Nancy Pelosi video: Why it took Facebook so long to act


A group called Politics WatchDog posted the manipulated video of Pelosi — which was slowed down to give the misimpression she was speaking in an impaired fashion at a think-tank event — at 1:29 p.m. Eastern time on May 22.

But it wasn’t until after 9 p.m. on May 23, some 32 hours later, that Facebook began suppressing the video after a fact-check from one Facebook partner, LeadStories, was published. Facebook partner Politifact didn’t post its own fact-check until the following morning on May 24.

One reason for the delay: The fact-checkers had to do their own reporting — finding audio and digital forensics experts who could verify that the video had been manipulated.

The social media giant has taken a hands-off approach to policing the veracity of content on the site, instead partnering with independent organizations that have become the company’s first and main line of defense against misinformation.

But fact-checking a post or video takes precious time, during which rumors and misinformation can continue to spread at internet speeds.

Facebook works only with fact-checkers that are part of the International Fact-Checking Network, a global coalition of vetted fact-checkers founded by the Poynter Institute, a leading journalism think tank based in Florida. Other members of the network include The Washington Post’s fact-checking arm, as well as the Associated Press and Factcheck.org, IFCN director Baybars Orsek said in an interview.

When one of Facebook’s fact-checking partners rates a post or video as false on the platform, it automatically triggers a change in how Facebook’s algorithm handles that content, Facebook, as well as Politifact and LeadStories confirmed to CNN on Friday. Demoting a piece of content means it will appear less frequently in users’ news feeds. It also notifies Facebook users who share or have shared that content that it is false, said Facebook in a statement.

“Once we publish [a fact-check], right away I go into the Facebook tool and I match the fact-check with the offending post,” Katie Sanders, managing editor of Politifact, told CNN. “The way it’s supposed to work is it’s supposed to de-amplify the reach of the post.”

Yet the altered Pelosi video remains available on Facebook, the company said, because it does not violate the platform’s community standards. There is no rule on Facebook saying content posted there must be true or accurate.

The video now appears with a message to users indicating the post has been flagged and directing them to multiple fact-checks.

On Friday, Facebook defended its handling of the video to CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

“I think the suggestion there is that we haven’t taken action, and that’s not right,” said Monika Bickert, vice president for product policy and counterterrorism. “We have acted … anybody who is seeing this video in News Feed, anyone who is going to share it with somebody else, anybody who has shared it in the past — they are being alerted that this video is false.”

Bickert added that the company’s partnership with fact-checkers strikes a critical balance for Facebook users, one that preserves their ability to make “informed choices about what to believe.”

But some critics said Facebook must be more proactive about fighting misinformation, and that delegating to fact-checkers barely qualifies as taking action.

“Bickert doubles down on AC360 over and over about how Facebook ‘took action,'” said Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next, an association representing digital publishers. “[But] taking action doesn’t mean ‘half a day later due to automated technology receiving information from third parties.'”

Stelter: A pathetic, but persuasive, strain of political disinformation about Pelosi

As the doctored video rocketed across social media, tech platforms also had to grapple with copycats who were repackaging and creating new, unique uploads of the same video. LeadStories counted as many as 17 distinct copies across Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Google quickly moved to eliminate the video from YouTube, and Twitter has continued to say it has nothing to share on the matter. Facebook said that when a post is flagged for demotion by a fact-checker, the company applies the same treatment to copycat posts.

“Speed is critical to this system,” the company said on Friday, “and we continue to improve our response.”

But Facebook’s approach is still constrained by its decision to have outside groups manually verifying content of questionable veracity, even as the amount of fake content is expected to grow.

Policymakers say the rudimentary changes to the original Pelosi clip foreshadow how damaging advances in content manipulation technology could become to democratic discourse.

“It has been clear for some time that the large platforms do not have clear policies or procedures in place to address viral misinformation like this,” Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, a frequent critic of Silicon Valley, told CNN on Friday. “Viral misinformation is pushed today by simple Photoshop and video editing techniques, but new technologies are going to make this a heck of a lot worse.”

He added: “We have a serious problem on our hands, with technologists developing and releasing tools that will have profoundly destabilizing effects.”

