Thunder hold off Australia’s Melbourne United

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Melbourne United center Majok Majok (22), left, and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, right, reach for a loose ball in the first quarter of an NBA preseason basketball game in Oklahoma City. APOKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma City Thunder needed a big defensive stand to hold off Melbourne United.Josh Huestis had two massive blocked shots in the final seconds to help the star-studded Thunder escape with an 86-85 exhibition victory Sunday (Monday Manila time).ADVERTISEMENT Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ How to help the Taal evacuees MOST READ DAY6 is for everybody Mos Burger to open in Manila; teases with a pop-up OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Huestis blocked Josh Boone’s shot out of bounds, then blocked Casey Prather’s shot to clinch the win.Melbourne coach Dean Vickerman said he was proud of the way his team played against the All-Star trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. Melbourne withstood a run by the Thunder with their stars in the game in the third quarter and made it competitive down the stretch.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“I felt coming into the half that they were really going to try to make a run with their best group,” Vickerman said. “We weathered that storm, and they had to keep some of those best players coming back to win the game.”Casper Ware Jr. scored 20 points, Boone added 15 and Prather had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Melbourne, a member of the Australia and New Zealand-based National Basketball League. “To have the opportunity to play one of the best teams in the world and to know that our league can challenge those best teams in the world — it does a lot for our reputation in the league and it does a lot for our club’s reputation,” Vickerman said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Melbourne, an Australian team, also was up against a time adjustment.“I know most of the guys couldn’t really get a good sleeping pattern, including myself,” Prather said. “My legs are a bit fatigued, but once you come to a game like this, you know all the adrenaline going and the energy to get going, so you know, we really don’t feel it too much.”Oklahoma City’s stars shot poorly. George had 22 points on 5-for-17 shooting, Anthony scored 19 points on 6-for-19 shooting and Westbrook was limited to nine points, going 3 for 10.“I was pretty impressed by the statistics that we held some people to,” Vickerman said. “For us, because we’re a little bit smaller, we try to fight through everything, and I guess that maintained some pressure on them rather than when you switch, there’s a little more separation.”Ware made a 3-pointer to tie the score at 80 but the Thunder responded with a 6-0 run that gave them the cushion to hold on.ADVERTISEMENT After winless season, McIlroy plots return to top of golf LATEST STORIES In ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Comedy and Drama Collide View commentslast_img read more

Tottenham and Arsenal linked with moves for Fulham star

first_imgArsenal and Tottenham have been linked with Clint Dempsey following the American’s latest goals for Fulham.The Daily Mirror say Arsenal are keen to sign him, while The Sun claim he is a target for both the Gunners and Spurs.Hughes held Barton back for a crucial game against Swansea.Dempsey’s brace against Bolton on Saturday took his tally for the season to 21, inevitably increasing speculation that he could leave Craven Cottage in the summer.His contract expires at the end of next season and he has been offered a new long-term deal.Meanwhile, The Sun declare that Joey Barton was axed for QPR’s game against Manchester United because boss Mark Hughes ‘could not trust his skipper to avoid trouble’.Hughes explained before and after the defeat at Old Trafford that he left Barton out because he is a booking away from being suspended.The midfielder is expected to return for Wednesday’s home clash with Swansea.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

