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Hm... "Rice is white" without article is reported as wrong. I was taught there is no need to use any article with food names, especially here "rice" being an uncountable noun. I think that the sentence "Rice is white" means rice in general (but I would say "the rice I cooked is rice" (this particular rice). Am I right or not? My mother language is french, I was once fluent in german, and I chose the german course for english speaker in order to both brush up my german and practice some english at the same time.
Why not use the proper character? If you're using the mobile app, you can type the ß character by pressing and holding the s key. If this doesn't work, go to the keyboard settings on your device and enable the German keyboard.
If you're using the website on a computer, you can use the on-screen keys.
Using "s" or "B" instead of "ß" is simply wrong. If you got away with it before, it's not because it was allowed but because it was interpreted as a typo. Typos will result in failing the task if you end up spelling a different word. For instance, "Weib" is an outdated and offensive word for "woman" or "wife".