Does Facebook have a political bias against conservatives? SOPA Images Facebook on Tuesday released an interim report about potential political bias at the company. One conclusion: Trust is an “elusive goal.” The report — part of an ongoing review process — comes after Republican lawmakers have repeatedly accused the social media company of bias against conservatives.The review has been led by former Sen. Jon Kyl, a Republican from Arizona, and his law firm Covington & Burling. As part of the review, the group interviewed conservative groups, individuals and lawmakers who either use, study or could potentially regulate Facebook. They found that people were concerned that there was bias against their viewpoints resulting in disproportionate enforcement from the social media company. Kyl offered his preliminary findings to Facebook in August 2018, and the social network implemented changes in response. This included the creation of an oversight board made up of different ideological and religious views to hear appeals regarding content that had been removed; more transparency with its news-feed rankings, pages and ads; and hiring more staff to deal with questions and complaints about content decisions. “We believe these and other measures described in our interim report are steps in the right direction,” Kyl said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Tuesday. “Yet these are complicated issues, some of which involve conflicting opinions even among conservatives. For that reason, restoring trust fully may remain an elusive goal. Conservatives no doubt will, and should, continue to press Facebook to address the concerns that arose in our survey.”Facebook says Kyl and his team will report again in the coming months. “When dealing with such nuanced issues, involving policies that apply to billions of posts, we will inevitably make some bad calls, some of which may appear to strike harder at conservatives,” Nick Clegg, vice present of global affairs and communications, said Tuesday in a statement. “That’s why it is so important that we work to make sure this process is free of bias, intended or not. After all, we can say that we welcome political expression on our platform all we want, but it won’t mean much unless people trust that we craft and apply our rules fairly.”Facebook began its political bias review in May 2018, the same time that it started a civil rights audit. The social media company, along with Twitter and Google, appeared before Congress on July 2018 to discuss how their platforms filter content. All three companies reiterated that there is no political bias in those decisions. The next month, a report from a group of Facebook employees criticized the company’s largely liberal workplace. Advocacy groups who pushed for the civil rights audit criticized the social media giant for agreeing to conduct a report about allegations of political bias.”Claims of anticonservative bias are simply an attempt to distract users and the media from the conservative movement’s attacks against black communities and other marginalized groups,” said Color of Change President Rashad Robinson in a statement.Some US lawmakers raised concerns about how the audit was conducted. Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, said Facebook should give a third party access to its algorithm, key documents and its content moderation guidelines. “Merely asking somebody to listen to conservatives’ concerns isn’t an ‘audit,’ it’s a smokescreen disguised as a solution,” he said.Originally published Aug. 20, 8:30 a.m. PT.Update, 12:40 p.m.: Includes reaction from civil rights groups and lawmakers. Facebook Mobile Culture Computers Politics Share your voice Tags Comments 26
IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:03/2:37Loaded: 0%0:03Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-2:34?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha [Representational Image]Wikimedia CommonsAll India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh landed was recently slapped a fine of Rs 60,000 for a false HIV positive diagnosis. While the diagnosis was done in 2014, the fine was imposed after Naseem Ali, a patient, approached the Haridwar consumer court. One of the reasons cited for the fine was “giving an incorrect HIV report to a fit person,” reports The Times of India.In 2014, Ali had visited a private hospital in Roorkee after he discovered that his blood was not clotting. He then went to AIIMS Rishikesh only to be given the diagnosis that he was HIV positive.In July 2014, Ali underwent more tests at Shri Mahant Indiresh Hospital and the reports came back stating that he was HIV negative.Angered, Ali filed