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Instagram Moves To Check Abusive, Racist Content

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Instagram Moves To Check Abusive, Racist Content

Worried about an onslaught of hateful comments directed at UK footballers after the Euro 2020 final, Instagram has begun new measures to curb abusive and racist content on the image-centric social network.

The Facebook-owned platform said on Wednesday that it would start using “stronger warnings” when people post potentially offensive comments, and a new “hidden words” feature that enables users to filter abusive messages.

Instagram will also allow users to limit comments and message requests during “spikes of increased attention.”

The move comes weeks after social platforms scrambled to take down racially abusive comments directed at members of the England football team following a heartbreaking loss in the Euro 2020 final, which was played last month after a delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The racist and hateful content, which had prompted condemnation from British political leaders and the public, also led to pressure on the large US social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said the new measures were designed to reduce the spread of racist, sexist and homophobic content.

READ ALSO: Reps Adopt Pay-per-view DSTV Policy

“Our research shows that a lot of negativity towards public figures comes from people who don’t actually follow them, or who have only recently followed them, and who simply pile on in the moment,” Mosseri said in a blog post.

“We saw this after the recent Euro 2020 final, which resulted in a significant — and unacceptable — spike in racist abuse towards players.”

Mosseri said users “tell us they don’t want to switch off comments and messages completely; they still want to hear from their community and build those relationships,” and that the new policy “allows you to hear from your long-standing followers while limiting contact from people who might only be coming to your account to target you.”

Mosseri said the warnings already in place reduce the frequency of abusive comments by as much as 50 per cent.

“We already show a warning when someone tries to post a potentially offensive comment,” he wrote.

“And if they try to post potentially offensive comments multiple times, we show an even stronger warning… Now, rather than waiting for the second or third comment, we’ll show this stronger message the first time.”

(AFP)

 

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Elon Musk’s Neuralink Brain Computer Startup Is Beaten Again

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Elon Musk’s Neuralink Brain Computer Startup Is Beaten Again

Elon Musk’s Neuralink brain computing startup has yet to receive approval from the Federal Drug Administration to implant its technology in humans. However, Neuralink’s competitor, Synchron, has implanted its first device into the brain of a U.S. patient — in this case one with ALS, a neurodegenerative disease that’s affected the patient’s ability to move and speak, as reported by Bloomberg.

The hope is that the patient will be able to browse the web and communicate through email and text just by thinking. The device would translate the patient’s thoughts into action through commands sent to a computer.

Synchron had already implanted its devices in four patients in Australia. These patients are reported by Bloomberg to have no side effects, and the device has allowed them to send messages through WhatsApp and make online purchases.

Synchron had received FDA approval in July 2021 to begin a human trial of its stentrode device to insert into the brain’s of six patients.

The stentrode can be inserted into the brain without cutting through the patient’s skull or damaging their tissue. A doctor makes an incision in the patient’s neck, from there the stentrode with the help of a catheter is placed into a blood vessel within the motor cortex, an area involved in the planning, control, and execution of voluntary movements.

Once the device is implanted, a second procedure connects it to a computing device implanted in the patient’s chest. The stentrode reads the signal produced by neurons firing in the brain and then it sends the signal to the computing device, which sends it to a computer or phone through Bluetooth.

Meanwhile, Neuralink is working to develop a surgical robot to implant its small, disc-shaped device into a patient’s brain. The device would then process and filter signals on the embedded computer chips.

And although its human trial in the U.S. is a first for Synchron’s device, it’s not a first in the field. The Utah array, a microelectrode array technology that is a small, silicone square with 100 needles that are pushed into the brain when implanted, has been the standard for relaying electrical signals from a brain to a computer since its development in 1992 by researchers at the University of Utah. Until last year, it was the only FDA approved BCI, or brain-computer interface, and it has shown significant results, like allowing paraplegics to control robot arms.

But the array is based in 1990s technology and can only cover a fraction of the brain’s 86 billion neurons.

Musk founded Neuralink in 2016 with the goal of developing a device that, after being implanted in a human brain, would allow a computer to translate a person’s thoughts into action. He wants not only to treat brain diseases and disorders but cure them.

READ ALSO: Investors Dump Twitter As Elon Musk Drops Buy Bid

Despite Musk’s ambition, Neuralink has yet to be tested on humans.

“Neuralink is working super hard to ensure implant safety & is in close communication with the FDA,” Musk tweeted in Feb. 2021. “If things go well, we might be able to do initial human trials later this year.”

Neuralink still has not conducted human trials.

Fortune has previously reported about Neuralink, including management upheavals and employee conflict. Its former president and biomedical engineer, Max Hodak, left abruptly and is now an investor of Synchron, according to Bloomberg.

.FORTUNE

 

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Investors Dump Twitter As Elon Musk Drops Buy Bid

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Elon Musk’s Neuralink Brain Computer Startup Is Beaten Again

The failure of billionaire Telsa CEO Elon Musk to tidy up his attempt to buy Twitter has made the price of the social media company to fall.

Elon decried a breach of agreement as the reason for pulling out.
As at the time of this report, it was learnt that Twitter’s share was down -5.10%, selling at $36.81 on the exchange floor, in contrast to the $38.79 it closed Friday’s session with.

The sell-off came on the heels of Musk cancelling the $44 billion acquisition deal after a long disagreement over the percentage of bot accounts in the monetised daily active users (mDAU).

Monday’s dip reflects how investors negatively reacted to report of the deal falling through. They engaged in a sell-off out of fear that the share would fall as a ripple effect from the termination.

READ ALSO: Elon Musk Places Twitter Deal On Hold

The bears knocked the market capitalisation of Twitter down, with the company now valued at $28.13 billion, -36% below Musk‘s offering price. It was valued around $30 billion prior to Musk’s 100% offer in third week of April.

Mike Ringler, Musk’s lawyer, said: “Twitter has not complied with its contractual obligations.”

“Twitter has failed or refused to provide this information,” hence his reason to terminate the deal, he added.

However, Twitter’s board has vowed to take Musk to court, to compel him to live up to the acquisition agreements, one of which is the break fee, which stipulates that any party who walks away from the deal would pay a sum of $1 billion.

 

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Elon Musk Places Twitter Deal On Hold

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Elon Musk’s Neuralink Brain Computer Startup Is Beaten Again

By John Michael OjoW

World richest man, Elon Musk has announced a temporary suspension of his deal with Twitter.

The billionaire, who had earlier disclosed his intention to acquire the micro-blogging platform at an agreed price of $44 billion, on Friday cited issues of spam and fake accounts as the reason for the temporary suspension.

READ ALSO: Elon Musk Considers Buying Coca Cola To Remake With Cocaine

“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk tweeted.

The Tesla CEO, had maintained that one of his objectives would be to remove “spam bots” from Twitter.

Musk, 50, is also expected to serve as a temporary CEO of Twitter for a few months when the deal finally materialises.

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