Facebook said Thursday it will start removing false claims about COVID-19 vaccines, in its latest move to counter a tide of coronavirus-related online misinformation.
In the coming weeks, the social network will begin taking down any Facebook or Instagram posts with false information about the vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts, reports AP.
The U.S. tech giant is taking action as the first COVID-19 vaccines are set to be rolled out. Britain this week became the first country to give emergency authorization for a vaccine developed by American drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech, and innoculations could start within days. Regulators in the U.S., the European Union and Canada are also vetting vaccines.
Facebook said it’s applying a policy to remove virus misinformation that could lead to “imminent physical harm.”
Posts that fall afoul of the policy could include phony claims about vaccine safety, efficacy, ingredients or side effects.
“For example, we will remove false claims that COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips, or anything else that isn’t on the official vaccine ingredient list,” the company said in a blog post.
Conspiracy theories about the vaccines that are already known to be false will also be removed.
Facebook has taken other steps to try to stop the spread of vaccine and coronavirus-related misinformation on its platform. From March to October, it has removed 12 million posts with coronavirus-related misinformation. The deleted posts include one by President Donald Trump with a link to a Fox News video of him saying children are “virtually immune” to the virus.
In October, the company banned ads discouraging vaccinations, though it made an exception for advocacy ads about government vaccine policies. The company has also promoted articles debunking COVID-19 misinformation on an information center.
Zoom’s videoconferencing service remains a fixture in pandemic life, but its breakneck growth is showing signs of tapering off as investors debate whether the company will be able to build upon its recent success after a vaccine enables people to intermingle again.
For now, Zoom is thriving as tens of millions of people who never heard of the service at the beginning of the year rely on its video meeting tools to connect with their co-workers, teachers, friends and family while efforts to fight contain the pandemic prevent them from going into offices, schools and most many other places. That dependence boosted Zoom’s fortunes, producing a pandemic-driven success story that was highlighted again Monday with the release of the company’s quarterly results for the August-October period.
One possible reason for the reaction is that number of companies anteing up for Zoom’s subscription version of its service isn’t rising as rapidly as during the pandemic’s early stages. Zoom ended its latest quarter with 433,700 customers with at least 10 employees, an increase of 63,500 customers from July. In each of the previous two quarters, Zoom had added more than 100,000 customers with at least 10 employees.
While that slowdown was considered an inevitable, the drop-off is nevertheless causing many investors to start considering the possibility that Zoom won’t be able to maintain the momentum it gained from this year’s stay-at-home orders after a substantial portion of the population is vaccinated against the novel coronavirus that has killed more than 1.4 million people worldwide.
As more investors have conclude Zoom has already reached its zenith, the company’s stock price has fallen more than 20% from its all-time high of $588.84 reached last month. Despite the decline, the shares are still more than six times higher than where they ended last year.
Those still betting on Zoom believe many subscribers who signed up for subscriptions to the videoconferencing service during the pandemic will continue to pay for it after the crisis is over as companies continue to limit the number of employees into their offices and cut back on business travel after learning how much can be accomplished in virtual meetings.
In a reflection of the high hopes for Zoom, analysts polled by FactSet predict the company’s revenue next year will reach $3.1 billion. That would be a roughly 20% increase from revenue of nearly $2.6 billion that Zoom is projecting for this year. An effective vaccine also would probably widen Zoom’s profit margins because it is spending more money this year offering a free service to about 125,000 schools that are instructing students online instead of in classrooms.
But Nucleus Research analyst Trevor White thinks Zoom is more likely to become known as a “one-hit wonder” after the pandemic, partly because of competition from bigger companies such as Microsoft and Google that can also bundle together other business products with their videoconferencing services.
“Zoom’s spike in consumer demand has given it a competitive edge that cannot transition well into the reopened economy,” White predicted.
In just over two years operation, realme, the fastest growing smartphone brand in the world, has crossed sales figures of 50 million. For four consecutive quarters up to the third quarter of 2020, the brand has ranked seventh in terms of global smartphone shipment numbers.
realme was founded at a time when the global smartphone market was reaching a point of saturation, with existing players competing for a chunk of the market. In fact, at the time realme was founded back in 2018, Chinese smartphones saw a drop in sales by 10.5% year-on-year. Sky Li, realme founder and a seasoned expert in the tech and smartphone arena, was not unfamiliar with the situation. The visionary Li had an idea – while all the established players are competing for the existing market, what was a key segment that still remained untapped? The simple yet overlooked answer was – the youth.
