Foreign students scramble for backup plans after ICE cracks down on online learning #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Foreign students scramble for backup plans after ICE cracks down on online learning

Jul 11. 2020

Alexander Auster, a student from Germany who is about to begin his second year at George Washington University Law School. MUST CREDIT: Photo courtesy of Alexander Auster

Alexander Auster, a student from Germany who is about to begin his second year at George Washington University Law School. MUST CREDIT: Photo courtesy of Alexander Auster

By The Washington Post · Susan Svrluga, Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff · NATIONAL, EDUCATION 
Alexander Auster came to the United States for college because here, unlike in his native Germany, he could study and swim, with hopes of someday competing in the Olympics. His Olympics dream fizzled. But after a successful college career at George Washington University, he stayed for law school and planned to start his legal career here, too.

Then, this week, he saw the news: International students would not be allowed to stay in the country if they were only taking online classes, the government said, despite the coronavirus pandemic forcing many colleges to stop teaching in person. In an instant, Auster said, he was uncertain about not just fall but his home, his education, his career.

“Everything I planned for the future is up in the air,” he said.

On Monday, the federal Student and Exchange Visitor Program announced that students enrolled in fully online programs would have to leave the country or transfer to a program that includes in-person classes in order to maintain legal status.

It’s not an entirely new rule. The government typically does require international students to take most classes in person. But it had offered more flexibility when the pandemic shuttered colleges in March. The new guidance, which has not been published yet, blindsided university officials, who expected immigration authorities to grant the same flexibility they had given in the spring, especially as coronavirus cases spike.

Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Northeastern University are suing the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, seeking to block the rule. California is suing, too.

International students, meanwhile, are doing what immigrants often do while waiting for the courts to untangle an attempt by the Trump administration to send them home and send a message: They’re worrying, and they’re scrambling for backup plans.

Studying abroad on a visa always brings some restrictions and complications. But an unexpected change just weeks before classes start had international students worrying about leases, travel, academics, expenses and jobs – all things already made precarious by the pandemic.

A biochemistry student from Ireland, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she feared retaliation, had been checking ICE’s website every day in June, hoping to see the pandemic rules extended. She found ICE’s decision on the website before her school, the State University of New York, was even notified.

Her adviser told her to find any in-person course the school was offering and register. (At other schools, students and professors have scrambled to create classes international students can take in person.) But the student said there is not enough room in the limited in-person classes for every international student to get a spot. 

She created a resource sheet with a script for people to call members of Congress and shared it on Twitter. It has been retweeted thousands of times and is being translated into multiple languages.

“This policy is a message to both Americans and international students,” she said. “The message to Americans is, ‘We’re going to pretend the virus does not exist.’ The message to us is, ‘Get out.’ “

Carissa Cutrell, a spokeswoman for ICE, said she could not comment on the guidance because of pending litigation.

Anchita Dasgupta, a Brown University senior from Kolkata, India, has had difficult conversations with her family since the policy was announced. After reading over the legal jargon four times, she felt as if she and her parents understood the decision she was facing: No longer able to take online classes from abroad, she would have to risk exposing herself to the virus in the United States and return to school or stay in India and risk losing her visa – and, with it, her academic and career aspirations.

“My family is concerned I might get the virus. But that can’t even be a concern right now,” Dasgupta said. “I have to enroll in classes or I lose my visa status.”

But even if she is able to come back to campus, Dasgupta said, she worries all that risk – the travel, the extra exposure to the virus – would be wasted if classes are suddenly moved online and her visa is invalidated.

“The fact that we can get kicked out of the country at any point, that nobody cares about that,” she said. “We are constantly living with this pressure.”

A similar choice haunts Omer Tunc, a junior at Georgetown University from Turkey. When campus shuttered over spring break, he was back home in Istanbul and couldn’t return to Washington, D.C. So he would wake up at 1 a.m. regularly to attend class. With unreliable WiFi, he couldn’t participate in class discussions.

So regardless of whether his classes would be online, he wanted to be back in Washington this fall. There was more than the time difference drawing him back, too: He worked 20 hours a week – the maximum he was allowed to under the F1 visa – to help defray the cost of college. If he can’t return, his job is gone, too.

“We were just a bargaining chip for schools to reopen. They didn’t actually care about us,” Tunc said of the government’s decision. “It’s dehumanizing us. We’re more than just tuition money. We bring diversity. We bring another perspective.”

Auster, the German law student, has lived here five years now; with longtime friends and a relationship here, Washington feels like home. Now he is wondering where he would go if he has to leave. He couldn’t join his parents, who are diplomats in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, countries he could not enter. “I’m not sure where I would be able to go,” he said.

He could return to his native Germany, and take his George Washington University Law School classes online, in the middle of the night, he said. But once there, he’s not sure he would be allowed to return to the United States. Interviews with law firms that might sponsor international students typically happen on campus in January, he said.

With a U.S. law degree, he couldn’t practice in Europe. But now, working in the United States seems uncertain. So he is considering restarting his legal education in Germany, or maybe starting a master’s degree program there, and rethinking his future altogether.

He’s also rethinking the lease he renewed last month. “That’s not great,” he said.

Even if the rules change and there’s a way to stay at GW Law this fall, he said, “In the back of my head, I’ll always have the thought that could change again at some point.” 

Google to restrict advertising of tracking technology, spyware #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Google to restrict advertising of tracking technology, spyware

Jul 10. 2020

By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Alyza Sebenius · BUSINESS, TECHNOLOGY 

Google is changing its policies next month to restrict advertising for spyware and other unauthorized tracking technology.

The change “will prohibit the promotion of products or services that are marketed or targeted with the express purpose of tracking or monitoring another person or their activities without their authorization,” according to the company.

The policy will prohibit advertisement of spyware and malware “that can be used to monitor texts, phone calls, or browsing history,” according to Google. It will also ban ads for “GPS trackers specifically marketed to spy or track someone without their consent” and of cameras or recorders “marketed with the express purpose of spying.”

The new policy will be implemented globally on Aug. 11, and the accounts of advertisers that violate it will be suspended, according to Google.

In a time of social distancing, robots could be just what the doctor ordered #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

In a time of social distancing, robots could be just what the doctor ordered

Jul 09. 2020Students practice dance moves with a robot at Wooam Elementary School in Seoul. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Min Joo Kim
Students practice dance moves with a robot at Wooam Elementary School in Seoul. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Min Joo Kim

By The Washington Post · Simon Denyer, Akiko Kashiwagi, Min Joo Kim · WORLD, TECHNOLOGY, HEALTH, ASIA-PACIFIC 
TOKYO -As the coronavirus pandemic rewrites the rules of human interaction, it also has inspired new thinking about how robots and other machines might step in. 

