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  • Facebook commits to addressing its hate speech problem

    Facebook has acknowledged that it needs to do more to combat hate speech in a blog post for its "Hard Questions" series. The company's current definition for hate speech is that which directly attacks anyone based on a "protected characteristic". This includes their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, or serious disability or disease. Richard Allen, VP of Public Policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, noted that this definition is not universal. Countries like South Africa and Germany have their own definitions due to their history, while the US protects all kinds of speech under its...

  • Facebook hits 2 billion users, Zuckerberg wants more

    Mark Zuckerberg has announced that two billion people now use Facebook. The platform hit its first billion in October 2012, and took under five years to hit its second. The number accounts for around 26% of the global population, but almost two thirds of the world's internet users. YouTube has over one billion users. As of the first quarter of 2017, Twitter was sitting with around 328 million users. Reddit had attracted 234 million unique users. Users took to the comment section of Zuckerberg's announcement to congratulate him, and he responded to some by expressing his wish to grow the brand even further. Philip Fung,...

  • Here’s how Facebook and Google plan to fight terrorism

    Both Facebook and Google have revealed how they are countering terrorist activity on their respective blogs this past week. These posts come after UK Prime Minister Theresa May criticised the internet for providing a safe space for terrorists to communicate -- and after Facebook itself dodged a lawsuit that claimed it was the reason Palestinian terrorists were able to kill numerous Israelis. Facebook revealed it is looking specifically at how artificial and human intelligence can work together, as well as partnering with other companies, NGOs and governments to bring an end to terror. The company is working on software that identifies when a user...

  • Facebook activates Safety Check for Cape Town’s storm-affected

    Facebook has activated its Safety Check feature for those in Cape Town following a severe cold front that lashed the city Tuesday evening through Wednesday. It's an unprecedented event for the social network in Cape Town. Facebook has used the feature a number of times since launch, but more recently during the 22 May Manchester suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert which killed 22 people. But while some people are wondering why Facebook has activated the feature for the city, the justification is pretty clear. The City has announced that five people have died as a result of the storm, which...

  • Hikers, T-rex throw impromptu dance party on Lion’s Head

    With the taps running ever drier in the city, it seems that a select number of Cape Town residents have finally lost their minds. A group of fun-loving people decided that a great way to spend a Thursday morning would be to hike Lion's Head and have a mild party at the summit. Featuring an orchestrating human in a colourful leotard, an endangered tyrannosaurus rex, and a number of people Beyonce might think twice about hiring for her latest video, the top of the 600m peak was for but a brief moment a dancefloor. Lion's Head is one of the more popular...

  • 5 inspirational quotes from Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard speech

    If you could attend a lecture from anyone on earth (besides Shia LeBeouf), who would you want most? For Harvard students this week, they didn't have a choice, but they did get Mark Zuckerberg. The little known Facebook CEO, whose company worth is beyond the US$450-billion mark, returned to his old university after dropping out in 2005. It was a moment that he'll probably never forget, joking in the speech that his speech was the first time he completed anything at Harvard. But it's probably a speech many a student won't forget either. Reading through his speech, we've picked...

  • Mark ‘Zucker-Duck’ Zuckerberg is trolled hard by Harvard hacker

    Mark Zuckerberg famously dropped out of the prestigious Harvard University to work on his small indie project Facebook, and while Harvard may forgive the students never forget. 12 years after leaving the school, the CEO was called back to campus to receive an honorary degree and give a speech -- but not before hackers got in a good deal of mocking. Mere hours before Zuckerberg was meant to take the stage, the university's daily newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, was taken over by a mysterious hacker with a personal vendetta. "Mark Zoinkerberg at it again," read one of their headlines. "OP-ED: I DID NOT STEAL FAKEBOOK...

  • Facebook will pay up to $250k for original content from Buzzfeed and Vox

    Facebook has signed a deal with entertainment creators Vox Media, BuzzFeed, ATTN, Group Nine Media and others to create original video content for the platform, and is paying willing to pay up. The deal will bring scripted and unscripted content to the platform, in a bid to compete with premium content creators like YouTube Red and Snap. The scripted shows are intended to last between 20 and 30 minutes (and will include ad breaks), while the unscripted shows will average between five and ten minutes. According to Reuters, Facebook will pay up to US$250 000 for the scripted shows, which will also grant it full ownership...

