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Can you delete your Facebook account for Sh200,000?

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How much would you want to be paid to relinquish your beloved Facebook account for a year?

If your figure is anything below Sh200,000, you might need to re-consider the value you attach to your account.

A new study has found that the average Facebook user will relinquish their account for a period of 12 months if they are compensated between Sh150,000 to Sh200,000.

According to a paper published in December in PLOS ONE journal by three economists and a social media researcher in the United States who sought to discover the value Facebook had to its users, most people would agree to deactivate their accounts if they were given adequate compensation.

In Kenya, users of the social media platform also agree that they have to be compensated to close their accounts. Ms Irene Muthoni, a professional working in Nairobi, said she would agree to close her account if she was paid Sh200,000.

“The Sh200,000 would be commensurate to the amount of data I have there, the advertisements I get on Messenger (Facebook’s private messages application) and for information security,” a Ms Muthoni told the Nation.

For Mr Francis Mwongela, a communications officer at a local university, he would deactivate his account if only he is given Sh2 million in exchange.

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But Ms Fridah Kathure, 33, said that given a good reason, she would close her account for free.

Researchers carried out the experiment using auctions in which people were paid to deactivate their accounts for one hour, a day, three days, one week and one year. It was found that Facebook users would require an average of more than Sh100,000 to deactivate their account for one year.

The experiment began when two teams made up of Saleem Alhabash at Michigan State University and Sean Cash at Tufts University; Matthew Rousu of Susquehanna University and Jay Corrigan, a professor of economics at Kenyon College, began experiments using auctions to identify the value users give to the social media platform.

“It is hard to find evidence that the Internet has made us richer or more productive

at work. We know people must derive tremendous value from Facebook or they would not spend millions of hours on the site every day. The challenge is how to put a dollar value on a service people don’t pay for,” said author Corrigan.

In total, the researchers ran three actual auctions with two samples of college students, a community sample, and an online sample. Winners were paid upon proof that their membership to the social media site was deactivated for the set time.

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In the first auction, a sample of 122 students at a US college was used. The average bid for deactivating Facebook for one day was about Sh50, for three days was Sh1,400 and for one week about Sh4,000.

To calculate a one-year estimate, the researchers annualised this data, which showed a range of Sh150,000 to Sh200,000.

For the second auction, 133 students and 138 adults from American Midwestern University town were sampled.

The average bid to deactivate Facebook for one year in the student group was Sh211,000 while the average bid in the community group was Sh116,000.

In the third experiment, 931 adults of an average age of 33 years within the US were found using the Internet through the Amazon Mechanical Turk open marketplace. The average bid to deactivate their accounts for one year was Sh195,500.

“Students placed a higher value on Facebook than community members. A number of participants refused to bid at all, suggesting that deactivating Facebook was not a welcome possibility,” said corresponding author Sean Cash.

The social networking site has over two billion users worldwide. “While the measurable impact Facebook and other free online services have on the economy may be small, our results show that the benefits these services provide for their users are large,” wrote the authors.

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They also observed that Facebook remains the top social networking site in the world and the third most visited on the Internet after Google and YouTube despite market fluctuations and controversies.

Daily Nation

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Africa

FBI agents arrest three Kenyans in US over links to Isis

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Three Kenyans were on Tuesday arrested in the United States for their links to terror group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).

The three were nabbed by Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) agents. They were identified as Mohamed Salat Haji, Mohamud Abdikadir Muse and Muse Abdikadir Muse.

The three were arrested in Lansing, Michigan. They are said to have pledged allegiance to the Islamic state.

Mr Muse Abdikadir Muse was nabbed while on transit to Somalia.

“He was checking in for a flight on his way to Mogadishu, Somalia when he was arrested,” a statement by the FBI released on Tuesday stated.

Mr Muse Abdikadir Muse had earlier this month purchased air tickets to travel from the Gerald R. Ford Airport in Michigan.

CO-CONSPIRATORS

The US Department of Justice said his other two friends, described as co-conspirators, had assisted him in getting the ticket.

“They aided in the purchase of the ticket and drove Muse Abdikadir Muse to the Grand Rapids airport, each knowing the true purpose of the travel was for Muse Muse to join and fight for ISIS,” read the statement.

According to the FBI, the three recorded videos pledging allegiance to the group where they narrated their desire “to kill non-believers, and even to potentially use a car for a martyrdom operation to run down non-believers in the USA.”

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Despite their arrest, the American Government is yet to find them guilty of the charges.

Their arrest comes exactly a week after terrorists led by a Kenyan identified as Salim Gichunge attacked dusitD2 hotel and killed 21 people.\

NairobiNews

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‘Please help me return home,’ Kenyan legend runner living in the US pleads

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

Kenyan distance running legend Henry Rono a broken man. He has been living in the United States of America for the last 32 years, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Rono who is now 66, on Tuesday reached out to Nation Sport and sent a passionate appeal:

“I wants a ticket back home, please.”

“Yes, I would like the government to help me get back home by getting me a ticket… I can’t afford living in the USA. I’m getting old… Also, being away from home for over 32 years is too long,” added the legend.

The legend is currently a security guard at the Albuquerque airport.

