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Alert! Be careful while using Facebook, Govt. agencies keep vigil


 The users of online social media have enormously increased to 241 million in India. Indians have surpassed the number of Facebook users of America which is 240 million.
The users of Facebook should note that governments and law implementing agencies have an eye on the Facebook. Some of the voluntary agencies post emotional messages targeting the youths. Youths who get trapped by such organizations will come under the scanner of law implementing agencies.
It is therefore advisable for users of Facebook in India and abroad to be careful of such charitable or welfare organizations.
The youths must think twice before commenting, hitting like and posting anything on the Facebook to avoid legal complications.
There are recent reports that Facebook is planning to link Aadhaar number to Facebook accounts in order to trace out and counter the fake accounts.

–Siasat News




Now send direct live videos via Instagram


New Delhi: Popular photo and video sharing platform Instagram announced its latest update, which will enable users to send live videos to their friends via Direct, Instagram’s messaging platform.

With a single tap of the Direct icon, a user can send a live video, or a video they’re watching, to a friend or a group of friends and encourage them to join in, the company indicated in a blog post.

When a user is live, he/she can tap the Direct icon at the bottom of the screen and send the live video to friends. Users also have this option when going live with a friend. Once sent, the recipient will see the live video in their Direct inbox.

However, friends can only view the video while the sender is live. If the feed has ended, the recipient will see a message saying the video has ended.

While the feature has been rolled out for greater engagement, users can disable the option to send live videos in Direct by accessing the same in the stories settings. Also, private account users can have only their followers viewing the video.

On the other hand, as a viewer, one can send a live video to a friend in Direct the same way. While watching a live video, tap the Direct icon at the bottom of the screen and choose who to send it to.

“Today’s change makes it easy to invite people to watch your live videos and send exciting live videos you’re viewing to your friends in real time,” the blog noted.

Instagram has rolled out this update as part of its version 26 for iOS in the Apple App Store and for Android in Google Play.

-ANI




Twitter to tell when local law demands blocking content, account


San Francisco: To help the public better understand the scope and scale of government censorship from around the world, Twitter has updated its transparency tool to tell its users the legal compulsions behind blocking of some tweets and accounts on its platform.

“We are updating our in-product messaging when we withhold content to clarify why content was withheld and where,” Jeremy Kessel, Global Legal Policy Director at Twitter wrote in a blog post.

So when a tweet is withheld, users would now know if Twitter was compelled to withhold the original tweet in response to a valid legal demand, such as a court order.

They would also know if Twitter withheld the content to comply with local law(s).

Similar notification will be available for withheld accounts as well.

To shine light on government requests, Twitter launched its “Transparency Report” back in 2012 and later that year, it announced the “Country Withheld Content” (CWC) tool, which the microblogging site uses to transparently handle global legal requests to remove content from Twitter.

“The primary goal of CWC is to avoid silent removals and maximise transparency of the content that we are compelled to remove to comply with local laws, court orders, and other legal demands,” Kessel said.

Twitter achieves this transparency through a combination of efforts. This includes providing direct notice of removal requests to affected users (when not otherwise prohibited), the use of visual indicators within the service, and by publishing the underlying legal demands on Lumen, which serves as a public repository for content removal requests.

One example of CWC is Nazi symbols in Germany, where they are prohibited, Techcrunch reported on Thursday.

Twitter said the latest update is part of its larger efforts to increase transparency across the platform, particularly around decisions that impact its users.

“We are also working on improving our use of in-app notifications to alert affected users when we have received legal requests about their account,” Kessel said.

“Our goal is to help you better understand why you may not be able to view certain types of content as you interact with our service,” he added.

IANS




Facebook introduce new tools to block unwanted friend requests


San Francisco: To prevent harassment on Facebook, the social media giant has introduced new tools that keep unwanted friend requests and messages from reaching you.

The new features proactively recognise and help prevent unwanted contact when someone you blocked sets up a new account or tries to contact you from another account they control, said Antigone Davis, Global Head of Safety at Facebook said in a statement on Tuesday.

The new tools also provide the users the option to ignore a Messenger conversation and automatically move it out of their inbox, without having to block the sender.

“Now, you can tap on a message to ignore the conversation. This disables notifications and moves the conversation from your inbox to your Filtered Messages folder,” Davis said.

It enables the user to read messages in the conversation without the sender seeing if they have been read.

“This feature is now available for one on one conversations and will soon be available broadly for group messages, too,” Davis added.

