Cool Leaders

Zuck: We are extending the block we have placed on President Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely

By Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden.

His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world. We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect — and likely their intent — would be to provoke further violence.

Following the certification of the election results by Congress, the priority for the whole country must now be to ensure that the remaining 13 days and the days after inauguration pass peacefully and in accordance with established democratic norms.

Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labeling his posts when they violate our policies. We did this because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech. But the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.

We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.

COVID-19

Oliver Stone: “I got vaccinated in Russia”

By Oliver Stone

Many have wondered why I was vaccinated in Russia against COVID.

(1) The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines won’t be available for most of us in the United States for weeks, if not more.

(2) I happened to be in Russia shooting some of their nuclear energy facilities for our documentary on climate change. One of these facilities at Beloyarsk contains the state-of-the-art “fast breeder reactors,” which utilize their own nuclear waste and which apparently have never been visited by an American. In that regard, I also visited one of France’s EDF (Électricité de France) plants. And further visits are planned to US facilities. Also, I should point out that the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology is highly respected for its virology and other work going back many years. The vaccine is being offered for free at numerous clinics in Moscow and nationwide.

(3) There’s no need for ideological competition here between Russia and the United States, which I’ve seen too much of in our media. In fact, there’s been very little mention that the Russians were developing this vaccine successfully over the summer. There’s a paranoia here in this country about Russia and China, which many of us don’t share. The peace of the world is at stake, and when it comes to climate and COVID issues, we must learn how to use the best minds we have here on earth to attack the major issues. There’s no reason why the US, Russia, and China couldn’t be in a partnership for clean energy. But our arms industry’s greed for profit is the one ugly thing preventing this from happening.

(4) Most telling that these recent cyber and poisoning issues, neither of which we’ve ever offered solid evidence of, come up just as the Biden Administration begins. It seems our intelligence agencies are complicit with our media. See this analysis from Caitlin Johnstone.

Sport

#S7ILLRISING

By Lewis Hamilton

Leading up to today and even after I crossed the line, I’ve been gathering my thoughts about what’s most important to me. This year has been so unpredictable. With the pandemic and obviously the season being pushed back by several months, I had the most downtime I’ve ever had in my life. It gave me the chance to really think about my ultimate purpose. Seven World Championships means the world to me, I can’t even describe how much, but there’s still another race we’ve yet to win.

This year I’ve been driven not just by my desire to win on the track, but by a desire to help push our sport, and our world to become more diverse and inclusive. I promise you I am not going to stop fighting for change. We have a long way to go but I will continue to push for equality within our sport, and within the greater world we live in.

Equaling Michael Schumacher’s record puts a spotlight on me that I know won’t be here forever. So, while you’re here, paying attention, I want to ask everyone to do their part in helping to create a more equal world. Let’s be more accepting and kinder to each other. Let’s make it so that opportunity is not something that is dependent on background or skin colour.

Nothing is impossible. A driving force for me this year has been to set an example for the next generation, to never give up on your dreams. I was told by many that my dream was impossible, yet here I am. I want you to know that you can do it too. Never give up, keep fighting, and let’s keep rising to the occasion. #S7ILLRISING

Sport

West Ham’s Michail Antonio Discusses Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling’s Activism

West Ham’s Michail Antonio talks about the outstanding work, Manchester United’s, Marcus Rashford and, Manchester City’s, Raheem Sterling are doing away from the football pitch and discusses a potential future England call-up as he joins Andros Townsend and Mark Pougatch on the ITV Football Football Show.

COVID-19

The Chinese vaccines will be better than the Western vaccines

By Martin Varsavsky on Linked In

The flu, mumps, rubella vaccines are live attenuated vaccine, the Chinese, with Sinopharm and Sinovac, went for this type of vaccine against Sars Cov 2. Western companies instead, went for inactivated vaccines like:

1/ genetic vaccines like Moderna or Pfizer,

2/ viral vector vaccines like Johnson and Johnson or AstraZeneca or

3/ protein based vaccines like Novavax.

But in the case of Covid, the most obvious candidate to work with for the vaccine is the whole inactivated Chinese vaccine of Sinopharm that is approved in UAE and China already.

Western companies have a perverse incentive (and yes I am a big fan of capitalism but sometimes it doesn’t work) because they want IP around the vaccine technology: the attenuated live vaccine technology has been around for too long to be patented.

Seeking IP, European and American companies have to find the exact antigen that create the right antibodies to protect you from full blown Covid. Sinopharm and Sinovac instead, give you the whole antigenic surface and let your immune system have more choices. Hence more likely to work.

At this point it is likely that the Chinese vaccines will be better than the Western vaccines. If you think differently would love to hear your views as to why.

Photo: A medical worker shows the inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by SinoPharm at the company’s vaccine candidate production plant on April 10 (Xinhua).

Politics

Voting is voice

By Mark Zuckerberg

Between Covid and insufficient public funding for elections, there are unprecedented challenges for election officials working to make sure everyone can vote safely this year. Last month Priscilla and I donated $300 million to support election officials with the infrastructure they need to administer the vote – including voting equipment, PPE for poll workers and hiring additional poll staff.

We’ve gotten a far greater response than we expected from election officials needing funding for voting infrastructure, so today we’re committing an additional $100 million to the Center for Tech and Civic Life to make sure that every jurisdiction that needs funding to help people vote safely can get it. So far, more than 2,100 local election jurisdictions have submitted applications to CTCL for support.

