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Facebook removes 22.5mn hate speech content, 1.5bn fake accounts in Q2

Facebook on Tuesday said that it purged 22.5 million pieces of hate speech content in the second quarter (April-June) this year, increased from 9.6 million pieces of content in Q1, and its proactive detection rate for hate speech increased 6 points from 89 per cent to 95 per cent.

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San Francisco: When it comes to fake accounts, Facebook said it removed 1,5 billion such accounts in Q2, down from 1.7 billion accounts in Q1.

The reason for the decline the social network gave was that when it blocks more attempts, there are fewer fake accounts for it to disable, “which has led to a general decline in accounts actioned since Q1 2019”.

“We estimate that fake accounts represented approximately 5 per cent of our worldwide monthly active users (MAU) on Facebook during Q2,” Guy Rosen, VP Integrity at Facebook, said in a blog post detailing the sixth edition of ‘Community Standards Enforcement Report’.

On Instagram, the proactive detection rate for hate speech increased 39 points from 45 per cent to 84 per cent in the June quarter, said Facebook.

It resulted in action on 3.3 million pieces of hate speech content in Q2, up from 808,900 in Q1.

“These increases (on Instagram) were driven by expanding our proactive detection technologies in English and Spanish,” Rosen said.

Another area where Facebook claimed it saw improvements was content related to terrorism.

“On Facebook, the amount of content we took action on increased from 6.3 million in Q1 to 8.7 million in Q2,” Rosen informed.

“We saw increases in the amount of content we took action on connected to organized hate on Instagram and bullying and harassment on both Facebook and Instagram”.

Facebook said that since it prioritised removing harmful content over measuring certain efforts during this time, it was unable to calculate the prevalence of violent and graphic content, and adult nudity and sexual activity.

“We want people to be confident that the numbers we report around harmful content are accurate, so we will undergo an independent, third-party audit, starting in 2021, to validate the numbers we publish in our Community Standards Enforcement Report,” Rosen said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook sent its content reviewers home in March and relied more heavily on the technology to review content.

The comlany said it has since brought many reviewers back online from home and, where it is safe, a smaller number into the office.

The company admitted that the number of appeals against the removal of accounts etc was much lower in Q2 “because we couldn’t always offer them”.

“We let people know about this and if they felt we made a mistake, we still gave people the option to tell us they disagreed with our decision”.

Health

Eyesight problems rising among kids

Besides, cases of reflective errors in terms of myopia and hypermetropia have also surfaced among children.

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Lucknow, Sep 26 : With children spending more time on computers and mobile phones for online classes and gaming, cases of eye sight problems are on the rise.

Children and teens between the ages of 6 and 18 years have been found to be suffering from convergence efficiency, computer vision syndrome, reflective errors and other eye sight problems.

According to rough estimates, nearly 40 per cent children have complained of various eye and vision related problems in recent weeks.

Majority of the children are being diagnosed with convergence insufficiency — a condition in which the eyes are unable to work together when looking at nearby objects. This condition causes one eye to turn outward instead of inward with the other eye, creating double or blurred vision, said Anil Rastogi, a well-known ophthalmologist.

Children working long hours on computers and smart phones usually complain of itching or burning in eyes, watering, loss of retention power, besides headache and eye pain, Rastogi added.

Shikha Kumar, another ophthalmologist, said that since the national lockdown, most children have been found to be spending eight to 10 hours on electronic devices.

“They are either attending online classes, or watching cartoons or television and playing video games. Parents feel that this is the best way to keep them occupied but this prolonged exposure to electronic devices is playing havoc with their eyesight,” she pointed out.

Doctors say that children are being diagnosed with computer vision syndrome where they complain of pain, redness, dryness, blurring of vision, double vision and other head and neck sprains.

Besides, cases of reflective errors in terms of myopia and hypermetropia have also surfaced among children.

Doctors suggest eye exercises, frequent breaks from TV/computer/ mobile phone screens to prevent permanent damage to the eyes.

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Health

People aged between 30-40 coming with new-found cardio issues

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New Delhi, Sep 26 : Respiratory disorders caused by Covid-19 have taken a centre-stage during the pandemic, overshadowing other burgeoning health issues, particularly cardiovascular disorders (CVDs). With the recent uptick in heart diseases over the last few months, people are facing the likelihood of cardiovascular concerns at a large scale.

The incidences of new-onset and worsening heart problems are being highlighted by medical experts. However, a worrying trend is being noticed by them where patients, coming with new-found CVD aged between 30 and 40 while the majority hails from metro cities.

