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Facebook promises more action to curb hate speech in Myanmar

Earlier this year, Facebook established a dedicated team across product, engineering, and policy to work on issues specific to Myanmar.

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San Francisco, Nov 6 : Coming under fire for not doing enough to stop the misuse of its platform for spreading hate in Myanmar, Facebook has promised to invest more in people, technology and partnerships to make the social network a safer place for people to express themselves.

Facebook on Monday said it was looking into establishing a separate policy that defines its approach to content moderation with respect to human rights, as per recommendation from San Francisco-based nonprofit Business for Social Responsibility (BSR).

BSR was commissioned by Facebook to make an independent human rights impact assessment on the role of the social network’s services in Myanmar.

“We’re also working to hire additional human rights specialists to strengthen engagement with and solicit input from NGOs, academia, and international organisation,” Alex Warofka, Product Policy Manager at Facebook said in a statement.

In its report, BSR concluded that prior to this year, Facebook was not doing enough to help prevent its platform from being used to foment division and incite offline violence. Facebook agreed with this assessment.

“We agree that we can and should do more,” Warofka said.

In Myanmar, “Facebook has become a means for those seeking to spread hate and cause harm, and posts have been linked to offline violence”, according to the assessment by BSR.

A large proportion of this hate speech has been directed towards the Rohingya Muslims.

In April, the Guardian reported that hate speech on Facebook in Myanmar had exploded during the Rohingya crisis, which was caused by a crackdown by the military in Rahkine state in August 2017.

Tens of thousands of Rohingya were killed, raped and assaulted, villages were razed to the ground and more than 700,000 Rohingya fled over the border to Bangladesh, the report said.

But over the course of this year, Facebook has taken some corrective action, the BSR report said.

“In the third quarter of 2018, we saw continued improvement: we took action on approximately 64,000 pieces of content in Myanmar for violating our hate speech policies, of which we proactively identified 63 per cent — up from 13 per cent in the last quarter of 2017 and 52 per cent in the second quarter of this year,” Warofka said.

BSR said that Facebook should improve enforcement of its Community Standards, the policies that outline what is and is not allowed on Facebook.

“Core to this process is continued development of a team that understands the local Myanmar context and includes policy, product, and operations expertise,” Warofka said.

Earlier this year, Facebook established a dedicated team across product, engineering, and policy to work on issues specific to Myanmar.

Facebook promised that it would to grow the team of native Myanmar language speakers reviewing content to at least 100 by the end of 2018.

“We have now hired and onboarded 99 of these reviewers. This team is making a difference, improving the development and enforcement of our policies,” Warofka said.

Facebook has about 20 million users in Myanmar.

Business

Black Friday Deals: Realme to bring offers on Realme X3 Superzoom, X50 Pro, Buds Air Neo and more

The Black Friday sale will take place on Realme’s online store, Flipkart and Amazon.

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Over the last few years, online and offline retailers have been offering their Black Friday deals for almost an entire week ahead of Thanksgiving, and some of these deals and offers last well after the Cyber Monday sale.

Black Friday Sale is here!!

After Xiaomi, handset maker Realme on Thursday announced a Black Friday Sale that would arrive with several offers and discounts on a range of its products. The Black Friday Sale would be live for 24 hours and would start November 27, 12:00 AM. The sale would see massive discounts on a range of Realme smartphones including Realme 6i, Realme 6, Realme X3 Superzoom and X50 Pro, and various AIoT products such as Realme Buds Classic, Realme Smart Watch, Realme Buds Air Neo and Realme Smart Cam 360°.

“Realme would also be hosting the ‘Realme Days’ sale offering similar discounts on its own website Realme.com, Flipkart and Amazon.in,” the company said in a statement.

The Black Friday sale will take place on Realme’s online store, Flipkart and Amazon. In addition to the discounts, SBI credit cardholders can avail of 5% cashback on EMI transactions.

