Exactly a year ago, the Indian government scrapped the controversial Article 370 from the country’s constitution to strip the northernmost state of Jammu & Kashmir of its autonomy. With that, it also cut off internet access for millions of people in the region, with a view to maintaining law and order situation in the state. It’s been a year since that day and internet connectivity, including broadband usage, has been restored in the region just a few months ago. However, mobile users still have to use 2G connectivity and there are frequent shutdowns that cut them off. Here’s a look at how this has affected… This story continues at The Next Web
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Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz on Monday accused Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg of lying to Congress during two hearings in 2018 and asked Attorney General William Barr to investigate the matter.
Gaetz alleged that Zuckerberg made false statements by "repeatedly and categorically [denying] any bias against conservative speech, persons, policies, or politics" on Facebook.
The Florida congressman cited a recent sting operation by the dubious right-wing activist group Project Veritas to support his allegations against Zuckerberg.
President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers frequently accuse Facebook and Zuckerberg of harboring anti-conservative bias.
But journalists have pointed out that many of the top-performing posts on Facebook are from right-wing pages, and that Zuckerberg has held several off-the-record dinners with influential conservative figures.
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Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz on Monday accused Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg of lying to Congress in 2018 and asked the Justice Department to investigate the matter.
In a letter to Attorney General William Barr, Gaetz alleged that Zuckerberg made false statements to Congress about Facebook's content moderation during two hearings two years ago.
"On both occasions, members of Congress asked Mr. Zuckerberg about allegations that Facebook censored and suppressed content supportive of President Donald Trump and other conservatives," Gaetz wrote.
"In his responses, Mr. Zuckerberg repeatedly and categorically denied any bias against conservative speech, persons, policies, or politics," he added. "Mr. Zuckerberg also dismissed the suggestion that Facebook exercises any form of editorial manipulation."
Here's what Zuckerberg said in 2018 when he was asked about whether Facebook harbors anti-conservative bias:
"First, I understand where that concern is coming from because Facebook and the tech industry are located in Silicon Valley, which is an extremely left-leaning place. And this is actually a concern that I have and that I try to root out in the company is making sure that we don't have any bias in the work that we do, and I think it is a fair concern that people would at least wonder about."
In his letter to Barr, Gaetz said that "recent reports from Project Veritas, featuring whistleblowers who worked as Facebook's 'content moderators,' have shown ample evidence" of Facebook's purported "bias and manipulation" against conservative speech.
Project Veritas is a right-wing activist group that frequently traffics in misinformation and propaganda. The organization is known for its sting operations against mainstream-media outlets and for deceptively editing videos.
Last month, Project Veritas published hidden-camera footage that appeared to show Facebook content moderators saying they delete posts that are pro-Trump or express conservative views.
"According to the Veritas report and undercover footage, the adjudicators were outspoken about their political bias against Republicans, and actively chose to eliminate otherwise-allowable content from the platform and from public view simply due to its political orientation," Gaetz wrote to Barr.
"This arbitrary and capricious behavior is not done in good faith and falls outside of the express intent of §230 of the Communications Decency Act, which affords Facebook liability protection as long as the platform moderates content in 'good faith.'"
The Florida congressman added that Project Veritas' investigation also found that Facebook labeled "a great deal of 'political speech' supporting the President" as hate speech in violation of the company's policies.
"At the same time," Gaetz said, "speech promoting violence against the President and his supporters was labeled as merely 'political,' and was thus allowed to stay on the platform.
"These facts are in direct contrast to Mr. Zuckerberg's testimony before Congress where he stated under oath that Facebook is a politically-neutral platform, and that he personally is working to root out any employees who are restricting speech based on Silicon Valley's overwhelmingly leftist culture," he added. "Such misrepresentations are not only unfair, they are potentially illegal and fraudulent. I hope you will give this referral full and proper consideration."
Trump, conservative lawmakers, and right-wing media figures have repeatedly accused Zuckerberg and Facebook of anti-conservative bias.
