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Social media regulate platforms

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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain welcomed the decision of Twitter and Facebook for regulating their platforms to combat the menace of fake news and hate mongering.
In a tweet, the minister said “ It’s welcoming that giants like Twitter and Facebook are now fully committed to regulating their platforms to combat the menace of fake news and hate mongering. Youtube and Whatapp please consider the same policy for a safer world.” It is worth mentioning that Twitter had suspended the account of an ultra-right Pakistani cleric on Sunday following inflammatory statements targeting the judiciary, prime minister,
and military after the acquittal of a Christian woman accused of blasphemy. Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) led by Khadim Hussain Rizvi blocked off roads in Pakistan’s biggest cities for three days last week and threatened the Supreme Court judges who acquitted Asia Bibi.

 

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YouTube clarifies rules on pranks as risky memes rage

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SAN FRANCISCO: YouTube on Tuesday clarified rules against posting videos of dangerous pranks, as risky “challenges” prompt people to video themselves doing things like biting into laundry soap or driving blindfolded.

The company already forbid content inciting dangerous activities likely to result in serious harm.

But the clarifications “make it clear that challenges like the Tide pod challenge or the Fire challenge, that can cause death and/or have caused death in some instances, have no place on YouTube,” the company said in a blog post.

“We’ve made it clear that our policies prohibiting harmful and dangerous content also extend to pranks with a perceived danger of serious physical injury,” said YouTube, which like other social networks is trying to show that it is better tackling problematic content.

It made clear the updated policies ban pranks that trick people into thinking they are in danger, such as fake home invasions or drive-by shootings.

“YouTube is home to many beloved viral challenges and pranks, like Jimmy Kimmel’s ‘Terrible Christmas Presents’ prank or the water bottle flip challenge,” said YouTube, owned by Google’s parent Alphabet.

“That said, we’ve always had policies to make sure what’s funny doesn’t cross the line into also being harmful or dangerous.”

While playful or goofy challenges or pranks have become raging trends online, with video shared at YouTube or Facebook, some “memes” have put people in jeopardy.

A “Fire Challenge” dared people to put flammable liquid on their bodies then ignite it, while a “Tide Pod Challenge” involved people, typically teens, biting or chewing the encapsulated candy-colored laundry detergent.

A “Bird Box” thriller released on Netflix a month ago inspired a challenge for people to do things blindfolded, mimicking characters in the original streaming film.

A US teenager over the weekend crashed while driving with her eyes covered, taking part in a challenge inspired by the hit Netflix show, according to media reports.

YouTube policy also bans pranks that cause children trauma, for example the fake death of a parent or severe abandonment, according to the firm.

 

 

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Sub Task Force on IT recommends for setting up special technology zones in the country

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ISLAMABAD: The Sub Task Force on Information Technology on Tuesday recommended for setting up special technology zones to enhance IT exports in the country.

During second meeting of Prime Minister’s Task Force on IT and Telecom which was chaired by Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication (MOITT) Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, said a statement issued here.

Secretary MOITT Maroof Afzal was also present in meeting while Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman attended the meeting as Co-Chairman of PM Task Force on IT and Telecom.

The three Sub Task Forces on IT, Telecom, and Human Resource Development also gave the recommendations regarding IT, Telecom and Human Resource Development sectors.

Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman said that instead of developing land for setting up special technology zones, existing buildings or infrastructure can be designated as special technology zones.

He said that spectrum should be allocated in right manner and emphasized the need of promoting locally manufacturing products like mobile phones, computers, laptops etc.

It was also proposed that IT related small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should be empowered by establishing special technology zones.

The members of the Sub Task Force on Telecom observed that the telecom taxes in Pakistan were highest in the world and proposed that 12.5 percent Advance Income Tax on internet must be zero.

The meeting was told that 1000 Union Councils (UCs) in the country have fiber cable connectivity and it is target to connect 3100 more UCs with optic fiber cables for broadband supply.

It was also recommended to develop a digital content of all subjects at schools and college levels besides giving IT training to students.

 

 

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Senate committee gives 10 more days to register cellphones

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has postponed implementation of the mobile registration system for 10 more days following the directives by the Senate Standing Committee on Information Techno­logy.

“This system is too confusing for the literate to wrap their heads around. We cannot imagine how the illiterate will understand it,” said Senator Rubina Khalid, chairperson of the parliamentary committee that met here for a briefing on the Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS).

The DIRBS launched by the PTA was scheduled to come into effect from Jan 15. However, it will now be implemented on Jan 25.

The PTA had launched the DIRBS mechanism in May last year to counter the spread of substandard phones being smuggled into the country.

 

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