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CommsWeek, CBT Develop App to Fight Hate Speech

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Communication Week Media Limited, publishers of Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, and Core Business Technologies Limited (CBT) have developed mobile phone application to enable the public to report hate speech in a bid to curb the spread of extremism and sectarianism.

 

Hate speech is speech which attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, or gender.

 

According to Ken Nwogbo, a Nigerian newspaper columnist, ICT Journalist and founder, Communication Week Media Limited, the App aims primarily to tackle the impunity of hate crimes.

 

“Hate speech is clear and present evil, the many wars across the world were caused by the crimes of hate speech, that was why we partnered with CBT, arguably one of Nigeria’s solution-oriented, dynamic and indigenous Information Technology and Solutions service provider to develop this App” Nwogbo added.

 

Compatible with both Android and iOS operating systems, the App called “Pana” tackles hate speech by establishing monitoring and evaluation units in the App.

 

Edward Essien, CEO of CBT, said “I do not support capital punishment for hate speech, that is why we developed the App to nip it in the bud. By sentencing hate speech offender to maximum penalty, the government is inadvertently promoting hate speech”

 

“By that, the government is promoting one section of the society against the other, the best thing to do it trace and trap such speech” he added.

 

The app enables citizens to report anonymously extremist speeches, banners or activities wherever they notice them. Users can send pictures, audio, video or a written message.

 

Such data and information received can be shared with police and other law-enforcement and regulatory authorities.

 


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Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Konga Eyes Listing on Global Stock Markets as Part of Africa Expansion – Prince Ekeh

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Konga, foremost retail giant, has invested well over $120m since it was acquired two years ago in Nigeria alone and now strategically structured to take on other African countries.

Konga Eyes Listing on Global Stock Markets as Part of Africa Expansion – Prince Ekeh

Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, co-chief executive officer, Konga Group

Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, co-chief executive officer, Konga Group, who stated this also said that ‘‘Though we started with a monthly loss of N400m, but with new systems, structure and energy put in place, we have gradually been reducing losses and now about N100m loss per month. E-Commerce is an expensive project but we are best positioned to deliveras a very innovative technology company,’’ he disclosed.

Equally important, Prince Ekeh made the disclosure on Kaleidoscope, an interview programme aired on Channels TV on Sunday, August 2. The young business leader, who described Konga as a technology company revealed that Konga employs directly and indirectly over 150,000 Nigerians. Most of them are merchants, logistics and other service providers.

‘‘We partner to create a trusted and sustainable digitally-driven ecosystem and working hard to scale this to about 250,000 before the end of 2020.

‘‘We see ourselves as more than just an e-Commerce company. Konga is a technology company and as a technology company, we are positioned to leverage that status in deploying new solutions and innovations. Indeed, no one should be surprised if tomorrow, Konga starts launching space ships into orbit. Although we have received several offers from interested investors, we are content with the group that is currently funding Konga. The group is highly ethical and want us to maintain the highest level of integrity.Our investors have assured us of enough capital to survive the next five years atleast. This was why we did not accommodate a valuation of $300m from a consortium of global investors last year.

‘‘However, we are also keen to expand into other African markets after taking charge of the Nigerian market. The e-Commerce market in African is still a largely untapped one. Therefore, any company that makes the right in-roads will reap huge benefits from it,’’ he said.

‘‘We have also received enquiries from the New York Stock Exchange, the London Stock Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange to list on these markets. It’s something that will happen as part of our African expansion plan when Konga becomes a multi-billion-dollar business.’’

Continuing, he stated: ‘‘Our strategies and tact are 21st century influenced, but also taking cognizance of deficiencies in our country and that was why we spent the first two years rebuilding technologies, setting up secure but robust warehousing facilities and delivery logistics nationwide. With these under our control and owned by us,we are driving towards profitability.  It is important to note that at Konga, we do not believe in just hype

‘‘In addition to our status as a technology company, Konga is also Nigeria’s first ever marketplace andcomposite e-commerce group. The company is on the verge of rolling out a suite of cutting-edge solutions and services that will excite the market very soon.

‘‘But that is not all. A lot is happening behind the scenes at Konga. We recently announced the re-launch of the Konga Affiliate programme. Also, we developed a solution for corporate procurement which has helped procurement managers in major establishments. Konga boasts the largest collection of merchants and because of this, pricing is very aggressive, thereby helping procurement managers get the best deals on Konga while also promoting transparency. We are committed to our vision and clearly understand that it is a long term and highly ethical race,’’ he concluded.

Acquired by the Zinox Group in December 2018 and having achieved over 1000% growth, Konga has grown from a position of strength into arguably Nigeria’s leading e-Commerce brand, with a long list of innovative strategies and solutions setting it apart in the sector.

 

 

 

 


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Antitrust Regulation Tip of the Iceberg for Big Techs- GlobalData

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The US Congress anti-trust committee held a five-hour hearing on the market power of big tech companies this week.

Antitrust Regulation Tip of the Iceberg for Big Techs- GlobalData

However, antitrust is just the tip of the iceberg, according to GlobalData, as regulators are expected to come after big tech companies in ten different areas – with antitrust, misinformation and data privacy the most urgent issues.

Laura Petrone, senior analyst at GlobalData, commented: “At stake is the very future of the ad-funded business model that supports Facebook, Google and many others. Under this model, free services are provided in exchange for personal data, which is then used to serve targeted ads to users. Reduced security, alongside less reliable information, is the price that users have to pay.

