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Facebook Introduces Free Online Education Programme in The US

The "We do" module lets educators and students learn together. And the "You do" is designed to help students practice their new skills

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Facebook testing 'LOL' app to woo kids, experts wary. Pixabay

Facebook has launched in the US free online education programme CodeFWDTo to increase the numbers of underrepresented and female students interested in pursuing computer programming.

“We’re working on a number of initiatives like CodeFWD to widen the pipeline of diverse talent studying computer science so the next generation of tech innovators reflects and incorporates diverse perspectives, building a future that benefits us all,” Lauryn Ogbechie, Education Partnerships Director at Facebook, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Created in partnership with connected toys maker Sphero, CodeFWD by Facebook, has been designed for both English and Spanish speakers.

It is a three-step programme where educators and organisations introduce computer programming to 4th to 8th grade students.

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Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

With the first module “I do”, CodeFWD prepares educators to introduce the basics of computer programming to their students, even as they may be discovering the concepts themselves.

The “We do” module lets educators and students learn together. And the “You do” is designed to help students practice their new skills.

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“After completing these three steps, educators who want to continue developing their students’ coding skills using a tangible, hands-on product can apply to earn a free classroom set of programmable robots from our partners at Sphero,” Ogbechie said. (IANS)

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Protesters Urge Facebook CEO to Not Share Misinformation Ads for US Politicians

Protesters urge Facebook not to run misinformation for US leaders

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Protestors rallied in front of a property owned by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in downtown San Francisco to urge him to stop profiting from misinformation ads for US politicians. Pixabay

Some advocacy groups in Bay Area rallied on Monday in front of a property owned by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in downtown San Francisco to urge him to stop profiting from misinformation ads for US politicians.

People from various cities in the Bay Area gathered outside Zuckerberg’s house on Presidents’ Day, which falls on Monday, to stage a “Wake the ZUCK Up” protest by chanting slogans and making noises with whistles to press him for making changes to his political ads policy, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Under current Facebook political ads policy, the Silicon Valley tech giant will not take any action against advertisements run by political leaders or groups even if they contain misinformation or lies, and those political ads, which target directly particular populations, creates “a completely distorted political dialogue,” Tracy Rosenberg, Executive Director of the San Francisco-based non-profit Media Alliance, said.

She criticized Facebook for using technology of artificial intelligence to manipulate ad content so that other people cannot see it at all.

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Under current Facebook political ads policy, the Silicon Valley tech giant will not take any action against advertisements run by political leaders or groups even if they contain misinformation or lies. Pixabay

The protesters called themselves as “fed-up Facebook users” who are not happy with what’s going on with Facebook. “We don’t want distorted information fed to us day after day for your personal profit,” Rosenberg stressed.

She said her organization will partner with other groups to contact some Facebook advertisers to press Zuckerberg’s company to take on greater “corporate social responsibility” and handle “political ads in a much better way.”

Monday’s event was organized by Media Alliance and another San Francisco non-profit Global Exchange, in partnership with other community and advocacy groups in the Bay Area.

On January 9, Facebook Director of Product Management Rob Leathern said the company will continue to allow political ads on its platform including Instagram, despite possible false information in those ads run by politicians.

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He reasserted that “people should be able to hear from those who wish to lead them, warts and all, and that what they say should be scrutinized and debated in public. He argued that decisions about those topics should not be made by private companies like Facebook. (IANS)