DUBAI: YouTube has taken down over 9,000 channels and 70,000 videos related to the war in Ukraine for violating content guidelines, according to The Guardian.
Earlier this year, Russia banned other popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. However, YouTube has continued operating in the country despite featuring content from opposition figures and cracking down on pro-Kremlin content.
Since February, YouTube has taken down several channels such as that of pro-Kremlin journalist Vladimir Solovyov, and temporarily suspended channels associated with Russia’s defense and foreign ministries.
“We have a major violent events policy and that applies to things like denial of major violent events: everything from the Holocaust to Sandy Hook. And of course, what’s happening in Ukraine is a major violent event. And so we’ve used that policy to take unprecedented action,” Neal Mohan, chief product officer of YouTube, told The Guardian.
He added that YouTube is “the largest video-sharing site up and running in Russia itself,” and is a place where “Russian citizens can get uncensored information about the war.”
In its 2021 Ads Safety Report, Google said that it “acted quickly to institute a sensitive event, prohibiting ads from profiting from or exploiting the situation.”
It also took several other steps to pause the majority of its commercial activities in Russia across Google products — including pausing ads from showing in Russia as well as ads from Russian-based advertisers. It also paused the monetization of Russian state-funded media across its platforms.
So far, Google has blocked over 8 million ads related to the war in Ukraine under its sensitive event policy and removed ads from more than 60 state-funded media sites across its platforms.
Still, Russia will not block the video platform, said Maksut Shadaev, Russia’s minister of digital development, communications and mass media at an educational forum.
“We are not planning to close YouTube. Above all, when we restrict something, we should clearly understand that our users won’t suffer,” he said.
LONDON: The UK’s data watchdog fined facial recognition firm Clearview AI £7.5 million ($9.3 million) on Tuesday for unlawfully collecting images of people from social media platforms and the web for use in a global database.
The Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK’s privacy regulator, also told Clearview AI to stop obtaining and using the personal data of UK residents, and to delete their data from its systems.
“The company not only enables identification of those people, but effectively monitors their behavior and offers it as a commercial service,” John Edwards, the information commissioner, said. “That is unacceptable. People expect that their personal information will be respected, regardless of where in the world their data is being used.”
According to the ICO, Clearview AI had gathered people’s private photos from social media and across the web without their knowledge. It subsequently created a database of 20 billion images, committing multiple breaches of data protection laws.
Clearview AI’s services are no longer being offered in the UK.
Previous clients included the Metropolitan police, the National Crime Agency and nationwide police forces. However, the ICO said on Monday that as the firm still had customers abroad, it was still using the data of UK residents.
It also found that the firm had asked for additional personal information, including photos, when asked by members of the public if they were in the database.
“I am deeply disappointed that the UK information commissioner has misinterpreted my technology and intentions,” Hoan Ton-That, the company’s CEO, said.
“My company and I have acted in the best interests of the UK and their people by assisting law enforcement in solving heinous crimes against children, seniors and other victims of unscrupulous acts.
“We collect only public data from the open internet and comply with all standards of privacy and law,” he added.
LONDON: The Digital Cooperation Organization and the World Economic Forum launched a Digital Foreign Direct Investment Initiative today at the WEF annual meeting in Davos to boost global foreign direct investment in the digital economy.
The agreement stipulates that the DCO and WEF work together to identify methods to increase digital adoption, investment in new digital activities, and investment in digital infrastructure.
Additionally, the DCO and WEF will conduct research to contribute to global understanding of the regulatory challenges currently preventing countries from realizing the full potential of digital FDI.
Under the Initiative, the DCO and WEF will launch digital FDI enabling projects in countries around the world, helping them identify and support implementation of policies and measures to increase investment in the digital economy, in addition to facilitating knowledge-sharing of successful reforms among countries.
Commenting on the launch, Borge Brende, president of the WEF, said “Global FDI is rebounding, following the COVID-19 pandemic, and investment in the digital economy could not come at a better time. These country projects will help grow FDI into the digital economy, which is key for long-term growth, competitiveness, and sustainable development.”
The DCO, which focuses on digital economy initiatives supporting youth, startup entrepreneurs and women, has nine member states with a combined GDP of nearly $2 trillion and a population of nearly 600 million.
According to the WEF, DCO member states provide a valuable market opportunity to investors and entrepreneurs alike.
“As the first and only global multilateral focused on enabling digital prosperity for all, the DCO is partnering with the WEF on a Digital FDI Initiative to help countries develop digital FDI-friendly investment climates,” DCO Secretary-General Deemah AlYahya commented.
“We invite digital innovators with a commitment to economic development and inclusion to join us.”
Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, minister for communications and digital economy of Nigeria, a DCO member state and one of the countries where digital FDI enabling projects will be implemented, said: “The digital economy cannot be developed in silos. There is a need for partnership, collaboration and support, and this what the DCO aims to do, by supporting regulation to support development.
“Through the Digital FDI initiative, we are continuing our mission to encourage collaboration and partnership not just between governments, but also investors, policymakers, academics, and everyone involved in the digital economy.”
WASHINGTON: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was named personally in a Washington lawsuit Monday alleging he played a direct role in decisions that set the stage for the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.
The US capital’s attorney general argues that Zuckerberg was closely involved in conceiving the framework that allowed the Britain-based consulting firm to harvest over 70 million US Facebook users data
A whistleblower revealed in 2018 that Cambridge Analytica went on to use that data for political purposes, including trying to rally support for Donald Trump.
“Zuckerberg is not just a figurehead at Facebook; he is personally involved in nearly every decision the company makes,” Washington Attorney General Karl Racine wrote in the suit.
He added that Zuckerberg’s control is baked into the structure of the company, where the founder and CEO holds a majority of voting shares.
Racine’s office sued Facebook over its data privacy practices in 2018 as part of a case that is ongoing.
Facebook’s parent company Meta did not immediately respond to the new lawsuit’s allegations, but spokesman Andy Stone noted on Twitter that a judge had previously rejected Racine’s bid to add Zuckerberg as a defendant in the privacy case.
US authorities imposed what they described as a “historic” $5 billion fine on Facebook in the wake of the scandal, and also required Facebook to ramp up privacy protections, provide detailed quarterly reports on compliance with the deal, and have an independent oversight board.
Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, Facebook has removed access to its data from thousands of apps suspected of abusing it, restricted the amount of information available to developers in general, and made it easier for users to calibrate restrictions on personal data sharing.
ABU DHABI: Sky News Arabia has launched a new Arabic-language digital platform, featuring breaking news, economic analysis and in-depth reporting.
The launch of the platform is in response to “consumer demand for objective and actionable economic intelligence and insights,” according to a company statement.
Youssef Tsouri, head of news at Sky News Arabia told Arab News that the new platform was created in response to “the increased appetite for business news”.

