You are here: Home » Tag Archives: Facebook

Tag Archives: Facebook

Feed Subscription

Facebook bolsters fight against fake news in Germany

The social media giant has described renewed efforts as "one of our most important goals." With elections just around the corner in Germany, authorities fear fake news could affect the vote. Facebook on Thursday announced it is to bolster its efforts to root out fake news in Germany, France and the Netherlands through a process of identifying content, fact-checking and offering the tools for users to inform themselves. "One of our most important goals is to support an informed community on Facebook. This includes helping people interact with the latest news and information," it said in a blog post published on its website. Read more: Why the 'fake rape' story against German NATO forces fell flat in Lithuania The US-based technology company said it will use improved machine learning to identify potential fake news articles which can be passed on to external fact checkers. 'Headlines about aliens' It plans to complement the review process by leveraging the power of its Related Articles feature, which groups similar articles under one a user has read in their newsfeed. Facebook said that it will place Related Articles with a notification before the article appears in a feed in order for the user to determine whether they may want to read the article. For example, a notification saying "possible fake headlines about aliens" may appear in a user's newsfeed before reaching an article concerning the arrival of extraterrestrial life on earth. Criminalizing fake news In Germany, fake news has proliferated on social media networks following the US presidential elections, which witnessed thousands of online articles purporting to report factual events influence the electoral process. The phenomenon has particularly targeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her open-door policy towards migrants fleeing war in the Middle East. Politicians on both sides of Germany's political spectrum have called for legal measures to punish those found guilty of producing and disseminating malicious articles purporting to be factual. However, digital rights groups and free speech advocates criticized any legislative maneuvers to criminalize fake news.

The social media giant has described renewed efforts as “one of our most important goals.” With elections just around the corner in Germany, authorities fear fake news could affect the vote. Facebook on Thursday announced it is to bolster its efforts to root out fake news in Germany, France and the Netherlands through a process of identifying content, fact-checking and ... Read More »

Facebook launches initiative to combat fake news in Germany

The social media giant has announced a series of measures to curb news-packaged disinformation on its German platforms. Analysts have dubbed Germany a "fake news hotspot" as it enters a key election year. Facebook on Sunday announced an initiative to combat the proliferation of fake news on its German-language social media platforms. "We are working very carefully on a solution to this problem. Our efforts are focused on the distribution of unique false alarms generated by spammers. We have also used third parties to provide objective, unbiased reviews of news," Facebook said in a statement. Under the initiative, Facebook will create tools to make it easier to report suspected articles, display warnings next to statements identified as false by an independent fact-checking organization and cut off advertising revenue for fake news sites. Facebook tapped Correctiv, a nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative journalism collective, to serve as a third-party fact checker and review flagged material found on its platforms. "Fake news - especially on Facebook - is already one of the major threats of our society. That is clear. We fear that these threats will become even more massive in the coming months, whether it is the NRW election or the election of the next Bundestag in autumn," Correctiv said in a statement. "For this reason, we are determined to do as much as we can to fight fake news. Our democracy must not be abused by lies and liars," it added. 'Fake news hotspot' The announcement comes as Germany enters a key election year with parliamentary polls scheduled for September, in which politicians have warned that fake news may play an influential role. Sheila Coronel, journalism professor at Colombia University in New York, dubbed Germany the "latest fake news hotspot" amid an uptick in articles linking German Chancellor Angela Merkel, running for a fourth term, to several conspiracy theories. German Justice Minister Heiko Maas has called for stringent penalties for those producing and disseminating fake news, warning it could unfairly influence election campaigns at the state and federal level. Thomas Oppermann, parliamentary chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), in December called for penalties of up to half a million euros for social media companies that fail to delete a hate message or fake news hosted on their platforms. "If, after appropriate examination, Facebook does not delete the offending message within 24 hours, it should expect individual fines of up to 500,000 euros ($532,000)," Oppermann told "Der Spiegel" news magazine.

The social media giant has announced a series of measures to curb news-packaged disinformation on its German platforms. Analysts have dubbed Germany a “fake news hotspot” as it enters a key election year. Facebook on Sunday announced an initiative to combat the proliferation of fake news on its German-language social media platforms. “We are working very carefully on a solution ... Read More »

Social media giants announce new plan to curb terrorist propaganda

Four major internet companies have agreed to create a common database to identify terrorist propaganda. German government officials have claimed that social media operators are "too slow" in removing illicit content. Plagued by growing terrorist recruitment on social media platforms, Facebook, YouTube, Microsoft and Twitter on Tuesday announced renewed efforts to curb the distribution of content used to propagate extremism. In a statement, the companies said they will create a database to store unique digital "fingerprints" of content deemed to terrorist in nature. "We hope this collaboration will lead to greater efficiency as we continue to enforce our policies to help curb the pressing global issue of terrorist content online," the technology companies said in a statement. Facebook spokeswoman Sally Aldous said the new program set to begin in early 2017 aims to tackle the "most obvious" content used by groups hoping to fuel terrorism. "We really are going after the most obvious serious content that is shared online - that is, the kind of recruitment videos and beheading videos more likely to be against all our content policies," she said. 'Too slow' The program comes amid increasing pressure from Western governments to remove extremist content from social media platforms. German Justice Minister Heiko Maas in October threatened social media operators with legal repercussions if they fail to remove hate speech, saying that removal of illicit content has been "too slow." However, the amount of content circulating online, along with concerns of undermining free speech, has challenged social media companies' ability to quickly and effectively remove such content. "Since the middle of 2015, we have suspended more than 360,000 accounts for violating Twitter's policy on violent threats and the promotion of terrorism," said Sinead McSweeney, vice president of public policy at Twitter. "A large portion of these accounts have been removed by technical means, including our proprietary spam-fighting tools," McSweeney added. The four companies said they plan to involve additional entities in the future.

