Facebook, Instagram to allow posts calling for violence against Russians

California [US]: Meta, the parent company of social networks Facebook and Instagram, is planning to allow the publication of calls for violence against Russians in response to the invasion of Ukraine, media reports said on Friday.

“As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders.’ We still won’t allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians,” Meta spokesperson Andy Stone said in a statement.
The Sputnik news agency reported the US media giant is going to allow posts that call for death to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in a number of countries, including Russia, Ukraine and Poland.

This decision comes a few days after Russia blocked access to Facebook and other social media platforms, saying that it had discriminated against Russian media and information resources.

Media reports said that the Russian websites of BBC and Deutsche Welle, Twitter, and Apple and Google’s app stores were all blocked.

“In March 2022, a decision was made to block access to the Facebook network (owned by Meta Platforms, Inc.) in the Russian Federation,” the Russian media regulator statement had said.

Meta president Nick Clegg said the company was doing “everything we can to restore our services”.

Russia launched a “military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, which it claimed was a response to calls from the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk for protection against attacks by Ukrainian troops.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the special operation is targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure only and the civilian population is not in danger.

A number of countries including the US, Canada, and Australia have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Russia, prompting many international businesses to leave the Russian market. (ANI)

No plans on default end-to-end encryption for Facebook Messenger, Instagram until 2023

Washington [US]: Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp’s parent company — Meta, does not plan to roll out end-to-end encryption (E2EE) by default on Messenger and Instagram until 2023.
The company merged Messenger and Instagram chats last year, as a part of its plan to create a unified messaging system across all of its platforms. As per The Verge, while messages sent through Messenger and Instagram can be E2EE, that option isn’t turned on by default and likely won’t be until sometime in 2023. WhatsApp already supports E2EE by default.
As per a source, Antigone Davis, Meta’s head of safety, attributed the delay to concerns about user safety. Since E2EE means only the sender and recipient will see their conversations, Davis said Meta wants to ensure that this doesn’t interfere with the platform’s ability to help stop criminal activity.
Once E2EE does become available by default, Davis noted that the company will “use a combination of non-encrypted data across our apps, account information and reports from users” to help keep them safe, all while “assisting public safety efforts.”
In a blog post earlier this year, Meta said that default E2EE would become available on Instagram and Messenger, “sometime in 2022 at the earliest.” But now, Davis said that Meta wants to “get this right,” so the company plans on delaying the feature’s debut until 2023.
Also going into effect in 2023 is the UK’s Online Safety bill, which will require online platforms to keep children from harm, as well as promptly address abusive content. This may impede Facebook’s plans to enable E2EE by default, as the UK’s Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has criticised its use in the past.
Last year, the US joined the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, and Japan in a call to give local law enforcement backdoor encryption access, which would allow authorities to view encrypted messages and files if a warrant is issued.

Facebook: Delhi assembly panel questions CEO’s role in Facebook India’s public policy

New Delhi [India]: Chairman of Delhi Assembly’s Committee on Peace and Harmony Raghav Chadha on Wednesday questioned the Chief Executive Officer’s role in Facebook India’s public policy after its Director Shivnath Thukral and Director (Legal) GV Anand Bhushan appeared before the committee.

“How Facebook has been used to further communal tensions during #DelhiRiots? Chairman of Peace & Harmony Committee @raghav_chadha questions Mark Zuckerberg’s role in Facebook India’s public policy,” Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) tweeted.
The Facebook official replied, “We are structured in a manner where we have enough checks and balances to coordinate across the world.”

Further, Chadha who is also AAP National Spokesperson asked, “How many registered users of Facebook are there across the world and in India?”

“Over a billion registered users are there, out of which around 400 million users are from India,” the official replied.

In response to this, Chadha said, “That means around 40 per cent market of Facebook belongs to India, then the CEO must closely look at one market that gives him 40 per cent of the total outcome.”

During the hearing, the AAP National Spokesperson also asked: “What actions does Facebook take on ‘misinformation campaign,’ organised hate speech and its role in inciting riots? Is that content removed or not?”

The Committee Chairman further said that it will again call the Facebook officials for the hearing and will make a decision on it.

In February 2020, violence took place in the northeast area of Delhi between groups supporting and opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act. Following this, the Peace and Harmony Committee (Committee) was constituted by the Delhi Legislative Assembly to probe the Delhi riots of February 2020.

The Supreme Court on July 9 this year held the Delhi Assembly’s Peace and Harmony committee’s right to question Facebook India officials as valid.

On October 29 this year, Delhi Legislative Assembly’s committee on ‘Peace and Harmony’ decided to call on Facebook India to send an appropriate senior representative over the “role of social media in curbing the spread of false and malicious messages which can fan disharmony and affect peace”.

The committee is chaired by AAP leader Raghav Chadha. (ANI)

Cuba threatens to sue Facebook over political manipulation

Havana [Cuba]: The Cuban foreign minister threatened on Wednesday to take legal action against Facebook, alleging that the social media network ignored groups trying to manipulate public opinion on the island.
Bruno Rodriguez said that the digital platform hosted groups of people residing outside Cuba, specifically in the US, who altered algorithms and geotags to simulate their large presence in Cuba to influence opinions and destabilize the Cuban society. “As has already happened in other parts of the world, Facebook can be sued for these practices against Cuba in strict adherence to the law,” Rodriguez told foreign diplomats accredited to Havana.
The minister accused the US-based social media company of fostering an atmosphere of hatred, discrimination and racial intolerance that undermined the Caribbean island’s right for self-determination.

