Tech firms must do more against ‘fake news’: Apple boss

Apple CEO Tim Cook waves at members of the media as he leaves 10 Downing Street in London, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Updated 11 February 2017
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Tech firms must do more against ‘fake news’: Apple boss

LONDON: Technology firms must up their game in tackling “fake news,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook said Saturday, calling for a major public information campaign.
“All of us technology companies need to create some tools that help diminish the volume of fake news,” the US tech giant boss told the Daily Telegraph in an interview.
“We must try to squeeze this without stepping on freedom of speech and of the press, but we must also help the reader.
“Too many of us are just in the complain category right now and haven’t figured out what to do.”
But Cook, who met British Prime Minister Theresa May at Downing Street on Thursday, said governments should also introduce a public information campaign.
“We need the modern version of a public-service announcement campaign. It can be done quickly if there is a will,” he said.
He added: “We are going through this period of time right here where unfortunately some of the people that are winning are the people that spend their time trying to get the most clicks, not tell the most truth.
“It’s killing people’s minds in a way.”
Fake news — fabricated reports designed to promote a particular agenda — came to prominence during last year’s US presidential election campaign.
Facebook in particular has come under pressure for failing to take action, and last month modified its system for showing trending topics.
The change is designed to ensure that trends reflect real world events being covered by multiple news outlets.


7D News looks to add new dimension to Middle East affairs

Updated 24 April 2018
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7D News looks to add new dimension to Middle East affairs

LONDON: Do you have a camel at home? Is there an oil wheel in your garden? These are some of the least-informed questions that Dr. Ali Rashid Al-Nuaimi, editor-in-chief of the new media platform 7D News, has encountered on visits to the West.
Al-Nuaimi, a UAE national and member of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, said he spotted a gap in the online media market for an outlet “that is a force for good, not just reportage.”
This begins with unpicking stereotypes about the Middle East, Al-Nuaimi said during an interview at the 7D News launch party in London on Thursday.
“What people here in the West know about the Arab world is terrorism, wars, discrimination against women … we want to change it,” he said.
Serving up daily news blasts complemented by background pieces that aim to show “the stories behind the headlines,” as the news service’s slogan reads, the site plans to provide a fresh perspective on the region, beginning with coverage showcasing the “achievements of the UAE.”
Al-Nuaimi said that the London-based news site — which is owned by Emirates Media and Research — was initially envisioned as an Arabic platform.
But Al-Nuaimi decided that English had a more international reach, and said the site will be completely impartial. “There won’t be any no-go areas,” he said.
Basing the site out of London, with reporters in cities around the world, he hopes to have a global impact by targeting an “elite audience” of readers and viewers with the scope to “impact their community.”
This means politicians, public figures, community leaders — those in a position to make a difference, Al-Nuaimi said. Issues including tolerance, integration, extremism and peace-building will be high on the agenda, with a focus on spotlighting leaders contributing to their community.
“I came from a background where I saw the added value of media in countering extremism,” he said.
“We want to look into news, incidents, events with angles that bring people together (rather than) dividing them, bridging the gaps between different cultures, different religions. I think this is a vacuum that needs to be filled.”
Humaira Patel, a reporter who recently joined the 7D team said the platform will feature “news that brings out the best.”
“I think 7D will be different,” she said.