World Economic Forum: Tech firms must do more on extremism

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Updated 11 November 2017
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World Economic Forum: Tech firms must do more on extremism

WASHINGTON: US tech firms such as Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. should be more aggressive in tackling extremism and political misinformation if they want to avoid government action, a report from the World Economic Forum said on Monday.
The study from the Swiss nonprofit organization adds to a chorus of calls for Silicon Valley to stem the spread of violent material from Daesh militants and the use of their services by alleged Russian propagandists.
Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet Inc’s Google will go under the microscope of US lawmakers on Tuesday and Wednesday when their general counsels will testify before three US congressional committees on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
The report from the World Economic Forum’s human rights council warns that tech companies risk government regulation that would limit freedom of speech unless they “assume a more active self-governance role.”
It recommends that the companies conduct more thorough internal reviews of how their services can be misused and that they put in place more human oversight of content.
The German parliament in June approved a plan to fine social media networks up to 50 million euros if they fail to remove hateful postings promptly, a law that Monday’s study said could potentially lead to the takedown of massive amounts of content.


Times newspaper corrects ‘distorted’ coverage of Muslim foster carers

Updated 26 April 2018
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Times newspaper corrects ‘distorted’ coverage of Muslim foster carers

  • Coverage by The Times said the girl had been forced to live with a “niqab-wearing foster carer”
  • The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) wants The Timesto apologize #for promoting a widely known to be an inaccurate, misleading and bigoted narrative about Muslims

LONDON: The Times newspaper has been ordered to correct a front-page story titled “Christian child forced into Muslim foster care,” after a ruling from the UK’s independent press regulator. 

The story, published Aug. 30, 2017, was one of three front-page articles published by the paper that month about a five-year-old Christian girl who was placed with Muslim foster carers in March 2017.

Coverage by The Times said the girl had been forced to live with a “niqab-wearing foster carer” and had been “sobbing and begging” not to be sent back because the carers did not speak English, an allegation that has since proved to be false.

The paper also claimed the carers removed the girl’s crucifix necklace, prevented her from eating bacon and encouraged her to learn Arabic. 

The Independent Press Standards Organization (IPSO) said that The Times’s coverage was “distorted,” after an investigation found the allegations to be unsubstantiated. The investigation was carried out by Tower Hamlets, the local council that had taken the child into care.

Wednesday’s edition of the paper mentioned the ruling on the front page and carried full details on page 2 and online.

3, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), said: “The Times should be forced to apologize for promoting what was widely known to be an inaccurate, misleading and bigoted narrative about Muslims. 

The story aided the hate-filled agenda of far-right extremists such as Britain First and the English Defense League.

“We hope that this front-page note will mark a turning point in the tolerance The Times has shown for anti-Muslim bigotry in its coverage and commentary.”

Miqdaad Versi, who heads the MCB’s work on media representation of Muslims, said: “While IPSO’s ruling on this shameful incidence of anti-Muslim reporting is welcome, their response thus far has been too little, too late.

“There needs to be a fundamental review to ensure this never happens again.”