Facebook has introduced several updates which includes removing fake accounts, partnering with fact-checkers, and promoting news literacy with the aim to fight false news.Among other updates, Facebook has also expanded its test to fact-check photos and videos , taken action against new kinds of repeat offenders and has also expanded its fact-checking program to new countries.Facebook further highlighted how it is using machine learning to identify fake news.For example, a fact-checker in France debunked the claim that one can save a person having a stroke by using a needle to prick their finger and draw blood.As a result, Facebook was able to identify over 20 domains and over 1,400 links spreading that same claim.Tessa Lyons, Facebook's product manager in a blog wrote: "In April, we announced a new initiative to help provide independent research about the role of social media in elections, as well as democracy more generally.
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Israel Cyber Week Facebook – already kicked around the block by politicians in the US and Europe over privacy in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal – has come under fire from Israel.Both government ministers and visiting dignitaries waded into the fray at the Cyber Week conference in Tel Aviv on Thursday.“We must ensure that global companies and internet giants like Facebook, Twitter or Google are held accountable for the irresponsible handling of users personal data,” Israeli Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked told delegates.“We must act to ensure that privacy laws are respected worldwide.”“As a western democracy we are committed to respect, promote, and protect the right of privacy and data security.A data-centric economy brings many benefits to human life and to the quality of living, but we should make sure that the price that our society is required to pay during this process is not too high,” she added.
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An Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report has found that brands are feeling the pain from the public's newfound lack of trust in social media platforms.Its survey of 9,000 people in nine countries found that most consumers feel that brands should force social media platforms to safeguard personal data (71%), curb the spread of fake news (70%) and shield them from offensive content (68%).Edelman came to the conclusion that “brands are the new democracy,” adding “consumers expect brands to have values, not just a value proposition.That means consumers are looking for brands to act to improve social media because the power of the advertiser exceeds that of the individual".Only 41% of respondents said they trust social media.The lowest scores cropped up in the US (30%), Germany (27%), France (25%) and the UK (24%).
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In the last year or so convincing fake videos known as DeepFakes – the product of deep learning-driven facial image manipulation – have been condemned as a threat to democracy, or what's left of it.The fear is that invented events represent the sort of fake news that can alter elections and affect civic engagement.Imagine the havoc that could be caused by a video of a prominent politician repudiating democratic norms – and no one is sure whether it reflects reality.A trio researchers from the State University of New York, believe they have an answer, at least given the current state of video forging tech: measuring how often people depicted in videos blink.In an academic paper titled "In Ictu Oculi: Exposing AI Generated Fake Face Videos by Detecting Eye Blinking," released recently through preprint server ArXiv, Yuezun Li, Ming-Ching Chang and Siwei Lyu describe an approach for detecting inauthentic videos.On average, the paper explains, people blink about 17 times a minute or 0.283 times per second, a rate that increases with conversation and decreases while reading.
These were headier days, when our love of tech was still in the early bloom of romance.At the time, the three-word maxim was so important to Google that it entered the company’s official code of conduct (and was even, rumour has it, the wifi password for shuttles ferrying staff to its Silicon Valley HQ).Read more: Training AI to be unbiased must be a priority, not an afterthoughtHowever, in May this year “Don’t be evil” was quietly removed from Google’s official messaging.This could, of course, have been a product of an evolving corporate culture.Perhaps more likely, however, it was a reaction to the global narrative of growing mistrust in technology’s behemoths.
His tireless efforts to deny the will of an overwhelming majority of American citizens have come to fruition: net neutrality protections are today officially eliminated.Our democracy was born from the forges of war and watered with the blood of patriots.For more than 200 years our politicians have stood as the vanguard and creators of the policies that govern our freedom, while brave men and women have taken up arms in defense of our nation.But today, our democratic principles were packaged and delivered, in a gilded basket, to greedy corporations by the men and women of the GOP.And the laundry list of outright, blatant, provable lies told by those corrupt politicians while accepting telcom’s payola is too long to include in this article.Over 80 percent of all Americans wanted net neutrality protections to remain, but despicable greed, treacherous arrogance, and a complete and utter dismissal of the political mandate to serve the will of the people have ensured that Pai’s pockets are lined and his promises to corporate shareholders kept.
As London Tech Week launches today to talk-up the capital’s prospects, over 100 UK tech founders, directors and investors are calling on the Government to back a meaningful vote “by the people” on the actual terms of Brexit.The list also includes Tech community leaders outside of the so-called ‘London bubble’ including Dr Sue Black OBE, Founder, TechMums and Bletchley Park campaigner; Elena Sinel, Acorn Aspirations, which teachers teenagers coding and entrepreneurship; and Conor Graham (Co-founder, HackTheHub) and Nuala Murphy (CEO, Moment Health) both entrepreneurs who are based in Belfast, Northern Ireland.Funding from the European Investment Fund has collapsed since the Brexit vote, and a replacement scheme has yet to be assured long-term by the government.Anything less would be a travesty of democracy.”Glenn Shoosmith Founder/CEO Booking Bug“Having been deeply involved in the U.K. and global technology ecosystem for the past 20 years and most recently as an Advisor to the EU Innovation Minister as a member of the European Innovation Council, I firmly believe that we cannot work in a vacuum.
