tv NBC Bay Area News Tonight NBC October 5, 2021 7:00pm-7:30pm PDT
let's keep making a differene together. i'm raj mathai, next on nbc bay area news tonight, facebook under fire. a whistle-blower says that facebook knows its sites, including instagram are harmful to kids and our democracy. >> facebook has repeatedly misled the public about what its own research reveals. >> a former lawmaker wants congress to step in. but what could congress really change? also, oil slicks found more than 100 miles away. birds coated in oil and tar balls on the beach. >> every day it seems the magnitude of this oil spill is getting a little worse. >> we're in huntington beach to show you firsthand the impact
that of oil spill. exclusive new information about san francisco's sinking and millennium tower. will it soon be seismically unsafe? >> good evening. this is nbc bay area news tonight. i'm raj mathai. our exclusive information about the troubled millennium tower in just a few minutes. and an interesting update from the giants. we will check in at oracle park. but there is a lot going on at this hour, and it's all about facebook and mark zuckerberg. within the past 60 minutes, the facebook boss issuing a lengthy response to all the criticism he's facing. this is usually a story on facebook we coffer here in the bay area, but now it is global, centering in washington, d.c. zuckerberg has that memo he sent to his entire facebook staff. here it is. this is just part of a 16-paragraph response. in this response, he talks a lot about a lot of things. we've highlighted a few excerpts here for you, and we'll start
with this. "at the heart of these accusations is this idea that we prioritize profit over safety and well-being. that's just not true." zuckerberg goes on to say, "i've spent a lot of time reflecting on the kinds of experiences i want my kids and others to have online, and it's very important to me that everything we build is safe and good for kids." mark zuckerberg adding, again, this is a memo to his staff that he released on his own facebook page; quote, i've asked leaders across the country to do deep dives on our work across many areas over the next few days so you can see everything that we're doing to get there. this statement from zuckerberg comes just hours after this whistle-blower testified in front of congress. she did not mince her words. former product manager frances haugen says facebook targets and harms its users, especially teenaged girls via instagram. and the one person that can stop it is mark zuckerberg, but he chooses not to. haugen blasting her former
employer, saying choices are being made inside the company that hurts children, stokes division and weakens our democracy. she also accused facebook of repeatedly misleading the public about its own research. >> i saw facebook repeatedly encounter conflicts between its own profits and our safety. facebook consistently resolved these conflicts in favor of its own profits. the result has been more division, more harm, more lies, more stress, and more combat. in some cases, this dangerous online talk has led to actual violence that harms and even kills people. this is not simply a matter of certain social media users being angry or unstable or about one side being radicalized against the other. it is about facebook choosing to grow at all costs, becoming an almost trillion company by buying its profits with our safety. >> she adds that mark zuckerberg
is ultimately responsible and needs to be held accountable. she wants congress to step in and help make this happen. so how realistic is it to expect congress to act? and what should this regulation look like? joining us are nbc bay area reporter ginger saab. she spent the day watching this hearing and talking to experts. also with us, dr. nolan higdon, professor of studies at cal state east bay. thank you both for being on the program tonight. first of all, mark zuckerberg's responsible an hour ago, and if it really comes across to me, not only as ceo of facebook, but he comes across to me he is writing as a parent. and he also is urging parents to do something. your response to his response. >> for me, i've been watching this for years, and it's all pretty typical of mark zuckerberg. he has quite astoundingly talented public relations team, and they try and position him to look like sort of the everyday joe and the concerned parent. but if you really look deep into
what he is saying there, zuckerberg is at least being naive if not disingenuous about the ways in which his platform perpetuates the very problems congress was talking about today. >> dr. higdon, he did not apologize. he came off on the offensive in fact, saying we do not do all these things we're accused of. is he playing it the right way? >> i think this is ultimately for the american public to decide. i think particularly i think the issues of a child's health, children's health is going to draw a lot more attention than perhaps some offie these other conversations about fake news and false information. i think that's one issue where zuckerberg should be concerned. and i also think the accusations that there were some financial corruption that the whistle-blower talked about, the charges she brought to the s.e.c. so i think there is -- zuckerberg probably overplayed his hand in my opinion. >> let's get you in here. you watched this testimony on
