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.

Berlin · Cool Leaders · E-Mobility · GreenTech

Going green in Berlin

By Nico Rosberg

Going electric through Berlin! After last year’s huge success, the GREENTECH FESTIVAL 2020 will take place from September 16-18: Kraftwerk Berlin & Online! I’ve been to Berlin to work with my team on the final steps….and I thought, why not do a vlog for you? It’s been a super fun day moving with electric vehicles in Berlin. Let me know how you like this vlog and if you want to see more!

Secure your free digital pass for my GREENTECH FESTIVAL here. Don’t miss the chance to see Sting performing for you, get inspired by the Google CEO Sundar Pichai and see the most forward-thinking mobility innovation!

Thank you for the great day in Berlin:
https://www.audi.com/e-tron
http://ahoi-ostkreuz.de/clean-up-4/
https://www.solarwaterworld.de/en/
https://www.restaurant-1990.de/?lang=en

Climate Change · Cool Leaders · Sport

Introducing Team X44

By Lewis Hamilton

So proud to finally announce Team X44! ⚡️
Team X44 will be joining the Extreme E series and I’m really excited to share this project with you. It will be fun to have a different role from being the team driver. What is most appealing though, is that the Extreme E Championship will be not only raising awareness of some of the most critical environmental issues facing our planet, but also doing something about it through working with local charitable organisations to leave behind no trace and a long-lasting legacy of change. Every single one of us has the power to make a difference, and it means so much to me that I can use my love of racing, together with my love for our planet, to have a positive impact. I’m looking forward to the team taking part in this new series and I think it’s incredible that we can do so whilst raising awareness about the climate crisis.

#TeamX44 🌎🌍🌏

Climate Change · Cool Leaders · E-Mobility · Sport

It’s difficult to always be perfect when we go about our daily lives

By Lewis Hamilton

Recently I’ve been making many changes in my life to reduce my impact on the environment. The first step in this journey was to understand my personal impact on the planet so I could make changes to improve it. Since then, I have offset my carbon footprint from my Formula 1 career dating back to 2007, I have reduced travel where possible, I have gone plant-based and outside of the track, I try to use electric cars wherever possible. I also want to use my position as a racing driver to enforce positive and permanent change, which is why I’m working closely with Mercedes to slowly move their fleet of cars towards electric. This is my new dream car, the new EQS fully electric Mercedes. I can’t wait until it’s released!

It’s difficult to always be perfect when we go about our daily lives, but I’m continuing to learn how to be better and I’m committed to staying educated and informed so I can play my part. Small steps lead to big change, so it’s important we all take a moment to understand our footprint and the small changes we can make in our everyday lives to put our planet first. The last step for me will be when I step away from this sport and can focus fully on helping heal the world to provide a better future for our kids and our kids, kids.

Cool Leaders

Facebook is running the largest voting information campaign in American history

By Mark Zuckerberg

The US elections are just two months away, and with Covid-19 affecting communities across the country, I’m concerned about the challenges people could face when voting. I’m also worried that with our nation so divided and election results potentially taking days or even weeks to be finalized, there could be an increased risk of civil unrest across the country.

This election is not going to be business as usual. We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy. That means helping people register and vote, clearing up confusion about how this election will work, and taking steps to reduce the chances of violence and unrest.

Facebook is already running the largest voting information campaign in American history — with a goal of helping 4 million people to register and then vote. In just three days, we already drove almost 24 million clicks to voter registration websites. Priscilla and I have also personally donated $300 million to non-partisan organizations supporting states and local counties in strengthening our voting infrastructure.

Today, we’re announcing additional steps we’re taking at Facebook to encourage voting, connect people with authoritative information, and fight misinformation. These changes reflect what we’ve learned from our elections work over the past four years and the conversations we’ve had with voting rights experts and our civil rights auditors:

• We will put authoritative information from our Voting Information Center at the top of Facebook and Instagram almost every day until the election. This will include video tutorials on how to vote by mail, and information on deadlines for registering and voting in your state.

• We’re going to block new political and issue ads during the final week of the campaign. It’s important that campaigns can run get out the vote campaigns, and I generally believe the best antidote to bad speech is more speech, but in the final days of an election there may not be enough time to contest new claims. So in the week before the election, we won’t accept new political or issue ads. Advertisers will be able to continue running ads they started running before the final week and adjust the targeting for those ads, but those ads will already be published transparently in our Ads Library so anyone, including fact-checkers and journalists, can scrutinize them.

• We’re going to extend our work with election officials to remove misinformation about voting. We already committed to partnering with state election authorities to identify and remove false claims about polling conditions in the last 72 hours of the campaign, but given that this election will include large amounts of early voting, we’re extending that period to begin now and continue through the election until we have a clear result. We’ve already consulted with state election officials on whether certain voting claims are accurate.

• We’re reducing the risk of misinformation and harmful content going viral by limiting forwarding on Messenger. You’ll still be able to share information about the election, but we’ll limit the number of chats you can forward a message to at one time. We’ve already implemented this in WhatsApp during sensitive periods and have found it to be an effective method of preventing misinformation from spreading in many countries.