More Examples of “Convergent Evolution” Claimed

first_img(Visited 186 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Traits evolve by common ancestry, evolutionists claim—except when they don’t, which is all too common.“Convergent evolution,” the Darwinists’ explanation for similarities that could not have evolved by homology or common ancestry, keeps popping up in the most unusual places. For example, Evolution News & Views analyzed cases among marine creatures that hit on identical swimming strategies in groups as diverse as flatworms, cephalopods and fish. Also called homoplasy, convergence seems to be the rule more than the exception, as these articles suggest:Spider venom is very similar to centipede venom, even though their branches split 500 million years prior, Science Daily says. Does this falsify evolution? No, it confirms it, Science Magazine claims. “It’s cool that it happens in similar ways for two very different and unrelated arthropod groups,” says Trine Bilde, an evolutionary ecologist at Aarhus University in Denmark. But, “it is common in biology that evolution comes up with similar ‘solutions.’ ”Natural sunscreens are showing up in very diverse organisms, Science Magazine reports. The sunscreens consist of mycrosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) that provide protection from solar UV rays. They have been found in “bacteria, algae, and marine invertebrates … marine fishes … amphibians, reptiles, and birds, suggesting that such internal sun protection could be widespread.”Fly developmental switches have been lost and regained in various groups of flies, Science Daily claims. “The genes that drive embryonic polarity are not conserved across flies and their evolutionary replacement does not seem to be rare at all,” a researcher at U of Chicago says. “The hijacking of this early developmental pathway by novel or newly evolved genes happens at a much higher frequency than previously thought.” It also happens “in a very short amount of time,” he adds.Like human, like fly: An article on PhysOrg claims that the “Biological clockwork of human beings and flies [is] comparable” despite them being extremely far apart on Darwin’s tree diagram. The article includes watchmaker language: “Although both homologous receptors do not act in an identical way, the fact that they modulate the expression of clock genes in Drosophila as well as in mammals demonstrates that very distant organisms, displaying different circadian activities, can present the same type of biological clock gears.”Diving birds: How many specialized adaptations would it require for a flying bird to be able to dive and swim underwater? It would seem to require multiple mutations to eyes, wings, feathers, lungs, beaks, feet and other parts, to say nothing of instincts.  Science Daily shouts, “Go fish!” in another case of convergence: “A new study of some primitive birds from the Cretaceous shows how several separate lineages evolved adaptations for diving.”Bee together: Convergence is also claimed for independent cases where solitary insects evolved group therapy. Science Magazine published a paper by 52 evolutionists claiming, “We compared the genomes of 10 bee species that vary in social complexity, representing multiple independent transitions in social evolution….”Warning cues: What organisms could be more diverse in their evolutionary history than plants and animals? Yet they evolved warning cues independently, another article in Science Daily asserts. This problem dates back to Darwin and Wallace. Readers may be unaware that “Despite a number of attempts, however, no satisfactory evolutionary mechanism for the origin of warning cues has been proposed.” Maybe giving it a name like “concurrent reciprocal selection” can help.Update 6/15/15: Four evolutionists responded in PNAS to an earlier paper by Schopf, a microfossil hunter, who had pointed to “extreme stasis” in bacteria over billions of years (2/04/15). Apparently they don’t like his appeal to long ages without continuous Darwinian evolution. Their solution? Convergent evolution, of course: “We hypothesized that cyanobacterial (and possibly bacterial) evolution is characterized by serial convergence… For example, convergence has also been observed in cyanobacteria dwelling in hot springs, which are considered one of the oldest habitats with living organisms…. In conclusion, we are convinced that the long evolutionary stasis in bacteria is only elusive and might be explained by serial convergence of phenotypic traits, which masks possible continuous metabolic, genetic, and ecological changes.” This new Darwinian maxim might be termed, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”Convergent aliens: Speculating about independent origins of similar traits can get downright silly. Live Science printed a speculation by Fergus Simpson (NOT Homer’s brother) who thinks aliens will be bear-size. Don’t believe it? He has the math to prove it. Some critics aren’t buying it. They say it’s “not clear if humans are a random sample of intelligent beings.”This last one is like the joke about the two fishermen who found a good fishing spot. One suggests, “How’s about we mark an X on the boat where the fishing is good?” The other fisherman, appalled at this expression of imbecility, tries to reason with him. “That’s stupid. Can’t you see that would never work? What if we take out another boat next time?”Homoplasy is quite amazing. It’s astonishing that so many evolutionists, trained at different universities in different countries, would converge on the same illogic over and over.last_img read more

