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Facebook on Thursday announced it will show fewer political ads to people on its platform and Instagram. Pixabay

Facebook on Thursday announced it will show fewer political ads to people on its platform and Instagram, starting with the US which faces Presidential elections this year, but won’t ban or limit those as Twitter has already done and Google to some extent.

Targeting both Twitter and Google, the social networking platform said that while Twitter has chosen to block political ads and Google has chosen to limit the targeting of political ads, “we are choosing to expand transparency and give more controls to people when it comes to political ads”.


“Seeing fewer political and social issue ads is a common request we hear from people. That’s why we plan to add a new control that will allow people to see fewer political and social issue ads on Facebook and Instagram,” said Rob Leathern, Director of Product Management at Facebook.


Facebook said it is updating its Ad Library to increase the level of transparency. Pixabay

The expanded transparency features will roll out in the first quarter of 2020 and will apply in all countries where Facebook facilitates “Paid for by” disclaimers on ads.

“We plan to deploy the political ads control starting in the US early this summer, eventually expanding this preference to more locations,” said the company.

The social networking platform said it is updating its Ad Library to increase the level of transparency.

“We are adding ranges for Potential Reach, which is the estimated target audience size for each political, electoral or social issue ad so you can see how many people an advertiser wanted to reach with every ad,” said Facebook.

The company said it is adding the ability to search for ads with exact phrases, better grouping of similar ads, and adding several new filters to better analyze results like audience size, dates and regions reached.

Later this month, it will begin rolling out a control to let people choose how an advertiser can reach them with a Custom Audience from a list.

These Custom Audiences are built when an advertiser uploads a hashed list of people’s information, such as emails or phone numbers, to help target ads.

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“This control will be available to all people on Facebook and will apply to all advertisers, not just those running political or social issue ads,” said Facebook.

According to the company, when it comes to targeting, “our data actually indicates over 85 per cent of spend by US presidential candidates on Facebook is for ad campaigns targeted to audiences estimated to be greater than 250,000”. (IANS)


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Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

Twitter has confirmed that its algorithms amplify right-leaning political content.

By Nikhila Natarajan

In a continuing study on the effects of machine learning (ML) on public conversation, Twitter has confirmed that its algorithms amplify right-leaning political content. "In six out of seven countries - all but Germany - tweets posted by accounts from the political right receive more algorithmic amplification than the political left when studied as a group," Twitter blogged.

"Right-leaning news outlets, as defined by the independent organisations, see greater algorithmic amplification on Twitter compared to left-leaning news outlets." Since 2016, Twitter users are able to choose between viewing algorithmically ordered tweets first in their home timeline or viewing the most recent tweets in reverse chronological order.

"An algorithmic home timeline displays a stream of tweets from accounts we have chosen to follow on Twitter, as well as recommendations of other content Twitter thinks we might be interested in based on accounts we interact with frequently, tweets we engage with, and more. "As a result, what we see on our timeline is a function of how we interact with Twitter's algorithmic system, as well as how the system is designed."

The new research is based on tweets of elected officials of House of Commons members in Canada, the French National Assembly, the German Bundestag, House of Representatives in Japan, Congress of Deputies of Spain, House of Commons in the UK, and official and personal accounts of House of Representatives and Senate members in the US, as well as news outlets, from April 1 to August 15, 2020.

gold Apple iPhone 6s displaying Twitter logo Tweets about political content from elected officials, regardless of party or whether the party is in power, do see algorithmic amplification when compared to political content on the reverse chronological timeline. | Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

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Flickr

Snapdeal co-founder and COO Rohit Bansal on Friday lauded a man who facilitated 64 registrations for the vaccine on the CoWin portal.

Even as India celebrates reaching a milestone of 100 crore Covid vaccine doses, Snapdeal co-founder and COO Rohit Bansal on Friday lauded a man who facilitated 64 registrations for the vaccine on the CoWin portal. In a video shared on his Facebook and Twitter page, Bansal hailed Sonu Kumar as a "citizen celebrity".

Bansal said that Kumar not only helped "just co-workers and family but complete strangers too. With patience, empathy and uncanny jugaad". He added that Kumar joined him "many moons ago" and completed his open school from a parking lot.

"Education has helped this wonderful man enable others to get India back on track. Bravo! The CoWin portal on Thursday mentioned that a total of 100 crore vaccine doses has been administered so far to the eligible population under the vaccination drive in India, nine months after the nationwide inoculation programme was started to protect the people against Covid-19.

"It's a cause of significant celebration and happiness," Bansal said in the video. He said that while people just help a few around them, Kumar "bridged the digital gap" for 64 people, who were finding it difficult to register themselves online on the vaccine portal. Kumar said he doesn't feel that he has contributed much towards the 100 crore vaccine dose count. "I have been able to help only 64 people, if I was able to help more I would have been happier." (IANS/ MBI)


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VOA

A health worker counts antiretroviral drug tablets for a patient at The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) in the capital Kampala, Uganda, July 12, 2012.

KAMPALA, UGANDA — Uganda has kickstarted a trial for the injectable HIV drugs cabotegravir and rilpivirine. Researchers and those living with HIV say the trial will likely end pill fatigue, fight stigma, improve adherence and ensure patients get the right dosage.

The two drugs have been in use as tablets. The World Health Organization last year licensed their use as injectables.

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