Facebook is stepping up moderation against anti-Black hate speech

Facebook has started weighting anti-Black hate speech on its platform as higher priority than hate speech directed at white people, men, and Americans in an effort to address the disproportionate effects such speech has on minority groups, the company tells The Verge.



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© Illustration by James Bareham / The Verge


The result is that Facebook’s automated moderation systems for detecting and taking action against hate speech should now more proactively scan the site for such racist content. Meanwhile, more innocuous forms of hate speech, like those directed at white people or men in general, are deemed lower priority and left alone unless a user reports them. Facebook has internally deemed this approach “WOW,” or “worst of the worst” for the types of behaviors it now wants to focus its resources on.

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The effort is part of a new hate speech project within Facebook, first reported earlier today

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Voiceitt, Amazon Announce Collaboration Between Alexa And ‘Superpower’ Speech Technology

In a blog post published Thursday, Amazon and speech startup Voiceitt announced a collaboration that aims to make Alexa more accessible to people with atypical speech. Voiceitt is an app that uses machine-learning and speech recognition technologies to help those with speech impairments communicate and be more easily understood.

In a press release, Voiceitt acknowledged the popularity of smart speakers and digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa—despite their massive popularity, however, they can prove inaccessible to those with various types of speech delays. This can make the communicatively impaired feel as though they are excluded from using voice-first devices. Teaching a machine fluent speech is hard enough; teaching a machine to learn atypical speech is exponentially more challenging. Thus, Voiceitt “recognized the opportunity to expand its technology offering to facilitate not only in-person communication but also interaction with voice activated and controlled devices.”

“We’re excited

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Lamar Alexander Pleads with Senators to Work Together in Farewell Speech

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Lamar Alexander Pleads with Senators to Work Together in Farewell Speech

Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, delivered a final message to his colleagues during a farewell speech, saying that the Senate had lost its way and needed to change. Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader and a close friend to Mr. Alexander, grew emotional during his final remarks.

“Well, you may say the Senate isn’t solving some big problems. And you would be right. We’re not even voting on some big problems, sometimes because the majority doesn’t bring it up and sometimes the minority obstructs. Doesn’t take a genius to figure out how to gum up the works in a body of 100 that operates mostly by unanimous consent. But here’s my different view of why we’re here. It’s hard to get

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From hate speech to nudity, Facebook’s oversight board picks its first cases

By Elizabeth Culliford



graphical user interface: FILE PHOTO: Facebook logos


© Reuters/JOHANNA GERON
FILE PHOTO: Facebook logos

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc’s independent Oversight Board announced on Tuesday the first six cases where it could overrule the social media company’s decisions to remove certain pieces of content from its platforms.

The board, which Facebook created in response to criticism of its handling of problematic content, said it had received 20,000 cases since it opened its doors in October.

Three of the six cases involved content that Facebook removed for breaking hate speech rules.

An Oversight Board spokesman said hate speech cases had been “the most significant proportion” of appeals received.

“Hate speech is an especially difficult area,” Jamal Greene, one of the board’s co-chairs and a professor at Columbia Law School, told Reuters in an interview. “It’s not that easy … for an algorithm to get the context of” such speech.

Gallery: A timeline of voting rights in

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Could your vacuum be listening to you? Researchers hacked a robotic vacuum cleaner to record speech and music remotely — ScienceDaily

A team of researchers demonstrated that popular robotic household vacuum cleaners can be remotely hacked to act as microphones.

The researchers — including Nirupam Roy, an assistant professor in the University of Maryland’s Department of Computer Science — collected information from the laser-based navigation system in a popular vacuum robot and applied signal processing and deep learning techniques to recover speech and identify television programs playing in the same room as the device.

The research demonstrates the potential for any device that uses light detection and ranging (Lidar) technology to be manipulated for collecting sound, despite not having a microphone. This work, which is a collaboration with assistant professor Jun Han at the University of Singapore was presented at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys 2020) on November 18, 2020.

