16-19 May (Sunday-Wednesday): The Arabian Travel Market (ATM) takes place in Dubai.
17-20 May (Monday-Thursday): Avior-HC Egypt Virtual Conference.
18-20 May (Tuesday-Thursday): Renaissance Capital’s annual MENA Investor Conference.
20 May (Thursday): Integrated Diagnostics Holding shares begin trading on the EGX.
20 May (Thursday): Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias will be in Cairo for talks with FM Sameh Shoukry as part of a three-day regional tour amid the ongoing escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
20-28 May (Thursday-Friday): Gouna International Squash Open 2021.
24-26 May (Monday-Wednesday): British Egyptian Business Association virtual healthcare week.
26 May (Wednesday): Final day for Africa-based startups to apply for the French government-sponsored AFD Digital Challenge (pdf).
27-29 May (Thursday-Saturday): Informa Markets’ Nextmove real estate exhibition, Cairo International Convention Center, Nasr City.
30 May (Sunday): Al Mal GTM is organizing the Portfolio Egypt conference under the theme ‘Growth under the weight of the pandemic.’
31 May (Monday): Egypt is hosting Trescon Global’s World AI Show with the support of ITIDA.
7 June (Monday): British Egyptian Business Association hosts event featuring Oil Minister Tarek El Molla.
17 June (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.
17-20 June (Thursday-Sunday) : The International Exhibition of Materials and Technologies for Finishing and Construction (Turnkey Expo), Cairo International Conference Center.
22-27 June (Tuesday-Sunday): The CIB PSA World Tour Finals for 2020-2021 will take place in Cairo.
24 June (Thursday): End of the 2020-2021 academic year (public schools).
26-29 June (Saturday-Tuesday): The Big 5 Construct Egypt, Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo, Egypt.
30 June (Wednesday): The IMF will complete a second review of targets set under the USD 5.2 bn standby loan approved in June 2020 (proposed date).
30 June (Wednesday): 30 June Revolution Day.
30 June- 15 July: National Book Fair.
July + August: Thanaweya Amma exams take place.
1 July: (Thursday): National holiday in observance of 30 June Revolution.
1 July (Thursday): Large taxpayers that have not yet signed on on to the e-invoicing platform will suffer a host of penalties, including removal from large taxpayer classification, losing access to government services and business, and losing subsidies.
1 July (Thursday): Businesses importing goods at seaports will need to file shipping documents and cargo data digitally to the Advance Cargo Information (ACI) system.
15 June (Saturday): EGX-listed will have to complete filing their financial disclosures for the period ended 31 March.
19 July (Monday): Arafat Day (national holiday).
20-23 July (Tuesday-Friday): Eid Al Adha (national holiday).
23 July (Friday): Revolution Day (national holiday).
5 August (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.
9 August (Monday): Islamic New Year.
12 August (Thursday): National holiday in observance of the Islamic New Year.
12-15 September (Sunday-Wednesday): Sahara Expo: the 33rd International Agricultural Exhibition for Africa and the Middle East.
16 September (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.
30 September-2 October (Thursday-Saturday): Egypt Projects 2021 expo, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.
30 September-8 October (Thursday-Friday): The Cairo International Fair, Cairo International Conference Center, Cairo, Egypt.
1 October (Friday): Expo 2020 Dubai opens.
6 October (Wednesday): Armed Forces Day.
7 October (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Armed Forces Day.
12-14 October (Tuesday-Thursday): Mediterranean Offshore Conference, Alexandria, Egypt.
18 October (Monday): Prophet’s Birthday.
21 October (Thursday): National holiday in observance of the Prophet’s Birthday.
28 October (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.
1-3 November (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Energy exhibition on power and renewable energy, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.
1-12 November (Monday-Friday): 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), Glasgow, United Kingdom.
29 November-2 December (Monday-Thursday): Egypt Defense Expo.
13-17 December: United Nations Convention against Corruption, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
16 December (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.
14-16 February 2022 (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Petroleum Show, Egypt International Exhibition Center, New Cairo, Egypt.
1H2022: The World Economic Forum annual meeting, location TBD.
May 2022: Investment in Logistics Conference, Cairo, Egypt.
27 June-3 July 2022 (Monday-Sunday): World University Squash Championships, New Giza.
**Note to readers: Some national holidays may appear twice above. Since 2020, Egypt has observed most mid-week holidays on Thursdays regardless of the day on which they fall and may also move those days to Sundays. We distinguish below between the actual holiday and its observance.
Online content moderation gone awry
Facebook’s heavy-handed efforts at moderating content has left many users confused over what the platform’s rules actually entail: The tech giant’s obscure set of community guidelines has come under fire in recent months from users who have been penalized for unknowingly violating the platform’s rules, the Wall Street Journal reports. The reinvigorated drive to regulate information carried on the platform has left writers, academics and ordinary users temporarily — and sometimes permanently — banned for seemingly asinine comments deemed inappropriate by the company’s algorithms. The efforts, which came in response to years of public criticism for fake news and hate speech circulating uninhibited on the platform, now raises questions about the scope of information regulation online.
It started with fake news, but now posts on Palestine are being censored, too: This issue has come to the fore in recent days, as many users on Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram posting content on the Israeli campaign against Palestine complained that their posts were being censored. On Instagram, some — including influencers or others with a large follower base — have reported their posts and stories getting fewer views and less engagement after repeatedly publishing content defending Palestine.
There have been more minor — but no less bizarre — reasons, too: Some users have reportedly experienced penalties for posting photos that depict breastfeeding mothers or the use of the word “crazy” in a good faith discussion with a friend. Others have seen restrictions on their accounts for posting WWII era photos of Nazi officials within the context of a history discussion and were subject to even longer bans for attempting to appeal the decision.
In charge of detecting “questionable” content posted to Facebook is an AI algorithm that automatically flags posts, comments and images that might be deemed in violation of the company’s community standards. In recent years, those standards have expanded to include “violent and graphic content” and “false news” — but specific internal guidelines and the penalties carried for violating them have not been explicitly spelled out by Facebook. Once content has been automatically flagged, it is then up to one of the company’s 15k third party moderators to make a final decision on those posts and issue a penalty.
The process is far from foolproof: Facebook has admitted to this process resulting in a wrong call in some 10% of cases (or 300k posts) per day. The process has been found to be “grossly inadequate” by a New York University research paper released last year, which also recommended the company end third-party moderation.
Even moderators don’t know what they’re doing: Sitting on top of the company’s labyrinth of rules and guidelines is a 20-person oversight board made up of lawyers and experts who review appeals and major decisions by the company. But this appeal process — which already rarely vindicates the users — has been significantly undermined by the pandemic, as there are “fewer people available to review content.” And whatever decision the board makes isn’t binding, either. The board has in the past called Facebook’s rules “difficult for users to understand,” and recommended they provide more detailed explanations to users for when they’re faced with penalties. But avoiding disclosures has been a tactic used by Facebook to skirt entering into disputes with users, former employees told the WSJ.
This has driven many to get creative and cheat the system: Those commenting in Arabic on the events in Palestine have returned to Arabic’s old roots and have been commenting using a script of the language that removes dots from letters, calling it the first “human protests against AI”.