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    Facebook investigated over &#039 reportedly;systemic' racism in hiring

    Facebook has publicly committed to fighting racism, but there are concerns that isn't translating to its recruitment practices. Reuters sources say the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is investigating possible "systemic" racism in Facebook's hiring and job promotions. Facebook program manager Oscar Veneszee Jr. and four candidates have reportedly accused the social network of discriminating against Black applicants and staff through subjective evaluations and pushing racial stereotypes. Three of the people brought the case in July 2020, with a fourth joining in December. The EEOC tapped investigators for systemic cases by August 2020, but they've only received briefings from both sides of the case over the past four months. While the full extent of the alleged violations isn't clear, one of the policies in dispute stems from hiring bonuses. The company hands out up to $5,000 in bonuses if a referred candidate is hired, but those referrals tended to reflect the existing employee demographics and disadvantage Black applicants (who make up 3.9 percent of US employees as of last June). There are no guarantees the EEOC investigation will lead to formal action. The Commission declined to comment, but Facebook said it took discrimination accusations "seriously" and investigated "every case." This isn't the first time Facebook's hiring has come under fire. In 2017, a Bloomberg report pointed out that a handful of executives typically made final hiring decisions and tended to use metrics that favored culturally similar candidates, such as people endorsed by existing staff or those who went to certain schools. Facebook maintained that it had diverse hiring teams that brought in candidates from a wide range of backgrounds, but its incentive system was having problems at the time. If the allegations hold up, they'll suggest that some of those years-old complaints still persist. An EEOC determination could lead to reforms, even if it's just through public pressure.

    Turntable.fm is and Turntable back. fm back can be coming

    2021 is bringing back some good things we've lost in the past. Social DJ site Turntable.fm launched ten years ago, letting people take turns to add songs to a shared playlist in a room with their friends (or strangers). Sadly, it shut down in 2013 over high operating costs and a shrinking audience. Now, though, not only is the website itself back up and running (though with a password required for access), there's also another effort to bring it back in a new form. Founder Billy Chasen responded to a tweet confirming his involvement with the revived website, which currently doesn't appear to be available to the public. Some people are reporting issues like tracks missing even while searching with a video ID, but the majority of questions are folks asking for access. Details on when this might open to the public are also sparse. Meanwhile, one of the original founding team members Joseph Perla announced in February that he was bringing the service back as Turntable.org with a target April beta launch date. Perla's version will be mobile-first and appears to involve a subscription payment model. Perla is also working with Simon Oxley, founding designer of Turntable.fm's avatars.  [embedded content] While the original version relied on YouTube videos to provide music, Turntable.org will also support MP3 uploads, according to its website. Clearly, this version needs to work out how to work with the music industry if it's planning to enable that, and in its press release the company wrote that it plans to "develop a breakthrough use case and business model that works for both artists and fans." A sound business model is vital to ensuring either version of the revived Turntable will stick around. Perla's team launched a crowdfunding campaign with a target of $500,000 and has already raised $522,400. Those who supported will receive various perks like discounted subscriptions at launch, early access, downloadable avatars, special badges and more. These efforts to create a source of income might help Turntable.org fulfil the promise it made on its site: "We're designed to stick around forever, promise."

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