“We welcome these devices into our homes, and we don’t think anything about it,”

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Ivanka the Latest Trump to Join Parler, As ‘Free Speech’ App CEO Defends Users’ Right to Say ‘Crazy Things’

Ivanka Trump is the latest relative of the president to sign up to Parler, a social network popular with conservative politicians and personalities.

The businesswoman and advisor to her father, President Donald Trump, announced to her 10 million Twitter followers on Tuesday that she had joined the rival platform, which topped the U.S. iOS and Android app store download charts this month.

At the time of writing, she has not yet posted to her Parler account, which has attracted more than 200,000 followers since first being created five days ago.

Ivanka Trump appears to be the third family member to have an official verified account on the social network, which gained significant attention this year by claiming to protect the “free speech” of its users while having an aversion to censorship.

The president’s second son Eric joined on May 27 and has 1.6 million followers. Lara Trump,

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Let’s Compare The Most Popular Video- Game Speech Modules Of The 1980s

As someone who was alive and at least semiconscious during the 1980s, I vividly remember the strange thrill of having a machine talk. For reasons that I think are more emotional than rational, there was a time when the idea of having a talking computer or video game system was a Big Deal, at least in short bursts. Everyone was excited when a Berzerk arcade machine would announce “coin detected in pocket!” or when the computer in WarGames asked if you wanted to play a game. Speech seemed like a big deal, but in hindsight I’m not so sure it was, at least for home consoles.

Artificial speech synthesis is a complex thing, something that people have been working on, starting off fully mechanically, for literally centuries. By the 20th century electronic solutions started to become possible, and combined with a developing understanding of the fundamentals of speech —

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‘Free speech’ social media platform Parler is a hit among Trump supporters, but experts say it won’t last

Parler, a Twitter-style social media platform, has gained popularity mostly among President Donald Trump’s supporters and right-wing conservatives after the 2020 presidential election, but experts told ABC News they believe it’s unlikely the platform will grow any further.

“They have this echo chamber and they can’t trigger anyone or target anyone because everyone believes what you believe,” said Fadi Quran, campaign director at Avaaz, a global civic organization that studies misinformation. “It gets boring to be sharing the same type of hate, and so they end up having to come back to the top five social media platforms.”

Parler was founded in 2018 by John Matze and Jared Thomson, two Nevada-based conservative programmers. The app receives financial backing by Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of Robert Mercer, a hedge fund manager and the co-founder of Cambridge Analytica, who revealed her involvement in a post on the app on Sunday.

“John and

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Parler ‘free speech’ app tops charts in wake of Trump defeat

A photo illustration shows someone holding a phone with the Parler logo on it, while a laptop screen with its advertising is seen blurred in soft focus in the background
A photo illustration shows someone holding a phone with the Parler logo on it, while a laptop screen with its advertising is seen blurred in soft focus in the background

Twitter alternative Parler has become the most-downloaded app in the United States as conservatives flock to the self-styled “free speech” app after the US election.

It follows a clampdown on the spread of election misinformation by Twitter and Facebook in recent days.

Owner Dan Bongino said the service was adding “thousands to users per minute” on Sunday.

But the sudden boom also caused technical issues for users.

Some reported problems registering and a slowdown of the app as its servers attempted to deal with the influx.

Parler founder John Matze said the app had added two million new users in a day, and increased its daily active users four-fold over the weekend.

“Don’t worry, the app isn’t normally this slow,”

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In a speech of historic dishonesty, Trump tried to reinforce his long-planned effort to retain power

Well into a presidency defined by disinformation and falsehoods, President Trump managed something remarkable on Thursday evening. Speaking to reporters in the White House briefing room, he offered the most thoroughly dishonest comments of his tenure.



a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: President Trump speaks in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. (Brendan Smialowski / AFP)


© Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
President Trump speaks in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. (Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

For 15 minutes, he delineated nonsensical allegations about the state of the presidential election, claiming to be the victim of nefarious efforts to prevent him from earning a second term. And when he finished, after espousing obviously false claims to a room of reporters who knew better, he didn’t even have the courage to face their inevitably probing and challenging questions.

Solely for the purposes of illustrating how divergent from reality Trump’s remarks were, we’ll delineate his argument before picking it apart.

The president claimed that Democrats supported

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