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Volcano Erupts in Indonesia

Mount Soputan is one of 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia which lies on a vulnerable quake-hit zone called "the Pacific Ring of Fire"

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volcano
Volcano erupts in Indonesia.

A volcano erupted in Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province on Sunday, spewing a column of ash measuring 7.5 km to the sky, a disaster agency official said.

Mount Soputan erupted twice — first at 7.43 a.m. and the second at 8.57 a.m., an agency spokesman told Xinhua news agency.

Ashes were spread toward south west and south of the crater and small tremors jolted the area.

volcano
Volcano, Pixabay

“In anticipating the hot ash from sliding into the flank of the volcano and flows of cool lava, the community is prohibited from having activities at the radius of 4 km from the crater, and for the area at southwest of the crater the no go-zone has been declared at 6.5 km,” the spokesman said.

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Mount Soputan is one of 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia which lies on a vulnerable quake-hit zone called “the Pacific Ring of Fire”. (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.”

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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)