Facebook non-partisan, politically neutral: India chief Ajit Mohan

Facebook India Head Ajit Mohan has defended the handling of alleged hate speeches by members of the ruling BJP, saying the platform has remained true to its design of being neutral and non-partisan and acted based on inputs from various teams.

In an interview with PTI, Mohan rejected charges of Facebook India’s decisions being influenced by political leanings of individuals, saying the process followed at the platform is designed to ensure no one person can influence outcomes, let alone take any unilateral decisions.

“The content policy of team that is at the centre of all the enforcement decisions (on hate speeches) is separate and independent in India from the public policy team (that handles government relations),” he said. “It’s designed for independence.”

And the content management team is guided by only community standards. “And enforcement of that has to be objective, has to be non-partisan and neutral. I think that goes to the heart of how the platform has been designed from day one,” he asserted.

Individuals can have “points of views” or “leanings”, the “system is designed to make sure no one person can influence the outcomes,” he said.

“And so the answer is yes,” he said replying to a question on whether Facebook is a non-partisan and politically neutral entity.

The comments come amid a political storm over a report published in the Wall Street Journal last month, alleging the social media giant ignored extremist posts by ruling Bharatiya Janata Party leaders to protect its business interests in India.

According to the report, Facebook deleted anti-Muslim posts by BJP’s Telangana MLA T Raja Singh and three other Hindu nationalists only after being questioned by the paper. Facebook’s head of public policy Ankhi Das, the report said citing company employees, had opposed the deletion of the posts despite being flagged internally as breaching standards.

Facebook earlier this month banned the 42-year-old Telangana MLA, categorising him as a “dangerous individual”.

Mohan said there are no limits to respectable standard for free speech within and outside the company.

While there are people from multiple political leanings and backgrounds in the company, Facebook values people of experience in government or in public service.

“But at the same time, I think it is important to call out to you that the content policy of a team that is at the centre of all of these enforcement decisions is separate and independent in India from the public policy team here. It’s designed for independence. So the public policy team that engages with government, for example, central and state governments, is a part of my team. That is separate from the content policy team which is part of the global team,” he said.

“So, I think the point is while people can have points of view, they can have leanings, the system is designed to make sure no one person can influence the outcomes, let alone have any unilateral decision making power on this aspect. The separation in India context tells you how design is meant for independence,” he said.

Mohan said the content moderation is largely done through automated systems and human reviewers.

In dealing with complex issues such as designating individuals, especially elected officials, the content policy team comes into play.

“The public policy team does seek inputs from multiple functions and disciplines and teams including public policy team in India. That is not interference. That is the process, that is being designed to have enough local context from the local team,” he said. “But finally the decision that is taken is not taken by the public policy team.”

“So you have the opportunity in certain cases like designation, from multiple local and international teams, to provide a point of view that is by design. But it is not for them to take any unilateral decision. That still goes through the content policy team,” he said.

Facebook has over 300 million users in India, while its associate WhatsApp is the leader in messaging with over 400 million users.

In April this year, Facebook invested USD 5.7 billion to buy a 9.9 per cent stake in Jio Platforms, the digital arm of energy-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd owned by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani.

Mohan said Facebook has an impartial approach to dealing with content and that this is governed strongly by its community standards. These policies are enforced globally without regard to anyone’s political position, party affiliation or religious and cultural beliefs, he emphasised.

“That is the basis and enforcement of that has to be objective, has to be non-partisan and neutral. I think that goes to the heart of how the platform has been designed from day one. It goes to the heart of something all of us embrace, that we have to be neutral, we have to be non-partisan,” he added.

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LATISM Business and Equity Crowdfunding Twitter Chat with Special Guest Manny Fernandez

LATISM Business and Equity Crowdfunding Twitter Chat

with Special Guest Manny Fernandez

by Melanie Mendez-Gonzales

Due to recent laws and regulations have made equity crowdsourcing an option for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Equity crowdfunding is the process whereby people (i.e. the ‘crowd’) invest in an early-stage unlisted company (a company that is not listed on a stock market) in exchange for shares in that company.

