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Meta to review its decision to make adult nudity policies more inclusive

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Meta was reviewing a call by its oversight board to make its policies on adult nudity more inclusive, a spokesperson said Thursday, after the tech giant removed two Instagram posts showing transgender and non-binary people with their chests bared.

Read here: Meta slapped with 5.5mn euro fine for EU data breach

Neither post violated Meta’s policies on adult nudity, and in a statement released earlier this week, the board said it had overturned the company’s decision to remove them.

A Meta spokesperson told AFP Thursday that the company welcomed the board’s move and had already restored the images, agreeing they should not have been taken down.

But the board also seized the opportunity to call on Meta, which also owns Facebook, to make its broader policies on adult nudity more inclusive.

The current policy “prohibits images containing female nipples other than in specified circumstances, such as breastfeeding and gender confirmation surgery,” the oversight board wrote in its decision.

That policy, it continued, “is based on a binary view of gender and a distinction between male and female bodies,” and results in “greater barriers to expression for women, trans and gender non-binary people on its platforms.”

It called for Meta to evaluate its policies “so that all people are treated in a manner consistent with international human rights standards, without discrimination on the basis of sex or gender.”

The Meta spokesperson said the company was reviewing that request, which echoes calls made by activists for years.

“We are constantly evaluating our policies to help make our platforms safer for everyone,” the spokesperson said.

Read here: Facebook wrong to remove ‘death to Khameini’ posts: watchdog

“We know more can be done to support the LGBTQ community, and that means working with experts and LGBTQ advocacy organizations on a range of issues and product improvements.”

“We have given Meta food for thought,” oversight board member Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a former prime minister of Denmark, said Thursday in a forum at Instagram.

“It’s interesting to note that the only nipples not sexualized are those of men or those who have been operated on.”

“Over-policing of LGBTQ content, and especially trans and nonbinary content, is a serious problem on social media platforms,” a spokesperson for advocacy group GLAAD told AFP.

“The fact that Instagram’s AI system and human moderators repeatedly identified these posts as pornographic and as sexual solicitation indicates serious failures with regard to both their machine learning systems and moderator training.”

Meta said it will publicly respond to each of the board’s recommendations on the matter by mid-March.

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German tech firms looking to hire laid off professionals in Silicon Valley

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Faced with a tight labour market and a shortage of workers with key software engineering skills, some German companies are looking at thousands of layoffs in Silicon Valley as an opportunity to recruit top talent.

The U.S. West Coast has always been the main destination for ambitious software engineers looking to work in the best-paid, most elite corner of their profession, but the mass redundancies have created a pool of jobseekers that Germany is eager to tap.

“They fire, we hire,” said Rainer Zugehoer, Chief People Officer at Cariad, the software subsidiary of automaker Volkswagen. “We have several hundred open positions in the U.S., in Europe and in China.”

Also Read: Zuckerberg’s Meta gearing up for more layoffs? This report suggests so

Spooked by inflation and the prospect of recession, Google parent Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook owner Meta have announced a combined almost 40,000 job cuts.

While Germany is also teetering on the edge of recession, its companies have grown more slowly in recent years and, in a country notorious for still handling business by fax, there are huge technology leaps to be made.

Germany, with one of the world’s oldest populations, has gaping holes in its labour force: according to IT industry group Bitkom, 137,000 IT jobs are unfilled.

The government is simplifying immigration rules and dangling the prospect of easily-acquired citizenship to tempt skilled would-be immigrants, and regional authorities are pressing ahead.

Also Read: PagerDuty CEO quotes Martin Luther King Jr in layoff email, faces flak

“I would like to cordially invite you to move to Bavaria,” wrote Judith Gerlach, digitalisation minister in Germany’s wealthiest region on LinkedIn in a post addressed to the recently laid off.

Especially with the euro at dollar parity, few European companies pay rates that compete with the hundreds of thousands of dollars on offer at California’s most successful companies, but some hope cheaper healthcare and lower costs compared to hotspots like San Francisco can help.

“And did I mention Oktoberfest?” Gerlach added, adding Munich’s famed beer festival to the strong labour protections that might prove attractive to the newly jobless.

Some are sceptical, with Bitkom’s Bernhard Rohleder noting that Germany is competing not just with other countries for the most talented, but with potential recruits’ home countries too.

Germany’s penchant for red tape could be another challenge: companies are already reporting months-long delays in securing appointments for their new hires to get work permits.

“Bureaucracy in Germany is utterly crippling for most highly-qualified workers when they first encounter it, especially if they don’t speak German,” said Diana Stoleru of Berlin startup Lendis.

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Facebook seeks to block $3.7 billion UK mass action over market dominance

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Facebook on Monday asked a London tribunal to block a collective lawsuit valued at up to 3 billion pounds ($3.7 billion) over allegations the social media giant abused its dominant position to monetise users’ personal data.

Meta Platforms Inc, the parent company of the Facebook group, is facing a mass action brought on behalf of around 45 million Facebook users in Britain.

Read more: US’ Blinken urges Israelis, Palestinians not to ‘inflame tensions’

Legal academic Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, who is bringing the case, said Facebook users were not properly compensated for the value of personal data that they had to provide to use the platform.

Her lawyers said users should get compensation for the economic value they would have received if Facebook was not in a dominant position in the market for social networks.

But Meta said the lawsuit was “entirely without merit” and should not be allowed to proceed. Its lawyers said the claimed losses ignore the “economic value” Facebook provides.

Lovdahl Gormsen’s lawyers on Monday asked the Competition Appeal Tribunal to certify the case under the UK’s collective proceedings regime – which is roughly equivalent to the class action regime in the United States.

A decision to certify collective proceedings will depend on whether the tribunal decides that the individual cases can appropriately be dealt with together, rather than on their merits.

Read more: ‘More precisely…’: Kremlin fact-checks Boris Johnson’s claims on Vladimir Putin

Ronit Kreisberger, representing Lovdahl Gormsen, told the tribunal that “Meta’s data practices violate the prohibition on abusive conduct by dominant firms”.

“There is unquestionably a case for Meta to answer at trial,” Kreisberger argued.

But lawyers representing Meta said the lawsuit wrongly assumes that any “excess profits” it might make equates to a financial loss suffered by individual Facebook users.

This approach “takes no account whatsoever of the significant economic value of the service provided by Facebook”, Marie Demetriou said in court documents.

Read more: Covid still a global emergency: World health body

She said Lovdahl Gormsen’s estimate of potential claimants’ total losses – 3 billion pounds, including interest – is “at the very least wildly inflated”.

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Want to buy iPhone? This deal available on Flipkart for iPhone 14, 14 Plus

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For those looking to buy iPhone, an offer is currently available on Flipkart for iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, both of which were launched in September last year. On the e-commerce website, the former is listed for 65,999 (MRP: 79,900) and the latter, 74,999 (MRP: 89,900).

Customers, however, save 13,901 (iPhone 14) and 14,901 (iPhone 14 Plus) without an exchange offer. With exchange offer, on the other hand, they get to save up to 21,400 on each device.

iPhone 14 and 14 Plus: Features

Both smartphones operate on Apple’s in-house A15 Bionic chipset, with 5-Core GPU and 16-Core NPU for graphics. The two also come with a Face ID sensor and, for connectivity, features such as 5G, Wi-Fi, two sims, Bluetooth, GPS, lighting port (for charging) etc.

For photography, meanwhile, there is a dual camera setup on the rear, and each camera has an LED flash. The setup comprises of a 12 MP primary wide-angle sensor and an ultra-wide-angle sensor, also of 12 MP. For selfies, there is a 12 MP front camera.


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