Dhaka, Mar 31 (UNB)- Muzib Masud of Daily Jugantor and Md Mazharul Anwar Khan Shipu of BSS will lead Telecom Reporters’ Network of Bangladesh (TRNB) as president and general secretary respectively for the 2019-20 term.
They were elected in an election held on Saturday.
Other office bearers are — Finance Secretary Md Shamim Jahangir of the Daily Sun, Organising Secretary Shahid Bappy of Amader Somoy, members Hitlar A Halim of Bangla Tribune, Mohammad Shamim of Maasranga TV and Faruque Hosain of Daily Inqilab.
Uttam Chakravarty of Janakantha was the chief election commissioner while Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU) President Elias Hossain and General Secretary Kabir Ahmed Khan acted as election commissioners.
TRNB is a professional body of journalists focusing on the entire gamut of activities in the telecom and IT sectors in Bangladesh and beyond.
San Francisco, Mar 30 (AP/UNB) — Facebook says it has removed 200 pages, groups and accounts linked to Nic Gabunada, reportedly the former social media manager of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, for misleading people.
The social network says it took down the accounts for "coordinated inauthentic behavior," the term it uses to describe accounts that work together to mask who is behind them and what their purpose is. In the past, Facebook has removed accounts linked to Russia , Iran and other countries for trying to wreak political havoc or influence elections in the U.S. and elsewhere.
The accounts and posts in question posted about elections, alleged misconduct by political candidates and local news. Facebook says they tried to hide their identity but were linked to a network organized by Gabunada.
Dhaka, Mar 29 (UNB) - Search engine giant Google has created a new Doodle on its homepage, marking the 80th birth anniversary of renowned Bangladeshi sculptor Novera Ahmed.
Doodle is celebrating pioneering artist Novera Ahmed, who is considered the first modern sculptor in Bangladesh and whose distinctive work borrowed from Western, folk, indigenous, and Buddhist themes to reflect the experiences of women.
The symbolic works of Novera Ahmed were featured in Goggle’s homepage on Friday.
Ahmed was born in 1939 during a sea crocodile hunt in the largest mangrove swamp in the Ganges. She was drawn to sculpture from a young age, inspired by watching her mother make dolls and clay houses. When her father attempted to marry her off to a noble family, she resisted, insisting that she wanted to become a sculptor.
Ahmed studied design at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts in London, graduating in 1955 and going on to receive further training in Florence and Vienna. She rose to prominence in 1960 with Inner Gaze, the first-ever solo sculpture exhibition by any sculptor in Bangladesh or Pakistan.
A collaboration with painter Hamidur Rahman resulted in the Shaheed Minar, a national monument in Dhaka commemorating the Bengali Language Movement demonstrations of 1952.
In 1963, Ahmed bid farewell to her home and settled permanently in Paris. Two years traveling through East Asia inspired a departure in form, yielding several assemblages made from the debris of American warplanes. In 1997, Ahmed received an Ekushey Padak, the second highest civilian award in Bangladesh.
Today, many of her works can be viewed at the Novera Ahmed Museum, founded in 2018 by her husband in the small town of La Roche-Guyon outside of Paris.
New York, Mar 29 (AP/UNB) — The federal government charged Facebook with high-tech housing discrimination Thursday for allegedly allowing landlords and real estate brokers to systematically exclude groups such as non-Christians, immigrants and minorities from seeing ads for houses and apartments.
The civil charges filed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development could cost the social network millions of dollars in penalties. But more than that, they strike at the heart of Facebook's business model — its vaunted ability to deliver ads with surgical precision to certain groups of people and not others.
"Facebook is discriminating against people based upon who they are and where they live," HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. "Using a computer to limit a person's housing choices can be just as discriminatory as slamming a door in someone's face."
In a statement, Facebook expressed surprise over the charges, saying it has been working with HUD to address its concerns and has taken steps to prevent discrimination, including eliminating thousands of ad-targeting options last year that could be misused by advertisers.
Just last week, Facebook agreed to overhaul its targeting system and abandon some of the practices singled out by HUD to prevent discrimination, not just in housing listings but in credit and employment ads as well. The move was part of a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union and other activists.
"We're disappointed by today's developments, but we'll continue working with civil rights experts on these issues," the company said.
The HUD charges were seen as a possible prelude to a wider regulatory crackdown on the digital advertising industry, which is dominated by Facebook and Google. And the case was yet another blow to Facebook, which has come under siege from lawmakers, regulators and activists and is under investigation in the U.S. and Europe over its data and privacy practices.
HUD spokesman Brian Sullivan said the agency has reached out to Google and Twitter to "better understand their advertising practices." But he said neither is currently under investigation. Twitter says it doesn't allow discriminatory advertising, while Google says its policies prohibit targeting ads based on sensitive categories such as race, ethnicity and religious beliefs.
Google, in particular, has ad-targeting options similar to Facebook's.
The technology at the center of the clash with HUD has helped make Facebook rich, with annual revenue of close to $56 billion. Facebook gathers enormous amounts of data on what users read and like and who their friends are, and it uses that information to help advertisers and others direct their messages to exactly the crowd they want to reach.