This is big news for small business owners. According to , this form of capital raising is especially attractive to “main street” businesses — which may have a great history and engaged customers, but find that banks aren’t willing, or able to lend to them. This model exists in many other countries, and we see local food-based businesses, bars and pubs, art and creative studios and other product based companies taking advantage of these models and raising on average about $700,000.

That leads us to the question: who is going to fund our Latino-owned businesses? Historically, minority businesses are highly unlikely to be funded by investors.

For our weekly #LATISM Twitter Chat, we will be joined by founder of Dream Funded, an equity crowdfunding platform that allows business owners to raise up to $1M from anyone on social media, Manny Fernandez. Fernandez is also the 1st Hispanic to be featured as an investor on a TV show – Make Me a Millionaire Inventor airing Oct 6th.

Business owners and entrepreneurs (and those aspiring to be)are invited to join us as we discuss equity crowdfunding and what it means for you; challenges of being a business owner and why we don’t see more Latino investors like Fernandez.

Fernandez recently won the Calfifornia Chambers of Commerce Shark of the Year Award. During his acceptance speech, Fernandez said regarding equity crowdfunding, “This is what I am bringing to you, it is for us to win, it is us coming together, organizing for capital. I have seen it, I know how it works I have the knowledge, but I need others who want to use it to raise money from their community.”

LATISM Business Twitter Chat with Special Guest Manny Fernandez

9 p.m. EST – 10 p.m. EST

TWITTER.COM/LATISM

Hashtags to follow: #LATISM #LATISMbiz

Special Guest: @MannyFernandez

Moderator: @LATISM

Manny Fernandez, the co-founder and CEO of DreamFunded, is a Silicon Valley angel investor, angel group founder, serial entrepreneur and keynote speaker. He has been successful leading his owMannyFernandezn ventures as well as advising other startups on their paths to success. Fernandez won the Equity Crowdfunding Leadership Award in 2014 for co-founding DreamFunded. He had previously founded SF Angels Group in San Francisco, and he has been an investor with TiE Angels since 2012. Fernandez was named in Inc. Magazine’s list of the top 33 entrepreneurs to watch in 2016 and was named 2014 SF Angel Investor of the Year. He is the 14th most followed Angel Investor on Twitter, with over 100,000 followers.

An international keynote speaker, frequent judge and panelist for startup demo days, Bay Area corporations, colleges and universities, Fernandez has been a featured guest speaker at: NBC, CNBC Squawk Box (twice), South by Southwest (Texas), SLUSH (Finland), Epicenter Festival (Mexico), Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Harvard University, University of San Francisco (USF), PayPal, Yahoo!, Plug and Play, USAWeek in Europe, Intel Global Challenge, California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s (CHCC) SharkTank, Startup Grind, AngelHack Global Demo, Startup Weekend and many more.

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Massive office landlord Vornado is planning to install face-reading cameras to track tenants in all of its buildings— including one where Facebook just inked a big lease

  • Vornado Realty Trust began installing facial recognition systems in buildings it owns in New York City five years ago. 
  • The company, one of the city’s largest commercial landlords with 19 million square feet across 35 buildings, recently expanded its use of the tech to 11 buildings and plans to roll it out across its entire portfolio.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has prompted landlords to scramble to create seamless and touchless methods for tenants to pass through lobby security and dispatch elevators. 
  • Vornado believes its use of facial recognition could help it encourage tenants to return to the pot-Covid workplace.  
  • Vornado executives say the company uses facial recognition responsibly, allowing tenants to opt in and out voluntarily and securing and anonymizing the data. 

Vornado Realty Trust, among New York City’s largest office landlords, said it uses facial recognition in portions of its expansive portfolio and plans to expand its use of the controversial technology as workers are expected to migrate back to the office in the coming months.