TweetLouder is a Fast Easy Way to Track Your Favorite Bands

first_imgmarshall kirkpatrick 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Tweetlouder is a new service that uses your Twitter account and your music listening history to connect you with Twitter and concert updates from all your favorite musicians in just a few clicks. It’s a project of concert tracking startup SonicLiving. It was first demonstrated as a proof of concept at Twitter’s developer conference, Chirp.I’ve been syncing my music listening history from Rdio and Spotify to Last.fm lately, so it was really easy to click click click and boom – there’s the official Twitter accounts of all the bands I’ve been playing on those services. You can also sync with iTunes or Pandora. After I followed the bands it discovered on Twitter, I put them in a Twitter List, which I can now visit whenever I want to see some music updates. Cool. Thanks, Tweetlouder.Concert alerts is an incredibly crowded market, but this is a cool feature that’s sure to help draw attention to SonicLiving. It’s a great example of a way that 3rd parties can add value on top of our accessible data. Tags:#music#web 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnoutcenter_img Related Posts 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex…last_img read more

‘Custodial’ death sparks tension in U.P. town

first_imgTension spread in Pilakhuwa town, Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh, on Monday morning after a man allegedly died in police lock-up of torture. Three policemen, including the Station House Officer, have been suspended.Local sources said Pradeep Tomar (30), a resident of Lakhan village, was picked up by police near the Chhajrasi toll plaza on Sunday for questioning in connection with a murder case. They alleged that he was detained when he was travelling with his wife and son. Late in the night, when his condition deteriorated, he was shifted to the GS Medical College in Pilahuwa, where he died in the early hours of Monday. Meanwhile, a video, purportedly showing Tomar’s backside as completely blue and marks of beating on his arms, has gone viral.Yesh Veer Singh, Superintendent of Police, Hapur, told The Hindu, “On August 30, a half-burnt body of a woman was found in the jungle of Lakhan village. Pradeep was a relative of the deceased. She was the wife of his brother-in-law. During surveillance and investigation, he was found to be a suspect. He developed health complications during questioning and was taken to a local hospital. Later, he was referred to the Meerut Medical College, where he died during treatment.”As the officials didn’t follow the standard operating procedure and didn’t inform their seniors before taking Pradeep into custody, Inspector Yogesh Baliyan, chowki in-charge Ajab Singh and constable Manoj have been suspended. “We are waiting for the post-mortem report before taking further action. A departmental inquiry and a magisterial probe have been ordered,” Mr Singh said. He refused to comment on the video that purportedly shows injury marks on the deceased and the son and wife of Tomar alleging that he was beaten in their presence. “Let’s wait for the post-mortem and inquiry reports. The post-mortem is being video recorded,” added Mr. Singh. Family members and farmer leaders protested in the Meerut Collectorate, demanding murders charges against policemen involved in the case. The PAC (Provincial Armed Constabulary) has been deployed in Pilakhuwa and nearby villages.last_img read more

