Tech Digest daily roundup: Facebook launches tool to redirect users away from extremist content


Facebook and Instagram users in the UK who search for content related to organised hate or violent extremism will now be redirected to resources and support as part of a major counterspeech update. The social network has announced the expansion of its Redirect Initiative into the UK, as well as Pakistan, which replaces the top search result on hate or extremism-based searches with a link to help and support on how to move away from hate and violence. According to Facebook, research has shown that challenging violent and extremist views with positive counterspeech is one of the most effective ways to combat such attitudes and uses empathy and alternative perspectives to respond to extremist views. Yahoo!

The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) was the target of a “serious cyber-security incident”, it has emerged. The details came via a tender document published on a government website, seemingly by mistake. It revealed that cyber-security firm BAE Systems Applied Intelligence was called on for “urgent support”. The BBC understands unidentified hackers got inside the FCDO systems, but were detected. A spokesperson for the FCDO told the BBC: “We do not comment on security but have systems in place to detect and defend against potential cyber incidents.” BBC 

US officials have seized $3.6bn (£2.65bn) in bitcoin and arrested a colourful rapper and her partner. The Department of Justice said the action represents its largest-ever financial seizure.­­ Heather Morgan and her husband Ilya Lichtenstein are accused of attempting to launder 119,754 bitcoins after a hacker attacked the Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange in 2016. The funds were valued at $71m (£52m) at the time but are now worth over $4.5bn (£3.3bn), according to officials. The couple had active public profiles, especially Mrs Morgan, a rapper who goes by the name “Razzlekhan,” a pseudonym she said on her website referred to Genghis Khan “but with more pizzazz”. Sky News 

Apple’s iPhone SE 3 could launch as early as next month, reports suggest, with the new budget smartphone set to come with 5G capabilities. It is understood the model, which was last updated two years ago when the tech giant released a long-awaited follow-up to its original SE, will have a faster processor and an improved camera. But it is unlikely to feature a radical new design, meaning the classic iPhone ‘Home’ button will not be phased out completely. The current iPhone SE uses a Home button similar to that of 2017’s iPhone 8. Daily Mail

Elon Musk faces a legal challenge after a tweet about Tesla, in a fresh blow for the world’s largest carmaker. The US stock market watchdog issued a legal request to Tesla in November over its chief executive’s infamous attempt to take the company private. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sent the carmaker a subpoena, demanding information about its compliance with a 2018 settlement that forced Mr Musk to step down as Tesla chairman, while remaining chief executive. In 2018, Mr Musk tweeted that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private, sending its share price soaring. It prompted an SEC lawsuit and eventual settlement when it emerged he had not secured financing. Telegraph 


Chris Price
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