stance against racism,” he said.

“The club respects the unique position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first peoples of our nation, and appreciate the contribution they have and continue to make to our country, our community, to our sport and to the Dragons.”

Blacklock played 137 matches for the Dragons and made two Test appearances for Australia.

He also played five matches for the Roosters when he debuted in first grade in 1995.

A fan favourite known for his acrobatic try celebrations at the Dragons, Blacklock was named as the Dally M Winger of the Year on three occasions (1999, 2000, 2001).

He scored 121 tries across his first-grade career.

Blacklock also had a brief stint in rugby union, playing for the New South Wales Waratahs in 2003 before returning to the NRL later that year.

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Australian News

Prime Minister Scott Morrison apologises for aged care bungle

Scott Morrison has been bluntly asked “how many more aged care residents need to die” of COVID-19 before he accepts responsibility after his admission that some of the care offered was not good enough.

In question time, the Prime Minister began by issuing another apology for deaths in aged care admitting that what has occurred in some nursing homes was not acceptable.

The Prime Minister said there had been 335 deaths in aged care since the pandemic began.

“In Victoria, where there’s been high levels of transmission, 126 of the 766 facilities have outbreaks among residents and staff,’’ he said.

“Those facilities who have experienced infections, the impact has been significant in 16 cases. And in four cases, the impact has been severe. And completely unacceptable. Again, I offer my apologies to the residents and families of those affected in those facilities. It was not good enough.”

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But Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles, a man not known for political hit jobs, then asked him what it would take for Mr Morrison to take full responsibility.

“My question is to the Prime Minister. The health department says 328 aged care residents have died from COVID-19. How many more aged care residents have to die before the Prime Minister accepts full responsibility for keeping them safe?,’’ Mr Marles asked.

In response, the Prime Minister said he stood by his argument that The Commonwealth is responsible for the funding and the regulation of aged care services in this country.

“But it is also true, in the course of a pandemic, Mr Speaker, that there are responsibilities that are held by other agencies of the federation,’’ he said.

“We both have responsibilities here. The Commonwealth is responsible for aged care facilities when it comes to their funding and their regulation, and their clinical practices.”

As Mr Morrison was speaking, Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck was offering his own grovelling apology in the Senate for being unable to recall how many seniors had died of COVID-19 during a Senate inquiry last week.

A contrite Senator Colbeck stood in the Senate shortly after question time commenced to describe his failure as “my fault, my responsibility.”

“Can I, at the outset, express my sincere condolences for every resident’s family who have lost a loved one during the pandemic,’’ Senator Colbeck said.

“Can I also say that I should have had the data on Friday and I apologise for not doing that.

“I should have had the information, my fault and responsibility and I take full responsibility for not having that information.”

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After weeks of caution over criticising the Prime Minister, Labor has gone on the attack during the first parliamentary sitting in over nine weeks.

The crisis in Victorian nursing homes has again dominated question time as Labor leader Anthony Albanese sought to go on the attack.

But Mr Morrison said many aged care homes had provided exemplary care.

“There’s 2706 residential aged care facilities in Australia. In 92 per cent of these facilities, there’s been no infections among residents,’’ he said.

“We are learning and applying the lessons of our experiences.”

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St Kilda apologises to Robert Muir and admits to ‘grave errors in the past’

St Kilda has offered former player Robert Muir an “unreserved apology” in the wake of “confronting” details about the racism he endured throughout his career being revealed.

Saints chief executive Matt Finnis said he and the club admired “Robert’s courage to speak out about the racism he has endured and lack of support provided by our club when he needed it most”.

“We apologise unreservedly to Robert and his family and are humbled that he continues to love our club,” the statement read

“Today we celebrate the contribution Indigenous players have made to our game as part of the Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

“However, we must face the reality that the St Kilda Football Club has made grave errors in the past and may still be failing to grasp the full impact of the hurt felt by individuals, their families and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“We are committed to reconciliation and justice, and must ensure that this commitment is not just about celebration of culture, and initiatives to support past and current players and junior footballers.

