• Special Report
  • CHHATTISGARH
  • Loya case: 4 judges’ statements “unimpeachable”, Maharashtra government tells Supreme Court

    New Delhi: The Maharashtra government today told the Supreme Court the statements of four judges, who were with special CBI judge B H Loya on the last day of his life, and had termed his death as “natural”, were “unimpeachable”. Loya, who was hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, had died allegedly of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014 when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter.

    “According to me, statements of four judges (J Kulkarni, J Barde, J Modak and J R R Rathi) are unimpeachable that the death of Loya was natural and unfortunate. “The judges were with Loya since November 29 to December 1, 2014. The statements were signed by the judges. Are not they trustworthy?” senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Maharashtra, told a bench headed by Chief Justice
    Dipak Misra.

    “If you (the court) want to reject the statements of the judges who said that Loya’s death was natural, then it has to be prima facie accepted that they were co-conspirators…,” he told the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.
    Referring to judgements on public interest litigations (PILs), he said the apex court amended its rules and laid down guidelines as to who can file PILs to ensure that motivated petitions are discouraged and not entertained. Alleging that petitioners were “creating castle in the air”, Rohatgi said the PILs cannot be based on unconfirmed and “hearsay” media reports solely, and the courts should verify the credentials of such petitioners.


    Referring to contents of petitions, including those filed by Congress leader Tehseen Poonawala and journalist B S Lone, Rohatgi said they had only relied upon unconfirmed news reports, published November last year onwards, and filed PILs without any further detail and they “are now arguing as if these are murder appeals”.

    “Nobody, including PIL petitioners, did anything for last three years and now they have come out of slumber. They are saying that they want to protect the judiciary. However, they are standing for scandalising the judiciary,” Rohatgi said. “All the petitioners did not do anything on their own. This is just ‘cut-and-paste’ job. There was nothing amiss. The state is fully satisfied. It would be appropriate to bring the curtains down,” he said.

    Attributing motive on the petitioners, Rohatgi said press conferences are being held because the judge concerned was hearing a criminal matter in which a political figure was then accused. “None of them (petitioners) had the courage to read the statements of judges who were with the judge (Loya) like shadow and are the eyewitness of the events,” he said, seeking the case to be closed, unless “the court holds the judges co- conspirators”.

    The judges had given the statements after Police Commissioner (Intelligence) sought permission from the High Court Chief Justice, he said. Some High Court judges, including the then chief justice, had also reached the hospital, he said. About the petition of the Bombay Lawyers Association seeking an independent probe in Loya’s death, he said that the list of its members, bye laws and registration number were not attached.

    “These things are not required in a PIL,” senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the bar body, said. “You have argued Mr Dave. Let me argue… I am not here to have a conversation with you (Dave),” Rohatgi said, adding that the judge had died in their state (Maharashtra). If they had so much information, why no petition was filed in the last three years.

    On the statement of one of the four judges Rathi that ECG was not done on Loya, Rohatgi said judges are laymen so far as medical issues are concerned and reiterated that the ECG was done on the judge at Dande hospital on December 1. As the Judge was declared “dead on arrival”, the doctors at Meditrina Hospital referred the body for post mortem and there was nothing amiss, he said.

    Dave informed the bench that his application, seeking examination of 11 people, including two judges and four family members of Loya, has not been accepted by the apex court registry. Rohatgi would resume arguments on February 16. Earlier, the state government had opposed the pleas for an independent probe into Loya’s death, terming them as “motivated” and based on “yellow journalism”.

    Senior adovate Indira Jaising, appearing for an intervenor, had referred to sequence of events to highlight her submission that a probe was needed to rule out any foul play and alleged a trial court judge in the Sohrabuddin case was transferred in a “tearing hurry”. The bench is hearing pleas including those filed by Congress leader Tehseen Poonawala and Maharashtra-based B S Lone seeking an independent probe into Loya’s death in 2014. Current BJP president Amit Shah was an accused in the Soharabuddin Shaikh case, but was later discharged.

NATIONAL

  • Canadian PM Justin Trudeau visits Mathura wildlife sanctuary

    Lucknow: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday visited Mathura Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Uttar Pradesh and interacted with the its founders and staff members.