Fitness2Flash is among 13 finalists in India to receive funding from Facebook

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : Fitness2Flash, an all-health, women’s and fitness community, is one of 13 finalists in India to be funded by Facebook’s Community Accelerator Programme (FCAP) 2021.
Aside from training and early access to new products, Fitness2Flash will receive up to $50,000 in funding from Facebook to help fund the community’s activities. In the last six months, approximately 13,000 communities participated, and Fitness2Flash is one of 13 finalists from India for Facebook’s CAP-2021 programme. FCAP-2021 was announced in May 2021 to assist and empower leaders to harness the power of their communities and turn ideas into action. Facebook’s Community Accelerator Program was announced in May 2021 and was aimed to help and empower leaders to harness the power of their communities and turn ideas into action
Fitness2Flash has grown to over 350k women worldwide. F2F has evolved significantly over the years, but one goal has remained constant: bringing health and fitness to all and motivating and encouraging women to prioritize their health above all else.
Initially, Fitness2Flash was founded as a Whatsapp group with a motley group of 100-odd women in 2015. Soon, it moved on the Facebook platform, and the journey of transforming lives on a larger scale kick-started.
Today, about 350k plus women have been benefited healthwise from F2F, and the task of encouraging every woman to take care of their health continues.
F2F has its presence on social media like Facebook, Instagram, and a website, where one can avail of the services offered.
“Fitness2Flash began its humble journey in the world of women’s health and fitness using the Whatsapp platform,” said Rinku Shah, founder of Fitness2Flash. In a very short period, F2F has grown exponentially worldwide, with more and more women joining Facebook for personal grooming, healthcare, and fitness. We are pleased to be associated with Facebook and even more pleased to receive funding to further our objectives.”

Facebook India seeks 14-day time

New Delhi [India] : Facebook India has sought 14 days time from Delhi Legislative Assembly’s committee on ‘Peace & Harmony’ to appear before them and furnish statement.
In an email sent to the Committee, Facebook India said that it is selecting an appropriate officer for it. The Committee had asked Facebook India to appear before them on November 18.
Earlier, the Committee had decided to call upon Facebook India to send an appropriate senior representative to depose on November 2 on “role of social media in curbing the spread of false and malicious messages which can fan disharmony and affect peace”.
The committee is chaired by Raghav Chadha.
The Delhi Assembly had summoned Facebook India Director Ajit Mohan to appear before the committee in February this year, against which Facebook India had filed a petition in the Supreme Court.
In July this year, the top court had recognised that the privileges and power of the Delhi Legislative Assembly’s Committee are at par with Parliamentary privileges and those of other Legislative Assemblies.
In the letter, Deputy Secretary (Committee) Sadanand Sah said, “Delhi had witnessed unprecedented communal disharmony and violence in February 2020. The Assembly has constituted a Committee on peace and harmony to recommend suitable measures to defuse the situation and restore harmony among religious communities, linguistic communities or social groups.”
The letter further stated, “Since Facebook has lakhs of users in Delhi, the Committee has decided to hear the views of representative(s) of Facebook India on the above subject at their sitting scheduled to be held on 2nd of November, 2021 from 12.30 pm in MLA Lounge.”
The Committee requested Facebook “to send a competent senior representative(s) and the names/ designations of representative(s) can be intimated through email before October 31 at 4 pm or before.”
Failure to send the representative could lead to the initiation of proceedings for breach of privilege or contempt of the Assembly, said the letter.

Meta acquires VR fitness app Supernatural

Washington [US]: A day after Facebook’s rebranding as Meta, the company announced that it is acquiring Within, the company behind VR workout service Supernatural.
As per The Verge, Meta recently revealed that the studio behind Supernatural will be joining the company, adding to the roster of studios owned by what used to be known as Facebook’s Oculus division. The company said that Within will continue to work on the popular fitness app and will also help Meta’s Reality Labs “enhance future hardware to support VR fitness apps.”
Meta scooping up Within isn’t necessarily a surprise move. It has spent the last few years acquiring tons of popular VR studios, like Lone Echo devs Ready at Dawn, the team behind Beat Saber, and others working on projects that some have called the VR versions of Fortnite and Roblox.
Supernatural has been one of the real success stories in virtual reality fitness, with movement-based high-impact cardio exercises.

Facebook rebrands itself as ‘Meta’

Washington [US] : Facebook chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday announced that the company he founded is rebranding itself as Meta.
The change comes with a new logo designed like an infinity-shaped symbol, slightly askew, almost like a pretzel. Facebook, Instagram and other apps will remain, but under the Meta umbrella, The New York Times reported. “I’ve been thinking a lot about our identity with this new chapter,” Zuckerberg said, speaking at a virtual event to showcase Facebook’s technological bets of the future. “Over time, I hope we’re seen as a metaverse company.”

Zuckerberg has been committed to building the metaverse, a composite universe melding online, virtual and augmented worlds that people can seamlessly traverse. He has said the metaverse can be the next major social platform and that several tech companies will build it over the next 10-plus years, New York Times reported.
The name change comes as Facebook continues to face intense scrutiny. Dozens of news stories have been released this week based on internal documents provided by whistleblower Frances Haugen painting a company that prioritizes profit over user safety, The Hill reported.
According to the publication, lawmakers have taken notice, pledging to move forward with regulations on the back of Haugen’s testimony earlier this month.

