All four conferences to be decided in final week of play

first_imgBy Sunday the Big 5 and Little 4 Conferences, for both baseball and softball, will be decided. As of this morning, however, everything is up for grabs.In the Big 5 a pair of conference-deciding series will begin at 4 p.m. today as Eureka High’s softball and baseball teams will travel to McKinleyville to play the first games of a three-game series which will make conference champions out of whichever two teams take the two pivotal series.Meanwhile, Miranda will be the site for the lion’s share …last_img

SA ready for 2010

first_imgThe panel in discussion at the mediabriefing held in Beijing in August to report on the status of South Africa’s 2010preparations. South Africa’s Ekhaya Hospitality centrebustled with international journalists.(Images: International Marketing Council)Janine ErasmusSouth Africa’s Local Organising Committee (LOC) held a press briefing in Beijing on 21 August 2008 to report on the status of the country’s preparations to host the Fifa World Cup in 2010. The delegation was led by South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Finance Jabu Moleketi, and LOC CEO Danny Jordaan.Other members of the delegation included Minister in the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa Dr Essop Pahad, Fifa Secretary-General Jérôme Valcke, Commissioner Andre Pruis of the South African Police Services, and Ray Wheland of Zurich-based MATCH AG, the company tasked by Fifa to provide ticketing and hospitality services for major Fifa events such as the 2009 and 2013 Confederations Cup and the 2010 and 2014 World Cup tournaments.The briefing took the form of a panel discussion forum facilitated by Government Communication and Information Systems and the national Department of Sports and Recreation.South Africa has taken full advantage of the media opportunities presented by the Beijing Olympics, which has attracted 5 600 accredited journalists and other media professionals from all over the world, said CEO of Government Communication and Information Systems and official government spokesperson Themba Maseko.Speaking at the briefing, held at South Africa’s Ekhaya (isiZulu, home) Hospitality Centre in the Westin Chaoyang Hotel, Minister in the Presidency Pahad said that the 2010 World Cup must be used as a vehicle to project a whole new image of South Africa, and the African continent, to the world.“For us this event is much more than sport,” said Pahad. “It is about South Africa’s and Africa’s ability to host the world. It is about getting out from underneath the welter of negative press coverage our continent receives. It is about informing the world that Africa has much to offer, that our people are ready to receive the world, ready to host those who come to the World Cup and that when they come they will receive a wonderfully unforgettable African experience.”Ready to welcome the worldLOC CEO Danny Jordaan re-iterated South Africa’s readiness to hold an event of the magnitude of the World Cup, adding that construction is ahead of schedule in most cases. “In terms of our stadium construction programme, our deadline for the Confederations Cup venues is December 2008,” he said. “Those stadiums are there and they are being upgraded. In terms of stadium readiness, we can say here, that will be ready by the end of 2009. All the stadiums will be complete for kick off.“For the rest of the stadiums, the completion date is October 2009. Eighty percent of those stadiums will be completed by July 2009.”In a media briefing held on 13 August 2008 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Deputy Finance Minister Moleketi said that South Africa is meeting the timelines set in terms of development and construction. “We have covered a lot of ground. The timelines and the deadlines that we set ourselves have been met, and those are also in keeping in ensuring that we are indeed ready to host 2010.”With regard to tourism, an extra three million tourists are expected to visit South Africa during the World Cup, boosting the number of tourists in a single year to 10-million. “We are there to give them an experience to ensure that they come back with their families and friends,” said Moloketi.Tourism to South Africa currently contributes more than 8% to the country’s GDP, and is expected to leap to 12% in June and July 2010.The entire Southern African region will gain from the World Cup in tourism terms, said Pahad. “Tourism SA is in the process of linking 2010 to a range of other tourism experiences throughout the country and the region. Travel throughout the region will as far as possible be relatively easy and seamless.”The minister went on to mention the Univisa, which will allow visitors to travel to all countries in the Southern African Development Community region on one visa.Jordaan also commented that the successful hosting of the World Cup will open the door to other prestigious events, and possibly even the Olympics which, too, has never taken place on African soil. “It is very important that we succeed in this world cup, because nothing less is required to open the door for the last major event on the continent the Olympics.”Fifa added its voice to the discussion, with the organisation’s secretary-general Jérôme Valcke affirming that Fifa and South Africa are working hard together to ensure that the highly-anticipated event will happen in South Africa. “If we say the World Cup will take place in South Africa, it will take place in South Africa. We are on the right timing and the right track to ensure that all goes according to plan.”Andre Pruis, the South African police commissioner, assured delegates that the World Cup will be a safe and secure event, saying most of the safety and security infrastructure is already in place.Setting the examplePahad paid tribute to the People’s Republic of China for successfully hosting the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “From the spectacular opening ceremony to the unfailing courtesy of all the volunteers and the performances of the athletes representing the People’s Republic of China we can all agree that these Olympic Games are simply phenomenal,” he said.In January 2008 China and South Africa celebrated a decade of international relations. Relations between the two countries did not take off in 1994 because of a dispute involving Taiwan, but on New Year’s Day 1998 bilateral relations were established and have developed smoothly ever since.A report on the official Chinese government portal says that in 2000 the volume of bilateral trade reached $2-billion, at that time more than 20% of the total trade volume between China and the entire African continent. And by the end of 2006, the volume of Sino-South Africa trade had almost quintupled to $9.8-billion.Celebrating Africa’s humanityWith the Beijing Olympics drawing to a close, the attention of the world will now shift to Africa. The 2010 World Cup, the first ever to take place on the African continent, is not only viewed as a South African event, but an African event that will boost the country’s and the continent’s standing in the global community. “Our destiny is linked to that of the rest of Africa,” said Pahad, “and we are working to build a better South Africa, a better Africa and a better world.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at [email protected] articlesWorld Cup host cities South Africans upbeat about 2010Tourism in South AfricaUnivisa for SA touristsUseful linksSouth Africa 2010SA TourismDepartment of Sport and RecreationJoburg host city websitelast_img read more

