Europe has no tech giants of its own. In fact, it’s only starting to build its single digital market. So the US probe into how Silicon Valley platforms are used as Trojan horses by foreign autocracies serves as a groundbreaking exercise.
Marietje Schaake, a Dutch MEP, notes that “the digital revolution has led to a redistribution of power, but not to a redistribution of accountability and oversight”. She adds: “The global tech companies are the new sovereigns, but are designed to maximise profit – not democracy.” She’s calling for “digital democratic conventions” that might help set up rules.
None of this is simple. But if there’s a lesson to be drawn from the US hearings, it is that the law of the jungle rules in social media. That has massive implications. With Europe’s populist wave still pounding the continent, it is high time for us, too, to find solutions. After all, if Russian troll farms can impersonate Black Lives Matter activists and white supremacists in the US, what can they be up to in Europe? And who’s looking into this?
The spread of misinformation and propaganda online has exploded partly because of the way the advertising systems of large digital platforms such as Google or Facebook have been designed to hold people’s attention.
“People are being distorted by very finely trained AIs that figure out how to distract them,” said Tim Berners-LeeBritish computer scientist, inventor of the World Wide Web.
In some cases, these platforms offer users who create content a cut of advertising revenue. The financial incentive drove Macedonians teenagers with “no political skin in the game” to generate political clickbaitWeb content whose main goal is to entice users to click on a link to go to a certain webpage or video fake news that was distributed on Facebook and funded by revenue from Google’s automated advertising engine Google AdSenseProgram that allows publishers in the Google Network to serve automatic text, image, and video, that are targeted to site content and audience.
“The system is failing. The way ad revenue works with clickbaitWeb content whose main goal is to entice users to click on a link to go to a certain webpage or video is not fulfilling the goal of helping humanity promote truth and democracy. So I am concerned,” said Tim Berners-LeeBritish computer scientist, inventor of the World Wide Web, who in March called for the regulation of online political advertising to prevent it from being used in “unethical ways”.
Donald Trump has warned Russia in an incendiary tweet to “get ready” for US missile strikes against its ally SyriaRepublic in Western Asia in response to Saturday’s chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town outside Damascus.
“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at SyriaRepublic in Western Asia,” the US president tweeted. “Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”
In an instant reply the Russian foreign ministryRussian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said “smart missiles should fly towards terrorists, and not elected governments”.
Russia and the western alliesGrouping of the victorious countries of World War II were unable to compromise on a concerted international response to the use of chemical weapons at the UN on Tuesday evening, after a diplomatic crisis erupted over an attack on DoumaCity in Syria on 7 April that killed more than 45 people.
EdinburghCapital city of Scotland, UK and local government council area is a city of rises and falls. Her crags, wynds, vennels and vaults entice you up crooked steps with good reason. Get some height, and you’ll really see her. Medieval tenements clustering on a glacial tail. The geometric perfection of rational GeorgianSet of architectural styles current between 1720 and 1840 streets. A lick of blue where North SeaSea in Europe meets sky. Gilded by summer sun, this city sings, but she wears her storm clouds effortlessly. Brooding under a blackened sky with the malting sweetness of hops on the air, EdinburghCapital city of Scotland, UK and local government council area gets into your bones.
With the city’s rich history, it’s easy to lose yourself unearthing the past. But beyond the cobblestonesNatural building material based on cobble-sized stones, and is used for pavement roads, streets, and buildings, a modern city aches to tell its tale. This capital’s present is just as relevant, if you know where to look. Here you can go urban foraging with the Edinburgh Larder, find a fetish club in a cave, welcome May Day with fire, or sit in Scotland’s first cat cafe with a fat Persian called Guillaume. EdinburghCapital city of Scotland, UK and local government council area is losing its stiff upper lip, and embracing a world beyond bygone heroes and royal ties.
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was authorized by a top Justice Department official to investigate whether Paul Manafort, the onetime chairman of Donald Trump45th President of the United States’s presidential campaign, illegally coordinated with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election, new court filings show.
Manafort, who was indicted last year on felony charges related to his work in UkraineCountry in Eastern Europe before joining Trump’s campaign, has not been charged with any crimes connected to the presidential race. But a partly redacted memo included in court filings late Monday night revealed that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein authorized Mueller to pursue allegations that Manafort colluded with Russia in 2016.
The new filings show that Rosenstein specifically approved lines of investigation for the special counsel in an August 2017 memo. A version of the memo filed in court showed that Rosenstein signed off on an investigation of whether Manafort “committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials” and of Manafort’s work as an international political consultant in UkraineCountry in Eastern Europe before joining Trump’s campaign.
Additional sections of the 2 1 / 2 -page memo were blacked out by prosecutors, indicating that Rosenstein authorized other lines of investigation that remain a secret.
Cabernet isn’t the most obvious pawn in a trade war between the United States and China. Airplanes and their parts are the leading American export to China. SoybeansSpecies of plant and wheatCereal grain grow in Trump country.
But China’s selection of wine as a target of retaliatory tariffs did not surprise Michael Honig, a winemaker in the Napa Valley, where the tariff would hit hardest.
“The reason the government realizes they should penalize us is, we are branded,” said Mr. Honig, the president of Honig Vineyard and Winery. “It’s hard to go after a wheatCereal grain grower, because who is a wheatCereal grain grower? It’s a commodity. We are not a commodity.”
The news was an unwelcome turn of events for Mr. Honig and many California winemakers, who have spent years trying to carve out a place in the hearts of wealthy Chinese consumers. That hard work has earned them a prized sliver of what is becoming one of the fastest-growing markets for wine imports.
China’s imports of American wine reached $82 million last year — not including bottles entering duty-free through Hong Kong — a sevenfold increase in the last decade. But growing visibility may have turned Napa wine into easy prey.
Jeremy Corbyn has said he “learned at a lot” at a PassoverJewish holiday celebrating the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Egypt event hosted by a leftwing Jewish group highly critical of mainstream Jewish bodies, after he was rebuked by MPs for attending.Political party in the United Kingdom
The Labour leader took part in the seder, the traditional meal of the Jewish festival, organised by Jewdas, which last week accused the Jewish Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council and Jewish Labour Movement of “playing a dangerous game with people’s lives” by organising protests against Corbyn’s handling of anti-semitismPrejudice or hatred of, or discrimination against Jews in Labour.
The group – which runs alternative Jewish parties, events and a satirical website – said in a statement last week over the Enough Is Enough protests that much of the furore over antisemitism in Labour was “the work of cynical manipulations by people whose express loyalty is to the Conservative party and the right wing of the Labour party”.
Speaking during a visit to SwindonTown in Wiltshire, England, Corbyn said the event was “a celebration of PassoverJewish holiday celebrating the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Egypt, which I celebrate with young Jewish people from my own community and my own constituency”.
“It was very interesting talking to a lot of young people about their experiences of modern Britain and I learned a lot. Isn’t that a good thing?”