Young people, curious by nature, are more receptive of new ideas, and are often first-adopters of anything new. From his own extensive experience and close observations, Li realized the immense potential in the youth-oriented smartphone segment. Sky Li had been witnessing the overseas market for many years. While the youth demand proper functionality and aesthetics, they also seek them within a price range that is accessible to them. They also like attention. From the very start, realme was aware of this and acted upon this awareness. The brand’s current “Dare to Leap” slogan aptly captures the youth’s indomitable spirit.
In less than six months of commencing operations, realme had penetrated into ten major global markets including Indonesia, Malaysia, and India. The quick success not only resulted in a keen focus on its target segment, but also hard and efficient work. An example of the success is the selling of 2 million units at a time in an online sales even during Diwali in India.
An increasing number of countries across the world is gradually transitioning or about to transition to the era of 5G technology. Recognizing this inevitable transition, realme focused on its products being compatible with 5G technology. While its products in the home market of China comes with 5G compatibility, its products in other markets slowly taking baby steps towards that technology will also be capable as soon as the technology is in the horizon.
A major reason for realme’s success is its careful consideration of customer feedback. The company monitors and collects information on user feedback from social media, and communicates directly with users to enhance user engagement experience. The feedback is accommodated into the design and functionality of new products. Thus, the brand’s customers are not simply users, but also co-creators of realme’s products.
realme greatly focuses on its human resource. The creativity of the company’s young and energetic team has been reflected in the sales figures of the brand, which reached 20 million in a little over a year and crossed 50 million in around two years, which is a remarkable feat by any measure. In fact, some members of realme’s passionate workforce are former loyal users who joined the company after graduation, first as interns and then as permanent employees. Moreover, the company’s communication culture is direct. Any employee willing to share an idea have direct access to the CEO.
Moving forward, realme seeks to continue catering to the ever-evolving tastes of the youth, and continue its meteoric rise in the global smartphone and other tech consumer device arena. Given its rise into global prominence only within a couple of years of operation, it is safe to assume that anything is possible going forward.
Country’s electronics giant Walton Hi-Tech Industries Limited registered a 13.24 percent growth in its television, electrical and home appliances sales of the July- September quarter of current financial year compared to previous year.
In the same period, Walton posted around Tk 401 crore net profits and also its per-share net asset value rose to Tk 278 as of September 30 from its earlier Tk 261.92 of June 30 this year.
Walton Hi-Tech disclosed these at its recent published unaudited financial statement for the first quarter (July-September) of the current financial year, reports a press release.
According to its financial statement, Walton Hi-Tech recorded total sales of around Tk 1572.40 crore in the first quarter of the current financial year. Of which, sales of Walton’s TV, electrical and home appliances rose 13.24 per cent at the same time.
Amid the business and economic downturn situation following the coronavirus pandemic, Walton posted sales of Tk 1572.42 crore as well as net profits of Tk 401 crore, giving the sign of successful return to the company’s previous vigorous sales track, the market insider said.
Walton Hi-Tech Industries Managing Director Engineer Golam Murshed said, coronavirus pandemic had a big blow to the country’s all business sectors.
Following the lockdown for the period of more than two months, the country’s overall business activities became stagnant, he said added that but now the country’s business and economic activities has been started returning to normalcy very rapidly from the end of May for lifting the lockdown.
Walton also successfully returned to its previous sound business track by rapidly recovering the pandemic loss, saying it he noted that both the domestic and international sales of Walton were gone up sharply in the second quarter of the current financial year.
Walton declared 200 percent cash dividends for general investors while for directors, it would be 75 per cent for the year that ended on June 30, 2020.
Also read: Walton shares Tk 77cr profits with employees
Four companies – which got telecom tower license in 2018 – are stepping up efforts to set up more infrastructures for the operators to help them improve service quality.
The license has allowed the companies to build mobile towers and share those with telecom operators taking service fees.
And Banglalink has activated its first mobile tower set up under its agreement with Summit Towers Limited. It is one of the 259 towers that Summit will build for the telecom operator.
AB High Tech Consortium's Chief Executive Officer Manjurul Hasan said they agreed to build 100 towers for Robi and already handed over 48 to the telecom operator. "We hope to complete the rest of the work within this month."
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission Chairman Md Jahurul Haque said, "We are always interested in exploring the possibilities of new regulatory frameworks for enabling telecom operators to serve their customers better."
Banglalink's Chief Technology Officer Pierre Boutros Obeid said: "The activation of this mobile tower under the new towerco regime is a very important milestone for us, as it marks the beginning of a new expansion of our network."
Summit Communications Managing Director Md Arif Al Islam said: "We are proud of becoming the first tower company to start tower services, with an approved service level agreement, under the new towerco regime."