Facebook hopes that the new tools will be of immense use for women and journalists who disproportionately experience harassment on the social media platform.

Also Read : Facebook rolls out ‘Snooze’ to ‘mute’ friends

As those who resort to harassment on social media often rely on fake accounts, Facebook said it is building on existing features that prevent fake and inauthentic accounts.

“These automated features help us identify fake accounts more quickly and block millions of them at registration every day,” Davis said.

But what happens when a new account created by someone who was previously blocked does not get caught by these features?

“We are now using various signals (like an IP address) to help us proactively recognise this type of account and prevent its owner from sending a message or friend request to the person who blocked the original account,” Davis said.

“The person who blocked the original account is in control, and must initiate contact with the new account in order for them to interact normally,” she added.

— IANS




Facebook rolling out AI tools to help prevent suicides


San Francisco: In yet another attempt to prevent suicides, Facebook is starting to roll out Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based tools to help identify when someone might be expressing thoughts of suicide, including on Facebook Live.

The initiative – that will use pattern recognition to detect posts or live videos where someone might be expressing thoughts of suicide to help authorities respond faster — will eventually be available worldwide, except the European Union, Facebook said in a blog post on Tuesday.

“Facebook is a place where friends and family are already connected and we are able to help connect a person in distress with people who can support them. It’s part of our ongoing effort to help build a safe community on and off Facebook,” wrote Guy Rosen, Vice President of Product Management at Facebook.
In October, Facebook worked with first responders on over 100 wellness checks based on reports it received via its proactive detection efforts.  “We use signals like the text used in the post and comments (for example, comments like “Are you ok?” and “Can I help?” can be strong indicators).

“In some instances, we have found that the technology has identified videos that may have gone unreported,” Rosen said.  Facebook has a team that includes a dedicated group of specialists who have specific training in suicide and self harm.  “We are also using AI to prioritise the order in which our team reviews reported posts, videos and live streams. This ensures we can get the right resources to people in distress and, where appropriate, we can more quickly alert first responders,” the blog post read.  In addition to those tools, Facebook is using automation so the team can more quickly access the appropriate first responders’ contact information.

“We have teams working around the world, 24/7, who review reports that come in and prioritise the most serious reports. We provide people with a number of support options, such as to reach out to a friend,” Rosen informed.  Facebook in September said it was working with suicide prevention partners in India to collect phrases, hashtags and group names associated with online challenges encouraging self-harm or suicide.  Started on World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, the initiative would also connect people in India with information about supportive groups and suicide prevention tools in News Feed.




Twitter rolls out 280-character limit to all users


San Francisco, After running a successful trial with few users, Twitter has finally rolled out its new 280-character limit virtually for all users. In September, Twitter launched a test that expanded the 140-character limit so that users could express themselves easily in a tweet. “Our goal was to make this possible while ensuring we keep the speed and brevity that makes Twitter, Twitter. “Looking at all the data, we’re excited to share we’ve achieved this goal and are rolling the change out to all languages where cramming was an issue,” the micro-blogging platform said in a blog post on Wednesday.

During the first few days of the test, many people tweeted the full 280-limit because it was new and novel but soon after, the behaviour normalised. “We saw when people needed to use more than 140 characters, they tweeted more easily and more often. But importantly, people tweeted below 140 most of the time and the brevity of Twitter remained,” said Aliza Rosen, Product Manager, Twitter.

Only five per cent of tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only two per cent were over 190 characters. In addition to more tweeting, people who had more room to tweet received more engagement (Likes, Retweets, @mentions), got more followers and spent more time on Twitter during the experiment.
“Japanese, Korean and Chinese will continue to have 140 characters because cramming is not an issue in these languages. In fact, these languages have always been able to say more with their tweets because of the density of their writing systems,” the post said.

The average length of a tweet in Japanese is 15 characters, and only 0.4 per cent of tweets hit the 140-character limit. But in English, a much higher percentage of tweets have 140 characters (nine per cent). Most Japanese tweets are 15 characters while most English tweets are 34.

According to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, this is a small change, but a big move for them. “The 140 limit was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence!” Dorsey had tweeted during the time of trial.

The 140-character limit has been around since 2006 and has become part of the product’s personality.

by agency




Soon, taxmen will be prowling on Facebook snooping for black money, spending patterns


New Delhi: A photo of your shiny new luxury car on Instagram or a costly watch on Facebook may lead the taxman to your doorstep as the tax department from next month will begin amassing virtual information to trace black money. ‘Project Insight’, likely to be launched next month, will use big data analytics to match information from social media sites to deduce mismatches between spending pattern and income declaration.