• We’re expanding our voter suppression policies. We already remove explicit misrepresentations about how or when to vote that could cause someone to lose their opportunity to vote — for example, saying things like “you can send in your mail ballot up to 3 days after election day”, which is obviously not true. (In most states, mail-in ballots have to be received by election day, not just mailed, in order to be counted.) We’re now expanding this policy to include implicit misrepresentations about voting too, like “I hear anybody with a driver’s license gets a ballot this year”, because it might mislead you about what you need to do to get a ballot, even if that wouldn’t necessarily invalidate your vote by itself.

• We’re putting in place rules against using threats related to Covid-19 to discourage voting. We will remove posts with claims that people will get Covid-19 if they take part in voting. We’ll attach a link to authoritative information about Covid-19 to posts that might use the virus to discourage voting, and we’re not going to allow this kind of content in ads. Given the unique circumstances of this election, it’s especially important that people have accurate information about the many ways to vote safely, and that Covid-19 isn’t used to scare people into not exercising their right to vote.

Since the pandemic means that many of us will be voting by mail, and since some states may still be counting valid ballots after election day, many experts are predicting that we may not have a final result on election night. It’s important that we prepare for this possibility in advance and understand that there could be a period of intense claims and counter-claims as the final results are counted. This could be a very heated period, so we’re preparing the following policies to help in the days and weeks after voting ends:

• We’ll use the Voting Information Center to prepare people for the possibility that it may take a while to get official results. This information will help people understand that there is nothing illegitimate about not having a result on election night.

• We’re partnering with Reuters and the National Election Pool to provide authoritative information about election results. We’ll show this in the Voting Information Center so it’s easily accessible, and we’ll notify people proactively as results become available. Importantly, if any candidate or campaign tries to declare victory before the results are in, we’ll add a label to their post educating that official results are not yet in and directing people to the official results.

• We will attach an informational label to content that seeks to delegitimize the outcome of the election or discuss the legitimacy of voting methods, for example, by claiming that lawful methods of voting will lead to fraud. This label will provide basic authoritative information about the integrity of the election and voting methods.

• We’ll enforce our violence and harm policies more broadly by expanding our definition of high-risk people to include election officials in order to help prevent any attempts to pressure or harm them, especially while they’re fulfilling their critical obligations to oversee the vote counting.

• We’ve already strengthened our enforcement against militias, conspiracy networks like QAnon, and other groups that could be used to organize violence or civil unrest in the period after the elections. We have already removed thousands of these groups and removed even more from being included in our recommendations and search results. We will continue to ramp up enforcement against these groups over the coming weeks.

It’s important to recognize that there may be legitimate concerns about the electoral process over the coming months. We want to make sure people can speak up if they encounter problems at the polls or have been prevented from voting, but that doesn’t extend to spreading misinformation. We’ll enforce the policies I outlined above as well as all our existing policies around voter suppression and voting misinformation, but to ensure there are clear and consistent rules, we are not planning to make further changes to our election-related policies between now and the official declaration of the result.

In addition to all of this, four years ago we encountered a new threat: coordinated online efforts by foreign governments and individuals to interfere in our elections. This threat hasn’t gone away. Just this week, we took down a network of 13 accounts and 2 pages that were trying to mislead Americans and amplify division. We’ve invested heavily in our security systems and now have some of the most sophisticated teams and systems in the world to prevent these attacks. We’ve removed more than 100 networks worldwide engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior over the past couple of years, including ahead of major democratic elections. However, we’re increasingly seeing attempts to undermine the legitimacy of our elections from within our own borders.

I believe our democracy is strong enough to withstand this challenge and deliver a free and fair election — even if it takes time for every vote to be counted. We’ve voted during global pandemics before. We can do this. But it’s going to take a concerted effort by all of us — political parties and candidates, election authorities, the media and social networks, and ultimately voters as well — to live up to our responsibilities. We all have a part to play in making sure that the democratic process works, and that every voter can make their voice heard where it matters most — at the ballot box.

Cool Leaders

The two sides of a world champion

By Lewis Hamilton

There are two sides to me. First, the one you see on TV. The competitive, cut throat, hungry racer in me that comes out when I close the visor. When the visor is down I come alive, all my fears, insecurities, and doubts are cast aside and my focus kicks in and will not break until the job is done. It feels like I get to have the superpowers I always dreamed of having, but behind the wheel.

Second, theres just me. Someone who is figuring life out day by day, just like you. Trying to find inner peace, manage time, balance work and life, finding time for family and friends, working on managing my emotions, and trying to find time for the other things I am passionate about. Like many of you, I’m just trying to be and do my best in everything.