Milos Raonic beats racket-wrecking Alexander Zverev to reach Australian Open QFs

first_imgUS judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes And so he should be. He’s into the Australian Open quarterfinals for the fourth time. And he’s achieved that from a tough part of the draw.He opened with a win over the enigmatic Nick Kyrgios, who had all the home-won support, and followed that up by coming back to beat three-time major winner Stan Wawrinka in four tiebreak sets. The 16th-seeded Raonic then beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert in three tiebreakers.At 28, Raonic feels like he’s on the verge of being back as a contender at the majors. Zverev, an undoubted talent, is yet to beat a top 20 player at a Grand Slam.Raonic was so consistent with his serve — 15 aces, one double-fault, 16 of 19 first serves into play for the second set — and kept his unforced error count down to 24 for the match. He said he could sense his rival’s growing rage.“It was pretty clear what was going on,” he said. “It can have an effect a lot of different ways. You know, if you’re a top guy and you do that against somebody who doesn’t have experience, it might sort of cause them to retreat a little bit.ADVERTISEMENT “I wasn’t really sure what to do at a point. I just try to stick in there,” Osaka said. “And also I was watching all these kids winning, like, last night Tsitsipas beat Federer and I was like, ‘Woah’ — so I decided I wanted to do well, too.′Another win now and there’s potential for Osaka to have a rematch of the U.S. Open final against Serena Williams. The seven-time Australian Open champion Williams was playing top-ranked Simona Halep later Monday in the fourth round. The winner of the Williams-Halep contest will meet seventh-seeded Karolina Pliskova, who beat Garbine Muguruzu 6-3, 6-1 in an hour.Pliskova, who is on a nine-match winning streak, plans to watch on TV: “For sure, it’s going to be the match of the tournament so far.”Osaka will be concentrating more now on Svitolina.Coming off a win at the WTA Finals, Svitolina is aiming to do what Caroline Wozniacki did last year and follow up a title at the season-ending championship with a breakthrough major in Australia.For a quarter of an hour on Day 8, Svitolina served and served, and served, tossing the ball into the sun, in a desperate bid to hold a game in the third set against Keys.After that huge hold, she broke the 17th-seeded Keys’ serve in at her first opportunity in the next game, and it was all one-way from then on.“I was happy I could handle the pressure at 1-1 in the third set,” Svitolina said. “It was very hard because the sun was just burning my eyes when I was tossing the ball. Very happy I could win that game.”She’s taking an 0-3 record in Grand Slam quarterfinals into her next match against Osaka, but is taking a different mindset into the match.Winning in Singapore “gave me huge boost of confidence, so I don’t think about the past anymore,” she said. “I only look forward.” View comments Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem LATEST STORIES Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostingcenter_img Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Germany’s Alexander Zverev smashes his racket in frustration during his fourth round match against Canada’s Milos Raonic at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)MELBOURNE, Australia — Milos Raonic was just overwhelming Alexander Zverev with consistency, compounding the frustration with every service break.Roanic dropped serve in the opening game of their fourth-round match at the Australian Open but then went on a roll, winning eight straight games before fourth-seeded Zverev held serve.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte MOST READ No let up. Raonic held and then broke the 21-year-old German player’s serve again to lead 4-1 and that’s when Zverev lost it.At the change of ends he destroyed his racket by smacking it into the court eight times, then tossing it away.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe angry outburst only served to highlight Raonic’s dominance.“I played incredible today,” the 2016 Wimbledon runner-up said. “I did a lot of things very well. Proud of that.” Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town “I have sort of faced that situation, and I was also ahead at that point, so I was just really focusing on myself.”Zverev got the inevitable warning for racket abuse, took a break at the end of the second set and returned from the locker room a much calmer, more composed player.“Yeah, it made me feel better,” Zverev said. “I was very angry, so I let my anger out.”Zverev lost only one point in his first four service games in the third set, but then Raonic stepped up the pressure again.“I played bad. The first two sets especially I played horrible,” Zverev said. “I mean, it’s just tough to name one thing. I didn’t serve well, didn’t play well from the baseline. Against a quality player like him, it’s tough to come back from that.”Zverev saved two match points in the 10th game of the third — one with a short slice backhand that Roanic ran for but couldn’t retrieve to end a 29-shot rally and another that clipped the baseline.But Raonic rallied from 3-1 down in the tiebreaker and finally converted on his fourth match point. He’ll next play either No. 11 Borna Coric or No. 28 Lucas Pouille in the quarterfinals.Earlier U.S. Open Naomi Osaka was a set down again and looking for a bit of inspiration.She thought of how 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas had stunned 20-time major winner Roger Federer and how Frances Tiafoe has advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time. This helped her pull herself together to reach the last eight, too.No. 4-seeded Osaka had a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 fourth-round win over No. 13-seeded Anastasija Sevastova to reach the last eight at a major for the second time. She’ll next play sixth-seeded Elina Svitolina, who fended off five break points in a game in the third set that went to deuce 11 times, contained 28 points, and was pivotal in a momentum-swinging 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 win over 2017 U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys. Wig and sunglasses, Naomi Osaka goes in disguiselast_img read more