The new model, of which details are scant, appears to be one where the company’s collection of apps, including Facebook proper, Instagram and WhatsApp, will all be under the umbrella of Meta. That reorganization is similar to what Google did in 2015 when it formed Alphabet, The Hill reported.

Becky G getting a talk show on Facebook Watch

Washington [US] : Singer, actor and activist Becky G will soon be hosting her very own talk show. The 24-year-old star is heading to Facebook Watch for ‘Face to Face with Becky G’.
As per Variety, the weekly show is slated to premiere sometime next month on Facebook Watch. It will feature Becky G having “unfiltered” conversations with her favourite artists, celebrities and friends. The talk show will cover issues relevant to her generation, the Latino community and beyond, according to Facebook.
Speaking about her upcoming hosting gig, Becky G said, “Staying connected to mi gente and our cultures is incredibly important to me. My new talk show on Facebook Watch will take this engagement to a whole new level — where we’ll discuss the issues that really matter to us and our communities, have great guests and of course, invite everyone to the conversation.”
‘Face to Face With Becky G’ is the latest in the social media giant’s commitment to original talk shows aimed at driving community and conversation as well as promoting diverse voices on the platform, according to Mina Lefevre, head of development and programming for Facebook Watch, the company’s hub for episodic content.
“Becky G is a phenomenal multi-hyphenate talent and her strong social activism and honest conversations will resonate strongly with her fans,” Lefevre said.
‘Face to Face With Becky G’ is executive produced by Jesse Collins Entertainment and Becky G’s B Yourself Productions. Jesse Collins and Dionne Harmon serve as executive producers for Jesse Collins Entertainment, with Corin Nelson serving as executive producer and showrunner. Marc Jordan, Benjamin Tischker and Mecia Hollar also executive produce.
Facebook Watch, after initially debuting about four years ago with a series of scripted and unscripted originals, has since doubled down on daytime-TV-style fare.
Becky G’s chat show joins Facebook Watch’s slate of original talk series, which includes the Daytime Emmy-winning ‘Red Table Talk’ hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow Smith and mother Adrienne “Gammy” Banfield Norris, ‘Steve on Watch’ with Steve Harvey, ‘Red Table Talk: The Estefans’ with Gloria Estefan, her daughter Emily Estefan and niece Lili Estefan, and ‘Peace of Mind With Taraji’ with Taraji P. Henson and Tracie Jade.
For the unversed, Becky G has released two No. 1 hits on the Billboard Latin Airplay Charts, ‘Mayores’ and ‘Sin Pijama’.
She has toured alongside Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, J Balvin, Fifth Harmony and Jason Derulo and has recorded collabs with Daddy Yankee, Maluma, Anitta, Natti Natasha, Zayn, Bad Bunny, Ozuna, Pitbull and CNCO, among others.
The 24-year-old’s acting credits include a starring role in Lionsgate’s ‘Power Rangers’ and guest-starring in Fox’s ‘Empire’. Becky G also uses her platform to speak out against inequality and raise awareness on social issues, including in support of Black Lives Matter and DREAMers.

Facebook rolls out end-to-end encrypted chat backups to WhatsApp

Washington [US]: WhatsApp’s end-to-end encrypted chat backups for iOS and Android are here!
As per The Verge, social media giant Facebook announced that the company has started rolling out end-to-end encrypted backups to WhatsApp, on Thursday. Facebook has offered end-to-end encryption for chats for years, but with this new change, users will be able to get the same level of encryption with their backups too.
Reportedly, the feature will be rolling out “slowly” for people on the latest version of the app.
The backed-up WhatsApp chats get stored in iCloud or Google Drive, but that could be handed over by Apple or Google to law enforcement if compelled.
However, with the new change, the users will be able to secure their WhatsApp cloud backups with a password or a 6-4digit encryption key, which means that no third person but you will be able to access the backup.
Last month, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg had taken to social media to announce that WhatsApp will be adding another layer of privacy and security which would be rolling out soon.
Furthermore, he stated, “WhatsApp is the first global messaging service at this scale to offer end-to-end encrypted messaging and backups, and getting there was a really hard technical challenge that required an entirely new framework for key storage and cloud storage across operating systems.”
With the current option to encrypted backups on the cloud (Google Drive and iCloud) available to iOS and Android users, the new end-to-end encrypted chat backup feature will be available on WhatsApp beta for Android and WhatsApp beta for iOS
But in order to use the feature, users will have to create a password that would be required to restore and access the backup in the future.

Instagram says things have been fixed after global outage

Washington [US]: Photo and video sharing social networking platform Instagram on Friday (local time) said that the global outages which have been reported have been fixed and everything should be back to normal now.
“Things have been fixed, and everything should be back to normal now. thank you for bearing with us (and for all the memes this week),” Instagram said in a tweet. Social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp faced an outage for the second time this week. Downdetector, a site that monitors reports of outages across the internet, said these app outages were reported for some global users.
Social media giant Facebook said that it was aware of reports of users having trouble accessing their apps and products and is working to restore service in the second outage for the platform this week.
Taking to Twitter, the company said: “We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
Instagram said on Twitter: “We know some of you may be having some issues using Instagram right now. We’re so sorry and are working as quickly as possible to fix.”
Meanwhile, #instadown was trending on Twitter after the social media platform suffered a global outage. Netizens shared their views on Twitter on the global outage which occurred second time this week.
“Not only is it down again but also my account was hacked this week and I can’t seem to get any assistance in recovering it,” one of the netizens wrote.

