Posts Tagged: people

Lawmakers ask Google to stop steering people seeking abortion to anti-abortion sites

A group of Democratic lawmakers led by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Rep. Elissa Slotkin is urging Google to "crack down on manipulative search results" that lead people seeking abortions to anti-abortion clinics. In a letter addressed to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, the lawmakers reference a study conducted by US nonprofit group Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH). The organization found that 1 in 10 Google search results for queries such as "abortion clinics near me" and "abortion pill" — specifically in states with trigger laws that would ban the procedure the moment Roe v. Wade is overturned — points to crisis pregnancy centers that oppose abortion instead.

"Directing women towards fake clinics that traffic in misinformation and don't provide comprehensive health services is dangerous to women's health and undermines the integrity of Google's search results," the lawmakers wrote. CCDH also found that 37 percent of results on Google Maps for the same search terms lead people to anti-abortion clinics. The lawmakers argue in the letter that Google should not be displaying those results for users searching for abortion and that if the company's search results must continue showing them, they should at least be properly labeled.

In addition, CCDH found that 28 percent of ads displayed at the top of Google search results are for crisis pregnancy centers. Google added a disclaimer for those ads, "albeit one that appears in small font and is easily missed," the lawmakers note, after getting flak for them a few years ago. "The prevalence of these misleading ads marks what appears to be a concerning reversal from Google’s pledge in 2014 to take down ads from crisis pregnancy centers that engage in overt deception of women seeking out abortion information online," the letter reads.

Warner, Slotkin and the letter's other signees are asking Google what it plans to do to limit the appearance of anti-abortion clinics when users are explicitly searching for abortion services. And, if Google chooses not to take action to prevent them from appearing in results, the group is asking whether Google would add user-friendly disclaimers clarifying whether the clinic is or isn't providing abortion services. You can read the whole letter below:

A Supreme Court draft obtained by Politico in May showed that SCOTUS justices have voted to reverse Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that protected the federal rights to abortion across the country. Senator Ron Wyden and 41 other Democratic lawmakers also previously asked Google to stop collecting and keeping users' location data. They said the information could be used against people who've had or are seeking abortions in states with trigger laws. 

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Apps are turning people into snitches, experts say

A new smartphone app will allow members of the public to submit evidence of speeding drivers to police forces.
Mobile | Digital Trends

I tested AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile’s 5G with 70,000 people

I tested AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile’s 5G networks in a sports arena with 70,000 people.
Mobile | Digital Trends

ClipDart is an on-demand barber app aimed at people of color

Finding someone who can cut your hair is pretty easy — unless you’re a person of color who lives outside of a major city. ClipDart aims to fix that.
Emerging Tech | Digital Trends

Meta is trying to find the people who created more than 39,000 phishing sites

Meta is taking legal action to disrupt a large-scale phishing campaign. On Monday, the company filed a federal lawsuit to “uncover the identities” of a group of people that created more than 39,000 websites designed to trick Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp users into coughing up their login credentials.

The company says the scammers used relay service Ngrok to redirect people to their websites in a way that allowed them to hide their actions. “This enabled them to conceal the true location of the phishing websites, and the identities of their online hosting providers and the defendants,” Meta said. Starting this past March, the company began working with the relay service to suspend “thousands” of URLs linked to the campaign.

This isn’t the first time has used the threat of legal action to try and stop a phishing campaign. In 2019 and 2020, the company filed lawsuits against OnlineNIC and Namecheap, two domain name registrars that had allowed cybersquatters to claim domains like instagrambusinesshelp.com and whatsappdownload.site. However, the scale of this campaign would appear to dwarf the ones OnlineNIC and Namecheap enabled. When Meta sued the latter company in 2020, it said it had registered 45 domains that were explicitly made to confuse people.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Why are so few people actually using 5G in the U.S.? Here’s what the experts say

