Home Blog Page 2

Vetter wins Axia Best Managed Companies Award

  • Seal of quality for outstanding corporate management
  • Analysis of the areas of strategy, innovation, corporate culture and finance
  • Comprehensive three-stage application process


RAVENSBURG, GERMANY – Media OutReach – May 29, 2020 – A look at vital figures makes it clear that Vetter is a very successful, globally active Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO). Over the last ten years, the company has more than doubled its annual sales revenues to approximately 670 million euros while the number of staff members has grown to 5,000. Now, there is further proof. The family-owned company has been awarded the Axia Best Managed Companies Award. The consulting firm Deloitte, the prominent German business journal WirtschaftsWoche, Credit Suisse, and the Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie BDI (Federation of German Industries) award the seal of quality annually to medium-sized companies that score points with a clear vision, innovative approaches, sustainable management culture and sound financial management. Due to the current situation, a small award ceremony took place at Vetter’s headquarters in Ravensburg.


In the past 70 years Vetter has developed from a local pharmacy into a leading pharmaceutical service provider in the field of injectable drugs. Today, the company, which is still family-owned, manufactures drugs for both large and small pharmaceutical and biotech companies. The medications are used for the treatment of diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis or severe rheumatoid arthritis and help enhance the quality of life for millions of patients worldwide. “Our success story is based on long-term corporate planning and strategy over the decades,” said Honorary Senator Udo J. Vetter, Chairman of the Advisory Board and member of the owner family. “This award goes to our employees.”


The application process for the Axia Best Managed Companies Award is extremely demanding and takes place in three-stages. A jury of experts made up of renowned representatives from business, science and the media had to be convinced in their selection. “Vetter combines strategic foresight with innovation, a sustainable management culture and solid corporate management. The exemplary management can be used as a role model for other medium-sized companies,” said Lutz Meyer, partner and head of Deloitte’s medium-sized company program.


Vetter’s guiding principle and top priority is to produce high-quality drugs for its customers and their patients. The CDMO is constantly working to further increase customer benefit and to optimize processes on a continuous base. The company was able to present convincing evidence in the evaluated award areas beginning with the systematically implemented strategy process Vetter Excellence 2025, a clear customer focus and well-implemented innovation management. The anchoring in everyday work is achieved through so called strategic initiatives, for example, Vetter 4.0, the aim of which is to simulate optimal man-machine processes in the ‘factory of the future’ and then put them into practice. Under the header, “Working in a digitalized pharmaceutical value chain,” the Vetter Phoenix digitization program bundles comprehensive projects such as the Electronic Batch Record.


For Vetter’s Managing Directors Thomas Otto and Peter Soelkner, winning the Axia Best Managed Companies Award is further proof that the company’s efforts have paid off. “Over the past number of years, we have continued to take advantage of new opportunities. The winning of this award motivates all of us to continue to do so.”

An incentive to continue to managing the company with strategic vision and innovative approaches:
Honorary Senator Udo J. Vetter, Chairman of the Advisory Board and member of the owner family (front row, right), Vetter Managing Director Thomas Otto (front row, left) together with Deloitte’s representatives Christian Himmelsbach (back row, left) and Markus Seiz (back row, right) at the presentation of the Axia Best Managed Companies Award in Ravensburg.
Picture source: Vetter Pharma International GmbH

Find the Vetter press kit and more background information here.

About Vetter

Headquartered in Ravensburg, Germany, Vetter is a global leading contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) with production facilities in Germany and the United States. Currently employing 5,000 individuals worldwide, the company has long-term experience in supporting biotechnology and pharmaceutical customers both large and small. Vetter services range from early stage development support including clinical manufacturing, to commercial supply and numerous packaging solutions for vials, syringes and cartridges. As a leading solution provider, Vetter appreciates its responsibility to support the needs of its customers by developing devices that contribute to increased patient safety, convenience, and enhanced compliance. Great importance is also given to social responsibility including environmental protection and sustainability. Learn more about Vetter at www.vetter-pharma.com.

Asia Cloud Computing Association: Covid-19 Economic Resilience and Recovery Capability Reflected in the Cloud Readiness Index 2020

SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 29 May 2020 – In the sixth iteration of the Asia Cloud Computing Association‘s Cloud Readiness Index, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Taiwan, and South Korea continue to lead the CRI 2020 rankings. This year, the CRI2020 adds a dimension of digital insight, as it offers an indication of a market’s ability to leverage digital cloud computing tools and augment economic recovery capability from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Some of the hardest-hit economies with high infection rates are also some of the CRI2020’s top scorers,” noted Lim May-Ann, Executive Director of the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA). “The top-scoring group includes many economies which have done well in containing the virus’ spread, and we will be keeping a close watch on which economies leverage their strong cloud computing fundamentals to effect more rapid economic recovery.”

The CRI 2020 is an index of the readiness of economies to maximise the capabilities of cloud computing, measuring cloud readiness against ten parameters, including international connectivity, domestic broadband quality, power sustainability, data centre risk, cybersecurity, privacy regulations, government regulatory environment, intellectual property protection, business sophistication, and freedom of information.