The nearly $7 billion public company, which controls 19 million square feet across 35 properties in Manhattan, is one of the only major commercial landlords to embrace face reading, a technology that has raised public concerns over surveillance and privacy.

In a conversation with Business Insider, Vornado executives described the company’s deployment of facial recognition in detail for the first time, stating that it was part of a push to modernize its buildings technologically in recent years and create more convenient entry systems for tenants.

Read More: Facial-recognition could be coming to your office. Here’s how companies are pitching the tech to landlords and trying to allay privacy concerns.

Touchless methods that allow employees in large office buildings to quickly pass through lobby security and dispatch an elevator have gained importance amid the coronavirus pandemic as tenants have become concerned about the transmission of germs in public spaces and the workplace.

Vornado has used facial-recognition in some office buildings for the past five years

In Vornado’s case, the company has employed face-reading systems in its buildings for the past five years, it said, positioning it as a potential leader in creating the kind of accessibility that landlords hope will encourage a return to the office.

“We are constantly looking to adopt new, cutting-edge technologies that will make our buildings more efficient and life more convenient for our tenants,” said David Greenbaum, Vornado’s vice chairman and one of the company’s senior leaders. 

Greenbaum said that he first began discussing the technology with Vornado’s chairman and CEO, Steve Roth, about six years ago after noticing that some tenants in Vornado properties had to carry with them two entry cards, one to clear through a building’s turnstiles and another to access the doors to their specific space.

Read More: Facebook just reached a blockbuster deal to lease the massive Farley Building in NYC as a tech and engineering hub. Here’s why it’s a huge win for a shaken office market.

Facial recognition offered the promise of creating an entry credential that required no phone, wallet, or access card.

Prior to 2020, the company installed the systems in 5 of its buildings. It later sold one of those office properties, leaving the company with 4 buildings where facial recognition is in operation. This year it accelerated work to install the technology in 7 additional buildings after Covid-19 hit. Those systems are now operational.

The company plans to install face-reading systems in its entire portfolio, but has not laid out a timeline when that work will be complete. Among the buildings where it will soon deploy the technology are One and Two Penn Plaza, large office properties that the company is in the process of extensively renovating. Among the buildings where face reading is already in operation is the large Midtown office tower, 1290 Avenue of the Americas, and 340 West 34th Street, where Amazon has offices.

Vornado will also have face-reading cameras at the Farley Building, where it just signed a blockbuster lease with Facebook to occupy the over 700,000 square feet of office space at the property, which Vornado is redeveloping.  

How office workers can opt in to facial recognition 

Tenants can opt in and out of the system voluntarily and there is about a 40% participation rate in the 4 properties that had the technology prior to 2020, a total of about 6,000 of the 15,000 office employees who work in those properties. 

“Virtually everyone who has used the technology has liked it,” Greenbaum said. “I never had a preconceived notion of what the adoption rate would be, but as our tenants see others using it, they are becoming increasingly comfortable with the technology.”

It isn’t clear yet what the participation rate will be in the 7 properties where the technology was recently brought online because most tenants haven’t yet returned to the workplace, Vornado said.

Gaston Silva, the company’s New York area chief operating officer, said that tenants who participate have their photo taken and that their biometric data is stored anonymously in onsite systems.

“Every face is assigned a number that is disassociated from someone’s identity,” Silva said. “The information is encrypted and stored on systems that cannot be accessed from the internet.”

Many landlords have shied away from using facial recognition technology, especially as controversies have erupted over its use.

China uses it to surveil its citizens and oppress the Uyghurs, a minority population of Muslim citizens along its western border, actions that have drawn worldwide condemnation.

Clearview AI created an algorithm that pulled billions of faces from pictures posted on the internet, creating a database that could be used to identify nearly anyone.

“Based on my conversations with tenants, many find the concept of facial recognition to be creepy and they are opposed to the idea,” said Craig Deitelzweig, CEO of Marx Realty, which has a portfolio of 4.6 million square feet of commercial space.

