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Tech

Female politicians in the United States, Europe urge Facebook to protect women in politics

WASHINGTON Facebook Inc must step up and protect women in politics from threats of violence and sexism and hate on its platform, said a letter to the company from female members of the U.S. Congress such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top female politicians from the European Union.

Facebook has been heavily criticized for its decision to not fact-check political ads, allowing the spread of misinformation on its platform, as well as over antitrust concerns and privacy practices. The platform also came under fire for not removing a doctored video of Pelosi last year.

“We are imploring Facebook to do more to protect the ability of women to engage in democratic discourse and to foster a safe and empowering space for women,” said the letter, led by U.S. Representative Jackie Speier, a Democrat who is also co-chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus.

The lawmakers are asking Facebook to remove posts that threaten candidates or glorify violence against women, eliminate hate speech targeting women, and remove manipulated videos, images and offending accounts. The letter was addressed to Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg on Thursday.

Social media has become the No. 1 place in which psychological violence – in the form of sexist and , misogynistic remarks, humiliating images, mobbing, intimidation and threats – is perpetrated against female parliamentarians, the letter added, citing a study by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, an independent organization promoting democracy.

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Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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Categories
Tech

Andhra Pradesh Govt Launches 'E-RakshaBandhan' Campaign to Combat Cyber Crimes Against Women

A file photo of CM Jagan Mohan Reddy. (Image Source: PTI)

A file photo of CM Jagan Mohan Reddy. (Image Source: PTI)

Issues on child sexual abuse, child victim support, domestic violence, rape victim support, sexual harassment at workplace and street harassment can be reported on the web portal.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: August 4, 2020, 10:49 AM IST

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday launched ‘E-RakshaBandhan’ campaign aimed at creating public awareness on cyber crimes against women and children. The virtual cybercrime awareness programme — jointly developed by Andhra Pradesh Police and Crime Investigation Department (CID), will focus on ensuring the safety of women and children in cyberspace.

Partnered with Cyber Crime Prevention Against Women and Children (CCPWC), Cyber Peace Foundation, and other organisations, the police department will be organising the month-long online awareness drive. It is aimed at creating awareness among the public on the sharp rise in cybercrime. Launched on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, the month-long campaign would be conducted through online sessions in the form of webinars, workshops, competition, covering different topics related to cybercrime. Experts from across the country will take part in this campaign and conduct webinars to teach women and girls how to protect themselves from cybercrime. The Andhra Pradesh police have also launched a new cybercrime portal to facilitate victims/complainants to report cybercrime complaints online.

Issues on child sexual abuse, child victim support, domestic violence, rape victim support, sexual harassment at workplace and street harassment can be reported on the web portal. The Chief Minister said his government was proud to have 18 Disha police stations across the state for speedy investigation and trial of cases related to sexual offences against women. He noted that investigations of 167 cases relating to crime against women have been completed and charge sheets have been filed in the courts.


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Categories
Tech

Women Astronomers From a Century Ago Created an Alphabetic Order of Stars, and It Stuck

Ever wondered where does our Sun, the star around which Earth and its compatriot planets revolve, stand in the scheme of the universe? In overall hierarchy, our Sun is among the smaller stars in our galaxy and beyond, hence making it fairly unremarkable if compared with the gargantuan stars that many of our telescopes pick up from time to time. This classification of stars are ranked today with letters that look seemingly random. For instance, the largest stars in the universe are classified under ‘O’, while the tiniest, dimmest stars are classified ‘M’. How did this come into being?

To understand the history, we go back by a century and maybe even a little more, to an era when women astronomers working at a research facility in the Harvard Observatory were peering into the sky, sifting through photographs of space and classifying the stars. This rather interesting bit of space research history was highlighted by Giada Arney, an astrophysicist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre. Speaking on the Gravity Assist podcast with senior NASA scientist Jim Green, Arney referred to the historic era that led to the stars of the universe being classified with this very random sequence of letters.