“We will reach out to Robert to apologise personally, to provide the necessary support now and in the future, and to ensure he feels the respect and sense of belonging he deserves as one of the St Kilda Football Club’s pioneering Indigenous footballers.

“We have much to learn from Robert’s story and are committed to rebuilding his relationship with St Kilda and our game at his pace.”

A football player holds up his fingers and takes his shirt off while on the field.
The weekend before his last senior St Kilda game, Muir responded to racial abuse from Geelong senior players.(Supplied: Inside Football)

Muir played 68 games for St Kilda in the VFL in the 1970s and 80s, when he was the victim of persistent and systemic racism.

He recalled being abused by opponents, spat at by supporters in the crowd, urinated on by teammates and dealt with egregiously by umpires and at the tribunal.

Muir says he received little to no support from his club, his teammates or the league.

Since his playing career, Muir has experienced significant hardships, including being homeless for long periods, while also making several attempts on his own life.

Until now, much of his story had been untold.

Muir also revealed he is still suffering from a shoulder injury that dates back to his playing career, for which the AFL Players’ Association is unable to offer financial assistance.

In response, members of the public created a GoFundMe page to “raise enough for his surgery plus some extra”. Within hours, it had raised more than $25,000.

“Calling on all St Kilda Football Club fans to support past player Robert Muir to get his shoulder fixed and show him the collective care and support that should’ve been afforded him when he played for our club,” the creators of the GoFundMe page wrote.

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Gladys apologises for COVID outbreak

The NSW Premier has apologised “unreservedly” for the bungled disembarking of the Ruby Princess cruise ship, which has been linked to more than 900 coronavirus infections around the world and 20 Australian deaths.

A report into the disaster was released on Friday that slammed NSW Health for “serious” and “inexcusable” errors in their decision to allow the 2700 passengers on the ship to disembark, despite more than 100 of them displaying symptoms of coronavirus, and three testing positive the next day.

Gladys Berejiklian said she read the report in full over the weekend, and on Monday issued an apology to those affected.

“Can I now apologise unreservedly to anybody who suffered as a result of the mistakes that were outlined in the report, undertaken by individuals within the health department or the health agency,” she said.

“I extend that apology unreservedly in particular to the 62 people who got the virus in a secondary or tertiary way. Those 62 people who weren’t on the ship, but somehow contracted the virus as a consequence of that disembarkation.

“And I want to say I can’t imagine what it would be like having a loved one or being someone yourself who continues to suffer and experience trauma as a result and I want to apologise unreservedly … to anybody who is continuing to suffer or has suffered unimaginable loss because of mistakes that were made within the health agencies.”

Ms Berejiklian said since the error, “13 or 14” cruise ships were prevented from docking in Sydney.

“The lessons were learnt very quickly, but unfortunately in particular for those 62 individuals, the lessons weren’t learnt soon enough and again I apologise unreservedly on behalf all of those individuals and agencies who made those mistakes,” she said.

The inquiry, established in April under Bret Walker SC, confirmed 663 of the Australian passengers on the ship contracted coronavirus, and 191 crew members also tested positive to the virus.

There were 62 secondary or tertiary cases in Australia that stemmed from the Ruby Princess, and the ship was the likely origin of an outbreak in Tasmania that infected 114 people, the report said.

There were 28 deaths associated with the ship, 20 of them reported in Australia and another eight in the United States.

Mr Walker found the mistake stemmed to a decision to classify the ship as “low risk” on March 18, as it had only travelled between New Zealand and Australia – disregarding that many of the passengers had come from other countries with higher infection rates, and that there was a spike of respiratory illnesses on board.

“In light of all the information the expert panel had, the decision to assess the risk as ‘low risk’ – meaning, in effect, ‘do nothing’ – is as inexplicable as it is unjustifiable,” the report found. “It was a serious mistake.”

