BUSINESS | Facebook Will Label Newsworthy Posts That Brakes Rules As Ad Boycott Widens

NEW YORK – Facebook Inc said on Friday it will start labeling newsworthy content that violate the social media company’s policies, and label all posts and ads about voting with links to authoritative information, including those from politicians.

A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed its new policy would have meant attaching a ling on voting information to U.S. President Donald Trump’s post last month about mail – in ballots. Rival Twitter had affixed a fact-checking label to that post.

Facebook has drawn heat from employees and lawmakers in recent weeks over its decisions not to act on inflammatory post by president.

‘There are no exceptions for politicians in any of the policies I’m announcing here today’, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.

Zuckerberg also said Facebook would ban ads that claim people from groups based on race, religion, sexual orientation or immigration status are a threat to physical safety or health.

The policy changes come during a growing ad boycott campaign, called ‘Stop Hate for Profit’, that was started by several U.S. civil rights groups after the death of George Floyd, to pressure the company to act on hate speech and misinformation.

Zuckerberg’s address fell short, said Rashad Robinson, president of civil rights group Color of Change, which is one of the groups behind the boycott campaign.

‘What we’ve seen in today’s address from Mark Zuckerberg is a failure to wrestle with the harms FB has caused on our democracy & civil rights’, Robinson tweeted. ‘If this is the response he’s giving to major advertisers withdrawing millions of dollars from the company, we can’t trust his leadership’.

Shares of Facebook closed down more than 8% and Twitter ended 7% lower on Friday after Unilever PLC said it would stop its U.S. ads on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the rest of the year, citing ‘divisiveness and hate speech during this polarized election period in the U.S.’,

More than 90 advertisers including Japanese carmaker Honda Motor, U.S. subsidiary, Unilerver’s Ben & Jerry’s, Verizon Communications Inc and The North Face, a unit of VF Corp, have joined the campaign, according to a list by ad activism group Sleeping Giants.

Hours after Facebook’s announcement, Coca-Cola Co said starting from July 1, it would pause paid advertising on all social media platforms globally for at least 30 days.

One of Facebook’s top spenders, consumer goods giant Protect & Gamble Co, on Wednesday pledged to conduct a review of ad platforms and stop spending where it found hateful content. P&G declined to say if it had reached a decision on Facebook.

The campaign specifically asks businesses not to advertise on Facebook’s platforms in July, though Twitter also long had been urged to clean up alleged abuses and misinformation on its platform.

‘We have developed policies and platform capabilities designed to protect and serve the public conversation, and as always, are committed to amplifying voices from under-represented communities and marginalized groups’, said Sarah Personetter, vice president for Twitter’s Global Client Solutions.

‘we are respectful of our partners’ decision and will continue to work and communicate closely with them during this time’.

In a statement, a Facebook spokeswoman pointed to its civil rights audit and investments in Artificial Intelligence that allow it to find and take action on hate speech.

‘We know we have more work to do’, she said, noting that Facebook will continue working with civil rights groups, the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, and other experts to develop more tools, technology and policies to ‘continue this fight’.


Saudi Arabia’s FII: World Leaders To Discuss Building A Strong Economy Post – Pandemic

MILAN – – World Leaders, former presidents, CEOs and heads of economy will be among those converging for Saudi Arabia’s fourth annual Future Investment Initiative (FII) Conference this week. Discussion about the future of global economies in a post – pandemic world are on the agenda. The event will feature over 140 speakers and will officially be opened … Continue reading Saudi Arabia’s FII: World Leaders To Discuss Building A Strong Economy Post – Pandemic

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Announces New 5-Year Strategy For Kingdom’s Economy

JEDDAH – – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday launched a new five – year strategy for the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund as Saudi Arabia drives toward achieving its Vision 2030 goal to diversify the economy away from dependence on oil. The Public Investment Fund (PIF) will pump at least $40 billion a … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Announces New 5-Year Strategy For Kingdom’s Economy

CORONAVIRUS ALERT | French Health Body Recommends Delaying Second Covid Shot To Six Weeks After First

PARIS – – France’s top health advisory body on Saturday recommended doubling the time between people being given the first and second Covid-19 vaccination to six weeks from three  in order to increase the number getting inoculated . The gap between the first and second injection in France is currently three weeks for people in … Continue reading CORONAVIRUS ALERT | French Health Body Recommends Delaying Second Covid Shot To Six Weeks After First

BREAKING NEWS | Police Round Up More Than 350 At Russia Protests Backing Jailed Kremlin Foe Navalny

Police detained more than 350 people across Russia on Saturday and broke up rallies around the country as protesters defied bitter cold and a ban by authorities to demand the release of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Navalny had called on his supporter to protest after being arrested last weekend as he returned to Moscow … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Police Round Up More Than 350 At Russia Protests Backing Jailed Kremlin Foe Navalny

BUSINESS | UAE Confirms It Inked $23 Billion To Buy F-35 Jets, Drones From U.S.

WASHINGTON – – The United Arab Emirates confirmed that it signed agreements with the United States on former President Donald Trump’s last full day in office to purchase up to 50 F-35 jets, 18 armed drones and other defense equipment in a deal worth $23 billion. The UAE embassy in Washington said in a statement … Continue reading BUSINESS | UAE Confirms It Inked $23 Billion To Buy F-35 Jets, Drones From U.S.

Breaking News | Saudi TV Says Missile Or Drone Intercepted Over Riyadh

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia said Saturday it intercepted an apparent missile or drone attack over its capital, Riyadh, amid the kingdom’s yearlong war against neighbouring Yemen’s Houthi rebels.Social media users posted video of what appeared to be an explosion in the air over Riyadh. Saudi State TV quoted authorities in the kingdom acknowledging the … Continue reading Breaking News | Saudi TV Says Missile Or Drone Intercepted Over Riyadh

TRAVEL | Denmark Suspend Dubai Flights Amid Doubts Over Virus Tests

 DUBAI – Denmark has temporarily suspended all flights from the United Arab Emirates for five days after suspicion arose that the coronavirus tests that can be obtained before leaving Dubai are not reliable, authorities announced Friday. The development, which comes amid a surge of infections in the UAE, poses a direct challenge to the mass … Continue reading TRAVEL | Denmark Suspend Dubai Flights Amid Doubts Over Virus Tests

BUSINESS | Google Seals Content Payment Deal With French News Publishers

PARIS – – Google and a French publishers’ lobby said on Thursday they had agreed to a copyright framework for the U.S. tech giant to pay news publishers for content online, in a first for Europe.The move paves the way for individual licensing agreements for French publications, some of which have seen revenues drop with … Continue reading BUSINESS | Google Seals Content Payment Deal With French News Publishers

Business News | BioNTech Investors, Amid Worry Over Shortage, Vows Vaccines To Be Delivered For Second Shot

MILAN – European countries should use all available vaccine doses provided by biotech firm BioNTech and its partner Pfizer because there will be enough for the requisite second booster shot due to a planned production ramp – up, BioNTech’s largest investor said. Some countries were believed to be withholding some vaccines for fear of shortage … Continue reading Business News | BioNTech Investors, Amid Worry Over Shortage, Vows Vaccines To Be Delivered For Second Shot

BREAKING NEWS | Arab Coalition Thwarts Two Houthi Attacks

The Saudi – led coalition fighting against Yemen’s Houthi movement said it thwarted two attacks by the Houthis on Friday morning, including destroying an explosive – laden boat in the southern Red Sea, Saudi State TV said on Twitter. The coalition also intercepted and destroyed an explosive – laden drone launched by the Houthis toward … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Arab Coalition Thwarts Two Houthi Attacks

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