While another wrote: “Yuh so what’s the reason for this? Recently you suffered a major down of servers for like 6-7 hours 2 days ago, then why again today? Aren’t your solving the issues properly?”

According to Downdetector, a site that monitors reports of outages across the internet said that 33,461 people have filed reports of the outages on Instagram. While in Facebook reported 2,214 complaints.
Earlier on Monday, thousands of users reported that they were unable to access the services WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook for nearly six hours before services were restored.

Zuckerberg denies Facebook puts profit over users’ safety

Washington [US], October 6 : Facebook Chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg has rejected accusations that the social network prioritises profit over its users’ safety.
This comes after former company product manager Frances Haugen told a congressional testimony on Tuesday that the social network was allegedly aware it inflicted harm on the mental health of teenagers but did not do much to prevent content promoting “hate and division.” “At the heart of these accusations is this idea that we prioritize profit over safety and well-being. That’s just not true,” Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook, adding that the platform cares “deeply about issues like safety, well-being and mental health.”
Zuckerberg on Wednesday said that many of the accusations make no sense. He noted that if Facebook wanted to ignore harmful content, then its team would not create “an industry-leading research program to understand these important issues in the first place”.
A former Facebook employee on Tuesday had accused Mark Zuckerberg of pushing for higher profits while being cavalier about user safety.
“I am here today because I believe that Facebook’s products harm children, stoke division, and weaken our democracy,” she had said during her opening remarks, reported CNN.
Haugen, 37, had said that effective regulation of Facebook would need to start with transparency, including allowing “full access to data for research not directed by Facebook.”
She further alleged : “The company’s leadership knows how to make Facebook and Instagram safer but won’t make the necessary changes because they have put their astronomical profits before people. Congressional action is needed. They won’t solve this crisis without your help.”

Hit by global outage Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook tweet about ‘a little bit of a hard time’

New Delhi [India]: Social media platforms Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram hopped on to Twitter to share updates after their services went down globally on Monday.
Facebook took to its Twitter handle to share: “We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
Whatsapp and Instagram, which are both owned by Facebook, shared similar messages on their respective Twitter handles.
Whatsapp tweeted, “We’re aware that some people are experiencing issues with WhatsApp at the moment. We’re working to get things back to normal and will send an update here as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience!”

Instagram shared, “Instagram and friends are having a little bit of a hard time right now, and you may be having issues using them. Bear with us, we’re on it! #instagramdown.”

The problem also appears to be affecting Facebook’s virtual reality arm, Oculus. As per The Verge, users could load games they already had installed and the browser worked, but social features or installing new games did not.
“We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience,” Oculus wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, several netizens took to their Twitter handles to start a meme fest, making fun of the global outage. One user wrote, “Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp have been eliminated! #instagramdown #whatsappdown #facebookdown.”

A second user shared, “When Facebook Instagram and WhatsApp went down, the people went to Twitter to check trendings #whatsappdown #instagramdown #whatsappdown.”

“People coming to Twitter for the nth time this year just to check if WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram is down?#instagramdown #facebookdown,” wrote a third one.

A fourth user shared, “when insta and whatsapp went down and i don’t have anyone to talk to #whatsappdown #instagramdown #facebookdown.”

Currently, it’s unclear exactly why they are unreachable for so many people. According to The Verge, as of now, there’s no word yet from Facebook about what may be causing the problem or when those sites, including Messenger and WhatsApp, will be operational again.

Sorry for the disruption, says Zuckerberg as FB, WhatsApp services return online

Washington [US]: Apologising for the disruption in the services of Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram, tech giant’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has stated that services are returning online on Tuesday.

“Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are coming back online now,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.
“Sorry for the disruption today — I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about,” he said.

Taking to Twitter early on Tuesday, WhatsApp said: “Apologies to everyone who hasn’t been able to use WhatsApp today. We’re starting to slowly and carefully get WhatsApp working again. Thank you so much for your patience. We will continue to keep you updated when we have more information to share.”

Users started reporting that Instagram, WhatsApp and other services under the Facebook corporate umbrella are now accessible as normal for the first time since about 11:30 EST on Monday when reports of the outage and disrupted services began pouring in, according to Sputnik.

Earlier, a site that monitors reports of outages across the internet, Downdetector, said the Facebook service outage is the largest it has ever seen.

The company said in a post on Monday, “The largest outage we’ve ever seen on Downdetector with over 10.6 million problem reports from all over the globe.”

The US-led the world in the number of reports for disrupted service of more than 1.7 million, followed by Germany at 1.3 million reports and the Netherlands at 9,15,000 reports.

Monday’s outage has left several services under the Facebook corporate umbrella, including Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, inaccessible.