Facial-recognition proponents insist there are ethical ways to use the technology, including by taking the key steps of receiving consent from participants, securely storing their data, being transparent how it is used, and giving participants the right to opt out.

Vornado has used third-party facial reading technology and outside vendors to help it deploy the systems in its buildings, partners it declined to name. On its website, Vornado states that it uses the security company GMSC, which is owned by Vornado and has its headquarters in the Vornado-owned office building Eleven Penn Plaza, to help it manage tenants and visitor access to its buildings and “biometric facial recognition installation and enrollment assistance.”

GMSC, on its website, says it handles security work for Amazon, Facebook, and Bloomberg, all three of which are tenants in Vornado’s New York portfolio.

Subsequent to deploying face-reading systems, Vornado developed mobile applications that allow tenants to use their smart phone to pass through lobby security. Some tenants prefer facial recognition, Greenbaum said.

“In fact, facial recognition is easier than using your phone,” Greenbaum said. “If you are on a call when you enter the building, you likely would prefer not to move the phone from your ear in order to bring it closer to the turnstile.”

Have a tip? Contact Daniel Geiger at dgeiger@businessinsider.com or via encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 (646) 352-2884, or Twitter DM at @dangeiger79. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

SEE ALSO: Facebook just reached a blockbuster deal to lease the massive Farley Building in NYC as a tech and engineering hub. Here’s why it’s a huge win for a shaken office market.

SEE ALSO: Facial-recognition could be coming to your office. Here’s how companies are pitching the tech to landlords and trying to allay privacy concerns.

SEE ALSO: Mandatory temperature-taking is largely seen as a critical way to return workers to offices. But some big NYC landlords are worried about its effectiveness.

Join the conversation about this story »

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RevolutionNow: Nigerians protest in Abuja, ask for better governance | Legit TV

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RevolutionNow: Nigerians protest in Abuja, ask for better governance | Legit TV
Nigerians have taken to streets of Abuja to protest against current killings in the country and demand for better governance.

This is coming in continuation of the revolutionnow now protest started by Omoyele Sowore exactly one year ago.

Current affairs – Nigeria News | Legit TV
The latest Africa and Nigeria News on Legit TV!
Daily current affairs and crime news. Issues of public concern and statements of opinion leaders. Political news, comments, and scandals.
The views of experts and street interviews of ordinary citizens of Nigeria. Breaking news and updates.
What’s troubling people in Africa? And what news stories are the most discussed in Nigeria today?
Save this playlist to be the first who gets the answers!

Naija lifestyle | Legit TV
This playlist contains videos under the heading “Naija LifeStyle”.
Here you can find the latest Nigeria entertainment news.
Do you like watching people answering tricky questions in the street interviews?
Are you interested in gossip news? Do you want to know more about public and personal lives of Nigerian music artists, actors, and other famous people? Are you a music fan who wants to be the first to watch the newest music videos of Nigerian pop-stars and rock-bands?
If at least one of your answers is “yes”, save this playlist and have fun!

Special projects | Legit TV
This playlist contains videos under the heading “Special projects” on Legit TV
Hilarious comedy videos about life in Nigeria.
Nigerian opinions on politics. Overviews of big political conflicts and social problems that concern the society.
Success stories of self-made men and women. Exclusive interviews with public figures and your favorite stars. And amazing life stories of unusual and talented Nigerians which can inspire you.

Save this playlist to get interesting content every day!

Nigeria Top List | Legit TV
In this playlist, we’ve collected videos that can broaden your horizons.
The team of Legit TV regularly chooses top 5 interesting facts on different topics related to Africa.
What were the biggest Africa’s scandals of the year? Who are the best football players in Nigeria? What interesting facts should you know about the Igbo people?
Do you have the answers to these questions?
Watch our top lists to stay on top of Nigeria entertainment news and learn more about Africa and Africans!

