Wednesday, March 3News That Matters

TECHNOLOGY

Google, researchers launch data platform to tackle COVID-19

Google, researchers launch data platform to tackle COVID-19

TECHNOLOGY
Emma Ihedirionye Google.org has joined hands with a consortium of COVID-19 researchers to launch Global.health, an open-access epidemiological data platform that enables experts to track disease spread in real-time and to forecast future outbreaks, informing effective government and public response. The company said in a statement issued on Monday that the data platform was created to leverage anonymised data from open access authoritative public health sources to track disease progression. Google.org Research Fellow, Kernie Obimakinde, noted that though data were a vital tool in understanding and fighting disease, upholding data privacy was also a critical aspect in the design of Global.health
Facebook Pledges $1 Bn In News Investments Over 3 Years

Facebook Pledges $1 Bn In News Investments Over 3 Years

TECHNOLOGY
Facebook on Wednesday pledged to invest at least $1 billion to support journalism over the next three years as the social media giant defended its handling of a dispute with Australia over payments to media organizations. Nick Clegg, head of global affairs, said in a statement that the company is willing to support news media while reiterating its concerns over mandated payments. “Facebook is more than willing to partner with news publishers,” Clegg said after Facebook restored news links as part of a compromise with Australian officials. “We absolutely recognize quality journalism is at the heart of how open societies function — informing and empowering citizens and holding the powerful to account.”
Facebook Rolls Out News Feeds With Less Politics

Facebook Rolls Out News Feeds With Less Politics

TECHNOLOGY
Facebook said Wednesday it began rolling out news feeds with less political subject matter in line with a plan outlined by chief Mark Zuckerberg to reduce inflammatory content. The leading social network said it would begin testing the change “for a small percentage of people” in Canada, Brazil and Indonesia this week, and the United States in the coming weeks. “During these initial tests we’ll explore a variety of ways to rank political content in people’s feeds using different signals, and then decide on the approaches we’ll use going forward,” product management director Aastha Gupta said. The change won’t affect information about the Covid-19 pandemic and content from global health organizations or from official government agencies. “As Mark Zuckerberg mentio...
Facebook Ramps Up Efforts To Curb COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation

Facebook Ramps Up Efforts To Curb COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation

TECHNOLOGY
Facebook on Monday said it is ramping up efforts to stem the spread of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, spread facts, and figure out who might be wary of getting the jab. The move includes banning groups that repeatedly spread misinformation and debunked claims about the virus and vaccines in general. Facebook has been highlighting health advice from reliable agencies and removing COVID-19 misinformation for months and on Monday expanded that initiative. Facebook also says that it is consulting with health organisations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), to expand the list of false claims that it will remove to include additional debunked claims about the coronavirus and vaccines. Facebook wrote in the blog post: “Today, following consultations with lea...
Twitter Flags Turkish Minister’s ‘Hateful’ LGBT Posts

Twitter Flags Turkish Minister’s ‘Hateful’ LGBT Posts

TECHNOLOGY
Twitter on Tuesday slapped a second “hateful conduct” warning in just days on a message from Turkey’s interior minister condemning the LGBT community’s role in month-long student protests. Turkey has been hit by weeks of rallies across major campuses against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s appointment of a loyalist to head Istanbul’s prestigious Bogazici University at the start of the year. Police detained 159 students after storming a protest staged inside the fenced-off campus on Monday night. AFP reporters saw plain clothes police make more arrests as students tried to march along a central street in the capital Ankara on Tuesday. The standoff over the rector gained a new dimension when someone hung a poster near his office depicting Islam’s holiest site with pictures ...
Analyzing Vivaworks, First Commission-Less Platform That Connect Freelancers To Top Jobs Around The Globe.

Analyzing Vivaworks, First Commission-Less Platform That Connect Freelancers To Top Jobs Around The Globe.

TECHNOLOGY
With the current wave and need for creation of employment for youths around the globe, especially in the age of technology and Information technology, the VivaWorks platform is an innovation that is set to give youths an opportunity at earning a living and showcasing their skills leveraging a globally connected world. Not only are skills in high demand, youths across the globe, in Africa and Nigeria are seeking an opportunity to pitch themselves to the world. African youths are sometimes constrained due to technicalities of platforms and high commission rate; the VIvaWorks has however come to bridge this gap. Apart from its unique interface and listings, the Vivaworks will give its users opportunity to work from wherever they are without paying a dime for workspace, not even any...
Italy Probes ‘TikTok Challenge’ Death Of 10-Year-Old Girl

Italy Probes ‘TikTok Challenge’ Death Of 10-Year-Old Girl

TECHNOLOGY
Italian prosecutors have opened a probe into the accidental death of a 10-year-old girl who allegedly took part in a “blackout challenge” on the video-sharing network TikTok. The girl died in a Palermo hospital after being discovered Wednesday by her five-year-old sister in her family bathroom with her cellphone, which was seized by police. TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, said Friday it had not managed to identify any content on its site that could have encouraged the girl to participate in any such challenge, but was helping the authorities in the probe over possible “incitement to suicide”. “The safety of the TikTok community is our absolute priority, for this motive we do not allow any content that encourages, promotes or glorifies behaviour that could...
3G, 4G towers increase from 30,000 to 53,460 in 5yrs

3G, 4G towers increase from 30,000 to 53,460 in 5yrs

TECHNOLOGY
Tunde Bakare The third-generation (3G) and fourth-generation (4G) base transceiver stations (BTS) deployment in Nigeria has increased from 30,000 to 53,460 while fibre optic transmission cables expanded from 47,000km to 54,725km in the last five years, resulting in improved broadband/telecoms service. These were parts of industry growth data reeled out by the Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, at a briefing for the new Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Festus Yusuf Daudu, on the functions and regulatory activities of the Commission in Abuja.
Google Threatens To Block Australia Over Payment Demands

Google Threatens To Block Australia Over Payment Demands

TECHNOLOGY
Google threatened Friday to block Australians from using its search service unless the government changed landmark legislation to make the internet giant pay news outlets for their content. Google Australia managing director Mel Silva warned a Senate committee in Canberra that the world-first media law was “unworkable” and would undermine the functioning of the internet. “If this version of the code were to become law, it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia,” Silva said, the first time the company has made such a threat after months of difficult negotiations over the draft law. The legislation was introduced last year to force Google and Facebook to pay local media organisations to host news content or ...
TikTok Owner ByteDance Launches E-Payment Service

TikTok Owner ByteDance Launches E-Payment Service

TECHNOLOGY
TikTok owner ByteDance has begun rolling out an electronic payment service connected to Douyin, the Chinese version of the popular short video app, the tech giant said Tuesday. Douyin Pay, which functions similarly to reigning Chinese electronic wallets WeChat Pay and Alipay, aims to “supplement existing major payment options, and to ultimately enhance user experience,” ByteDance told AFP. The move sees the tech giant wade into China’s lucrative market for electronic payment services, which are used by hundreds of millions of consumers for everything from street food to fast fashion and online purchases. Users of the app will be able to connect bank accounts to the service, which can then be used to pay for products promoted by video influencers as well as to tip content make...