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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Twitter reacts to landmark new poll on Scottish independence | The National

Commissioned by Business for Scotland, the Panelbase poll has delighted the Yes movement.

Politicians and commentators have taken to social media to give their thoughts.

Here a few of the best responses.

Greens MSP Ross Greer tweeted: “Don’t want to get anyone too excited but I think we’re going to do this.”

New Panelbase poll for @BizforScotland:

Yes: 55%
No: 45%

Don’t want to get anyone too excited but I think we’re going to do this 😁https://t.co/dUgSzyZd4M

— Ross Greer (@Ross_Greer)

SNP MP Stewart McDonald hailed the “stunning poll”.

Another stunning poll on Scottish independence.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇪🇺55%
🇬🇧🤷🏻‍♂️45% https://t.co/QxoxxKOBnT

— Stewart McDonald MP (@StewartMcDonald)

Michael Gray, part of The Skotia team, said independence “is becoming the settled will of the Scottish people”.

Independence is becoming the settled will of the Scottish people, uniting supporters of all parties & none. A referendum will be won with over 60% support & provide a basis for building a more democratic & equal country. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

— Michael Gray (@GrayInGlasgow)

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead and Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP Angus MacNeil thanked Boris Johnson for his help in driving up support.

Here’s hoping Boris Johnson has regular visits to Scotland in his diary. https://t.co/h2xj5pAT2D

— Richard Lochhead (@RichardLochhead)

👍Boris visit has upped support for independence to 55%!!!
With the Hard Brexit coming, independence will rise to the 59%, as polls showed it would 19months ago 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿https://t.co/P8hCOO1U4K

— Angus B MacNeil MP (@AngusMacNeilSNP)

Brexit whistleblower Shahmir Sanni voiced his support for the Yes movement.

Say YES to Scotland. 🤎 https://t.co/Mzwbhpt8n8

— Shahmir Sanni (@shahmiruk)

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said the poll result reflected the feedback he had received from people across Scotland.

More encouraging news for Independence supporters, with Panelbase showing support at 55%. This is borne out by feedback to me from many (Zoom) meetings with Members across the country. Our diversity is our strength, and our unity of purpose will make sure we win.

— Keith Brown MSP (@KeithBrownSNP)

Jonathon Shafi, co-founder of the Radical Independence Campaign, also gave the credit to the Prime Minister.

6 years on, the current polling has flipped the referendum result of 2014. 55% now favour Scottish independence. Fuelled in large part by Johnson and his cabinet of crooks and reprobates it is time to make the break. Get independence done.

— Jonathon Shafi (@Jonathon_Shafi)

Glasgow East MP David Linden added: “And people wonder why the Cabinet Office won’t publish its own private polling on Scottish independence…”

And people wonder why the Cabinet Office won’t publish its own private polling on Scottish independence… https://t.co/PVrKVmgoUE

— David Linden MP (@DavidLinden)

LBC radio host James O’Brien summed up the reaction south of the Border…

Oof. https://t.co/PxuPLU8CaH

— James O’Brien (@mrjamesob)

The former LibDem candidate for London mayor, Siobhan Benita, also expressed her support for Scottish independence.

If I were Scottish I’d vote yes at this stage.
London independence from this shambles of a Brexit Britain wouldn’t be bad either. https://t.co/wmxdRt5mWE

— Siobhan Benita (@SiobhanBenita)

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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.
___
Do you want to know more about Nigeria breaking news?
Connect with Legit TV!
Visit Legit TV Site: https://www.legit.ng/
Follow Legit TV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/legitngnews
Follow Legit TV on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/naijcom/
Follow Legit TV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/legit.ng/

#LegitTV #naijcomtv #Legit #nigerianews

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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?
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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.

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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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Do you want to know more about Nigeria breaking news?
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Visit Legit TV Site: https://www.legit.ng/
Follow Legit TV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/legitngnews
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Follow Legit TV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/legit.ng/

#LegitTV #naijcomtv #Legit #nigerianews

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Perspective | It’s time we stopped with the phrase “gifted and talented”

By Stephanie Sprenger
@mommyforreal

Last week, I saw two toddlers wearing “Genius” T-shirts. When I saw the first one, I smiled, as I undeniably have a soft spot for ironic baby clothing. But when just hours later the second “genius” came waddling along, it gave me pause. I know these clever shirts proclaiming that our children are “brave like Daddy” or “sassy like Mommy” are just supposed to be funny and cute. Yet I feel slightly troubled by what lies under the surface of our attempts to label our children with myriad superlatives.