Students practice dance moves with a robot at Wooam Elementary School in Seoul. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Min Joo Kim

https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/4573d45e-8ae6-4563-b0f9-2d8c12675705?ptvads=block&playthrough=false

The stuff of the bot world – early factory-line automation up to today’s artificial intelligence – has been a growing fact of life for decades. The worldwide health crisis has added urgency to the question of how to bring robotics into the public health equation.

Nowhere is that truer than in Japan, a country with a long fascination with robots, from android assistants to robot receptionists. Since the virus arrived, robots have offered their services as bartenders, security guards and deliverymen. 

But they don’t necessarily need to supplant humans, researchers say. They can also bridge the gap between people mindful of social distance – now or when the next major contagion hits.

Want to drop in on your elderly parents but are afraid of passing on a coronavirus infection? Maybe you’re missing your grandchildren, and finding Zoom chats a little limiting?

Ideas are brewing.

– Hugging the bot

The “newme” robot developed by Japanese company Avatarinis basically a tablet computer on a stand, with wheels. The user controls the avatar from a laptop or tablet, and his or her face shows on the avatar’s screen.

“It’s really like teleporting your consciousness,” said founder and CEO Akira Fukabori. “You are really present.”

Already available commercially, Avatarin’s robotshave been used by doctors to interact with patients in a Japanese coronavirus ward; by university students in Tokyo to “attend” a graduation ceremony; and by fans of the Yomiuri Giants baseball team to remotely interview their favorite players after games held in empty stadiums.

There are even avatar robots that have just arrived in the International Space Station.

But it’s the way the robot is already being used by families separated by the coronavirus that really underscores the heart of the technology – starting with the family of the company’s chief operating officer, Kevin Kajitani, whose parents live in Seattle.

“His parents can’t always come and visit their grandson,” Fukabori said. “But they always access the avatar, and can even chase their grandson. And the grandson really hugs the robot.” 

Avatarin is part of Japan’s ANA airline group, and the company has joined with the X Prize Foundation to launch a $10 million, four-year contest for companies to create more complex robots that could further develop the avatar concept. 

“You need to move,” Fukabori said. “This is really important, because we forget the freedom of this mobility. You can just walk around, and people will talk to you about really, really natural things. That creates human trust. That isn’t as easy in WebEx or Zoom, where if you don’t know each other it’s really hard to keep talking.”

Work is underway on prototypes that allow users to control a remote robot through virtual reality headsets and gloves that allow the wearer to pick up, hold, touch and feel an object with a distant robotic hand, with potential uses ranging from space exploration to disaster relief or elderly care.

But Fukabori said the cheaper, lightweight avatars offer more immediate and affordable uses. What sets this project apart from existing avatar robots, the company says, is the ability for users to access the robots easily from a laptop, by renting them out rather than having to buy them.

Avatarin hopes to install the avatars in more hospitals and in elderly-care centers, shops, museums, zoos and aquariums. The company also aims to have 1,000 in place for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

– Cleaning patrol

In Tokyo, robotics lab ZMP has been developing three small bots to help compensate for Japan’s shrinking labor force, employing the same technology as self-driving cars. 

A delivery robot aims to transport goods ordered online from local warehouses to customers’ doors; a patrol robot, with six cameras, does the job of a security guard; a self-driving wheelchair can be programed to take users to specific destinations. The wheelchair is already available and approved for use on Tokyo streets. The others still await official permission to venture out alone in public.

Now, the patrol robot has been adapted so it can also disinfect surfaces as it patrols, and is attracting interest from Tokyo’s Metro stations as well as other businesses. 

In May, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe noted surging demand for unmanned deliveries and pledged to carry out tests to see if delivery robots were safe to use on roads and sidewalks by the end of the year.

Even the self-driving wheelchair can come into its own amid a coronavirus-filled world, the company said, potentially helping elderly people move around more independently without a helper who might be a vector for the virus.

“Before corona, most customers wanted to reduce workers,” said ZMP’s chief executive, Hisashi Taniguchi. “But after corona, our customers changed drastically. Now, they want to accelerate unmanned systems.”

– Bot bartender

Qbit Robotics, also in Tokyo,has programmed a robotic arm and hand to interact with customers and serve them coffee, mix cocktails or even serve a simple cup of instant pasta. 

President and chief executive Hiroya Nakano said he aims not to replace human interaction but to supply robots that can communicate and entertain in a “friendly” way. 

While robots can sometimes seem disturbing and alien to Westerners, they tend to be seen in a more welcoming light by many Japanese people, Nakano said.

“Until now, expectations have been high for what robots can do in the future, but they haven’t been able to do what humans do,” he said. “But now we are living with the coronavirus, the idea of no contact or automation has become especially important. And I feel there is an extremely high expectation for robots to meet that demand.”

– And one can dance, too

In South Korea, a Chinese-made robot is already greeting children in Seoul’s schools as they reopen. 

The Cruzr, with eyes that beam a neon-blue light and a video screen on its chest, takes kids’ temperatures and reminds them to follow anti-virus rules.

“Please wear your mask properly,” the robot told a student last week at Wooam Elementary School whose mask wasn’t covering his nose.

Chinese robotmaker UBTech launched Cruzr in 2017 as a humanoid service robot for businesses, but the pandemic has given it added value as a personal assistant free from infection risks. 

It is also being used by medical institutions for mass temperature screening, patient monitoring and medical record keeping, helping overwhelmed medical workers.

In June, Seoul’s Seocho district government deployed Cruzr robots to the district’s 51 public schools, helping reduce the burden on overworked teachers.

Before the robot came to school, teachers had taken kids’ temperatures as they arrived, creating long lines and raising infection risks from human contact. Now, the robot checks the temperature of multiple students as they walk by and immediately sounds an alarm if anyone has a fever.

“At first, students were ill at ease with the robot greeting them at the school gate, but in a matter of weeks, students have embraced it as part of the school community,” said Yoo Jung-ho, head of Wooam’s science department. 

At the school, students waved toward the robot at the gate as they walked into the school, and nodded in agreement when it reminded them about the mask rules.

The robot can also provide basic academic help and entertain students by teaching them simple dance moves.