Huddersfield told by Dortmund to pay €300,000 for manager Jan Siewert

first_imgnews Topics Huddersfield Town have identified Borussia Dortmund’s second team manager, Jan Siewert, as their preferred choice to replace David Wagner. Talks have taken place between the clubs with Dortmund looking for a €300,000 compensation package before releasing the 36-year-old. Borussia Dortmund Share via Email Dortmund’s sporting director, Michael Zorc, confirmed talks had been held but added “nothing is decided yet”.Siewert has managed Rot-Weiss Essen, who play in the fourth tier in Germany, and been assistant manager at Bochum, who are in the second tier. He has also worked with the Germany under-17 and under-18 teams.Wagner left Huddersfield this week, with Hoyle saying he needed time away from the “rigours of football management”. The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. Share on WhatsApp Read more Huddersfield Share on Pinterest Siewert has coached the under-23s since July 2017 after succeeding the Norwich-bound Daniel Farke. Huddersfield’s chairman, Dean Hoyle, believes the relatively unknown coach has the potential to replicate the impact Wagner had after making the same move in 2015. Wagner, who led Huddersfield into the Premier League in 2017, also arrived at the club having worked as Dortmund’s under-23 manager.It is understood Huddersfield are not looking for a firefighter despite their ominous position in the table. They are bottom, having won only two matches this season, and welcome the champions Manchester City to the John Smith’s Stadium on Sunday. The club believe the new man should be given time to implement his plans, even if they are faced with relegation to the Championship. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook European club football Share on LinkedIn Share on Messenger Huddersfield’s sporting director follows David Wagner out of club Reuse this contentlast_img read more

10 types of bosses weve all come across VIDEO

first_img Close 10 types of bosses we’ve all come across When you have a great boss, you are excited to come to work. When the relationship is off, you tend to hit the snooze button on your alarm.It’s important for you to recognize if this is the case, as a boss can shape and help make — or break — your career!American social writer and philosopher Eric Hoffer quoted, “The leader has to be practical and realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.”Identify early on what kind of boss you have and decide how to form the most beneficial relationship possible with them.Here’s a list of different types of bosses we’ve all come across.Check out the video to find out more.center_img IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPlayMute0:00/0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE0:00?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.The media could not be loaded, either because the server or network failed or because the format is not supported.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …last_img read more

An act for womanhood

first_imgWomen issues have taken the front seat from a few years. From films, books, social media, to theatre, everything is grappling with the situation of women. New Delhi Players came up with a new production, Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House in Hindi as Gudiya Ghar. It is one of the finest plays written on the subject of women’s rights and has the distinction of being the most performed play internationally perhaps because it’s as close as one could get to the truth of hypocrisy in accepted gender roles in a marriage, in those times and even today. It is designed and directed by Basab Bhattacharya whose last production Sandhya Chhaya was warmly received by all. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’For all those who don’t know what this 1879 play is about, here’s a quick synopsis! Nora, the protagonist, and Torvald Helmer are happily married. Torvald has been promoted to bank manager and their money worries are over. But Nora has a secret debt, incurred with good intentions and a forged signature, and with her husband’s new power comes the threat of blackmail. Over three acts, the play culminates when Nora’s lie is exposed and Torvald first blames, then forgives her. But he is abandoned as Nora recognises the truth of her situation. She accuses her husband, and her father before him, of having used her as a doll, and declares herself unfit to be a wife or mother until she has learned to be herself. The ideal wife and mother walks out of the marriage. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe play was put together in one set of a very simple European home, just as live music added to the drama created by a handful of actors. The costumes were English too. But the dialogues were in Hindi. The aim of the play is often to put across the idea, which kind of got lost at some instances when the words got mispronounced and fumbled upon by the Hinglish speaking actors. The protagonist, Priyanka Sharma or Nora held the stage really well with the beautiful smile she has. We loved how she would stay worried at one instance and flip to the meri gilheri, the ever happy woman in front of her husband. The chemistry between the couple was also dominated by Nora, and quite well. Sahil Mittal, who played Torvald, was also a great actor, but it would be great if he could be more confident of the fact that he is a good actor! Supporting actors who played the roles of  Linde (Suman), Rank (Sunil Rohatgi) and Krogstad (Animesh Singhal) were better than the lead actors. Our favourite was Krogstad. His strong voice infused life into the character he played. Also, the chemistry between him and Nora was applaudable. It was a well rehearsed and well put up show and we will be looking forward to future productions.last_img read more