    The wildlife sanctuary team discussed with the Canadian Prime Minister the need to create awareness about the plight of Asian elephants.
    Trudeau was accompanied by his wife and three children. Mathura District Magistrate S R Mishra and the SSP Police Swapnil accorded a warm welcome to the Trudeau along with Kartick Satyanarayan and Geeta Seshamani, founders of Wildlife SOS at the Elephant Conservation and Care Center.

    “It is a great honour for Wildlife SOS to have the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sparing his valuable time to see our efforts to protect elephants in collaboration with Forest Department. Our goal is to help conserve and protect elephants,” said Satyanarayan.


    Mishra said that it was an honour that the Prime Minister of Canada visited the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Center. “This center is a wonderful and unexplored area of Mathura. We hope his visit will attract more people to visite here,” he added. SSP Police Swapnil said that the police had learnt about the special request of the Canadian Prime Minister and made all arrangements to ensure his security during his visit to the Elephant Care Center in Mathura.

WORLD

  • Passenger plane crashes in mountains of Iran, killing 66 people

    Tehran: All 66 people on board an Iranian passenger plane were feared dead today after it crashed into the country’s Zagros mountains, with emergency services struggling to locate the wreckage in blizzard conditions.

    Aseman Airlines flight EP3704 left Tehran around 0800 (local time) for the city of Yasuj, some 500 kilometres (300 miles) to the south, the airlines public relations chief Mohammad Tabatabai told state broadcaster IRIB. The ATR-72 twin-engine plane, in service since 1993, disappeared from radar around 45 minutes after takeoff from the capitals Mehrabad airport.

    Emergency services had yet to locate the precise location of the crash. The plane was carrying 60 passengers, including one child, as well as six crew, said Tabatabai. “After searches in the area, unfortunately we were informed that the plane crashed. Unfortunately, our dear ones lost their lives in this incident,” he said. But he later retracted his statement, telling the ISNA news agency: “We still have no access to the spot of the crash and therefore we cannot accurately and definitely confirm the death of all passengers.” There were conflicting reports on the location of the crash site as emergency teams battled severe weather.


    “The rescue and relief teams were sent to the possible area of the crash… but the helicopter could not continue its path due to snow and blizzard,” Jalal Pooranfar, regional head for Iran’s emergency services, told the ISNA news agency. He said teams were being sent by land. “Right now there are five rescue and relief teams of the emergency service in the area. But they still haven’t spotted anything,” said Pooranfar. The Relief and Rescue Organisation of Iran’s Red Crescent said it had also sent 12 teams to the region.

    Aseman currently has a fleet of 36 planes, including at least three ATR-72s that date back to the early 1990s, according to the IRNA news agency. A spokesman for ATR, a subsidiary of Europes Airbus, told AFP in Paris the company was “researching the details” of Sundays crash. President Hassan Rouhani ordered the transport ministry to set up a crisis group to investigate the crash and coordinate rescue efforts, ISNA reported.

    Decades of international sanctions have left Irans airlines with ageing fleets of passenger planes which they have struggled to maintain and modernise. Asemans three Boeing 727-200s are almost as old as the country’s 1979 Islamic revolution, having made their first flights the following year. Iran has suffered multiple aviation disasters, most recently in 2014 when a Sepahan Airlines plane crashed killing 39 people just after take-off from Tehran, narrowly avoiding many more deaths when it plummeted near a busy market.

    Lifting sanctions on aviation purchases was a key clause in the nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers in 2015. Following the deal, Aseman Airlines finalised an agreement to buy 30 Boeing 737 MAX jets for $3 billion (2.4 billion euros) last June, with an option to buy 30 more.

    However, the sale could be scuppered if US President Donald Trump chooses to reimpose sanctions in the coming months, as he has threatened to do. The US has maintained its own sanctions on Iran, blocking almost all trade with the country, but plane manufacturers were given a specific exemption under the nuclear deal.

    The US Treasury Department, which must approve each such sale, has done so for 80 Boeing jets destined for national carrier Iran Air as well as 100 Airbus planes for Iran Air. The first few Airbus jets have already arrived in Tehran. Boeing faces heavy criticism from US lawmakers, who say Iranian airlines have been used to ship weapons and troops to Syria and other conflict zones.

SPORTS

  • It was an ‘absolutely amazing’ week, says new world no 1 Roger Federer

    London: After celebrating his return to the top of the ATP rankings by clinching the Rotterdam Open, 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has insisted that it was an ‘absolutely amazing’ week for him.

