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Microsoft Asks Social Media Platforms to Act Fast on Terror

According to him, tech firms must also continue to improve upon newer, AI-based technologies that can detect whether brand-new content may contain violence

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is seen outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington, July 3, 2014. VOA

Microsoft President Brad Smith has asked social media platforms to learn and act more in the wake of the March 15 Christchurch shootings that was livestreamed on Facebook.

In a blog post on Monday, Smith said words alone were not enough.

“Across the tech sector, we need to do more. Especially for those of us who operate social networks or digital communications tools or platforms that were used to amplify the violence, it’s clear that we need to learn from and take new action based on what happened in Christchurch,” he said.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old self-proclaimed white supremacist, has been charged with one murder in connection with the attacks at the two mosques that killed 50 people, and he is expected to face further charges.

Smith said that across Microsoft, we have identified improvements we can make and are moving promptly to implement them.

“This includes the accelerated and broadened implementation of existing technology tools to identify and classify extremist violent content and changes for the process that enables our users to flag such content,” he posted.

Smith emphasised on developing an industry-wide approach that will be principled, comprehensive and effective.

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Logo of Microsoft outside it’s office. Pixabay

Over two years ago, four companies — YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft — came together to create the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT).

Among other things, the group’s members have created a shared hash database of terrorist content and developed photo and video matching and text-based machine learning techniques to identify and thwart the spread of violence on their platforms.

These technologies were used more than a million times in 24 hours to stop the distribution of the video from Christchurch, informed Smith.

“As (New Zealand) Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern noted last week, gone are the days when tech companies can think of their platforms akin to a postal service without regard to the responsibilities embraced by other content publishers,” noted Smith.

Also Read- PM Narendra Modi Engages with Celebrities to Boost Visibility

According to him, tech firms must also continue to improve upon newer, AI-based technologies that can detect whether brand-new content may contain violence.

“We should also pursue new steps beyond the posting of content. For example, we should explore browser-based solutions – building on ideas like safe search – to block the accessing of such content at the point when people attempt to view and download it,” he added. (IANS)

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Software Giant Microsoft Aims to be ‘Carbon Negative’ by 2030

Microsoft said it will electrify its global campus operations vehicle fleet by 2030

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash.
FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash. VOA

Microsoft has set an ambitious goal to reduce its carbon footprint, saying that the company will become carbon negative by 2030 and by 2050, it will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted to date.

At an event at its headquarters on Thursday, the company announced a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove its carbon footprint.

“While the world will need to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so. That’s why today we are announcing an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith.

“By 2030, Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050. Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975,” Smith said in the presence of CEO Satya Nadella, CFO Amy Hood and Chief Environmental Officer Lucas Joppa.

The company also announced a new initiative to use Microsoft technology to help our suppliers and customers around the world reduce their own carbon footprints and a new $1 billion climate innovation fund to accelerate the global development of carbon reduction, capture and removal technologies.

“Beginning next year, the company will also make carbon reduction an explicit aspect of our procurement processes for our supply chain,” it said.

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FILE – A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 18, 2017. VOA

The human activity has released more than 2 trillion metric tonne of greenhouse gases into the Earth’s atmosphere since the start of the First Industrial Revolution in the mid-1700s.

Over three-quarters of this is carbon dioxide, with most of this carbon emitted since the mid-1950s. This is more carbon than nature can re-absorb, and every year, humanity pumps more than 50 billion metric tons of additional greenhouse gases into the air.

Also Read: Drinking Low-Fat Milk Can Help Slow Down Biological Aging: Researchers

“We recognize that progress requires not just a bold goal but a detailed plan. We are launching an aggressive program to cut our carbon emissions by more than half by 2030, both for our direct emissions and for our entire supply and value chain,” said Microsoft.

“By 2025, we will shift to 100 per cent supply of renewable energy, meaning that we will have power purchase agreements for green energy contracted for 100 per cent of carbon emitting electricity consumed by all our data centers, buildings, and campuses,” the tech giant emphasized.

Microsoft said it will electrify its global campus operations vehicle fleet by 2030. (IANS)