27th October 2017

Other Stories - 27th October 2017

Pro-leave Twitter bots played a key role in the EU referendum. A new study by the University of Oxford has suggested that bots and trolls are increasingly being used to skew Twitter and Facebook users’ political views. According to the report, the bots played a ‘small but strategic’ role in shaping online conversation during the 2016 EU referendum. The study warned that ‘computational propaganda’ could be one of the most powerful new tools against democracy and suggests that social media platforms may have to redesign themselves if democracy is to survive. Independent

Approximately 15 million people have no pension savings. According to a major survey conducted by the Financial Conduct Authority, 31% of UK adults have no private pension provisions in place, meaning they will have to rely entirely on the state after retirement. Over a quarter of those polled claimed they could not afford a private pension scheme. The full state pension of £159.55 per week is only available to individuals who have a complete record of national insurance contributions.  Guardian

A single room in London now costs more than an entire house in the North East. The revelation comes from analysis conducted by the Office of National Statistics, which breaks down the cost of property prices across the UK based on the size of the properties in question. The cost of a room in London, excluding bathrooms, conservatories, kitchens and utility rooms was £132,926 in 2016, which amounts to more than the average cost of a property in the North East, worth £128,000 in July 2016. Telegraph

Playboy recruits its first transgender playmate. The first issue of Playboy to be published since the passing of founder High Hefner is also the first to showcase a transgender playmate. Model Ines Rau is the first model in the magazine’s 64-year history to appear in the magazine’s coveted centrefold, having first appeared in a 2014 special edition, which looked at gender as non-binary. ‘It's the most beautiful compliment I've ever received,’ she enthused. Newsbeat

Spam is becoming currency for crime in Hawaii. Authorities have reported that cans of Spam are being stolen from shops and sold on the street in order to fund money for drugs in Honolulu. Breaking the usual trend of criminals targeting alcohol, Police explained they had received reports of a man attempting to steal an entire case of canned meat from a retailer earlier this month. Similar cases have been reported elsewhere in the country. Sky News

A Palestinian man was arrested for saying ‘good morning’ on Facebook. A mistaken translation led to the arrest of a construction worker after his friendly greeting, written in Arabic, was mistranslated by the social media platform. Israeli police reportedly relied on Facebook's automatic translation software, which interpreted the Arabic phrase as "attack them" in Hebrew and "hurt them" in English. The man was promptly released after the mistake was realised. SBS

CIA sacks a trainee bomb-sniffing dog for her lack of interest in the role. Lulu the Labrador had begun her promising career with a new intake of puppies for the US intelligence agency’s programme, but it soon became apparent that she was becoming disinterested. ‘Sometimes the dogs need a little break, and sometimes it’s a minor medical condition,’ a CIA blog post explained. ‘For some dogs, like Lulu, it becomes clear that the issue isn’t temporary. Instead, this just isn’t the job they are meant for. Lulu was no longer interested in searching for explosives.’ Telegraph


“You can’t say anything to anyone in the airport. I used to just hit people, but they would call the police now… The last trip I took, I had a manicure the day before and it set off a big alert, like it was some kind of chemical weapon. The more I go through that, the more I don’t want to travel.”

Legendary singer, songwriter, actress and model Grace Jones reflects on travel in a post-9/11 world.


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