Will Twitter Shut Down Due to ANCYL Outrage?
No one likes getting bullied, but by all accounts it doesn’t kill (“sticks and stones,” and all that…). The ANC Youth League doesn’t go by that school yard rhyme, and plans to shut down the social media messaging site Twitter for allowing users to pose as President Julius Malema.
Now, not only does Twitter have a bone to pick with this African group, but so do Twitter users all over the world. Hundreds of tweets responded to the press release from the group that wrote: “The ANC YL has in more than one occasion reported these impersonators and hackers, yet no action has been taken against them by the twitter administrators. We will now approach the relevant authorities to report these hackers and call for the closer of twitter if its administrators are not able to administer reports for violation of basic human rights and integrity.”
It’s unclear who initially enlisted the expertise of Floyd Shivambu as ANCYL’s global media relations, but he probably won’t retain his stature for long. His efforts were in essence halted when he began misrepresenting his point through spelling errors – as seen above and through a tweet that reads: “All these fake Twitter hackers are giving me a headache and cretating many problems for our President.”
The trending topic even got a few vocal tweeters, including @mbroodryk who continues to berate the ANCYL with his messages about hacking into Melema’s personal website. All that eradicates the point that celebrities, political figures and company heads are “hacked” into day in and day out. We know American President Barack Obama didn’t have time to tweet three times today, and chances are the public knows it too.
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”