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Powerful earthquake rocks Indonesia

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

A 7.2 magnitude quake rocked Papua, the easternmost province of Indonesia early Tuesday, however, there were no reports of damages or casualties, a media report said.

The quake struck at 4.41 a.m. Jakarta time, with the epicentre at 75 km south-east of Papua and the depth at 49 km under land, Xinhua quoted an official of the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency as saying.

Spokesman of the National Disaster Management Agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said that the tremors triggered panic and forced people to come out of their homes in the quake-hit areas.

Local officials of the agency are monitoring and checking the impact of the quake, he said.

Indonesia is prone to quake as it is positioned in the Ring of Fire, an area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur frequently.

 

(With inputs from IANS)

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Facebook Not Going To Allow Foreign-Funded Add That May Influence Indonesia’s Elections

The company said it had also prohibited foreign-funded advertisements for Nigeria's elections in February and for Ukraine's elections later this month.

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Facebook
The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

Facebook says it will not allow foreign-funded advertisements for an upcoming presidential election in Indonesia, the world’s third-largest democracy, hoping to allay concerns that its platform is being used to manipulate voting behavior.

The announcement on Facebook’s website said the restriction in Indonesia took effect Monday morning and is part of “safeguarding election integrity on our platform.”

Facebook and other internet companies are facing increased scrutiny over how they handle private user data and have been lambasted for not doing enough to stop misuse of their platforms by groups trying to sway elections. Critics say foreign interests, and Russia in particular, used Facebook to harvest private data and disseminate paid ads that may have influenced the outcomes of the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the U.K. referendum on leaving the European Union.

instagram
The social media company, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp and has about 2.3 billion users for its Facebook site alone, said it’s using a mix of automated and human intervention to identify foreign-funded election ads. Pixabay

Indonesia votes for president on April 17. The campaign pits incumbent leader Joko Widodo against ultranationalist former Gen. Prabowo Subianto, who was narrowly defeated by Widodo in 2014.

The social media company, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp and has about 2.3 billion users for its Facebook site alone, said it’s using a mix of automated and human intervention to identify foreign-funded election ads.

Facebook
Critics say foreign interests, and Russia in particular, used Facebook to harvest private data and disseminate paid ads that may have influenced the outcomes of the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the U.K. referendum on leaving the European Union. VOA

It said the restriction applies to any ads coming from an advertiser based outside of the country “if it references politicians or political parties or attempts to encourage or suppress voting.”

Also Read: New Techniques Let Scientists Directly Study The DNA Codes

The company said it had also prohibited foreign-funded advertisements for Nigeria’s elections in February and for Ukraine’s elections later this month.

For upcoming elections for the European Parliament and India, it has said advertisers will need to be authorized to buy political ads and a new tool will provide information about an ad’s budget, the number of people it reached and demographics about who saw the ad, including age, gender and location. (VOA)