“Yes, I did retire, but these other jobs are stressful and I’m too old,” he said. “Like now, I’m sick from working hard. Many of my fellow Kenyans are dying from stressful hard working jobs,” said Rono, who was given a lifetime achievement award by the International Association of Athletics Federations in 2008.

“I have been given another award in Belgrade but I’m able to attend because of stressful work. Like now, I’m in the bed and I’m unwell.”

But Rono’s daughter Maureen confirmed she had spoken to the legend, and that he has been unwell since last week. “He has been coughing for the last week, and I’ve been in touch with him. If he asked you to send out an appeal for help, you can go ahead and publish,” she said.

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Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei, meanwhile, said his association would be ready to help the legend.

“He did a lot for this country and we can’t fail to get help for him,” said Tuwei. “We need information such as costs of tickets, who he could be travelling with and other details, and then see how we can support.”

The Washington State University star alumnus had taken up coaching after his running career, this after alcoholism dented the highlight years of his spell that saw him shatter world records in the 3,000 metres (seven minutes, 32.1 seconds), 5,000 metres (13:08.4), 3,000 metres steeplechase (8:05.04) and 10,000 metres (27:22.47), all within 81 days across USA (California and Seattle) and Europe (Vienna and Oslo).

Source: nation.co.ke

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Africa

Uganda deports Rwandan, French nationals

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Ugandan authorities have deported a Rwandan and a French national accusing them of undermining state security.

The two, identified as Annie Bilenge Tabura and Olivier Prentout, are employees of leading telecom provider MTN Uganda.

Ms Tabura is the general manager sales and distribution, while Mr Prentout is the chief marketing officer.

In a statement Tuesday, deputy police spokeswoman Polly Namaye said that security agencies in collaboration with immigration officers had been investigating the two foreigners “over their engagements in acts which compromise national security.”

“We strongly believe that the deportation of the two foreigners, who were using their employment as tools to achieve their ill motives, has enabled us to disrupt their intended plans of compromising our national security,” she added.

Rwanda has termed the deportation of Ms Tabura a “witch-hunt and harassment” of Rwandans in Uganda as tensions between the two countries continue to escalate.

“You should ask them [Ugandan authorities] why they keep doing this, not us,” Mr Olivier Nduhungirehe, Rwanda’s State Minister in charge of East African Community Affairs said, responding to the The EastAfrican.

“It is not the first time they have done this. This is a case of harassment of our nationals in Uganda.”

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Rwanda accuses Kampala of  “arbitrary arrest and torture of Rwandans in Uganda” and for hosting rebels seeking to destabilise it. Uganda claims that Kigali is deploying spies in the country.

Mr Nduhungirehe said Kigali will “seek explanations” from Kampala, adding that there are also some Rwandans who were arrested in Uganda and “we don’t know where they were taken.”

“The Rwandan High Commission in Uganda always writes to seek clarification whenever such arrests are made but we never get responses. They never share evidence or give reasons why individuals are arrested. They kidnap, torture and then throw them out without a word,” Mr Nduhungirehe said.

MTN said in a statement Tuesday that Ms Tabura was arrested by unidentified security officers at their office in Kampala on Monday morning, while Mr Prentout had been arrested by police at Entebbe airport on Sunday, soon after he returned from a business trip.

The telco said the two “have been deported from Uganda to their home countries.”

“MTN Uganda, together with all its employees, remains fully committed to operating within and respecting the laws of the country,” the firm added.

The unit of MTN South Africa has had a run in with the authorities previously. In July last year, its data centre was raided by agents said to be from Uganda’s domestic intelligence unit.

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The firm said attempts to log into their servers were unsuccessful and that it reported to the police a case of illegal intrusion into the data centre and disconnection of four servers, but denied reports that it was being investigated over breach of national security and tax evasion.

MTN’s 20-year licence expired on October 20, 2018 but it was granted an interim licences, the second one which expired on January 20. The Cabinet had demanded a review of the telco’s operations after it was accused of underdeclaring its call volume and therefore not paying its fair share to the taxman, a charge it denied.

Uganda maintains that arrests target individuals suspected of espionage.

While diplomatic ties between the two countries have remained strained, there are fears that the frostiness could affect cross-border trade.

Rwanda has since warned its citizens to “exercise caution while travelling to Uganda”.

“This is a delicate situation that we need to deal with. We are in a Common Market and for now we are trying to talk to Uganda about these incidents,” Mr Nduhungirehe said.

Mayors of Rwandan border districts — Burera, Nyagatare and Gicumbi — told The EastAfrican that while the residents are aware of the tension, they are undeterred in their cross-border trade.

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“Trade is normal, if not even better. We have not received reports of any harassment of Rwandan traders across the border,” Felix Ndayambaje, the Mayor of Gicumbi District told The EastAfrican.

“We, however, advise them to always avoid using porous borders, because if they use them and are arrested on the other side, we face limitations on helping them. We know of the tensions and that is why we warn the cross-border traders to be vigilant.”

The Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF) warns that if the two governments fail to deescalate the tension, it would change the business environment.

“I would want to see a better conducive environment between the two countries,” Robert Bapfakurera, the chairman of PSF said.

“Trade is still strong but anything which does not create a good environment affects business,” he said, adding that business can only thrive if “the environment is without fear or any insecurity.”

The EastAfrican

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