But journalists have said that many of the top-performing posts on Facebook come from right-wing pages and media outlets. The social-media giant has also been sharply criticized for allowing politicians to publish ads that aren't subject to third-party fact-checking. And last year Politico reported that Zuckerberg has held several off-the-record dinners with influential conservative figures including the Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Swayze Valentine is the only female treating fighters' cuts and bruises inside the UFC octagon
Influential actors, journalists, politicians and celebrities have started a 48-hour boycott of Twitter to protest its handling of anti-Semitic tweets from the account of grime artist Wiley. Using the hashtag #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate, campaigners have accused Twitter of “ignoring anti-Semitism” after offensive remarks on Wiley’s account were still visible 12 hours after they were first posted. Among those ditching the social media platform from 9am on Monday were Countdown’s Rachel Riley, singer Jessie Ware, Reverend Richard Coles and journalist James O’Brien. Britain’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said he would take part in the protest, having already written to bosses at Twitter and Facebook to tell them: “Your inaction amounts to complicity.” The JC will observe tomorrow's 48 hour @Twitter walk out.We want to send the message to @jack that there must be #NoSafeSpaceForJewHateBy refusing to take serious action against Jew hate, Twitter enables & promotes racism. It must get its house in order. Please join us pic.twitter.com/iNJzfyl9iu— The Jewish Chronicle (@JewishChron) July 26, 2020A number of MPs from across parliament have also joined the boycott, including Labour’s David Lammy and Jess Phillips, Tory MP Chris Clarkson and Lib Dem leadership hopeful Layla Moran. On Sunday, home secretary Priti Patel revealed she had written to Twitter and Instagram demanding a “full explanation” about why “abhorrent” anti-Semitic posts were allowed to remain online for so long. The antisemitic posts from Wiley are abhorrent. They should not have been able to remain on Twitter and Instagram for so long and I have asked them for a full explanation.Social media companies must act much faster to remove such appalling hatred from their platforms.— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) July 26, 2020Wiley, whose real name is Richard Cowie, has been given a seven day ban from both Twitter and Instagram, PA Media reported, while some posts have been deleted from his accounts. Twitter has yet to respond to HuffPost UK’s requests for comment. However, the social media platform has previously said that “abuse and harassment” have “no place” on its service and that it takes enforcement action over accounts which violate its rules addressing hateful conduct.The Met Police is also investigating the anti-Semitic posts, with a spokesperson saying that the “relevant material is being assessed”.The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism has called on the Cabinet Office to strip 41-year-old Wiley, who is an MBE, of the honour he was given in 2018. We have written to the Chairman of @CabinetOfficeUK’s Honours Forfeiture Committee to ask that @WileyCEO be stripped of his MBE. This is a simple case and should not take a long time to decide. Rulings are not usually made public but, in the public interest, this one should be. pic.twitter.com/nWtvTBosUI— Campaign Against Antisemitism (@antisemitism) July 26, 2020In a letter to officials the group accused Wiley of bringing the honours system into “disrepute”, calling for him to be “stripped of his honour”. Related...
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Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff. When you’ve been part of the gaming world for any length of time, you’ve likely heard of Denuvo. It’s not something spoken of in polite terms… in fact, most gamers seem to very much dislike it. If you’re new, you’re probably wondering: what the heck is Denuvo and what does it do that makes so many gamers dislike it?? Denuvo is the name of both the software and the company behind it, Austrian company Denuvo… This story continues at The Next Web
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You’ve probably encountered situations where you need to associate metadata (data that describes other data) with classes, methods, and/or other application elements. For example, your programming team might need to identify unfinished classes in a large application. For each unfinished class, the metadata would likely include the name of the developer responsible for finishing the class and the class’s expected completion date.Before Java 5, comments were the only flexible mechanism that Java had to offer for associating metadata with application elements. However, comments are a poor choice. Because the compiler ignores them, comments are not available at runtime. And even if they were available, the text would have to be parsed to obtain crucial data items. Without standardizing how the data items are specified, these data items might prove impossible to parse.To read this article in full, please click here