“The international comparison of cloud readiness across APAC and non-APAC economies also provides an indicator of which markets have been able to continue economic activity, albeit with some limitations,” adds Eric Hui, the Chair of the ACCA. “There is no substitute for strong fundamentals in internet and cloud computing infrastructure in this respect.”

Three key observations are made in CRI 2020: firstly, that cloud readiness is advancing in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, but progress appears to be stalling. Secondly, the study notes that while the digital divide has narrowed, core capabilities such as managing natural risks, privacy, cybersecurity remain fragile, with many economies still implementing data localisation regulations which stymies cross-border data flows. And finally, emerging APAC markets risk losing out on economic recovery from Covid-19 by not leveraging next-generation technologies.

“These observations are of concern to us at the ACCA,” says Lim May-Ann. “They indicate that some markets may have chosen to plateau their technology and infrastructural investments, and have also decided to put in regulatory restrictions around data flows, at a time when the freedom to use cloud productivity tools is needed the most to recover from the economic fallout from Covid-19.”

Visit https://www.asiacloudcomputing.org to download the full report.

Asia Cloud Computing Association – Cloud Readiness Index 2020

Source: Asia Cloud Computing Association 2020

About the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) @accacloud

The ACCA is the apex industry association that represents stakeholders of the cloud computing ecosystem in Asia. Our mission is to accelerate the adoption of cloud computing through Asia Pacific by helping to create a trusted and compelling market environment, and a safe and consistent regulatory environment for cloud computing products and services.

Food and beverage (F&B) businesses to speed their digital transformation with digital marketing programme subsidised by Enterprise Singapore

Programme run by PSB Academy and subsidised by Enterprise Singapore, small and medium (SME) F&B businesses can now arm their staff with a suite of skills in promoting on essential platforms like Google, Facebook, Instagram and Email marketing for less than SGD300.


SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 29 May 2020 – As part of the F&B Digital Marketing Assistance Scheme by PSB, with programme fee subsidised by Enterprise Singapore, up to 2 employees of each SME F&B outfit can now enjoy subsidised fees to earn a Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing (F&B), which will be delivered fully online by PSB Academy

(From left) Ms Sera Phua, co-founder of Acoustic Café and Ms Leong Veng Khey, manager of Basil Masala’s Kitchen, among many other cafes and restaurants, could benefit from PSB Academy’s Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing (F&B), a short course subsidised by Enterprise Singapore that aims to empower F&B SME owners and staff with essential skills in online marketing.


This programme comes as companies in the F&B sector, one of the most affected by safe distancing requirements from the circuit breaker measures, start to double down on their digital transformation efforts. It will complement the new Digital Resilience Bonus, part of the Fortitude Budget announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on Tuesday (May 26).


The course will be conducted across three days on three consecutive weekends. Lessons are designed specifically to help F&B businesses and overcome challenges posed by the current Covid-19 situation, which might hinder their ability to promote awareness or brand loyalty of their operations.


Ms Leong Veng Khey, manager of the popular vegetarian restaurant Basil’s Masala Kitchen, located off Race Course Road, said that since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, she was excited to hear about this course, as she feels the need to capture a slice of the growing meal deliveries market.


“I have to grapple between the difficult choice of choosing to pay high commission fees charged by popular delivery platforms or work with limited resources to promote her deliveries online,” says Veng Khey. “This short course on digital marketing by PSB Academy will impart real skills for me to start campaigns on Google, Facebook or even Instagram within days, and empower me to be more independent with my choice of advertising channels or platforms.”


To prove their mettle and understanding of their newly found skills, companies that completed the course will be awarded SGD500* if they can execute and complete one digital marketing campaign.


Ms Sera Phua, the co-founder of Acoustic Cafe, said that although her cafe has a Facebook page, she personally feels that she and many other small F&B business owners often have a common challenge in having their brand stories get heard online.

“I am very encouraged by this additional support in course fees and I’m excited about the SGD500* campaign completion bonus from Enterprise Singapore that will definitely help small business owners like ourselves to learn valuable hands-on skills and grow our share of voice,” she added.


“PSB Academy has the privilege of partnering with Enterprise Singapore to offer this subsidised digital marketing short course, to help alleviate some of the unprecedented stresses that come with the pressure to transform themselves digitally and remain sustainable,” says Dr Sam Choon Yin, Dean, PSB Academy. “We want to guide them through the overwhelming marketing noise and help them appreciate how some of these advertising platforms might help with a few of their challenges, like fortifying their channels of communication to customers, or building resilient sources of income from digital platforms. We look forward to supporting more businesses from the community by imparting practical skills that a humble coffee shop owner or restauranteur can use, so that we might weather this storm together.”


*Terms and conditions apply

CUHK Business School Research Finds Being Beautiful is Not Always an Advantage When Soliciting Online Charitable Donations

HONG KONG, CHINA – Media OutReach – 29 May 2020 – The conventional wisdom is that attractive people have it easier in life. They tend to be employed more easily, are paid better by appearing to be more competent and trustworthy and are more likely to get promoted. A recent research paper by The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School has revealed that, at least when it comes to online charitable giving, being attractive isn’t always an advantage.