capitol hill today. how long did it go, and what was the reaction from the lawmakers? >> well, raj, the testimony was over five hours long. and the lawmakers were unified. they were all on the same page. they reacted on a couple of front, one to show their gratitude and appreciation to the whistle-blower, frances haugen to show such courage and strength and speaking out against facebook. they also were on the same page when it came to talk about the urgency for them to introduce legislation to regulate social media companies like facebook. there was even a specific bipartisan moment that kind of ended a couple of smiles there between senator moran and senator blumenthal said that said hey, we can put aside our differences and find commonality on what lies ahead. >> this whistle-blower had a dramatic moment in which she called for regulation. let's listen. >> when we realized big tobacco
was hiding the harms it caused, the government took action. when we figured out cars were safer with seat belts, the government took action. and when our government learned that opioids were taking lives, the government took action. i implore you to do the same here. >> okay, dr. higdon, this is where we need your expertise. we can talk about all this, talk about the testimony, talk about zuckerberg's reaction, but what does congress do, what would that look like if there was regulation? >> there is a couple of different options that people proposed, especially in recent years. i mean, one is you could decentralize the power of big tech, you know. big tech companies like facebook and others, they control the majority of communication in countries such as the united states. so breaking up their monopoly powers where they're able to buy up small companies, things like that, that could be efficient. holding them accountable for what is published in their platform, especially acts of
libel, slander, defamation is another possibility. and also going after their financial power. these companies like facebook are constantly collecting user data while users work for free to provide that data. so some have proposed a tax or a data dividend where these companies are taxed on the data they collect, and that revenue collected is sent back to the public. >> ginger, you listen in on the testimony. what comes next? do lawmakers give any indication of what their next plan of action is? >> well, raj, i guess that's really up in the air for us to see where that will be. there are a couple of states that already have media literacy worked into their legislation. but those are kind of the next steps that people are anticipating. lawmakers really wanted to get mark zuckerberg to answer to these accusations. i guess the closest thing they have so far is this statement that he's put out recently on facebook. >> yeah. we will mention that facebook and zuckerberg in the statement about an hour ago did say, and they've said this before, they
want congress to act, whether that's a political ploy or in terms of public relations. they say that's serious. they want to work with congress. thank you for your insight this evening. our question of the day, what do you think lawmakers should do about the claim that facebook's algorithm prioritizes safety over profit? barb tweet out an algorithm is developed and managed by people who determine how to apply and tweak it. it's clear from today that people do what they are measured on. she recommends oversight from the s.e.c. and the ftc. eduardo and mark both on facebook had the same answer. quote, shut them down. and on instagram, rob says if y'all are falling for this, y'all are suckers. government control over anything is never is never the answer because of censorship. tonight we're also learning new information about the outage that took out facebook and its other platforms like instagram and whatsapp. facebook says it was caused by a chain of errors.
the company's vp of infrastructure wrote in a blog post that the problem happened in facebook's backbone, the network that connects all of its data centers across the globe. the issue started during routine maintenance, a bad command unintentionally took down all the connections in that backbone network. facebook has a system in place that's meant to keep mistakes like this from happening. but a bug in that code prevented it from working. from there, things continued to snowball. facebook's connection to the internet also went down. once facebook realized the problem, employees went to the data centers, but had trouble physically getting into the buildings because security measures are so tight. eventually, employees were able to get inside those data centers and they were able to start bringing everything slowly back online. the result was nearly a six-hour outage. a lot happening. again, up next, the leak is capped, but the impact will be felt for months to come. we're in huntington beach to
show you firsthand the damage. also, what happens if the millennium tower keeps sinking? there are concerns, new concerns about how the high-rise could hoymd during a big earthquake. and we have you covered for fleet week. on our website, you can find the whole list of events taking place throughout the weekend. it starts tomorrow, actually. just head to nbcbayarea.com and click on sf fleet week guide. you're watching nbc bay area news tonight.
