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tv   Britains Coronavirus Gamble -...  BBC News  July 22, 2020 3:30am-4:00am BST

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this is bbc news. the headlines: in his first coronavirus briefing for weeks, president trump has sought to defend his administration's handling of the pandemic and urged people to wear face masks if they can't maintain a safe social distance. he acknowledged that the outbreak is likely to get worse before it gets better. russian attempts to interfere in the uk have been described as ‘the new normal‘ in a long—awaited report by british lawmakers. mps on a key house of commons committee describe the uk as one of russia's top targets and criticise the government for "badly underestimating" the threat and the response it required. the us secretary of state mike pompeo has said washington wants to build a coalition of like—minded allies to counter, what he called, the threat from china. he was visiting london,
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meeting prime minister borisjohnson and foreign secretary dominic raab. now on bbc news — click. this week: cleaning up the social network. getting your mask on. and... breaking bad with giancarlo esposito. hey, welcome to click and wear a mask. that's the advice you are given, just do it, it's not a problem. hey, welcome to click and wear a mask. that's the advice you are given, just do it, it's not a problem. in fact in some part of the world it is just the norm anyway. so do it.
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hey, lara. hello. i hope you have been bending the metal bit over your nose, now i know about it seems really obvious. absolutely right and i didn't know that, until recently, and it does help it to sit in place so it is very useful information. it does help but it still doesn't fit perfectly although i may have a solution for that later in the programme. it has been a busy week in the world of tech. the uk government has decided to remove all of huawei's sg kit from the country by 2027. this is a decision with political ramifications and it will also likely delay the rollout of 56 here by two or three years. huawei says the move was bad news for anyone in the uk with a mobile phone. and then there is facebook. not just a place for staying in touch with people, but also somewhere where you can share the news that you think is important. and the opinions that you want others to hear about. even if they are unfair, untrue or offensive.
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which often they are. every social network is battling the issue with trying to moderate content, and for facebook as the biggest, well, there is an issue of even more influence, and even more responsibility to clean up its act. that is exactly what it says it is trying to do. they are setting up an independent oversight board to help it with some of the trickiest issues on the platform. in a few minutes i will be talking to one of the members of that oversight board, but first, here is james clayton with a reminder of how facebook got here. there was a time before russian bots and cambridge analytica and deep fakes when the internet was seen as a more innocent place. a liberator. despots and tyrants would no longer stifle criticism. freedom and free speech would abound.
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and initially, social media was seen through that lens as well. the arab spring, which was in part organised through online platforms, seemed to back that up. but that spring soon turned into a nightmare, and thousands of miles away in myanmar, facebook was about to get a sharp reality check. facebook is wildly popular in that country, but hate exploded against the country's rohingya muslims on the platform in the run—up to the ethnic cleansing there. and in the 2016 us elections and the brexit vote, it was heavily criticised for allowing voters to be targeted with ultra—personalised ads. in the last few years, facebook has found itself desperately trying to escape a mounting list of criticism. for example, that not enough was being done to take down hateful islamaphobic, racist and anti—semitic content.
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i think mail—in voting is a terrible thing. trump tweets like this one incorrectly talking up postal voting fraud were left up. critics also argue that conspiracy theories, such as those saying coronavirus was man—made, a so—called ‘plandemic‘, were not taken down quickly enough. and during the george floyd protests, one video calling george floyd "a horrible human being" was one of the most watched videos during the protests. this is the company defending that. we have been working in this area in particular for many years, investing millions in teams and systems to improve this area, and we have made substantial changes, particularly as we look at the area of hate speech, we now, our system can detect and remove 90% of that hate speech automatically. that all leads us to where we are now. criticism has turned into action.
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a stop hate for profit campaign has led to hundreds of companies pulling their ads from facebook in the month ofjuly. the technology that can bring us into the future, which is in so many ways dragging us into the past, they have created a set of incentive structures and algorithms that incentivise people to spread hate, that monetise hateful, violent content. here is facebook‘s defence, though. some of these decisions whether to take down content or not are hard. at what point does clamping down on dangerous views become an illiberal erosion of free speech? it is a question facebook doesn't really want to have to answer. that is why facebook has set up an oversight committee. think of it as a court where the defendant is the facebook video or user, the committee is the judge and jury. we believe that facebook alone should not be deciding what is or isn't acceptable online.