    Yesterday, Federer, the oldest man to clinch the world number one spot in tennis, eased past Bulgarian player Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2 to clinch his 97th title at the Rotterdam Open.

    Speaking after his win, Federer revealed that though his goal was to make it to the semi-finals as he wanted to become the oldest man to seal a numero-uno spot, he somehow managed to lift the title.


    “Thank you very very much. What a week it’s been, absolutely amazing. The goal was to make it to the semis but I won the tournament so I am very happy. I would like to thank everybody who has been part of this tournament over the years. Getting the players back and making them feel incredibly welcome,” the Daily Express quoted Federer, as saying.

    Meanwhile, the Swiss star also hailed Dimitrov after a tough week in the Netherlands, adding that he is looking forward to face him ahead in the season.

    “Of course I would also like to congratulate Grigor after a tough week. I hope you feel better tomorrow or tonight already. All the best for the season, keep it up and I’m sure I’ll see you around soon,” he said.

    By becoming the oldest number one male player by defeating Dutch opponent Robin Haase in quarter-finals, the 36-year-old had surpassed eight-time Grand Slam winner Andre Agassi, who previously held the record at 33 years since September 2003.

    Federer first became world number one in February 2004 and had not topped the rankings since October 2012. He, in fact, slipped to a low of 17th in January 2017. Federer will officially dethrone his old rival Rafael Nadal at the top of the rankings when the new ATP rankings are updated on Monday.

  • We have managed short-pitched balls pretty well on this tour: Bhuvneshwar Kumar

    Johannesburg: The impressive performance in the ongoing South Africa tour has helped improve Indian batsmen’s reputation of not being good players of short-pitched balls, pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar has asserted. Kumar said South Africa’s ploy to unsettle Indian batsmen with short-pitched balls back-fired in the first Twenty20 on Sunday. whenever India goes abroad, the reputation is that India are not good at batting against short bowling.

    This time we have not seen that thing. We have really tackled it well. Today they bowled 5-6 overs of short bowling to us early on and it really backfired on them,â? Bhuvneshwar said after India’s 28-run win. “Whatever the reputation we had, in the last few years we are playing totally opposite of that. We have managed the short ball pretty well on this tour. They wanted to bowl short but it didn’t really work well for them,â? he said. Bhuvneshwar (5 for 24) grabbed his maiden five-wicket haul in T20 internationals to help India restrict South Africa to 175-9 in 20 overs. â?oWhat I was trying to do is bring about change of pace in my bowling.

    I just wanted to take the pace off the ball because I knew it won’t be easy to hit the ball and that’s what I did. The important thing is how you mix your deliveries according to the wicket,” he said. “For instance, today we bowled a lot of slow balls. It was a part of our strategy on this wicket, to do away with pace and make it difficult for the batsmen to score. Apart from line and length, it’s important to understand how you want to mix your deliveries. It matters. Today, for instance, it was about bowling slow.â? Shikhar Dhawan scored 72 off 39 balls as India sped off in the powerplay overs. The visitors finished with 203/5, their highest total in T20 cricket against South Africa. This was despite the Proteas targeting India with a short-ball strategy.


    Bhuvneshwar hailed the team’s 28-run win in the first T20I as a “complete performance”. â?oWhen we went in there, we knew what we wanted to do as best as a bowling team. We lost the first two Test matches and then we came back. The momentum was on our side and if momentum is on your side, you have got to make it count. Credit has to go the Indian team for the way we have played in every department,â? he said. Bhuvneshwar became the first Indian pacer to pick up five wickets in each format of the game. Additionally, he has experienced a successful tour after impressing with both bat and ball in the Tests as well as the ODI series.

    Also read: India vs South Africa Johannesburg T20I: India beat SA by 28 runs
    The pacer said that managing workloads and fitness has been the key to his success. â?oFirst thing, it comes with fitness. It’s not easy playing all three formats, especially on a single tour. So the first thing before coming here what I wanted to do is manage workload. I wanted to practice but in a specific way, so as to not put extra workload on the body,” he said. taking wickets means a lot to me when you play for your country. It doesn’t matter if you take five wickets or how many as long as you’re winning matches for your country. That’s what matters and taking fifers in every format feels good. I want to do it as long as possible. Bhuvneshwar said batting first on the Wanderers pitch gave them ample idea about the nature of the wicket and it helped when they returned to defend their total.

