The damaged bridge joint on the Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas) was repaired immediately on March 3, following a viral video of a car claiming to have its wheels and body damaged by the faulty structure.
Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2019/03/05/kesas-bridge-joint-repaired-the-day-video-of-damaged-car-went-viral/
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Facebook discrimination case: network settles civil rights lawsuits
Facebook will no longer let businesses buy targeted ads on the platform that potentially discriminate against users who are women, people of color, or elderly.
The company announced Tuesday that it was settling five lawsuits filed last year by civil rights groups that claimed the platform’s business model allowed companies to illegally advertise job opportunities, home sales, and credit offers that were only visible to men, young people, and users in white neighborhoods. Even Facebook’s own job ads posted on the network screened out older users.
“Housing, employment and credit ads are crucial to helping people buy new homes, start great careers, and gain access to credit,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote in a blog post. “They should never be used to exclude or harm people. Getting this right is deeply important to me and all of us at Facebook because inclusivity is a core value for our company.”
As part of the settlement, Sandberg said the platform will no longer allow advertisers to target users by age, gender, or zip code if the ads are related to housing, employment, or credit offers. Ads related to other products and services will not be held to this standard.
The announcement is a major change to Facebook’s business model, which has allowed advertisers to target audiences to an extent that no other media company has been able to match. And it’s a sign that Facebook is softening its usual aggressive response toward public criticism.
Facebook was flooded with civil rights lawsuits
The social media network first came under scrutiny for civil rights abuses in 2016, when a ProPublica investigation found that companies could buy ads that screened out users based on their race, which is potentially illegal in the context of housing and employment advertising.
Facebook announced in February 2017 that it had developed a new system to flag and reject certain ads that screened users based on “ethnic affinity,” but the network continued to let advertisers filter out characteristics linked to other protected groups: women, people with disabilities, and religious minorities.
That triggered lawsuits from groups such as the National Fair Housing Alliance, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Communication Workers of America, a labor union representing 700,000 media workers across the country.
In September, a group of women who use Facebook filed a gender discrimination complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, accusing the social media giant and nine other companies of posting biased job ads on the platform.
The businesses reportedly bought ads on Facebook to publicize job openings, but targeted them so that no women who use the platform could see them. The jobs included positions for truck drivers and window installers, according to the New York Times.
The women claimed that hiding employment ads from an entire gender of job seekers was a violation of the Civil Rights Act, which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against workers and job candidates based on gender, race, and other protected traits. The EEOC complaint was filed with support from lawyers at the ACLU and the Communications Workers of America.
In the complaint, lawyers showed how the company’s ad-building tool let businesses exclude women from seeing job posts. A Facebook disclosure for a job ad posted earlier this year by a furniture store in Texas said the business was trying to reach men between 18 and 50 years old near the city of Fort Worth, according to the Times.
Lawyers collected similar job ads posted on Facebook between October 2017 and August 2018, and they filed the complaint on behalf of all women Facebook users who were looking for jobs at the time.
Older workers sued Facebook too
Older workers have also accused Facebook, Ikea, and hundreds of other companies of discriminating against job seekers in their 50s and 60s through targeted job ads posted on Facebook.
The Communications Workers of America added the companies to a class-action lawsuit in May, which was filed in California federal court in 2017. In its original complaint, the labor union accused Amazon, T-Mobile, and Cox Media Group of doing the same thing.
Facebook had previously argued that the company is not legally responsible when other companies buy ads that violate the law. But in the filing, the CWA added Facebook to its complaint as one of the companies accused of violating civil rights laws by targeting its own job ads to younger users.
Here is one ad Facebook posted, submitted by the plaintiffs, inviting users to a career fair with Facebook recruiters. The ads were visible only to users between the ages of 21 and 55:
Facebook denied that these kinds of ads were a form of age discrimination. Rob Goldman, Facebook’s VP of ads, compared it to posting job ads in magazines geared toward young audiences, which the courts have said isn’t inherently a form of age discrimination as long as the company is also posting job ads in media outlets with older audiences or making other recruitment efforts.
“What matters is that marketing is broadly based and inclusive, not simply focused on a particular age group. In addition, certain employers want to attract retirees or recruit for jobs with specific age restrictions like the military or airline pilots,” Goldman wrote in 2017 in response to the original lawsuit and after ProPublica and the New York Times published a joint investigation that year, describing potential age and gender discrimination in the job ads (the first ProPublica investigation focused on race and ethnicity only).
Plaintiffs in the age discrimination lawsuit wanted the court to order the companies involved, including Facebook itself, to stop posting job ads that filter out older workers. They argued that it’s a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which makes it illegal to discriminate against workers over the age of 40 in employment advertising, recruiting, hiring, and other employment opportunities.