Meanwhile, Telegram said on Twitter that users of its messenger in some regions, amid large-scale outages on Facebook, may experience problems loading chats and receiving notifications,

It said the company apologises for the inconvenience. (ANI)

Facebook halts plans for ‘Instagram Kids’ app after criticism

Washington [US]: Facebook is pausing the development of Instagram Kids, a version of the photo-sharing application for children under 13.
Instagram chief Adam Mosseri announced the news in a blog post, saying that the Facebook-owned company would continue to work on parental-supervised experiences for younger users, reported The Verge. In the blog post and series of accompanying tweets, Mosseri blamed the critics for misunderstanding the purpose of the app.
“It was never meant for younger kids, but for tweens (aged 10-12),” he wrote.
In a separate tweet, he added that news of the project “leaked way before we knew what it would be. People feared the worst, and we had few answers at that stage. It’s clear we need to take more time on this.”
Pausing work on the app comes after a leading publication posted a series of damning reports into Facebook last week.
These included a story revealing how Instagram’s own internal research suggested that the app made body issues worse for teenage girls. Facebook said these reports mischaracterised the company’s studies, but it has so far refused to release its data firsthand for critics and supporters alike to analyse.
The development of a version of Instagram aimed at younger users was widely criticised by a number of groups.
Facebook responded to this criticism by saying young people were already active online and it was better that their experience be supervised. The company also said it wouldn’t show advertising on the new app. However, critics were not convinced.
Mosseri noted on Twitter that critics will see Instagram pausing development of the kids app “as a concession that the project is a bad idea.”
He added, “I have to believe parents would prefer the option for their children to use an age-appropriate version of Instagram – that gives them oversight – than the alternative. But I’m not here to downplay their concerns, we have to get this right.”

As per Variety, critics included more than 40 state attorneys general who urged Facebook to kill the project, raising red flags including research showing social media can be harmful to the emotional and mental well-being of children.

Zoom adding live translation services, coming to Facebook VR

Washington [US]: Popular American video teleconferencing service Zoom has plans to expand its support for automatic live transcriptions with the addition of live translation, and turn its whiteboard feature into more of a fully-featured app, among several other changes, which the company announced at its Zoomtopia conference on Monday.
According to The Verge, automatic live transcriptions / closed captions in English were announced to be coming to free Zoom accounts in February 2021. Now Zoom has said it “plans to provide real-time transcription for (as many as 30 additional languages) by the end of next year.” As part of that push, Zoom will also offer translation services for paid accounts, with the plan “to support real-time translation across as many as 12 languages by the end of next year.”
Zoom wasn’t able to share details about which languages will be supported and when, but did say these improvements are a direct result of the machine learning know-how it gained by acquiring German translation company Kites.
The other major change coming to Zoom is its whiteboard feature. Zoom currently lets you create and share whiteboards during meetings to doodle together while you talk, but a planned expansion launching in beta later this year will make Zoom Whiteboard available outside of meetings in Zoom apps and the web.
The basic drawing tools don’t appear to be different from what Zoom currently offers, the main change is how Zoom is treating Whiteboard as a product alongside video calls, rather than a feature that lives inside of them. Users will be able to add sticky notes, drawings, and comments on their boards and view them whenever they want.
As per The Verge, early next year, Zoom will be coming to Facebook’s Horizon Workrooms. The shared VR meeting space will be able to host video meetings and connect to Zoom Whiteboard, according to Zoom.
In VR, you can pin a Zoom Whiteboard to your virtual desk or to the wall for everyone to see, and draw along with colleagues attending a meeting through a traditional computer.

US Congressman urges Facebook, Amazon to detail measures against vaccine disinformation

Washington DC [US], September 9 : US House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff on Thursday sent letters to the heads of Facebook and Amazon asking them to provide detailed explanation of what they do to mitigate the spread of disinformation about coronavirus vaccines.
“As a Member of Congress who is deeply concerned by the prevalence of vaccine hesitancy during this time of crisis, I request additional, more detailed information on Facebook’s policies regarding false or misleading health information in order to identify potential needs for federal regulation,” the letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. Schiff called on Zuckerberg to provide information regarding the criteria the social platform exploits to determine whether misinformation or conspiracy theories are dangerous enough to be removed.
The congressman from California also asked Zuckerberg to provide the actual size of the team that is responsible for moderating content on Facebook and whether the number is sufficient to prevent anti-vaccine content from being published.
With respect to Amazon, Schiff said the company’s recommendation systems promote dangerous misinformation on vaccines that may result in over-recommendation of disinformation and conspiracy theories regarding medical items sold online.
Schiff asked Amazon to detail the steps it is taking to ensure that filters and recommendations, including “Amazon’s Choice” labels, are not used to promote false health-related information.

Ravi Kinagi Shook After Someone Created Fake FB Profile In His Name

Be it the fake profiles with their names and photos on several social media platforms or obscene text messages, several of such cybercrimes against them is giving celebs sleepless nights. The latest victim is popular Tollywood director Ravi Kinagi. His incident is the latest in a series of incidents reported by Tolly celebrities in recent times.

The director is shocked to hear that someone created a fake Facebook profile in his name and sent an indecent message to actress Payel Sarkar and he’s really disturbed to see such scams are on the rise.

“It is really a concern to see how this is becoming a trend. Someone creates a fake profile in the name of celebs and tries to lure aspiring actors and actresses. My advice will be please be careful when you come across such social media accounts who try to get close with acting offers and then send such messages or bullies them. Please be extra cautious and stay alert. I am also contemplating legal action. Let’s see how I can proceed. I will also contact the cybercrime department from my end,” the filmmaker who has given hits like ‘Annadata,’ ‘Champion,’ and ‘Love Story’ shared in an interview.

