Culture

The main takeaways from Facebook's internal documents that the UK released

The main takeaways from Facebook's internal documents that the UK released

British Parliament published a 250-page internal Facebook document on the Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee website, which is investigating the company’s privacy standards as a portion of its report on disinformation and fake news. Previously the documents had been sealed in US courts, but they can now provide a rare look into Facebook’s policies on privacy, user data, how it handles competitors and more.

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IKEA found that in cities, 35 percent of people feel at home in somewhere that isn't their residence

IKEA found that in cities, 35 percent of people feel at home in somewhere that isn't their residence

IKEA Group and INGKA Holding (the holding company for IKEA’s retail arm) publish the Life at Home report on how people live in and relate to their homes, and this year it takes on the theme of living in cities and the idea of home. Interviewing more than 22,000 people in 22 countries, IKEA’s researchers found that for one to feel “at home” in a certain space, they must have privacy, security, comfort and a sense of ownership and belonging. “During our research we learned that life at home is changing, profoundly, all over the world, the report says. “Our physical homes are getting smaller, smarter, busier and noisier… All of this impacts on how successfully a single space can deliver what we need from it – functionally and emotionally.”

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Corporations should be held responsible for reducing the number of disposable coffee cups, not consumers

Corporations should be held responsible for reducing the number of disposable coffee cups, not consumers

The coffee industry in the United Kingdom is growing rapidly and more than half of all hot beverages are served in disposable cups, a 2018 report from the Environmental Audit Committee found. Widely available to consumers, take-away coffee is now available in not only in cafés, but also supermarkets, lounges, recreational facilities and more. Disposable coffee cups are lined with a thin layer of plastic which makes them waterproof, but this seal cannot be removed properly by most recycling facilities, effectively contaminating the whole cup. Mistakenly, many people think that disposable cups are recyclable and put them in the incorrect bin as a result, showing that there is a clear misunderstanding from the public and causes extra work at recycling facilities who then have to pick out each cup from what can actually be recycled.

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A nine-year-old recently committed suicide in Colorado. Despite prevention efforts, suicide rates are going up.

Just days after beginning fourth grade, a 9-year-old Colorado boy committed suicide after being bullied by classmates for coming out as gay. He told his mother previously and had a history of being bullied and believed that this was a factor in his suicide. This tragedy shines a light on the way media outlets have chosen to portray the story, with some publications unintentionally putting blame on the victim of the bullying instead of the bully, who is at fault. Though unintentional, it is important for the media to remember and for the public to realize that the boy did not choose to kill himself because he was gay, but instead because he was being bullied for being gay.

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Things to do in Toronto this summer that won't break the bank

Many people think think that since Toronto is such a costly city to live in, it's expensive for entertainment and recreational activities as well — though it's understandable to think this, there's quite a lot of activities in the city that cost less than a hour's wage or are, better yet, free. We've picked out a few tried-and-true activities that cost only a nominal fee and that aren't necessarily what someone would think to recommend to a tourist, which should allow for a more enjoyable and exciting experience. There's lots to do in the city, from visiting Riverdale Farm to exploring the bowels of Canada's largest urban park, meandering through the streets of Kensington Market and trying out a free yoga class from a lululemon instructor.

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Apple and Google's new anti-smartphone addiction tools are an admission of guilt

Apple and Google's new anti-smartphone addiction tools are an admission of guilt

During Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference it announced a few addiction-combatting features for its mobile devices, including an enhanced Do Not Disturb feature, more notification control, and insight into people's smartphone usage with Screen Time. The next version of iOS will have built-in time controls to limit the amount of time spent in apps and games and will display how many notifications users receive and from what apps they originated from. This is far from the first company to announce something like this, with Facebook announcing months ago that it will emphasize "time well spent" on the platform as its new motto.

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Human trafficking is still a big issue worldwide, but here's five strategies combatting it

Human trafficking is still a big issue worldwide, but here's five strategies combatting it

Many children get into the vicious and demeaning cycle of human trafficking by growing up in poor families and being located in impoverished states, such as Assam, Bihar and West Bengal. These children, usually girls, then get sold into sexual slavery and endure exploitation with little hope of ever escaping and with almost no hope of ever having their captors punished. In 2015, trails were completed for 384 of the 5,003 child trafficking cases in India, with only 55 ending in a conviction.

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The workers producing your grocery store's chocolate probably life in extreme poverty

The workers producing your grocery store's chocolate probably life in extreme poverty

To most people, chocolate is an indulgent treat to be enjoyed after a long day, but for millions of workers producing the product, it's produced through a system of systematic poverty. Off the Ivory Coast, children often fall into the hands of people looking to exploit them for cheap labour, with their parents sending them away to earn money or learn a trade. In a New York Times investigation, however, they found that much of the time it's poverty-stricken adults working in these places, not children.

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Seattle moves to ban single-use plastic straws

Restaurants in Seattle must stop offering customers plastic straws and utensils by July 1 as the city makes its move to be the first major city in the US to ban them, following in the footsteps of the United Kingdom, which has pledged to do the same by 2019. The city first passed a ban on single-use food service items in 2018, beginning with foam and plastic take-out containers, but utensils and straws were exempted until the market matured enough to provide an affordable alternative.

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In total, Facebook has been sharing user data with 52 companies

In total, Facebook has been sharing user data with 52 companies

It's hardly a secret that Facebook has historically shared user data with other companies which it was partnered with, but now the scope of these deals is a bit more clear thanks to a 747-page document the company released in response to over 1,200 questions asked by the US House Energy & Commerce Committee.

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Facebook responds to the data breach by introducing new ways to use people's data

Just after the company is beginning to recover from a brutal data breach impacting million's of user's data, Facebook is announcing a new way for it to use the data of its billions of users. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of the company, announced this week a new tool for people looking to data that lets them create a separate profile to list their interests, location, job, likes and personality traits, and then reach out to people with similar profiles as you, such as someone going to the same event you are.

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Google has a lot more data than Facebook, but nobody really cares

Google has a lot more data than Facebook, but nobody really cares

With all eyes on Facebook reeling in the aftermath of its own data scandal, nobody is paying attention to Google and the vast amount of data it collects on its users. The company, with products in search, video sharing, social media, maps, photo storage and more holds a lot of data about its users, including the locations of where they've been and how they got there.

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But have you told your parents yet?

But have you told your parents yet?

Being a gay man, I can testify it’s an all-too-familiar experience that these people are forced to face. “Coming out” in many cases goes as well as anybody would expect, but in some instances it doesn’t. What it does do, however, is bring up a line from the movie Love, Simon: “It doesn't seem fair that only gay people have to come out, why is straight the default?"

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Journalism isn't dead, it's digital

Journalism isn't dead, it's digital

Just because journalism isn't defined by technology doesn't mean it should not adapt with it. People are constantly moving online in many or all aspects of their lives, and getting the news online is no different. Journalists themselves love to proclaim that "journalism is dead,” but this could not be any further from the truth. Journalism is not dead, it’s evolving.

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The dark web, darker

The dark web, darker

With the widespread adoption of the internet as a daily tool in our lives, it has also become a home to criminals because there is virtually no prosecution laws on the internet. We’re never taught about the dangerous parts of the web — the bowels of the internet where murderers, thieves, and hackers live.

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