Hawaii Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz was more blunt in a Twitter message Friday: “Facebook is very responsive to my office when I want to talk about federal legislation and suddenly get marbles in their mouths when we ask them about dealing with a fake video. It’s not that they cannot solve this; it’s that they refuse to do what is necessary.”





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Egypt buys 2.7mn tons of local wheat so far this season


Author: 
Reuters
article author: 
Reuters
ID: 
1558846402347529100
Sun, 2019-05-26 04:48

CAIRO: Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer has bought 2.7 million tons of wheat from its farmers so far this season, the state-owned Al Akhbar newspaper said on Sunday.
Egypt has said it aims to procure 3.6 million tons of wheat from local farmers during the season.

Main category: 
Business & Economy
Tags: 
Egypt
wheat



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Everest mountaineer warned of overcrowding before dying on climb


Robin Haynes Fisher died of what appeared to be altitude sickness at 8,600 meters (28,215 feet), while descending from the summit on Saturday, May 25.

“I am hopeful to avoid the crowds on summit day and it seems like a number of teams are pushing to summit on the 21st,” he wrote in a captioned Instagram post on May 13.

“With a single route to the summit, delays caused by overcrowding could prove fatal so I am hopeful my decision to go for the 25th will mean fewer people. Unless of course everyone else plays the same waiting game.”

Haynes Fisher is one of nine climbers to have died on Everest in the 2019 climbing season as conditions on the world’s highest mountain turned lethal.

During the week beginning May 20, crowds of climbers became stuck in a queue to the summit, above the mountain’s highest camp at 8,000 meters (26,247 feet).

The summit of Mount Everest is 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) high, an elevation at which each breath contains only one-third of the oxygen found at sea level.

Climbers wait to reach the summit of Everest in this image taken May 22.

Most people can only spend a matter of minutes at the summit without extra oxygen supplies, and the area where the climbers were queuing is known as the “death zone.”

Nepali climbing guide Dhruba Bista fell ill on the mountain and was transported by helicopter to the base camp, where he died Friday.

And Irish climber Kevin Hynes, 56, died Friday morning on the Tibetan side of Everest in his tent at 7,000 meters (22,966 feet).

Two died Wednesday after descending from the summit: Indian climber Anjali Kulkarni, 55, and American climber Donald Lynn Cash, 55.

Kalpana Das, 49, and Nihal Bagwan, 27, both from India, also died on Everest this week. Both died Thursday on their return from the summit.

Everest traffic jam creates lethal conditions for climbers

Ravi, a 28-year-old Indian climber who goes by one name, died the previous week on May 17.

Last week, a search for Irish climber Seamus Lawless, 39, was called off, after the Trinity College Dublin professor fell while descending from the peak, according to the Press Assocation.

Lawless is missing, presumed dead.

The death toll for Everest’s 2019 climbing season is not unusual for the mountain. In 2018, five climbers died, while six died in both 2017 and 2016.

More than 200 mountaineers have died on the peak since 1922, when the first climbers’ deaths on Everest were recorded. The majority of bodies are believed to have remained buried under glaciers or snow.



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UN says Taliban captives in Afghanistan subjected to abuse


Author: 
Associated Press
article author: 
AP
ID: 
1558849399147647500
Sun, 2019-05-26 05:39

KABUL, Afghanistan: The UN says Taliban captives in Afghanistan have been subjected to abuse, ill-treatment and actions that may amount to torture.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan says it interviewed 13 detainees from a group of 53 recently rescued from the Taliban. They were mainly members of the Afghan forces but also civilians and government officials captured by the Taliban.
The group was freed on April 25 when Afghan troops raided a Taliban-run detention facility in the Khas Uruzgan district in southern Uruzgan province.

Main category: 
World
Tags: 
UN
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Afghanistan



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ساملوو: لهستان را راحت شکست ندادیم/ جو سالن ارومیه بی‌نظیر بود



سرمربی تیم ملی والیبال روسیه گفت: به نظر می‌رسید به راحتی مقابل لهستان برنده شده‌ایم اما اینگونه نبود.



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