He adds use of pictures for fake accounts is equally unacceptable, “I have heard that the culprit has deactivated his account but I have full faith in the police. But I must say Facebook authorities should ban such kinds of posts or keep a tab on the profiles who are sending such messages to others. These scams destroy our images and create unnecessary harassment for people like us. One must take action and complain to the cybercrime department in case of any mischief.”

Delhi HC notice to Centre on Whatsapp, Facebook pleas challenging new IT Rules

Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to Centre on WhatsApp and Facebook pleas challenging IT Rules, 2021 on the ground that the new set of rules would require messaging services to “trace” the origin of particular messages sent on the services.

New Delhi [India], August 27 : A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh asked the Centre to file a reply on Facebook and Whatsapp pleas and listed the matter for October 22 as the next date of hearing. WhatsApp has earlier moved the Delhi High Court challenging against Central government recently imposed IT Rules that would require messaging services to “trace” the origin of particular messages sent on the service.
WhatsApp through its statement said “Requiring messaging apps to ‘trace’ chats is the equivalent of asking us to keep a fingerprint of every single message sent on WhatsApp, which would break end-to-end encryption and fundamentally undermines people’s right to privacy.”
WhatsApp spokesperson said, “We have consistently joined civil society and experts around the world in opposing requirements that would violate the privacy of our users.”
“In the meantime, we will also continue to engage with the Government of India on practical solutions aimed at keeping people safe, including responding to valid legal requests for the information available to us,” stated Whatsapp.
Rule 4 sub-rule 2 of the newly enforced Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 states that a significant social media intermediary providing services primarily in the nature of messaging shall enable the identification of the first originator of the information on its computer resource as may be required by a judicial order passed by a court of competent jurisdiction or order passed under section 69 by the Competent Authority as per the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for the interception, monitoring, and decryption of information) Rules, 2009, which shall be supported with a copy
of such information in electronic form.
Provided that order shall only be passed for the purposes of prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or punishment of an offence related to the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states, or public order, or of incitement to an offence relating to the above or in relation with rape, sexually explicit material or child sexual abuse material, punishable with imprisonment for a term of not less than five years
Provided further that no order shall be passed in cases where other less intrusive means are
effective in identifying the originator of the information:
Provided also that in complying with an order for identification of the first originator, no
significant social media intermediary shall be required to disclose the contents of any electronic message, any other information of the first originator to other users:
Provided also that where the first originator of any information is located outside the territory of India, the first originator of that information within the territory of India shall be deemed to be the first originator of the information for the purpose of this clause.
On February 25, the Centre framed the Information Technology Rules 2021, in the exercise of powers under section 87 (2) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and in supersession of the earlier Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2011, that came into effect from May 26.
The new guidelines issued by the government of India mandated a grievance redressal system for over the top (OTT) and digital portals in the country.
Briefing the media about the new rules on February 25, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said that though the government welcomes criticism and the right to dissent, “but it is very important for the users of social media to have a forum to raise their grievance against the misuse of social media.
“Under the new rules, social media platforms will have to have a grievance redressal mechanism, they will also have to name a grievance officer who shall register the grievance within 24 hours and disposal in 15 days.
The government had said that if there are complaints against the dignity of users, particularly women – about exposed private parts of individuals or nudity or sexual act or impersonation, etc – social media platforms will be required to remove that within 24 hours after a complaint is made.

Facebook, Instagram remove Rahul Gandhi’s post

Social media sites Instagram and Facebook have removed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s post that revealed the identity of the parents of a minor girl who was raped and murdered in Delhi, official sources revealed on Friday.

New Delhi [India], August 20 : “Instagram and Facebook removed Rahul Gandhi’s post that revealed identity of the parents of a minor victim,” sources told. Earlier on Tuesday, Facebook had issued a notice to the Congress leader in a complaint regarding a video posted on Instagram which disclosed the identity of the victim.
As per the notice, the posting of video was regarded as “unlawful” under section 74 of Juvenile Justice Act 2015, section 23 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and section 288A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
This comes after National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had asked Facebook to come up with the action report on the video posted by Gandhi.
The Child Right’s body was asked to take ‘appropriate action’ against his profile for violating the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
Earlier, Twitter had temporarily locked Rahul Gandhi’s account. Over this, Rahul Gandhi alleged that the microblogging site is a “biased platform” and follows the government’s directions.
On August 1, a nine-year-old girl was allegedly raped and killed by a priest and three employees of a crematorium near the Delhi Cantonment in southwest Delhi.
Delhi Police registered a case against four accused on the basis of the statement of the minor’s mother who alleged that her daughter was raped, murdered and cremated without their consent.