As Arney said, “There’s a historical convention where astronomers give stars these different designations with these different letters, they denote different things like their sizes and their luminosities. The scale for historical reasons goes O-B-A-F-G-K-M, from the biggest stars to the smallest stars. So K stars are smaller than the sun, they’re less luminous than the sun, but they’re bigger than the smallest kind of stars.” Our sun, on this scale, is classified under ‘G’, which means that it is on the smaller end of stellar volumes.

Highlighting the role of pioneering American woman astronaut Annie Jump Cannon, Arney said, “Back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s at the Harvard Observatory, there were these women who were called ‘computers’. What their job was, to sift through these photographs of the sky and a lot of what they were doing was categorising stars. One woman, Annie Jump Cannon, was the person who came up with the original stellar classification system. So, her first class was A, and then she decided on B and C. She gave them different letters based on the strengths of different features that she was seeing in their spectra. When she realised that it’s really about a temperature, she had to reorder them, but kept that original classification, which we now use today.”

Cannon’s inadvertent classification of the stars has stood true even today, and is actively used in studying intergalactic bodies. As Arney and Green touched upon later in the podcast episode, this formed the foundation of looking for life, and studying planetary compositions. Arney’s latest project at NASA involves using new photochemical spectrometry to study planetary atmospheres, in a bid to progress the research for extraterrestrial life.


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Categories
Tech

Google Adds Really Cool Features to Pixel Phones, Including Safety Check if You’re Outdoors Alone

Google is giving the Pixel smartphones some really cool features as part of its next bundle of software updates. The focus is on personal safety and better sleep, among other updates and features. Google says the updates are now rolling out to Pixel phones and should be arriving on all Pixel phones in the coming days. The new features that you should expect include Safety Check, bedtime feature for the Clock, adaptive battery improvements and the new-found interconnect between Google Docs, Recorder and Google Assistant apps.

The highlight certainly has to be the updated Personal Safety app. After Google added the car crash detection last year, the company says that feature will now extend to support the Pixel 3 series as well. The Personal Safety app will also no longer be limited to just the Pixel 4 phones but will be available for all Pixel phones. The newly added Safety Check feature is designed for individuals who may be outdoors alone, be it walking somewhere, out for a trek or simply doing an outdoor run to stay healthy. Google says that the Personal Safety app will require you to check-in at a scheduled time—and in case you don’t, all your emergency contacts will be notified. “In the event that you need immediate help or are in a dangerous situation, emergency sharing notifies all of your emergency contacts and shares your real-time location through Google Maps so they can send help or find you,” says Google.

The onus remains on you to schedule a safety check and tell your phone when you are heading out alone. The way this works is that you open the Safety app on your Pixel phone and tap Safety check. Then you select your Reason and Duration for stepping outdoors. You can set the next check for anywhere between 15 minutes to 8 hours from that time. You tap on Next and select your contacts. You select Turn on. You will be notified when you need to check in next.

At this time, it isn’t clear which countries will get the check-in feature as part of the Personal Safety app but the app will be rolling out to all Pixel phones globally.

Google is also giving the Clock app more powers. There is a new bedtime feature that can put you to sleep with calming sounds. The phone will also limit notifications and interruptions during this time. In the morning, the Clock app in your Pixel phone will get you to wake up to your favorite music if you choose that option or set the Sunrise Alarm for you. in case you stay awake well past your bedtime, the app will give you a snapshot of how long you stayed awake and what all apps you used on the phone at the time.

Google says the new Bedtime Clock features will roll out for all Pixel 2, Pixel 3, Pixel 3a, and Pixel 4 phones globally.

Google is also enhancing the Adaptive Battery feature on Pixel 2 and newer Pixel phones to improve prediction of when the battery charge will deplete completely, and further reduces app activity in the background.

The improved Adaptive Battery features will be available on all Pixel 2, Pixel 3, Pixel 3a, and Pixel 4 phones globally.