    After we batted, we had a certain idea of the kind of wicket we would be bowling on after what we saw. But the whole picture begins to emerge only after you’ve bowled because it depends on the bowlers,” he said. “Look at their bowlers â?” they’re of a different height and have different skill sets. So you get an idea but as I said, the whole thing emerges only after you’ve bowled a few balls. For instance, if I’ve bowled the first over, I can communicate with the rest of the bowlers what’s happening on the wicket, like that,â? he added.

  • India vs South Africa Johannesburg T20I: India beat SA by 28 runs

    Johannesburg: A brilliant all-round show helped India beat South Africa by 28 runs in the first Twenty-20 International (T20I) at the New Wanderers Stadium here on Sunday.

    Put in to bat, Shikhar Dhawan (72) hammered the South African bowlers all around the park and helped India to post a massive 203/5 before pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (5/24) wreaked havoc in the South African batting line-up to take a crucial 1-0 lead in the three-match series. With this bowling stats, Bhuvneshwar also became the first Indian bowler to take five wickets in each of the three formats (four times in Tests and once each in One Day Internationals and T20Is).

    Chasing a challenging target, South African openers J.J.Smuts (14) and Reeza Hendricks got off to a good start. But in the third over, pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar  dismissed Smuts to make it 29/1. Middle-order batsmen Jean-Paul Duminy (3) and David Miller (9) were also dismissed cheaply by Bhuvneshwar and Hardik Pandya respectively. With the scoreboard reading 48/3, Farhaan Behardien (39) came in the middle and played sensibly along with Hendricks.


    The two displayed quality shots and forged an 81-run partnership for the fourth wicket. But just when things seemed good Behardien was sent back to the pavilion by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in the 15th over. After adding a few more runs with new batsmen Heinrich Klaasen (16), Hendricks (70) was caught behind off Bhuvneshwar in the 18th over.

    Now with 46 needed in 14 balls, lower-order batsmen Andile Phehlukwayo (13), Chris Morris (0), Dane Paterson (1) and Junior Dala (2 not out) failed to rise to the occasion and only managed to score 175/9 in 20 overs. Earlier, opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan once again unleashed mayhem in South Africa, with his 72 powering India to 203 for five wickets.

    The Delhi left-hander, who hit 323 runs in the six One-Day Internationals (ODIs), blasted 10 fours and two sixes in his 39-ball innings as others batted around him. After home captain Jean-Paul Duminy put India into bat, India’s innings was lifted by a brisk 21 off nine from Rohit Sharma, who got out in the fifth delivery of the second over after edging to wicket-keeper Heinrich Klassen off debutant Junior Dala.

    Dhawan’s show began after this as he got useful support from Suresh Raina (15 off 7) and Virat Kohli (26 off 20). Till the dismissal of Kohli, who was ruled LBW against spinner Tabraiz Shamsi in the third delivery of the 10th over, India had already scored 108. Dhawan made the most of the ill-disciplined bowling from Chris Morris, Dala and Andile Phehlukwayo, who were allowing the 32-year-old to free his arms on the leg side.

    A failed scoop attempt of a slower delivery from Phehlukwayo ended Dhawan’s innings as Klassen dived front to removed the danger. Later, Manish Pandey (29 not out off 27), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (16) and Hardik Pandya (13 not out) took India past the 200-run mark.

  • Mehdi Hasan, Hyderabadi spinner picked by “Sunrisers Hyderabad” IPL 2018

    Hyderabad: Another Hyderabadi cricketer finds a place in the list of IPL players. “Sunrisers Hyderabad” picked Mehdi Hasan, a Hyderabadi spinner.
    After picking, Sunrisers Hyderabad tweeted, ” Mehdi Hasan joins the #OrangeArmy squad for the #IPL2018. A left-arm spinner from Hyderabad. Bid Price: Rs. 20 Lacs. Welcome, miyan”

    It also tweeted, “Another Hyderabadi on the rise. Let’s welcome our new left-arm spinner Mehdi Hasan to the #OrangeArmy. We look forward to some great cricket. ”

    It may be mentioned that another Hyderabadi cricketer, Mohammed Siraj was picked by “Royal Challengers Bangalore”. His base price was Rs. 1 crore and he bagged Rs. 2.6 crore.