Here are a few other ads the plaintiffs submitted as evidence:
The settlement is forcing Facebook to change its ways
As part of the settlement deal announced Tuesday, which includes all of these civil rights lawsuits, the company agreed to revamp its advertising tool — but without accepting liability for potentially violating anti-discrimination laws.
Aside from making changes that would make it impossible for advertisers to target protected classes in certain contexts, the company said it will also create a tool for users to search all housing ads, not just those that were tailored to them.
The settlement marks a victory for civil rights groups, which have accused Silicon Valley of perpetuating discrimination and inequality. It’s also a striking shift in the company’s usual strategy of deflecting public criticism or blame.
20 Awkward Cats Who Fall Asleep in Crazy Ways
Cats have mastered the art of sleeping, which is not surprising since they spend most of their day asleep. The thing that surprises us is the law of physics-defying positions they fall asleep in. They often leave us amazed or even a little freaked out, but they’re comfortable so we shouldn’t complain. They make for some of the funniest pictures after all!
Bright Side wants to show you 20 pictures of some furry knots that truly amazed us. Also, we have a little puzzle for you in the last picture!
20. When you don’t have a blanket, so you need to cover yourself with your own legs
19. In the newest cat bed, you can roll around while sleeping.
18. Pocket kitten taking a little nap
17. Who needs cat beds anyway?
16. When you’re so tired that you can’t even make it to bed:
15. As if we needed more proof that cats defy the laws of physics…
14. Not sure if the cat is dreaming of sunbathing or flying.
13. This cat read about a sleeping position called “the snail”.
12. Someone had an exhausting day at work.
11. A cat’s mission is to find every spot suitable for sleeping.
10. We can tell that this cat is very comfortable.
9. A fur spiral
8. Another cat that doesn’t need a blanket to cover itself!
7. Enjoying the sunshine
6. When your nap is so good, you start melting:
5. Always be camouflaged, even when you’re sleeping.
4. When you don’t exactly fit, but it doesn’t stop you from taking a nap:
3. We think this cat is dreaming of flying like Superman.
2. Bones are overrated anyway.
1. Here’s your puzzle! How long did it take you to find its head?
Cats are adorable when they sleep and they never fail to amaze us with their quirkiness! Have your cats fallen asleep in strange positions? We need to see them! So please, make our day and everyone else’s by showing us!
Bernie Sanders’s reparations comments could hurt DSA 2020 endorsement
Sen. Bernie Sanders’s refusal to give a full-throated endorsement of reparations is throwing a wrench into his long-expected endorsement from the Democratic Socialists of America.
The DSA’s AfroSocialist and Socialists of Color Caucus, a section within the organization focused on race and people of color, is asking the DSA’s national political committee to withhold its endorsement of Sanders’s presidential campaign over his stance on reparations. The independent Vermont senator has declined to back reparations for the descendants of slaves in the United States, arguing that broader anti-poverty programs will help address inequality and that it’s not clear what the term means.
DSA’s members already voted 76 percent to 24 percent to endorse Sanders in a poll conducted by the organization’s leadership earlier this month. The 16-member national political committee is set to vote on the endorsement on Thursday evening. The AfroSocialist and Socialists of Color Caucus is pushing for them to withhold that endorsement.
The caucus laid out its reasoning in an open letter to the political committee and explained that while they believe Sanders has advanced in his stance on race, “there is still a disconnect in his approach to economic issues often failing to comprehend how race and class are intertwined.”
“Should the organization move forward with an endorsement of the Sanders campaign, despite his failure to adopt specific policy stances to address matters of persisting racial injustice and despite his unwillingness to champion reparations to specifically address the experience of the descendants of African slaves, it will risk alienating not just members of color within the organization, but people of color in the communities in which the DSA works,” the letter reads. “We ask that the DSA withholds endorsement of the Bernie Sanders campaign for the presidency until Sanders finally acknowledges the validity of black demands for reparations in America.”
Democratic Socialists of America, which claims to be the largest socialist organization in the US and has gained significantly in prominence in recent years. (Jeff Stein laid out for Vox in 2017 what DSA is all about.) It has more than 50,000 members nationwide.
The letter has caused some internal consternation within DSA, which has been criticized for being a heavily white and male organization.
“There is a lot of really frustrated white comrades right now and comrades of color, to be quite honest, about how this is a stupid strategy, and what’s going on, but I think their hearts are in the right place,” Bianca Cunningham, co-chair of New York City’s DSA chapter, told me. “Sometimes, having these discussions is uncomfortable, and it means you even have to challenge comrades who you see as allies.”