"Oops, your files have been encrypted!"This was the chilling message that greeted hundreds of thousands of computer users last summer.The WannaCry ransomware attack brought production to a standstill at Renault factories across France, put lives at risk by attacking hospitals in the UK, and cost companies around the world billions of dollars in lost revenue.And the culprits vary from governments to criminal gangs to terrorist groups and lone individuals.In the last few years, hackers have targeted political parties in France, the United States, and elsewhere in an attempt to subvert democracy.If cyberattacks were physical attacks, using bombs or missiles instead of computer code, they could be considered an act of war.
right now, so hot blockkedjetekniken is expected to revolutionize everything from banking and finance to logistics, industry, and contract-writing.Now enter new niche startups forward, ready to help companies and agencies with this new technology.”We think (is the next big step for the internet and that sooner or later it will permeate everything.ultimately, the technology has the potential to be important, so fundamental to democracy and human rights”, says Håkan Birging, a partner at the venture capital company Cryptowell, which focuses on investments in the blockkedjeteknik.It is Cryptowells other investment company after 2017 bought in Danish fintechbolaget Hiveonline, which develops a financial platform based on blockkedjetekniken."We are looking at the vision and the driving force of the startupbolag that we invest in. (Is still in its infancy, so it is difficult to predict exactly where it will take us, but we want to be a part of the development", says Håkan Birging.
On October 19th of last year, a just-barely bipartisan group of senators held a press conference to announce a new piece of legislation.The Honest Ads Act, as the bill is called, would require Facebook, Google, and other tech platforms to retain copies of the political ads they host and make them available for public inspection.“Our democracy is at risk,” a solemn Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) told reporters at the time.Revelations from Facebook, Google, and other social media platforms of Russia-linked groups sparked a flurry of activity in the capital last fall, prompting the tech companies to spend more on lobbyists and crisis public-relations firms than they ever had.If regulations weren’t imminent, they still seemed more likely than ever before.If the proposed changes in the Honest Ads Act sound relatively straightforward, it could be because similar rules already apply to broadcast media, including print and television.
Steve Jobs changed the world with the iPhone, the glossy slab of aluminum and glass that redefined the category of “phone” the day it went on sale in 2007.The App Store invented a new world, where chauffeurs, dates, and deliverymen could be summoned with a few taps; but also where our attention could be shattered, our democracy shaken, and our anxiety spiked.Ten years later, as we increasingly grapple with technology's dominance over our minds, it's hard not to imagine Steve Jobs as a young Dr. Frankenstein; the App Store, his monstrous creation.They send us flurries of notifications trying to draw us in for fear of missing out.We may not even recognize how distracted we’ve become.”Now, Apple—like much of Silicon Valley—wants to cure the disease it's caused.
The extraordinary backlash against big tech is rooted in three basic issues that have upset consumers:Unwittingly giving foreign hackers (and private individuals as well as companies) the tools to attack the bedrock of our democracyTurning the Internet into a giant echo chamber, reinforcing the biases of users and shielding them from other points of viewThe obvious solution for big tech is to re-establish public trust by solving these problems.Protecting user privacy — as well as preventing election interference — isn’t just a matter of accepting lower profits.Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other tech giants face huge technical challenges along with user resistance as they try to close Pandora’s box.
Next year is going to be horrible for tech if we take movies like Blade Runner and The Island seriously.“They forget that technology is our future, it’s not our fate,” said Vestager during her talk at Brain Bar in Budapest.They’re built on a far deeper foundation of values – values like freedom, and fairness, and democracy.Under her leadership, the EU has fined Google €2.4 billion for illegally promoting its own services at the cost of its competitors, exposed illegal state-aid Amazon and Apple received, and forced them to pay back owed taxes — just to name a few.During her talk on the sunbathed bank of the Danube, Vestager emphasized the power regular people have in shaping the future.In her mind, we the people aren’t at the mercy of big tech — it’s the exact opposite.