“Of course, robots can’t replace teachers at classrooms yet, but there is significant and rising potential for ‘contactless’ teaching with the pandemic,” Yoo said.

Nine-year-old Lee Hye-rin says she “befriended” the robot after they danced together. 

“When I first saw the robot standing in place of our teachers greeting us at the entrance, I found it cold and disorienting,” Lee said. “But this robot is actually the same height as I am and also displays goofy dance moves, and I realized I can befriend him and share a fun time.” 

But Lee feels the robot is not so friendly when it orders her to wear her mask properly. 

“If I fail to follow the mask rule, my teacher’s warning will be followed with a smile telling me to behave better in the future, but the robot doesn’t smile when it warns me about the mask,” she said.

Amazon will disclose merchant names to discourage rogue sales #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Amazon will disclose merchant names to discourage rogue sales

Jul 09. 2020

By The Washington Post · Jay Greene · NATIONAL, BUSINESS, TECHNOLOGY 
SEATTLE – Amazon notified sellers Wednesday they will no longer be able to anonymously hawk goods on its U.S. e-commerce site as of Sept. 1.

While Amazon said it was making the change to “help customers make informed shopping decisions,” the move could also help curb sales of dangerous and counterfeit items that have plagued the site in recent years. It comes just weeks before Amazon chief executive, Jeff Bezos, is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee along with the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Apple. (Bezos also owns The Washington Post.)

An Amazon spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

The company announced the change in a post on the site where it shares information with the third-party merchants who list products on its site. Those sellers account for the majority of physical merchandise sold on the site, as much as 58 percent in 2018, Bezos wrote in a letter to shareholders last year.

Often the names of third-party sellers on the site are an odd collection of letters that have no relation to the company’s actual name. And many of those sellers choose not to provide details about where they are located.

But sellers do provide that information to Amazon when they establish their business accounts. The company, though, hasn’t previously required the disclosure in the United States, even though it does in Europe, Japan and Mexico.

Amazon didn’t explain the reason for making the change now.

“Amazon doesn’t do random things, just to try to help consumers,” said Juozas Kaziukėnas, chief executive of the e-commerce research firm Marketplace Pulse.

Kaziukėnas said the company may have made the move to get ahead of the upcoming hearing, which promises to be a high-profile spectacle that’s part of lawmakers’ wide-ranging antitrust probe into the tech industry. It also comes as the Trump administration has targeted counterfeit sales from foreign companies, alleging in a 54-page report in January that online marketplaces such as Amazon have become haven for counterfeiters that’s both undermined U.S. firms and hurt consumers.

Amazon has long lamented the scourge of counterfeits, and has said it spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year to police its site for fake goods. Last fall, The Post spent $164 on Amazon to pick up a handful of products that used logos and unique designs from brands such as Hermès, Gucci and Louis Vuitton to determine if they were fake. Each item was counterfeit.

And last year, Federal Trade Commissioner Rohit Chopra raised concerns about whether Amazon committed “widespread deception” by selling thousands of products without any warnings despite federal agencies deeming those goods to be unsafe, deceptively labeled or banning them altogether. Those concerns came after a Wall Street Journal investigation found 4,152 unsafe items listed for sale on Amazon.

Forcing merchants to disclose their business names and addresses could discourage rogue sellers from listing products on the site. Generally, sellers need to prove their identity to Amazon by also providing documentation such as bank statements and utility bills that also include their names and address, Kaziukėnas said.

Amazon has always prioritized having the broadest selection of products as a key advantage over rivals, even if it meant the company couldn’t always control the quality of products available. Disclosing seller identities will likely reduce selection, eliminating accounts from sellers who want to remain anonymous.

“For Amazon to do this is a big deal,” said Rob Dunkel, chief executives of the data-analytics firm 3PM Solutions that works with brands to spot counterfeits online.

The disclosure will likely lead brands, such as luxury bag makers or pricey running shoe firms, to target sellers that aren’t authorized to sell their products through Amazon, said James Thomson, a former senior manager in business development at Amazon and now partner at brand consultancy Buy Box Experts.

Facebook’s own civil rights auditors said its policy decisions are a ‘tremendous setback’ #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Facebook’s own civil rights auditors said its policy decisions are a ‘tremendous setback’

Jul 09. 2020

By The Washington Post · Elizabeth Dwoskin, Cat Zakrzewski · NATIONAL, BUSINESS, TECHNOLOGY, RACE, MEDIA 

The civil rights auditors Facebook hired to scrutinize its civil rights record on Wednesday delivered a long-awaited and scathing indictment of the social media giant’s decisions to prioritize free speech above other values, which they called a “tremendous setback” that opened the door for abuse by politicians.

The report criticized Facebook’s choice to leave several posts by President Donald Trump untouched, including three in May that the auditors said “clearly violated” the company’s policies prohibiting voter suppression, hate speech and incitement of violence. The report also found that Facebook provides a forum for white supremacy and white nationalism.

The conclusions by Facebook’s own auditors are likely to bolster criticism that the company has too much power and that it bends and stretches its rules for powerful people. Although Facebook frequently says it listens to experts when making judgment calls, the auditors found that is not always the case on critical matters of free expression.

“When you put free expression on top of every other consideration, I think civil rights considerations take more of a back seat,” said Laura Murphy, a civil rights lawyer and independent consultant who led the two-year audit. Murphy worked with a team from civil rights law firm Relman Colfax, led by partner Megan Cacace.

The report was prompted by years of complaints by civil rights groups that the company foments hatred, stemming back to when the social network was used to organize the 2017 “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville, Va. Since then, Facebook has become more aggressive about taking down hate groups’ posts, but it has also hardened its stances on protecting free speech, setting up a tension that the auditors said was undermining Facebook’s efforts to improve its service.

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s unwavering position on free expression is isolating Facebook and leaving it at a perilous crossroad months before the U.S. presidential contest. He has been condemned widely for it: by thousands of employees last month who protested the decision to leave up one of Trump’s posts, and now by major advertisers boycotting the social network as part of a campaign known as “Stop Hate For Profit.” Civil rights leaders who met with Zuckerberg on Tuesday to discuss the boycott said the company did not appear to be ready to change. Facebook’s counterparts in Silicon Valley, including Snapchat, Reddit and Twitch, are taking a tougher tack when policing Trump and his most extreme supporters. 

