Facebook and Open AI on the brink of new AI models capable of ‘reasoning and planning’


Important Takeaways:

  • OpenAI and Meta are on the brink of releasing new artificial intelligence models that they say will be capable of reasoning and planning, critical steps towards achieving superhuman cognition in machines.
  • Executives at OpenAI and Meta both signaled this week that they were preparing to launch the next versions of their large language models, the systems that power generative AI applications such as ChatGPT.
  • Meta said it would begin rolling out Llama 3 in the coming weeks, while Microsoft-backed OpenAI indicated that its next model, expected to be called GPT-5, was coming “soon”.
  • Because they struggle to deal with complex questions or retain information for a long period, they still “make stupid mistakes”, he said.
  • Adding reasoning would mean that an AI model “searches over possible answers”, “plans the sequence of actions” and builds a “mental model of what the effect of [its] actions are going to be”, he said.
  • This is a “big missing piece that we are working on to get machines to get to the next level of intelligence”, he added.

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Facebook parent company Meta has a fit over new California Bill

Daniel 12:4 But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase

Important Takeaways:

  • Meta threatens to pull news posts from Facebook, Instagram if California bill becomes law
  • Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has threatened to remove news posts from those social media platforms should Assembly Bill 886, dubbed the California Journalism Preservation Act, become law.
  • The measure, authored by Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, would require social media companies, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to pay a monthly “journalism usage fee” — to be determined through an arbitration process — based on the social media platform’s monthly ad revenue.
  • The money would go into a fund for payments to the companies that produced the content. Media companies would be required, under the proposed law, to spend at least 70% of that money on journalists and support staff.

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Facebook faces backlash for censoring book publisher

Romans 1:18 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness”

Important Takeaways:

  • Facebook Reinstates Conservative Book Publisher’s Account After Major Backlash
  • As CBN News previously reported, Facebook disabled ads from the children’s publisher offering biographical books about former President Ronald Reagan, economist Thomas Sowell, and Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. The platform claimed Heroes of Liberty violated the site’s rules against “Low Quality or Disruptive Content.”
  • Ted Cruz said “When conservatives start independent publishing outlets and platforms, #BigTech companies like Facebook now work to destroy them. This latest example is particularly galling.”
  • Andy Stone, the policy communications director for Facebook’s parent company, Meta, replied, claiming the ban on Heroes of Liberty was a mistake.
  • “This should not have happened,” he wrote. “It was an error and the ad account’s been restored.”

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Facebook Censors conservative children’s book publisher

Romans 1:18  “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness”

Important Takeaways:

  • ‘Another Glaring Example of Cancel Culture’: Facebook Blocks Conservative Children’s Book Publisher
  • The social media giant claimed that Heroes of Liberty violated its rules against “Low Quality or Disruptive Content”
  • Facebook has permanently disabled the ads of a new conservative children’s book publisher offering the biographies of President Ronald Reagan, economist Thomas Sowell, and Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
  • Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz blasted Facebook, tweeting: “When conservatives start independent publishing outlets and platforms, #BigTech companies like Facebook now work to destroy them. This latest example is particularly galling.”

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White House sees YouTube, Facebook as ‘Judge, Jury & Executioner’ on vaccine misinformation

By Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House has YouTube, not just Facebook, on its list of social media platforms officials say are responsible for an alarming spread of misinformation about COVID vaccines and are not doing enough to stop it, sources familiar with the administration’s thinking said.

The criticism comes just a week after President Joe Biden called Facebook and other social media companies “killers” for failing to slow the spread of misinformation about vaccines. He has since softened his tone.

A senior administration official said one of the key problems is “inconsistent enforcement.” YouTube – a unit of Alphabet Inc’s Google – and Facebook get to decide what qualifies as misinformation on their platforms. But the results have left the White House unhappy.

“Facebook and YouTube… are the judge, the jury and the executioner when it comes to what is going on in their platforms,” an administration official said, describing their approach to COVID misinformation. “They get to grade their own homework.”