Entertainment Weekly Mag Has A Smartphone Bound In — If You Can Find It

first_imgWhat it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#Mobile Ads#web Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfacescenter_img adam popescu What makes this month’s issue of Entertainment Weekly so special? Not smoking-hot soccer mom Tina Fey vamping on the cover. The reason is inside: A 2.3-inch LCD screen insert that runs live video and tweets for the CW Network’s (not so) fresh lineup of shows. Wait, that’s not an ad. That’s a smartphone!That’s right, a bona-fide 3G android device. For the cover price of $3.95, you’re getting a cellphone along with your Hollywood news. Whoa. The dirt cheap smartphone is a modified ABO 810 budget smartphone made to display tweets and trailer previews for the CW network. It comes complete with a wireless connection, a T-Mobile 3G SIM card, camera, speaker, USB port and QWERTY keyboard. All under a thick layer of card-stock paper. Retail value: $40 to $90. Sentimental or collector’s item value: Through the roof. Apparently, the device was made in Foxconn’s factory in China, according to its handset motherboard. That factory is busy. In my awe at this superslick advertising move, I went out to buy the magazine, take the ad apart and see if I could hack the phone and use it to make a call. Hey, if the guys at Mashable could do it, so could I. Was I overly ambitious or downright arrogant, given that I have little to no phone hacking or jailbreaking experience? No way. With the beauty that is Google, I found a couple quick guides, scrounged up a screwdriver and scissors, and went down to the corner store ready to make the buy and get cranking. Right away, I found a copy of the issue. But something seemed wrong. I flipped through the pages, and found . . . nothing. Just a usual pesky subscription insert. Where was the ad? Had Mashable perpetrated some kind of cruel joke? I knew I couldn’t trust those guys . . . and yet . . .I checked the date, asked the guy behind the counter: Everything checked out. But the smartphone wasn’t in the issue.I went down the street to St. Regis Liquor. They had Paris Match and Variety, but no Entertainment Weekly. Confused, I trudged home, dragging my steps, and hopped online. After a few clicks, I learned that EW only printed 1,000 copies with the phone insert. It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon, Pacific time. The likelihood of finding a copy was dwindling. Frantic, I called King’s Newsstand in West Hollywood. Nothing. Then I called World Book and News on Fairfax. No answer. I dialed Al’s Newsstand in Beverly Hills. They had it! But did they have one with the phone in it?“I have customers here, I can’t open the magazine,” the irritated merchant told me.I asked him to save one for me and raced over. Twenty five minutes later, I was flipping through the issue, palms sweaty, brow furrowed. No dice.I went home a beaten man. Entertainment Weekly’s coup wasn’t the first print-magazine video ad, but it certainly was the most clever. Here’s a look at what I (and probably you) missed: The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Beermen are going to miss Arwind Santos’ Spiderman dunk