Facebook has been accused of violating users' human rights and failing to create adequate risk management structures in a heated exchange with stockholders yesterday."If privacy is a human right, as stated by Microsoft's CEO, then we contend that Facebook's poor stewardship of customer data is tantamount to a human rights violation," said Christine Jantz of Northstar Asset Management.Jantz pointed out that stockholders didn't appreciate reading newspaper articles about 87 million users' data being improperly shared with political consultancies – and said that Facebook's stockholder voting structure had created an environment in which such a crisis could arise.This is because, although Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg does not hold a majority of company shares, the ones he does own are Class B shares, and hold 10 votes per share.The rest of these Class B shares are held by a small group of insiders, while outsiders can buy a separate class of shares, with one vote per share.It's a situation that stockholders have repeatedly tried to battle at previous Facebook AGMs, to no avail – but the tension at the latest meeting was palpable with one woman interrupting the opening to decry the voting structure, saying that "shareholder democracy is already lacking at Facebook".
Socialist politician Pedro Sanchez has taken over as Spain’s prime minister, after the outgoing leader Mariano Rajoy lost a parliamentary confidence vote triggered by a long-running corruption trial.Socialist party head Sanchez becomes Spain’s seventh Prime Minister since its return to democracy in the late 1970s following the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.But Rajoy’s departure after six years in office casts one of the European Union’s top four economies into an uncertain political landscape.Sanchez won Friday’s no-confidence motion with 180 votes in favour, 169 against and 1 abstention.He suggested on Thursday he would try to govern until the scheduled end of the parliamentary term in mid-2020.But it is unclear how long his administration, with only 84 Socialist deputies in the 350-member assembly, can last.
The Evening Standard (ES) has explicitly denied allegations that it has accepted millions of pounds from brands like Uber in return for “favourable news coverage” styled as editorial.The London title, edited by former chancellor George Osborne, is facing claims it has sold "unbranded news stories" to paying commercial partners, set to appear in the paper as early as June.Open Democracy first reported on the matter, alleging Google and Uber to be among the six brands involved in the reported £3m plan dubbed 'London 2020', however the publisher has emphatically rubbished the report.In a statement to The Drum, Jon O’Donnell, group commercial director at ESI Media, said the idea ES was "selling news" was "grossly inaccurate and a wildly misunderstood interpretation of the London 2020 project."He said the integrity and independence of the paper's editorial remained "paramount" and said that all commercial content was clearly labelled as such.He added that to support the campaign commercially, the paper had agreed a number of partnerships with "key clients" consisting of activity across events, traditional display and appropriately signposted content highlighting each of these project areas.
Former President Barack Obama remains hopeful that America can solve its political divisiveness.But he also has a stark warning for the US: Our economy and our democracy are at risk if we can't get past the finger-pointing, partisan morass that has gridlocked the nation for years.Obama also said that technology from mobile phones to social networks is helping tear us apart, rather than bring us together.This is a new, more serious change of tone for the 44th president since he left office at the beginning of 2017, handing the White House keys to the Trump Administration.Obama's previous public appearances since leaving office have been unfailingly hopeful about America's future.This is very different than how our ancestors lived, he pointed out.
Political ad rules come at a bad time for some politiciansIn its effort to prevent election meddling, Facebook has ended up meddling in an election.In an email to The Register, E. Brian Rose explained that he's the sole challenger in the Republican Primary for US House of Representatives in Mississippi's 4th Congressional District.Since then, he said, he has been focused on engaging with voters primarily through social media, specifically Facebook ads.He did so and received a message saying that an authorization code would be sent to his campaign headquarters in 12 to 14 days.In a phone interview with The Register, Rose said his campaign relied on social media because it could not afford costly radio and TV ads.
When you're the founder one of the world's biggest social networks and CEO of a Silicon Valley giant, can you get anything done without a laptop?The CEO of Twitter was in Sydney on Friday (Australia time) to talk about the company's new efforts to combat trolls and fake news and its bid to amplify the world's most important conversations.It's a big ask, and as the world starts to scrutinise the role social media has in dictating democracy and the public discourse, Jack Dorsey has a lot of work to do.When asked about the famous shot of Mark Zuckerberg's taped-over laptop webcam and whether he had any similar security tips, Dorsey was upfront."I don't have a laptop," he said.He was met with stoney silence, before a single veteran newspaper journalist in the front row started laughing uncontrollably in disbelief.
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"We believe that increased transparency will lead to increased accountability and responsibility over time – not just for Facebook but advertisers as well," declared Rob Leathern, director of product management in a blog post today."We’re investing heavily in more people and better technology to proactively identify abuse."Since the 2016 presidential election in the US, on through the Justice Department's February indictment of 13 Russians and three companies for alleged election interference and the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year, the social ad network has been under pressure to take more responsibility for misuses of its platform.Mobile app devs have, oh, about 9 hours left to decide whether to stay on Google's ad platformCEO Mark Zuckerberg, previously incredulous about the possibility of online election meddling, just completed a testimony tour where he entertained US and European legislators with expressions of concern and commitments to greater responsibility.The new system involves labeling, archiving, and scrutinizing political and issue ads, along with a marginally more demanding advertiser verification process.
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