Some of the main pieces of vaccine misinformation the Biden administration is fighting include that the COVID-19 vaccines are ineffective, false claims that they carry microchips and that they hurt women’s fertility, the official said.

Social media companies have come under fire recently from Biden, his press secretary, Jen Psaki, and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who have all said the spread of lies about vaccines is making it harder to fight the pandemic and save lives.

A recent report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), which has also been highlighted by the White House, showed 12 anti-vaccine accounts are spreading nearly two-thirds of anti-vaccine misinformation online. Six of those accounts are still posting on YouTube.

“We would like to see more done by everybody” to limit the spread of inaccurate information from those accounts, the official said.

The fight against vaccine misinformation has become a top priority for the Biden administration at a time when the pace of vaccinations has slowed considerably despite the risk posed by the Delta variant, with people in many parts of the country hostile to being vaccinated.

The requests to Facebook and YouTube come after the White House reached out to Facebook, Twitter and Google in February about clamping down on COVID misinformation, seeking their help to stop it from going viral, another senior administration official said then.

“Facebook is the 800-pound gorilla in the room when it comes to vaccine misinformation… but Google has a lot to answer for and somehow manages to get away with it always because people forget they own YouTube,” said Imran Ahmed, CCDH founder and chief executive.

YouTube spokeswoman Elena Hernandez said that since March 2020, the company has removed over 900,000 videos containing COVID-19 misinformation and terminated YouTube channels of people identified in the CCDH report. She said the company’s policies are based on the content of the video, rather than the speaker.

“If any remaining channels mentioned in the report violate our policies, we will take action, including permanent terminations,” she said.

On Monday, YouTube also said it will add more credible health information and as well as tabs for viewers to click on.

The senior administration official cited four issues on which the administration has asked Facebook to provide specific data, but the company has been reticent to comply.

These include how much vaccine misinformation exists on its platform, who is seeing the inaccurate claims, what the company is doing to reach out to them and how does Facebook know the steps it is taking are working.

The official said the answers Facebook has given are not “good enough.” Facebook spokesman Kevin McAlister said the company has removed over 18 million pieces of COVID-19 misinformation since the start of the pandemic and that its own data shows that for people in the United States using the platform, vaccine hesitancy has declined by 50% since January and vaccine acceptance is high.

In a separate blog post last Saturday, Facebook called on the administration to stop “finger-pointing,” laying out the steps it had taken to encourage users to get vaccinated.

But the administration official said the blog post did not have any metrics of success. The Biden administration’s broad concern is that the platforms are “either lying to us and hiding the ball, or they’re not taking it seriously and there isn’t a deep analysis of what’s going on in their platforms,” the official said. “That calls any solutions they have into question.”

(Reporting by Nandita Bose; Editing by Chris Sanders and Dan Grebler)

Trump compares COVID-19 to flu in tweet, Twitter raises red flag

(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump played down the COVID-19 pandemic again, comparing it to the flu in a tweet on Tuesday, and Twitter Inc responded by putting a warning label on the tweet, saying the post included potentially misleading information.

“Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!” Trump had tweeted.

Earlier in the day, Facebook Inc removed a similar post by Trump, according to CNN.

The tweet comes hours after Trump was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

On Monday, Trump told Americans “to get out there” and not fear COVID-19 as he returned to the White House after a three-night hospital stay to be treated for the new coronavirus and removed his white surgical mask to pose for pictures.

During the 2019-2020 influenza season, the flu was associated with 22,000 deaths, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates.

(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

In battleground Wisconsin, some Latinos feel ignored by Biden

By Tim Reid and Dan Simmons

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) – Cesar Hernandez says he has made thousands of phone calls since June urging Latinos in the battleground state of Wisconsin to support Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

It’s a tough sell, admits Hernandez, especially where he lives on the South Side of Milwaukee, the heart of Wisconsin’s Latino community. He said Biden’s Spanish-language ads on Hulu and Facebook aren’t connecting with the neighborhood’s voters, many of whom would prefer a more personal touch.

