CALIFORNIA: CEO Facebook Mark Zuckerberg has said that with important elections coming up in the US, Mexico, Brazil, India, Pakistan and more countries in the next year, one of his top priorities for 2018 was making sure that Facebook supports positive discourse and prevent interference in these elections.
He pointed out that every advertiser who wants to run political or issue ads on Facebook will need to be verified. To get verified, advertisers will need to confirm their identity and location. Any advertiser who doesn’t pass will be prohibited from running political or issue ads. We will also label them and advertisers will have to show you who paid for them. “We’re starting this in the US and expanding to the rest of the world in the coming months”, he said.
“For even greater political ads transparency, we have also built a tool that lets anyone see all of the ads a page is running. We’re testing this in Canada now and we’ll launch it globally this summer. We’re also creating a searchable archive of past political ads.
“After we identified Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, we successfully deployed new AI tools leading up to the 2017 French, German, and Alabama Senate special elections that removed tens of thousands of fake accounts. Earlier this week, we took down a large network of Russian fake accounts that included a Russian news organization.”
CEO Facebook further said: “We will also require people who manage large pages to be verified as well. This will make it much harder for people to run pages using fake accounts, or to grow virally and spread misinformation or divisive content that way.
“In order to require verification for all of these pages and advertisers, we will hire thousands of more people. We’re committed to getting this done in time for the critical months before the 2018 elections.
“These steps by themselves won’t stop all people trying to game the system. But they will make it a lot harder for anyone to do what the Russians did during the 2016 election and use fake accounts and pages to run ads. Election interference is a problem that’s bigger than any one platform, and that’s why we support the Honest Ads Act. This will help raise the bar for all political advertising online.”
FIA, PTA need to establish social media monitoring cell
ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics Control Friday said Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) should establish a special cell to monitor social media where wrong messages, pictures and are being shared without verification.
Chairing a meeting of the committee, Senator Rehman Malik said FIA should expedite its working so as to control social media and the agency should adopt such measures to dispose off complaints of people.
He said although the importance of social media is above board it is being wrongly used where personalities are discussed and insulted.
Rehman Malik asked FIA to take immediate action against such people as per law and arrest those involved in nefarious activities.
Pakistan’s government should make agreements with international social media operators to block such conflicted material from the web.
The committee, which raised a matter of the mysterious killing of three sisters in Fort Abbas area of the Cholistan in its previous meetings, said he had talked to the caretaker chief minister of Punjab and discussed the matter.
Keeping in view sensitivity of the incident, Rehman Malik formed a sub-committee under convenorship of Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed which will probe the matter.
The sub-committee will submit its report before the main Committee on Interior. Rehman Malik said legal action should be taken against those police or local administration officials found involved in criminal negligence in the case.
Neanderthal man knew how to make a fire: study
PARIS: Neanderthal man knew how to make a fire by striking stone to create sparks, researchers said Thursday after analyzing several tools found at sites in France dating from 50,000 years ago.
It was already known that Neanderthals used fire but it was mostly thought to have occurred by natural causes such as lightning or volcanic eruptions, although perhaps they did know techniques for creating a flame.
The latter is what scientists of a study published in Scientific Reports have claimed. “We present here the first direct artefactual evidence for regular, systematic fire production by Neanderthals,” they wrote in the study.
“We found the lighters that Neanderthal man used to make a fire,” Marie Soressi, professor of prehistory at Leiden University in the Netherlands and co-author of the study, told Media.
The researchers found dozens of flint with traces on the two faces of the prehistoric stone tool, or biface. They appear to indicate that the tool could have been used to strike at a ferrous mineral such as pyrite or marcasite.
Piercing the pyrite would produce sparks which Neanthal man could make fall on dry grass or leaves and blow on them to get a fire going.
Andrew Sorensen, also from Leiden University and the lead author of the study, says the scientists know the traces on the stone tools were not natural, but instead made by these primitive men living in Europe in late Palaeolithic times.
“The traces we see occur in discrete zones, with the striations almost always oriented parallel to the long axis of the tool. If the scratches were natural, we would expect them to occur all over the surface of the biface and to be oriented randomly,” he told the Media.
“The fire making traces appear with the naked eye as clusters of C-shaped percussion marks… often indicating unidirectional, oblique (glancing) blows (ideal for fire making),” he wrote.
Galaxy Note 9 to hit shelves in S. Korea on Aug 24
SEOUL: Galaxy Note 9, Samsung Electronics Co.’s next flagship phablet, will be available for South Korean consumers starting August 24, two weeks after its global showcase, industry insiders said Friday.
The tech giant is set to unveil the Note 9 on Aug. 9 in New York, with local pre-orders to begin Aug. 14, according to sources in the wireless service sector.
Though no details have been released via official channels, a purported image of the device has been leaked by notable twitter user Ice Universe, showing a large smartphone with a new gold or yellow S Pen. There have been rumors that Samsung’s signature stylus may come with Blue tooth capability, a first for the accessory.
The image also revealed that a dual camera module and a fingerprint scanner are positioned horizontally on the rear of the phone, which could allow more room for a larger battery.
It has been widely speculated that the latest model Note will come with a battery capacity of 4,000 mAh compared with its predecessor’s smallish 3,300 mAh, as well as a 6.4-inch screen, which is a tad larger than the Galaxy Note 8’s 6.3-inch display.