news tonight. take a look. the impact will be felt for months, if not years. we're talking about that oil spill off the coast in orange county. this is some of the cleanup happening right now in huntington beach. small pools of oily water can also be seen along the shore. tonight governor newsom is there down in orange county, is calling for an end to offshore drilling. the coast guard says its investigators are getting closer to knowing the exact cause. here is what we know right now. the coast guard found a 13-inch split in a pipeline. right now the coast guard isn't sure what caused that split, but it is possible it may have been caused by a ship's anchor. oil is no longer leaking from that pipeline. that's the good news. but the damage is done. >> it's time once and for all to disabuse ourselves that this has to be part of our future. this is part of our past, and we can moralize and talk about the good old days. we can talk about how important these rigs have been to the prosperity of this country and the middle class.
but at the end of the day, this is about the stale air of normalcy versus the fresh air of progress. >> so we will hear plenty from investigators and from politicians. but what does this cleanup actually look like on the ground level? let's bring in chase cain from nbc lx in huntington beach. >> every day it seems the magnitude of this oil spill is getting just a little bit worse. authorities now say up to 144,000 gallons of oil may have spilled as early as friday night, and now there are reports of oil slicks on the water as far south as mexico. that's nearly 100 miles south of where i am here in huntington beach. i'm on the talbert marsh, a wetland area that directly connects to the pacific ocean underneath that bridge. they've since cut off this marsh to the so that no more oil can get in here. but in some since the damage is done. over here, here is a bird that is looking for food in the water. and this water has that distinctive rainbow sheen on top of it, a sign that there is oil
in this water. because dozens of species of birds and fish and other wildlife call wetlands like this home, i just want you to see the yellow boom that's in the water there. crews are trying to contain the majorities of the oils and of course get it out as best they can. but the reality with any oil spill is you just can't ever get 100% of it out. you can never clean up 100% of an oil spill. and there are questions about the exact timeline, because there are reports that an oil slick was first called in friday night out on the ocean by a shipping vessel, but that it may have been 10, 12 hours before there was any response, any action taken. it's one of the reasons that there are criminal investigations under way of both the local, state and federal level. governor gavin newsom also called -- declared a state of emergency here for orange county. so a lot of workbirds, for fish continue to wash up dead on the shores of orange county beaches. there is about 20 miles of
coastline that's closed to people. they don't want people in the water certainly. they don't want people on the beach because it is that dangerous. as we continue to learn just how bad this oil spill is. >> you can see more of chase cain's reporting on nbc lx. you stream lx any time by heading to lx.com or channel 185 on xfinity cable. one more note about the oil spill. part of the cleanup of this spill includes rescuing all those birds covered in oil. here is a look at one of the birds. staffers from the bay area's international bird rescue are down in southern california to help rescue the birds impacted by the spill. so far the group has rescued eight different species of birds including pelicans and ducks. a remind they're experts want people down in those beach areas not only it's dangerous for you, but it's also a good idea to -- it's a threat to those birds if you're there. we're going get you caught up on other local stories we're following this evening. there are new questions about
the seismic safety of san francisco's sinking and tilting millennium tower. the engineer hired to stop the sinking concedes that his plan to install a test pile at one of sinking the so-called fix project caused this summer before the work was halted. so all together now, the tower is now leaning roughly 22 inches toward fremont street. while the fix engineer says there is still an ample safety margin, other experts tell our investigative unit if the foundation sinks just one more inch in the wrong direction, the tilting at the top threatens to undermine the building's safety and stability during alaskan earthquake. >> it seems to me based on what i know so far, there is more guessing than really analyzing. and so what's the rush? why not take a pause, go back, figure this thing out.