first_imgLOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Joking aside, Cabagnot said he’s “gonna miss that spidey dunk.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next I will match you!! Haha— Chris Ross (@cmross6) January 15, 2019READ: End of ‘Spiderman dunk’ as PBA deems ‘monkey ride’ unsportsmanlikeThe league on Tuesday released a memo wherein “a player who hangs onto the rim after a dunk and places either or both of his feet onto the backboard, shall be assessed with an unsportsmanlike technical foul.”ADVERTISEMENT The All-Star guards even joked about paying the fine just for Santos to continue doing his patented dunks.I’m sponsoring the first spidey dunk “fine” this conference ? @cmross6 you want to sponsor the 2nd spidey dunk ? 😊😊😊😊FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars— alex cabagnot (@askcabaggie) January 15, 2019 LATEST STORIES PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening A day hasn’t passed since the PBA issued a memorandum banning Arwind Santos’ ‘Spiderman’ dunk but his San Miguel Beer teammates Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross are already sentimental over it.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Knicks’ Enes Kanter says anyone against Turkey president is a ‘target’ MOST READ SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

PM Harper failing to fulfill Mulroneys Oka promise on modern treaties

first_img(Mohawks from Kahnawake battle with Canadian soldiers during the 1990 Oka crisis. File/photo) Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsAs the smoke was clearing from the 1990 Oka Crisis, then-prime minister Brian Mulroney wrote to the premiers of the Northwest Territories and the Yukon about the long, hot summer saying his government would be responding to the demands of “Aboriginal people” in four parts.At the top of the list was “resolving land claims.”Mulroney assured the two premiers the issue would receive Ottawa’s full attention.“The federal government is determined to create a new relationship among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians based on dignity, trust and respect,” wrote Mulroney to former NWT premier Dennis Patterson and former Yukon Premier Tony Penikett in near-identical letters dated Nov. 15, 1990.The other issues on the list included, “defining a new relationship between Aboriginal peoples and governments,” also “improving the economic and social conditions on reserves” and “addressing the concerns of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples in contemporary Canadian life.”Throughout the summer-long crisis in Kanesatake and Kahnawake which spread across the country, the issue of comprehensive claims, or modern treaties, continued to crop up as a major irritant from the First Nation side. Pundits and First Nation representatives who appeared on CBC, CTV and other local cable newscasts repeatedly mentioned the need for Ottawa to overhaul its approach to comprehensive claims. APTN did not exist at the time.In response, after the guns, tanks and helicopters faded from television screens, Mulroney began an overhaul of the land claim system. First, he eliminated the six-claim cap on the number of negotiations Ottawa would deal with at any one time. In 1992, the British Columbia-specific treaty table was created and in 1993 former Progressive Conservative Indian affairs minister Tom Siddon unveiled an overhaul of Ottawa’s comprehensive claim and specific claims policies.The LettersDownload (PDF, Unknown)Since then, only four B.C. modern treaties have been settled while First Nations involved in the process have amassed about $500 million worth in loans from the federal government to pay for negotiations. As of January 2013, Canada has issued $1 billion in loans and non-repayable contributions to First Nation groups involved in claims talks which can take up to three decades to reach a final agreement.It’s also emerged that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet has stalled three modern treaty negotiations for two years.As it nears the end of its first majority mandate and its ninth year in power, the Harper government is only now beginning to address the issue of comprehensive land claims and folding it into a process named to imply a redefinition of Ottawa’s