The “Genius” one left a distinctly bad taste in my mouth, and after a few days of pondering, I realized why. It was a tiny incarnation of the “gifted and talented” program, which is a concept I’ve been struggling with as a parent.

When I was in 5th grade, I was selected to participate in TAG (yes, talented and gifted), a program that took place during two hours of every Friday afternoon. I recall playing challenging brain games that required teamwork and higher-level questioning, completing independent study projects, on one occasion making a collage about photography (hmmm), and then trotting merrily back to class with my other above-average classmates.

I moved the following year, and was placed in a similar program with a different name: Alpha. Was it, shudder, because we were “alpha students?” It was my first and last meeting. Although I carried straight A’s—aside from my B in P.E.—after a snide comment from one of my fellow Alpha students, I chose never again to participate in a gifted and talented program.

Over the years, I’ve heard it referred to as ULE—Unique Learning Experience—and Exceptional Learners, but where I live now it’s straight up “GT—gifted and talented.” My experience with GT as a parent of non-GT students has been eye-opening.

When my oldest daughter, now 13, was in Montessori preschool, the staff provided a parent meeting where we could ask questions about kindergarten and elementary school options. Hands shot up all around the room: “Tell us more about the GT programs in the district.” “When can we test for GT?” Aside from the occasional inquiry about bilingual education programs, it was pretty much the same: How do we get into the GT program?

My husband and I raised our eyebrows at each other. Who knew that all this time our precocious little darling had been surrounded by entirely gifted students? Over the next few years, acquaintances would ask me when I was getting my daughter tested for GT. “I’m not,” I usually replied simply. The high-pressure program was not something I wanted for my child, who now is a 4.0 honor roll student in middle school. To be honest, I wasn’t really sure she qualified for GT; her grades have much more to do with her personality and determination. But the entire operation left a bad taste in my mouth.

Semantics matter to me, perhaps more than most people. Don’t even get me started on my hang-ups about the word “blessed.” To me, being “gifted and talented” sounds a whole lot like being bestowed with a well, gift, that others were not granted. It’s pretentious, and slightly obnoxious.

However, the value of these programs is undeniable. There are students whose needs are not being met in a one-size-fits-all curriculum: a multitude, and not just the above average variety. It is difficult to comprehend the challenge of teachers who must constantly adapt their learning experience to the diverse group of students they teach. These programs are absolutely essential and provide a much-needed, enriching, stimulating education for the kids who are becoming bored in their classrooms, who are potentially even causing problems because they aren’t being challenged.

The future of New York City’s public gifted and talented programming is now in the spotlight, thanks to the mayor-appointed School Diversity Advisory Group’s recommendation that the existing GT programs be replaced by magnet schools. A group of gifted education teachers have instead called for an overhaul and reform of the system instead of elimination, which they hope may affect other GT programs around the country. But perhaps there is more fundamental reform required than altering the selection process and addressing the issues of economic privilege and racial segregation.

Perhaps what we really need to address is what we call these programs and the way parents conceive of them. The pressure behind TAG, including the language we use to describe it, needs to change. So too the frenetic rush to test our kids, not necessarily because we want to accommodate their learning style, but because of the proclamation that they are gifted and talented and therefore destined for a higher purpose, will lead to a breeding ground of stress, anxiety, and self-esteem issues. And what does it do to the kids who are excluded from this elite group?

I often cringe when I hear someone counter the name of these kind of programs with the sentiment that “All kids are gifted and talented in their own way.” Because it sounds so trite—the equivalent of a participation award. And yet. At the risk of revealing myself as a special snowflake kind of person, I do believe all children are gifted and talented. Whether they are athletic, artistic, deeply empathetic, or bold leaders, or simply themselves. Platitudes be damned, they are all gifted and talented in their own way.

It’s time to change the labels of these advanced or specialized learning classrooms to reflect that. Our children are paying attention, and they can absolutely read between the lines. What kind of message do we want to send them?

Stephanie is a writer, mother of two girls, early childhood educator and music therapist, and Executive Producer of Listen To Your Mother Denver and Boulder.

Image: an actual shirt that was given to one of our editor’s children.

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