  • Realme is offering discounts from Rs 1,000 up to Rs 7,000 for its Black Friday sale. Realme X50 Pro has received the biggest discount of Rs 7,000 bringing its price down to Rs 34,999 from Rs 41,999. Realme X50 Pro with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage also gets a discount making its offer price Rs 40,999.
  • Realme X3 SuperZoom will be available with a Rs 4,000 discount on all three variants. Realme X3 has also received a Rs 3,000 discount on both its variants. Realme C3, Realme 6, Realme 6i, and Narzo 20 Pro can be purchased with a discount of Rs 1,000.
  • In the AIoT portfolio, Realme Buds Air Neo would be available at a discounted price of Rs 1999, along with the Realme Buds Wireless Pro for Rs 3199 and Realme Buds Air Pro at a special price of Rs 4299. These offers would be applicable on all purchases made through Realme’s official website Realme.com.
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India

India’s ban on 43 Chinese apps draws mixed reactions

While announcing the ban on 59 apps in June, the ministry also said that it received “many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding security of data and risk to privacy relating to operation of certain apps.”

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New Delhi: While Indian startups have largely welcomed the government’s move to ban 43 more Chinese apps, taking it to a total of 267 in a span of about five months, experts have also cautioned that users deserve more information and transparency about the reasons behind the actions.

Extending its support to the latest “digital strike” on Tuesday that banned 43 more Chinese apps, homegrown short video-sharing platform Chingari said that some of the apps in the new list “were banned earlier as well but they just cloaked themselves under a new identity to enter the Indian market.”

“The ban is a very smart move and sends out a clear message that Chinese apps cannot use such tactics to engage in activities that are ‘prejudicial to India’s sovereignty’. At the same time, we would like to assure our Chingari family that the safety of their data is our highest priority,” Sumit Ghosh, CEO, Co-founder Chingari, said in a statement.

One of the banned apps include Snack Video which offered homegrown short video apps, that gained traction following ban on TikTok, very tough competitions.

“This is yet another welcome move from the government to stand against Chinese apps that always have had serious privacy issues. We happily extend our support to all the language users and creators of Snack Video especially who are residing in tier 3/4 cities to come and join Bolo Indya,” said Varun Saxena, Founder and CEO, Bolo Indya.

However, Mishi Choudhary, Founder of SFLC.in, a legal services organisation working on law, technology and policy, said that the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology “has made it a practice of issuing orders banning websites citing vague reasons without offering details that users deserve when being deprived of access to information.”

Earlier on June, 29, the government had blocked access to 59 mobile apps and on September 2, 118 more apps were banned under section 69A of the Information Technology Act.

In addition, the government in late July, cracked down on 47 more mobile apps, most of which were reportedly clones or lite variants of the Chinese apps banned in June.

Launching the fresh assault on 43 Chinese apps on Tuesday, the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said the “action was taken based on the inputs regarding these apps for engaging in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”

While announcing the ban on 59 apps in June, the ministry also said that it received “many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding security of data and risk to privacy relating to operation of certain apps.”

“What started with the ironical assertion that the government was worried about personal data — considering we are still dithering on a personal data protection law and stories about data theft are so rampant that they don’t even make it to front page news anymore — has now turned into an unfortunate trend,” Choudhary said.

“If these Chinese apps are indulging in notorious practices which they might be, more information and transparency would help users see these orders as necessary instead of what they look like now –a sign of controlling choice,” she added.

SafeHouse Technologies, a cyber security tech enterprise that provides solutions to secure mobile phones, has welcomed the government’s move to ban 43 more Chinese apps, saying that “the government has yet again proved that the security and hygiene in the Indian smartphone and app ecosystem needs to be maintained.”

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India

Landline users need to prefix ‘0’ to call mobile phones starting Jan

Come January 1, landline users across India will need to prefix all calls to any mobile phone with a `0′ , with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) calling on telcos to modify the dialing pattern for such calls in line with the sector regulator’s recommendations.

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Kolkata: Come January 1, landline users across India will need to prefix all calls to any mobile phone with a `0′ , with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) calling on telcos to modify the dialing pattern for such calls in line with the sector regulator’s recommendations.

The move is likely to create fresh numbering resources for mobile services amid the continuing rise in India’s mobile user base and the decline in wireline connections.

The DoT, in a circular, dated November 20, has backed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s recommendations and mandated telcos to ensure all landline subscribers are “given a `0 dialing’ or STD facility” to be able to connect with mobile phones under the new calling system from next year.


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