The Google Assistant is also getting the ability to start audio recordings for you. Simply call out “Hey Google, start recording my meeting” and Assistant will invoke the recorder app to start working. You can then save the transcript in Google Docs.

While the new Google Assistant capabilities will be available only on the Pixel 4 for the time being, the Google Docs transcript feature will be available for all Pixel 2, Pixel 3, Pixel 3a, and Pixel 4 phones globally.



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Categories
Tech

Facebook Profile Lock Introduced in India to Protect Your Privacy: How it Works

Image for Representation
(Image: Reuters)

Image for Representation
(Image: Reuters)

The latest move by Facebook is aimed to give users, especially women more control over their Facebook experience.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 21, 2020, 6:39 PM IST

Facebook has introduced a new safety feature in India that will now enable users to “lock” their profiles completely so that only their friends can see the posts, photos, and videos. The latest move by the tech giant is aimed to give users, especially women, more control over their Facebook experience.

“We are committed to providing a safe platform for people to express themselves. We are deeply aware of the concerns people in India, particularly women, have about protecting their online profile. Today, we are announcing a new feature which, in one easy step, will give people a lot more control, ensure their privacy and keep them safe and secure online,” Aankhi Das, Policy Director, Facebook India, said.

Facebook Profile Lock: The Features

Facebook said that locking a profile applies multiple layers of existing privacy settings and several new measures to a user’s Facebook account with a few taps. Once enabled, people who are not friends will not be able to see photos, posts, both old and new, or zoom in, share and download profile pictures as well as cover photos. Moreover, an indicator in the form of a blue badge will be added to the user’s profile page to remind that their profile is locked.

“We have often heard from young girls that they are hesitant to share about themselves online and are intimidated by the idea of someone misusing their information. I am very happy to see that Facebook is making efforts to learn about their concerns and building products that can give them the experience they want. This new safety feature will give women, especially young girls a chance to express themselves freely.” said Ranjana Kumari, Director, Centre for Social Research.

How to Find The Lock Profile Option on Facebook?

Users will first have to go to their profile page and tap more under their name. The “Lock Profile” option will be then available to the users which they will have to tap if they wish to lock their profile from non-friends. Once confirmed, the profile page will be locked. Interestingly, this new profile security update arrives after three years, when Facebook rolled out “Profile Guard” options for users. Under the “Profile Guard” option, non-friends can neither enlarge the display picture nor download it after viewing a user’s Facebook profile page.



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Categories
Tech

NCW Asks TikTok to Delete Account of Man Glorifying Acid Attacks on Women

Image for Representation.

Image for Representation.

The TikTok video uploaded by user Faizal Siddiqui supposedly glorified violence against women and it went viral on social media platforms.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: May 18, 2020, 3:18 PM IST
  • Edited by: Cricketnext Staff

The NCW has asked Tik-Tok India to immediately remove a video showing a man committing violence against women and directed the Maharashtra police to take action against the person responsible for making the clip. The National Commission for Women (NCW), in a letter to Grievance Officer of Tik-Tok India Anuj Bhatia, said it has come across a Twitter post in which a Tik-Tok video shows a man committing violence against women.

It also asked the Maharashtra police, in a letter, to immediately take action against the person responsible for making the video. “The commission is seriously concerned about the increase in crimes against women and the video not only seems to promote violence against women but also shows the patriarchal mindset, which would send a very wrong message to the society through this video made by Faizal Siddiqui on Tik-Tok,” NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma said in the letter to Tik Tok India.

In view of the above, the commission asked Tik-Tok India to immediately remove the video and block the ID of the person who made it. In a letter to Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP) Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, Sharma said the NCW condemns the video of the digital content creator promoting a grievous crime of acid attack among its young followers on social media.

“The commission is concerned about the safety and security of women and disturbed by the use of cyberspace to instigate crime against women,” Sharma said in the letter to Jaiswal. “Considering the sensitivity of the matter, it is requested that immediate action shall be taken as per the Information Technology Act, 2000 against the miscreants and an action-taken report sent to the commission,” she said.




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