a complaint at the district consumer forum in Haridwar. AIIMS Rishikesh will now have to pay Ra 50,000 and an extra Rs 10,000 for “wasting the complainant’s time and energy” within a month or the institution will have to pay six per cent interest to the complainant annually. The court also said that the tests caused severe mental trauma for the man as well as social problems due to the stigma surrounding HIV.The directive came out on April 22 and read, “Ensure payment of Rs 50,000 and Rs 10,000 within one month for incorrect treatment. And in case the amount is not paid within a month, then you will be liable to pay this amount at 6% annual interest.”AIIMS Rishikesh is planning on filing an appeal at a higher court. “We will appeal against the judgment in the state consumer forum. It was a documentation error and probably the very next day, it became clear to the patient that his report was negative. And nowhere in the discharge papers was it mentioned that the patient was HIV positive,” Dr Manoj Kumar, the spokesperson of the institute, was quoted as saying by TOI. Close Ragpicker’s son gets selected at Jodhpur AIIMS for MBBS, says want to work for his village
Dhaka has made certain breakthroughs in the process of bringing back death-row convicts of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman murder case, law minister Anisul Huq has indicated.Diplomats in Washington said on Monday that the United States government has ‘some interest’ in extraditing AM Rashed Chowdhury, one of such convicts who is now living there under political asylum.The government of Bangladesh has started the communication process to bring back two more convicts after being certain that Shariful Haque Dalim is staying in Spain and Moslem Uddin in Germany.However, Canada, a country which opposes death penalty, refuses to hand over another convict in the Bangabandhu murder case – Noor Chowdhury.Dhaka does not know where two others – Khandaker Abdur Rashid and Abdul Mazed – are currently living, foreign ministry officials admit.The law minister told Prothom Alo earlier on 2 August that, “Death penalty has not been abolished in the US. So, the US has no point why AM Rashed Chowdhury shall not be extradited… What I can say is that there has been certain breakthroughs in the process.”On extradition of Noor Chowdhury from Canada, Anisul Huq, a lawyer by profession, said that they have continued discussions with Canada.Anisul Huq is the head of the taskforce the government earlier formed to bring back the convicts of the murder case of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who was killed on 15 August 1975 in a coup d’etat.Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali, during his visit to US in February of 2015, requested Washington to extradite Rashed Chowdhury. Three months later, a US legal consultancy firm named Skadden LLP was hired to expedite the process of extradition of Rashed Chowdhury.Former president Barack Obama’s law consultant Gregory Craig, now representing the firm, is monitoring the case. He and his colleagues had held a series of meetings with the officials of US departments including the state department and the homeland security. The matter was brought to the attention of the then US attorney general Stuart Bruce.Following foreign minister Mahmood Ali’s request to the US law office last year for extraditing Rashed Chowdhury, Skadden LLP informed Dhaka that the US is positive about extraditing Rashed Chowdhury.In June 2007, the US government sent back another convict in the case KM Mohiuddin, who failed to get political asylum, and who had already been executed.When asked about progress in bringing back Moslem Uddin, Bangladesh ambassador to Berlin Imtiaz Ahmed declined to make any comment.Also, Bangladesh ambassador to Madrid, Hasan Mahmud Khandaker did not make any comment on Dalim’s stay in Spain.Both Germany and Spain have already abolished the death penalty as punitive measure for serious offence.Foreign ministry officials in Dhaka said Canada has not yet completed the pre-risk removal assessment of possible extradition of Noor Chowdhury although the Canadian high court rejected his appeal for political asylum.A three-member Bangladesh delegation held discussion with Canadian authorities in April about forming a taskforce for bringing him back. The two sides may hold talks again in December.Abdur Rashid, a key convict, is believed to have been staying in Islamabad. Dhaka has sought information from Islamabad about his stay in Pakistan. No reply came in this regard till date.The government is yet to trace the whereabouts of Abdul Mazed.*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam.