On paper, 5G rollout is increasing in the U.S., but consumer-focused mobile subscriptions are still lagging. We asked the experts to find out why.
Mobile | Digital Trends

Six people face charges for allegedly bribing Amazon staff to help sellers

The US is cracking down on an elaborate scheme to boost some third-party Amazon sellers at the expense of others. A Grand Jury in Washington has indicted six people (via The Verge) for allegedly bribing Amazon staff and contractors to gain an edge in…
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COVID-19: Resources to help people learn on YouTube

As more and more families find themselves at home, we know people are learning how to adjust to this situation. Beyond helping people find authoritative sources of news and information, we also want to be a helpful learning resource to families across the globe.

We’re fortunate to have an incredible community of learning creators on YouTube. From CrashCourse to Physics Girl, the EduTuber community has been helping people around the world learn and keep up with their studies. We wanted to take a moment to provide an update around how we’re supporting their efforts.

Learn@Home

Starting today, we’re launching Learn@Home, a website with learning resources and content for families. From Khan Academy to Sesame Street to code.org, Learn@Home will spotlight content across math, science, history and arts from popular learning channels. We’ll also have a dedicated section for families with kids under 13, where parents and kids can watch videos together that encourage kids’ creativity, curiosity, playfulness and offline activities, such as how to build a model volcano. The website is launching today in English and will continue to evolve. We’re working to expand to more languages in the coming days, such as Italian, French, Korean, Spanish, Japanese and more.

YouTube Learning Destination

The YouTube Learning destination is designed to inspire and help students with high-quality learning content on YouTube. The destination regularly features supplemental learning content, celebrates learning moments, and shares tips for learners. The destination is available in English today and will expand to Italian, French, Korean, Spanish, Japanese and more in the coming days. You can find the Learning destination at youtube.com/learning or in the brand new Explore tab on the YouTube app.

#StudyWithMe

As people #StayHome to work and study, it can feel like an isolating time. We’ve been inspired by the #StudyWithMe movement, where students share their study experiences with each other online. Whether reading or listening to music, it helps to feel less alone when you study together.

YouTube Kids

YouTube Kids provides kids under 13 with a safer environment where they can explore their interests and curiosity on their own while giving parents the tools to customize the experience. The app features a range of timely content, such as healthy habits, indoor fun and learning.

We understand this is an unprecedented situation facing families across the globe. We’re humbled by the incredible EduTuber community that’s sharing knowledge with the world, and we hope you find these resources helpful in these challenging times.

Malik Ducard, VP of Content Partnerships, Learning, Social Impact, Family, Film & TV


YouTube Blog

Report claims not many people are buying $1000 smartphones; are you one of them?

Smartphone prices have ballooned in the last few years, with $ 1000 being the “standard” price for a flagship phone, and many devices going well over that. 5G and folding phones inflate that cost even more, making phones much more expensive than they’ve ever been. But according to an NPD report, not many consumers are buying […]

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Readers have spoken, and apparently people really like the Galaxy S10+

Samsung released its most recent flagship, the Galaxy S10+, after a decade of refining and perfecting the Galaxy lineup. With improvements to the screen, battery life and software, the $ 1,000 S10+ once again showed the company knows how to build a hi…
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Putting eyes on a donation jar made people more charitable

A recent paper published in International Journal of Behavioural Biology found a novel way to make people more generous. All it takes is some eyes. Researchers found by sticking eye images on charity donation jars in a supermarket resulted in people…
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Healthcare.gov security breach leaks info for 75,000 people

Today The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Healthcare.gov, the federally operated health insurance marketplace, has suffered a data breach. Apparently it detected "anomalous system activity" in a tool that's supposed…
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Tesla opens Model 3 orders to more people and trims prices

If you're in line for a Model 3 then we have good news. The company has announced that it's opening pre-orders to all reservation holders in the US and Canada, now that it's able to produce more cars (apparently that tent manufacturing line is helpin…
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Lyft lets people with disabilities pay with special ABLE accounts

Lyft has teamed up with the National Down Syndrome Society to let riders pay for their trips with ABLE accounts, which are savings accounts for those with disabilities and their families. They can use earnings to pay for certain expenses, like medica…
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More information, faster removals, more people – an update on what we’re doing to enforce YouTube’s Community Guidelines

In December we shared how we’re expanding our work to remove content that violates our policies. Today, we’re providing an update and giving you additional insight into our work, including the release of the first YouTube Community Guidelines Enforcement Report.