>> as for right now, the plan calls for an engineer to have the authority to stop work if sinking exceeds the predicted levels. other story now. he is considered the star witness i theranos founder elizabeth holmes. today the company's former lab director was back on the witness stand, defending his own competency. this is video of elizabeth holmes and her partner leaving the federal courthouse in san jose this afternoon. today holmes' attorney cross-examined dr. adam rosendorff, attempting to discredit the doctor, who ultimately leaked the information that exposed the failed blood testing technology at theranos. holmes' defense attorney questioned the accuracy of rosendorff's emails. that's critical, because the state says those emails proves that elizabeth holmes knew that her machines did not work, but continued to lobby investors. the defense also questioned why the doctor didn't bring up many of his concerns when talking to an inspector with the centers for medicare and medicaid services well before the leaked
information to "the wall street journal." >> so it's a blame shift that the defense recognizes is vital to their case. they want to take the focus elizabeth homes and put it on the lab director. rosendorf res. elizabeth holmes faces federal charges for defrauding patients and investors. if convicted, she could be sentenced up to 20 years in prison. now we are following every twist and turn of this trial. you can find a full debrief of who's on the stand each day and what's being said by heading to nbcbayarea.com. we post it right there at the top of our page. and finally, a stark example of the impact of vaccine mandates. kaiser announcing this afternoon it has suspended more than 2200 employees for failing to get vaccinated. those employees from all over the country have been placed on unpaid administrative leave. they have until december 1st to get the vaccine and return to work or they will simply lose
their jobs. some other news now. so far more than 92% of kaiser employees have gotten the vaccine, and the health care giant says the number let's take you outside. a live look in san francisco. a gorgeous sunset as we approach fleet week. jeff ranieri joins us next with our fleet week forecast and our giants forecast. they are ready for game one of the play-offs, which is friday night. this is our live cam inside the ballpark. we're back in a moment.
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welcome back to nbc bay area news tonight. look athat, jeff. >> that looks like a picture postcard. this is a live look from our exclusive center field ballpark cam at oracle park. the giants actually just got off the field a short while ago after an optional work out. manager said in a perfect world, brandon belt, his first baseman, who has a broken thumb could, be back in the lineup for the nlcs. but that's a couple of weeks away. first things first, round one starts this friday night. either against the dodgers or cardinals. >> oh! >> what are we looking like friday night ballpark weather. i think game time is around 6:00. >> wouldn't everybody hope for that dodgers matchup? i want to see the dodgers here. >> all right. i've got my forecast. we're going look at it on the big board here. and of course we're still waiting. game one on friday, 6:37 at night.
pregame, it's going to be cloudy with 60s. friday is going to be a much cooler game by saturday. saturday we're going to get sun in here. 4:00 p.m. you're out celebrating ahead of time. we got 65 and we'll see some clouds roll in eventually. >> and during all this baseball, we're going to see the blue angels flying across. what a great weekend here. >> it almost feels a little normal. don't want to say it too loudly, but kind of good to get back to this stuff. let's take you to the microclimate forecast. as we head through tomorrow, we're still tracking the system just to the north of us. it's going to keep the temperatures down. also some clouds filtering in. so as we started off tomorrow morning, everybody starts off with that high cloud cover moving across and temperatures in the 50s. now daytime highs also dropping 5 to 7 degrees. so no more 90s. finally starting to feel a little bit like fall out here. right up to the north bay, low 70s santa rosa to napa, over to livermore, 74. more of the low to mid-70s. san jose to morgan hill.
santa cruz 69, and keeping that trend of 60s at half moon bay and san francisco. if you're heading into san francisco there for fleet week, it's going to stay chilly all day long. so make sure to have your jacket. okay. temps drop tomorrow. we're going to see an even bigger cooldown once we hit thursday and friday from this system right here. unfortunately, best rain chances stay off to the north. so right now looks like we'll be dry. but we'll see another reinforcing shot of cold air. so in san francisco, that brings us down to an average of 62 on friday. and as we hit early next week we are watching out for wind that could increase our fire danger. but look at this. 60s thursday and friday. that's going to feel really, really good to us. >> we got fleet week, giants, and the warriors by the way preseason games at chase center. >> it's going to be busy. >> we got a lot going on. thanks, jeff. tonight at 11:00, when can you take those masks off? it may be sooner than you think. there is word bay area counties are coming up with a plan to lift the indoor mask mandates. what we're learning tonight about the announcement that may
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