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Australia Passes Strict Social Media Law

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Australia’s Parliament passed legislation on Thursday that could imprison social media executives if their platforms stream real violence such as the New Zealand mosque shootings.

Critics warn that some of the most restrictive laws about online communication in the democratic world could have unforeseen consequences, including media censorship and reduced investment in Australia.

The conservative government introduced the bills in response to the March 15 attacks in Christchurch in which an Australian white supremacist apparently used a helmet-mounted camera to broadcast live on Facebook as he shot worshippers in the two mosques.

Australia’s government rushed the legislation through the last two days that Parliament sits before elections are expected in May, dispensing with the usual procedure of a committee scrutinizing its content first.

“Together we must act to ensure that perpetrators and their accomplices cannot leverage online platforms for the purpose of spreading their violent and extreme propaganda — these platforms should not be weaponized for evil,” Attorney General Christian Porter told Parliament while introducing the bill.

The opposition’s spokesman on the attorney general portfolio, Mark Dreyfus, committed his center-left Labor Party to support the bill despite misgivings. If the Labor wins the election, the law would be reviewed by a parliamentary committee.

The law has made it a crime for social media platforms not to remove “abhorrent violent material” quickly. The crime would be punishable by three years in prison and a fine of 10.5 million Australian dollars ($7.5 million), or 10% of the platform’s annual turnover, whichever is larger.

Abhorrent violent material is defined as acts of terrorism, murder, attempted murder, torture, rape and kidnapping. The material must be recorded by the perpetrator or an accomplice for the law to apply. Platforms anywhere in the world would face fines of up to AU$840,000 ($597,500) if they fail to notify Australian Federal Police if they are aware their service was streaming “abhorrent violent conduct” occurring in Australia.

Dreyfus described the bill as “clumsy and flawed,” and the timetable to pass it as “ridiculous.” Labor first saw the legislation late Monday.

The bill could potentially undermine Australia’s security cooperation with the United States by requiring U.S. internet providers to share content data with Australian Federal Police in breach of U.S. law, Dreyfus said.

The Digital Industry Group Inc. — an association representing the digital industry in Australia including Facebook, Google, and Twitter — said taking down abhorrent content was a “highly complex problem” that required consultation with a range of experts which the government had not done.

“This law, which was conceived and passed in five days without any meaningful consultation, does nothing to address hate speech, which was the fundamental motivation for the tragic Christchurch terrorist attacks,” the group’s managing director Sunita Bose said in a statement.

“This creates a strict internet intermediary liability regime that is out of step with the notice-and-takedown regimes in Europe and the United States, and is therefore bad for internet users as it encourages companies to proactively surveil the vast volumes of user-generated content being uploaded at any given minute,” Bose added.

Arthur Moses, president of the Australian Law Council, the nation’s top lawyers group, said the law could lead to media censorship and prevent whistleblowers from using social media to shine a light on atrocities because of social media companies’ fear of prosecution.

“Media freedom and whistleblowing of atrocities here and overseas have been put at risk by the ill-informed live stream laws passed by the Federal Parliament,” Moses said.

The penalties would be “bad for certainty and bad for business,” which could scare off online business investment in Australia, Moses said.

Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox, a leading business advocate, said more time was required to ensure the law did not unnecessarily impinge on existing fundamental media rights and freedoms.

Scott Farquhar, the co-founder of the Sydney-based software company Atlassian, predicted job losses in the technology industry.

“As of today, any person working at any company (globally) that allows users to upload videos or images could go to jail,” Farquhar tweeted. “Guilty until proven innocent.”

Fergus Hanson, head of the International Cyber Policy Center at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, saw problems in the legislation’s definitions, including how long a company had to “expeditiously” remove offense material.

Facebook live-streamed the Christchurch massacre for 17 minutes without interruption before reacting. Facebook said it removed 1.5 million videos of the shootings during the first 24 hours afterward.

It was filmed by Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, whose video and writings included anti-Muslim views and detailed how he planned the attack. Tarrant is scheduled to appear in court Friday and will face 50 murder and 38 attempted murder charges, according to New Zealand police.

Executives of Facebook, Google, Twitter, internet service providers, and Australian phone companies met Prime Minister Scott Morrison and three ministers last week to discuss social media regulation. Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said Facebook “did not present any immediate solutions to the issues arising out of the horror that occurred in Christchurch.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday. CEO Mark Zuckerberg used an op-ed in The Washington Post last week to invite a more active role by governments and regulators to deal with the harmful online content.