relationship with its Indigenous nations.It’s called the “reconciliation framework” and it was first mentioned by Ottawa in a statement issued by Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt’s office last Thursday in response to the release of a report by former federal negotiator Douglas Eyford.Eyford was appointed last July by Valcourt to meet with dozens of First Nations across the country on improving Ottawa’s comprehensive land claims policy. As his report points out, Eyford travelled well tilled soil. The federal comprehensive claims policy has been updated three times since its 1973 creation. There have also been eight studies or reports on the issue since 1983, including a 2006 report from the federal Auditor General and two Senate reports, in 2008 and 2012.“Many of the issues I have considered are neither new nor unforeseen. The observations, findings, and recommendations of these reports remain relevant and compelling despite the passage of time, legal developments, and changes in policy having placed some of the issues in a different context,” said Eyford, in the report.Comprehensive claims encompass territorial claims, self-government and Aboriginal rights. They are negotiated in areas not covered by so-called “surrender” treaties or numbered treaties. The majority of these claims stem from British Columbia, the North, parts of Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.Specific claims generally stem from historical grievances over loss of land or the misuse of monies held in trust by Ottawa.Eyford’s report also mentions a “reconciliation framework” and issues recommendations on its possible creation.“Canada’s commitment to reconciliation should be reflected in a new framework that: continues to support modern treaty negotiations, but addresses institutional barriers…provides a rights-informed approach to treaty-making,” said the report. “(It should also offer) other reconciliation arrangements for Aboriginal groups that are not interested in negotiating a comprehensive land claims agreement…and improves the implementation of modern treaties and other agreements with Aboriginal groups.”Valcourt’s office is saying little about its own vision for this new framework aside from sending links to the department’s interim comprehensive claims policy which was widely panned by First Nation groups.In an emailed statement, Valcourt’s office said the reconciliation framework is simply the renamed “framework for addressing Section 35 Aboriginal Rights.” The minister also has no plans to roll anything out soon.“This framework will be developed incrementally and through dialogue with partners,” said the statement. “Over the coming months, we will engage with Aboriginal groups as well as other stakeholders, including those who provided input during the engagement meetings (with Eyford), in order to seek their feedback on those recommendations.”Valcourt’s framework plans, however, are getting a lukewarm response from the Assembly of First Nations.AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde said Valcourt needed to open direct discussions with First Nations on the issue.“Any work on a ‘reconciliation framework’ needs to be discussed directly with First Nations,” said Bellegarde. “We are concerned that this government is relying too much on ministerial special representatives and other agents when the federal government has a duty to engage directly with First Nations.”It all seems a far cry from what was promised following the Oka crisis by the Mulroney government of which Valcourt was once a part.“I have great respect for the peaceful and patient manner in which most chiefs, elders and Aboriginal people have expressed their grievances and my government will continue to work with these individuals to find appropriate measures to respond to the needs and concerns of Aboriginal people,” said the letters, which Mulroney signed. “These grievances raise issues that deeply affect all Canadians and therefore must be resolved by all Canadians working together.”According to a memo sent to Mulroney with draft responses to the two premiers, the letters “were developed in consultation with the Department of Indian Affairs.”The MemoDownload (PDF, Unknown)[email protected]@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