What Sanders has said about reparations
Reparations has become a topic of conversation in the 2020 Democratic primary, and multiple candidates — including Sanders — have been asked to weigh in.
It’s worth noting that reparations polls poorly among the general public, but is more popular with younger voters and voters of color — prime parts of the Democratic base. It has thus gained credence among those on the left as the Democratic Party becomes more aware of and responsive to issues like the racial wealth gap. Black voters make up about 25 percent of Democratic primary voters, a constituency Sanders struggled with somewhat in 2016 but one with which he has been gaining support more recently.
At a CNN town hall event with journalist Wolf Blitzer in February, Sanders was asked about reparations. He said that there are “massive disparities that must be addressed” but did not come out in favor of reparations. Sanders pointed to legislation he likes, including Rep. Jim Clyburn’s (D-SC) 10/20/30 anti-poverty program, which he has endorsed. It calls for more federal resources to be sent to communities with high, sustained levels of poverty.
Sanders said we have to do “everything that we can do end institutional racism in this country” and “put resources into distressed communities and improve lives for those people who have been hurt from the legacy of slavery.” But he wouldn’t come out in favor of reparations, and he said it’s not clear what the term even means.
“But what does they mean? What do they mean?” he said. “I’m not sure that anyone’s very clear. What I’ve just said is that I think we must do everything that we can to address the massive level of disparity that exists in this country.”
The DSA caucus calling for the organization to withhold its endorsement cited Sanders’s comments at the CNN town hall. They said he appeared “defensive” and “the dismissive nature of the response effectively shut down the opportunity for meaningful conversation on this issue.”
Sanders was also asked about reparations in a subsequent appearance on the talk show The View and again declined to back them. “I think that right now, our job is to address the crises facing the American people and our communities, and I think there are better ways to do that than just writing out a check,” he said.
That Sanders is not supportive of reparations is not a surprise — he did not support them in 2016 either, claiming they were “divisive” and nearly impossible to get through Congress. (President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton did not support reparations, either.) More broadly, Sanders has struggled with his messaging on race. In 2015, Black Lives Matter activists disrupted one of his speeches.
A Sanders spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on the DSA’s reparations debate.
Reparations have become an important issue in the 2020 primary
The issue of reparations has become a notable topic of conversation among 2020 Democrats.
Vox’s P.R. Lockhart recently delved into the debate and what candidates have said about it. Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), for example, have expressed some level of support for reparations, and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is running on a proposed “baby bonds” program that would help close the racial wealth gap.
But as Lockhart notes, the issue — and the discussion around it — isn’t clear-cut:
Some candidates have also noted that reparations — the process of apologizing and providing restitution to those harmed by slavery and its legacy — would serve as payment for a debt America has yet to truly acknowledge 150 years after emancipation.
But they’ve stopped short of actually calling for reparations programs. Instead, experts say that some candidates have muddied the waters by framing universal programs that would help black communities as a form of reparations — which they aren’t.
The discussion has touched on a longstanding debate about what the United States owes to the descendants of enslaved men and women — a population that has been systematically denied wealth and opportunity in a country built with the stolen labor of their ancestors.
Sanders’s approach to racial issues has historically been centered on economic inequality and the idea that communities of color would benefit most from his proposals such as Medicare-for-all and free education. Nelini Stamp, who heads strategy and partnerships for the Working Families Party and supports reparations, in a recent interview told me that’s not enough.
“Similar to having capitalism be a bad word, we need reparations to be a good word,” she said.
Stamp added that people who back Sanders should pressure him on the issue as well. “There should be actual outrage from Bernie’s strongest supporters about his reparations comments,” she said.
Sanders will probably still get the DSA’s endorsement
It’s not clear what, if any, effect the DSA AfroSocialist and Socialists of Color Caucus’s letter will have on the organization’s decision on backing Sanders. Its membership appears to overwhelmingly support the move, though there has been some debate about whether it’s the right move.
The national political committee is set to debate and vote on the endorsement on Thursday at 9 pm.
Beyond this vote, the discussion about reparations and, more broadly, race, isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, in the context of the Sanders campaign or among democratic socialists more broadly.
“I don’t think the problem is that they’re pushing for this, I think the problem is the way that people receive it,” Cunningham, from New York’s DSA, said of the AfroSocialist and Socialists of Color Caucus’s letter. “And so, we hear some people saying, ‘This is going to tear apart the organization.’ Well, it doesn’t have to. You can receive this in good faith and really engage in this in a good faith way.”
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