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Facebook agrees to ban discriminatory ads in civil rights settlement



ACLU hails ‘sweeping changes’ after company criticized over race-, gender-, and age-based ad targeting

Facebook is taking steps to block discriminatory ads for housing, employment and credit by preventing advertisers from targeting users based on race, gender, age and zip code.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other rights groups, which sued Facebook for violating civil rights laws with its ad practices, announced the “historic settlement” on Tuesday, saying “sweeping changes” would restrict illegal and discriminatory ad targeting.

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Goats, cows and Devin Nunes’ mom: how a Republican’s Twitter lawsuit backfired



US congressman’s action against the company and its users has led to what is known as the ‘Streisand effect’

The US congressman Devin Nunes sent the Twitterverse spiraling into hilarity late on Monday with his lawsuit listing the purported crimes of Twitter users “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and “Devin Nunes’ Cow”.

In the lawsuit against Twitter and a handful of users, the California Republican claims to be the victim of vicious internet trolls, as well as the victim of selective censorship by the social media company. He is alleging that by “shadow-banning” his account, Twitter allowed for the selective amplification of “defamers” such as “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and “Devin Nunes’ Cow”.

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Google Stadia: company makes a play for gamers with new streaming service



Stadia, which will allow users to play games on any device, will launch later in 2019

Google announced its entry into the video game market with Google Stadia, a service that will allow players to stream video games to any screen – phone, tablet, TV or computer.

Google announced Stadia at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday. The cloud-powered service will allow users to log in from any screen using the Chrome browser, a Chromecast device or a Google Pixel phone or tablet and play the same games across all of them, with all the computational heavy-lifting done by Google’s servers instead of a games console. It means that players won’t have to purchase a box that sits under the TV in order to play, theoretically liberating video games from hardware altogether.

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Facebook and YouTube defend response to Christchurch videos



YouTube says spread of videos of attack was ‘unprecedented in scale and speed’

YouTube and Facebook have defended themselves against accusations that they failed to act quickly enough in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack, arguing that their moderation is as good as possible given the number of videos uploaded.

Facebook said on Tuesday that the original stream of the attack was viewed live fewer than 200 times and non-live by 4,000 people before it was removed from the site.

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Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 review – mercenary rampage through a broken society



Xbox One, PS4, PC; Ubisoft Massive/Ubisoft
Post-apocalyptic Washington DC is splendidly imagined but the insipid techno-thriller plot ensures the struggle to save civilisation can’t be won

The latest in a long line of slick, callous military simulations from Ubisoft, The Division 2 isn’t about saving society but preserving it in a state of profitable disarray. Set in Washington DC following an apocalyptic epidemic, it sees you fighting to protect what’s left of the US from insurgent groups, either solo or alongside other players. The opening sequence casts you as a torch-bearer against those who’d rather steal than create, but, in practice, you are as much a raider as the people you’re shooting. The result is an accomplished but rather tedious and macabre game.

Related: Tom Clancy’s The Division review – fascinating and fun but lacking compassion

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Australian telcos block dozens of websites hosting Christchurch terror video



LiveLeak removed the horrific footage but still caught up in ‘extraordinary’ effort to censor the web

A site that explicitly stated it would not host the horrific Christchurch terror video has been blocked by Australian telcos in an “extraordinary” effort to censor dozens of websites.

Telstra, Vodafone and Optus have all confirmed they are actively blocking Australian customers on their networks from accessing websites that hosted the Christchurch terror video.

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Lyft: Uber rival reveals it hopes to raise $20bn in Wall Street debut



San Francisco firm reveals figures for first time as it competes with Uber to be first with IPO

Lyft has officially kicked off the roadshow for its initial public offering, saying Monday it plans to put more than 30m shares up for sale with an anticipated price of between $62 and $68 each.

That would raise more than $2bn for the San Francisco ride-hailing company, pegging its market value at $20bn to $25bn, even though it hasn’t been able to turn a profit yet.

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Online retail fuelling rapid rise in sales of fake goods, says OECD



Counterfeits worth $590bn a year made up 3.3% of global trade in 2016, report finds

The rise of online platforms for buying and selling goods has fuelled a rapid increase in fake merchandise sold around the world, the value of which has reached $590bn (£384.4bn) a year, according to a report.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union’s intellectual property office (EUIPO) found illicit goods, from designer handbags to luxury watches, accounted for as much as 3.3% of total international trade in 2016, up from 2.5% ($461bn) in 2013.

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Academic at centre of Cambridge Analytica scandal sues Facebook



Tech company’s attempts to pin blame on Aleksandr Kogan are defamatory, says lawyer

The academic at the centre of the Cambridge Analytica scandal is suing Facebook for defamation over the social network’s claims that he lied about why he was harvesting personal data from profiles on the site.

Aleksandr Kogan, a former psychology researcher at the University of Cambridge, was the developer of a personality quiz app that paired individual psychological profiles with personal data scraped from the Facebook pages of quiz-takers and their online friends. That data was used as the root of Cambridge Analytica’s “psychometric” approach to targeting users with political adverts tailored to their personalities.

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