Egypt hands BBC protest note over report on alleged ‘forced disappearances’

SIS Chief Diaa Rashwan (R) hands BBC Cairo bureau chief Safaa Faisal an official protest note during a Cairo meeting (Photo courtesy of SIS)
Updated 07 March 2018
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Egypt hands BBC protest note over report on alleged ‘forced disappearances’

CAIRO: Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) handed the BBC Cairo bureau a protest note over its controversial report on alleged forced disappearances the report claimed were carried out by Egyptian authorities.

SIS chief Diaa Rashwan handed the BBC’s Cairo bureau chief Safaa Faisal the objection note reacting to the report, saying the body demands “an official apology” from the British broadcaster over the report.

The head of BBC Cairo bureau, Safaa Faisal, praised the dialogue taking place between SIS and BBC, vowing that the British news network would seriously study the notes sent by SIS, local newspaper reports said.

“The Shadow Over Egypt” was a BBC report published in February that claimed Egypt’s security apparatuses participated in the enforced disappearance of Egyptian citizens.

Zubeida Ibrahim, an Egyptian woman mentioned in the report as one of those “forcibly disappeared,” has appeared on Egyptian television to refute the BBC disappearance and torture claims.

The incident stirred wide controversy between the Egyptian state and the British network, with the SIS accusing BBC of fabricating the story.


Facebook accused of discrimination with job ad targeting

Updated 19 September 2018
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Facebook accused of discrimination with job ad targeting

  • It charges that job ads on Facebook targeted male users only
  • Facebook lets advertisers target ads on the basis of gender and age, which is against the law in America

WASHINGTON: A complaint has been filed with the US government accusing Facebook and 10 other companies of using the platform’s job ad targeting system to discriminate on the basis of gender.
The complaint was announced Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union, a union called the Communications Workers of America and a labor law firm, on behalf of three female job seekers and a group of “thousands” of members represented by the union.
It charges that job ads on Facebook targeted male users only. It also alleges that most of the listings were for jobs in male-dominated fields, so women and non-binary users were excluded from seeing these ads.
Facebook lets advertisers target ads on the basis of gender and age, which is against the law in America, the complaint reads.
“I shouldn’t be shut out of the chance to hear about a job opportunity just because I am a woman,” said Bobbi Spees, one of the three women named in the complaint.
Facebook spokesman Joe Osborne said in a statement to CNNMoney that there is no place for discrimination on Facebook.
“It’s strictly prohibited in our policies, and over the past year we’ve strengthened our systems to further protect against misuse,” Osborne said.
Facebook will defend itself once it has reviewed the complaint, he added.
The ACLU noted that online platforms such as Facebook are generally not liable for content published by others.
“But in this case, Facebook is doing much more than merely publishing content created by others,” the advocacy group argued.
“It has built the architecture for this discriminatory marketing framework, enabled and encouraged advertisers to use it, and delivered the gender-based ads according to employers’ sex-based preferences.”
Last month the US Department of Housing and Urban Development accused Facebook of breaking the law by letting landlords and home sellers use its ad-targeting system to discriminate against potential buyers or tenants.
Facebook responded by cutting more than 5,000 ad-targeting options to prevent advertisers from discriminating on the basis of traits such as religion or race.