Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony from April 11, 2018 over the leak of data and Cambridge Analytica. The actual hearing begins at 32:20.
The social media industry may have to struggle to rehydrate in light of some surprising and troubling metrics Facebook released on Wednesday. In addition to a pause in user growth, there have been signs that user engagement may have reversed course.
The decline may have something to do with Facebook’s efforts to recover from accusations that it has provided fertile ground for fake news. CEO Mark Zuckerberg last month promised to steer the company toward refocusing on the user experience.
For much of history, the only way to chronicle life was to write about it. Now, many of us take selfies on our smartphones to share on Facebook, and create picturesque albums of our daily meals on Instagram. And as the mediums we use to recall and review the past change, so do our very memories.
Daniel Schacter, a psychology professor at Harvard University, first established the effects of photographs on memories in the 1990s. In one experiment, he showed that it was possible to implant false memories by showing subjects photos of an event that they could have conceivably experienced, but didn’t. In another, he found that not only did looking at photos boost the memory of that particular event, but also impaired memories of events that happened at the same time and were not featured in the photographs. The primary focus of Schacter’s lab is on how memory relates to other cognitive abilities. His research has shown that weaknesses in our memory are positive attributes in allowing us to think meaningfully about the future.
Facebook is fighting a court order that prohibits it from letting users know when law enforcement investigators ask to search their political communications — a ban that Facebook contends tramples First Amendment protections of the company and individuals.
Most of the details of the case in the nation’s capital are under wraps, but the timing of the investigation, and references in public court documents, suggest the search warrants relate to demonstrations during President Trump’s inauguration. More than 200 people were detained and many have been charged with felony rioting in the Jan. 20 protests that injured police and damaged property in an area of downtown Washington.
Facebook has teamed up with Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft to fight the proliferation of terrorist content on the Web. The tech giants will create a shared industry database of hashes for violent terrorist imagery, terrorist recruitment videos, or images they have removed from their services.
They may use these shared hashes to help identify potential terrorist content on their platforms. Hashes to be shared will apply to content that’s most likely to violate all the companies’ content policies.
“Each one of the companies that is part of this agreement has its own specific definitions, practices and processes in place for governments to make requests to them for user data and to remove content,” YouTube explained in policy notes provided to TechNewsWorld by company rep Stephanie Shih. “Any such requests for information will be routed through each company to handle as they normally do per its individual policies and procedures.”
No personally identifiable information will be shared. There will be no automated takedowns of terrorism-related content. Each company will retain its own process for dealing with appeals against its removal of content.
The four will apply their own transparency and review practices when responding to any government requests.
Facebook Moments, the company’s private photo-sharing application which took the place of mobile photo sync late last year, is now expanding beyond the confines of your mobile phone and your personal network. While previously, the app allowed you to share your photos with select Facebook friends, the new version allows you to share a web link to your private album with anyone – even those you’re not connected with on the social network. They can then join the album, and proceed to add their own photos.
This makes Moments more useful at larger events where not everyone may be connected on Facebook, such as baby showers, weddings, parties, and more.
Facebook Inc on Friday reinstated a Vietnam War-era photo of a naked girl fleeing a napalm attack, after a public outcry over its removal of the image including harsh criticism from Norway’s prime minister.
In a clash between a democratically elected leader and the social media giant over how to patrol the Internet, Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg said Facebook was editing history by erasing images of the iconic 1972 “Napalm Girl” photograph, which showed children running from a bombed village.
The company initially said the photo violated its Community Standards barring child nudity on the site.
“After hearing from our community, we looked again at how our Community Standards were applied in this case,” Facebook said in a later statement, adding it recognized “the history and global importance of this image in documenting a particular moment in time.”
Facebook’s new experimental feature shows you status updates you might have missed otherwise. Mashable has spotted a box marked “What friends are talking about,” which lists a few of your friends’ posts in a single box on top of your feed, in the company’s Android app. We weren’t able to replicate the experience on either Android or iOS (or even on a computer), but that’s not exactly surprising. Only very few people get access to the social network’s features in their experimental stage, so you’ll have to check your own apps to see if you’ve been chosen.
The company has been making changes to the News Feed for months in order to bring status updates you’d actually want to read closer to the top. This test feature, which could change the way you interact with your friends’ posts, is most likely part of that effort. As always, Facebook could eventually give this feature a wider release, but the company could also pull it down, depending on whether it does well during the test period.
Instagram last week announced a new Explore video channel that gives users an easier way to find and watch events.
The channel aggregates videos from concerts, sporting events and more, and its personalization features flag events that might be a good match for users’ individual interests.
The new channel initially will be available only to U.S. users.
“One of the fundamental limitations of Instagram is that you only see content from people you explicitly follow,” said Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research.
“The timeline is strictly limited to people you’ve chosen to see — with the exception of ads,” he noted.
“One of the challenges is always how to get people to see and engage with content from additional users,” Dawson told TechNewsWorld. “The Explore tab has always been a way for Instagram to do this, and adding event-driven content to the tab provides new ways for people to find additional content they might be interested in.”
Facebook just launched a new standalone app called Lifestage, a video-centric social media app designed for users who are 21 years-old and under.
Lifestage is specifically made for high-schoolers. Although anyone can download the app and set up a profile, a user over 21 will only be able to see their own profile and no one else’s. The main purpose of the new app is to help young people connect with their classmates. This principle is much the same with how Facebook was restricted to college students when it first launched in 2004.
“Lifestage allows people to build a profile made up entirely of ‘video fields.’ It allows them [to] show others who they are and to find out more about the people in their school community as well as meet new people,” 19-year-old Facebook product manager Michael Sayman explained.