I also have a lot of difficult days. Especially in the bubble that we’re currently in. You get lonely, you miss your friends and family, and with back to back race weeks it means there’s not much time for anything but work. So I’m grateful for the ones closest to me for helping me to keep a balance, even if it’s just thru text, phone or FaceTime.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, It’s never a bad thing to ask for help if you need it, or to tell somebody how you feel. Showing your vulnerable side doesn’t make you weak, instead, I like to think of it as a chance to become stronger, and better than we were. Where ever you are in the world, I hope and pray you know you are incredible, gifted, talented, beautiful and strong, and no matter what anybody says, you can do almost anything you put your mind to. All you have to do is believe and do the work. Love🙏🏾

Cool Leaders

Welcome to Dollywood

By Erick Moore

In 1990, the high school dropout rate for Dolly Parton’s hometown of Sevierville Tennessee was at 34% (Research shows that most kids make up their minds in fifth/sixth grade not to graduate). That year, all fifth and sixth graders from Sevierville were invited by Parton to attend an assembly at Dollywood. They were asked to pick a buddy, and if both students completed high school, Dolly Parton would personally hand them each a $500 check on their graduation day. As a result, the dropout rate for those classes fell to 6%, and has generally retained that average to this day.

Shortly after the success of The Buddy Program, Parton learned in dealing with teachers from the school district that problems in education often begin during first grade when kids are at different developmental levels. That year The Dollywood Foundation paid the salaries for additional teachers assistants in every first grade class for the next 2 years, under the agreement that if the program worked, the school system would effectively adopt and fund the program after the trial period.

During the same period, Parton founded the Imagination Library in 1995: The idea being that children from her rural hometown and low-income families often start school at a disadvantage and as a result, will be unfairly compared to their peers for the rest of their lives, effectively encouraging them not to pursue higher education. The objective of the Imagination library was that every child in Sevier County would receive one book, every month, mailed and addressed to the child, from the day they were born until the day they started kindergarten, 100% free of charge. What began as a hometown initiative now serves children in all 50 states, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, mailing thousands of free books to children around the world monthly.

On March 1, 2018 Parton donated her 100 millionth book at the Library of Congress: a copy of “Coat of Many Colors” dedicated to her father, who never learned to read or write.

Cool Leaders

7 Reasons Every iPhone User Should Be Worried About the App Store’s 30% Tax

By Pavel Durov

I hope you all liked the latest Telegram update – our 8th major update this year. This new version of Telegram could have become available to you several days earlier. But it didn’t, because of Apple’s desire to control every mobile app in the world. Few iPhone users realise how the policies of Apple make their lives worse. That’s why I decided to write the post below.

In the last few months, many prominent app developers voiced their disapproval of the App Store policies Apple imposes on all apps. Why should that concern you if you own an iPhone? Here are 7 reasons.

HIGHER PRICES. Apple’s 30% commission makes all apps and digital goods more expensive for you. It goes on top of the price you pay to developers for any services and games you buy on your phone. You pay more for every app, even though Apple already charged you a few hundred dollars more for your iPhone than it cost to make. In short, you keep paying even after you have paid.

CENSORSHIP. Some content in apps like Telegram is unavailable to you because Apple censors what is allowed on the App Store, which it fully controls to enforce the 30% tax. Apple even restricts us – app developers – from telling our users that certain content was hidden for iPhone users specifically at their request. Apple should realize how ridiculous their attempt to globally censor content looks: imagine a web browser deciding which websites you are allowed to view.

LACK OF PRIVACY. In order to install an app from the App Store, you must first create an Apple account and log in using it. After that, every single app you download and every push notification you receive is tied to your account, making you an easier target to track. Since the main reason you have to use an Apple account to download an iPhone app is Apple’s desire to enforce their 30% commission, the cost of their greed also includes your private data.

DELAYS IN APP UPDATES. You get new versions of your apps several days or weeks after they are actually ready, because Apple’s review team is notoriously inefficient and often delays approval for no apparent reason. You would think Apple could use the billions of dollars it receives from third-party apps to hire additional moderators. Somehow they are unable to do even that, and us – big apps like Telegram – typically have to wait several days or even weeks to publish updates.

FEWER APPS. Apple’s 30% commission on apps goes on top of all the other expenses developers must pay for: government taxes such as VAT (~20%), wages, research, servers, marketing. Many apps would have been net profitable in a world without Apple’s 30% commission, but being forced to surrender 30% of their revenue to Apple makes them unsustainable. As a result, many of them go bankrupt and lots of great apps you could have enjoyed just don’t exist.

MORE ADS IN APPS. Because Apple makes selling premium services and accepting donations one-third less meaningful for developers, many of them are forced to show ads in their apps in order for their companies to survive. Apple’s policies skew the entire industry towards selling user data instead of letting them adopt more privacy-friendly business models like selling additional services to their users.

WORSE APPS. Billions of dollars are taken from developers who could have otherwise spent those funds on improving the quality of the apps you use every day. Instead, this money rests idly in Apple’s offshore bank accounts and does nothing for the world, while app developers struggle to find resources for the research and development the world needs.

The situation is so bad that one would expect Apple’s 30% cut to be unsustainable. Yet it’s been around for more than 10 years and is still there. In my Telegraph post here, I’m explaining how Apple has been able to trick consumers and regulators into inaction for so long.