The Facebook-commissioned report potentially carries more weight than the other criticisms of Facebook on civil rights because the social network granted the auditors extensive access to its systems and executives, and it encompassed feedback from more than 100 civil rights groups. However, it provides no guarantee that Facebook will make major changes to its policies or practices.

“Being a platform where everyone can make their voice heard is core to our mission, but that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable for people to spread hate. It’s not,” Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg wrote in a blog post in response to the report. “We have clear policies against hate – and we strive constantly to get better and faster at enforcing them.”

The report comes on the heels of a meeting Facebook held with the organizers of a fast-growing boycott of more than 1,000 advertisers, who have several demands of Facebook, including hiring a top-level executive who will ensure that the global platform does not fuel racism and radicalization. The timing of the publication of the long-anticipated report led the civil rights groups organizing the boycott to say Facebook was attempting to use it to draw attention away from their demands, which also include ending exceptions for politicians. The organizers called the Tuesday meeting “disappointing.”

Facebook denied that it was trying to deflect attention from the boycott. 

On Wednesday the company said it had taken down accounts tied to longtime Trump friend and former campaign adviser Roger Stone after finding that he violated Facebook’s rules by using more than 100 accounts and pages to manipulate public debate.

Facebook’s auditors faulted the social network for making policy decisions that undermine civil rights progress. They said Facebook failed to improve the experience of people of color who use the platform. They also said the company had delayed acting on calls to hire experts in civil rights to senior leadership positions, noting recent decisions over hate speech were made by senior executives who lacked specific civil rights expertise and nuanced understandings of race – and that certain decisions were made against the objections of the auditors.

In the May posts about voting, Trump called use of mail-in ballots in Nevada and Michigan “illegal” and “substantially fraudulent.”

Because mail-in ballots were lawful forms of voter registration in both states, the auditors “vehemently expressed” their views to Facebook that the posts were prohibited by the company’s voter interference policy, which bans false representations about voter registration methods, the report said.

But senior executives at Facebook found that the posts did not break the policies, ignoring the conclusions of the auditors, their own voting rights consultant, and the broader civil rights community, the report noted. Instead, the company’s executives interpreted the posts to mean Trump was accusing state officials of acting illegally, which it considers to be permissible criticism. That “constrained reading” of its own rules “was both astounding and deeply troubling,” the auditors said, “hurtling [Facebook] down a slippery slope” in which basic facts about how to vote can be freely misrepresented.

“With only months left before a major election, this is deeply troublesome as misinformation, sowing racial division and calls for violence near elections can do great damage to our democracy,” the auditors wrote.

The auditors also challenged Facebook’s decision to let stand another May post by Trump in which he said, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” invoking a civil rights era reference to describe the military potentially entering the protests in Minnesota.

Civil rights advocates believe the comment about shooting people for stealing or looting appeared to encourage law enforcement to commit unlawful capital punishment against protesters. The choice to leave the post up led to an employee uprising and helped fuel the boycott.

Twitter chose to add fact-checking and warning labels to the same messages.

Facebook has made some concessions, including copying Twitter by developing fact-checking labels of its own. The auditors praised the concessions but said they did not go far enough.

Civil rights groups began reaching out to Facebook in 2015, when self-proclaimed white nationalists were attacking black activists on the platform, said Jade Magnus Ogunnaike, deputy senior campaign director at Color of Change, one of the groups behind the ad boycott. Then, in 2017, far-right extremists created an event page on Facebook to promote the Unite the Right march in Charlottesville, where a white supremacist drove his car into protesters, killing one. 

Under pressure from civil rights groups, Facebook banned terms such as “white nationalism” and took down various accounts of far-right leaders. But extremist activity has morphed, and civil rights activists have said Facebook has been slow to react. For example, a violent far-right movement known as the boogaloo flourished on Facebook this year, despite numerous requests from civil rights advocates to remove the groups. Facebook banned these groups last week.

The auditors also noted that Facebook’s decision to leave Trump’s “looting” post up has already encouraged copycat calls for violence, including political and merchandise ads that “looters” and “ANTIFA terrorists” can or should be shot by armed citizens. Facebook removed the ads, which had received more than 200,000 clicks.

Civil rights leaders said the release of the report is by no means an “end game” in their efforts to change the social network. Vanita Gupta, president and chief executive of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said that work is increasingly critical in light of the intense polarization sweeping the country amid the pandemic and widespread protests against racism.

“There is so much at stake in this moment for the platform to get it right, for our democracy and for our communities,” she said. “The work is going to continue. We’re going to continue to press, to push to make these changes even after the final report comes out.”

It remains to be seen what changes Facebook will make in light of the report. The audit noted that Facebook had made progress by creating policies against interfering in the voting process and in the census, and had made historic legal settlements over discrimination in its ad targeting systems as well as with content moderators who suffer psychological harms from the work. The auditors also praised Facebook’s decision to create a target of increasing the number of black executives by 30% over the next five years, and to create a team to uncover algorithmic bias.

But the report said Facebook has a long way to go to incorporate civil rights, including changing its approach so the harms from speech are as valued as free speech, creating an extensive civil rights infrastructure of executives and managers within the company, and investing more resources in areas of bias and discrimination in its products and policies. The auditors also asked a for commitment from Facebook to explore how the platform foments white supremacy in a manner that goes beyond merely banning the terms “white separatism” and “white nationalism.” Finally, it called on Facebook to interpret its voter suppression policies more strongly, noting the recent exceptions for Trump.

Murphy said she hopes Facebook will adopt some of the audit’s recommendations, but she noted that it will take continued advocacy and pressure to ensure that it happens.

“I just can’t predict which issues are going to make it across the finish line,” she said.

Zuckerberg has frequently said Facebook should not be in the position to make many of the most complex judgment calls over free speech issues, and has called for a governmental regulatory body to set universal standards. The company is funding an independent external oversight board, which will be able to make decisions about whether content should be removed from Facebook and play a key role in setting precedent about content policy at Facebook. The board is expected to begin its work this summer.

Thammasat student creates app that can help speed up probe into shooting cases #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Thammasat student creates app that can help speed up probe into shooting cases

Jul 08. 2020Dr Charturong TantibundhitDr Charturong Tantibundhit

By The Nation

A student from Thammasat School of Engineering (TSE) has come up with an innovative application that can speed up forensic analysis of cartridge casings in shooting incidents, providing an accurate analysis in 62 seconds compared to the month-long process currently used.