“The rules governing the internet allowed a generation of entrepreneurs to build services that changed the world and created a lot of value in people’s lives,” Zuckerberg wrote. “It’s time to update these rules to define clear responsibilities for people, companies, and governments going forward.”

Morrison wants to take the Australian law to a Group of 20 countries forum as a model for holding social media companies to account.

New Zealand’s Justice Minister Andrew Little said his government had also made a commitment to review the role of social media and the obligations of the companies that provide the platforms. He said he had asked officials to look at the effectiveness of current hate speech laws and whether there were gaps that need to be filled.

Little said he didn’t see any irony in that people were watching hearings into a bill that would place new restrictions on guns in real time on Facebook, the same platform the shooter used to broadcast the massacre.

“There’s a world of difference, I think, between the exercise of a democratic function and a democratic institution like a national parliament, and some of the more toxic stuff that you see put out by individuals,” he said.

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TECNO Never Disappoints; Its Latest CAMON 16 Premier Beats Competitors To Lead The Industry

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As smartphones are becoming increasingly integrated into our everyday lives, it is essential to choose one that fits your lifestyles and your needs. Every mobile phone brand is trying to stand out from the rest by upgrading their technology and introducing new functions; however, the best way to measure their value is through their performance side by side. Today, we have selected three android phones for comparison: the TECNO CAMON 16 Premier, Huawei Y9 (2019), and Samsung A41.

Mobile phone screen design

While the three phones consider the different needs of users, they differ quite a lot when it comes to design. TECNO focused on the user’s convenience and has shifted its fingerprint scanner to the side so that it will be easier to gain access to the phone. This was a good move on TECNO’s part as it was a concern when we tested Huawei’s Y9 (2019) that was rear-mounted. This stopped me from unlocking the phone accidentally every time my fingers brushed the scanner. The CAMON 16 Premier also opens faster and is extremely convenient to do so, so much so that it felt intuitive after a while. The unlocking time of CAMON 16 Premier is less than a second, and this is a marked improvement from even their own CAMON 15. This allows users to save time over minute actions, making the Samsung A41 and Huawei Y9 (2019) appear inferior. It seems that TECNO has done a lot of user research on this aspect, and the attention to detail made us feel very good about the CAMON 16 Premier.

In terms of screen size, which is a crucial consideration for users today, the TECNO CAMON 16 Premier takes the lead with its display with over 6.85” of the high-resolution screen while 6.53FHD hole screen on Samsung A41 and 6.59”FHD notch on Huawei Y9 (2019). This is the real estate for users to watch their favorite TV shows or make video calls, users can enjoy greater visual details. The bigger screen is more comfortable to watch for extended periods, allowing users more considerable viewing time before getting tired. The CAMON 16 truly shines when users watch their favorite high-resolution videos. The widescreen works in perfect sync with the 90Hz ultra-clear resolution, so users do not have to strain their eyes to enjoy a high-quality viewing experience.

Camera function – front and rear cameras

The camera qualities of a phone have become a clear determining factor for users when it comes to buying a phone. After much consideration, the TECNO CAMON 16 Premier once again stands out with their ultra-clear visuals that reflect what you see with your eyes. It boasts a 64MP ultra quad-camera while the Huawei Y9 (2019) only has a rear camera of 13MP. The Samsung A41 comes a little closer with a 48MP triple rear camera and a panorama function but still shy of the quality that CAMON 16 Premier can produce.

TECNO’s CAMON series has always been notable for its superior camera and photography capabilities. They put the user’s needs first and develop technology around that, bringing the user an unprecedented clear photography experience. Each camera lens has its mission and an outstanding feature, genuinely living up to their expectations that each picture could be a masterpiece. Based on the MTK flagship-level G90T core chip, the CAMON 16 Premier supports 64MP full-size output. As we understand, this is an industry-first, and not many phones can compete with this configuration. With five rear flashes, the user can get clear and bright photos regardless of the darkness of their environment.

Camera function – anti-shake function

Clear photos will always be a priority when shooting. TECNO CAMON 16 Premier uses the Super Hybrid Video Anti-Shake (Super HIS) to stabilize and has produced fantastic photography results. Another advantage is that it supports 960 frames of super slow-motion shooting, thus expanding the potential of video shooting exponentially. The CAMON 16 Premier’s 8Gb of RAM also helps tremendously in accelerating the video processing time.

It seems to us that the TECNO CAMON 16 Premier is not merely a phone but a professional camera integrated with many other easy-to-use phone functions. These functions ensure the users get the best photo quality everywhere, every time. It is impressive that TECNO managed to fit something of this quality into a mobile phone.

