Citigroup has fired a senior vice president in the bank’s technology department after probing his outside job running the most prominent website devoted to QAnon, a debunked yet popular conspiracy theory.
Jason Gelinas was put on paid leave in September after being identified as the person behind the site QMap.pub and related mobile apps. His role was first reported by Logically.ai, a fact-checking site.
“Mr. Gelinas is no longer employed by Citi. Our code of conduct includes specific policies that employees are required to adhere to, and when breaches are identified, the firm takes action,” a spokesperson for the bank told CBS MoneyWatch.
“As outlined in our code of conduct, employees are required to disclose and obtain approvals for outside business activities,” the spokesperson added.
It was hardly a typical side hustle, according to media accounts of Gelinas’s alleged moonlighting. The former Citi executive is credited with helping transform an obscure and incoherent conspiracy cult into one affecting mainstream politics, with QAnon supporter and Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greenein the U.S. House of Representatives.
Popular among a group of supporters of President Donald Trump, theincludes claims that celebrities routinely participate in child sex trafficking and pedophilia. At its center is “Q,” an anonymous user who started writing about the conspiracies on website 4chan.
Gelinas was raking in more than $3,000 monthly from a crowdfunded Patreon site dedicated to supporting the QAnon site, which he said helped cover its operating costs, according to Bloomberg News.
Along with his Wall Street job and running QAnon’s largest news-aggregation hub, Gelinas lived what appeared to be a normal suburban life, with a house, wife and children in New Jersey, according to the business news service.
Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson Joins Nickelodeon as Vice President of News Programming and Executive Producer of Net’s Rebooted Nick News
*Click HERE to download headshot.
Nickelodeon has named CBS News’ 60 Minutes veteran producer and Emmy and Peabody Award-winner Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson as Vice President of News Programming for the leading kids’ network, as well as Executive Producer of the recently rebooted Nick News series. In her newly created role, Laguerre-Wilkinson will spearhead Nick’s commitment of speaking to kids about the news and issues of the day they care about most, overseeing all aspects of research, development and execution of news segments across Nickelodeon’s platforms. For long-form news content, she will serve as Executive Producer of the net’s heralded Nick News series, which was recently rebooted in June with the acclaimed Kids Race and Unity special, hosted by Alicia Keys and which Laguerre-Wilkinson co-executive produced. Based in New York, she will report to Brian Robbins, President of ViacomCBS Kids & Family Entertainment.
Said Robbins, “Magalie is a gifted journalist and producer with a long-proven ability to communicate the news of the day with compassion, empathy and precision. Kids are well aware of the issues that affect their families and the world, and the talent and experience Magalie brings will serve as the foundation for how we aid or spark important conversations for our audience.”
Laguerre-Wilkinson joins Nickelodeon from CBS News’ 60 Minutes, America’s most watched news program, where she served for over 15 years as an Associate Producer and Producer on stories for Ed Bradley, Lesley Stahl, Bob Simon, Steve Kroft, Anderson Cooper, and more. She was the key producer on one of the broadcast’s most memorable and inspiring stories about the Kimbanguist Symphony Orchestra in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which won Peabody and Emmy accolades.
She has reported from far corners of the world, while also covering domestic stories including Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and Sandy in
Tachyum™ Inc. today announced that it has added Melvin Cordova, a veteran and proven executive in the defense and intelligence technology industry, to the advisory board of its newly created Tachyum Government Corporation. Mr. Cordova carries the appropriate security clearances and will serve as the official contact for federal customers looking to leverage Tachyum’s Prodigy Universal Processor for their demanding HPC, artificial intelligence and machine learning workloads.
With more than 30 years of experience leading military and intelligence innovation, managing critical programs, and building consensus within the defense and intelligence industries, Cordova specializes in providing operational advisory services to technology companies doing business with the Department of Defense and intelligence community organizations. His focus is on identifying emerging threats and managing the velocity and complexity of technology innovation for high-stakes environments to counter those threats.