“Latinos have seen almost nothing from Biden here,” said Hernandez, 25, who works for the Progressive Turnout Project, a national group working to mobilize Democratic voters. “There is very little enthusiasm for him.”

As the race to the Nov. 3 election enters the home stretch, appeals to Latino voters have taken on new urgency for Biden and incumbent Republican President Donald Trump. Both campaigns are pouring resources into the battleground states of Florida and Arizona, as well as increasingly competitive Nevada, whose large Latino populations could determine the outcome in those states.

Even in Wisconsin, where 87% of the population is white, the state’s 230,000 eligible Latino voters could prove critical. Trump won the state by just 22,000 votes in 2016.

A string of recent polls show Biden ahead in Wisconsin. The polling aggregation website RealClearPolitics has Biden leading Trump by an average of 5.5 percentage points from six polls conducted in September.

Trump has visited the state five times this year. His campaign has opened an office on Milwaukee’s South Side, where authentic taco outlets jostle with bilingual tax preparers and a Puerto Rican barber shop. The windows of the campaign storefront are plastered with Trump signs and its shelves bear merchandise such as “Latinos for Trump” hats.

The Biden campaign said in statements to Reuters that its outreach efforts to Latinos in Wisconsin and nationally were unprecedented in scale.

It said it had a full-time Latino outreach director in Wisconsin and dozens of staff organizing in predominantly Latino communities. It is running Spanish-language phone and text banks and has ads on multiple platforms, including Spanish-language radio and Spanish-language mailers. Dozens of virtual roundtables, rallies and other events targeting the Latino community have been held, the Biden campaign said.

“The campaign has communicated with tens of thousands of Latino voters about the clear choice in this year’s election,” said Jen Molina, Biden’s national Latino media director.

But Reuters interviews with 30 Latino residents and activists on Milwaukee’s South Side suggest those efforts may be falling short, reflecting what some call an “enthusiasm gap” for Biden among Latinos nationwide that has been noted by pollsters and analysts.

Several residents interviewed said the only contact they’ve had with the Biden campaign are phone texts in English soliciting donations. Fifteen of 24 Latino voters interviewed said they would vote for Biden, albeit with little fervor. Some said he was too old and seemed more focused on Black voters and their concerns about social justice.

“It’s like he’s not listening to us,” Hernandez said, adding that many feel Biden is taking them for granted. “We’re not being heard.”

Others blamed the novel coronavirus pandemic. With cases surging in Wisconsin, Biden’s team has stuck to a mostly virtual campaign; plans for a campaign office in Milwaukee’s South Side were scrapped, said Darryl Morin, a Biden campaign volunteer focused on turning out Latino voters.

Trump’s Wisconsin team, meanwhile, has continued door-to-door campaigning and in-person outreach, a strategy that Morin said resonates with Latino voters.

“I completely get why people feel there has been a lack of presence” from Biden’s campaign, Morin said. “Sometimes it’s frustrating the degree we are having to limit the operations. Only one side is continuing to go out in person – the Trump campaign.”


Nationally, Biden leads Trump among registered voters who identify as Hispanics: 53% said they would back the Democrat, while 30% said they would vote for Trump, slightly more than backed the Republican in 2016, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling in September.

But Biden’s 23-point advantage is smaller than the 39-point lead Clinton had over Trump among Hispanic voters on Election Day four years ago.

If his campaign fails to make up that ground, it could prove “disastrous” for Biden in closely contested states with significant Latino populations, said Jaime Regalado, an expert on Latino voters at California State University in Los Angeles.

Trump’s anti-immigrant policies and harsh rhetoric about migrants are widely unpopular with Latinos. Yet polls show many trust him on the economy. In Florida, a must-win state for Trump, he has made inroads with conservative Cuban-Americans with the false claim that Biden and the Democrats are “socialists.” In battleground Arizona, Trump held a “Latinos for Trump” roundtable with voters in Phoenix last month.

