Nobel for Climate
Tech and health + Facebook + Nobel for Climate Change
Hello, hope you are having a great Sunday! Today we talk about the Digitization of Health, the Facebook crisis, and this year’s Nobel.
The Indian Digital Health Mission
Public Health has been in the limelight for quite some time, with the advent of the pandemic and the second wave intensified discussions around and over it. In this direction, the Government of India announced a scheme converging technology & health- National Digital Health Mission on 15th August 2020, which was piloted and implemented in six Union Territories. On 27th September 2021, the Government of India launched the PM-DHM (Prime Minister- Digital Health Mission), nationwide.
The key components of the Mission include- A unique Health ID that will be assigned to every Indian which will provide access to their health records, anytime and anywhere. This unique identification is supposed to give citizens trouble-free access to the health care professionals and Healthcare Facilities Registry, both of which will be regularly updated.
About 66% of the population gets their treatment from a private clinic & only 33% of rural and 26% of the Urban population depend on the public sector, therefore, associating Private sector hospitals under the scheme will be challenging. The records of the patients can be misused in the absence of a qualitative healthcare system.
Other than this, a lack of data protection laws might pose danger to the data of citizens, as it did in the case of Aadhar.
(Sources: NDHM.gov.in, The Week)
The Facebook Crisis
Over the years, the number of internet outages has increased to a significant level as per a network monitoring service ‘Thousand Eyes’ by Cisco Systems inc. As per the data by the service, there were 367 global internet outages which increased by 30 % in the third week of September 2021. One such major outage occurred on 4th October 2021.
What was different?
Facebook had its longest outage ever for about 6 hours and along with it, Instagram & Whatsapp also went down. The outage affected the users across the globe and of which 400 million users are from India.
What was the reason for the Outage?
As discerned by Facebook, the outage was caused by an internal routing mistake to an internet domain. The failures of internal communication tools and other resources that depend on that same domain to work added to the issue.
Impact- The effect on Facebook and its users was detrimental as the shares of the company fell by 4.9 per cent and the CEO suffered a loss of 6 billion dollars. Many small businesses which were solely dependent on the giant, suffered losses.
Facebook, in another news, is dealing with another crisis: the crisis of a whistleblower.
Frances Haugen, a 37-year-old data scientist, also a whistleblower of Facebook earlier worked on the company’s civic integrity team. She provided the company’s internal documents to the Wall Street Journal and US lawmakers, which were published by Wall Street Journal under a series ‘Facebook Files’. The documents included various studies that stated that the social media giant was well aware of the fact that its algorithm was promoting hate speech and impacting the youngsters mentally.
Social media on teenagers
The prime focus of the documents were these studies- 13.5% of U.K. teen girls in one survey mentioned, their suicidal thoughts became more frequent after starting on Instagram. 17% of teen girls said that their eating disorders got worse & 32% of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram worsened the situation.
How does the algorithm work?
On Facebook and Instagram, when a post receives comments, likes, and shares, it pops up more frequently in the feed. As per Haugen, it helps in spreading rage, hate or misinformation through sensational content which contributes to deteriorating mental health and violence.
Law and the Tech
Haugen encouraged lawmakers to examine such algorithms and find solutions to make it a safe place by making these platforms less reactive and less viral. On the flip side, Facebook is emphasizing how Haugen is breaking the law because the documents were “stolen”.
(Sources: Indian Express, Hindustan Times, NPR)
First Nobel for Climate
Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasslemann (Climate Change) and Giorgio Parisi were awarded the Nobel Prize under the discipline of Physics on 5th October 2021.
Why is this important?
This is the first time climate scientists have been awarded the Physics Nobel. This is highlighting the importance that climate science and climate change held in the 21st Century.
Research & Explanation-
Syukuro Manabe demonstrated through the climate model that the increment of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to the increment in temperatures of Earth. His work laid the foundation for the development of climate models.
After 10 years, Klaus Hasselmann created a model that links together weather and climate, which stated that the climate models can be reliable despite weather being unpredictable. He also developed methods for identifying specific signals, fingerprints, that both natural phenomena and human activities imprint in the climate.
(Source Nobelprize.org, Indian Express)
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