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WhatsApp Limits Forwarding in India to Fight Fake News

 

WhatsApp recently announced a new limit on message forwarding for users in India to fight fake news.  People in India forward more messages, videos and photographs than users in any other country, according to the messaging platform.

WhatsApp takes a brilliant step to curb fake news

Whatsapp will be deleting the quick forward button as well. The quick forward button is placed next to the media messages and its removal is intended to discourage mass forwards in the country.

These steps comes at a time when the social media giant Facebook, which owns Whatsapp, is attempting to fight the fake news problem.

The fake news problem has caused several problems nationwide. Also, with the approach of the Indian elections, there is concern that the spread of fake news will increase during that period. In a statement, the Facebook-owned company said it believes that these changes, which it will continue to evaluate, will aid in keeping the messaging platform the way it was designed to be, which is as a “private messaging app.”

Additionally, the company is testing these new features and limitations across the world, but it did not disclose the limit that is set on the forwarding of messages in other countries. Its blogpost focused on India: “In India – where people forward more messages, photos, and videos than any other country in the world – we’ll also test a lower limit of 5 chats at once and we’ll remove the quick forward button next to media messages.”

IT Ministry asks WhatsApp to be more serious this time

WhatsApp has 200 million users in India, and the new limitations come only a day after the Indian government asked the company to introduce strict steps to curb the fake news threat. The company says in its blog that it is deeply committed to the safety and privacy of users, which is why the app is end-to-end encrypted.

In a letter, the IT Ministry of India had asked the messaging platform for more effective solutions to distinguish between mass forwards and personally crafted messages. In the past few months, there have been an increase in cases of mob-fury and lynching across India due to the circulation of false information and fake news on the messaging platform. Earlier, the company came with full-page advertisements with tips to stop false information.

The government had told the company that the seriousness of the issue warrants a stronger response. It had asked WhatsApp to introduce changes that can facilitate enforcement of law, and bring in accountability and traceability when an inflammatory or provocative message is detected.

To Combat Fake News, Facebook Is Acquiring Bloomsbury AI

The social media giant Facebook is buying the UK-based AI (Artificial Intelligence) company Bloomsbury to help it curb fake news and misinformation on its platform. Bloomsbury’s natural language processing tech will help Facebook understand how users use language.

Facebook is making the acquisition to fight fake news

Bloomsbury AI allows users to create their own question-answering system easily, and Facebook hopes it will help it understand how speech can be used to improve the experience of its users.

Bloomsbury, which develops NLP (natural language processing), is working on a technology dubbed “Cape” that uses AI to understand text in documents and give answers to questions with the help of the documents themselves.

According to a report by news site TechCrunch, the social network is set to buy UK-based start-up Bloomsbury AI for about $30 million (£23 million).  The report said that the tech company is purchasing the London-based start-up to assist in identifying and tackling fake news stories. Even though the social network has not yet revealed the reason behind the acquisition, there is a high probability that TechCrunch is right about the “combating fake news” part because the co-founder of Bloomsbury AI, Sebastian Riedel, also founded a company, called Factmata, which develops tools to help identify fake news stories.

This is what Facebook has to say about the acquisition

Facebook is continuing to face content issues, including misinformation, hate speech, fake news, and, recently, inappropriate use of the Facebook live stream. In recent months, the company has strengthened its security and safety settings through problem-spotting AI and inclusion of more human editors.

Amid concerns about abuse and election meddling on the platform, the social media giant has expanded its fact-checking resources, especially in view of elections in different countries. The recent acquisition of the AI startup indicates that Facebook is ready to accept the technology and knowledge of other companies to combat its content problem.

Facebook Research stated that “The Bloomsbury team has built a leading expertise in machine reading and understanding unstructured documents in natural language in order to answer any question. Their expertise will strengthen Facebook’s efforts in natural language processing research, and help us further understand natural language and its applications.”

Will this new acquisition help the social network? We will find out in a few months.

combating fake news

fake news

Questions about Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica Information Sharing Answers

According to the chair of a British parliamentary committee, Facebook continues to display a pattern of evasive behavior in response to questions about information sharing misuse of its data in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.   Facebook recently released a 747-page acknowledgement which revealed that it had shared user information with over 52 technology firms, including Amazon, Apple, China-based companies like Oppo, Huawei, Lenovo and South Korea-based Samsung.

Will push Facebook until public gets the answers they deserve: UK Lawmakers

The report disclosed the data information sharing deals of the social networking site with other companies. Some of those deals are still in force, while Facebook has ended its partnerships with over 38 of the 52 companies.

Damian Collins, chair of a British parliamentary committee, said that the company is continuing to display a pattern of evasive behavior which emerged over the course of the committee’s inquiry.

Lawmakers explained that the answers of the social media giant had been lacking, including not sharing country-by-country revenues, refusing to share the types and amount of resources that are being devoted to security, and refusing accountability for digital political advertising and fraudulent ads on the site.

Collins said that lawmakers are looking into issuing a formal summons which would legally force Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to face the committee.

During his testimony before the U.S. Congress, Zuckerberg told lawmakers that even his own data was part of the user data that was shared improperly with the British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica. In March, the company was hit by a massive data scandal where UK-based Cambridge Analytica was accused of collecting data of over 87 million Facebook users without their permission to aid politicians.

RKN Global looks at Questions about Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica Answers

RKN Global observes that Facebook has faced some significant criticism from lawmakers. According to the chair of a British parliamentary committee, Facebook continues to display a pattern of evasive behavior in response to questions about misuse of its data in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.   Facebook recently released a 747-page acknowledgement which revealed that it had shared user information with over 52 technology firms, including Amazon, Apple, China-based companies like Oppo, Huawei, Lenovo and South Korea-based Samsung.

Will push Facebook until public gets the answers they deserve: UK Lawmakers

The report disclosed the data sharing deals of the social networking site with other companies. Some of those deals are still in force, while Facebook has ended its partnerships with over 38 of the 52 companies.

Damian Collins, chair of a British parliamentary committee, said that the company is continuing to display a pattern of evasive behavior which emerged over the course of the committee’s inquiry.

Lawmakers explained that the answers of the social media giant had been lacking, including not sharing country-by-country revenues, refusing to share the types and amount of resources that are being devoted to security, and refusing accountability for digital political advertising and fraudulent ads on the site.

Collins said that lawmakers are looking into issuing a formal summons which would legally force Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to face the committee.

During his testimony before the U.S. Congress, Zuckerberg told lawmakers that even his own data was part of the user data that was shared improperly with the British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica. In March, the company was hit by a massive data scandal where UK-based Cambridge Analytica was accused of collecting data of over 87 million Facebook users without their permission to aid politicians.