Providing More Information
We are taking an important first step by releasing a quarterly report on how we’re enforcing our Community Guidelines. This regular update will help show the progress we’re making in removing violative content from our platform. By the end of the year, we plan to refine our reporting systems and add additional data, including data on comments, speed of removal, and policy removal reasons.

We’re also introducing a Reporting History dashboard that each YouTube user can individually access to see the status of videos they’ve flagged to us for review against our Community Guidelines.

Machines Helping to Address Violative Content
Machines are allowing us to flag content for review at scale, helping us remove millions of violative videos before they are ever viewed. And our investment in machine learning to help speed up removals is paying off across high-risk, low-volume areas (like violent extremism) and in high-volume areas (like spam).

Highlights from the report — reflecting data from October – December 2017 — show:

  • We removed over 8 million videos from YouTube during these months.1 The majority of these 8 million videos were mostly spam or people attempting to upload adult content – and represent a fraction of a percent of YouTube’s total views during this time period.2
  • 6.7 million were first flagged for review by machines rather than humans
  • Of those 6.7 million videos, 76 percent were removed before they received a single view.

For example, at the beginning of 2017, 8 percent of the videos flagged and removed for violent extremism were taken down with fewer than 10 views.3 We introduced machine learning flagging in June 2017. Now more than half of the videos we remove for violent extremism have fewer than 10 views.

The Value of People + Machines
Deploying machine learning actually means more people reviewing content, not fewer. Our systems rely on human review to assess whether content violates our policies. You can learn more about our flagging and human review process in this video:


Last year we committed to bringing the total number of people working to address violative content to 10,000 across Google by the end of 2018. At YouTube, we’ve staffed the majority of additional roles needed to reach our contribution to meeting that goal. We’ve also hired full-time specialists with expertise in violent extremism, counterterrorism, and human rights, and we’ve expanded regional expert teams.

We continue to invest in the network of over 150 academics, government partners, and NGOs who bring valuable expertise to our enforcement systems, like the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King’s College London, Anti-Defamation League, and Family Online Safety Institute. This includes adding more child safety focused partners from around the globe, like Childline South Africa, ECPAT Indonesia, and South Korea’s Parents’ Union on Net.

We are committed to making sure that YouTube remains a vibrant community with strong systems to remove violative content and we look forward to providing you with more information on how those systems are performing and improving over time.

— The YouTube Team

1 This number does not include videos that were removed when an entire channel was removed. Most channel-level removals are due to spam violations and we believe that the percentage of violative content for spam is even higher.
2Not only do these 8 million videos represent a fraction of a percent of YouTube’s overall views, but that fraction of a percent has been steadily decreasing over the last five quarters.
3This excludes videos that were automatically matched as known violent extremist content at point of upload – which would all have zero views.


YouTube Blog

How tech companies lured people to SXSW activations

Thousands of people lined up at trendy Austin bar Icenhauer at SXSW 2018, but they weren't waiting for a refreshing handcrafted cocktail or finger food. Instead, they were trying to get into HP and Intel's "Digital Artistry House," where a handful of…
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Facebook goes back to basics: People

Over the past couple of years, Facebook has frequently tweaked its News Feed algorithms to deliver stories that are relevant and of interest to you. It was a strategy that, up until now, seemed to be the way forward for the site. But that's all about…
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Twitter tries to fix verification of people ‘we in no way endorse’