Battery life

Battery life is a significant feature that determines how long your phone can last while you complete your tasks. The TECNO CAMON 16 Premier has a 4500mAh battery and a quick charge of up to 70% in just 30 minutes. This is an upgrade compared to the smaller 4000mAh and 3500mAh capacity of Huawei Y9 (2019) and Samsung A41. Furthermore, the user’s safety is TECNO’s priority as CAMON 16 Premier comes with its newest safety features. TECNO has engineered the CAMON 16 to reduce overheating during fast-charge and lowered the surface temperature by two degrees. It does this while simultaneously offering two types of charging options as CAMON 16 Premier has managed to even add a Type-C fast charging capability inside its lithe frame.

This is complemented with another safety function that automatically shuts the phone down when the battery is fully charged. This is a breakthrough in the industry, TECNO has integrated into the CAMON 16 Premier to better protect the mobile phone and the user.

The promising future of AR

One critical measure of a good smartphone is how they approach new technology. In this aspect, TECNO’s CAMON 16 Premier is already off to a strong start with its unique AR Graffiti function that Huawei Y9 (2019) and Samsung A41 do not have. This new function gives users the ability to unleash their creativity digitally and re-imagine their surroundings. The AR Graffiti function has countless brushes and unlimited colors that you can use to customize your photos. This took us by surprise because it is something refreshing on the market, and also we had a lot of fun playing around with this technology.

To make it even better, TECNO CAMON 16 Premier also has other complimentary AR features. AR Sticker and AR Emoji, for example, allows users to interact in many creative ways. The features will enable you to capture any expression you want with over 200 facial features available. This technology also includes light beautification and localization features to make sure you look your best, even in AR. We know AR in smartphones is still an experimental technology, but if this is the direction that it is going to be in the future, then we think the CAMON 16 Premier will become popular very fast.

After reviewing so many functions, the clear winner amongst these three phones is clearly TECNO’s CAMON 16 Premier. TECNO has not only continually integrated advanced technologies into their products but also makes sure they are an economical product. The CAMON 16 Premier offers outstanding value for money, which is only one of the many other benefits that this phone offers.

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2020 GMB 1ST Runner Up, Abena Shows Appreciation

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Hello everyone, thanks for being my pillar. Let me start by saying a very big thanks to God for all His wishes in my life.

I just feel like apologizing for not winning the crown for this year’s GMB2020 because I promised you all to bring the crown to our region for the first time.

When I showed up for this year’s GMB2020, exactly 14 weeks ago, I least expected the ‘macho’ love you’ve exhibited throughout.

If a soothsayer had ‘soothsayed’ this immense support, I’d have probably laughed over and just hope for it.

There is a common phrase I am sure everyone knows, “it takes a village to raise a child”. I am very grateful for being the child of your village. The votes, support, prayers, motivations, and above all the gift of life from God.

I am most indebted and I cannot pay back whatever you have lost just in my well-being.

For the past 14 weeks, I never could have imagined being the 1st Runner Up for the GMB2020 without the support of family, friends, well-wishers, classmates, school mates, my teachers/tutors, role models, high profile personalities especially my Chiefs, Queen mothers, and honorable members in the society.

I will never forget the first time that I have a whole lot of team including you all behind me.

On behalf of myself, my manager; @ogazy_ecentrics, and the entire #TEAMABENA4GMB2020 wishes to say THANK YOU, ‘MEDAMOASE’, AKPE NA MI’, ‘OYIWALADON’, ‘MPOYA’.

I may be biased to mention the tall lists of individuals, institutions, organizations, and people who have contributed to my achievement.

At the appropriate time when all is said and done, I will not hesitate to come to you personally to render my profound appreciation towards the love showed.

I personally believe God will not shame anyone of us, thus, #GodNoGoShameUs.

Thank you all once again. #GodNoGoShameUs

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GMB 2020: Greater Accra’s Naa Dedei Wins TV3 Ghana’s Most Beautiful Season 14

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A consistent performer, Naa had been winning plaudits with her performances throughout the 14 weeks the show has been running. She won the star performer three-time.

For her prize, Naa took home a brand new car, cash of GHC10,000, a trip to Dubai, and a high-end smartphone with free data package for a year.

She also received a sponsorship package from GTP for the supply of cloth for the next one-year among other prizes.

The 2020 grand finale saw musical performances from evergreen Hiplife group Praye, Highlife sensation KiDi, Adina, Camidoh, and Mentor Reloaded winner Optional King. The five artistes thrilled the audience with fine performances on the night.

The crowning brings an end to the reign of Ekua Bannerman Mends who won the competition in 2019.

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