He said: “Over the past few years we have seen a significant increase in the consumption of the business news section of our main website, particularly in the younger Arab generation that is invested in their future and therefore looking for deeper and more relevant information.” 

“With this in mind, we launched the dedicated business platform to provide more depth of coverage to offer both, business leaders and the general public, added value around the current economic landscape,” he added.
The digital publication will cover all topics relating to business and economy across industries including financial technology, energy and oil, tourism, real estate, agriculture and other sectors. will offer more comprehensive news and features tailored to current market trends and audience demands, Tsouri explained.
The website’s content will include diverse content types including reports, videos and exclusive interviews. aims to present complex data in an easy-to-understand manner through charts, infographics and digital videos.
“Thanks to a young and digital-savvy population, the Arab world is one of the most advanced digital economies globally, with many Middle Eastern countries being the early adopters of cutting-edge digital technologies,” said Tsouri. 

He added: “The dedicated business website and social handles are complemented by our dedicated business segments and programs on our linear channel.”   
DUBAI: Leading entertainment resort Disneyland Paris has released its first advert specifically for Arab audiences featuring Dubai-based influencer Sara Karrit.
Airing in the UAE and KSA, the advert is produced by Dubai-based local agency ArabyAds, and features Karrit sharing her dream of visiting Disneyland with her son on the occasion of the destination’s 30th anniversary.

Samira Tachfint, sales and marketing director at Disneyland Paris told Arab News: “Arab audiences, especially those based in the GCC, have always been a major part of our international audience base.
“There is a strong appetite among Emirati/GCC families for Disney destinations and at Disneyland Paris they have access to the ultimate magical experience just 6 hours away by air.”
A large number of Arab families visit every year, particularly during summer, said Tachfint. “Our bespoke luxury offerings and our ever-evolving entertainment encourage repeat visits.”
Disneyland Paris’ 30th-anniversary celebrations include Premier Access Ultimate, a digital service being launched this summer that will provide guests with one-time expedited access to 12 of the most popular attractions, in addition to new shows and experiences.
Tachfint said: “As we mark our 30th anniversary, we produced this ad to celebrate the connection we have forged with our GCC visitors over the past three decades. The ad, produced completely in the GCC and starring local talent, showcases how the magic of Disneyland Paris is alive for different generations and genders.”
Disneyland Paris is the most visited tourist destination in Europe — ahead of the Louvre and Eiffel Tower combined — with more than 16 million annual visitors, according to the company.


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