The Biden campaign says its virtual events in Wisconsin focused on the Latino community have involved high-profile officials, including Michelle Lujan Grisham, the first Latina Democratic governor of New Mexico. Last month, a virtual bus tour with Democratic members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus held an event in Wisconsin.

Biden’s running mate, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, met last month with representatives of Voces de la Frontera, Wisconsin’s biggest immigrant-rights group, which has endorsed the Democratic ticket. Voces says it has staff and volunteers working across the state to register 23,000 new voters by Election Day.


The South Side of Milwaukee is a microcosm of Biden’s broader struggles.

Jose Vasquez, 71, a community leader, said it didn’t matter how many text messages, virtual events or phone calls the Biden campaign said it has made.

“You can hand out a thousand fliers, but if you’re not knocking on a single door or talking face-to-face with a single person, you have little impact,” he said in an interview.

Vasquez, a retired school principal, said he wants to see more from Biden on issues Latinos care about, such as a visit to Puerto Rico, which still needs massive aid after a 2017 hurricane, or a trip to the southern border with Mexico to discuss immigration reform.

Democrats had planned to hold Biden’s nominating convention in Milwaukee this summer but were forced to host the four-day event virtually because of the pandemic.


A third of the two dozen Latino residents interviewed by Reuters in Milwaukee were enthusiastic Trump supporters.

Among them is Mayra Gomez, 41, a lifelong Democrat. The Puerto Rico native said she began looking at the president after receiving an unsolicited Facebook message from a conservative group urging Latinos to break away from the Democratic Party.

Gomez said she was attracted to Trump’s law-and-order message and his economic policies. She said she’ll vote for him in November, and is urging family and friends to do the same.

“Remember, Trump’s not a politician. He’s a businessman,” Gomez said. “What he says may sound funny, but he’s actually speaking the truth.”

The Biden campaign says it is ramping up efforts as the election nears.

On Sept. 26, Todos con Biden, a national coalition of Latino organizers and volunteers working to elect Biden, held its first outdoor event in Wisconsin. At a park on Milwaukee’s South Side, it handed out 500 campaign yard signs.

(Reporting by Tim Reid in Los Angeles and Dan Simmons in Milwaukee; Additional reporting by Chris Kahn in New York. Editing by Ross Colvin and Marla Dickerson)

Senate panel plans to issue subpoenas to CEOs of Google, Facebook, Twitter

By Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee chaired by Republican Senator Roger Wicker will issue subpoenas to the chief executives of Twitter Inc., Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc. if they do not agree to testify at a hearing on Oct. 1.

The hearing will discuss a legal immunity known as Section 230 that technology companies have when it comes to liability over content posted by users.

Republican President Donald Trump has made holding tech companies accountable for allegedly stifling conservative voices a theme of his administration. As a result calls for a reform of tech’s prized legal immunity have been intensifying ahead of the elections but has little chance to be approved by Congress this year

The committee will issue subpoenas if the technology companies do not agree to appear in front of the committee by Thursday night, a spokeswoman for Wicker confirmed to Reuters.

On Wednesday, Trump met with nine Republican state attorneys general to discuss the fate of Section 230 after the Justice Department unveiled a legislative proposal aimed at reforming the law.

“In recent years, a small group of powerful technology platforms have tightened their grip over commerce and communications in America,” Trump told reporters after the meeting.

“Every year countless Americans are banned, blacklisted and silenced through arbitrary or malicious enforcement of ever-shifting rules,” he added.

Any substantial changes to reform the law will have to wait until after the elections.

The chief executives of Google and Facebook along with Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. recently testified before the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

U.S. Justice Department to propose changes to internet platforms immunity: source

By David Shepardson and Ayanti Bera

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department will unveil later on Wednesday a proposal that seeks to limit legal protections for internet platforms on managing content, a person briefed on the matter confirmed.

The proposal, which takes aim at Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google, would need congressional approval and is not likely to see action until next year at the earliest.

