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Facebook to Unveil Transparency Tools For Electoral Ads in India

company said it will organise a series of workshops over the next six months in Singapore, Delhi, Nairobi, Berlin, New York, Mexico City and others, inviting experts and organisations who work issues such as free expression, technology and democracy, procedural fairness and human rights

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Facebook, Fake News
Facebook 'tricked' kids, parents to spend money on 'free' games: Report. VOA

Facebook will launch transparency tools for electoral ads in India next month to help prevent foreign interference and make political and issue advertising on its platform more transparent.

Advertisers will need to be authorised to purchase political ads and the social networking giant will give people more information about ads related to politics and issues.

“We will create a publicly searchable library of these ads for up to seven years. The library will include information on the range of the ads’ budget, number of people they reached and demographics of who saw the ad, including age, gender and location,” Samidh Chakrabarti, Director of Product Management, Civic Engagement at Facebook, said in a blog post on Monday.

Facebook said it is planning to set up two new regional operations centres, focused on election integrity, located in its Dublin and Singapore offices.

“This will allow our global teams to better work across regions in the run-up to elections.

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

“These teams will add a layer of defence against fake news, hate speech and voter suppression, and will work cross-functionally with our threat intelligence, data science, engineering, research, community operations, legal and other teams,” explained Katie Harbath, Global Politics and Government Outreach Director at Facebook.

The company said it will continue to expand its third-party fact-checking programme which covers content in 16 languages.

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“We have rolled out the ability for fact-checkers to review photos and videos in addition to article links, because we know multimedia-based misinformation is making up a greater share of false news,” said Facebook.

The company said it will organise a series of workshops over the next six months in Singapore, Delhi, Nairobi, Berlin, New York, Mexico City and others, inviting experts and organisations who work issues such as free expression, technology and democracy, procedural fairness and human rights. (IANS)

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India to Launch Electronic Intelligence Satellite Soon

In January, the space agency launched a defence imaging satellite Microsat R for the DRDO

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TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is shown in this conceptual illustration obtained by Reuters on March 28, 2018. NASA sent TESS into orbit from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. VOA

India on April 1 will launch an electronic intelligence satellite Emisat for the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) along with 28 third party satellites and also demonstrate its new technologies like three different orbits with a new variant of PSLV rocket, ISRO said on Saturday.

According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), a new variant of its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket will first put the 436 kg Emisat into a 749 km orbit.

After that, the rocket will be brought down to put into orbit the 28 satellites at an altitude of 504 km.

This will be followed by bringing the rocket down further to 485 km when the fourth stage/engine will turn into a payload platform carrying three experimental payloads: (a) Automatic Identification System (AIS) from ISRO for Maritime satellite applications capturing messages transmitted from ships (b) Automatic Packet Repeating System (APRS) from AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation), India – to assist amateur radio operators in tracking and monitoring position data and (c) Advanced Retarding Potential Analyser for Ionospheric Studies (ARIS) from Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) – for the structural and compositional studies of ionosphere, the space agency said.

The whole flight sequence will take about 180 minutes from the rocket’s lift off slated at 9.30 a.m. on April 1.

The 28 international customer satellites (24 from US, 2 from Lithuania and one each from Spain and Switzerland)- will weigh about 220 kg.

OSIRIS-REx, NASA, Asteroid bennu
Satellite To Conduct Biological Experiments In Space, Plans Space Kidz India. VOA

“It is a special mission for us. We will be using a PSLV rocket with four strap-on motors. Further, for the first time we will be trying to orbit the rocket at three different altitudes,” ISRO Chairman K. Sivan had earlier told IANS.

The PSLV is a four-stage engine expendable rocket with alternating solid and liquid fuel.

In its normal configuration, the rocket will have six strap-on motors hugging the rocket’s first stage.

On January 24, the ISRO flew a PSLV with two strap-on motors while in March, it had four strap-on motors.

The Indian space agency also has two more PSLV variants, viz Core Alone (without any strap-on motors) and the larger PSLV-XL.

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The ISRO selects the kind of rocket to be used based on the weight of satellites it carries.

The ISRO will also be launching two more defence satellites sometime in July or August with its new rocket Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).

In January, the space agency launched a defence imaging satellite Microsat R for the DRDO. (IANS)