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New Zealand PM says Facebook, others should do more against online hate

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New Zealand PM says Facebook, others should do more against online hate
Tech giants like Meta’s Facebook and world leaders needed to do “much more” to stamp out violent extremism and radicalization online, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Friday.

Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron launched a global initiative in 2019 to end online hatred after a white supremacist murdered 51 people in two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch while live-streaming his frenzy on Facebook.

This Christchurch Call initiative is supported by more than 50 countries, international organizations and technology companies, including Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft.

Ardern said Friday the initiative had been successful in its first goal of establishing a crisis protocol, including a 24/7 network between platforms to quickly remove content, in response to events like the one in Christchurch.

“We’ve tested those systems in the real world and they’ve worked very effectively,” Ardern said in an interview.

“I am convinced that we are working more effectively than before,” she added. “The next challenge, however, is to move on.”

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When asked what tech companies should be doing, Ardern replied, “much more.”

Ardern said the next step was to focus on prevention, looking at how people find or encounter hateful or terror-motivating content online, and perhaps radicalize it.

“There we are really interested in the ongoing work around algorithms and the role we can all play in ensuring that online platforms do not become a place of radicalisation,” she said.

A Christchurch Call conference earlier this year was attended by the United States and Britain.

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UPDATE 3 Rohingya Refugees Sue Facebook for $150 Billion for Violence in Myanmar

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Facebook says it removes accounts that focused on Vietnamese activists

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are suing Meta Platforms Inc, formerly known as Facebook, for $150 billion over allegations that the social media company has failed to act against anti-Rohingya hate speech that has contributed to violence. A US class-action lawsuit filed Monday in California by law firms Edelson PC and Fields PLLC argues that the company’s failure to control content and the platform’s design contributed to the real-life violence facing the Rohingya. . .com/investigates/special-report/myanmar-facebook-hate community.

In a concerted action, British lawyers have also sent a letter of formal notice to Facebook’s London office. A Meta spokesperson said in a statement: “We are shocked by the crimes committed against the Rohingya people in Myanmar. We have built a dedicated team of Burmese speakers, banned the Tatmadaw (Myanmar’s military), disrupted networks that manipulate public debate and take action against harmful misinformation to protect people. We have also invested in Burmese language technology to reduce the prevalence of infringing content.”

The company previously said it was “too slow to prevent misinformation and hatred” in Myanmar. A spokesman for the Myanmar junta did not return calls from Reuters to comment on the legal action against Facebook.

In 2018, UN human rights researchers said the use of Facebook had played a key role in spreading hate speech that fueled the violence. A Reuters investigation https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/myanmar-facebook-hate that year, cited in the US complaint, found more than 1,000 examples of posts, comments, and images depicting the Rohingya and other attacking Muslims on Facebook. Almost all were in the main local language, Burmese.

The swear words included posts calling the Rohingya or other Muslims dogs, maggots and rapists, suggesting that they be fed to pigs, and urging them to be shot or exterminated. The posts were tolerated despite Facebook rules specifically prohibiting attacking ethnic groups with “violent or dehumanizing language” or comparing them to animals.

Facebook has said it is protected from liability for content posted by users by a US internet law known as Section 230, which states that online platforms are not liable for content posted by third parties. The complaint says it wants to apply Myanmar law to the claims if Section 230 is raised as a defense. While US courts can apply foreign law to cases where the alleged harm and activities by companies occurred in other countries, two legal experts interviewed by Reuters said they were not aware of a successful precedent for foreign law invoked in lawsuits against social media companies where Section 230 protections may apply.

Anupam Chander, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, said relying on Myanmar law was not “inappropriate”. But he predicted that “it is unlikely to be successful,” saying that “it would be strange if Congress ruled out actions under US law but allowed them to proceed under foreign law.” More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Rakhine state in Myanmar in August 2017 after a military crackdown that refugees say involved massacres and rapes. Rights groups documented murders of civilians and the burning of villages.