Facebook issues notice to Rahul Gandhi, asks him to remove post ‘expeditiously’

New Delhi [India]: Facebook issued a notice to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, in a complaint regarding a video posted on Instagram where the identity of the parents of a minor victim had been disclosed.
The notice accessed by ANI reads, “According to National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)’s August 10, 2021 notice post you (Rahul Gandhi) uploaded through your Instagram account. It is unlawful under section 74 of Juvenile Justice Act 2015, section 23 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and section 288A of the Indian penal code (IPC) in accordance with NCPCR as notice you are requested to remove this post expeditiously.” Facebook has sought exemption from appearing in person which NCPCR has granted, but the apex child rights body will issue an order on this.
Priyank Kanoongo, chairperson of NCPCR said, “Facebook has given us a reply. It stated that they have issued a notice to Rahul Gandhi and have asked to remove the post immediately.”
“After seeing every aspect such as the IT Act, POCSO, Juvenile Justice and CPCR, NCPCR will issue an order in a maximum time period of two days,” said Kanoongo.
Before this, the apex child rights body wrote to Twitter asking it to take action against Rahul Gandhi for posting it on social media platforms.
Earlier, Twitter had temporarily locked Rahul Gandhi’s account. Over this, Rahul Gandhi alleged that the microblogging site is a “biased platform” and follows the government’s directions.
On August 1, a nine-year-old girl was allegedly raped and killed by a priest and three employees of a crematorium near the Delhi Cantonment in southwest Delhi.
Delhi Police registered a case against four accused on the basis of the statement of the minor’s mother who alleged that her daughter was raped, murdered and cremated without their consent on Sunday.
The matter is under active consideration. (ANI)

Facebook initiates action against accounts of Taliban

New Delhi [India], August 17 : Facebook has initiated action against posts and accounts affiliated to Taliban, as the social media giant identifies the outfit as a terrorist organisation under United States law.
Facebook, in a statement released on Tuesday, said it has started action against social media accounts affiliated to Taliban including posts and videos circulating on its platform. “The Taliban is sanctioned as a terrorist organisation under US law and we have banned them from our services under our Dangerous Organization policies. This means we remove accounts maintained by or on behalf of the Taliban and prohibit praise, support, and representation of them,” social media giant’s spokesperson told ANI.
Meanwhile, Facebook also said it has also constituted a team of Afghan regional languages experts in order to identify such provoking posts.
“We also have a dedicated team of Afghanistan experts, who are native Dari and Pashto speakers and have knowledge of local context, helping to identify and alert us to emerging issues on the platform. Our teams are closely monitoring this situation as it evolves,” the spokesperson said.
Citing global uproar and fear of human right violations, Facebook further stressed that it will take action as per its own rule and regulation of user engagement.
“Facebook does not make decisions about the recognised government in any particular country but instead respects the authority of the international community in making these determinations. Regardless of who holds power, we will take the appropriate action against accounts and content that breaks our rules,” spokesperson said.
There has been a spade of videos available online, which showcase the current turmoil on Afghanistan and the fear amongst the citizens residing in the counties.

NCPCR asks Facebook to remove Rahul Gandhi’s post on victim’s familyidentity of rape

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Thursday asked Facebook to remove a video posted on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Instagram profile, revealing identify of a ‘minor girl victim’s family.

New Delhi [India], August 13 : In a letter to Facebook, the Child Right’s body asked to take ‘appropriate action’ against his profile for violating the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. Earlier, Twitter suspended the accounts of the Congress party, and several of its leaders, including Rahul Gandhi for violating the rules of the microblogging site, after Gandhi tweeted a picture of the victim’s family.
Earlier today, Rahul Gandhi alleged that the microblogging site is a “biased platform” and follows the government’s directions.
In a video statement, the Congress leader questioned if India would let a company define the politics of the country.
“A company is making its business to define our politics and as a politician, I don’t like that. This is an attack on the democratic structure of the country. This is not an attack on Rahul Gandhi, this is not simply shutting Rahul Gandhi down,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said.
On Thursday, clarifying its position regarding blocking accounts of Congress party and several of its leaders, Twitter said its rules are enforced judiciously and impartially for everyone on its service.
In a statement, a Twitter spokesperson said the microblogging site will continue to take proactive action if its rules are violated.
“The Twitter Rules are enforced judiciously and impartially for everyone on our service. We have taken proactive action on several hundred Tweets that posted an image that violated our Rules and may continue to do so in line with our range of enforcement options. Certain types of private information carry higher risks than others, and our aim is always to protect individuals’ privacy and safety. We strongly encourage everyone on the service to familiarise themselves with the Twitter Rules and report anything they believe is in violation,” the spokesperson said.
Citing the reason behind blocking accounts, the company said it was alerted by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) about specific content on the platform that allegedly revealed the identity of an alleged sexual assault victim’s (and a minor’s) parents.
“We reviewed it against Twitter Rules and policies, as well as the concerns expressed as a matter of the Indian law,” stated the spokesperson.
“As explained in our Help Center, if a Tweet was found to be in violation of the Twitter Rules, and has yet to be deleted by the account holder, we hide it behind a notice and the account remains locked until the Tweet is removed or the appeal is successfully processed,” they added.
On August 1, a nine-year-old girl was allegedly raped and killed by a priest and three employees of a crematorium near Delhi Cantonment in southwest Delhi, the police had said. 