The study, entitled “Beauty, Gender, and Online Charitable Giving“, found that although men were likely to part with more money to attractive than unattractive women when making donations on the internet, women, by contrast, were less willing to donate to attractive women.


The authors of this paper, Profs. Keongtae Kim, Assistant Professor of Department of Decision Sciences and Managerial Economics, and Ying-yi Hong, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Marketing of Department of Marketing, at CUHK Business School in collaboration with Prof. Jooyoung Park, Assistant Professor at Peking University HSBC Business School, found that the attractiveness of women have opposite effects in soliciting donations online from men versus women donors.


“Men are more willing to donate to attractive women because of an instinctive preference for beauty,” says Prof. Hong. By contrast, women are less willing to donate to attractive women because the latter are perceived as being less needy.


To come to this conclusion, the researchers first gathered donation activity information from Kiva, an online nonprofit platform that allows people to lend money to entrepreneurs and students. To isolate the effect of beauty on donations, the team included only contributions in the health category initiated in 2017 and loans solicited by single individuals only. The final sample included 3,191 loans totaling about US$2.6 million from more than 76,600 donors.


In analyzing the Kiva data, the team used artificial intelligence software to guess donor gender based on profile photos and names — as Kiva did not provide information on their gender — as well as evaluating attractiveness of recipients. The results show that female attractiveness attracted more male donors but fewer female ones, but male attractiveness did not seem to significantly affect the number of male (or female) donors. Specifically, a one standard deviation increase in the attractiveness score of female recipients decreased (increased) the number of female (male) donors by an average of 2.9 percent.


Different Decision Processes

A series of controlled experiments was then carried out where people were asked how much they would be willing to donate to men and women of varying physical attractiveness by viewing mugshots both real and computer generated and based on both real-life and made-up donation campaigns.


The results confirmed that being attractive elicited more donations in cases where men were considering or not to donate to a female recipient, but had a dampening effect for women donating money to a female recipient. Again, being attractive or not for a male recipient did not affect male or female donors’ willingness to donate.


Men and women also undergo different decision processes when they encounter attractive female recipients, the study found. Women, which tend to donate based on altruistic and emphatic motives, tend to perceive attractive female recipients as less needy and thus are less likely to help them than help less attractive female recipients. By contrast, men — who tend to donate based on their personal views — rely on intuitive preferences and are more likely to help attractive female recipients.


“Physical attractiveness plays a more important role for female recipients in donation contexts because the contexts call for care and protection, a dimension consistent with stereotypical expectations about women,” says Prof. Kim. “We show that personal liking is a key motivator for men in donation decisions, whereas the perception of neediness motivates female donors. Thus attractive women will attract more donations from men, but women will perceive attractive women recipients to be less needy and will donate more to unattractive women instead.


Researchers also found men were more willing to donate to attractive women regardless of whether the latter were needy, whereas women consider neediness when making donation decisions and they tend to help both attractive or unattractive needy recipients. Importantly, this shows that female donors are not against attractive female recipients necessarily.


In cases where the recipient was highly needy — the study outlined a hypothetical case where a woman was diagnosed with a brain tumor soon after recovering from breast cancer — men were still willing to donate more when the woman in this case was allegedly attractive than when she was unattractive. Women were similarly willing to donate, regardless of whether the female recipient was attractive or not.


Tips for Success

So how can one make a successful online fundraising campaign? Prof. Kim highlights the need of carefully choosing what you present on the campaign page.


“Attractive women will more readily attract donations from men, but they must explicitly emphasize their needs to appeal to women donors, for example by providing details on their campaign pages. In contrast, less attractive women may benefit by targeting women donors. Basically, charitable campaigns should carefully consider the use of pictures, depending on their potential donors,” Prof. Kim comments.


Speaking on future research directions, Prof. Kim says researchers could consider expanding the scope of attractiveness biases in other contexts such as financial or investment related where investors tend to infer attractive men are more competent entrepreneurs.


“Another consideration is that high facial resemblance can produce familiarity effect but low resemblance can produce negative outgroup stereotypes. Donors might use their own physical attractiveness as a reference point when judging target’s attractiveness; also their self-esteem may affect their judgment of target attractiveness. Although the scope of this research prevented us from testing those variables, future research should further test how donor characteristics moderate beauty effects,” says Prof. Kim.


Park, Jooyoung and Kim, Keongtae and Hong, Ying-Yi, Beauty, Gender, and Online Charitable Giving (November 19, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3405823 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3405823


This article was first published in the China Business Knowledge (CBK) website by CUHK Business School: https://bit.ly/2XqPkhx.


About CUHK Business School

CUHK Business School comprises two schools — Accountancy and Hotel and Tourism Management — and four departments — Decision Sciences and Managerial Economics, Finance, Management and Marketing. Established in Hong Kong in 1963, it is the first business school to offer BBA, MBA and Executive MBA programmes in the region. Today, the School offers 8 undergraduate programmes and 20 graduate programmes including MBA, EMBA, Master, MSc, MPhil and Ph.D.


