Saturday January 18, 2020
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Sri Lanka begins voting for parliamentary polls

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Colombo: Voters in Sri Lanka queued up on Monday to cast their votes for a parliamentary election amidst tight security to elect a new government.

Sweet mandarine
Sweet mandarine

Around 15 million people are expected to cast their votes in the island nation in over 12,000 polling centres, reported Xinhua news agency.

Voting commenced at 7 a.m. and will end at 4 p.m.

An estimated 75,000 police officers and special task forces have been deployed across the country to maintain law and order along with over 50 foreign observers being present at polling booths.

The parliamentary elections was announced by President Maithripala Sirisena in June after he dissolved parliament just six months after being elected to power.

A close battle between the United National Front (UNF) coalition and the opposition United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) will be seen in the elections.

The UNF is led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe while the UPFA has former president Mahinda Rajapakse contesting as its main candidate from the province of Kurunegala.

Rajapakse is looking at making a political comeback and eyeing to be the nation’s new prime minister if the opposition wins majority in the polls.

The department of elections said voting results are expected to be announced on Tuesday.

(IANS)

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We Got Trump Elected, Shouldn’t Stop Him in 2020; Says Facebook Executive

Instead, the Russians worked to exploit existing divisions in the American public for example by hosting Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter protest events in the same city on the same day

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developing nation
FILE - President Donald Trump departs after speaking with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House July 17, 2019, in Washington. VOA

Facebook Vice President Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth has claimed that it was the social networking giant that got Donald Trump elected as the US President in 2016 because “he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser”.

In a memo obtained by The New York Times, the key Facebook executive in the same vein suggested that the platform with over 2.45 billion monthly active users should not use its enormous reach to block Trump’s reelection in 2020.

Was Facebook responsible for Donald Trump getting elected?

“I think the answer is yes, but not for the reasons anyone thinks. He didn’t get elected because of Russia or misinformation or Cambridge Analytica. He got elected because he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser. Period”, said Bosworth who runs Facebook’s hardware group.

“Trump just did unbelievable work,” Bosworth wrote.

“They weren’t running misinformation or hoaxes. They weren’t micro-targeting or saying different things to different people. They just used the tools we had to show the right creative to each persona.

He continued: “I find myself desperately wanting to pull any lever at my disposal to avoid the same result. So what stays my hand? I find myself thinking of the Lord of the Rings at this moment”.

Donald Trump
Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump. Wikimedia Commons

“Specifically when Frodo offers the ring to Galadrial (Galadriel) and she imagines using the power righteously, at first, but knows it will eventually corrupt her,” he wrote.

“As tempting as it is to use the tools available to us to change the outcome, I am confident we must never do that or we will become that which we fear.”

“To be clear, I’m no fan of Trump. I donated the max to Hillary,” he tried to clarify his stand.

Bosworth said that it is worth reminding everyone that Russian interference was real but it was mostly not done through advertising.

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“$100,000 in ads on Facebook can be a powerful tool but it can’t buy you an American election, especially when the candidates themselves are putting up several orders of magnitude more money on the same platform (not to mention other platforms),” he wrote.

Instead, the Russians worked to exploit existing divisions in the American public for example by hosting Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter protest events in the same city on the same day.

“Misinformation was also real and related but not the same as Russian interference,” Bosworth mentioned, admitting that Cambridge Analytica was one of the more acute cases where the details were almost all wrong. (IANS)