     

  • Australian Open 2018: Angelique Kerber beats Madison Keys to reach semifinals

    Melbourne: Former champion Angelique Kerber signalled her intent to wrest back the Australian Open title as she brutally crushed US Open finalist Madison Keys today to reach the semi-finals. The 2016 winner, seeded 21, brushed aside the American17th seed 6-1, 6-2, breaking her much-vaunted serve at will as she triumphed in 51 one-sided minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

    “It’s always tough to play against Madison,” said Kerber, who also won the US Open in 2016. “She is hitting the ball so hard and I was just trying from the beginning, like I played the whole week, just to playmy game. “I love playing in Australia and on Rod Laver Arena. Ihave so many good memories here.” The match was billed as a classic contrast of styles, thebig-serving power game of Keys versus the scurrying, chase-everything-down, all-action approach of Kerber. For Keys so much depends on the serve, which is aformidable weapon.

    When on song it sets up the American’s power game as inher last-16 match when she blew away Caroline Garcia with 32winners on the back of nine aces. But on Wednesday Kerber negated it from the off, winning57 percent of points on Keys’ first serve. And, without a plan B, Keys was broken four times in anerror-riddled five games as the German raced to the first set6-1 in 22 minutes and went 3-1 up in the second. “I was not thinking a lot about winners or errors, I wasstaying in the moment and tried to play every single point, “Kerber said.


    “I’m just happy to get through and be here in the semis.” Keys, who reached the semi-finals at Melbourne in 2015 ,momentarily held back the tide with a break to love to getback to 3-2. But the German juggernaut rolled on with a break back anda dominant hold, sealed with a tremendous overhead from nearthe baseline, to give Kerber a 5-2 advantage. Keys, serving to stay in the tournament, opened with twodouble faults and moments later Kerber was back in the semi-finals where she will face either top seed Simona Halep orsixth seed Karolina Pliskova.

Technology

Social Media

  • Alert! Be careful while using Facebook, Govt. agencies keep vigil

     The users of online social media have enormously increased to 241 million in India. Indians have surpassed the number of Facebook users of America which is 240 million.
    The users of Facebook should note that governments and law implementing agencies have an eye on the Facebook. Some of the voluntary agencies post emotional messages targeting the youths. Youths who get trapped by such organizations will come under the scanner of law implementing agencies.
    It is therefore advisable for users of Facebook in India and abroad to be careful of such charitable or welfare organizations.
    The youths must think twice before commenting, hitting like and posting anything on the Facebook to avoid legal complications.
    There are recent reports that Facebook is planning to link Aadhaar number to Facebook accounts in order to trace out and counter the fake accounts.

    –Siasat News

  • Now send direct live videos via Instagram

    New Delhi: Popular photo and video sharing platform Instagram announced its latest update, which will enable users to send live videos to their friends via Direct, Instagram’s messaging platform.

    With a single tap of the Direct icon, a user can send a live video, or a video they’re watching, to a friend or a group of friends and encourage them to join in, the company indicated in a blog post.

    When a user is live, he/she can tap the Direct icon at the bottom of the screen and send the live video to friends. Users also have this option when going live with a friend. Once sent, the recipient will see the live video in their Direct inbox.

    However, friends can only view the video while the sender is live. If the feed has ended, the recipient will see a message saying the video has ended.

    While the feature has been rolled out for greater engagement, users can disable the option to send live videos in Direct by accessing the same in the stories settings. Also, private account users can have only their followers viewing the video.

    On the other hand, as a viewer, one can send a live video to a friend in Direct the same way. While watching a live video, tap the Direct icon at the bottom of the screen and choose who to send it to.

    “Today’s change makes it easy to invite people to watch your live videos and send exciting live videos you’re viewing to your friends in real time,” the blog noted.

    Instagram has rolled out this update as part of its version 26 for iOS in the Apple App Store and for Android in Google Play.

    -ANI

  • Twitter to tell when local law demands blocking content, account

    San Francisco: To help the public better understand the scope and scale of government censorship from around the world, Twitter has updated its transparency tool to tell its users the legal compulsions behind blocking of some tweets and accounts on its platform.

    “We are updating our in-product messaging when we withhold content to clarify why content was withheld and where,” Jeremy Kessel, Global Legal Policy Director at Twitter wrote in a blog post.

    So when a tweet is withheld, users would now know if Twitter was compelled to withhold the original tweet in response to a valid legal demand, such as a court order.

    They would also know if Twitter withheld the content to comply with local law(s).

    Similar notification will be available for withheld accounts as well.