Sure, being verified on social media isn't always as good as people think, but after a recent blowup, Twitter says it's addressing the "perception" of endorsement a blue checkmark confers. While the network has notably verified the accounts of self-p…
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DelivAir uses drones to deliver to people, not physical addresses

Drone deliveries — the impatient consumer's Holy Grail — have been in the pipeline for some time, and while Amazon is pioneering the cause, (although Rival 7-Eleven has completed nearly 100 aerial deliveries to date), its model is still somewhat en…
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Facebook is hiring 1,000 people to fight shady ads

Now that Facebook has given Russia-linked ads to Congress, it's outlining what it'll do to prevent such a suspicious ad campaign from happening in the future. To begin with, it's promising to make ads more transparent — it's writing tools that will…
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Twitter’s new inbox collects DMs from people you don’t follow

Twitter may never stop tweaking it's direct messaging function. Last summer, the social network added so many features to the DM tab that it basically became its own standalone chat app. Then the company tried to get everyone hooked on Twitter DMs fo…
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Virtual reality could help elderly people avoid potentially fatal falls

Researchers have been investigating whether VR tech could be used to help prevent falls among the elderly and people with neurodegenerative conditions. Here’s what they’re busy planning.

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Cool Tech–Digital Trends

With 2016 almost in the rearview mirror, T-Mobile now covers 313 million people

In its end-of-year wrap-up, T-Mobile announced it covers 313 million people in the U.S. That figure is just shy of Verizon’s, but it shows the strides T-Mobile made in the last half-decade or so.

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Mobile–Digital Trends

Six energy-harvesting gadgets powered by people

By Cat DiStasio People power is perhaps one of the world's greatest untapped sources of renewable energy. Smart devices that harness kinetic energy from everyday human activities help the environment in more ways than one. By turning motion into use…
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Friend or foe? This AI security system recognizes faces of people who visit your house

Flare is part camera, part AI, part IoT accessory, created by BuddyGuard. The company bills its product as “the first home security system powered by true artificial intelligence.”

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Cool Tech–Digital Trends

This company is encouraging people to punch its smartphones

Chinese smartphone company Oukitel wants you to come and punch its newest smartphone, the K4000 Pro. Why? Because it’ll prove just how tough it is. The odds, unsurprisingly, are stacked in the phone’s favor.

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Android Army–Digital Trends

Elon Musk wants to visit space by 2021, send people to Mars by 2025

While talking at the 2016 Startmeup Hong Kong Venture Forum, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says he wants to travel to the International Space Station by 2021 and that he intends to send astronauts on a mission to Mars by 2025.

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Cool Tech–Digital Trends

People living in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, but they might sleep better

The Photon Space is a $ 330,000 house made entirely of glass. It’s meant to give you an ideal amount of sun to help you tap into your circadian clock and get the proper amount of sleep.

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Cool Tech»Digital Trends

A lot of people apparently got Fitbits for Christmas

If Apple's App Store rankings are any indication, a lot of you got a Fitbit for Christmas yesterday: The company's fitness-tracking app quickly shot to the top of the free list in iTunes. As Qz points out, Fitbit's activity tracker was already the mo…
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Study: People want Apple Watches, aren’t sure why, refuse to pay for them

In a Juniper Research survey of over 2,000 smartphone owners in the U.S. and the UK, only one in five respondents said they were willing to spend more than $ 175 on any kind of wearable.

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Wearables»Digital Trends

Teflon chemical a possible health risk for 6.5 million people with contaminated water supplies

A recent study from two environmental scientists suggests the industrial chemical PFOA, a component used in the manufacturing of Teflon, is a much more serious contaminant than previously thought.

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Cool Tech»Digital Trends

Google Maps and YouTube will work offline for people in developing countries

Google has announced it’s working hard on an offline feature for Google Maps, but rather than a simplified version, it will contain many of the major features, including turn-by-turn navigation — all without a data connection.

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Wearables | Digital Trends