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  • Vodacom launches Facebook Flex for free status updates, comments

    Vodacom wants to get you updating your Facebook status again, but its new product will let you do this for free. Dubbed Facebook Flex, the product is the "first of many" and will allow Vodacom users to access Facebook's basic version. This means that users can post comments, update their status and keep in touch with others' text posts without depleting their data stores. Vodacom explains that Facebook Flex will aim to reduce the cost of communicating with friends and family in the country. Facebook Flex will allow users to update their status, comment on users' posts but not view photos or...

  • Facebook debuts ‘fake news’ tools in Germany ahead of elections

    We're only three weeks into the new year, but "fake news" could already be the phrase of the year. After reports suggested that fake news on Twitter and Facebook contributed to Donald Trump's win in last year's US Presidential election, the latter is finally clamping down on the issue. The company has announced new tools to curb fake news in Germany, presumably as a measure ahead of the country's August 2017 elections. "Last month we announced some tests to address the issue of fake news on Facebook," Aine Kerr, the company's manager of journalism partnerships, wrote in a press release. "In the...

  • A face(book) for radio: social network gets Live Audio

    Live video streams have been something of a hit on Facebook since its introduction earlier this year, but the network isn't stopping there. Now, it's introduced live audio streaming functionality as well. Facebook's Live Audio functionality is pretty self-explanatory, allowing streamers who prefer audio to ditch bandwidth-intensive video. "We know that sometimes publishers want to tell a story on Facebook with words and not video. We’ve even seen some Pages find creative ways to go live and reach audiences with audio only by using the Facebook Live API or by adding a still image to accompany their audio broadcast," the social...

  • Cape Town restaurant slammed over ‘racist’ incident

    Popular Cape Town restaurant/bar Clarke's has been hit with a slate of poor reviews on social media after an alleged racist incident took place on Friday. According to patron Nicholas Vries, a "random white lady" sat down at his table and insulted his group of friends, calling them "common coloured and just being full on racist". After repeated requests to management to have the person removed, Vries said his group was told to leave instead and the person was allowed to stay. A second person, Lee Sophia Piedt, ostensibly part of Vries's group, corroborated the story in a post on the Clarke's Facebook page. "The...

  • Facebook reveals world’s, SA’s most talked about topics in 2016

    Facebook's Year In Review is finally published on the company's press portal, and it makes for interesting reading for South Africans and the greater international community. According to Facebook data analyst Sheida Neman, the most talked about moments in the world in 2016 included the US Presidential Election (rather obviously) in first place, with "Brazilian Politics" and Pokemon Go rounding up the podium. They are followed by: Black Lives Matter Rodrigo Duterte & Philippine Presidential Election Olympics Brexit Super Bowl David Bowie Muhammad Ali As for South Africa's biggest moments, the US Elections was also a big talking point, but not as...

  • SuperSport to livestream Proteas vs Springboks cricket on Facebook

    Sports broadcaster SuperSport has experimented with new technologies and trends quite a bit this year. From broadcasting eSports events to featuring more live content on social media, the company is slowly drifting away from its satellite roots. In its latest move, the company announced that it will broadcast tonight's Mandela Legacy T20 Cup cricket match from Newlands, Cape Town, live on its Facebook channel. The match, which sees the South African cricket team face the South African rugby team in honour of former South African president Nelson Mandela, is an annual event usually reserved for audiences signed up to DStv. It's...

  • Another Stellenbosch bullying video makes rounds on Facebook

    Just when you thought the bullying videos were over for the year, another incident stemming from Stellenbosch has social media up in arms again. The new video, taking place once again at Stellenbosch's Luckoff High, was initially uploaded to Facebook by the Crime Intelligence and Community Awareness (CICA) page. According to CICA, the incident took place this week at Luckoff, and was sent to them by a follower. The video depicts a larger female pupil attacking a smaller female pupil. Although the video is just under 60 seconds long, a few punches are thrown before a male pupil steps in to...