A criminal investigation into the Ruby Princess disembarkation is ongoing.

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North Melbourne AFL player Luke McDonald apologises to Essendon’s Conor McKenna for coronavirus taunt

North Melbourne tagger Luke McDonald has apologised to Essendon’s Conor McKenna for his on-field COVID-19 taunt, but coach Rhyce Shaw does not expect any sanction from the AFL.

As players scuffled at the end of the first quarter of Saturday night’s match in Carrara, McDonald turned to McKenna and dramatically covered his face, seemingly referencing the Bomber’s positive COVID-19 test.

McKenna tested positive for coronavirus in late June and missed one match while quarantined.

The Irishman returned a series of negative tests before being released from quarantine and played his first match of the season in Saturday night’s 13-point win over the Kangaroos.


“We’ve dealt with that internally, Luke’s given Conor a call and from our perspective it (the taunt) wasn’t necessary,” Shaw told a media conference today.

“It’s a bad look and considering all the things that are going on around the world at the moment and even more specifically in Melbourne, we just don’t accept that type of behaviour.

Shaw said McDonald knew he had let himself down but the Kangaroos were comfortable with where the matter sat after his apology.

“He’s disappointed in his own actions and we had a really good chat about it and we addressed it straight away as soon as we felt was the right time,” he said.

“He did that the next morning and we put it to bed pretty quickly and Conor was really, really good about it in respect to the phone call from Luke.”


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Burnley apologises for ‘White Lives Banner’ flown over Manchester City’s stadium at English Premier League match

A plane carrying a banner declaring “White Lives Matter Burnley” has been flown over Manchester City’s home ground the City of Manchester Stadium at the start of the English Premier League game against Burnley.

The plane appeared shortly after players from both teams took a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. There was no indication who had organised the plane and banner.

Burnley issued a statement at half-time during the game saying the club “strongly condemns” the actions, adding that they will work with authorities to identify those behind the move and issue lifetime bans.

All players in the 12 Premier League games since the restart of the season after the COVID-19 stoppage have worn “Black Lives Matter” on their shirts in place of their names.

This follows the league formally joining the international protest campaign sparked by the death last month of African American man George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody.

Players kneel ahead of the Manchester City - Burnley game
Players from both sides knelt before the match, continuing their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.(AP: Shaun Botterill)

“The club has a proud record of working with all genders, religions and faiths through its award-winning community scheme, and stands against racism of any kind,” Burnley said in their statement.

“We are fully behind the Premier League’s Black Lives Matter initiative and, in line with all other Premier League games undertaken since Project Restart, our players and football staff willingly took the knee at kick-off at Manchester City.

“We apologise unreservedly to the Premier League, to Manchester City and to all those helping to promote Black Lives Matter.”

Burnley captain Ben Mee said after the game, which his side lost 5-0, that the players had heard whispers that something may have been planned and that he was embarrassed by the scene.

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Burnley Captain ‘ashamed’, ’embarrassed’ over White Lives Matter banner.

“As we were coming out we heard some whispers that it was going to happen. The club tried to stop it. I’ve heard it is a small number that have arranged this and I hope it doesn’t happen again,” he said.

“I am ashamed and embarrassed that a small number of our fans have decided to fly that around the stadium. It is not what we are about. They have missed what we are trying to achieve.

“These people need to come into the 21st century and educate themselves. They don’t represent what we are about, the club is about, the players are about, and the majority of fans are about.

“I’ve heard it is a small number that have arranged this, and I hope it doesn’t happen again. I don’t want to associate it with my club. I don’t want to see this in the game.

“It is not right. We totally condemn it. These people can learn and be taught what Black Lives Matter is trying to achieve.”


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Lea Michele apologises amid claims she made life ‘living hell’ for Sammie Ware

Glee star Lea Michele has received more backlash after publicly apologising for making a former co-star’s life a “living hell” on set.