Facebook’s dating service to get audio chats

Washington [US]: Facebook Dating, the company’s dating service, doesn’t seem to be as popular as other dating applications, but the company is now introducing some new features to make it more useful for virtual dating, which has boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As per The Verge, one of the biggest new features is audio dates, which will let users start an audio conversation with somebody they match with. When a user will try to start a call with someone, the other person will receive an invitation. If they accept, the users can have a chat.
Facebook is also allowing users to set up two additional places in Facebook Dating where they want to look for matches. The feature, which Facebook calls Match Anywhere, should make it easier to match up with people who may be temporarily working or living in different places or frequently travelling between them.
The company is also launching a feature called Lucky Pick, which “enables daters to consider other compatible candidates who may be outside their typical preferences,” according to Facebook communications staffer Alexandru Voica.
Facebook Dating isn’t the company’s only dating app. In April, Facebook’s NPE Team, which builds experimental apps, released an app called Sparked that sets you up on four-minute video speed dates.

TikTok beats Facebook as most downloaded social media app in 2020

Washington, Aug 10: The Chinese social video platform TikTok became the most downloaded app among social networks in 2020, edging out Facebook Messenger, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported on Tuesday.

TikTok topped the list of social media downloads in 2020 for the first time since Nikkei began conducting its annual survey in 2018. A year earlier, TikTok ranked fourth.

In 2020, Facebook Messenger dropped from first place to fifth, Facebook itself remained second, while WhatsApp came in third, and Instagram fourth (+1 compared to 2019). All of the social platforms on the list apart from TikTok belong to the US corporation Facebook.

At the same time, Telegram climbed from eighth to seventh place in the rating amid rising privacy concerns as the messenger allows the deletion of shared data.

Twitter, in turn, lost rank at number 10 in the 2020 ranking.

Facebook Redesigns Settings for easy tool acess

Washington [US]: In order to make the platform’s tools and features easier to access for its users, the social media giant Facebook has redesigned its settings page.

“Whether it’s managing the ads people see, adjusting sharing settings, or curating an audience for posts, people shouldn’t have to think too hard about where to start. That’s why we’ve reduced the number of categories, and renamed them to more closely match people’s mental models,” said Facebook wrote in an official blog post.
Mashable India reported that the Facebook Settings page is now grouped into six broad categories, “each allowing access to a related set of settings.” The categories are- Account, Preferences, Audience and Visibility, Permissions, Your Information, and Community Standards and Legal Policies.

Facebook has also relocated several autonomous settings so that they stand alongside related settings. For example, the News Feed setting, which previously had a smaller category of its own, will now be listed under ‘Preferences’, grouped with similar settings.

The settings search function, the Privacy Settings category has also been improved. There’s also a newly-added shortcut to Privacy Checkup, right at the top of the Settings landing page.

As per Mashable India, the Facebook Settings redesign has already begun rolling out for Android, iOS, mobile web, and FB Lite.

WhatsApp launches ‘View Once’

Washington [US]: Popular messaging application WhatsApp has finally added the disappearing photos and videos feature to the stable version of the app. The feature is called ‘View Once’ and works similarly to Instagram’s expiring media feature.

As per The Verge, the feature is being rolled out today. It will delete photos or videos from users’ chats after they have been opened by the recipient. When sending a photo or video, you can make it view once by tapping the “1” button to the left of the send button. After the recipient opens it, it will be deleted. The recipient will be able to see that it is a disappearing photo, so it is still the type of thing you’d only want to use for people you trust to not take a screenshot.

The company has confirmed that any content users send using the new feature will not be saved to the recipient’s Photos or Gallery.

The messaging application will not allow users to forward, save, star, or share photos or videos that were sent or received with the ‘View Once’ feature. Users can only see if a recipient has opened a View Once photo or video if they have read receipts turned on.

The company also stated that if the photo or video sent through the new feature is not opened within 14 days of it being sent, then the media will expire from the chat. However, one can restore the ‘View once media’ from backup if the message remains unread at the time of backup.

But if the media has already been opened then it will not be included in the backup and can’t be restored.

The downside of the feature is that WhatsApp allows users to take a screenshot of the media before it disappears. Additionally, the individual will not get notified if someone takes a screenshot of the photo or video sent.

In June, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that the feature would be coming, though details about when it would release were scarce. According to WaBetaInfo, the feature has been in beta for about a month.

Delhi riots: SC refuses to quash Delhi Assy’s summons to Facebook VP

New Delhi, Jul 8 (UNI) The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the plea filed by Facebook India Vice President and MD Ajit Mohan and others challenging the summons issued by Delhi Assembly’s Peace and Harmony committee for failing to appear before it as a witness in connection with the north-east Delhi riots matter.

A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy, said that the Delhi Assembly Committee has the “right to seek information on any matter related to peace and harmony without encroaching (the) domain of the central laws.”

The court termed Mohan’s plea as pre-mature and said nothing has happened against him before Assembly’s panel.

However, the apex court held that the Assembly Panel cannot don the role of a prosecuting agency and direct the filing of a chargesheet.

“The statements made by the assembly panel about making Facebook a co-accused in the chargesheet are outside its scope. The statements are hardly conducive to the fairness of the investigation,” the bench stated.

On February 24, the bench had reserved its verdict on the petition.

In his plea, Mohan stated that the committee lacks the power to summon or hold petitioners in breach of its privileges for failing to appear and it was exceeding its constitutional limits.

He had challenged earlier notices issued by the committee that sought Mohan’s presence before the panel which is probing the Delhi riots in February and Facebook’s role in the spread of alleged hate speeches.

The Delhi Assembly had said that no coercive action has been taken against Mohan and he was only summoned by its committee to appear as a witness in connection with the north-east Delhi riots.

Scroll to Top