Connect with us


Facebook Canada head rejects idea of Australia-style news payment rules –



The head of Facebook Canada says rules requiring it to pay publishers for news content linked on its site would be a worst-case scenario for the social media behemoth.

At a parliamentary committee hearing today, Kevin Chan said such regulation would hinder a free and open internet. He said Facebook already props up struggling legacy media outlets by directing traffic to their sites.

Last month, Facebook blacked out all news on its platform in Australia in response to looming legislation that would require digital giants to pay traditional news companies for their journalism.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Australian counterpart agreed to continue “co-ordinating efforts” to ensure web giants’ revenues are shared more fairly with creators and media after Facebook struck a deal with the Australian government on a revised bill — which still demands that tech titans fork over cash for content.

New Democrat MP Heather McPherson is accusing web giants and the Liberal government of fostering a “cozy relationship” with Big Tech that protects platforms’ profits at the expense of local media and Canadian taxpayers.

Chan notes that Facebook Canada has announced investments of $18 million in sustainable business models over six years.

However, legislation akin to Australia’s “is never something we would ever want to do unless we really have no choice,” Chan told MPs on Monday.

Lawmakers also raised concerns about online hate speech and disinformation regarding COVID-19 vaccines — two problem Chan said the company is trying to address while respecting freedom of expression.

The government is working on a three-pronged response to the challenges that social media platforms and other major internet-based content providers pose to media regulation in Canada, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has said.

One part of the response is a bill currently before the House of Commons to modernize the broadcasting regime, while a second is work underway now to address how major internet companies are taxed, and in turn how traditional media companies are financially supported.

Online hate makes up the third prong; global observers continue to question Facebook’s role in tragedies ranging from the Christchurch mosque shooting in New Zealand to deadly military violence directed at Myanmar’s Rohingya minority, as well as racist posts in Canada.

Facebook funds a fellowship that supports journalism positions at The Canadian Press.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


British police says murder of lawmaker declared as a terrorist incident



The Metropolitan Police has said that the murder of British lawmaker David Amess in Essex on Friday has been declared as a terrorist incident, with the investigation being led by its Terrorism Command .


(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Continue Reading


U.S. to probe Texas air regulator’s rulings for racial bias



The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday said it would investigate the Texas air regulator over allegations of racial bias in rulings involving pollution in Black neighborhoods by a refinery waste recycler.

The agency accepted a complaint against the state over its oversight of Port Arthur, Texas-based Oxbow Calcining, which produces petroleum coke from oil refinery byproducts.

An environmental advocacy group has alleged the state’s air quality regulator violated residents’ civil rights by allowing the plant to operate without a scrubber to capture sulfur dioxide. Between 2016 and 2019, the plant released about 22 million pounds per year of sulfur dioxide, an eye and lung irritant, over predominantly low-income and Black areas.

A spokesperson for regulator  Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said it was reviewing the complaint.

“I am encouraged by the response of the EPA to investigate our concerns,” said John Beard, a former Port Arthur city councilor and founder of advocacy group Port Arthur Community Action Network.

The plant is part of William Koch’s Oxbow Corp, one of the largest recyclers of oil refinery and natural gas byproducts. The company was not immediately available for comment.

Within a three mile radius of the Port Arthur plant, the population is 98% people of color and 62% lower income, the group said.

EPA said it would pursue alternative dispute and informal resolution processes to settle the complaint and, if unable to reach an agreement, would look to deliver preliminary findings within 180 days of launching the investigation.

(Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Editing by David Gregorio and Chris Reese)

Continue Reading


Bill Clinton to remain in hospital overnight, his health is improving -spokesman



Former U.S. President Bill Clinton will remain in hospital overnight, his spokesman said on Twitter, adding that Clinton’s health indicators were “trending in the right direction.”

 Clinton , 75, who left office in 2001, entered the  University of California Irvine Medical Center on Tuesday evening for a non-coronavirus infection.


(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese)

Continue Reading