Asst Prof Dr Charturong Tantibundhit revealed that his student had researched and developed the innovation “Check the bullet with AI”. He said it was the world’s first application that could inspect the bullet at the actual location of the gun and display accurate analysis in 62 seconds using artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The investigation process currently takes about 30 days, involving instruments and experts.

The application introduces the use of AI to help in data processing and analysis, Charturong said.

In the inspection procedure, the cartridge case is taken from the incident then put into tools with motors that are controlled by a hardware system, and a smartphone is used to take pictures of the de the bullet for the AI before opening the tool. The motor of the tool will operate at 360 degrees rotation to capture panoramic images within 62 seconds. The system then analyses and displays the results about the shots that were fired and the brand of gun used.

The research tested samples of 898 ammunition from guns of eight brands. The research received cooperation from the PhD Faculty of Science of Chulalongkorn University, National Police, and the Institute of Forensic Science. Accuracy of results were as high as 91-98 per cent depending on the gun brand, Charturong said.

However, the app “Check bullet with AI” is still being trialled, which must be used in parallel with the analysis of the original results to achieve the highest accuracy.

Thailand has a relatively high gun crime rate, averaging 30,000 to 40,000 cases per year.

Augmented reality startup Magic Leap hires Microsoft exec #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Augmented reality startup Magic Leap hires Microsoft exec

Jul 08. 2020Peggy Johnson. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Patrick T. FallonPeggy Johnson. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Patrick T. Fallon

By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Joshua Brustein, Dina Bass · BUSINESS 

Augmented reality startup Magic Leap has hired Peggy Johnson, a Microsoft executive, to take over as chief executive officer starting next month, as the company continues to reshape itself as a provider of business services.

Magic Leap had been one of the buzziest startups in recent years. It raised more than $2 billion from high-profile investors including Alphabet, largely on the promise that it would turn augmented reality into a viable consumer technology. Rony Abovitz, the company founder and chief executive, became the de facto evangelist for augmented reality, with bold and colorful pronouncements of its potential.

But the Florida-based company struggled to execute, and sales of its flagship product, the Magic Leap One headset, never took off after extensive delays. The company said late last year that it would focus more on business applications and cut more than half of its workforce in April. Selling to companies is a far different prospect than building a consumer product, and one Abovitz rarely showed as much enthusiasm for. He announced in May he would step down once the company found a replacement.

Johnson, who spent more than two decades at Qualcomm, brings extensive experience negotiating partnerships with other large businesses. She joined Microsoft in 2014 as one of chief executive Satya Nadella’s first major hires, at a time when the software maker’s dealings with other companies were often contentious. As head of business development, Johnson worked to repair Microsoft’s relationships with partners such as Salesforce and Samsung, becoming the face of a new friendlier company. In 2016 she started Microsoft’s venture capital arm M12.

“I look forward to strategically building enduring relationships that connect Magic Leap’s game-changing technology and pipeline to the wide-ranging digital needs of enterprises of all sizes and industries,” Johnson said Tuesday in a statement.

Microsoft also makes one of the main rivals to Magic Leap, the Hololens, which it has always positioned primarily as a business tool. A Microsoft spokesperson said the company is satisfied that any confidentiality issues arising from Johnson moving to a direct competitor have been addressed.

Microsoft will conduct an internal and external search to find Johnson’s replacement and her duties will be assumed in the short term by Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood, who already oversees mergers and acquisitions, according to a spokesperson.

Facebook met with civil rights groups after hundreds of companies joined ad boycott #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Facebook met with civil rights groups after hundreds of companies joined ad boycott

Jul 08. 2020

By The Washington Post · Hamza Shaban, Cat Zakrzewski · BUSINESS 
Civil rights leaders organizing a major advertising boycott of Facebook said they remained unconvinced that the social network is taking enough action against hate speech and disinformation after meeting with Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives on Tuesday.

Civil rights leaders used the session to press Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, to institute changes at Facebook, including installing a top level executive who will ensure the global platform does not fuel racism and radicalization.

Color of Change President Rashad Robinson described the meeting as “disappointing” during a news conference later Tuesday. The organizers of the campaign, known as #StopHateForProfit, provided a list of demands to the social network days before the meeting, he said, and the company did not have clear responses to their recommendations.

“Attending alone is not enough,” said Robinson, who participated in the meeting, which lasted over an hour, through video. “At this point, we were expecting some very clear answers to the recommendations we put on the table. And we did not get them.”

Instead, the leaders said they were met with partial responses to one demand: hiring an executive with civil rights expertise. 

But Facebook would not commit that position to the C-suite as the organizers demanded, said Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, who participated in the meeting. They also would not say what the requirements of the position would be.

“It was abundantly clear in our meeting today that Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook team is not yet ready to address the vitriolic hate on their platform,” Greenblatt said.

“This meeting was an opportunity for us to hear from the campaign organizers and reaffirm our commitment to combating hate on our platform. They want Facebook to be free of hate speech, and so do we,” Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone said.

Zuckerberg also did not address the organizers’ call for the company to provide automatic recourse to companies whose advertisements appear alongside hateful content, the organizers said.

The boycott organizers “didn’t hear anything today to convince us that Zuckerberg and his colleagues are taking action,” Free Press leader Jessica González said.

The boycott organizers “didn’t hear anything today to convince us that Zuckerberg and his colleagues are taking action,” said Free Press Co-CEO Jessica González, who attended the virtual meeting, which lasted more than an hour. “Instead of committing to a timeline to root out hate and disinformation on Facebook, the company’s leaders delivered the same old talking points to try to placate us without meeting our demands.”

The meeting took place amid escalating calls to reform Facebook. More than 750 companies, including Coca-Cola, Hershey and Unilever, have suspended advertising on the platform. Boycott organizers contend Facebook has allowed content to flourish that could incite violence and exacerbate social strife. By targeting Facebook’s ad dollars in the most substantive effort yet, organizers hope Zuckerberg and his team will be compelled to take action.

In a Facebook post Tuesday morning, Sandberg placed the meetings in the context of ongoing protests and calls to root out racism in American society.

The company has said it invests billions of dollars every year to ensure the safety of its users, and it partners with outside experts to update its policies. Sandberg said the company will release the final report from its years-long civil rights audit on Wednesday. “While we won’t be making every change they call for, we will put more of their proposals into practice soon,” she said.

But the civil rights leaders said they were skeptical that the audit would lead to meaningful change at Facebook after years of the company promising to do more to address voter suppression and racism. Robinson said the audit is only a review and recommendations.

