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2018 change to Facebook algorithm caused spread of ‘misinformation, toxicity, violent content’

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An algorithm change made by Facebook in 2018 to prioritize reshared material instead led to the spread of “misinformation, toxicity, and violent content,” leaked internal documents have revealed.

That year, Facebook’s chief executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg, said the alteration had been carried out in a bid to strengthen bonds between platform users, particularly family and friends, and to improve their wellbeing.

However, according to the leaked documents that were made public on Wednesday, the modification backfired, turning the social networking platform into an angrier place by rewarding outrage and sensationalism.

The new algorithm produced high levels of comments and reactions that translated into success on Facebook but had a highly negative impact.

Highlighting the issue, a team of data scientists said: “Our approach has had unhealthy side effects on important slices of public content, such as politics and news.”

They concluded that the new algorithm’s heavy weighting of reshared material in its news feed made the angry voices louder.

“Misinformation, toxicity, and violent content are inordinately prevalent among reshares,” the researchers added in internal memos.

The alteration had been intended to encourage engagement and original posting in a way that the algorithm would reward posts with more comments and emotion emojis, which were viewed as more meaningful than likes.

Zuckerberg was reportedly warned about the problem in April 2020 but kept the algorithm in place regardless.

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“Nokia” continues to “Nostalgia” phones with a new “surprise”.

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Nokia has announced the launch of one of its classic mobile phones, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its first launch in Britain.

The manufacturer of Nokia phones, HMD Global, said that the phone will have the original and distinctive silhouette of the classic Nokia 6310, while retaining the advantage of long battery life.
One of the new phone surprises is that it will be accompanied by a copy of the famous “snake” game in the classic “Nokia” phones from the nineties of the last century.

There will be “minor changes” to mark 20 years of the phone’s technological development, including larger buttons and an enlarged menu for easier reading, and this includes a larger 2.8-inch screen with a quality of 320 x 240 pixels, compared to the 1.8-inch screen with 120 x 160 pixels found in the version. The original FM radio antenna.

The company “Nokia” said in a statement that this “nostalgia” (nostalgia) makes the “Nokia 6310” makes the new an ideal revitalizer, and that the new phone has been “updated and reinvented” to suit modern needs.

The Nokia 6310 is on sale in the UK at a price of $82.

The Nokia 6310 phone was launched for the first time in 2001, after that an updated version of it was launched, the Nokia 6310i in 2002, until its production was discontinued in 2005 with the release of the Nokia 6230 and other phones.

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China launches second crewed mission to build space station

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China on Saturday launched a rocket carrying three astronauts — two men and one woman — to the core module of a future space station where they will live and work for six months, the longest orbit for Chinese astronauts.

A Long March-2F rocket carrying the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft, which means “Divine Vessel,” blasted off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the northwestern province of Gansu at 12:23 a.m. (1623 GMT on Friday).

A picture from the China's Tianhe space station shows the Shenzhou-13 preparing to dock on Oct. 16, 2021. (Tian Dingyu/Xinhua via AP)

The vessel successfully docked to the port of the space station on at 6:56 a.m. (2156 GMT), and the astronauts entered the space station’s core module at 10:03 a.m., the China Manned Space Agency said.

China began constructing the space station in April with the launch of Tianhe — the first and largest of the station’s three modules. Slightly bigger than a city bus, Tianhe will be the living quarters of the completed space station.

Shenzhou-13 is the second of four crewed missions needed to complete the space station by the end of 2022. During the first crewed mission https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/science/chinese-astronauts-return-afte… that concluded in September, three other astronauts stayed on Tianhe for 90 days.

In the latest mission, astronauts will carry out tests of the key technologies and robotics on Tianhe needed to assemble the space station, verify onboard life support systems and conduct a host of scientific experiments.

In this combination of screen images captured at Beijing Aerospace Control Center on Oct. 16, 2021, China's Shenzhou-13 crewed spaceship is shown docking with the radial port of the Tianhe space station. (Xinhua via AP)

The mission commander is Zhai Zhigang, 55, from China’s first batch of astronaut trainees in the late 1990s. Born to a rural family with six children, Zhai carried out China’s first spacewalk in 2008. Shenzhou-13 was his second space mission.

“The most challenging task will be the long-term stay in orbit for six months,” Zhai told a news conference on Thursday. “It will exact higher demands (on us), both physically and psychologically.”

He was accompanied by Wang Yaping and Ye Guangfu, both 41.

Wang, also born to a rural family, is known among colleagues for her tenacity. The former air force pilot first traveled to space in 2013, to Tiangong-1, a prototype space lab.

She is China’s second female astronaut in space, following Liu Yang in 2012.

Shenzhou-13 is the first space mission for the third astronaut, Ye.

After the crew returns to Earth in April, China plans to deploy six more missions, including deliveries of the second and third space station modules and two final crewed missions.

China, barred by US law from working with NASA and by extension on the International Space Station (ISS), has spent the past decade developing technologies to build its own.

With the ISS set to retire in a few years, China’s space station will become the only one in Earth’s orbit.

China’s space program has come far since late leader Mao Zedong lamented that the country could not even launch a potato into space. China became the third country to put a man in space with its own rocket, in October 2003, following the former Soviet Union and the United States.

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Microsoft shutting down LinkedIn in China

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Microsoft is shutting down its LinkedIn service in China later this year after Internet rules were tightened by Beijing, the latest American tech giant to lessen its ties to the country.

The company said in a blog post Thursday it has faced a “significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China.”

LinkedIn will replace its localized platform in China with a new app called InJobs that has some of LinkedIn’s career-networking features but “will not include a social feed or the ability to share posts or articles.”

LinkedIn in March said it would pause new member sign-ups on LinkedIn China because of unspecified regulatory issues. China’s Internet watchdog in May said it had found LinkedIn as well as Microsoft’s Bing search engine and about 100 other apps were engaged in improper collection and use of data and ordered them to fix the problem.

Several scholars this year also reported getting warning letters from LinkedIn that they were sharing “prohibited content” that would not be made viewable in China but could still be seen by LinkedIn users elsewhere.

In 2014, LinkedIn launched a site in simplified Chinese, the written characters used on the mainland, to expand its reach in the country. It said at the time that expanding in China raises “difficult questions” because it will be required to censor content, but that it would be clear about how it conducts business in China and undertake “extensive measures” to protect members’ rights and data.

Microsoft bought LinkedIn in 2016.

Google pulled its search engine out of mainland China in 2010 after the government began censoring search results and videos on YouTube.

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