Time for Facebook Twitter and other social media to take responsibility or

first_imgOf late, the world has been shaken over the rising number of data related scandals and attacks that have overshadowed social media platforms. This shakedown was experienced in Wall Street last week when tech stocks came crashing down after Facebook’s Q2 earnings call on 25th July and then further down after Twitter’s earnings call on 27th July. Social media regulation is now at the heart of discussions across the tech sector. The social butterfly effect is real 2018 began with the Cambridge Analytica scandal where the data analytics company was alleged to have not only been influencing the outcome of UK and US Presidential elections but also of harvesting copious amounts of data from Facebook (illegally).  Then Facebook fell down the rabbit hole with Muller’s indictment report that highlighted the role social media played in election interference in 2016. ‘Fake news’ on Whatsapp triggered mob violence in India while Twitter has been plagued with fake accounts and tweets that never seem to go away. Fake news and friends crash the tech stock party Last week, social media stocks fell in double digits (Facebook by 20% and Twitter by 21%) bringing down the entire tech sector; a fall that continues to keep tech stocks in a bearish market and haunt tech shareholders even today. Wall Street has been a nervous wreck this week hoping for the bad news to stop spirally downwards with good news from Apple to undo last week’s nightmare. Amidst these reports, lawmakers, regulators and organizations alike are facing greater pressure for regulation of social media platforms. How are lawmakers proposing to regulate social media? Even though lawmakers have started paying increased attention to social networks over the past year, there has been little progress made in terms of how much they actually understand them. This could soon change as Axios’ David McCabe published a policy paper from the office of Senator Mark Warner. This paper describes a comprehensive regulatory policy covering almost every aspect of social networks. The paper-proposal is designed to address three broad categories: combating misinformation, privacy and data protection, and promoting competition in tech space. Misinformation, disinformation, and the exploitation of technology covers ideas such as: Networks are to label automated bots. Platforms are to verify identities, Platforms are to make regular disclosures about how many fake accounts they’ve deleted. Platforms are to create APIs for academic research. Privacy and data protection include policies such as: Create a US version of the GDPR. Designate platforms as information fiduciaries with the legal responsibility of protecting user’s data. Empowering the Federal Trade Commission to make rules around data privacy. Create a legislative ban on dark patterns that trick users into accepting terms and conditions without reading them. Allow the government to audit corporate algorithms. Promoting competition in tech space that requires: Tech companies to continuously disclose to consumers how their data is being used. Social network data to be made portable. Social networks to be interoperable. Designate certain products as essential facilities and demand that third parties get fair access to them. Although these proposals and more of them (British parliamentary committee recommended imposing much stricter guidelines on social networks) remain far from becoming the law, they are an assurance that legal firms and lawmakers are serious about taking steps to ensure that social media platforms don’t go out of hand. Taking measures to ensure data regulations by lawmakers and legal authorities is only effective if the platforms themselves care about the issues themselves and are motivated to behave in the right way. Losing a significant chunk of their user base in EU lately seems to have provided that very incentive. Social network platforms, themselves have now started seeking ways to protecting user data and improve their platforms in general to alleviate some of the problems they helped create or amplify. How is Facebook planning to course correct it’s social media Frankenstein? Last week, Mark Zuckerberg started the fated earnings call by saying, “I want to start by talking about all the investments we’ve made over the last six months to improve safety, security, and privacy across our services. This has been a lot of hard work, and it’s starting to pay off.” He then goes on to elaborate key areas of focus for Facebook in the coming months, the next 1.5 years to be more specific. Ad transparency tools: All ads can be viewed by anyone, even if they are not targeted at them. Facebook is also developing an archive of ads with political or issue content which will be labeled to show who paid for them, what the budget was and how many people viewed the ads, and will also allow one to search ads by an advertiser for the past 7 years. Disallow and report known election interference attempts: Facebook will proactively look for and eliminate fake accounts, pages, and groups that violated their policies. This could minimize election interference, says Zuckerberg. Fight against misinformation: Remove the financial incentives for spammers to create fake news.  