    To shine light on government requests, Twitter launched its “Transparency Report” back in 2012 and later that year, it announced the “Country Withheld Content” (CWC) tool, which the microblogging site uses to transparently handle global legal requests to remove content from Twitter.

    “The primary goal of CWC is to avoid silent removals and maximise transparency of the content that we are compelled to remove to comply with local laws, court orders, and other legal demands,” Kessel said.

    Twitter achieves this transparency through a combination of efforts. This includes providing direct notice of removal requests to affected users (when not otherwise prohibited), the use of visual indicators within the service, and by publishing the underlying legal demands on Lumen, which serves as a public repository for content removal requests.

    One example of CWC is Nazi symbols in Germany, where they are prohibited, Techcrunch reported on Thursday.

    Twitter said the latest update is part of its larger efforts to increase transparency across the platform, particularly around decisions that impact its users.

    “We are also working on improving our use of in-app notifications to alert affected users when we have received legal requests about their account,” Kessel said.

    “Our goal is to help you better understand why you may not be able to view certain types of content as you interact with our service,” he added.

    IANS

  • Facebook introduce new tools to block unwanted friend requests

    San Francisco: To prevent harassment on Facebook, the social media giant has introduced new tools that keep unwanted friend requests and messages from reaching you.

    The new features proactively recognise and help prevent unwanted contact when someone you blocked sets up a new account or tries to contact you from another account they control, said Antigone Davis, Global Head of Safety at Facebook said in a statement on Tuesday.

    The new tools also provide the users the option to ignore a Messenger conversation and automatically move it out of their inbox, without having to block the sender.

    “Now, you can tap on a message to ignore the conversation. This disables notifications and moves the conversation from your inbox to your Filtered Messages folder,” Davis said.

    It enables the user to read messages in the conversation without the sender seeing if they have been read.

    “This feature is now available for one on one conversations and will soon be available broadly for group messages, too,” Davis added.

    Facebook hopes that the new tools will be of immense use for women and journalists who disproportionately experience harassment on the social media platform.

    Also Read : Facebook rolls out ‘Snooze’ to ‘mute’ friends

    As those who resort to harassment on social media often rely on fake accounts, Facebook said it is building on existing features that prevent fake and inauthentic accounts.

    “These automated features help us identify fake accounts more quickly and block millions of them at registration every day,” Davis said.

    But what happens when a new account created by someone who was previously blocked does not get caught by these features?

    “We are now using various signals (like an IP address) to help us proactively recognise this type of account and prevent its owner from sending a message or friend request to the person who blocked the original account,” Davis said.

    “The person who blocked the original account is in control, and must initiate contact with the new account in order for them to interact normally,” she added.

    — IANS

  • Facebook rolling out AI tools to help prevent suicides

    San Francisco: In yet another attempt to prevent suicides, Facebook is starting to roll out Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based tools to help identify when someone might be expressing thoughts of suicide, including on Facebook Live.

    The initiative – that will use pattern recognition to detect posts or live videos where someone might be expressing thoughts of suicide to help authorities respond faster — will eventually be available worldwide, except the European Union, Facebook said in a blog post on Tuesday.

    “Facebook is a place where friends and family are already connected and we are able to help connect a person in distress with people who can support them. It’s part of our ongoing effort to help build a safe community on and off Facebook,” wrote Guy Rosen, Vice President of Product Management at Facebook.
    In October, Facebook worked with first responders on over 100 wellness checks based on reports it received via its proactive detection efforts.  “We use signals like the text used in the post and comments (for example, comments like “Are you ok?” and “Can I help?” can be strong indicators).

    “In some instances, we have found that the technology has identified videos that may have gone unreported,” Rosen said.  Facebook has a team that includes a dedicated group of specialists who have specific training in suicide and self harm.  “We are also using AI to prioritise the order in which our team reviews reported posts, videos and live streams. This ensures we can get the right resources to people in distress and, where appropriate, we can more quickly alert first responders,” the blog post read.  In addition to those tools, Facebook is using automation so the team can more quickly access the appropriate first responders’ contact information.

    “We have teams working around the world, 24/7, who review reports that come in and prioritise the most serious reports. We provide people with a number of support options, such as to reach out to a friend,” Rosen informed.  Facebook in September said it was working with suicide prevention partners in India to collect phrases, hashtags and group names associated with online challenges encouraging self-harm or suicide.  Started on World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, the initiative would also connect people in India with information about supportive groups and suicide prevention tools in News Feed.

Top