Star Chat | Legit TV
Are you looking for the latest news about famous Nigerians? Do you want to become closer to your favorite Nigerian celebrities? Do you want to watch only the best interviews with your favorite stars?
Whatever your idols are doing, you will find it in this playlist.
Also, you can be the first to know hot gossips, always stay on top of the biggest celebrity scandals and details of their personal lives.
Save this playlist and get access to all Nigerian showbiz and entertainment news you are interested in.

Sports news | Legit TV
Do you want to enjoy updates on international sports events and the most important sports news of Nigeria? Watching this playlist, you can get the best sports coverage.
The Legit TV team is bringing you the latest Nigerian and international sports news, gossips, and interviews.
Watch football highlights and reviews of premier league football matches. Be the first to know boxing news and fights results. And, of course, enjoy vox-pop interviews of other passionate sports fans.
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This content was originally published here.

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Nigeria Lieutenant in US Navy reveals how he kept $48million for the govt | Legit TV

News recently made the rounds about a Nigerian/American US Navy officer who was placed in charge of disbursing around $45 million at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The man’s name is Lieutenant Victor Agunbiade. In this interview with Legit.ng’s Abisola Alawode, he discusses the reason why he left Nigeria, balancing family and work as well as how he did not give in to temptations at his job.

Current affairs – Nigeria News | Legit TV
The latest Africa and Nigeria News on Legit TV!
Daily current affairs and crime news. Issues of public concern and statements of opinion leaders. Political news, comments, and scandals.
The views of experts and street interviews of ordinary citizens of Nigeria. Breaking news and updates.
What’s troubling people in Africa? And what news stories are the most discussed in Nigeria today?
Save this playlist to be the first who gets the answers!

Naija lifestyle | Legit TV
This playlist contains videos under the heading “Naija LifeStyle”.
Here you can find the latest Nigeria entertainment news.
Do you like watching people answering tricky questions in the street interviews?
Are you interested in gossip news? Do you want to know more about public and personal lives of Nigerian music artists, actors, and other famous people? Are you a music fan who wants to be the first to watch the newest music videos of Nigerian pop-stars and rock-bands?
If at least one of your answers is “yes”, save this playlist and have fun!

Special projects | Legit TV
This playlist contains videos under the heading “Special projects” on Legit TV
Hilarious comedy videos about life in Nigeria.
Nigerian opinions on politics. Overviews of big political conflicts and social problems that concern the society.
Success stories of self-made men and women. Exclusive interviews with public figures and your favorite stars. And amazing life stories of unusual and talented Nigerians which can inspire you.

Save this playlist to get interesting content every day!

Nigeria Top List | Legit TV
In this playlist, we’ve collected videos that can broaden your horizons.
The team of Legit TV regularly chooses top 5 interesting facts on different topics related to Africa.
What were the biggest Africa’s scandals of the year? Who are the best football players in Nigeria? What interesting facts should you know about the Igbo people?
Do you have the answers to these questions?
Watch our top lists to stay on top of Nigeria entertainment news and learn more about Africa and Africans!

Star Chat | Legit TV
Are you looking for the latest news about famous Nigerians? Do you want to become closer to your favorite Nigerian celebrities? Do you want to watch only the best interviews with your favorite stars?
Whatever your idols are doing, you will find it in this playlist.
Also, you can be the first to know hot gossips, always stay on top of the biggest celebrity scandals and details of their personal lives.
Save this playlist and get access to all Nigerian showbiz and entertainment news you are interested in.

Sports news | Legit TV
Do you want to enjoy updates on international sports events and the most important sports news of Nigeria? Watching this playlist, you can get the best sports coverage.
The Legit TV team is bringing you the latest Nigerian and international sports news, gossips, and interviews.
Watch football highlights and reviews of premier league football matches. Be the first to know boxing news and fights results. And, of course, enjoy vox-pop interviews of other passionate sports fans.
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Connect with Legit TV!
Visit Legit TV Site: https://www.legit.ng/
Follow Legit TV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/legitngnews
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This content was originally published here.

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