In the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2020, CUHK MBA is ranked 50th. In FT‘s 2019 EMBA ranking, CUHK EMBA is ranked 24th in the world. CUHK Business School has the largest number of business alumni (37,000+) among universities/business schools in Hong Kong — many of whom are key business leaders. The School currently has about 4,400 undergraduate and postgraduate students and Professor Lin Zhou is the Dean of CUHK Business School.


More information is available at http://www.bschool.cuhk.edu.hk or by connecting with CUHK Business School on:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cuhkbschool

Instagram: www.instagram.com/cuhkbusinessschool

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/school/3923680

WeChat: CUHKBusinessSchool

Element AI Announces Collaboration with Veritas Consortium led by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to Support Development of Framework for Responsible Use of AI in the Financial Industry

As a technical provider, Element AI will work together with other consortium members to develop specialized metrics that will help financial institutions assess the fairness measures of their Artificial Intelligence solutions


SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 29 May 2020 – Element AI, a global developer of artificial intelligence-powered (AI) solutions and software, today announced a new collaborative relationship with the Veritas Consortium led by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), to assist with developing a framework for driving the responsible adoption of AI in the financial services industry.  The consortium has an overarching mandate to implement the FEAT principles (Fairness, Ethics, Accountability, Transparency) as critical considerations for the deployment of Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics (AIDA) technologies within financial institutions.


The FEAT principles and the Veritas initiative are part of Singapore’s National AI Strategy, aimed at building a vibrant and responsible environment for AI adoption within the financial sector.  As one of the AI technology providers to the consortium, Element AI’s involvement aims to include a range of research and development activities in support of this mandate. One of the first initiatives being undertaken is in collaboration with United Overseas Bank (UOB), one of the lead consortium members. Together they will develop a set of quantifiable metrics for financial institutions to assess the extent to which data and the algorithms or models used to evaluate credit scoring for unsecured lending meet the principles of Fairness.


The consortium’s goal is to publish a research report on the project and to open-source the code for the metrics for AI practitioners to review and to eventually use within their own organizations. The report is expected to be published in the second half of 2020.


Johnson Poh, Head of Group Enterprise AI and Data Science, Data Management Office, UOB, said, “At UOB, we uphold the highest standards in safeguarding and using data appropriately for our customers and have in place a governance framework to ensure the ethical use of data within the Bank. As a founding member of the Veritas initiative and through our collaboration with Element AI, we aim to develop a set of metrics which could be used as an industry benchmark that upholds the Fairness principle in the area of credit scoring for unsecured lending.”


“The Veritas initiative perfectly demonstrates why Singapore continues to be a global leader in applied AI,” said Jean-François (JF) Gagné, CEO and Founder of Element AI. “The MAS approach to nurturing innovation and partnering with industry, whilst setting the standards and principles required for the responsible deployment of technology, is aspirational. Element AI is honoured to act as an advisor to the MAS and as a partner to UOB on this important initiative of global significance,” added Gagné.


To learn more about Element AI advisory & enablement, and AI-powered solutions, visit: https://www.elementai.com/

About Element AI

Element AI develops AI-powered solutions and services that help people and machines work smarter, together. Founded in 2016 by serial entrepreneurs including JF Gagné and A.M.Turing Award recipient, Yoshua Bengio, PhD, Element AI turns cutting-edge fundamental research into software solutions that exponentially learn and improve. Its end-to-end offering includes advisory services and AI enablement tools and products, aimed at helping large organizations operationalize AI for real business impact. Element AI maintains a strong connection to academia through research collaborations and takes a leadership position in policymaking around the impact of AI technology on society. https://www.elementai.com.


© Element AI Inc., 2020, all rights reserved. Element AI™ and the Element AI logo are protected by trademarks of Element AI, Inc. “EAI” and the EAI logo are trademarks of Element AI, and may be registered or pending registration in several jurisdictions. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners and affiliated companies or entities.

How to host another channel on Twitch, either manually or automatically

There are two easy ways to host someone on Twitch.

There are two easy ways to host someone on Twitch.
Nick Bastone/Business Insider

  • To host another channel on Twitch, you’ll need to type a special message in your own chatroom.
  • When you host another channel, people who visit your channel while you’re offline will see that other channel’s stream instead.
  • You can also set up Twitch’s “auto host” feature, which will begin hosting channels for you without needing to be manually activated.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Did you know that you can host another person’s Twitch channel on your own personal channel? What this means is that you can essentially broadcast their stream on your channel for a period of time.

This is a great way to help other Twitch users build their followings, as well as give visitors to your channel something to watch when you’re offline.

Hosting on Twitch is easier than it sounds. You just need to type a command into your channel’s chat room, or set up an auto host list. Here’s how to do either, using the desktop website on your Mac or PC.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Apple Macbook Pro (From $1,299.00 at Apple)

Lenovo IdeaPad 130 (From $469.99 at Walmart)

How to host on Twitch

There are two ways to host channels on Twitch: manually, and automatically.