“It’s only as good as what Facebook actually ends up doing with the content,” Robinson said. “If they don’t actually do anything it’s like going to the doctor, getting a new set of recommendations about your diet, doing nothing about it and then wondering why you’re not any healthier.”

But advertisers and civil rights groups have been unimpressed with Facebook’s promises to curb hate speech and label posts from politicians that violate the social network’s rules .

As the largest social network in the world, claiming 2.6 billion users, the company has an outsized role in media and global affairs. It has positioned itself as a vital communications platform and an on-ramp for 8 million advertisers, most of them small businesses. Nearly all of its $70 billion in revenue last year came from advertising.

While the pandemic has rocked companies that can’t thrive amid distancing and remote work, investors have flocked to the social network and other tech giants, sending Facebook’s share price to new highs. Its market cap has swelled to nearly $700 billion.

In her post Tuesday, Sandberg said the audit was well underway before the current protests sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man killed in police custody. She said Facebook’s actions were motivated by a sense of duty, even as the company faces mounting public pressure. “We are making changes – not for financial reasons or advertiser pressure, but because it is the right thing to do,” Sandberg said.

Facebook has previously met with civil rights group leaders, who have criticized the company’s policy of not fact-checking politicians’ ads, and its hands-off approach to President Donald Trump’s incendiary remarks and misleading claims about mail-in voting. Zuckerberg’s June meeting with civil rights leaders, which included Robinson, only further inflamed tensions, as they criticized him for lacking basic knowledge of the history of voter suppression in the United States.

González said these discussions are growing more pressing as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, a presidential election and widespread protests against police brutality and systemic racism.

“We’re tired, we’re tired of the dialogue because the stakes are so incredibly high for our communities,” González said. “We’re seeing Facebook fail to meet the moment.”

Advocates have pushed Facebook to conduct and publicly release the results of its civil rights audit for years. The company has previously released two updates about the review, which it began in the summer of 2018. The first outlined the company’s efforts to address voter suppression on its platform. It was published in December 2018, shortly after reports prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee exposed the extent of Russia’s efforts to target black voters on social media during the 2016 election. The second, published in summer 2019, outlined updates the company made to its ban on white supremacy.

Zuckerberg and Sandberg are additionally expected to meet Tuesday with Vanita Gupta, the chief executive and president of the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights, and Sherrilyn Ifill, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Laura Murphy, who has led the civil rights audit, is also expected to attend.

Sandberg, relying on phrasing often used by tech companies, concluded her post by saying, “We are never going to be perfect, but we care about this deeply. We will continue to listen and learn and work in the weeks, months and years ahead.”

Facebook’s ambition and size has attracted scrutiny not just from civil rights leaders but also from lawmakers worried about the power tech platforms wield in the marketplace. Zuckerberg, alongside the titans sitting atop Amazon, Apple and Google’s parent company Alphabet, will testify in front of Congress later this month, as part of an antitrust investigation into the potential abuses of big tech. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Facebook confronts civil rights complaints it put off for years #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Facebook confronts civil rights complaints it put off for years

Jul 05. 2020Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc., in October 2019. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Al DragoMark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc., in October 2019. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Al Drago

By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Naomi Nix · BUSINESS, TECHNOLOGY, POLITICS, RACE, MEDIA 

For years, Facebook Inc. brushed off complaints from civil rights groups that it didn’t do enough to combat racism, discrimination and voter suppression flourishing on its site. Now, pressure from a boycott by major advertisers is forcing the social media giant to address their concerns.

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to meet on Tuesday with leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Anti-Defamation League and Color of Change to discuss their requests. Facebook is increasingly playing defense against a growing group of civil rights organizations, employees and companies demanding that the technology giant do more to fight injustice on its platform.

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by David Paul Morris

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by David Paul Morris

“Right now is a moment of real reckoning for the company,” said Vanita Gupta, chief executive officer of The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights. “There’s a lot of pressure.”

The advocates led the campaign to persuade advertisers including Starbucks Corp. and PepsiCo Inc. to halt spending on the platform, focusing attention on Facebook’s policies as public outrage swells over racial inequities in America following the shocking video of the death of George Floyd in police custody.

Civil rights groups have long been asking Facebook to make policy and staffing changes to address their grievances. Concerns have included how the platform has promoted discriminatory advertising, allowed foreign adversaries to try to suppress the Black vote, and let white supremacy groups organize rallies.

Leaders of the groups said their efforts to get the social media platform to change have often been only given lip-service, and, at times, even attacked.

Facebook declined to comment, but pointed to an announcement Friday that it will attach to posts about voting a link to an information portal that explains how and when users can vote and how to register. The company has set a goal of helping to register 4 million new voters before the presidential election.

Facebook is also under increasing scrutiny in Washington. Zuckerberg has agreed to testify before a House antitrust panel along with CEOs of other large technology platforms and the company faces antitrust investigations by two federal agencies and nearly all 50 states.

Gupta and other advocates said Facebook has improved its response to concerns about Census misinformation and has curtailed discriminatory ads, but has fallen short in fighting voter suppression, election misinformation and moderating political speech.

“They are making many of the changes at our urging, but are missing the core piece,” Gupta said, pointing to Zuckerberg’s insistence on leaving misleading political speech unchecked because he deems the content newsworthy.

Gupta was on a call with Zuckerberg last month, along with Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, and Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, to discuss Facebook’s plans to prepare for the upcoming elections. President Donald Trump had recently threatened on social media to withhold funding from Michigan over the state’s mail-in balloting plans. When Gupta questioned Facebook’s policy on political speech, Zuckerberg told her Trump’s posts represented hard “edge cases,” she recalls. Gupta said she disagreed and told him “at every turn you should be making the decision to weigh in favor of fair elections and protecting voting rights.”

Civil rights advocates had been contacting Facebook as early as 2017 about issues such as hate speech and election interference, but intensified their outreach following reports that Russian operatives had exploited Facebook and other platforms to suppress Black voting, stir social unrest and help Trump win the 2016 election.

Madihha Ahussain, a special counsel for Washington-based group Muslim Advocates, said that while her group initially thought they were making progress with Facebook over anti-Muslim posts, they began to realize the company wasn’t taking systematic action. They were “just listening to us and nothing is changing on the platform itself,” Ahussain said. “We were just getting the runaround.”

