The process of removal of extremist content is progressing on Facebook

Facebook, the world’s largest social media website, has been facing constant pressure in the United States of America and the United Kingdom to intercept and remove extremist content on its enormous platform more effectively. On November 29, the social media giant announced that it had begun removing 99 per cent of the extremist content. As it prepared for a meeting on tackling ‘terror’ content with the European authorities, content related to Al Qaeda and other Islam militant groups was removed.

According to Reuters, Monika Bickert, head of global policy management and Brian Fishman, Facebook’s head of counter-terrorism policy, stated in a blog post that 83 per cent of the extremist content uploaded on Facebook is removed within an hour of their original upload time. In June, Facebook mentioned that it had significantly escalated its AI (artificial intelligence) that enabled swift recognition and removal of such content.

As per NDTV, Bickert and Fisherman stated, “It is still early, but the results are promising, and we are hopeful that AI will become a more important tool in the arsenal of protection and safety on the internet and on Facebook.” They also mentioned that Facebook’s advanced AI managed to remove 99 per cent of the extremist content related to ISIS and Al-Qaeda before it was flagged down by its users. In some cases, it was removed even before the content went live.

The blog post is right on mark with respect to timing, as it comes a week before Facebook and other social media’s meeting with the European Union government and EU executive. The agenda of the meeting will revolve around how to tackle such disturbing content.

Sources:

Reuters, NDTV

WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton to quit company by November

WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton will be leaving the messaging service firm to work on his own organization. Acton took to Facebook on Tuesday to announce his exit and wrote: “I’ve decided to start a nonprofit focused at the intersection of nonprofit, technology and communications.” Sharing insights on his forthcoming non-profit entity, Acton stated that he has been thinking about this for a while, and has now finally decided to focus and make it a reality.

Brian co-founded the company in 2009 with Jan Koum, and has since dedicated 8 years of his service to it. As per the report in Recode, Acton has been in charge of the company’s engineering team until now.

Acton’s decision has come a week after WhatsApp launched monetization efforts that had been in the pipeline for quite some time. Moreover, the news of his departure has come at a time when the service messaging firm is trying to make money by setting up multiple enterprise products that will help in interacting with customers; and is also hiring vital business positions.

Brian Acton will be officially leaving the firm by November, this year.

Source: Business Insider, Firstpost

Reliance Jio to launch its 1st 4G feature phone

After weeks of speculation. Reliance Industry Limited (RIL) chairman, Mukesh Ambani confirmed the launch of Jio’s own featured phone, naming JioPhone. This was announced at the 40th annual general meeting in Mumbai.

Ambani describes that the phone is effectively free to buy. An initial deposit of Rs 1500 needs to be given while purchasing the phone, however, it will be refundable after three years on returning the device. Although the launch date is set to be in September, the pre-booking will begin from August 24.

“Jio will become India’s largest provider of data service, products and application platforms”, Ambani addressed during the announcement. The conference is available online for the public to watch via Reliance’s official Twitter and Facebook page.

JioPhone offers 2.4 QVGA display with special Jio applications and four-way navigation system. Other feature includes FM Radio, SD card slot,  3.5 mm headphone jack, torch light, and an alphanumeric keyboard. The phone will also incorporate the Jio network which will allow users to make calls for free of cost. The Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan offer is best suited for the phone. This monthly plan can provide unlimited call, SMS, and the data facility.

The company is also set to launch Jio Phone cable TV at Rs 309 per month. The cable TV will allow the users to connect their JioPhones to any TV for 3-4 hours.

 

Sources: The Economic Times, Times of India

 

Whatsapp comes up with status story version copying Snapchat

WhatsApp came up with with its own version of 24-hour story copying the trend set by Snapchat in the form of Status.  Facebook recently owned WhatsApp and now it has and updated feature for the status. Instead of posting a short status, like “in the gym, at school”, one can post a picture or video that will be up for 24 hours on your profile. This feature was recently added in Instagram.

A unique elements added to this WhatsApp’s version of Stories is GIFs. Also all the status updates are end-to-end encrypted which gives a security stability to the updates. Another improves feature is of the videos which can be of 45 seconds, overpowering the 10 seconds videos on other platforms.