The tax department will analyse mismatches in income declarations and spending patterns to trace tax evasions and black money, an official said. The government has also made linking of PAN with Aadhaar mandatory to get a 360-degree view of a person’s income and assets.

The tax department had last year signed a pact with L&T Infotech for implementation of Project Insight, which is designed to strengthen the non-intrusive information driven approach for improving tax compliance. “Currently, beta testing is on and the integrated platform for Project Insight should be launched by next month,” the official told PTI.


Project Insight has been initiated by the income tax department for data mining, collection, collation and processing of such information for effective risk management with a view to widen and deepen the tax base. It will help the taxmen monitor high value transactions, and curb the circulation of black money. However, some experts are wondering whether the new privacy law will impact the tax man’s snooping activities in the social media.




WhatsApp voice calling is here and this is how you activate


While several online reports have claimed that the voice calling feature on WhatsApp has arrived, there is no official announcement or confirmation from the company. Several blogs suggested that users need to download the latest version of Whatsapp or get version 2.11.528/531 to activate the feature. However, this may not work. Even newer versions like 2.11.561 is yet to get the feature. So, upgrading to the latest version will clearly not work.

Another round of online reports informed that users will only get the calling feature activated on their accounts if someone makes aWhatsApp call to them. Suggesting that an invitation is required.

For the record the latest version of WhatsApp (as of March 14) is 2.12.7. You can download it from the website and insatll the apk file. However, you will need someone (who already has the feature) to call you to activate it on your device.

So, if you haven’t received the calling feature even after updating to the latest version, it’s better to forget about it for the moment and wait for the official announcement. When WhatsApp announced its WhatsWeb, the feature was available across all versions. So, we can expect the same this time for voice calling.

Meanwhile, several malwares and fake WhatsApp calling apps have appeared to take advantage of curious users.




Facebook rewards $10, 000 to 10-year-old for discovering flaw in Instagram


New York: The social networking giant has paid $10,000 to a 10-year-old boy for spotting a bug in Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform Instagram.

According to a report in technology website VentureBeat.com, Jani from Finland discovered the security flaw in Instagram on his own.

He found a bug in Instagram which requires you to be at least 13 before even signing up, that let him delete any comment on the social network.

“He reported the bug by email, offered proof by deleting a message on one of Facebook’s test Instagram accounts and it was fixed in February. Facebook paid him the bug bounty in March,” the report added.

“I would have been able to remove anyone, even Justin Bieber,” the report quoted Jani as saying.

The Finnish boy wishes to become a security researcher. “It would be my dream job. Security is very important,” he was quoted as saying.

He used the reward money to buy a new bike, football gear and computers for his two brothers.

Like Google and Microsoft, Facebook also has a bug bounty programme.

In February, Facebook announced that it had paid $4.3 million in rewards to more than 800 security researchers for over 2,400 submissions since launching its bug bounty programme in 2011.

IANS




Facebook makes News Feed more relevant


New York: In a move to make your News Feed more informative, Facebook has tweaked its algorithm to bring news that’s relevant and of interest to you.

“Our goal with News Feed is to show people the stories most relevant to them, so we rank stories so what’s most important to each person shows up highest in their News Feeds,” said Facebook in a blog post on Friday.

According to Jie Xu, Research Scientist, Akos Lada, Data Scientist and Vibhi Kant, Product Manager at News Feed, when Facebook rank and make improvements to News Feed, it rely on a set of core values.

“These values — which we’ve been using for years — guide our thinking and help us keep the central experience of News Feed intact as it evolves,” they wrote.

To better understand how the social media giant can show people the most informative stories to them, it talks to people and ask them how it can improve what they see when they check Facebook.

“With the new update, we are creating a new ranking signal to predict what is most informative to you, so those stories appear higher in your feed,” Facebook said.

“First, we look at the stories that people tell us they find informative. People from our Feed Quality Programme look at each story in their feed and rank it on a scale of one to five – one being ‘really not informative’ and five being ‘really informative’,” it added.

The stories people rate as informative and really informative help create a new prediction about how informative Facebook thinks hey will find each story.

“We then combine this signal with how relevant the story might be to you personally a” taking into account things like your relationship with the person or publisher that posted, or what you choose to click on, comment on or share a” to best predict stories that you might personally find informative,” the post read.




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