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Facebook could hand over identity data for users suspected of hate speech

first_imgHate speech has been a nasty problem on social media. Graphic by Pixabay; illustration by CNET Facebook has struck a deal with France to turn over identity information on users suspected of posting hate speech on the platform, Reuters reported Tuesday. Digital Affairs Minister Cédric O said he reached an agreement with the social media site, according to the report. Facebook has also been using artificial intelligence technology to combat the increasing problems of fake accounts, fake news and hate speech. Between October 2018 and March 2019, Facebook took down more than 3 billion fake accounts, estimating that around 5% of monthly active accounts are fake. The deal with France came after talks between French President Emmanuel Macron and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Reuters said, adding that Facebook already hands over identity data like IP addresses to French authorities for users suspected of terrorist activity. The hate speech deal was made last week in a meeting between O and Nick Clegg, Facebook head of global affairs, the report said. “It means that the judicial process will be able to run normally,” O told Reuters. “It’s really very important, they’re only doing it for France.” A Facebook spokesperson told CNET that the company will “scrutinize every order” it receives from French authorities “and push back if is overbroad, inconsistent with human rights or legally defective.” “As a matter of course, we will no longer refer French law enforcement authorities to the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty process to request basic information in criminal hate speech cases,” the spokesperson added in an emailed statement Tuesday afternoon. Mobile Mobile Apps Politics Online Inside Facebook’s election war room Facebook: New AI tech spots hate speech faster Twitter, Facebook ban far-right figures for fake accounts, hate speech Facebook takes down more than 3 billion fake accounts Share your voice Facebook combats hate speech 13:29 Now playing: Watch this: 41 What Facebook and Google say they’re doing to combat… 9 Photos Comments Tags The AI being used by the social media giant’s engineers is called self-supervised learning and enables the tech behind the site to adapt faster to spotting new forms of hate speech. “It’s really easy to lose hope, to pack up and go home,” Mike Schroepfer, Facebook chief technology officer, said in May. “But we can’t do that. We’re here to bring a better future to people, with technology.” Originally published June 25, 11:25 a.m. PT.   Update, 4:09 p.m.: Adds comment from Facebook. Facebooklast_img read more

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Texas Senate Passes TwoYear Budget With Money For Property Tax Cuts —

first_img Share The Senate’s spending plan also contains a provision directing the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to cut costs by $900 million. If included in the final version signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, it would mark the sixth consecutive two-year budget to order the health commission to eke out savings from its operations.Nelson said that without cost-cutting measures, the health and human services portion of the budget was “going to continue to crowd out other priorities.”“We must continue looking for ways to have more efficient use of our limited resources,” she said.Emma Platoff, Aliyya Swaby and Shannon Najmabadi contributed to this report.This piece was originally published in The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.  Juan Figueroa/The Texas TribuneSenate Finance Chair Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, said the state funds set aside in the budget for property tax reform “will conform to whatever solution for tax relief is agreed to this session.”The Texas Senate on Tuesday approved a two-year, $248 billion spending plan that includes $2.7 billion for a nebulous goal of property tax “relief” — but with seven weeks left in the 2019 legislative session, the upper chamber has yet to rally behind a way to spend those funds.The Senate budget also includes a $6.3 billion boost for public schools — about $4 billion of which would increase teachers’ and librarians’ annual salaries by $5,000, with $2.3 billion set aside for unspecified aid to school districts. And it orders the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to cut Medicaid expenses by nearly $1 billion, without identifying a way of doing so.“We must take action this session to provide meaningful, lasting property tax relief,” said state Sen. Jane Nelson, a Flower Mound Republican and the Senate’s lead budget writer.The $2.7 billion in state funds set aside to pay for local property tax cuts “will conform to whatever solution for tax relief is agreed to this session,” she said.The Senate passed the two-year spending plan unanimously. The vote sets the stage for negotiations between the two chambers; the House unanimously approved its own version of a spending plan last month.Both chambers approved budgets with similar price tags, and both have agreed to pump an additional $9 billion in state funds into the public education portion of the budget. But crucial differences remain between the proposals favored by House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.The House backed a plan that would would lower school district tax rates statewide by 4 cents per $100 of taxable value, enough to reduce the annual property taxes paid by the owner of a $250,000 home by about $100. Texans in higher-tax school districts would see greater tax reductions under the proposal, with relief offered to both homeowners and business owners.The Senate, meanwhile, has offered up a host of property tax proposals that remain stalled at various stages of the legislative process. A bill by state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, would increase the state’s homestead exemption, pending approval by voters. It would shave off $10,000 from a homeowner’s taxable value, reducing annual school district taxes by roughly $100, depending on local tax rates. That bill was left pending in committee.Another Bettencourt proposal would force a school district to hold an election if it seeks to increase the tax rate by more than 2.5 percent from one year to the next. That bill, whose cost is still unknown, according to state officials, has not yet been heard in committee.“There’s multiple permutations,” Bettencourt told The Texas Tribune last week, after the House passed its proposal to lower school district property tax rates as part of a massive public education overhaul. “That’s what’s called the legislative process.”While the Senate is aggressively pushing a proposal that would limit the growth of property tax revenues raised by cities and counties, it would have only minimal effects on the state budget compared with proposals that rein in school district taxes. That’s because the state shares a responsibility with local governments to pay for public schools. School district taxes make up the majority of total property tax revenues raised throughout Texas.Earlier Tuesday, Bonnen told a Lubbock talk-radio host there wasn’t much daylight between the two chambers on property taxes.“On this issue, I don’t think you’re going to see significant differential between the House and Senate,” Bonnen said. “The reality of it is we’re all pretty close on where we’re going.”Over roughly three hours, Senators touted a host of other priorities funded in their budget, including $230 million to maintain health benefits for retired teachers, $157 million to maintain graduate medical education opportunities for medical school graduates, and more than $1 billion across state agencies for cybersecurity and technological improvements.last_img read more

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