To host manually:

1. After logging into your Twitch account, click on your profile picture in the upper-right corner of the screen.

2. Click on “Channel” in the drop-down menu.

3. Once you’re on your Twitch channel, there will be a chat section on the right side of the screen. Click on the field that says “Send a message.”

4. Type, without quotation marks, “/host USERNAME” – except, instead of USERNAME, type the username of the channel you want to host. For example, my sister’s username is the_beccanator, so if I wanted to host her channel, I would type:

/host the_beccanator

Once you’ve written the command correctly, send your message.

Use the /host command to pick someone to host.

Use the /host command to pick someone to host.
Chrissy Montelli/Business Insider

5. When you want to stop hosting another Twitch user’s channel, type “/unhost” into the chat field, without quotation marks.

When you're ready to take your channel back, use /unhost.

When you’re ready to take your channel back, use /unhost.
Chrissy Montelli/Business Insider

Keep in mind that you can only make three host commands per hour. So if you start hosting a channel, then unhost that channel and start hosting another within the same hour, you’ll have to wait until the hour is up to put in any more host commands.

You can also create an auto host list, which will let your channel automatically start hosting others whenever you’re offline. To do this:

1. Once again, open Twitch and log in, and then click your profile picture in the top-right corner.

2. In the menu that opens, click “Settings.”

3. At the top of your settings page, click the “Channel and Videos” option.

Open your channel's dashboard by clicking

Open your channel’s dashboard by clicking “Channel and Videos.”
William Antonelli/Business Insider

4. Scroll far down the page until you reach the “Auto Hosting” section. Here, click the “Auto host channels” toggle so it flips to the right.

5. Once you’ve turned on auto hosting, click the “Host list” option at the bottom.

There are also a number of other hosting settings you can modify here.

There are also a number of other hosting settings you can modify here.
William Antonelli/Business Insider

6. This will bring you to a page where you can add channels to your auto host list. Search for the channels you want, and then click “Add” when they appear. There’s no limit to how many channels you can put on this list.

Add your favorite channels by searching for them.

Add your favorite channels by searching for them.
William Antonelli/Business Insider

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

Read the full executive order about social media companies that President Trump signed

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

  • Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday designed to achieve “transparency and accountability from online platforms.”
  • The executive order is specifically aimed at social media and it names Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
  • The move comes two days after Twitter fact-checked two of Trump’s tweets pushing false claims about voting by mail.
  • Trump’s executive order seeks to empower federal regulators to amend a statute that gives social-media companies broad authority to moderate speech on their platforms.
  • First Amendment experts say Trump has “absolutely no legal authority” to regulate or shut down social-media companies when he disagrees with them, and his executive order will likely face tough pushback.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Here is the full text of President Trump’s executive order relating to social media, published by the White House on Thursday May 28, 2020.

Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. Free speech is the bedrock of American democracy. Our Founding Fathers protected this sacred right with the First Amendment to the Constitution. The freedom to express and debate ideas is the foundation for all of our rights as a free people.

In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand pick the speech that Americans may access and convey on the internet. This practice is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic. When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power. They cease functioning as passive bulletin boards, and ought to be viewed and treated as content creators.

The growth of online platforms in recent years raises important questions about applying the ideals of the First Amendment to modern communications technology. Today, many Americans follow the news, stay in touch with friends and family, and share their views on current events through social media and other online platforms. As a result, these platforms function in many ways as a 21st century equivalent of the public square.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube wield immense, if not unprecedented, power to shape the interpretation of public events; to censor, delete, or disappear information; and to control what people see or do not see.

As President, I have made clear my commitment to free and open debate on the internet. Such debate is just as important online as it is in our universities, our town halls, and our homes. It is essential to sustaining our democracy.

Online platforms are engaging in selective censorship that is harming our national discourse. Tens of thousands of Americans have reported, among other troubling behaviors, online platforms “flagging” content as inappropriate, even though it does not violate any stated terms of service; making unannounced and unexplained changes to company policies that have the effect of disfavoring certain viewpoints; and deleting content and entire accounts with no warning, no rationale, and no recourse.

Twitter now selectively decides to place a warning label on certain tweets in a manner that clearly reflects political bias. As has been reported, Twitter seems never to have placed such a label on another politician’s tweet. As recently as last week, Representative Adam Schiff was continuing to mislead his followers by peddling the long-disproved Russian Collusion Hoax, and Twitter did not flag those tweets. Unsurprisingly, its officer in charge of so-called ‘Site Integrity’ has flaunted his political bias in his own tweets.

At the same time online platforms are invoking inconsistent, irrational, and groundless justifications to censor or otherwise restrict Americans’ speech here at home, several online platforms are profiting from and promoting the aggression and disinformation spread by foreign governments like China. One United States company, for example, created a search engine for the Chinese Communist Party that would have blacklisted searches for “human rights,” hid data unfavorable to the Chinese Communist Party, and tracked users determined appropriate for surveillance. It also established research partnerships in China that provide direct benefits to the Chinese military. Other companies have accepted advertisements paid for by the Chinese government that spread false information about China’s mass imprisonment of religious minorities, thereby enabling these abuses of human rights. They have also amplified China’s propaganda abroad, including by allowing Chinese government officials to use their platforms to spread misinformation regarding the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to undermine pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

As a Nation, we must foster and protect diverse viewpoints in today’s digital communications environment where all Americans can and should have a voice. We must seek transparency and accountability from online platforms, and encourage standards and tools to protect and preserve the integrity and openness of American discourse and freedom of expression.

