Nearly all Facebook employees are working remotely due to the pandemic.”We recognize the pain many of our people are feeling right now, especially our Black community,” Facebook said in response to the AFP request for comment.”We encourage employees to speak openly when they disagree with leadership.”Facebook was aware some workers planned the virtual walkout and did not plan to dock their pay. A presidential call To make matters worse, US media revealed Sunday that Zuckerberg and Trump spoke by telephone on Friday.The conversation was “productive,” unnamed sources told the Axios news outlet and CNBC. Facebook would neither confirm nor deny the reports.The call “destroys” the idea that Facebook is a “neutral arbiter,” said Evelyn Douek, a researcher at Harvard Law School.Like other experts, she questioned whether Facebook’s new oversight board, formed last month to render independent judgments on content, will have the clout to intervene.On Saturday, the board offered assurances it was aware there were “many significant issues related to online content” that people want it to consider.Facebook, meanwhile, is directly affected by Trump’s counter-attack against Twitter.The president signed a decree Thursday attacking one of the legal pillars of the US internet, Section 230, which shields digital platforms from lawsuits linked to content posted by third parties while giving them the freedom to intervene as they please to police the exchanges. The clash between Twitter and Donald Trump has thrust rival Facebook into turmoil, with employees rebelling against CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s refusal to sanction false or inflammatory posts by the US president.Some Facebook employees put out word of a “virtual walkout” to take place Monday to protest, according to tweeted messages.”As allies we must stand in the way of danger, not behind. I will be participating in today’s virtual walkout in solidarity with the black community,” tweeted Sara Zhang, one of the Facebook employees in the action. Network in revolt Twitter and Facebook both have in place systems to combat disinformation and dangerous content — appeals to hatred, harassment, incitement to violence and the like.But Facebook exempts political personalities and candidates from these restrictions.Zuckerberg’s position has not gone down well with many of his employees.”I don’t know what to do, but I know doing nothing is not acceptable,” Jason Stirman, a member of Facebook’s research and development team, wrote on Twitter.Other Facebook employees spoke out on Sunday.David Gillis, a member of the design team who specializes in product safety and integrity, said he believed Trump’s looting and shooting tweet “encourages extra-judicial violence and racism.””While I understand why we chose to stay squarely within the four corners of our violence and incitement policy, I think it would have been right for us to make a ‘spirit of the policy’ exception that took more context into account,” he wrote.Nate Butler, a Facebook product designer, added: “I need to be clear – FB is on the wrong side of this and I can’t support their stance. Doing nothing isn’t Being Bold. Many of us feel this way.” “Mark is wrong, and I will endeavor in the loudest possible way to change his mind,” Ryan Freitas, the design director of Facebook’s News Feed, tweeted Sunday, adding that he was organizing about 50 other employees who share his view.At the root of the discord is Twitter’s unprecedented intervention last week when it tagged two Trump tweets about mail-in ballots with messages urging people to “get the facts.”Zuckerberg reacted by telling Fox News that private social media platforms “shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online.” Trump retweeted the interview.On Friday, Twitter responded once again to a Trump tweet, this time after he used the platform to warn protesters outraged by the death at police hands of an unarmed black man that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”Twitter covered up the tweet with a message warning it “violated Twitter Rules about glorifying violence.” Viewers had to click on the message to see the underlying tweet.The message also was posted on Facebook, but Zuckerberg decided to let it stand unchallenged.”I’ve been struggling with how to respond to the President’s tweets and posts all day,” he wrote Friday in a post. “Personally, I have a visceral negative reaction to this kind of divisive and inflammatory rhetoric.”But, Zuckerberg went on to say that “our position is that we should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause imminent risk of specific harms or dangers spelled out in clear policies.” Topics :
Batesville High School’s tradition of winning athletic programs continues with spring sports. Yesterday’s article chronicled the track program which is near and dear to my heart since I have been involved in that program over 50 years. However, the girls tennis team, the boys golf team, and baseball team are all enjoying winning seasons.I will individually report on these sports after their seasons have concluded. The girls tennis program is led by Bryan Helvie who will be leaving this program to become the school’s athletic director in July. Alex Davis is the head coach of the baseball team. Bryan Hoeing has already verbally agreed to continue this sport at the University of Louisville after he graduates next year. He is considered one of the top pitchers in the state of Indiana. The golf team is coached by _____ and Ben Siefert. The golf team is led by a veteran group of senior golfers. Unfortunately, the girls softball team this spring lost their starting pitcher to an injury and has struggled because of that. As most of you know, pitching is everything in girls softball. This program has been very successful in past years.
Pharmaceutical company Moderna reports its potential coronavirus vaccine is promising after all 45 patients in its human trial produced a “robust” immune response. The group given the highest dose had four times the amount of antibodies than recovered COVID-19 patients.Moderna continues to track how long the immune response lasts and plans to follow patients for a year after they’re given the vaccination.Their report was published in the peer-reviewed New England Journal of Medicine today, causing Moderna stocks to spike by more than 16-percent. As result of the promising trial, Moderna is now planning to recruit 30,000 people for the next stage of testing of its COVID-19 vaccine.The NAIAD says the new trial is posted to the National Institutes of Health’s clinical trials website. It says it will enroll an estimated 30,000 participants for a randomized trial, with participants either given the vaccine or a placebo. The trial is expected to begin on July 27 and end on October 27.To be eligible to enroll, people must be over the age of 18 and healthy. They must be at risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Women must not be pregnant and must agree to use contraception throughout the study period. They must also not be breastfeeding. Men must refrain from sperm donation from the point of the first dose and for three months before enrollment.People not eligible to join include those who have already been infected with SARS-CoV-2, people who are acutely ill, have previously been infected with the coronaviruses MERS-CoV and SARS.Trials will be taking place at 87 locations across the U.S.A full list can be found at the end of the NIH’s clinical trial page, along with contact details for Moderna’s clinical trials.Researchers are not yet recruiting for the trial. More details will become available on how to enroll once recruitment opens.Further information on the trial will also be available via Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine page.You can also register interest in volunteering for clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines under development via the NIAID here. The COVID-19 Prevention Network has been set up to combine four clinical trial networks dedicated to the new coronavirus, including the Moderna trial.