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Stop Using Social Media To Spread Hate, UN Calls For Action

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Social media sites are generally responsible for initiating the spread of . Pixabay

As the UN paid tributes to the victims of the Sri Lanka Easter Sunday terrorist attacks, calls were made to take action to prevent use of social media to spread hate and bigotry.

“While protecting freedom of expression, we must also find ways to address incitement to violence through traditional and social media,” General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces said on Friday at the event commemorating the 253 victims.

“It is sobering that the theme of World Press Freedom Day today is: journalism in times of disinformation.

“We must ensure that new and evolving technologies promote – and do not harm – human security,” she added.

Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed spoke about social media being used to spread hate.

“The world is experiencing a dangerous rise in intolerance, xenophobia and racism. And today such hatred spreads easily and swiftly on the Internet.

“The UN continues to strengthen its efforts to counter and prevent terrorism and violent extremism,” Mohammed added.

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative Rohan Perera was more forthright in calling for a consensus on how to regulate social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to prevent them from becoming the medium to spread hate.

“It is time for us to explore the possibility of an international consensus on a regulatory framework.

“It is vital, if we are to preserve democratic space, that valuable tools such as Facebook and Twitter among others, are utilised as spaces to nurture healthy debate rather than breed violence and extremism,” he said.

Sri Lanka had temporarily banned all forms of social media immediately after the April 21 bombings because it was being used to circulate fake news and create enmity between communities.

Access was restored on April 30.

Perera, who is the chair of the Working Group on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism, urged all nations to come together and adopt the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) that was proposed by India in 1996.

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Denouncing the use of religion to justify violence, Mohammed said: “As a Muslim, I know my faith preaches peace and tolerance. Tragically yet, again and again, the world is seeing places of worship become killing grounds and houses of horror. VOA

“Too much blood has spilt for us to remain deadlocked on this issue.

“The time has come for the international community to go beyond words and to demonstrate political will and commitment in taking the last remaining step to conclude the CCIT and complete the sectoral multilateral treaty regime to address the global phenomenon of terrorism.

“The international community must send out a strong signal of its collective will to combat terrorism and contribute to the effective implementation of the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy,” he added.

India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin joined Perera in appealing for an agreement on the CCIT.

Perera, “has, for more than two decades, tried to steer us to an outcome on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism”, Akbaruddin said.

“Perhaps, as a tribute to the victims in his country, we can all try and strengthen efforts to achieve that objective of a putting in place a global legal framework to counter a global scourge,” he added.

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It is sobering that the theme of World Press Freedom Day today is: journalism in times of disinformation.Pixabay

Denouncing the use of religion to justify violence, Mohammed said: “As a Muslim, I know my faith preaches peace and tolerance. Tragically yet, again and again, the world is seeing places of worship become killing grounds and houses of horror.

“Churches, mosques, synagogues and the religious sites of many faiths are being targeted for murder, arson, vandalism and desecration… We must reject this form of violence.”

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Espinosa reflected on how religions can bring people together.

“I was deeply moved by the images of Sri Lankans – Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Sinhalese, Tamil and others – donating blood to treat survivors,” she said. “Mosques and temples have opened their doors to Christian services. That is an inspiring expression of courage and resilience.” (IANS)

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Four App Startups Sue Social Media Giant Facebook For Anti-Competitive Behaviour

The documents was obtained by NBC News and international journalistic partners

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Facebook replied to the lawsuit, saying it has no legal basis. Pixabay

Blaming Facebook of anti-competitive behaviour, four app startups have sued the social networking giant, alleging that it inappropriately revoked developer access to its platform in order to harm competitors.

The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Thursday, is based on more than 7,000 pages leaked last year “from an ongoing lawsuit brought by another defunct startup known as Six4Three, which made a short-lived app known as Pikinis”.

The documents was obtained by NBC News and international journalistic partners.

The documents showed that CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook officials used their market position to squeeze potential rivals and competitors from 2011 through 2015.

“This action seeks to halt the most brazen, willful anticompetitive scheme in a generation — a scheme that verges on final, irreparable completion as of the date of this Complaint,” the complaint alleged in the class-action lawsuit.

“Facebook stands today as a paragon of unbridled market power”, said the lawsuit filed by The lawsuit was filed by LikeBright, Lenddol, Cir.cl Inc and Beehive Biometric Inc.

Facebook
Blaming Facebook of anti-competitive behaviour, four app startups have sued the social networking giant, alleging that it inappropriately revoked developer access to its platform in order to harm competitors. Pixabay

Facebook replied to the lawsuit, saying it has no legal basis.

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“We operate in a competitive environment where people and advertisers have many choices. In the current environment, where plaintiffs’ attorneys see financial opportunities, claims like this aren’t unexpected but they are without merit,” a company spokesperson was quoted as saying. (IANS)