For Robinson, the turning point came in November 2018, when he got a call from a New York Times reporter asking him to comment on startling revelations: Facebook had hired Definers Public Affairs, a former Republican-linked firm, to compile opposition research about billionaire investor George Soros’s funding of groups that were critical of Facebook – including Color of Change – and circulate it to reporters. Soros had attacked Facebook earlier that year as a menace to society.

“It became very clear that we had to reset the terms of the relationship,” with Facebook, said Robinson. “We knew that we must have been on to something if they were trying to spend their money to discredit us.”

The advocates sent an open letter to Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg calling for the creation of a C-suite position to advocate for users’ needs and work with civil rights groups. They also sought more transparency about a civil rights audit the company had initiated.Facebook fired Definers and Sandberg later apologized in a meeting with the advocates. Facebook tapped Laura Murphy, a veteran at the American Civil Liberties Union, to do the audit and agreed to release the results.

Meanwhile, the groups were growing increasingly concerned that Facebook wasn’t prepared to spot and eliminate voter-suppression campaigns or misinformation on its platform ahead of the 2018 midterms.

About two months before the election, groups including the National Urban League and the NAACP traveled to Facebook’s headquarters in Silicon Valley to see its election “war room” and discuss its election-integrity plan with company officials, including Sandberg, said LaShawn Warren, executive vice president of government affairs at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, which also attended.

To Warren, the Facebook team seemed more focused on eliminating inaccurate information about poll locations and opening and closing times than it was in detecting more sophisticated ways bad actors could try to dissuade voters. Her group pressed Facebook to hire more people with voter-suppression expertise.

On Dec. 18 2018, Facebook released an update from Murphy detailing what Facebook had done. Facebook had also hired voting experts to help with its election-integrity work.

It wasn’t enough for the groups. That same day, more than 30 organizations representing civil rights advocates, big tech critics and liberal causes wrote a letter expressing “profound disappointment regarding Facebook’s role in generating bigotry and hatred toward vulnerable communities” and called for Zuckerberg and Sandberg to step down from the board.

They didn’t step down, but Sandberg and other Facebook officials continued to talk with civil rights groups about their complaints. Sandberg met with advocates and members of the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington in May 2019.

Facebook won praise from the groups for its plan to ban content that misrepresents the 2020 U.S. Census, but tensions flared again in October of last year around Zuckerberg’s speech at Georgetown University, in which he defended the company’s policy of not fact-checking political ads. He extolled the platform’s fight to uphold free speech, citing protests against the Vietnam War and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”

Zuckerberg had previewed his remarks during a phone call with at least one civil rights leader who expressed concern that his emphasis on free speech could come at the expense of civil rights, according to a person familiar with the matter. The leader told Zuckerberg that Facebook’s top executives had no civil rights experience. The co-founder responded that he had a lot of former President Barack Obama people on staff, the person said. The leader also cautioned him against invoking Martin Luther King Jr. to make his point, the person said.

Zuckerberg’s speech won praise from conservatives, but criticism from civil rights advocates including King’s daughter, Bernice King, who argued that Facebook was avoiding reforming its content-moderation practices.

Just before the speech, Politico reported that since July 2019, Zuckerberg had been meeting with prominent conservative thinkers, including commentator Ben Shapiro, Brent Bozell and Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

Facebook was increasingly facing criticism for catering to conservatives in its polices and rhetoric. It was only after news broke about Zuckerberg’s meetings with right-leaning pundits that he invited the civil rights advocates to a dinner at his Palo Alto, Calif., home in November 2019.

“I did feel that Zuckerberg listened to us,” said Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, who was at the dinner. “Listening is not quite the same, you know, as being willing to actually make change.”

Facebook is working to persuade advertisers to abandon their boycott. So far, they aren’t impressed. #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Facebook is working to persuade advertisers to abandon their boycott. So far, they aren’t impressed.

Jul 04. 2020

By  The Washington Post · Elizabeth Dwoskin, Taylor Telford · NATIONAL, BUSINESS, TECHNOLOGY, US-GLOBAL-MARKETS 

Facebook has spent the past few days in round-the-clock conversations with advertisers, trying to persuade them to come back to the platform with the promise of modest changes to address concerns that the social network profits from hate and outrage.

But advertisers and the agencies they work with say they are still negotiating. And they say they are so far unimpressed with promises to better police hate speech, including labeling some politicians’ posts when they break the company’s policies. On Tuesday, when the civil rights groups that organized the efforts expect to sit down with chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, they plan to push for a rash of changes, including adding a C-suite-level executive dedicated to ensuring that the company’s policies don’t contribute to racism and radicalization.

More than 750 companies, including Coca-Cola, Hershey and Unilever, have already temporarily paused their advertising on Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram. More companies have joined the movement every day, with recent additions including Walgreens, Best Buy, Ford and Adidas. More than 200 advertisers joined in the past 24 hours.

Kerri Pollard, senior vice president of the membership platform Patreon – which is pulling all of its ads from Facebook and Instagram – said that the recent string of concessions still did little to address the company’s core concern: Zuckerberg’s characterization of free speech. The Facebook CEO has said he believes that social platforms should not fact-check politicians.

“Until he softens that, which would affect that entire business internally and externally, we’re not going to feel comfortable returning to the platform,” Pollard said. Patreon in 2018 booted far-right personalities off its platform in response to criticism.

But fact-checking politicians could have wide-ranging consequences, too. Facebook’s business model depends on engagement: The more time people spend viewing content on the platform, and the more they click and interact with others, the more they are exposed to advertising in Facebook’s scrolling news feed. Critics have argued that divisive and emotional content spreads more rapidly, particularly in like-minded private Facebook groups. That outrage is built into Facebook’s ability to profit.

The boycott is the largest flare-up in a long-simmering battle between advertisers and social platforms over who gets to control what content the ads pop up next to. The campaign, which was triggered by Facebook allowing content that organizers said could incite violence against protesters, represents the most substantive effort to date to sanction the social network, which commands the second-largest share of the U.S. digital ad market behind Google.

Facebook spokeswoman Ruchika Budhraja said in a statement that it invests billions every year to keep users safe and works with outside experts to update its policies.

“We’ve opened ourselves up to a civil rights audit, and we have banned 250 white supremacist organizations from Facebook and Instagram,” she said. “We know we have more work to do, and we’ll continue to work with civil rights groups, [the Global Alliance for Responsible Media], and other experts to develop even more tools, technology and policies to continue this fight.”

