Displaying items by tag: Amazon

Friday, 02 July 2021 10:03

Tech giants being investigated

Amazon and Google are under UK competition watchdog scrutiny regarding fake reviews on their platforms. The competition regulator is probing the tech giants in relation to breaches of consumer protection law. Their ‘specific concerns’ were raised about whether the two companies were ‘doing enough’ to detect ‘fake and misleading reviews or suspicious patterns of behaviour.’ An initial sweep, begun in May 2020, cast doubts on whether the firms investigate and remove such reviews, and if they impose ‘adequate sanctions’ to deter reviewers or businesses from violating rules on honest posts - in particular by taking action against repeat offenders. ‘Our worry is that millions of online shoppers could be misled by reading fake reviews and then spending their money based on those recommendations’, said the watchdog. Last September, Amazon had to delete 20,000 product reviews, written by seven of its top UK reviewers, following a Financial Times investigation discovering reviewers were paid to post thousands of five-star ratings.

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 13 August 2020 20:00

USA: pro-life film removed from Amazon Prime

A pro-life filmmaker is claiming censorship after his documentary was removed from Amazon Prime video ‘because of poor customer reviews’ despite the film receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews. Marcus Pittman’s movie, ‘Babies are Still Murdered Here,’ goes into the deep underpinnings of major national lobbyist groups. It asks why after 46 years babies are still being murdered. Amazon categorises reviews based on keywords: some keywords were pro-life, end abortion and pro-life movement. This may be why the film was removed. Amazon has faced allegations of censorship before. Last year it pulled books describing how a relationship with Jesus Christ helped people out of same-sex attractions, saying it was in ‘violation of our content guidelines’, but did not point out which parts were objectionable.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 14 November 2019 21:38

Global: mothers speak out on climate change

From the vanishing Solomon Islands to the burning Amazon rainforest, mothers speak up from danger zones. Alice, in Brazil, fears for her two-month-old son: ‘It is hotter than when I was a child, and I don’t know how it will be when he grows up. There is more pollution, he’s already having breathing problems. I am privileged to live in this paradise, but I look around today and fear that we are losing it.’ Baby Rafsan lives in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the most overpopulated city in the world. His mother said, ‘We fear for our futures but not enough to quit using cars to save the climate'. By 2050 one in seven people will be displaced by rising sea levels - that’s 18 million people. Bangladesh will not exist in 100 years if carbon dioxide emissions remain the same. ‘My baby should not be wearing a mask’, said a mother in Delhi.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 01 November 2019 07:19

Amazon Rainforest - Bishops meet for Rome Synod

Indigenous tribes see the Catholic church as a key ally in the ecological fight – and an unprecedented synod is focused on how to stop the destruction.

by Dan Collyns in Puerto Maldonado

A hundred years ago the Harakmbut people were nearly wiped out.

Inhabitants of a vast jungle region where Peru intersects with Brazil and Bolivia, the tribespeople were enslaved by rubber barons and murdered en masse, only surviving thanks to the help of Dominican missionaries.

Now a new threat of extinction looms, and once again they are appealing to the Catholic church.

As wildfires and de-forestation drive the Amazon rainforest towards a tipping point beyond which it cannot recover, Yesica Patiachi, a Harakmbut leader from Peru, is heading to Rome to take part in an unprecedented synod of Catholic bishops from across the region.

Although she is not a practising Catholic, the 32-year-old schoolteacher sees the church as a key ally to save the rainforest.

“Eden is here in the Amazon and we are destroying it,” she said. “We cannot pray to God when we are destroying his creation.”

Starting on Sunday, bishops from the nine South American nations that share the Amazon will meet in the Vatican to try and muster the spiritual and earthly forces to pull the world’s largest rainforest back from the brink of destruction.

One of the synod’s organisers, Father Peter Hughes, said the three-week gathering would set out a new view of ecology based on Christian faith in God as the creator of a “common home”. Hughes said the Catholic church should firmly place itself alongside the region’s indigenous people and defending their territorial rights and way of life.

“The life of the [Amazon] people is intrinsically, inherently part of the territory. If the territory is injured, the people are injured,” he said.

Organizers insist that the church is not simply fighting for its share in the market of souls. Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the president of the synod, said this week that the Amazon was facing a crisis in which ecological problems were inseparable from social issues.

To find a solution, the world must hear “both the cry of the earth and that of the poor”, he said.

Additional reporting by Angela Giuffrida in Rome

From https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/05/amazon-rainforest-catholic-church-synod-vatican

Pray: that the plundering and destruction of these natural resources will stop.

Pray: for the voices of the indigenous people to be heard and acted upon.

Pray: for the people of the Amazon region whose lives and livelihoods have been affected.