President Donald Trump in May signed an executive order that seeks new regulatory oversight of tech firms’ content moderation decisions and backed legislation to scrap or weaken the relevant provision in the 1996 Communications Decency Act, Section 230.

Trump will meet on Wednesday with a group of state attorneys general amid his criticism of social media companies. Twitter has repeatedly placed warning labels on Trump tweets, saying they have included potentially misleading information about mail-in voting.

Trump will meet with state attorneys general from Texas, Arizona, Utah, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, South Carolina and Missouri – like Trump, all Republicans – according to a person briefed on the matter.

“Online censorship goes far beyond the issue of free speech, it’s also one of protecting consumers and ensuring they are informed of their rights and resources to fight back under the law,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said on Monday.

Trump directed the Commerce Department to file a petition asking the Federal Communication Commission to limit protections under Section 230 after Twitter warned readers in May to fact-check his posts about unsubstantiated claims of fraud in mail-in voting. The petition is still pending.

A group representing major internet companies including Facebook, Amazon.com Inc and Google urged the FCC to reject the petition, saying it was “misguided, lacks grounding in law, and poses serious public policy concerns.”

The Wall Street Journal reported the planned Justice Department proposal earlier.

Police debunk social media misinformation linking Oregon wildfires to activists

By Elizabeth Culliford

(Reuters) – Several Oregon police departments have aimed to debunk misinformation spreading on social media platforms this week, including Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc, blaming leftist and right-wing groups for wildfires raging in the state.

“Rumors spread just like wildfire and now our 9-1-1 dispatchers and professional staff are being overrun with requests for information and inquiries on an UNTRUE rumor that 6 Antifa members have been arrested for setting fires in DOUGLAS COUNTY, OREGON,” read a Facebook post from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon on Thursday. “THIS IS NOT TRUE!”

PolitiFact, one of Facebook’s third-party fact-checking partners, wrote on Thursday on its website that dozens of posts blaming Antifa for the wildfires had been flagged by the social media company’s systems, and that collectively the posts had been shared thousands of times.

Antifa, which stands for anti-fascist, is a largely unstructured, far-left movement whose followers broadly aim to confront those they view as authoritarian or racist. U.S. President Donald Trump and some fellow Republicans have in recent months sought to blame the movement for violence at anti-racism protests, but have presented little evidence.

A Wednesday tweet from a self-described representative for conservative youth group Turning Point USA, which has been shared about 2,900 times, said the fires were “allegedly linked to Antifa and the Riots.”

Around half a million people in Oregon evacuated as dozens of extreme, wind-driven wildfires scorched the U.S. West Coast states on Friday, destroying hundreds of homes and killing at least 16 people, state and local authorities said.

Earlier this week, Medford police in Oregon also debunked a false post using the police department’s logo and name suggesting that five members of the Proud Boys had been arrested for arson.

The men-only, far-right Proud Boys group describes itself as a fraternal club of “Western chauvinists.”

“This is a made up graphic and story. We did not arrest this person for arson, nor anyone affiliated with Antifa or ‘Proud Boys’ as we’ve heard throughout the day,” the police department wrote in a Facebook post.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon also posted on Thursday: “We are inundated with questions about things that are FAKE stories. One example is a story circulating that varies about what group is involved as to setting fires and arrests being made.”

Climate scientists say global warming has contributed to greater extremes in wet and dry seasons, causing vegetation to flourish and then dry out in the U.S. West, creating fuel for fires.

Police have opened a criminal arson investigation into at least one Oregon blaze, the Almeda Fire, Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara said.

A Facebook spokeswoman said it had attached warning labels and reduced the distribution of posts about fires’ origins that were rated false by its fact-checking partners.

A Twitter spokeswoman said it did not seem that the rumors violated the social media site’s rules, saying in a statement: “As we have said before we will not be able to take enforcement action on every Tweet that contains incomplete or disputed information.”

(Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford in Birmingham, England, additional reporting by Katie Paul in San Francisco; Editing by Tom Brown)