Myanmar authorities say they fought an insurgency and deny committing systematic atrocities. The International Criminal Court has opened a case over allegations of crimes in the region. In September, a US federal judge ordered Facebook to release data from accounts linked to anti-Rohingya violence in Myanmar that the social media giant had shut down.

The new class-action lawsuit references claims by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, who leaked a cache https://www.reuters.com/technology/facebook-whistleblower-says-transparency-needed-fix-social-media-ills- 2021-12-03 from internal documents this year that the company does not monitor abusive content in countries where such expressions are likely to do the most damage. The complaint also cites recent media reports, including a Reuters report https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/information-combat-inside-fight-myanmars-soul-2021-11-01 last month, that Myanmar military used fake social media accounts to engage in what is commonly referred to in the military as “information battle.”

Mohammed Taher, a refugee living in the camps in Bangladesh where more than a million Rohingya live, said Facebook was widely used to spread anti-Rohingya propaganda. “We are happy with the move,” he said on the phone.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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YouTube cancels year-end video ‘Rewind’ for 2020, says it’s been a different year

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YouTube cancels year-end video 'Rewind' for 2020, says it's been a different year

Video streaming giant YouTube, owned by Google, has announced that it will not release a “Rewind” video for 2020, the company’s celebratory year-end video featuring top video creators. YouTube made the announcement in a statement, saying 2020 was a “different” year and it wouldn’t feel right to continue if it wasn’t. “We know that so much of the good that happened in 2020 was created by all of you. You’ve found ways to cheer people up, help them cope, and make them laugh. You really made a difficult year better,” YouTube said in a statement.

According to an IANS report, major creators have backed YouTube’s call to cancel its year-end video ‘Rewind’. However, the report said there were disagreements with some creators like JerryRigEverything saying that besides all the wrong things that have happened this year, there are several things to be positive about. “Since 2010, we have closed the year with Rewind: a look back at the most impactful creators, videos and trends of the year. Whether you love it — or you just remember 2018 — Rewind was always meant to celebrate you. Thank you for making a difference,” the tweeted statement from YouTube read.

In 2018, YouTube turned its year-end rundown into a short film with cameos from Will Smith, Marshmello, and more. However, the video became the most hated video of all time, despite a star-studded cast. Last year, YouTube went back to a montage of clips from YouTube’s most liked videos of the year.

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NC leaders see many opportunities, growth with news Amazon opens branch

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NC leaders see many opportunities, growth with news Amazon opens branch

KINSTON, NC (WNCT) — Amazon is coming to Kinston.

The company purchased a building on Enterprise Boulevard near several other manufacturing centers.

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City and county leaders said this is a major problem for the community. They said it will not only create jobs but could also help attract more large companies to East North Carolina.

“Watch what’s going on in East North Carolina,” said Mark Pope, senior vice president of North Carolina Global TransPark Economic Development. “Available Jobs and Opportunities.”

People are already working to get the new facility ready. It’s called a last mile facility.

“That large facility would send products and packages to this facility, and then it would go out from here and be distributed to residents, commercial properties,” Pope said.

The hub will bring new jobs to the area. Officials don’t know how many yet, but some job openings are already online.

“We would like all Kinstonians to be able to apply and accept the job here at our local Amazon hub,” said Mayor Don Hardy. “I think it’s a big problem and it’s going to mean a lot to our community.”

Hardy said this investment proves Kinston has a lot to offer.

“They see us growing,” he said. “They see that we are an asset and they see that we are a force to be reckoned with.”

This is not the first major investment in the region this year.

“We’ve announced more than 1,700 jobs, so a lot of capital investment … about $125 million,” Pope said. “Our region has been very lucky to attract businesses this year.”

Pope said with a name like Amazon coming to town, this won’t be the last big announcement.

“For a company like that to create jobs, a capital investment in the community is a lot,” he said. “People from out of state really notice, they say there’s staff, there’s education. That can attract other companies.”

Hardy said he doesn’t know when the facility will open. He and provincial officials will be talking to Amazon in the coming months to help with plans.

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