“We are observing a notable shift in the trend of CVDs where people in their 30-40s are getting heart attacks and other cardiac problems, from metros like Delhi and Mumbai,” observed Dr Partap Chauhan, Director at Jiva Ayurveda, a leading Ayurvedic telemedicine organization in India.

“We had the maximum number of cases from the Maharashtra region (150+ cases), followed by Delhi (200+ cases), Uttar Pradesh (300+ cases) and Haryana (110+ cases), of which around 1,000 were males and 480 were females,” he informed.

Notably, most of these cases also had an observable trend in co-morbidity. “Our doctors consulted 670 cases for hypertension, followed by 216 cases of Hypercholesterolemia and 174 cases of Hridroga (other heart diseases),” Chauhan shared.

Besides, he also estimated that more than cases related to cardiovascular problems have increased by 50 per cent.

“Before lockdown, our doctors consulted 748 cases for cardiovascular diseases, during the complete lockdown, we got 322 cases of CVDs and post-lockdown, our doctors have consulted around 776 cases through our telemedicine centre and clinics,” Chauhan added.

Weighing on the sudden spurt in cardiovascular issues, Chauhan listed certain aggregators that contributed to the rise. “The unavailability of quality medical care and the fear of contagion is one of the few common causes for the worsening condition of patients with pre-existing heart problems. In addition to that, the sudden and disproportionate increase in causative factors such as stress, anxiety, obesity, and physical inactivity is pushing the pre-CVD segment of people in their late 40s and with existing comorbidities into becoming new patients of CVD,” he explained.

He also said that emotional factors such as Isolation, loss of employment, financial dilemmas, and the emotional burden of being away from family members or bereavement have made matters worse. “The psychological effects (loneliness, stress, anxiety, isolation, unemployment fear and economic burden) of the pandemic combined with other lifestyle factors like smoking and drinking, irregular eating habits, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity may increase CVD cases during the pandemic,” Chauhan added.

Meanwhile, stress, bad diet, and emotional turmoil is taking a toll on the heart. Chauhan said that adopting a healthy lifestyle, and adding yoga and herbs in your daily routine can help.

“Over a period, it becomes weak and coupled with incorrect lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking alcohol or eating junk food, the already high risk of developing heart diseases goes up. Practising yoga and pranayama could reduce stress levels. A gentle head massage or full body massage with oil relieves tension and reduces the load on your heart. Switch off highly charged TV broadcasts if it is causing you stress. Spend time cultivating what makes you happy, healthy and gives you peace,” he advised.

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India

Muslim Family Transfers 110-Year-Old Sikh Manuscripts To Gurdwara In Pakistan

The ancient Sikhi Saroop, which had remained in the possession of a Sufi family in Gujrat in Pakistan’s Punjab province, has now been handed over to the administration of Gurdwara Baba Di Beri in Sialkot.

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Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan

After 90 years of safekeeping, a Sufi organisation in Pakistan has transferred over 110-year old copies of rare Sikh manuscripts to the administration of a gurdwara in Sialkot in Punjab province to strengthen Muslim-Sikh brotherhood, according to a media report.

The two manuscripts of Guru Granth Sahib had long been in the safekeeping of Pir Syed Munir Naqshbandi, a revered Sufi elder from a village of Gujarat, the Sufi organisation’s head, Iftikhar Warraich Kalravi, told The Express Tribune.

Known to be an advocate for interfaith harmony, Naqshbandi had offered asylum at his residence to a few Sikh families trying to escape ethnic violence before partition, the daily said.

“Apart from sheltering some Sikh families, he had also salvaged some of their religious scriptures and kept them from being desecrated. Among them were the two manuscripts of Guru Granth Sahib.

“When the Sufi elder passed away in the year 1950, he had left the scriptures in the safekeeping of his children and since then they have remained with the family,” said Kakravi.

Kalravi said that Pir Naqshbandi had always campaigned for Muslim-Sikh brotherhood, while also campaigning for interfaith harmony in general.

“He was known for his kindness and this led to the revered Sikh manuscripts coming into his possession. After over 90 years of safekeeping within the Pir’s family, we have now decided that the manuscripts should now be rightfully transferred to the Gurdwara Sahib. This is a great example of Muslim-Sikh friendship and will help further strengthen our relationships,” Kalravi said.

The 500-year-old Baba Di Beri Gurdwara in Sialkot, about 140 kms from here, last year in July opened its doors for Indian Sikh pilgrims. Earlier, Indians were not allowed to visit the gurdwara.

According to the Sikh tradition, when Guru Nanak — the founder of Sikhism and the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus, arrived in Sialkot from Kashmir in the 16th Century, he stayed under the tree of Beri. Sardar Natha Singh then built a gurdwara in his remembrance at the site.

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