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A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Stressing that it is determined to do more to keep people across its services, Facebook said it has identified some key areas where it has to do more to keep its platforms sanitised.

“We still face legitimate scrutiny, but we’re not the same company we were even a year ago,” Facebook said in a blog post on Monday.


When it comes to political interference on its platform, the social media giant said it is committed to bringing greater transparency to the ads people see on Facebook.

“This is particularly true with ads related to politics. All political ads on Facebook and Instagram in the US must now be labelled – including a ‘paid for by’ disclosure from the advertiser.


This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“We also launched a searchable archive for political content that houses these ads for up to seven years. We’ve since expanded this feature to Brazil and the UK, and will soon in India,” said the company.

Beyond political and issue ads, people can now see every ad a Page is running — even if the person wasn’t targeted. People can also filter ads by country and can report an ad to Facebook.

“We have introduced new policies requiring advertisers to specify the origin of their audience’s information when they bring a customer list to us,” Facebook informed.

“When something is rated ‘false’ by a fact-checker, we’re able to reduce future impressions of that content by an average of 80 per cent.”


Facebook, social media. Pixabay

The company said it is now detecting 99 per cent of terrorist-related content before it’s reported, 97 per cent of violence and graphic content, and 96 per cent of nudity.

On users’ privacy, Facebook said: “We know we didn’t do a good enough job securing our platform in the past.

“We now have over 30,000 people working on safety and security — about half of whom are content reviewers working out of 20 offices around the world.”

Also Read- Tesla Acquires Energy Storage Company For $218 mn

On regulation, the company said it agrees with the demand from various governments to regulate the Internet.

“We’re working with governments to improve the safety of our platform, including a recent initiative with French regulators to reduce hate speech.

“We’re establishing an independent body which people can use to appeal Facebook decisions involving potentially offensive content,” said Facebook. (IANS)


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Milky Way galaxy as seen from Chitkul Valley

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has for the first time spotted signs of a planet transiting a star outside of the Milky Way galaxy, opening up a new avenue to search for exoplanets at greater distances than ever before.

The possible exoplanet -- or planets outside of our Solar System -- candidate is located in the spiral galaxy Messier 51 (M51), also called the Whirlpool Galaxy because of its distinctive profile, NASA said in a statement.

Astronomers have, so far, found all other known exoplanets and exoplanet candidates in the Milky Way galaxy, almost all of them less than about 3,000 light-years from Earth.

An exoplanet in M51 would be about 28 million light-years away, meaning it would be thousands of times farther away than those in the Milky Way, NASA said.

"We are trying to open up a whole new arena for finding other worlds by searching for planet candidates at X-ray wavelengths, a strategy that makes it possible to discover them in other galaxies," said Rosanne Di Stefano of the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard and Smithsonian (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who led the study.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

The exoplanet candidate was spotted in a binary system called M51-ULS-1, located in M51. This binary system contains a black hole or neutron star orbiting a companion star with a mass about 20 times that of the Sun. The X-ray transit they found using Chandra data lasted about three hours, during which the X-ray emission decreased to zero.

Based on this and other information, the team estimates the exoplanet candidate in M51-ULS-1 would be roughly the size of Saturn and orbit the neutron star or black hole at about twice the distance of Saturn from the Sun.

The team looked for X-ray transits in three galaxies beyond the Milky Way galaxy, using both Chandra and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. Their search covered 55 systems in M51, 64 systems in Messier 101 (the "Pinwheel" galaxy), and 119 systems in Messier 104 (the "Sombrero" galaxy).

However, more data would be needed to verify the interpretation as an extragalactic exoplanet. One challenge is that the planet candidate's large orbit means it would not cross in front of its binary partner again for about 70 years, thwarting any attempts for a confirming observation for decades, NASA said.

Named in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel laureate, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, the Chandra X-ray Observatory is the world's most powerful X-ray telescope. It has eight times greater resolution and is able to detect sources more than 20-times fainter than any previous X-ray telescope.

Known to the world as Chandra (which means "moon" or "luminous" in Sanskrit), Chandrasekhar was widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the twentieth century. (IANS/JB)


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