Stop pages that repeatedly spread false information from buying ads. Shift from reactive to proactive detection with AI: Use AI to prevent fake accounts that generate a lot of the problematic content from ever being created in the first place.  They can now remove more bad content quickly because we don’t have to wait until after it’s reported. In Q1, for example, almost 90% of graphic violence content that Facebook removed or added a warning label to was identified using AI. Invest heavily in security and privacy. No further elaboration on this aspect was given on the call. This week, Facebook reported that they’d detected and removed 32 pages and fake accounts that had engaged in a coordinated inauthentic behavior. These accounts and pages were of a political influence campaign that was potentially built to disrupt the midterm elections. According to Facebook’s Head of Cybersecurity, Nathaniel Gleicher, “So far, the activity encompasses eight Facebook Pages, 17 profiles and seven accounts on Instagram.” Facebook’s action is a change from last year when it was widely criticized for failing to detect Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Although the current campaign hasn’t been linked to Russia (yet), Facebook officials pointed out that some of the tools and techniques used by the accounts were similar to those used by the Russian government-linked Internet Research Agency. How Twitter plans to make its platform a better place for real and civilized conversation “We want people to feel safe freely expressing themselves and have launched new tools to address problem behaviors that distort and distract from the public conversation. We’re also continuing to make it easier for people to find and follow breaking news and events…” said  Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, at Q2 2018 Earnings call. The letter to Twitter shareholders further elaborates on this point: We continue to invest in improving the health of the public conversation on Twitter, making the service better by integrating new behavioral signals to remove spammy and suspicious accounts and continuing to prioritize the long-term health of the platform over near-term metrics. We also acquired Smyte, a company that specializes in spam prevention, safety, and security. Unlike Facebook’s explanatory anecdotal support for the claims made, Twitter provided quantitative evidence to show the seriousness of their endeavor. Here are some key metrics from the shareholders’ letter this quarter. Results from early experiments on using new tools to address behaviors that distort and distract from the public conversation show a 4% drop in abuse reports from search and 8% fewer abuse reports from conversations More than 9 million potentially spammy or automated accounts identified and challenged per week 8k fewer average spam reports per day Removing more than 2x the number of accounts for violating Twitter’s spam policies than they did last year It is clear that Twitter has been quite active when it comes to looking for ways to eliminate toxicity from the website’s network. CEO Jack Dorsey in a series of tweets stated that the company did not always meet users’ expectations. “We aren’t proud of how people have taken advantage of our service, or our inability to address it fast enough, with the company needing a “systemic framework.” Back in March 2018, Twitter invited external experts,  to measure the health of the company in order to encourage a more healthy conversation, debate, and critical thinking. Twitter asked them to create proposals taking inspiration from the concept of measuring conversation health defined by a non-profit firm Cortico. As of yesterday, they now have their dream team of researchers finalized and ready to take up the challenge of identifying echo chambers on Twitter for unhealthy behavior and then translating their findings into practical algorithms down the line. With social media here to stay, both lawmakers and social media platforms are looking for new ways to regulate. Any misstep by these social media sites will have solid repercussions which include not only closer scrutiny by the government and private watchdogs but also losing out on stock value, a bad reputation, as well as being linked to other forms of data misuse and accusations of political bias. Lastly, let’s not forget the responsibility that lies with the ‘social’ side of these platforms. Individuals need to play their part in being proactive in reporting fake news and stories, and they also need to be more selective about the content they share on social. Read Next Why Wall Street unfriended Facebook: Stocks fell $120 billion in market value after Q2 2018 earnings call Facebook must stop discriminatory advertising in the US, declares Washington AG, Ferguson Facebook is investigating data analytics firm Crimson Hexagon over misuse of datalast_img read more