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Google, Facebook Twitter grilled in US on fake news

Google, Facebook Twitter grilled in US on fake news

Technology
Getty ImagesTech bosses Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey are being grilled by US politicians over the proliferation of disinformation on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.This latest hearing is the first since the storming of the US Capitol.Politicians believe that was a tipping point for greater regulation.They have said they plan to change the legislation that protects online platforms from liability for content posted by third parties.The session began in combative style with the chair Mike Doyle asking all three executives whether they felt they bore responsibility for the events in Washington. None were prepared to give a one word "yes" or "no" answer as he demanded.He also challenged the platforms to remove 12 prolific anti-vaxxers from their platforms, which he said accoun...
Google promises to drop personalised ad tracking

Google promises to drop personalised ad tracking

Technology
Getty ImagesGoogle has promised not to develop any new way of tracking individual users for adverts once it phases out its current method. The tech giant is one of the world's largest advertising sellers and also owns the world's most popular web browser, Chrome. But it is following other browser providers by eliminating third-party tracking cookies. That move is already being looked at by the UK's competition authority. The Competition and Markets Authority said in January that Google's plan to remove the cookies - which would effectively share less information with advertisers - could have a "significant impact" on the advertising market and news websites. One group of marketers opposed to the idea claims that Google will gain an advantage by eliminating such cookies, because it has othe...
Google sacks founder of its AI ethics programme amid ‘sexism and discrimination’ claims

Google sacks founder of its AI ethics programme amid ‘sexism and discrimination’ claims

Technology
Tech giant Google has fired the head of its artificial intelligence (AI) ethics programme, claiming she had broken the rules on moving files outside of the company.Margaret Mitchell tweeted the she had been let go by the firm on Friday, with the move coming a month after she had publicly vented about the way her former peer, Timnit Gebru, was dismissed. In a statement, Google said that Ms Mitchell's violations "included the exfiltration of confidential business-sensitive documents and private data of other employees" following an investigation last month. According to some reports, Ms Mitchell had been locked out of her work account for five weeks in the build up to her dismissal, including her emails and the corporate system.Her colleague, Ms Gebru, left Google late last year and says s...
Australia to amend laws to make Google and Facebook pay

Australia to amend laws to make Google and Facebook pay

Technology
Australia’s government says it will amend draft laws that would make Google and Facebook pay for news to clarify that publishers would be paid in lump sums rather than per click on news article linksBy ROD McGUIRK Associated PressFebruary 16, 2021, 8:20 AM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleCANBERRA, Australia -- Australia’s government said on Tuesday it will amend draft laws that would make Google and Facebook pay for news to clarify that publishers would be paid in lump sums rather than per click on news article links.The legislative changes described in a government statement as “clarifications and technical amendments” follow Australian ministers’ weekend discussions with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Alphabet Inc. and its...
Google halts Play Store ‘review bombing’ by GameStop traders

Google halts Play Store ‘review bombing’ by GameStop traders

Technology
Getty ImagesGoogle has removed a wave of negative reviews of popular stock-market trading apps targeted by furious investors.Platforms such as Robinhood have been hit after preventing independent traders buying GameStop and AMC shares.Users of a Reddit message board had managed to upset the market by buying the shares and inflating their value, hitting established hedge funds.Many online traders, feeling betrayed by Robinhood's restrictions, have hit back with critical reviews of the app.Google has removed tens of thousands of one-star reviews for the widely-used trading app - which had previously had a four-star average.It says it takes action when it sees "fake ratings", designed to manipulate a product's average score.But more one-star ratings - the minimum possible - have continued to ...