Connect with us

Technology

RT attacks Facebook for suspending In The NOW, Soapbox, other pages

Published

on

[ad_1]

rt margarita simonyan putin zuckerbergA composite image of RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.Maxim Shemetov/Reuters; Sputnik/Mikhail Klementyev/Kremlin via Reuters; Christophe Morin/IP3/Getty

  • Facebook on Friday suspended four viral news channels that broadcasted videos critical of US policy, or which exploit existing tensions, CNN reported.
  • Those channels are operated by Maffick Media, which is majority-funded by Ruptly, a subsidiary of Russia’s state-funded RT broadcaster.
  • Facebook doesn’t require pages to disclose who funds them — but the tech giant said it suspended those channels anyway so viewers won’t “be misled about who’s behind them.”
  • RT’s editor-in-chief attacked Facebook’s decision on Monday. Maffick’s CEO also described the suspension as “unprecedented discrimination.”

The editor of the Russian state-owned broadcaster RT has attacked Facebook for suspending four viral video channels that broadcasted Kremlin talking points to millennials.

Facebook on Friday suspended Soapbox, which makes videos about current affairs; Waste-Ed, an environmental channel; Backthen, a history channel; and In the NOW, a millennial-focused news channel, CNN reported.

Those channels publish videos critical of US and NATO foreign policy, American waste habits, and news issues like Russia being banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics. While the videos do not overtly criticize the US and applaud Russia, they often play on existing tensions in the US.

Read more: These 30 Facebook ads were shared by Russian trolls just days before the 2016 election. Some were so subtle, you probably didn’t realize they were ads.

The channels’ videos garnered tens of millions of views on Facebook before the suspension, CNN and RT both reported.

In response, RT’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan tweeted Monday morning: “Facebook has blocked our projects with billions of views!!!” She also said Facebook blocked the pages without giving RT a chance to respond.

All the pages are run by Maffick Media, a German-registered company that operates up to a dozen contractors and freelancers out of a WeWork office in Hollywood, CNN reported.

rt in the now Anissa NaouaiMaffick Media CEO Anissa Naouai presents a video on “In The NOW” about US tensions with Iran. This video was published on January 31, 2018 and screenshot on February 18, 2019.In the NOW/YouTube

Maffick’s murky finances

According to company records in Germany, Maffick is 51% owned by Ruptly, an RT subsidary registered in Berlin. The remaining 49% is controlled by Maffick CEO Anissa Naouai, a former RT presenter.

CNN cited those company records, crediting German news site T-Online and the Alliance for Securing Democracy, an anti-Kremlin advocacy group run by former US intelligence and State Department and intelligence officials.

Maffick’s Facebook pages do not mention their parent company or stakeholders. Facebook typically doesn’t require pages to declare such information.

Facebook said it would ask the page owners to disclose where the channels are run from and their affiliation with Ruptly, CNN reported. “People connecting with Pages shouldn’t be misled about who’s behind them,” a Facebook spokesman told CNN.

Facebook has become stricter at policing content on its pages over the last year. The company has over the past six months taken down hundreds of pages and accounts deemed to be part of campaigns to influence politics around the world, in countries like the US and Moldova.

Read more: Facebook is thinking about removing anti-vaccination content as backlash intensifies over the spread of misinformation on the social network

facebook ceo mark zuckerbergFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Washington, DC, in April 2018. His company has been ramping up its crackdown on content lately.REUTERS/Leah Millis

“In the NOW” still operates an active channel on YouTube and regularly posts videos from Soapbox. Those videos, however, carrier a disclaimer highlighting the channel’s link to RT and the Russian government.

RT’s US affiliate registered as a foreign agent in the US under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) in late 2017. Simonyan, the RT editor-in-chief, called the requirement “war the US establishment wages with our journalists.”

Read more: RT editor-in-chief: US affiliate of Russia Today will register as a foreign agent

putin simonyan.JPGRussian President Vladimir Putin with editor-in-chief of RT Margarita Simonyan seen in the background, in Moscow, Russia, in July 2018.Sergei Chirikov/Pool via Reuters

‘Unprecedented discrimination’

Simonyan reacted to Facebook’s suspensions with outrage in a series of Monday morning tweets.

“CNN, on a tip from a fund funded by the State Department and NATO, made material that this project is funded from Russia,” Simonyan wrote.

It is not entirely clear where she based this allegation on — it is likely that she was referring to the Alliance for Securing Democracy. Business Insider has contacted CNN for comment.

Simonyan also suggested that Facebook had suspended Maffick’s pages only after CNN asked it about Maffick’s links to the Russian government. “We did not violate Facebook rules, we have never had any complaints,” she said.

Naouai, Maffick’s CEO, described Facebook’s suspension as “unprecedented discrimination” in a post, noting that the company doesn’t ask other channels to declare their parent company and financial affiliations.

Rania Khalek, an American commentator who presents some Soapbox videos, also told CNN that working for Maffick “is not an endorsement of the policies of its sponsors, just like working for CNN is not an endorsement of the pharmaceutical companies or weapons companies that play advertisements on CNN.”

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Technology

More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

Published

on

By

OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

Continue Reading

Technology

VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

Published

on

By

Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

Continue Reading

Technology

Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

Published

on

By

While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

Continue Reading

Chat

Trending