Still, the initiative probably won’t affect Facebook’s bottom line. The company has 8 million advertisers, which generated almost all of its approximately $70 billion in ad revenue last year. Most are small businesses.

“Given Facebook’s colossal scandals and rare repercussions to revenue, the advertisers’ boycott is a body blow that will decimate Facebook’s top line. I expect to see a revenue bleed out of more than $7.5 billion in 2020,” said Eric Schiffer, chairman and chief executive of the Patriarch Organization and Reputation Management Consultants.

Zuckerberg appears to have to dug in. He told employees last week at a company meeting that he wasn’t going to “change our policies or our approach on anything because of a threat to a small percent of our revenue, or to any percent of our revenue,” according to the Information.

Facebook has been meeting and talking with advertisers “almost every minute of every day,” said a senior executive of a major ad agency who, like others for this story, spoke on the condition of anonymity because the company works closely with Facebook. Another ad industry executive who participated in meetings with Facebook said she came out disappointed.

The company is “slow and blame-sharing, acting like they are just the platform and society itself is full of bad actors,” she said. She added that it is also blaming rivals YouTube and Twitter for their own practices over hate speech.

The reckoning goes beyond Facebook. A recent survey of nearly 60 companies by the World Federation of Advertisers found that about a third were likely to halt ad spending across social media due to hate speech, while 40 percent were considering doing so. Companies including Coca-Cola, Verizon and Unilever say they are reconsidering their ad spending not just on Facebook, but on all social media platforms.

Some skeptics say it’s convenient timing for the advertisers, many of which are already cutting their marketing budgets amid a downturn in consumer spending.

The campaign against Facebook first emerged amid a national conversation on race sparked by the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minnesota. Organizers said that Facebook’s platform in particular was providing a forum for violent militia groups with plans to attack protesters. Some self-described members of those groups have been arrested in recent weeks for carrying weapons to protests and for allegedly planning to commit violent acts.

“It was the killing of George Floyd that told us that we needed to move,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, one of the civil rights groups behind the campaign.

“It was an obvious moment to say, you can’t talk about race in your news release but not stand for racial justice in your product,” he said, referring to social media companies publicly sharing support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Outdoor apparel company North Face was the first to join, followed by industry peers Patagonia and R.E.I. Those companies are known for taking stances on social issues.

“The stakes are too high to sit back and let the company continue to be complicit in spreading disinformation and fomenting fear and hatred,” Patagonia tweeted on June 21 as it joined the #StopHateForProfit campaign.

The campaign’s demands are broad and aim to address a host of grievances, including the removal of Facebook groups dedicated to white supremacy, militia movements, Holocaust denialism, vaccine misinformation and climate denialism. The campaign also asks that Facebook end its policy of exempting politicians from its hate speech guidelines and hire a C-suite executive.

“We’ve been down this road with Facebook so many times,” said Jade Magnus Ogunnaike, who is leading the campaign for the racial justice group Color of Change, noting that the boycott effort was a response to years of “fruitless” private meetings with Facebook staff as well as Zuckerberg. “At this point, we have reached an impasse.”

Other brands joined after outreach from civil rights groups and their supporters, including Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, whose representatives contacted the head of the Anti-Defamation League recently to ask how they could help, said a spokesman for the organization.

The organizers of the boycott were also concerned about a post by President Trump, who appeared to endorse violence when he invoked a racially divisive phrase that dates to the civil rights era to describe the potential involvement of the U.S. military in the Minnesota protests. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he said on Twitter.

Facebook refused to take down the president’s post, despite widespread protests by employees and outsiders, while Twitter slapped a warning label on it, noting that it violated the company’s policies prohibiting incitement to violence. Snapchat stopped promoting the president’s account.

Some smaller companies like Patreon that joined the boycott are an example of businesses that largely built on the ability of Facebook and others to help target specific groups of consumers.

As advertising migrated online over the past couple of decades from print and other media, advertisers lost control over the tone of the material alongside which their ads appeared. On social media, an ad could appear next to a racist post or one by a terrorist organization.

In 2017, Verizon, Walmart, Pepsi and other major brands suspended their ads on YouTube after reports that they had appeared alongside objectionable content promoting extremist or racist views. Last year, some advertisers boycotted YouTube after they saw their ads appear next to predatory and exploitative activity. As a result of the 2017 boycott, YouTube changed its policies and invested heavily in tools to give advertisers more control.

Katia Beauchamp, the co-founder and chief executive of the beauty box subscription company Birchbox, said the company, which is participating in the boycott, has committed to decreasing its ad spending with Facebook and Instagram for the rest of the year and is “aggressively” exploring other avenues for advertising. She called the decision a matter of “legacy.”

“What we’re most focused on is profiting from perpetuating prejudice, racism and hate,” Beauchamp said. “We’re not as focused on any reparations based on where our advertising shows up.”

Facebook and other social media companies have extensive policies prohibiting hate speech, graphic violence and calls for violence, harassment and other ills, and have hired thousands of content moderators to enforce those policies. But the companies also give wide latitude to political expression across the board and have been reluctant to listen to organizer complaints. Objectionable content has spread as a result, causing flare-ups with advertisers.

Facebook has offered modest concessions to the boycott. At a town hall on June 26, Zuckerberg announced that the company would attach labels to some politicians’ posts. In his most explicit terms to date, he said that it would take down posts by anyone who incited violence or suppressed voting rights and would label posts by politicians that break its other policies. The company has long had a policy that has allowed the spread of misinformation by politicians.

Facebook on Monday also agreed to an external audit of how it polices hate speech, a specific request by the boycott’s organizers. Zuckerberg will meet with them next week, the Anti-Defamation League said. Other organizers include Color of Change, the NAACP and Common Sense.

In correspondence with advertisers and journalists, Facebook has cited a European Union report on hate speech that found that Facebook assessed more hate speech reports in 24 hours than Twitter or YouTube. Twitter spokesman Brian Poliakoff confirmed that it is also consulting with advertisers after Unilever said it would boycott all social media. YouTube did not respond to a request for comment.

Kevin Urrutia, co-founder of Voy Media, an ad agency specializing in Facebook ads, said most businesses are so reliant on Facebook that it’s almost a nonissue: Less than 10 percent of his clients are participating in the boycott or are concerned about their relationships with the company. The other 90 percent hope it could result in cheaper ad purchases, he said.

“We have lots of clients that are pulling budget out this time of year,” he said. “It could just be a matter of companies readjusting the budgets and using it as a way to get credibility with customers.”