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Facebook may finally take some action on political ads

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San Francisco: Sense seems to be prevailing at Facebook and the social networking giant is willing to make some changes in its political ad policies to stop misinformation on its platform during elections.

Facebook is mulling a ban on political ads that target small audiences or microtargeted ads.

It would increase the minimum target size for a political ad from 100 people to a “few thousand,” according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Facebook has reportedly asked Democrat and Republican ad buyers for inputs.

A company spokesperson said Facebook was “looking at different ways [it] might refine” its viewpoint on allowing political ads.

Tech giants are under pressure to take action on the spread of misinformation via political ads. Facebook recently allowed US President Donald Trump’s campaign office to post a fake ad about Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden on its platform.

Google has announced new limits on political advertisers globally from micro-targeting users via election ads based on their political affiliation.

“We’ve never allowed granular microtargeting of political ads on our platforms. In many countries, the targeting of political advertising is regulated and we comply with those laws,” it said.

Even Snapchat has said it fact-checks all political ads and does not allow misinformation to sneak through its platform. Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel said the company subjects all advertising to review, including political advertising.

Twitter on November 15 officially banned all kinds of political ads from its platform. No political content will be promoted from candidates, parties, governments or officials, public accounts committees (PACs) and certain political non-profit groups, said the micro-blogging platform.


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Imran condemns passing of India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

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Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday condemned the passing of India’s controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019, which seeks to give Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, saying that it “violates all norms of international human rights law”.

In a tweet, Khan said: “We strongly condemn Indian Lok Sabha citizenship legislation which violates all norms of international human rights law and bilateral agreements with Pakistan.

“It is part of the RSS ‘Hindu Rashtra’ design of expansionism propagated by the fascist Modi govt.”

Khan’s remarks come after the draft legislation was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday midnight after division of votes with 311 in its favour and 80 against it.

The Bill would now be moved in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday to cross its final hurdle before becoming a law to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

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Chilean military plane disappears with 38 onboard

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Fighter Chile

Santiago: A Chilean military aircraft enroute to Antarctica with 38 people onboard, has disappeared off the radar, the country’s Air Force confirmed in a statement.

The Hercules C130 aircraft took off on Monday at 4.55 p.m. and lost radio contact at 6.13 p.m., Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.

The aircraft was en route from the southern city of Punta Arenas to Antarctica with 17 crew members and 21 passengers, it added.

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Imran party supporters call for Sharif’s death in London

One protester can be heard shouting in the video “some one shoot him” in reference to Nawaz Sharif.

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London/Islamabad, Dec 9 : A group of supporters of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party held a protest outside the London residence of ailing former PM Nawaz Sharif and called for his death by shooting.

According to a report in The News, a group of PTI supporters held a protest outside Avenfield flats in London on Sunday. Sharif, who is in the UK for treatment, is living in the third floor of the Avenfield flats.

One protester called loudly for Sharif’s death by shooting while another called for Taliban-style bombing of the Avengield apartment.

A group of protesters attempted to break down the main gate.

Around 40 protestors, led by Tariq Mehmood, who runs a group called ‘Pakistan Patriotic Front’, raised slogans in support of PTI and many were wearing PTI caps.

However, PTI’s elected body issued a statement distancing itself from the protest.

One protester can be heard shouting in the video “some one shoot him” in reference to Nawaz Sharif.

Another protestor was carrying a poster that read “We cannot wait for the law”, “Avenfield belongs to us to keep”, “Imran Khan is our pride” and “Long live PTI”.

Another protestor called for Taliban-style bombing of the Avenfield apartments and said that casualties in such bombings are normal. One speaker used threatening language for Asif Saeed Khosa, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, the daily reported.

Video footage shows at least three protesters banging the front gate in order to break it down, while two protesters entered inside the gate from a side entrance and were asked by the police to leave.

Ahead of the violent protest on Sunday, Tariq Mehmood (also known as Chaduhry Tariq) issued a call asking for the occupation of Avenfield House through violence.

He said in a viral audio message: “It’s our duty to occupy property of these people. This is our right. This property belongs to the people of Pakistan. We are monitoring the whole situation and if needed, we will move in.

“We will move into the Avenfield house in the same way that property of Libyan leader Qaddafi was occupied and the British government took no action against them because the it thought these properties were made with the looted money. For us to occupy these properties, it’s our right because this money belongs to Pakistan.”

Ahead of Nawaz Sharif’s arrival, elected senior official of PTI in UK Soraya Aziz had issued a similar call for violence on Twitter. Soraya Aziz, who is Head of Computing at the Beths Grammar School in Bexley, Kent, said: “For his own safety, I strongly recommend Nawaz Sharif not leave his Avenfield Apartments. If he’s seen shopping in Knightsbridge, overseas Pakistanis will give him response even his few remaining platelets won’t know where to hide!!”

Taqveem Ahsan Siddiqui, in a statement issued earlier on Sunday said: “The PTI has not called for any demonstration outside disqualified Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s residence”.

Siddiqui said: “It has been brought to our attention that an invite to demonstrate outside his residence is in circulation. The PTI UK does not have any intention to call or join any demonstration outside Nawaz Sharif’s residence until he abides by his bail condition.”

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