Sec. 2. Protections Against Online Censorship. (a) It is the policy of the United States to foster clear ground rules promoting free and open debate on the internet. Prominent among the ground rules governing that debate is the immunity from liability created by section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act (section 230(c)). 47 U.S.C. 230(c). It is the policy of the United States that the scope of that immunity should be clarified: the immunity should not extend beyond its text and purpose to provide protection for those who purport to provide users a forum for free and open speech, but in reality use their power over a vital means of communication to engage in deceptive or pretextual actions stifling free and open debate by censoring certain viewpoints.

Section 230(c) was designed to address early court decisions holding that, if an online platform restricted access to some content posted by others, it would thereby become a “publisher” of all the content posted on its site for purposes of torts such as defamation. As the title of section 230(c) makes clear, the provision provides limited liability “protection” to a provider of an interactive computer service (such as an online platform) that engages in “‘Good Samaritan’ blocking” of harmful content. In particular, the Congress sought to provide protections for online platforms that attempted to protect minors from harmful content and intended to ensure that such providers would not be discouraged from taking down harmful material. The provision was also intended to further the express vision of the Congress that the internet is a “forum for a true diversity of political discourse.” 47 U.S.C. 230(a)(3). The limited protections provided by the statute should be construed with these purposes in mind.

In particular, subparagraph (c)(2) expressly addresses protections from “civil liability” and specifies that an interactive computer service provider may not be made liable “on account of” its decision in “good faith” to restrict access to content that it considers to be “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable.” It is the policy of the United States to ensure that, to the maximum extent permissible under the law, this provision is not distorted to provide liability protection for online platforms that – far from acting in “good faith” to remove objectionable content – instead engage in deceptive or pretextual actions (often contrary to their stated terms of service) to stifle viewpoints with which they disagree. Section 230 was not intended to allow a handful of companies to grow into titans controlling vital avenues for our national discourse under the guise of promoting open forums for debate, and then to provide those behemoths blanket immunity when they use their power to censor content and silence viewpoints that they dislike. When an interactive computer service provider removes or restricts access to content and its actions do not meet the criteria of subparagraph (c)(2)(A), it is engaged in editorial conduct. It is the policy of the United States that such a provider should properly lose the limited liability shield of subparagraph (c)(2)(A) and be exposed to liability like any traditional editor and publisher that is not an online provider.

(b) To advance the policy described in subsection (a) of this section, all executive departments and agencies should ensure that their application of section 230(c) properly reflects the narrow purpose of the section and take all appropriate actions in this regard. In addition, within 60 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), in consultation with the Attorney General, and acting through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), shall file a petition for rulemaking with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requesting that the FCC expeditiously propose regulations to clarify:

(i) the interaction between subparagraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of section 230, in particular to clarify and determine the circumstances under which a provider of an interactive computer service that restricts access to content in a manner not specifically protected by subparagraph (c)(2)(A) may also not be able to claim protection under subparagraph (c)(1), which merely states that a provider shall not be treated as a publisher or speaker for making third-party content available and does not address the provider’s responsibility for its own editorial decisions;

(ii) the conditions under which an action restricting access to or availability of material is not “taken in good faith” within the meaning of subparagraph (c)(2)(A) of section 230, particularly whether actions can be “taken in good faith” if they are:

(A) deceptive, pretextual, or inconsistent with a provider’s terms of service; or

(B) taken after failing to provide adequate notice, reasoned explanation, or a meaningful opportunity to be heard; and

(iii) any other proposed regulations that the NTIA concludes may be appropriate to advance the policy described in subsection (a) of this section.

Sec. 3. Protecting Federal Taxpayer Dollars from Financing Online Platforms That Restrict Free Speech. (a) The head of each executive department and agency (agency) shall review its agency’s Federal spending on advertising and marketing paid to online platforms. Such review shall include the amount of money spent, the online platforms that receive Federal dollars, and the statutory authorities available to restrict their receipt of advertising dollars.

(b) Within 30 days of the date of this order, the head of each agency shall report its findings to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

(c) The Department of Justice shall review the viewpoint-based speech restrictions imposed by each online platform identified in the report described in subsection (b) of this section and assess whether any online platforms are problematic vehicles for government speech due to viewpoint discrimination, deception to consumers, or other bad practices.

Sec. 4. Federal Review of Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices. (a) It is the policy of the United States that large online platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, as the critical means of promoting the free flow of speech and ideas today, should not restrict protected speech. The Supreme Court has noted that social media sites, as the modern public square, “can provide perhaps the most powerful mechanisms available to a private citizen to make his or her voice heard.” Packingham v. North Carolina, 137 S. Ct. 1730, 1737 (2017). Communication through these channels has become important for meaningful participation in American democracy, including to petition elected leaders. These sites are providing an important forum to the public for others to engage in free expression and debate. Cf. PruneYard Shopping Center v. Robins, 447 U.S. 74, 85-89 (1980).

