After the election, many people are asking whether fake news contributed to the result, and what our responsibility is to prevent fake news from spreading.
These are very important questions and I care deeply about getting them right. I want to do my best to explain what we know here.
Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes. The hoaxes that do exist are not limited to one partisan view, or even to politics.
Overall, this makes it extremely unlikely hoaxes changed the outcome of this election in one direction or the other.
Industrialisation has historically been synonymous with development, while deindustrialisation is a well-established trend in mature developed economies as they move towards services-based economies.
Yet recent trends show that many developing countries – especially in Africa and Latin America – have witnessed their shares of manufacturing employment and output shrinking long before they have attained income levels comparable to those in the developed world.
Such premature deindustrialization began during the adjustment programmes in the 1980s and 1990s, yet has continued, as commodity booms and speculative financial inflows have led to currency appreciation and a loss of manufacturing competitiveness. All this compounded by the rise of China’s manufacturing exports.
The current question is therefore: now that the commodity bonanza is over, capital flows are reversing and China is turning towards a more balanced growth path driven more by domestic demand than exports, how can Africa and Latin America reignite industrialization?
Whatever the chosen strategy, it will have to account for the rapidly increasing spread of new automation technologies and artificial intelligence in the form of robots.
It has been 25 years since the first Internet connection was established in South Africa. Saturday, 12 November 2016.
It marks a quarter of a century since the first Internet protocol connection was made between the computer centre at Rhodes University in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape and the home of early Internet pioneer Randy Bush in Portland, Oregon in the north-western United States.
The now-retired Mike Lawrie, who at the time was director of computing services at Rhodes, said in a recent e-mail to a South African Internet community mailing list: “On 12 November, give a smile and a cheer, for the Internet will have been in South Africa for exactly 25 years.”
South African Internet pioneer Mike Lawrie has built an internal ADSL network at the retirement centre where he lives, which offers residents unlimited Internet access at R40 per month.
Lawrie is known for establishing the first Internet network in South Africa at Rhodes University in 1988. His passion for networking and the Internet never subsided, and when he moved into the retirement village in Pretoria and noticed the need for affordable broadband access, he stepped in to help.