Questions about Indigenous land rights in Alberta surround provincial plan to support

first_imgMartha TroianAPTN InvestigatesThe provincial government is moving forward with a plan in northwestern Alberta that has First Nations and Métis hunters and trappers worried about how it will effect them.The “caribou range plan” covers millions of hectares of land. One hectare equals 2.47 acres.Alberta says the plan is meant to address the declining number of caribou.But Graham Courtoreille, 69, from the Beaver Ranch Indian Reserve, near Fort Vermilion, believes the plan has nothing to do with protecting the herds but more to do with the government’s plan to turn his traditional territory into parkland and wash away Indigenous land rights.“Sure it could be good for the Native people but you know yourself the federal government has been trying to take away our treaty rights,” says Courtoreille.“I don’t trust Trudeau, I never trusted his dad, and I don’t trust him.”The woodland caribou are considered threatened under both the federal Species at Risk Act and Alberta’s Wildlife Act.The provinces caribou range plan is home to several First Nation communities and Métis settlements, along with six municipalities. In Alberta there is provincial legislation governing Metis settlements that is similar in many ways to the Indian Act.There are 15 caribou ranges in total in the province. In northwestern Alberta, the area could be affected by four caribou range plans; the Bistcho, Yates, Chinchaga and Caribou Mountains range.The largest range is the Caribou Mountains Range, measuring 2,065,873 hectares in size.Parkland status is one tool government could useA working document at the moment, referred as “Alberta’s Draft Provincial Woodland Caribou Range Plan,” proposes to restore the declining caribou population while meeting Canada’s requirements under the Species at Risk Act.According to one of the province’s primary guiding documents to deal with woodland caribou recovery efforts, herds in Alberta are declining at high rates.But for Courtoreille and for other trappers in the region, the caribou are not threatened.“There’s more caribou than elk and moose in this country,” says Courtoreille.Owen Sabiston, a retired fish and wildlife game warden who worked with the province for 30 years, echoes Courtoreille’s concerns.“I have a problem with them calling it a recovery plan because they don’t have baseline numbers of the caribou in the wild, they don’t know how many caribou there were 50 years ago,” said Sabiston about the province’s Environment and Parks reports.He believes the province lacks scientific proof and does not have any data on the caribou prior to the 1990s.A spokesperson with the Alberta Environment and Parks stated that although one conservation method may include converting some land into parkland, it is only one tool at their disposal. They can also utilize restoration, land-use planning and habitat protection. The province’s goal is to work with each individual community to see what tools are most appropriate.Courtoreille says he just found out about the government’s plan recently.“Nobody knew about it, the trappers didn’t know, [and] there are still people who don’t know nothing about it.”However, the department said it met with First Nations and Métis groups in Alberta in early 2017, along with other stakeholders in the forestry and energy sector and with environmental organizations during their Phase 1 process, which informed the draft plan. Information sessions and workshops were also held in various municipalities and meetings with individual communities upon request.Graham Courtoreille, a trapper from the Beaver Ranch Indian ReserveTrappers scared, caribou fine, say advocatesCourtoreille says there are hundreds of trappers and mill workers scared of what’s to come.Calvin Bulldog, 49, from Beaver First Nation is another concerned trapper.Bulldog’s trapline is near Caribou Mountains, neighbouring Wood Buffalo National Park. It’s a trapline that has been passed down for generations. Bulldog said if he loses his trapline, he will have nothing. He said it was only recently he learned about the province’s caribou range plan. Until APTN Investigates informed Bulldog how much land could be affected in his region, he said he had no idea.The Northwest Species at Risk Committee (NSWAR), a grassroots organization made up of six northwestern municipalities, formed as a means to give local residents a voice to do with caribou recovery, released a news release asserting how the government’s plan could sterilize the region’s resources and devastate its economy.According to the NSWAR, 650 forestry jobs could be at risk, $1 billion of annual revenue in timber harvest, gas and oil fields would be greatly impacted, as well as other industries such as trapping, outfitting and agriculture.“We cannot understand why the provincial government wants to add more park space in our area,” wrote NSWAR chair Lisa Wardley. In northwest Alberta, the province is already home to Wood Buffalo National Park and Caribou Mountains Wildland Park.NSWAR is currently circulating a petition, asking concerned citizens to submit a statement declaring their opposition about the government’s plan and mail it to their provincial and/or federal environment ministers.Chief Trevor Mercredi of Beaver First Nation says his community will be meeting with the province to address their concerns.“From what I’m being told, the province cannot enact any sort of legislation that will impact our rights. But in saying that, we do have our eyes and ears open,” says Mercredi.Province said Indigenous rights will not be affectedThe spokesperson with Environment and Parks said they want to hear all concerns including those from Indigenous and Métis communities and from the Northwest Species at Risk Committee.The province also said they acknowledge the significance of Indigenous and Métis hunting and fishing rights, knowing it is part of their cultural heritage.When asked specifically what will become of fishing and hunting rights for Indigenous and Métis people, the spokesperson said their rights will not be affected“The traditional Indigenous hunting rights are not impacted by any of our range planning. They have that as part of their treaty rights and that’s protected by the constitution. We have no jurisdiction over Indigenous hunting.”The spokesperson also said no decisions have been made as to which conservations tools will apply in the region.The last information session for Phase 2 wrapped up this week, and now the province will move into Phase 3, which will lead to the province’s final caribou management plan.last_img read more

