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Facebook India’s controversial policy chief quits — will it now stop hate speech from politicians?

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Facebook India’s controversial policy director, Ankhi Das, has left the company in order to pursue a career in public service. Das was famously alleged to play a crucial role in stopping moderators from removing posts from India’s ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) that incited communal violence.

In August, the Wall Street Journal reported that the public policy chief intervened more than once to keep BJP leaders’ posts on Facebook that contained provocative comments against Rohingya Muslims and alleged the Muslim community was spreading the coronavirus, separately.

On the company’s internal forum, Das posted that the mission of connecting India has been largely fulfilled:

When I joined Facebook in 2011, internet growth in the country was woefully low. We were a small unlisted startup back then guided only by our mission and purpose to connect people in India. After nine long years, I feel that the mission has largely been met.

There is an enormous amount I have learned from incredibly smart and talented people in the company, particularly from people on the policy team.

In a statement, Ajit Mohan, Facebook India’s head, thanked the outgoing executive for her services and wished her the best for the future. Last week, Das appeared in front of the parliamentary committee to answer questions on the company’s content moderation, revenue model, and overseas operations.

With Das’ removal, the social networking giant has taken the token step to fulfill the public demand. However, the bigger question remains: will it make policy changes to take a tougher stance on politicians?

Days after the WSJ’s report, Reuters wrote that more than 11 employees wrote to the top brass to denounce “anti-Muslim bigotry,” and make policy changes.  The letter also asked them to bring more diversity to the policy team. However, there have been no major changes till now. 

India has been a tough market for Silicon Valley companies to tackle when it comes to enforcing speech restriction rules. Both sides of the aisle have accused firms including Facebook and Twitter of favoring the other side.

These tech giants can’t hide under the veil of not understanding the culture anymore while having massive teams in the country. They’ll have to engage in policy talks with the government and other agencies to ensure that issues like communal hate speech are dealt with in a strict manner. 

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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

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Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

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This 55″ 4K TCL Smart TV Hangs on Your Wall for $200

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

TCL 55″ S434 4K Smart TV | $200 | Best Buy

Best Buy has an insane deal going for a brand new 55″ 4K TCL smart TV. It’s the S434, which is pretty baseline for TCL’s lineup, but at just $200, there’s little to complain about. TCL’s panels are plenty sharp and accurate, and with this set, you’ll get HDR10 compliance for enhanced color and brightness in supported games and video content. This model has Android TV onboard for all your app needs, and with an included voice remote, all your favorite content is just a shout away with the help of Google Assistant.

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