To remind, Whatsapp works on address book, therefore your status is visible to your Whatsapp contacts and there aren’t any followers. But undoubtedly the concept remains the same.

In  the past six months, Whatsapp has added features of almost all social media applications like video call of Skype, voice call like Viber, sending documents like Xender and many more features from Facebook.

The 24 hour status story update feature is available from Monday to the WhatsApp users of Netherlands and France. Later in the week it will begin in U.K., Spain, Italy, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Indian ‘WhatsAppers’ still need to wait for the updated version.

Source: India Today, DNA

Image Source: Representational image from Yourstory.com

Serena announced engagement to Alexis Ohanian

Sending her fans all around the world in a tizzy, the World No. 2 tennis pro Serena Williams announced her engagement to Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit (the social news aggregation, web content rating and discussion website). Through a poem posted on her official Reddit account she mentioned how Alexis proposed to her while vacationing in Rome. In a similar fashion, even Ohanian broke the happy news of his engagement on Facebook and linked it to Williams’ Reddit post. The couple who had been dating since late 2015 had kept their relationship under wrap. They had first met in Rome during a lunch.
According to the Guardian, Venus Williams said “I might just be her big sister, I might know these things,” referring to keeping a lid on the news of her sister’s engagement early on.
Currently at No. 2, after losing her top ranking to Germany’s Angelique Kerber, Williams aims to win her seventh Australian Open title in Melbourne next month. The duo William sisters are presently in Auckland for a tournament that would lead to the Open. Serena has won 22 major singles titles and 16 doubles title in her career so far, making her one of the greatest tennis players of all time.

Facebook Joins Hands with Top Universities to Streamline Research

Facebook Inc’s Hardware Development Division announced a partnership with 15 universities including Harvard, Stanford, MIT and Princeton. This step was taken to allow a more efficient method to access technology for research projects.

This decision between Facebook’s Building 8, and the universities was made in the light of social media becoming increasingly popular. The company too seeks to increase their revenue by opening up into new ventures like virtual reality and artificial intelligence. The new agreement will allow for collaboration of ideas within weeks, according to Regina Dugan, who runs Building 8 unit, according to Reuters.

“When curiosity strikes, with this new agreement in place, Harvard researchers can initiate new projects with scientific colleagues at Facebook almost immediately,” Isaac Kohlberg, chief technology development officer at Harvard, said in a statement. “This agreement with Facebook recognises that the most significant, transformative solutions will be informed by university science.”

The universities will also receive a payment. However, the amount Facebook will give the universities remains undisclosed.

David Wehner, CFO, said that 2017 could be a year of aggressive investments for the company with a hefty increase in expenses.

This is the newest venture for Facebook, which has always been interested in widening its horizons. Its previous partnerships included WhatsApp and Oculus Rift, which did not generate much revenue.

Sources – Gadgets NDTV, reuters

image source – reuters

 

Mark Zuckerberg now has Iron Man’s Jarvis

Washington DC, December 20: Mark Zuckerberg’s ‘Iron Man’ fantasy has finally come true as his intelligence-imbued software butler named Jarvis is now in service.

The 32-year-old Facebook co-founder took on this personal project in 2016 and devoted 100 hours in making a system inspired by the Robert Downey Jr starrer film character Jarvis as a virtual assistant to help manage his household.

Jarvis is not a robot, but an application that learns Zuckerberg’s tastes and patterns as well as new words or concepts, and can even entertain his one-year-old daughter Max, reported NDTV.

Making a post on the leading social networking site, Zuckerberg said that this challenge was easier that what he expected.

He added that assistants such as Jarvis would not only need devices in homes to be linked to the Internet, they would have to run on common standards. The software can be accessed through Zuckerberg’s phone or computer to control lights, temperature, music, security, appliances and more.

Zuckerberg also revealed that he tends to text his Jarvis using a ‘bot’ he built for the Facebook Messenger service instead of speaking to it, mostly not to disturb people around him

 

Sources : NDTV, Daily sun