Camas librarys interesting take on book club

first_imgCAMAS — Art that’s inspired by a good book can be interesting.In Meg Wolitzer’s celebrated 2013 novel, “The Interestings,” a gaggle of teenagers at a summer arts camp bond together in that amazingly intense way that only summer campers can. Love, rivalry, hero worship and enduring dreams for the future all sprout. So do years of unexpected consequences and soul-searching about what it means to be ordinary versus what it means to be special and truly “interesting.”The Camas Public Library’s bimonthy Book-to-Art club is special and interesting. Its mission is not just to get people reading and talking — it’s also to get them creating. It was started by librarian Judy Wile, who has run a monthly “Saturday Adult Craft-o-Rama” at the library for years. In that group, Wile selects a project and everybody tries it.But Wile recently stumbled upon another inspiration: The Library-as-Incubator Project, hatched by some creative library-science teachers and students at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. The idea is to generate creative partnerships between libraries and artists. Wile adopted one of Library-as-Incubator’s many online suggestions for Camas: a book discussion group that generates artistic reactions as well as conversation. Readers do their artwork at home and bring it in to share.Love it, hate itAnybody who’s ever been in a book group knows that somebody’s going to fall in love with it while somebody else inevitably wonders, who chose this dog?Wolitzer’s dense 2013 novel about summer camp and its lifelong aftermath found both fans and shrugs in the Camas group, which spent about an hour on a Thursday evening in late March batting around the characters’ choices, motives and outcomes.last_img read more

Why online shopping sales are less on mobile apps

first_imgOnline shoppers are more likely to use mobile apps as a way of researching and organising goods, but less as a buying tool, leading to the abandonment of purchases, finds a study. Although mobile apps are rapidly becoming a popular option to shop online these days, the phenomenon of shopping cart abandonment – customers leave without completing the transaction – is much higher than for desktop-based online shopping, the researchers said. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe share of e-commerce traffic from mobile devices increased to 46 per cent in 2016, however, only 27 per cent of purchases were finalised. It is because consumers are often unable to see the full picture on a mobile app or that they could be missing out on special offers or overlooking hidden costs.”The smaller screen size and uncertainty about missing important details about the purchase make you much more ambivalent about completing the transaction than when you are looking at a big screen,” Asaid Nikolaos Korfiatis, professor at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIn addition, concerns related to privacy and security issues on the mobile phones also motivates people to put items into their shopping baskets but then quit without paying.This makes it challenging for the online retailers, who invest heavily in mobile shopping, but are unable to find successful sales.”Mobile shopping is supposed to make the process easier, and yet concerns about making the right choice, or about whether the site is secure enough leads to an ’emotional ambivalence’ about the transaction – and that means customers are much more likely to simply abandon their shopping carts without completing a purchase,” Korfiatis added.last_img read more