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which is why we have been working to find a new way for people to appeal certain content decisions. they will decide whether political candidates‘ ads have gone too far, what is and is not fake news and the line between hate and the right for people to articulate their views. considering more than 2 billion people actively use facebook and instagram, this committee has huge power, but only in theory. facebook is broadly trying to move in the right direction, but facebook doesn't want to be regulated, and facebook, as it stands, has a lot more to lose if trump were to bring in legislation. so the more facebook can avoid being regulated, obviously, the better. things like the oversight committee and the audit and all these things help them do this. others, though, believe that the committee will have no actual teeth because of the power mark zuckerberg still has. able to give any
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feedback they want to... because mark controls the organisation. so these oversight boards, people putting themselves on committees, putting their years of work sort of on display, i think it is a huge mistake for these individuals, because unless they are going to change the infrastructure and change the sort of incentives, then you are not actually going to change how things roll out. it is like saying you are a member of congress but not actually having a vote on the floor. that was james clayton, and i am joined online now by one of the members of the new facebook oversight board. this is alan rusbridger, the ex— editor—in—chief of the guardian newspaper in the uk. you are one of 20 members initially announced on this board. are you happy with the mix of members that there are? that is a very interesting mix in terms of geographical location and diversity of outlook, diversity of ethnicity. you have got an interesting bunch
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of lawyers, human rights activists, academics, journalists, troublemakers... he laughs it is interesting, if you want a quiet life, you would not have chosen this board. what did facebook say to you to persuade you to take this job? we are facing a crisis of truth, of... of trust, of knowing what is true and what is not true. and as somebody who... kind of passionately believed in the dream and the opportunity that the internet offered, it has been very sad to see it get into a certain degree of trouble. so the idea of having a kind of independent board of people who could help what are basically a bunch of highly talented engineers think through the moral, legal, editorial, ethical considerations that they have to wrestle with, if we could pull that off that would be an incredibly valuable thing to do, and i know lots of people are sceptical about whether we will, but it is certainly worth a try.
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are you paid by facebook? yeah. and that obviously is going to give you an extra challenge when people try and decide whether this is actually a genuine attempt by facebook to regulate itself. when i say i am paid by facebook, what facebook has done is set up a separate, like a trust, and although for the first few meetings there were facebook people in the room, there are now no facebook people in the room, and it feels as though we are now an independent entity. so have you any idea at the moment what kind of things you will be looking at?
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i think facebook will come to us and say look, here is a particular thorny problem that we would appreciate your guidance on. i think users expect that there will be a big demand from users of facebook. of course the number of potential individual complaints from users will be far too high for such a small board. it is most likely that instead they will be asked to advise on more general procedures. and at that point, facebook itself will also have a say in whether to implement any changes. if it turns out that facebook consistently ignores those kind of recommendations then it would send very clear signals. but as i said, that is not the sense that i get of the relationship that
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facebook wants, or why this board was set up in the first place. are you confident that you can make the kind of difference you want to, or at the moment is it still, you are finding out whether this is possible at all? it would be a foolish person who went into this saying that we are going to crack this. it may not be possible to crack, but it seems to be better to have a go than some of the alternatives. the alternatives are either going to be to bring in some kind of regulation, but what does that mean? does that mean turkish regulation, pakistani regulation, saudi regulation? you have multiple forms of regulation, which means you are losing some kind of utopian dream of enabling people for whom companies like facebook are a lifeline. but the problems facebook has go far beyond what is on the platform. like some other social networks, the biggest criticism of it is in the way it has designed its algorithm, which prioritises clicks for revenue, and pushes more extreme content to the top to get more engagement. if the board could say well actually, there is a more important
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metric which is x, which should affect your algorithm, that would be an interesting conversation to start getting into. is it important that we have our own advisors who can say actually, well, they could do that, and tell them to do it. because we don't want to make recommendations that simply won't make sense, or unachievable. do you know when this will be up and running at the moment, because there is a question over whether we'll be in place in time for the elections in the us in november. whether we will be there and operational and making key decisions on some of the hot potatoes around the election, i don't know. it would be damaging to the project to come out with half baked recommendations now before we are ready. these are huge, intractable problems, and i know everybody wants them sorted out by next tuesday
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but i can't think of any body of people that is going to find these easy problems to solve. hypothetically, if you get two or three years down the road and you find that they were just wanting this, as you call it a figleaf, would you all... resign? if after two or three years it is evident that we're not having much impact, then... i guess a number of board members would think, is this really, worth it, and yeah, is it worth it? hello and welcome to the week in tech. it was the week that one of america's oldest fast food chains, white castle, announced it would trial the flippy robot in one of its chicago outlet in september. chinese company oppo announced 125 watt superfast charging for mobile phones with the possibility of fully charging a battery in 20 minutes.