(b) In May of 2019, the White House launched a Tech Bias Reporting tool to allow Americans to report incidents of online censorship. In just weeks, the White House received over 16,000 complaints of online platforms censoring or otherwise taking action against users based on their political viewpoints. The White House will submit such complaints received to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

(c) The FTC shall consider taking action, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to prohibit unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, pursuant to section 45 of title 15, United States Code. Such unfair or deceptive acts or practice may include practices by entities covered by section 230 that restrict speech in ways that do not align with those entities’ public representations about those practices.

(d) For large online platforms that are vast arenas for public debate, including the social media platform Twitter, the FTC shall also, consistent with its legal authority, consider whether complaints allege violations of law that implicate the policies set forth in section 4(a) of this order. The FTC shall consider developing a report describing such complaints and making the report publicly available, consistent with applicable law.

Sec. 5. State Review of Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices and Anti-Discrimination Laws. (a) The Attorney General shall establish a working group regarding the potential enforcement of State statutes that prohibit online platforms from engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The working group shall also develop model legislation for consideration by legislatures in States where existing statutes do not protect Americans from such unfair and deceptive acts and practices. The working group shall invite State Attorneys General for discussion and consultation, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law.

(b) Complaints described in section 4(b) of this order will be shared with the working group, consistent with applicable law. The working group shall also collect publicly available information regarding the following:

(i) increased scrutiny of users based on the other users they choose to follow, or their interactions with other users;

(ii) algorithms to suppress content or users based on indications of political alignment or viewpoint;

(iii) differential policies allowing for otherwise impermissible behavior, when committed by accounts associated with the Chinese Communist Party or other anti-democratic associations or governments;

(iv) reliance on third-party entities, including contractors, media organizations, and individuals, with indicia of bias to review content; and

(v) acts that limit the ability of users with particular viewpoints to earn money on the platform compared with other users similarly situated.

Sec. 6. Legislation. The Attorney General shall develop a proposal for Federal legislation that would be useful to promote the policy objectives of this order.

Sec. 7. Definition. For purposes of this order, the term “online platform” means any website or application that allows users to create and share content or engage in social networking, or any general search engine.

Sec. 8. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Minnesota prosecutor compares George Floyd killing to case of Freddie Gray, saying he ‘will not rush to justice’ despite calls to charge police

Protesters gather at the scene where George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was pinned down by a police officer kneeling on his neck before later dying in hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. May 26, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Miller

Protesters gather at the scene where George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was pinned down by a police officer kneeling on his neck before later dying in hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. May 26, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Miller
Eric Miller/Reuters

  • Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said he has been inundated with calls asking what he’s “going to do about the murder” of George Floyd.
  • But, Freeman told reporters on Thursday, “I will not rush to justice. I’m going to do this right. And those folks who know me in the African community know I will do my very level best.”
  • Freeman’s office later issued a clarification. “Evidence not favorable to our case needs to be carefully examined to understand the full picture of what actually happened,” it said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

George Floyd died after a since-fired police officer in Minneapolis pinned him to the ground by kneeling on his neck for eight minutes. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said he has been inundated with calls demanding to know what he’s “going to do about the murder.”

But at a press conference on Thursday, Freeman said he would wait for more evidence before pressing ahead with any charges over the death of Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old Black man, citing a failed prosecution of cops in Baltimore – comments he later clarified following a backlash.

“I will just point to you the comparison to what happened in Baltimore in the [Freddie] Gray case. It was a rush to charge. It was a rush to justice. And all of those people were found not guilty,” Freeman told reporters. “I will not rush to justice. I’m going to do this right. And those folks who know me in the African community know I will do my very level best.”

Freddie Gray died in 2015 while in the custody of Baltimore police after suffering a “significant spinal injury.” Six officers were charged in connection with the death – 19 days later – but none were convicted of a crime. Gray’s family was later awarded a $6.4 million settlement from the city.

Former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who was mayor when Gray was killed, seemed to agree. She told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Thursday evening: “As we saw in Baltimore, I think it’s very important to get it right and not just get it fast.”

In a statement issued later on Thursday, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office insisted that Freeman’s comments were “being misinterpreted.”

“To clarify, County Attorney Freeman was saying that it is critical to review all the evidence because at the time of trial, invariably, all that information will be used,” the office said. “Evidence not favorable to our case needs to be carefully examined to understand the full picture of what actually happened.”

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has called on Freeman to pursue criminal charges against the arresting officer, Derek Chauvin. All four officers involved in the incident have been removed from the police force.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office, meanwhile, is stressing that the results of its own investigation are unlikely to be conclusive. In a press release Thursday, the office said it is “actively investigating the death of George Floyd and awaiting final results from laboratory studies.” However, an “autopsy alone cannot answer all questions germane to the case and manner of death.”