The actor issued a lengthy three-page statement on Instagram, claiming that while she doesn’t “remember” the specific behaviour she’d been accused of, she had “clearly acted in ways which hurt other people”.

“Whether it was my privileged position and perspective that caused me to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times, or whether it was just my immaturity and me being unnecessarily difficult, I apologise for my behaviour,” Michele wrote.

The star, who played Rachel Berry on all six seasons of Glee, is currently expecting her first baby with husband Zandy Reich, and added that she “wanted to be a real role model” for their child.

“We can all grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings.”

But far from placating those who have spoken against her recently, Michele’s apology sparked a whole new wave of accusations from others she had worked with in the past, including claims she called Glee extras “cockroaches” and had people “fired on a whim”.

Writer and editor Evan Ross Katz shared some of the furious responses in a thread on Twitter, including accusations from Michele’s former co-stars from Broadway musical Spring Awakening, another crew member from Glee – and even a former castmate of Real Housewives of New York.

These are just the latest in a string of accusations of bad workplace behaviour facing the actress.

Michele’s apology came after Samantha Ware, who played Jane Hayward on Glee for its sixth season in 2015, responded to a tweet written by Michele amid the riots in the US after George Floyd’s death at the hands of police.

Michele, who played the show’s leading lady Rachel Berry, wrote, “George Floyd did not deserve this. This was not an isolated incident and it must end. #BlackLivesMatter”.

In a shocking response to the tweet, Ware publicly confronted Michele, alleging she made her time on the show a “living hell”.

In her all-caps response to Michele’s tweet, Ware wrote that she would “never forget” the “traumatic microagressions” she claims to have received from Michele – including a shocking allegation that Michele had “told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would ‘s**t in my wig!’”

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Shortly after Ware posted her tweet, food delivery brand HelloFresh announced it was ending its partnership with Michele, who had been working as one of its ambassadors.

“HelloFresh does not condone racism nor discrimination of any kind. We are disheartened and disappointed to learn of the recent claims concerning Lea Michele,” the company tweeted from its official account.

“We take this very seriously, and have ended our partnership with Lea Michele, effective immediately.”

Ware has been fiercely supported by other Glee cast members with at least four coming forward backing her claims, including central cast members Alex Newell (Unique Adams) and Amber Riley (Mercedes Jones), who weighed in with not-so-cryptic responses.

Responding to fans who questioned the version of events, Newell wrote: “Child we ain’t got not a damn thing to lie about 6 years later!”

Riley tweeted several GIFs of herself throwing knowing glances as the original tweet gained traction on social media.

Popular drag queen and actor Willam Belli also weighed in, saying he left the set of Glee after Michele treated him “subhuman”. Belli is understood to have been booked for an episode in 2012 but never ended up appearing on the series.

An extra actor named Dabier also detailed his experience after appearing in an episode of the show in 2014, responding to the tweet revealing Michele told him he “couldn’t sit at her table” because he “didn’t belong there”.

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Coronavirus Australia live updates: Queensland government apologises to Nathan Turner’s family – live news | Australia news

It’s been three months that the sector which was pretty much the first to be shut down, ever since the ban happened on 50 if you’re outdoors and 100 if you’re indoors, they were the first industry shut down.

And so there’s a lot of hope that finally the government has recognised there’s a problem. Because we’ve been calling for there to be a package all of that time. I think what they need to do, and there’s different ways of doing it, but what matters is that they hit both sorts of groups.

There are the companies that employ artists, technicians, labourers, all the people who are responsible for bringing performance together. And then there are the workers themselves, and the workers themselves have largely been locked out of JobKeeper.

Some of them because of lumpy income had problems with JobSeeker as well. But what matters is that the government deals with both. Now what’s been put into the newspapers today says that they’re looking at the employer side of it and that’s important.

And that’s really going to matter. They’re also going to need to make sure that they do something about the people who work for those companies, because they certainly shouldn’t and I don’t see how they can be, left at a loose end not for months and months and months while we wait for the industry to be opened back up.

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