  • Lufthansa’s Mildred joins Facebook’s bot family

    2016 has truly been the year of the chat bot, as Facebook, Microsoft and Google get in on the action. The latest company to craft a chat bot? Why, that would be Lufthansa... The German carrier has announced the availability of Mildred (at least it's not Gertrude), a Messenger chat bot that simply allows you to search for ticket prices via Facebook. As you'd expect, Mildred makes use of natural language processing, so you can pose questions in a human fashion rather than going for the search engine-style approach. It's all rather straightforward, as you specify a language (English or German -- more...

  • Cape Town resident slammed on Twitter for Facebook post

    Update 1.20pm, 5 December: Cape Town resident Vanessa Hartley has published an apology to her Facebook timeline, before deleting her account: I would like to apologise for comments that were made on Facebook via my phone as my phone was at the bar … and someone thought they were very funny but now they upset me and a lot of people. Original article: Twitter users were on Sunday outraged after a Facebook post published by Cape Town resident Vanessa Hartley went viral. Hartley, a resident of Hout Bay, Cape Town, posted the below status update to her timeline, questioning the number of...

  • Zuckerberg’s posts mistakenly stripped from Facebook

    What is it with companies taking down their CEO's social media messages this month? First Twitter's Jack Dorsey, and now Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg The latter reportedly removed several posts published by the Facebook CEO in what it's calling a "mistake". Eagle-eyed reporters at The Verge noticed that Zuckerberg's posts about fake news on the social media site, as well as commentary on the US elections, were stripped from his timeline Tuesday, only to later be restored just before 8pm SAST. Facebook's fake news problem One of these posts included a statement made by Zuckerberg on 18 November, regarding misinformation on Facebook. "The bottom line...

  • Did fake news on Facebook contribute to US election?

    Some have questioned whether fake news and hoax articles have contributed to Donald Trump emerging victorious in the US elections last week. After all, the social network has seemingly seen a rise in fake news trending after it fired human editors. However, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has denied that these stories influenced results, taking to (surprise!) Facebook over the weekend to share his thoughts. "After the election, many people are asking whether fake news contributed to the result, and what our responsibility is to prevent fake news from spreading. These are very important questions and I care deeply about getting them right. I...

  • Facebook users sue network over ‘racist’ ads

    Facebook's advertising platform has come under fire recently after it emerged that it allowed advertisers to exclude certain races from being targeted in ads. According to an investigation by ProPublica, the ad platform gives people the ability to exclude "ethnic affinities". In fact, the publication was able to publish an ad in Facebook's housing category that excluded African Americans, Hispanic people and Asian Americans. "This is horrifying. This is massively illegal. This is about as blatant a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act as one can find," civil rights lawyer John Relman said in reaction to the ad. A Facebook representative denied...

  • Here’s how South Africans use Facebook during the holidays

    It's becoming more and more difficult to ignore Facebook's influence on our daily lives. With around 1.7-billion active users globally, the social network would be the world's most populous country if Mark Zuckerberg decided to, I don't know, buy Mars perhaps. This popularity is also true in South Africa. Of the country's 53-million strong population, around 14-million use the social network each month, with about 50% of those logging in each day. Clearly, the social network has a massive effect on the online world in the country. And according to a new survey, it's also slowly morphing into a social...

  • Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump: who’s the next US president of social media?

    It's the big day tomorrow. The day when millions of the United States' citizens will take to the polls to vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton (oh, and a few others too). And while the people at the polls will decide the country's fate, social media has also played a huge role in this year's US presidential race. That's right. Twitter and Facebook have both been integral to Clinton and Trump's campaigns thus far. With help from social media analytics firm Quintly, we take a look at key takeaways that shed some light on how Donald Trump and Hilary...

  • Mark Zuckerberg loses $3-billion in a single day

    If you're having a bad week, do spare a thought for poor Mark Zuckerberg. The founder and CEO of social media giant Facebook lost US$3-billion in personal net wealth on Thursday, after Facebook's growth forecast was given a dim outlook. Facebook claims that it will hit the limit of how many ads can be shown in its app's primary news feed in 2017 -- a big, big problem for the advertising-reliant firm. As a result, the company's share price also tanked 8% in late Wednesday trading. That, of course, lost Zuckerberg a good 6% of his personal wealth. It's an extremely odd...