Facebook hasnt done enough in Myanmar UN investigator says

first_img Comment Politics Tech Industry 1 The UN said last year that Facebook’s tools helped to fuel a genocide. Getty Images The United Nations wants Facebook to do better.Last year, UN investigators issued a report on the hate speech that helped to fuel a genocide in Myanmar. In it, the international body said Facebook played a “determining role” in the crisis, highlighting how much propaganda had spread on the service and how little the social network had done to stop it.Facebook responded, banning Myanmar military officials who spread hateful propaganda, admitting it should have done more, and cracking down on bad behavior on its platform.Still, the UN says, that is not enough.”I think there has been meaningful and significant change from Facebook, but it’s not nearly sufficient,” Christopher Sidoti, the UN investigator, said in an interview with Gizmodo published Wednesday.Sidoti’s criticism is the latest in a string of complaints from international leaders have had about Facebook’s handling of harmful content on its service. Most recently, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern criticized social media companies for not doing enough to halt the spread of hateful ideologies and propaganda, some of which were referenced in a manifesto published by a gunman before he massacred 50 people in two mosques in the country last month — which he livestreamed, on Facebook.”We cannot simply sit back and accept that these platforms just exist and that what is said on them is not the responsibility of the place where they are published,” Ardern said shortly after the shooting. “They are the publisher, not just the postman. It cannot be a case of all profit, no responsibility.”In the US, Facebook and Google will be testifying before the Hose Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill next week as part of a hearing titled, “Hate Crimes and the Rise of White Nationalism.”In UN investigator Sidoti’s Gizmodo interview, he expressed concerns Facebook wasn’t being transparent enough about its efforts, and that, for example, Facebook hasn’t provided country-specific data about the spread of hate speech on its service. Ultimately, he added, Facebook “still has a very long way to go.””Even the report commissioned by Facebook itself indicated that only around half of the posts removed by Facebook were identified by Facebook,” Sidoti said. “They’re still reliant on being informed by outsiders, and they’re not yet anywhere near satisfactory in their performance in removing material — and certainly nowhere near satisfactory in preventing posting of this material in the first place.” Facebook Share your voice Tagslast_img read more

The Feds Arent Watching Local Election Officials In Texas Anymore So NonProfits

first_imgKUT NEWSEver since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a major part of the Voting Rights Act a couple of years ago, states like Texas haven’t had federal oversight in elections.Houston Public Media’s Coverage of Election 2016As a result, civil rights groups have had to flag and sometimes sue state officials over violations of federal voting laws ahead of this year’s election.The latest example has to do with whether counties are providing bilingual voting information on their websites.Part of the Voting Rights Act says officials have to provide bilingual election information if more than five percent of the population they serve isn’t proficient in English. It turns out dozens of Texas counties fall into that category, but they weren’t following that rule.So, a few weeks ago Nina Perales with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (or MALDEF) sent a letter telling county election officials they needed to provide bilingual voting info on their websites.“So we have had a good response,” she says. “We have had a number of counties contact us right away and tell us that they are working on getting a button on their websites to direct to the Secretary of State’s Spanish language materials.”Perales is happy she hasn’t gotten pushback on this, but this whole situation points to a bigger problem, she says. And the problem is that if MALDEF hadn’t flagged this issue for county officials, dozens of county websites around the state would have been in violation of important voting rights laws. Part of the reason this is happening is because the federal government is not required to watch over Texas anymore – and state government hasn’t picked up that work, either.“It should be something that the Secretary of State is looking at,” Perales says. “Their staff should be looking at county websites.”State officials don’t see it that way, though.“The Secretary of State’s office is not an investigative or an enforcement agency,” explains Alicia Pierce, with the Texas Secretary of State’s office.Pierce says the state can advise county administrators, but they can’t control what they do with their websites. She says that’s just not their job.“Texas has a very decentralized election system,” she says. “Most of the power of actually conducting the election is with the county elections office.”Perales, with MALDEF,  says the state should make that their job – especially since the Supreme Court struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act. She says the work of ensuring voting rights are protected is still important in Texas.“We still have the remnants of the past discrimination and having lost federal oversight over election changes means that private organizations like MALDEF are stretched thinner because we have to be covering more issues related to voting rights than ever before,” she says.Bills aimed at amending the Voting Rights Act have been held up in Congress for the past couple of years.Copyright 2016 KUT-FM. To see more, visit KUT-FM. Sharelast_img read more