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Make the most of your time indoors with a daily dose of celebrity news and guides to the best shows. Sign up to the entertainment newsletter.Coronation Street has made use of a mannequin to film TV’s first socially distanced stunt. Fans of the ITV soap will see characters Gary Windass and Sarah Platt involved in dramatic scenes next week when his web of lies begin to unravel and he is mowed down by an oncoming car.Soap bosses have given viewers a glimpse of how actors Mickey North and Tina O’Brien managed to film the stunt while still observing social distancing guidelines, which revealed they had a helping hand from a plastic mannequin. The storyline will see Rick Neelan’s engraved watch found in the woods before Sarah demands answers from Gary about his involvement in the loan shark’s disappearance.Terrified by Gary’s admissions, Sarah runs away from him to call the police. As Gary chases Sarah down the street, a car hurtles towards her and Gary dives into the path of danger, pushing her to safety and saving her life.However, a dummy dressed in Sarah’s clothes and used in place of Tina O'Brien in certain shotsMickey revealed: “The stunt was me acting with the dummy Sarah at times and it’s not easy but we have done as best we can, it’s just really nice to get back there and the crew have been fantastic and the scripts have been edited in a way where we can film it.“It’s changed quite a lot from what we had for this week before lockdown but hopefully we’ve not lost any of the effect from it.”Tina revealed that the dummy was taken from the soap’s Underworld factory set, but they had to make some changes.She said: “When I stood next to it, it was towering over me! We had to saw the bottom of the legs off to make it more realistic and more my height but we have a very talented director and post production team so no one will notice when it’s in the show.”The stunt was originally scheduled to be filmed on location, in the woods, but this was also amended in the interest of safety for the cast and crew. Director David Kester added: “Because of social distancing, Mikey cannot touch Tina or push her away and that is integral to the stunt because his character has got to look heroic and that he has saved her.“We are cheating it by using a mannequin from Underworld and if we shoot it in the right way, making it a tight shot and we do it very quickly, it will work and will still sell the idea that he has pushed her.”Coronation Street resumed filming at its studios in Salford with strict protocols in place last month, after production ceased due to the pandemic back in March. Unlike rival soap EastEnders, Corrie managed to stay on air before running out of pre-recorded episodes, with scenes filmed after lockdown now on screen.Coronation Street will air TV’s first socially distanced stunt on 29 July. READ MORE:
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Coronavirus has changed everything. Make sense of it all with the Waugh Zone, our evening politics briefing. Sign up now. Boris Johnson has for the first time said there will be an “independent inquiry” into the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.Speaking during PMQs on Wednesday, the prime minister said he wanted to “learn the lessons of the pandemic in the future”.“Certainly we will have an independent inquiry into what happened,” he said.But the prime minister did not give a timeframe of when any inquiry would be set up.Johnson committed to a holding the inquiry in principle in response to a questions from acting Lib Dem leader Ed Davey.“Under this PM we suffered one of the worst death rates in the world and Europe’s worst death rate for health and care workers,” Davey said.Johnson also told MPs the government was doing “absolutely everything in our power to prevent a second spike in this epidemic”.“Not only are we getting on with implementing the preparations for a potential new spike, but he will know that the government is engaged in record investments in the NHS,” he added.It came after scientists advising the government warneda second wave of coronavirus infections this winter could be more serious than the first, with 120,000 hospital deaths in a “reasonable worst-case scenario”.A report from the Academy of Medical Sciences, commissioned by the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, says action must be taken now to mitigate the potential for a second peak of Covid-19.It argued that hospitals could potentially see 120,000 Covid-19 deaths in between September and next June at the same time as battling a surge in demand due to usual winter pressures, including flu.The report, from 37 scientists and academics, acknowledges there is a high degree of uncertainty about how the Covid-19 epidemic will evolve in the UK over the coming months, but sets out a “reasonable worst-case scenario” that would see the R rate rise to 1.7 from September.The R refers to the number of people an infected person can be expected to pass the virus on to.The academic modelling suggests there could be a peak in hospital admissions and deaths in January and February 2021, similar to or worse than the first wave in spring 2020. It does not include deaths in the community or care homes.The figures do not take account of government intervention to reduce the transmission rate, or the use of the drug dexamethasone in intensive care units, which has been shown to cut deaths.Related...
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Most of it to go on new internet infrastructure to keep citizens working and learning remotely The Philippines's Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has sought approval of a PHP46.6bn ($942m) budget for fiscal 2021 to help the country adapt to the "new normal" during the COVID-19 pandemic - a lazy 750 percent higher than the PHP6bn budget it's working with this year.…
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