Since our initial donation, there have been multiple lawsuits filed in an attempt to block these funds from being used, based on claims that the organizations receiving donations have a partisan agenda. That’s false. These funds will serve communities throughout the country — urban, rural and suburban – and are being allocated by non-partisan organizations. The Center for Tech and Civic Life shared data on the grant applications so far that shows that while a number of large jurisdictions have applied, the majority of applications have come from jurisdictions with fewer than 25,000 registered voters. All qualified jurisdictions that apply for the funds will be approved.

Voting is the foundation of democracy. It’s how we express our voice and make sure our country is heading in the direction we want. Priscilla and I remain determined to ensure that every state and local election jurisdiction has the resources they need so Americans can vote.

To be clear, I agree with those who say that government should have provided these funds, not private citizens. I hope that for future elections the government provides adequate funding. But absent that funding, I think it’s critical that this urgent need is met.

Voting is voice, and we believe every American should have the chance to make their voice heard in this election.

Cool Leaders

Take the first step to vote

By Mark Zuckerberg

Tomorrow is National Voter Registration Day — a reminder to take the first step to vote and make sure your voice is heard. This year with the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to make sure everyone knows how to safely cast their vote.

At Facebook, we’re running the largest voting information campaign in American history, with the goal of helping to register 4 million eligible voters in the US. We estimate we’ve already helped 2.5 million people register so far this year based on conversion rates we calculated from a few states we’ve partnered with — but there’s still more to do.

Since last weekend, we’ve been showing information about how to register at the top of the Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger apps. These notifications take you directly to the relevant page on your state’s official website or our non-partisan partner organization if online voter registration isn’t available in your state. Information from the Voting Information Center, including facts about voting and up-to-date info from state election authorities, will also continue to be at the top of our apps nearly every day through the election. So far, 39 million people have visited the Voting Information Center on Facebook and Instagram.

We’re also kicking off a national ad campaign today called “More Questions, More Answers” — which encourages people to make sure they have the information they need to ensure their vote is counted. Tomorrow, we’re premiering a one-hour Vote-A-Thon 2020 special on the Facebook app page hosted by Liza Koshy. It’ll cover topics like voter registration, voting by mail and poll worker recruitment, and it will help set the record straight on common misconceptions about the voting process.

As I’ve said before, voting is voice, and in a democracy, voting is the ultimate way we hold our leaders accountable and make sure the country is heading in the direction we want. I hope that this National Voter Registration Day, you’ll consider registering to make sure your voice is heard.

Climate Change · Cool Leaders · Media · Science

Facebook introduces Climate Science Information Center

By Mark Zuckerberg

Today we’re launching the Climate Science Information Center — a dedicated space that we’ll be highlighting at the top of Facebook with authoritative information from the world’s leading climate organizations.

As we’ve seen the wildfires raging across the west coast of the US and the flooding in South Sudan and South Asia, it’s clear that climate change is real and the need to act is growing more urgent every day.

The Climate Science Information Center will include factual resources from trusted organizations and, most critically, it will include actionable steps you can take in your everyday life to combat climate change.

To meet the Paris Agreement’s temperature goal to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius, global emissions will need to be net zero by 2050. To help meet this goal, Facebook’s global operations will achieve net zero emissions in 2020 and we plan to reach net zero emissions across our entire value chain in 2030.

We will reduce our value chain emissions through efficient design, operations, and construction across the life cycle of our offices, data centers and hardware. We’ll help scale existing technology and the development of new solutions that will reduce GHG emissions and remove carbon from the atmosphere. We are committing to the Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTi), joining other companies who have aligned their corporate climate goals with the latest research on what is necessary to transition to a zero-carbon economy.

Stopping climate change is something we can only do as a global community, and we have to act together before it’s too late. We’ll do our part and hope to inspire others to do the same.

Cool Leaders

Poll workers wanted

By Mark Zuckerberg

We’re less than two months away from the US elections, and we are seeing a massive shortage of poll workers to staff voting stations. Shortages can lead to hours-long waits at the polls, which makes it harder for people to participate in the democratic process. It is estimated that almost half a million poll workers will be needed this year — especially due to the ongoing Covid pandemic.

To help attract more people for these critical jobs, Facebook is launching a poll worker recruitment drive this weekend, making it easy for people to sign up and serve as a poll worker with their state election authorities.

To do this, we will show a message at the top of News Feed to people in the US over the age of 18. We’ve also offered free ad credits to every state election authority so they can recruit poll workers across our platforms. California has already started running these ads and several more states are joining in the coming days. We’re also offering paid time off to all employees at Facebook in the US who want to volunteer to staff the polls.

This recruitment drive is part of Facebook’s larger voting information campaign, with the goal to help 4 million people register and vote. Priscilla and I have also personally donated $300 million to non-partisan organizations supporting states and local counties in strengthening our voting infrastructure. Voting is voice, and in a democracy, it’s the ultimate way we hold our leaders accountable and make sure the country is heading in the direction we want.

With Covid affecting our communities, this election will be unlike any other we’ve seen. We are doing everything we can to help as many people as possible register and make their voice heard at the ballot box. If you plan to serve as a poll worker, check out the poll worker section in the Voting Information Center, which you can find in your menu bar on Facebook.