Cordova served 22 years on active duty in the United States Navy, in the fields of electricity, electronics, and interior communications. Among his professional experience, he served eight-years as a GG-15 at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), in roles that include; Secretariat for the Innovation Advisory Board, Office of the Deputy Director; Senior Program Manager for the Technology Action Group, Office of the Chief of Staff, DIA, addressing the most difficult problems of IT, Analysis, MASINT, and HUMINT. Cordova led DoD’s investments in In-Q-Tel’s (CIA’s Venture Capital arm) portfolio companies, managed DIA participation in military exercises and led the transition of several important technologies to fully qualified operational use. These efforts earned him recognition from the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) for his collaboration and leadership. Cordova also served 3-1/2 years in the Defense HUMINT Management Office, Technology Tradecraft Office, as senior program manager, deputy chief and acting chief. He also served as Chief of the DIA Contracting Office in Baghdad, Iraq, providing oversight
Tech companies are coming under increasing pressure to address. During a recent House committee hearing on the dangers of social media, former Facebook executive Tim Kendall told Congress that the company intentionally made its product as as cigarettes.
Kendall, CEO of time-management app Moment and former director of monetization for Facebook, told the hearing held by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce: “Tobacco companies initially just sought to make nicotine more potent. But eventually that wasn’t enough to grow the business as fast as they wanted. And so they added sugar and menthol to cigarettes so you could hold the smoke in your lungs for longer periods, At Facebook, we added status updates, photo tagging, and likes.”
During an interview on CBSN, Kendall told CBS News’ Lana Zak that it all boils down to the social media giant’s advertising-based business model, in which the “objective is to get more people to pay attention to your product and to pay attention longer each and every day.”
“So what’s happened is you basically have an advertising business model that’s combined with just ever-growing, ever-more intelligent technology, and that combination is really potent,” said Kendall. “What it’s leading to is a product that’s just fundamentally addictive for people, and it’s causing all kinds of mental health issues, and I think it’s eroding aspects of society.”
While users attacking one another on social media is nothing new, Kendall believes social media sites are tearing people apart very quickly.
“At the very least, we have eroded our collective understanding — at worst, I fear we are pushing ourselves to the brink of a civil war,” he said during the hearing.
With just a little over a month until Election Day, there have been serious concerns raised over Facebook’s role in
LEADING INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE RACHEL BENDAVID NAMED HEAD OF SCRIPTED PROGRAMMING FOR LIONSGATE AND BBC STUDIOS LOS ANGELES PARTNERSHIP
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Respected television executive Rachel Bendavid has been named Head of Scripted Programming for the Lionsgate and BBC Studios Los Angeles partnership. The partnership was formed to identify, co-develop and co-fund scripted formats and original intellectual property for the U.S. market.
Bendavid is responsible for overseeing the operations and content initiatives of the television partnership as well as shepherding the development and production of its programming slate. Within a year of its launch, the partnership has already received pilot orders for its U.S. adaptations of hit BBC series from FOX for “This Country” and CBS for “Ghosts.”
“I’m thrilled to be joining the Lionsgate and BBC Studios LA family and to be working with global content leaders from both sides of the pond,” said Bendavid. “Lionsgate and BBC Studios are homes to deep and rich content portfolios and talent relationships, which makes this a very exciting and refreshing new venture for me. I can’t wait to continue to elevate this partnership and bring even more great programming to television audiences.”
“Rachel is an incredibly talented executive with a strong track record and an impeccable creative eye for premium, must-see content,” said Lionsgate EVP, Television & Head of Development Scott Herbst. “Her leadership skills, passion for television and expert knowledge of the business will be invaluable in leading our partnership with BBC Studios and creating more great series for our content pipeline.”
“Rachel has a real knowledge of and passion for distinct British voices. Based on this, along with her deep experience at ABC and FOX and her strong connections within the industry, she is well positioned to build our scripted partnership and continue to develop exciting opportunities for the UK creative community in the U.S.,” said Valerie Bruce, General Manager, LA Productions,