HUD said Facebook is allowing advertisers to practice a sort of high-tech form of red-lining by excluding people in entire neighborhoods or ZIP codes from seeing their ads. The company was accused, too, of giving advertisers the option of showing ads only to men or only to women.
Facebook also allegedly allowed advertisers to exclude parents; those who are non-American-born; non-Christians; and those interested in Hispanic culture, "deaf culture," accessibility for the disabled, countries like Honduras or Somalia, or a variety of other topics.
The case will be heard by an administration law judge unless HUD or Facebook decides to move it to federal court.
"The nature of their business model is advertising and targeted advertising, so that is a slippery slope. That is their business model," said Dan Ives, an industry analyst with Wedbush Securities. "The government launched this missile and caught many in the industry by surprise."
Ives said the move may mean U.S. regulators are taking broader aim at the digital advertising market. "This is a clear shot across the bow for Facebook and others," he said.
Galen Sherwin of the ACLU likewise warned: "All the online platforms should be paying close attention to these lawsuits and taking a hard look at their own advertising platforms."
Facebook is already under fire for allowing fake Russian accounts to buy ads targeting U.S. users and sow political discord during the 2016 presidential election. The company has also been criticized for allowing organizations to target groups of people identified as "Jew-haters" and Nazi sympathizers.
HUD brought an initial complaint against Facebook in August. Facebook said in its statement that it was "eager to find a solution" but that HUD "insisted on access to sensitive information — like user data — without adequate safeguards."
In its settlement with the ACLU and others, Facebook said it will no longer allow housing, employment or credit ads that target people by age, gender or ZIP code. It said it will also limit other targeting options so that these ads don't exclude people on the basis of race, ethnicity and other legally protected categories, including sexual orientation.
"Unless and until HUD can verify that there is an end of the discriminatory practices, we still have a responsibility to the American people," said Raffi Williams, deputy assistant HUD secretary.
San Francisco, Mar 28 (AP/UNB) — Facebook is extending its ban on hate speech to prohibit the promotion and support of white nationalism and white separatism.
The company previously allowed such material even though it has long banned white supremacists. The social network said Wednesday that it didn't apply the ban previously to expressions of white nationalism because it linked such expressions with broader concepts of nationalism and separatism — such as American pride or Basque separatism (which are still allowed).
But civil rights groups and academics called this view "misguided" and have long pressured the company to change its stance. Facebook said it concluded after months of "conversations" with them that white nationalism and separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organized hate groups.
Critics have "raised these issues to the highest levels at Facebook (and held) a number of working meetings with their staff as we've tried to get them to the right place," said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a Washington, D.C.-based legal advocacy group.
"This is long overdue as the country continues to deal with the grip of hate and the increase in violent white supremacy," she said. "We need the tech sector to do its part to combat these efforts."
Though Facebook Inc. said it has been working on the change for three months, it comes less than two weeks after Facebook received widespread criticism after the suspect in shootings at two New Zealand mosques that killed 50 people was able to broadcast the massacre on live video on Facebook. Also on Wednesday, a man convicted on state murder charges in a deadly car attack at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges. The bloodshed in 2017 prompted tech companies to take a firmer stand against accounts used to promote hate and violence.
But apparently not enough. Now, Facebook is trying to do more. As part of Wednesday's change, people who search for terms associated with white supremacy on Facebook will be directed to a group called Life After Hate, which was founded by former extremists who want to help people leave the violent far-right.
Clarke called the idea that white supremacism is different than white nationalism or white separatism a misguided "distinction without a difference."
She said the New Zealand attack was a "powerful reminder about why we need the tech sector to do more to stamp out the conduct and activity of violent white supremacists."
Rashad Robinson, the president of Color of Change, says the racial justice group warned Facebook to the growing dangers of white nationalists on its platform years ago and that he was glad to see Wednesday's announcement.
"Facebook's update should move Twitter, YouTube, and Amazon to act urgently to stem the growth of white nationalist ideologies, which find space on platforms to spread the violent ideas and rhetoric that inspired the tragic attacks witnessed in Charlottesville, Pittsburgh, and now Christchurch," he said.
Twitter does not currently ban white nationalists or white separatists, though its hateful conduct policy forbids the promotion of violence or threats against people on the basis of race, gender, religion and other protected categories. It also bans the use of "hateful images or symbols" in profile or header images. YouTube also bans hate speech and says it removes content promoting violence or hatred on the basis of these categories. Amazon has an "offensive products" policy that does not allow the promotion or glorification of hatred, racial violence or sexual or religious intolerance. The three companies did not immediately respond to messages for comment on Wednesday.
Madihha Ahussain, a special counsel for anti-Muslim bigotry at the nonprofit Muslim Advocates, said what's needed now is more information on how Facebook will define white nationalist content — and how it will enforce its new rules.
"Now, the question is: how will Facebook interpret and enforce this new policy to prevent another tragedy like the Christchurch mosque attacks?" she said.