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and researchers at carnegie mellon showed off a new technique for robots to learn how to grab shiny and transparent objects using a new colour camera system. it was also the week that high—profile twitter accounts were compromised in an apparent bitcoin scam. twitter accounts affected included president obama, joe biden, elon musk, kim kardashian, kanye west and bill gates. twitter said it was aware of a security incident impacting accounts and were investigating it. the body of tech ceo and entrepreneur fahim saleh was found apparently decapitated and dismembered in a flat in new york. mr saleh was the founder of bangladesh—based pathao and nigerian motorbike—sharing startup gokada. mit csail team demonstrated a robotic gripper with soft, sensistive fingers handling cables with dexterity. the team anticipates future applications could include surgical stitches and tying knots. finally, another robot companion made its debut this week. meet stretch rei.
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designed by an ex—google employee, the 23—kilo robot can help with housework and even play with the dog. stretch is the first machine released by hello robot. now i don't know about you, but as face coverings are becoming a normal part of life, i have struggled to find one that fits and stays on. this slides off my nose, this one is baggy around the ears. so could a personalised 3d printed one like this be the solution? out of the covid we have seen a few companies coming up with 3d printed solutions but one common problem we find is that these masks are not customised so they are a universal size and shape. not these, however. this imperial college london research project re—purposes custom—fit 3d printed masks, a concept they were originally working on for people
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suffering with sleep apnoea. now they hope to create perfect fitting respirators at a time when it seems we could be wearing them a lot. and all you need to get started is a smartphone. first i need to do is scan my face. there are a couple of ios apps that seem to work to do this. the first is scandy pro. i'm going to have to hold very still. although it was a little fiddly to get the image right, i'm told that this app is especially accurate. there's also bellus3d which i thought was simpler to use and virtual me did look pretty realistic. i guess i'll just find out how the mask fits when it actually arrives. currently you do need an iphone 10 or above to carry out this process but alternatives are being looked into, including some for android users.
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job done. you then upload your scan to the mensura mask website. specially—created code is used to extract the necessary data and that is sent to autodesk‘s fusion 360 platform to tweak and rebuild the model to fit your face. this should provide you with a free file of your mask to print. now assuming you do not have a 3d printer in your living room, there are plenty of companies out there that can print it for you at the cost of around a fiver. but while we might all like a better—fitting mask that does not steam up our glasses, the real aim of this project is a much bigger picture. right now, the masks that you can wear are just as good as a face covering if not better. but as we get better, as we get the technology more mature, we will go through the certification process to check that the materials are safe
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and check the filters work properly. of course, the outcome of each individual mask will notjust depend on an accurate scan but also the quality of the 3d printing. so the mask has arrived. can we have the grand unveiling? ta—da! wow! that is quite space age, actually. how does it feel? how does it fit? it definitely fits well. i can feel it is absolutely moulded to my face and i think it would be ok with glasses, no steaming up. but bizarrely, my ears keep popping. i can tell it is really airtight because your voice hardly makes it out of the mask. can you breathe? that is a filter in the end, isn't it? it is and these filters need changing every day but they are standard ones you can buy online and the whole mask can be fully disinfected. is it comfortable? it certainly fitjust right
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and the edges do feel quite soft so i think if i worked in a job where i had to wear this all day then i could see the benefit. but it does feel a little over the top to just go and buy some groceries. right. let's move on. now because the e3 videogames mega trade show was cancelled this year, games companies have been doing their launches at online events instead. and last week saw one of the biggest online showcases, the ubisoft forward event but it coincided with three of the company's executives having to resign over an investigation into sexual misconduct. for years the gaming world has been overshadowed by examples of abuse and toxic behaviour. and we report now on how it is not just the pandemic disrupting the videogames industry. games megapublisher ubisoft is currently mired in an abuse scandal centred around its studios. the company put out a tweet before its latest online showcase,
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acknowledging that it would not be addressing these issues during its event. more on this later. at the event itself, the company did reveal the casting of giancarlo esposito, of breaking bad and better call saul fame, as the villain in the latest far cry title. esposito has been cast as a dictator called anton castillo, the ruler of a fictious island in the first—person shooter far cry 6. the player assumes the role of a guerilla fighter attempting to take down the dictator and his government from the island's jungles to the streets of its capital city. i spoke with the actor about donning a performance capture rig to create a villain who is more than a searingly chewy end of level boss. you have played several characters in recent years who had a quiet menace about them. did you bring that to this game or did you go in a different direction? i always believe that quiet menaces and a reflective menace is the most frightening menace.
