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By Usama Jawad96
Online civility deteriorated in the second year of the pandemic, claims Microsoft
by Usama Jawad
The ongoing pandemic has undeniably been a test of endurance for everyone. While outdoor activity and interactions have decreased, online engagement has been on the rise not only in professional domain, but across personal life as well. That said, this may not have resulted in a net-positive behavior as a Microsoft research now reports that online civility actually deteriorated going into the second year of the pandemic.
Image via Rusbase Microsoft surveyed 11,067 respondents spread across 22 countries in 2021 - which is the second and ongoing year of the pandemic considering most countries started enforcing stricter measures in early 2020. People aged 13-74 were surveyed about their experience when it comes to 21 online risks spread across four categories, namely sexual, reputational, behavioral, and personal.
The survey's results revealed that 82% of the countries had experienced net-worse online civility during the pandemic. Only four of the 22 surveyed countries showed a net-positive change, namely Columbia, Peru, Mexico, and India. Meanwhile, countries like Germany, Italy, Poland, Philippines, and Hungary reported the steepest net-negativity, as can be seen in the graphic from Microsoft below:
Image via Microsoft Only 17% of respondents claimed that digital civility improved during COVID-19, while 30% claimed that it actually decreased. These numbers were at 26% and 22% respectively in 2020. Meanwhile, the trend for digital positivity such as people helping each other online dropped to 56% compared to 67% last year according to these respondents as well. Other notable statistics include:
The trends reported by Microsoft are certainly disappointing and something for us to ponder and improve upon as a global community. The company says that it will reveal the full report on the international Safer Internet Day 2022 on February 8, 2022.
Amazon Returnship program opens in U.S. to help COVID-19 recovery
by Paul Hill
Amazon has announced the launch of the Amazon Returnship program which offers professionals from different backgrounds a route back to work following the coronavirus pandemic. As things stand, Amazon’s Returnship program is only available in the United States.
Through the Returnship program, Amazon is offering those who have been out of work for at least a year to attend a 16-week paid work opportunity in locations across the country. Those that decide to participate will face “a customized and abbreviated” interview process and work on a specific project, from home, in their chosen field such as Operations Finance, Consumer Payments, and Search.
Aside from being able to work from home, participants will also get child and elder care assistance so they can get back into work in a steadier fashion. At the end of the period, participants have the chance to move into full-time positions at Amazon where relocation will be paid for if it’s needed.
Commenting on the program, Beth Galetti, senior vice president of People eXperience and Technology at Amazon, said:
If you live in the U.S., have been out of work or underemployed for a year or more, and want to try this program, you can apply on the Amazon Jobs website.
Amazon opens European lab to boost employee safety and well-being
by Paul Hill
Amazon has announced its European Operations Innovation Lab which it has established to improve employee safety and well-being through the use of advanced technologies. The new lab is based in Vercelli, Italy, and has already started testing and developing technologies that improve worker safety.
The new technologies that Amazon is currently working on include Item Sorters, Pallet Movers, Tote Retrievers, Automated Guided Vehicles, and Robot Sorters. Together, these technologies will reduce muscle strain, the need to lift totes, and cut down on the amount of time that employees need to spend walking around the warehouse.
Stefano La Rovere, Head of EU Advanced Technology at Amazon, leads scientists and engineers at the Lab. He said:
Some of the technologies have been deployed in some areas; the Automated Guided Vehicles have been deployed in Italy and are being implemented in Poland and the UK; Tote Retrievers are rolling out in Poland and the UK; Item Sorters and Pallet Movers are being used in Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, and the UK; and Robot Sorters are being used in Italy, Spain, and Germany and later this year, they will come to Poland, France, and the UK.
To ensure that each technology continues to function properly, Amazon’s Reliability Maintenance Engineering teams monitor them on an ongoing basis. Additionally, all Amazon staff are given being given training each time a new innovation is introduced to the warehouses.
By Jay Bonggolto
TikTok will now let you bulk delete comments and block multiple accounts at once
by Jay Bonggolto
TikTok has made great strides in the fight against cyber bullying over the past several months. Most recently, the company introduced comment filters so unapproved comments won't show up on your videos along with a pop-up feature that would ask you to reconsider an "unkind" comment before posting it.
Today, TikTok announced a new capability on the platform that lets you take more control of the comments section in your content. The new feature allows you to remove multiple comments at once if you feel being harassed by them. You can also block multiple accounts in bulk owned by those who post unwanted comments on your videos. Only up to 100 comments or accounts can be deleted or blocked at a time.
To remove comments in bulk, you can simply tap on the pencil icon and then you can choose multiple comments you want to delete at once. It's the latest step in TikTok's effort to help combat bullying on its platform. The service already puts limitations on private messages and comments if you're aged between 13 and 17. Earlier this month, it also joined the Technology Coalition to advance child safety on the platform.
The new feature is available starting today across select markets. TikTok plans to roll it out widely over the next few months.
By Jay Bonggolto
Amazon is hiring 10,000 more people in the UK for permanent roles
by Jay Bonggolto
Amazon opened more than 100,000 jobs in the U.S. last year as demand for employment surged amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the retail giant is expanding job opportunities in the UK as well.
Amazon announced today that it plans on hiring 10,000 new people in the country for permanent positions. The new hires will be in Amazon's corporate offices in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Cambridge. Vacant positions span various fields including fashion, digital marketing, engineering, video production, software development, cloud computing, AI, machine learning, and more. Other roles are in Amazon Web Services and operations network. The new hiring spree will bring Amazon's UK workforce to 55,000 this year.
This summer, Amazon is creating 700 new permanent roles at a new fulfillment center that it plans to open in Hinckley, East Midlands. The company will also establish fulfillment centers in Dartford, Gateshead, and Swindon, as well as a parcel receive center in Doncaster. These locations will each open over 1,300 permanent positions later this year.
In addition, the retail firm will hire thousands of new people to fill up its vacancies in various delivery station network jobs including engineering, HR and IT, health and safety, finance, and order shipment roles. Amazon said the pay for these roles starts at a minimum of £10.80 per hour in the London area and £9.70 per hour elsewhere in the country. These rates apply to full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal positions at its fulfillment centers, sort facilities, and delivery stations. Employees will also receive private medical insurance, life assurance, income protection, an employee discount, and a company pension package.
For employees who plan to pursue a career beyond Amazon in the future, the company vows to spend £10 million on skills training over three years. The program will benefit up to 5,000 employees and help meet the country's employment demand in the future.