  • Facebook doesn’t want you to know its censorship policies

    Facebook still won't tell the world what its censorship policies are, despite receiving a slew of criticism from experts and users alike for its ambiguity. While the controversy of what Facebook allows on its site has been around its entire existence, the criticism turned to uproar last year when the platform censored an iconic picture from the Vietnam war. It subsequently defended its decision, declaring it in line with its policy on nudity. Eventually, Facebook acknowledged that graphic images for the service of public interest are important enough to remain on the platform. This amended policy came into play last month, when videos of dying...

  • Facebook deletes journalist’s account after exposé of corruption

    Pulitzer-winning Malta journalist, Matthew Caruana Galizia, has had his Facebook account suspended after posting allegations of corruption against Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his associates. Caruana Galizia took to Facebook on 7 May after accepting that print journalism was not reaching the youth of Malta. In a series of four posts, coupled with the hashtags #FattiKorrotti and #CorruptionFacts, he alleged that the Prime Minister and his wife were receiving payments from an offshore shell company. The posts were a hit, and were shared more than 1000 times (Malta's population sits around 431 333). But just three days later, Muscat threatened to sue for libel, and...

  • Facebook to compete with Twitch as it signs deal with ESL

    Facebook has landed a major deal with the Electronic Sports League (ESL) which will see 5 500 hours of events and original content added to the platform, The Wall Street Journal reports. A report by Digiday earlier this year suggested that Facebook was looking to secure deals with major pro sports leagues, but it seems the company is sticking to digital for now. The deal with ESL comes after the company secured deals with five esport teams (including G2 Esports, Echo Fox, and Team Dignitas) who will broadcast their practices and competitions exclusively to the site. Facebook has been making the move towards producing original content for a...

  • Facebook didn’t cause Palestinian uprising, court rules

    A US court has dismissed a lawsuit set to implicate Facebook in a Palestinian uprising in 2015. Dubbed the "Facebook Intifada," the spate of violence saw ostensibly apolitical Palestinian men attack and kill a number of Israelis in outrage over Israeli occupation. Much like the Arab Spring, the men were largely assembled and incited via social media -- in this case, Twitter and Facebook. The lawsuit's plaintiffs consist of 20 000 Israeli individuals who claim they are in direct threat of Palestinian terrorists who continue to use Facebook as a tool for communication. They also consist of victims and surviving family members...

  • Facebook moves to end clickbait… and what it’s done will shock you

    Okay, so it's actually pretty standard. Facebook announced yesterday that it would be targeting individual posts that withhold "crucial details or mislead people." Last year, the platform was updated to jointly manage clickbait headlines, but the company is moving now to a more specific approach. "One of our News Feed values is authentic communication, so we’ve been working to understand what people find authentic and what people do not," a press release reads. Anyone who has used Facebook (basically everyone minus hipsters and your grandparents) knows that authenticity is not exactly what the current news feed offers. Aside from the lies of happy lives, feeds...

  • 5 cool Facebook Messenger chatbots for tech news

    Chatbots saw a massive resurgence last year, as Google, Microsoft and Facebook all jumped on the bandwagon. Facebook has been actively encouraging chatbot development with its Messenger platform, recently making it easier for users to find relevant bots. A few tech publications have taken to adopting bots on Messenger too, but which ones are worth using? We've got a few picks for you. Digg One of the original social news websites, Digg pretty much lost its place to reddit several years ago. But the website has re-emerged in recent times, delivering some pretty interesting content in the process. The Digg chatbot is pretty...

  • In Facebook’s future, human beings will become digital interfaces

    In addition to some clever, if not gimmicky announcements coming out of this year’s F8, Facebook has laid down the outline of its envisaged future – and on the whole it’s pretty awe-inspiring. The perception that Facebook is a consumer app has shifted. The company has emerged not only as a powerful business tool, but as a serious innovation hub. F8 is Facebook’s almost-annual developer conference – two days where Facebook discusses developments, plans, and the company’s roadmap. And as predicted, Facebook Messenger held a key focus, with augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) plans truly bringing science fiction into...