Google Doodle celebrates Saudi National Day

Google Doodle celebrated the Saudi National Day. (Google)
Updated 23 September 2019

Google Doodle celebrates Saudi National Day

  • The doodle is only visible to users in Saudi Arabia
  • The important occasion is usually celebrated across the Middle East

DUBAI: Google joined the celebration of the 89th Saudi National Day on Monday, with an animated doodle of the Kingdom’s distinctive green flag.

Only visible to Google users in Saudi Arabia, the doodle commemorates the announcement of the Kingdom’s unification on Sept. 23 1932 by King Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud, as well as the renaming of the country from the Kingdom of Nejd Hejaz to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The important occasion is usually celebrated across the Middle East, where several traditional festivals and other cultural events are hosted.

Other Google Doodles comemmorating Saudi National Day:

The doodle in 2018 featured the Kingdom's first-ever stamp which dates back 1934, only two years after its founding.

In 2017, the doodle showcased the different cultural attires of Saudi Arabia, including the white thobe and the black abaya.


Facebook to apply state media labels on Russian, Chinese outlets

Updated 05 June 2020

Facebook to apply state media labels on Russian, Chinese outlets

  • Facebook will not label any US-based news organizations
  • Social media giant said even US government-run outlets have editorial independence

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook will start labeling Russian, Chinese and other state-controlled media organizations, and later this summer will block any ads from such outlets that target US users, it said on Thursday.
The world’s biggest social network will apply the label to Russia’s Sputnik, Iran’s Press TV and China’s Xinhua News, according to a partial list Facebook provided. The company will apply the label to about 200 pages at the outset.
Facebook will not label any US-based news organizations, as it determined that even US government-run outlets have editorial independence, Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, said in an interview.
Facebook, which has acknowledged its failure to stop Russian use of its platforms to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election, has since stepped up its defenses and imposed greater transparency requirements for pages and ads on its platforms.
The company announced plans last year to create a state media label, but is introducing it amid criticism over its hands-off treatment of misleading and racially charged posts by US President Donald Trump.
The new measure comes just months ahead of the November US presidential election.
Under the move, Facebook will not use the label for media outlets affiliated with individual political figures or parties, which Gleicher said could push “boundaries that are very, very slippery.”
“What we want to do here is start with the most critical case,” he said.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters during a daily briefing in Beijing on Friday that social media companies should not selectively create obstacles for media agencies.
“We hope that the relevant social media platform can put aside the ideological bias and hold an open and accepting attitude toward each country’s media role,” he said.
Facebook is not the first company to take such action.
YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc’s Google, in 2018 started identifying video channels that predominantly carry news items and are funded by governments. But critics charge YouTube has failed to label some state news outlets, allowing them to earn ad revenue from videos with misinformation and propaganda.
In a blog post, Facebook said its label would appear on pages globally, as well as on News Feed posts within the United States.
Facebook also said it would ban US-targeted ads from state-controlled entities “out of an abundance of caution” ahead of the November presidential election. Elsewhere, the ads will receive a label.