Google and Facebook working hard to clean image after the media backlash

first_imgLast Friday’s uncontrolled spread of horrific videos on the Christchurch mosque attack and a propaganda coup for espousing hateful ideologies raised questions about social media. The tech companies scrambled to take action on time due to the speed and volume of content which was uploaded, reuploaded and shared by the users worldwide. In Washington and Silicon Valley, the incident crystallized growing concerns about the extent to which government and market forces have failed to check the power of social media. The failure highlighted the social media companies struggle to police content that are massively lucrative and persistently vulnerable to outside manipulation despite years of promises to do better. After the white supremacist live-streamed the attack and uploaded the video to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other platforms across the internet. These tech companies faced back lashes from the media and internet users worldwide, to an extent where they were regarded as complicit in promoting white supremacism too. In response to the backlash, Google and Facebook provides status report on what they went through when the video was reported, the kind of challenges they faced and what are the next steps to combat such incidents in future. Google’s report so far… Google in an email to Motherboard says it employs 10,000 people across to moderate the company’s platforms and products. They also described a process they would follow when a user reports a piece of potentially violating content—such as the attack video; which is The user flagged report will go to a human moderator to assess. The moderator is instructed to flag all pieces of content related to the attack as “Terrorist Content,” including full-length or sections of the manifesto. Because of the document’s length the email tells moderators not to spend an extensive amount of time trying to confirm whether a piece of content does contain part of the manifesto. Instead, if the moderator is unsure, they should err on the side of caution and still label the content as “Terrorist Content,” which will then be reviewed by a second moderator. The second moderator is told to take time to verify that it is a piece of the manifesto, and appropriately mark the content as terrorism no matter how long or short the section may be. Moderators are told to mark the manifesto or video as terrorism content unless there is an Educational, Documentary, Scientific, or Artistic (EDSA) context to it. Further Google adds that they want to preserve journalistic or educational coverage of the event, but does not want to allow the video or manifesto itself to spread throughout the company’s services without additional context. Google at some point had taken the unusual step of automatically rejecting any footage of violence from the attack video, cutting out the process of a human determining the context of the clip. If, say, a news organization was impacted by this change, the outlet could appeal the decision, Google commented. “We made the call to basically err on the side of machine intelligence, as opposed to waiting for human review,” YouTube’s Product Officer Neal Mohan told the Washington Post in an article published Monday. Google also tweaked the search function to show results from authoritative news sources. It suspended the ability to search for clips by upload date, making it harder for people to find copies of the attack footage. “Since Friday’s horrific tragedy, we’ve removed tens of thousands of videos and terminated hundreds of accounts created to promote or glorify the shooter,” a YouTube spokesperson said. “Our teams are continuing to work around the clock to prevent violent and graphic content from spreading, we know there is much more work to do,” the statement added. Facebook’s update so far… Facebook on Wednesday also shared an update on how they have been working with the New Zealand Police to support their investigation. It provided additional information on how their products were used to circulate videos and how they plan to improve them. So far Facebook has provided the following information: The video was viewed fewer than 200 times during the live broadcast. No users reported the video during the live broadcast. Including the views during the live broadcast, the video was viewed about 4,000 times in total before being removed from Facebook. Before Facebook was alerted to the video, a user on 8chan posted a link to a copy of the video on a file-sharing site. The first user report on the original video came in 29 minutes after the video started, and 12 minutes after the live broadcast ended. In the first 24 hours, Facebook removed more than 1.2 million videos of the attack at upload, which were therefore prevented from being seen on our services. Approximately 300,000 additional copies were removed after they were posted. As there were questions asked to Facebook about why artificial intelligence ( AI) didn’t detect the video automatically. Facebook says AI has made massive progress over the years to proactively detect the vast majority of the content it can remove. But it’s not perfect. “To achieve that we will need to provide our systems with large volumes of data of this specific kind of content, something which is difficult as these events are thankfully rare.” says Guy Rosen VP Product Management at Facebook. Guy further adds, “AI is an incredibly important part of our fight against terrorist content on our platforms, and while its effectiveness continues to improve, it is never going to be perfect. People will continue to be part of the equation, whether it’s the people on our team who review content, or people who use our services and report content to us. That’s why last year Facebook more than doubled the number of people working on safety and security to over 30,000 people, including about 15,000 content reviewers to report content that they find disturbing.” Facebook further plans to: Improve the image and video matching technology so that they can stop the spread of viral videos of such nature, regardless of how they were originally produced. React faster to this kind of content on a live streamed video. Continue to combat hate speech of all kinds on their platform. Expand industry collaboration through the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT). Challenges Google and Facebook faced to report the video content According to Motherboard, Google saw an unprecedented number of attempts to post footage from the attack, sometimes as fast as a piece of content per second. But the challenge they faced was to block access to the killer’s so-called manifesto, a 74-page document that spouted racist views and explicit calls for violence. Google described the difficulties of moderating the manifesto, pointing to its length and the issue of users sharing the snippets of the manifesto that Google’s content moderators may not immediately recognise. “The manifesto will be particularly challenging to enforce against given the length of the document and that you may see various segments of various lengths within the content you are reviewing,” says Google. A source with knowledge of Google’s strategy for moderating the New Zealand attack material said this can complicate moderation efforts because some outlets did use parts of the video and manifesto. UK newspaper The Daily Mail let readers download the terrorist’s manifesto directly from the paper’s own website, and Sky News Australia aired parts of the attack footage, BuzzFeed News reported. On the other hand Facebook faces a challenge to automatically discern such content from visually similar, innocuous content. For example if thousands of videos from live-streamed video games are flagged by the systems, reviewers could miss the important real-world videos where they could alert first responders to get help on the ground. Another challenge for Facebook is similar to what Google faces, which is the proliferation of many different variants of videos makes it difficult for the image and video matching technology to prevent spreading further. Facebook found that a core community of bad actors working together to continually re-upload edited versions of the video in ways designed to defeat their detection. Second, a broader set of people distributed the video and unintentionally made it harder to match copies. Websites and pages, eager to get attention from people seeking out the video, re-cut and re-recorded the video into various formats. In total, Facebook found and blocked over 800 visually-distinct variants of the video that were circulating. Both companies seem to be working hard to improve their products and gain user’s trust and confidence back. Read Next How social media enabled and amplified the Christchurch terrorist attack Google to be the founding member of CDF (Continuous Delivery Foundation) Google announces the stable release of Android Jetpack Navigationlast_img read more