“Antitrust has been, and will continue to be, a major regulatory plague for big tech. However, in the future, control of data will be the key regulatory issue, with data privacy gaining prominence. In aspects such as content, online harm and obstruction of justice, the tech giants will be asked to adopt a duty of care or face tighter control, with internet ecosystems like Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook and Apple being particularly vulnerable. In these areas, including copyright, a big divide is emerging between traditional publishers and broadcasters that are, by and large, trusted for their reputable, high quality content, and tech giants that refuse to bear responsibility for the toxic and sometimes illegal content they publish.”

Petrone continued: “In the digital era, the abuse of market power is real. The key to understanding it is to look at the control of customer data by big tech companies. The major internet ecosystems have established near-monopolies in their respective sectors by producing apps that combine user interface, software code and personal data, and are controlled from their own cloud servers. Most online data is siloed on the servers of companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter, and is monetized through targeted advertising. This implies that, if users move to a rival service, they lose their data.

“Big tech companies can use this wealth of data to spy on competitors, acquire important information on them, and use it to reinforce their own dominance. Congress’s hearing showed that, while competition laws were not conceived for the digital economy, antitrust is a critical issue in for the tech giants and tackling it will probably require a reframing of existing legislation”.

 

 


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How Facebook’s Messenger Kids can Help Parents Safely Introduce their Children to Social Media

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By Evelyn Kasina

From the onset of the Coronavirus, there has been the unuttered and unmet request from our children, “We miss our friends, we want to connect with them and do fun things like we did before!” While the Coronavirus has denied our children the ability to go to school, play with their friends and do what they do best – be children, the virus has also exposed our inherent need as humans to stay physically connected with each other.

As we all get accustomed to the “new normal” ways of connecting with our loved ones, Social media has become our closest ally with video calls offering a somewhat close to normal “face to face” experience for adults and children alike.

Video conferencing and Social media apps now enable virtual meetings, webinars, Live parties and groups that mobilize communities for a common good despite social distancing. Most learning has also gone virtual with schools using virtual lessons to stay up to date with the curriculum and keep children engaged.

Apart from school work, children are also browsing the internet as part of their learning and social time. As the “new normal” becomes our new reality, children are spending more time online as they look for interactive ways to entertain and connect with their friends.

According to the latest report by Internetworldstats Q1 2020 March, internet penetration in Africa is rising with total penetration at 39%.

The highest penetration is noted in Kenya with  up to 87%, Libya at 74 % and Seychelles at 72%. Whereas these rising numbers show positive growth in the digital space, they also portend concern where there is unregulated use of the internet by young impressionable minds.

It is inevitable that our children will be more exposed to online platforms than before and this has parents mulling over how much control they should exercise over their children’s interactions with social media.

With this in mind, mobile apps that aim at improving safety controls to children are welcome and useful to parents. The good news is that we’re increasingly seeing social media platforms taking an active lead in providing solutions.

Recently Facebook launched the Facebook Messenger for Kids, a video chat and messaging app that helps children between the ages of 6 to 12 years connect with friends and family in a fun, parent-controlled space.

The platform is fostering amazing and safe connections between children and parents. Through the apps Parent Dashboard, parents can control and monitor their children’s online activities.  It is great to note that the dashboard can monitor recent contacts, chat history, and see a log of images and videos in chats.

The app also has some interesting features such as Supervised Friending that enables parents to choose to allow their kids to also accept, reject, add or remove contacts, while maintaining the ability to override any new contact approvals from the Parent Dashboard.

Remote Devise Logout is a feature that allows parents to see all devices where their child is logged in to Messenger Kids and log out of the app on any device through the Parent Dashboard. The app also enables parents to download the child’s information as a way of staying up to date with their online activities.

As a Digital Literacy Online and Safety practitioner, I loved the fact that Messenger Kids provides a safe space for parents to learn about social media whilst coaching their children on how to handle their information and connect with their friends and family.

When I raved about the app to some of my close friends they initially expressed general concerns about social media citing explicit content, online predators, excessive screen time and online addiction.

I know that being a Parent isn’t easy and that most parents have tonnes of questions about Social Media and when to introduce their children to it. I advise parents who are considering Messenger Kids and other kid-friendly apps to have conversations about Social media with their children- they may be surprised just how much their kids know! Rather than shying away from addressing topics like stalking and bullying, parents should lean onto these conversations encouraging children to respect each other and their diversity and flagging any bullying or harassment that they face on social media or in school.

For parents who wish to introduce Messenger Kids to their children, it’s also noteworthy to highlight that the app allows parents and guardians to manage screen time by applying a sleep mode feature that limits the amount of time spent online.

Ultimately, Messenger Kids is a technological advancement and in my view a great tool that parents can use to promote digital literacy and encourage online safety. Parents can also use the app as a conduit to discuss social media with their children from an early age.

In this digital age, I believe that African parents can also use the app to foster connections for their children while encouraging them to share educational content about their diversity and culture. The Messenger Kids app can be used as an educational platform where children can collaborate with their teachers.

Creating digital citizens is a task that falls on parents, guardians and educators so we have to strive to equip our children with reasonable independence by modelling it to them.

Evelyn Kasina, Family IT Consultant and CEO of Eveminet Communication Solutions Limited, Kenya


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