WOWD (a deliberate word play on “crowd”) works in a different way to the other search engines, and focuses on identifying new trends, news, and popular topics and pages on the Internet. Users download the WOWD browser application, and then every web page they visit is automatically nominated for inclusion on the search engine’s results page. This is a little like Digg and similar sites in which people vote for their favorite pages, except that WOWD does the voting automatically.Mark Drummond, CEO of Wowd Inc., told the summit attendees that people do not have time to look for what’s hot on the Net, and need a fresh alternative to the reference-style search engines of the last decade, which he claims are not good discovery tools. WOWD aims to present dynamically updated results as an alternative to sites such as Google, whose results are slow to change. Drummond expects WOWD to attract users who are interested in what is popular, and who see search facilities as an additional feature.The founder of WOWD, Boris Agapiev, said that WOWD transfers control from impersonal data centers to individuals. Unlike previous search engines, WOWD does not use web crawlers or other conventional page ranking mechanisms, but instead taps into a ” distributed cloud architecture”, in which users who have downloaded the software become, in effect, both the web crawler and data storage center to build up the search index. The more often users visit a page, the higher the page is ranked. The WOWD home page has three tabs: Hot List, Search, and My Pages. The Hot List is available to everyone and results by Popularity. The list can also be ranked by Freshness, but this (like many other features) is only available once you have downloaded the free browser application. Results are constantly updated, allowing you to see at a glance which sites are being most often visited by people who have downloaded the application.Downloading the free application releases features such as a recommendation search engine and the option of searching through the user’s own search history. The software also enables WOWD to store of bits of the search index on the user’s computer. Each piece of information is stored on several computers so it remains available even when the user’s computer is shut down. The algorithm used in this peer-to-peer system is called “Kademlia”, which is used in peer-to-peer file sharing systems.Privacy is protected because the site does not index pages protected by encrypted protocols, and because users actually access and index web pages they visit through another person’s computer, which protects against the collection of cookies or password protected information.According to Drummond, since the advent of real-time applications such as Twitter and Facebook people are more interested in real-time, fresh information than in the sometimes dated results of traditional search engines, and WOWD aims to satisfy this growing preference. WOWD also has economic advantages for the company: using each user as a data storage center means the system could be infinitely large, since there is no need for expensive infrastructure such as massive data storage centers, since the cloud of users essentially form the search engine. The users also share the cost of the utility charges, but at an additional cost of a few dollars a year, are unlikely to notice.The WOWD browser application is available for the Mac, Windows, and Linux.© 2009 PhysOrg.com Explore further Search engine branding to be examined by researcher This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (PhysOrg.com) — The beta version of WOWD, the Internet’s newest search engine, was launched last week at the 2009 Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. It aims to differentiate itself from other search engines such as Google and Yahoo by identifying the most popular sites in real-time and by becoming, in effect, the Skype for search. Citation: WOWD, the real-time search engine (2009, October 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-10-wowd-real-time.html WOWD logo.
(Phys.org)—A team of researchers from Italy, Uruguay and Spain has found via lab study that common brewer’s yeast not only mate in the guts of wasps, but interbreed with other yeast species, producing hybrids. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study and results and why they believe their findings could have implications for both environmentalists and manufactures of yeast based products. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences More information: “Social wasps are a Saccharomyces mating nest,” PNAS, www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1516453113 These findings, the team notes, could have serious implications for not just wine growers or bread makers, but for environmentalists as well. Here they suggest is evidence of a fundamental part of the ecological cycle that was not known to exist. They wonder if other insects might be playing a similar role for other yeast or fungus types, such as bees or ants. They plan to continue the work to find out. Crabro wasp looking outside from a wasp’s nest in a tree. The image suggests how crabro wasps could transport yeasts from different environments, harboring yeast species isolated from tree bark, such as Saccharomyces paradoxus and some Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and strains from species mainly found in wine, grape berries, and wineries, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Credit: Carlotta De Filippo Researchers find wasps are the key to yeast’s ability to survive through winter Explore further Brewer’s yeast, a type of fungus, is used to make alcoholic beverages and bread—its use has been the focus of study for thousands of years, yet, as the researchers with this new effort note, little is known about it outside of the laboratory. To learn more, they started with the findings four years ago by another team—that brewer’s yeast lives inside the guts of wasps while the wasps hibernate. They collected five different strains of the yeast and put them on grapes which were fed to wasps and then turned down the heat, causing the wasps to hibernate. After two months the researchers found that approximately one third of the yeast population had mated with yeast of a different species. After four months that number went up to 90 percent, proving , they claim, that yeast not only mate in wasp guts, but also interbreed.Taking the experiment a step further, the researchers found that the interbred strains tended to be more hardy inside the wasp gut then those that were not—over time, the pure breeds actually died off. This, the researchers claim, proves that wasp gut reproduction is a major driver of yeast diversity in nature. And , they add, that suggests that yeast are dependent on interaction with insects for evolutionary development. © 2016 Phys.org Citation: Study shows brewer’s yeast hybridizes in wasp gut (2016, January 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-01-brewer-yeast-hybridizes-wasp-gut.html The wasp and the grape: a worker hornet (Vespa crabro) feeding on a grape in a Tuscan vineyard in October. The image shows how Vespa crabro can break and eat grape berries, moving S.cerevisiae yeasts and other microorganisms. Credit: Stefano Turillazzi