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so you doubt me. good art often makes us think about our world and what is going on in our own lives. do you think this game has the potential to affect the player in that way? oh, my goodness! what a great question. i actually do. i feel like this storyline is really powerful. and without giving anything away, it is about relationships. father and son. ifeel like everything i do has some sort of social imprint. my guess is that some of the stuff i thank god that i have been involved with, such as better call saul, the show i do, and breaking bad, godfather of harlem, those statements are in these projects. and there is certainly a statement you can find in this game. what did you think of the virtual version of you created for the game? i was blown away. i sat there amazed. i literally argued, told them
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they were full of garbage! if that is me, why not just film me?! we all go boom. we are yet to see any gameplay but the title is slated for release in february 2021. but recent real—world events at ubisoft have cast a shadow over the compa ny‘s activities. over the past couple of weeks, many women and other people working in the games industry have come forward with stories about workplace bullying or harassment and that runs the gamut from toxic workplace culture right through to sexual harassment and quite early in this wave, ubisoft‘s name started coming up again and again. this has led to dismissals and resignation with two senior executives resigning in a third leaving their post. ubisoft gave us this comment. these recent claims describe workplace behaviours that are simply unacceptable. we do not and will not tolerate abuse, harassment or discrimination
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ofany kind. upon learning of these allegations we immediately launched independent investigations and have already announced a series of measures aimed at driving profound changes within the company as well as several significant personnel changes. the problem with a lot of creative industries, not just games, is where you have superstar creative people who are seen as untouchable and who are seen as indispensable to their companies and sometimes that can create an environment in which those people feel like they can get away with anything. ubisoft is not the only publisher with workplace problems. last year riot games came into the spotlight. there was a lawsuit launched against them by ex—employees alleging sexist discrimination at that workplace. that's caused big ripples throughout the game industry. as we approach the next console generation and videogames achieve ever greater technical and artistic heights, it seems the games industry still has work to do with how it
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conducts its affairs in the real world. that was mark and that's it for this week. yes, as ever you can keep up with the team throughout the week on youtube, instagram, facebook and twitter at bbcclick. thank you for watching. mask up if you're asked and we will see you next week. bye! theme music hello. well, for some of us, the skies have remained clear but overall a very cloudy picture on the way, at least for the northern half of the uk during the course of wednesday, and on top of that, we've got some patchy rain as well. and you can see where the clouds coming from, off the atlantic
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as it often does. it's spreading across northern ireland and into scotland. eventually, it will engulf northern england, too. to the south of that, however, i think some sunshine in the morning and in fact, it will end up being a pretty decent day for the channel counties, certainly for london — perhaps east anglia, too. temperatures could get up into the mid—20s in one or two spots but for northern england, scotland, and northern ireland at times overcast, and there will be a little bit of rain, too. and temperatures will be mostly in the mid or the high teens. now, this is the following night, so early hours of thursday, and you can see that cloudy theme continues. if anything, further patchy rain streams in on a south—westerly breeze off the atlantic. and it's going to be mild early on thursday morning, around 13, 14, 15 degrees. now, this is thursday's weather map and quite a complicated structure of weather fronts sitting on top of the uk. that basically means a lot of cloud and outbreaks of rain. and you can see dumfries and galloway, the lake district, the north—west of england, certainly wales getting some rain, too. now later in the day
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on thursday, it does look as though it will brighten up across parts of scotland and northern ireland and there might even be some sunshine there across the south—east in the afternoon, too. that was thursday, this is friday. and on friday, we are actually in between weather systems. so, one moves away towards the east. another one waiting in the wings here and approaching ireland during the afternoon with the bulk of the uk during the course of friday actually enjoying a pretty bright if not in places sunny day with temperatures into the low 20s. now, here's the weekend. at this stage, it is looking unsettled. you can't miss that — low pressure with weather fronts moving across the uk, quite a few splodges of blue here moving across the uk and increasing breeze as well, so a pretty unsettled start to the weekend for many of us on saturday. and those temperatures a little lower than the average for the time of the year, especially in the south of the uk. now, there is a possibility things will brighten up at least a little bit by the time we get to sunday but on the whole, an unsettled weekend on the way.
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this is bbc news. welcome if you're watching here in the uk, on pbs in america, or around the globe. i'm mike embley. our top stories: a change in tack as president trump brings his daily virus briefings back. he urges americans to socially distance and wear masks as deaths rise across the us. when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask, get a mask. whether you like the mask or not they have an impact, they'll have an effect, and we need everything we can get. british lawmakers criticise the government for not doing enough to tackle the threat from russia, as their report reveals the uk's one of moscow's top targets. around a dozen people are freed from an armed siege in the ukraine, after the president complies with a hostage taker‘s demand to promote an animal rights


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