- Facebook Updates Trending Topics To Limit Fake News
In another push to improve the scope and quality of news users see on Facebook, the company unveiled several updates to its prominent “Trending” topics feature on Wednesday.
Prior to Wednesday’s update, users saw about a dozen trending topics based on many factors such as their personal interests and which articles were getting the most buzz on the social network. Now, trending topics will no longer be personalized, and every user in the same region will see identical topics. And instead of creating a trending topic based on high engagement around a single post or article, which may not be a widely relevant, quality story, Facebook is now weighing the number of publishers posting articles about the same topic and the engagement around the group of articles as a whole.
Facebook is also giving users more context on trending topics by displaying a publisher’s headline alongside a topic. Before Wednesday, users could only see a short topic title and needed to hover over the topic to see a headline.
The changes begin rolling out this week and will be available to all U.S. users in the coming weeks, Facebook said.
Facebook VP of product management Will Cathcart said in a blog post that the changes should improve the company’s ability to highlight a broader range of news and events from around the world, ensure that trending topics “reflect real world events being covered by multiple news outlets” and refresh topics more quickly.
“This is designed to help make sure people don’t miss important topics being discussed on Facebook that might not show up in their News Feed,” Cathcart said.
Facebook said the headline addition was the most requested Trending update among users since the company last updated the feature in August. Facebook said headlines will be automatically selected based on factors such as the engagement around a specific article on Facebook, interactions with the publisher as a whole and whether other stories link to the article, which should help ensure the article is reliable.
After coming under intense scrutiny after the U.S. presidential election around its handling of fake and hoax news on the social network, Facebook has taken a series of steps to make it easier for users to consume quality news on Facebook, promote news literacy on and off its site and to build a better relationship with publishers. Most recently, Facebook unveiled a new program called the “Facebook Journalism Project” with three main goals: Work with journalists to build storytelling tools and monetization options, offer more training to journalists on how to use Facebook as a resource and partner with third parties such as the News Literacy Project to produce a series of ads to help inform the public.
Communities in Delta State Shut OML30 Operates by Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd
The OML30 operated by Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited in Delta State has been shut down by the host communities for failing to meet its obligations to the 112 host communities.
The host communities, led by its Management Committee/President Generals, had accused the company of gross indifference and failure in its obligations to the host communities despite several meetings and calls to ensure a peaceful resolution.
The station with a production capacity of 80,000 barrels per day and eight flow stations operates within the Ughelli area of Delta State.
The host communities specifically accused HEOSL of failure to pay the GMOU fund for the last two years despite mediation by the Delta State Government on May 18, 2020.
Also, the host communities accused HEOSL of ‘total stoppage of scholarship award and payment to host communities since 2016’.
The Chairman, Dr Harrison Oboghor and Secretary, Mr Ibuje Joseph that led the OML30 host communities explained to journalists on Monday that the host communities had resolved not to backpedal until all their demands were met.
Crude Oil Recovers from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins
Oil Prices Recover from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins
Crude oil prices rose with other financial markets on Monday following a 4 percent decline on Friday.
This was after Joe Biden, the former Vice-President and now the President-elect won the race to the White House.
Global benchmark oil, Brent crude oil, gained $1.06 or 2.7 percent to $40.51 per barrel on Monday while the U.S West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained $1.07 or 2.9 percent to $38.21 per barrel.
On Friday, Brent crude oil declined by 4 percent as global uncertainty surged amid unclear US election and a series of negative comments from President Trump. However, on Saturday when it became clear that Joe Biden has won, global financial markets rebounded in anticipation of additional stimulus given Biden’s position on economic growth and recovery.
“Trading this morning has a risk-on flavor, reflecting increasing confidence that Joe Biden will occupy the White House, but the Republican Party will retain control of the Senate,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.
“The outcome is ideal from a market point of view. Neither party controls the Congress, so both trade wars and higher taxes are largely off the agenda.”
The president-elect and his team are now working on mitigating the risk of COVID-19, grow the world’s largest economy by protecting small businesses and the middle class that is the backbone of the American economy.
“There will be some repercussions further down the road,” said OCBC’s economist Howie Lee, raising the possibility of lockdowns in the United States under Biden.
“Either you’re crimping energy demand or consumption behavior.”
Nigeria, Other OPEC Members Oil Revenue to Hit 18 Year Low in 2020
Revenue of OPEC Members to Drop to 18 Year Low in 2020
The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) has predicted that the oil revenue of members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will decline to 18-year low in 2020.
EIA said their combined oil export revenue will plunge to its lowest level since 2002. It proceeded to put a value to the projection by saying members of the oil cartel would earn around $323 billion in net oil export in 2020.
“If realised, this forecast revenue would be the lowest in 18 years. Lower crude oil prices and lower export volumes drive this expected decrease in export revenues,” it said.
The oil expert based its projection on weak global oil demand and low oil prices because of COVID-19.
It said this coupled with production cuts by OPEC members in recent months will impact net revenue of the cartel in 2020.
It said, “OPEC earned an estimated $595bn in net oil export revenues in 2019, less than half of the estimated record high of $1.2tn, which was earned in 2012.
“Continued declines in revenue in 2020 could be detrimental to member countries’ fiscal budgets, which rely heavily on revenues from oil sales to import goods, fund social programmes, and support public services.”
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