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Youtube is fighting back against climate misinformation
buzzfeed news

In an ongoing effort to fight the distribution of misinformation on its site, YouTube has partnered with Wikipedia and has begun to accompany videos on climate change with fact checks – snippets of scientific information and definitions. On July 9, the video sharing company added blurbs of text underneath certain videos about climate change, which provided scientifically accurate explanations of the terms used in the video. The text comes from Wikipedia entries on global warming, one example stating that “multiple lines of scientific evidence show that the climate system is warming.” This feature follows YouTube’s announcement in March that it would place descriptions from Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica next to videos on topics that tend to spur conspiracy theories.

WHY IT MATTERS: Many social media platforms, including YouTube, have received criticism on their engagement algorithms, describing their tendency to create content echo-chambers for their consumers: if a viewer watches one video challenging climate change, he or she would be presented with an array of additional videos of a similar vein. By providing viewers with facts, YouTube is addressing the spreading of inaccurate and false information that easily occurs on online platforms.


UN refugee agency head asks asia-pacific leaders to show ‘solidarity’ with rohingya, calls for solutions to rakhine unrest

The head of UNHCR, a Concordia Programming Partner, recently addressed ministers of 26 countries in Bali, Indonesia at the Seventh Ministerial Conference of the Bali Process, asking to show solidarity and provide support to the more than 700,000 Rohingya refugees who have fled violence and discrimination in Myanmar. Filippo Grandi urged the forum of 48 governments and four internal organizations to unify their efforts to find solutions for the displaced Rohingya. In his words, the governments must move “from consultation to action on the commitments they made” in the Bali Declaration, an agreement highlighting the need for a comprehensive and collective approach to resolve statelessness and expand safe pathways so that refugees and migrants can have legal alternatives to putting their lives at risk while migrating.

WHY IT MATTERS: For over a year, widespread and systematic violence perpetrated against Myanmar’s mainly Muslim minority Rohingya has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes in Rakhine state for Bangladesh. The refugees are forced to dwell in camps in abhorrent conditions – entire families reside in single tents in utter poverty with the always-looming threat of persecution. Trapped by these conditions, they become stuck in a particularly vulnerable state. As Filippo Grandi said: “People forced to move can fall prey to modern slavery, adding the insult of exploitation to the injury of exile,” adding that “there are now, more than ever, opportunities for refugees in this region to contribute to their host communities.” Grandi’s urging adds to the pressure governments in the area are facing to address the crisis and to actively search for solutions.


tech firms seek partnerships to increase workforce diversity
the hill

Technology companies have started seeking partnerships with traditionally African American universities in an effort to diversify their employee bases. Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC), Chair of the Congressional Caucus, referred to the initiative as a way to address “pipeline issues between African American communities and tech firms,” as well as a way to address long-standing criticism about a lack of hiring African Americans in Silicon Valley. Company representatives, lawmakers, and college and university officials are convening in Greensboro, North Carolina this week to find solutions to persistent issues with diversity in the tech community.

WHY IT MATTERS: For an industry that has grown exponentially in the past decade, tech has received its share of criticism on its persistent lack of gender and racial diversity. Partnering with racially-diverse universities and colleges will hopefully create a university-to-employment pipeline and increase the hiring of African Americans in Silicon Valley.