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

How to change your Twitch username in 6 simple steps, and rebrand your streaming channel

It's easy to change your username on Twitch.

It’s easy to change your username on Twitch.
Thomas Trutschel/Getty Images

If you’ve had a Twitch account for a while, you might feel like you’ve outgrown the username you chose when you first signed up.

Maybe it was an old nickname you’re no longer fond of, or you’re interested in a different direction for your channel and want your username to reflect that.

Nevertheless, you can easily change your Twitch username in your account settings. You can do this using any internet browser on your Mac or PC.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Apple Macbook Pro (From $1,299.00 at Apple)

Lenovo IdeaPad 130 (From $469.99 at Walmart)

How to change your Twitch username

1. Open the Twitch website in a web browser on your Mac or PC and log in, and then click on your profile icon in the upper-right corner of the screen.

2. In the drop-down menu that appears, click “Settings.”

Open your Settings menu.

Open your Settings menu.
Chrissy Montelli/Business Insider

3. Scroll down to the “Profile Settings” section.

4. In the section labeled “Username,” you will see a pencil icon to the far right. Click on this icon.

Click on the pencil icon to edit your username.

Click on the pencil icon to edit your username.
Chrissy Montelli/Business Insider

5. Type your desired Twitch username into the field. If the username you want is taken or otherwise unavailable, a message will appear in red text explaining the issue.

6. To finalize your choice, click “Update.”

Your channel's URL will change to match your new username.

Your channel’s URL will change to match your new username.
Chrissy Montelli/Business Insider

Keep in mind that you can only change your Twitch username once every 60 days. If you change your username to something that you end up disliking, you’re stuck with that username for two months.

Be sure to inform your friends and followers of the username change as well, or else they might be confused about where your streams have gone.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

Target is closing 24 stores in Minnesota ‘until further notice’ amid looting and protests following the death of George Floyd

A looter made off with Target Merchandise, and a mannequin, Wednesday night.

A looter made off with Target Merchandise, and a mannequin, Wednesday night.
Star Tribune via Getty Images

  • Target is closing 24 stores in Minnesota “until further notice” amid protests against the death of George Floyd.
  • Photos and videos showed people looting Target stores in Minneapolis-St.Paul on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • “At this time, we have made the decision to close a number of our stores until further notice,” Target said in a statement. “Our focus will remain on our team members’ safety and helping our community heal.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Target is closing 24 stores in the Minneapolis-St.Paul area, amid protests against the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed after a white police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest.

“We are heartbroken by the death of George Floyd and the pain it is causing our community,” the Minneapolis-based retailer said in a statement on Thursday.

“At this time, we have made the decision to close a number of our stores until further notice,” the statement continued. “Our focus will remain on our team members’ safety and helping our community heal.”

Target is closing 10 locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as 14 more in the surrounding region, including suburbs such as Eden Prairie, Shoreview, and Apple Valley.

A view outside a Target store on May 27, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

A view outside a Target store on May 27, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Star Tribune via Getty Images

On Wednesday evening, photos and videos showed people hauling goods like televisions, vacuum cleaners, and lamps out of a Target store in Minneapolis on Lake Street. People smashed the store’s windows and doors and destroyed displays and shelves.

St. Paul police told local news that 50 to 60 people attempted to steal items from a Midway Target on Thursday. Crowds gathered outside the Target, chanting “I can’t breathe,” according to Kare 11.

The 24 Targets’ that will be closed until further notice are:

  • North St. Paul: 2199 Hwy 36 E, North Saint Paul
  • West St. Paul: 1750 Robert St S, West St Paul
  • East St. Paul: 1744 Suburban Ave, Saint Paul
  • St. Paul Highland Park: 2080 Ford Pkwy, Saint Paul
  • St. Paul Midway: 1300 University Ave W, Saint Paul
  • Minneapolis Northeast: 1650 New Brighton Blvd, Minneapolis
  • Minneapolis Nicollet Mall: 900 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
  • Minneapolis Lake Street: 2500 E Lake St, Minneapolis
  • Minneapolis Dinkytown: 1329 5th St SE, Minneapolis
  • Minneapolis Uptown: 1300 W Lake St, Minneapolis
  • Oakdale: 7900 32nd St N, Oakdale
  • Roseville: 1515 County Road B W, Roseville
  • Brooklyn Park: 7535 W Broadway Ave, Brooklyn Park
  • Knollwood: 8900 Highway 7, St.Louis Park
  • St. Louis Park: 3601 Highway 100 S, St Louis Park
  • Crystal: 5537 W Broadway Ave, Crystal
  • Eden Prairie: 8225 Flying Cloud Dr, Eden Prairie
  • Shoreview: 3800 Lexington Ave N, Shoreview
  • Fridley: 755 53rd Ave NE, Fridley
  • Richfield: 6445 Richfield Pkwy, Richfield
  • Burnsville: 810 County Road 42 W, Burnsville
  • Bloomington: 2555 W 79th St, Bloomington
  • Apple Valley: 15150 Cedar Ave, Apple Valley
  • Apple Valley South: 15560 Pilot Knob Rd, Apple Valley