Four major internet companies have agreed to create a common database to identify terrorist propaganda. German government officials have claimed that social media operators are “too slow” in removing illicit content. Plagued by growing terrorist recruitment on social media platforms, Facebook, YouTube, Microsoft and Twitter on Tuesday announced renewed efforts to curb the distribution of content used to propagate extremism. ... Read More »

Facebook, Google and Twitter back Apple in encryption fight with FBI

Tech giants, including Facebook, have said Apple was right to refuse a court ruling to help the FBI break into the iPhone of a California shooter. Detectives think the shooter's phone could hold clues to the attack. "We will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems," a Facebook representative was cited by Reuters as saying on Thursday. "These demands would create a chilly precedent and obstruct companies' efforts to secure their products," the spokesperson added. The social media giant's public support of Apple follows similar backing by the likes of Google, Twitter and WhatsApp against a court order to help crack the encryption on an iPhone belonging to San Bernardino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook. On December 2, Farook and his wife killed 14 people in an attack at an office Christmas party, which officials say was inspired by the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) militant group. Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said the case "could be a troubling precedent" and warned that "forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise users' privacy." FBI adamant But two of New York's top law enforcement officers accused Apple of being irresponsible by not allowing investigators to hack into the phone. The FBI wants the tech giant to disable a feature that wipes the phone's data after 10 failed password entries. Police intend to use the software to try all password possibilities until it finds the right one. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said the case was "the most visible example of how Silicon Valley's decisions are thwarting criminal investigations and impeding public safety." Vance's office currently holds 175 seized iPhones that remain inaccessible despite court orders allowing prosecutors to search the devices. Apple has until Tuesday to file a protest to the decision by a magistrate in California. The company's chief executive Tim Cook said the demand is dangerous and an overreach of government power. Analysts said Apple is likely to seek to invoke free speech protection measures as one of its key legal arguments to block the order. The company's defiance has led to a wide variety of supporting and opposing comments on social media, with some people calling for users to #boycottapple.

Tech giants, including Facebook, have said Apple was right to refuse a court ruling to help the FBI break into the iPhone of a California shooter. Detectives think the shooter’s phone could hold clues to the attack. “We will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems,” a Facebook representative was cited by ... Read More »

Green politician files charges against Pegida over Facebook threats

German Green lawmaker Volker Beck is taking legal action against Pegida and some of its followers. He had received hundreds of threatening comments including death threats on his Facebook account. According to several media reports, Beck is pressing charges against those responsible at anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim Pegida movement as well as 18 individuals who hate posted offensive and threatening comments on his Facebook account. "One of my posts on Facebook had 430 comments, 35 of which contained violent and/or death threats without anyone in charge [of the movement] attempting to moderate," Beck said on his Facebook page. "The named persons openly called for me to be castrated, circumcized, suffer violence, they even called for me to be butchered kosher style," he told Berlin prosecutors according to a report by Germany's "Funke Media Group." The comments were in reaction to a post where Beck had called for religious freedom for Muslims and Jews, including the right to butcher livestock Kosher/Halal style. Beck has criticized the government for not doing enough to pursue hate speech on the Internet and social media in particular. On Twitter, he also said that "we don't need tougher laws against hate speech, we need more resources for prosecutors in that area." In mid-December, German Justice Minister Heiko Maas announced that Facebook and other social media networks had agreed to delete comments that violate Facebook's community standards 24 hours after publication. The move was hailed as a success for Maas, who had set up a task force involving the Justice Ministry and representatives of social media networks and Google in September. But critics, like Beck, said on his Facebook page that "deleting comments is not enough, prosecutors need to get involved here" as otherwise the perpetrators would get off scot-free. Facebook has repeatedly been slated for only enforcing its community standards where nudity is involved, even in posts about breastfeeding, for example. Where hate speech and offensive comments are involved, the social network has so far been more lenient.

German Green lawmaker Volker Beck is taking legal action against Pegida and some of its followers. He had received hundreds of threatening comments including death threats on his Facebook account. According to several media reports, Beck is pressing charges against those responsible at anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim Pegida movement as well as 18 individuals who hate posted offensive and threatening comments on ... Read More »

In Egypt, a model student becomes anti-corruption icon

Mariam Malak scored a grade of 0 in her final examinations even though she had been the best in her class for years. She believes that she was cheated and is now publicly protesting pervasive corruption in Egypt. Mariam Malak was about to begin explaining how she got the nickname "zero schoolgirl" when the TV presenter asked the student about the cannula in her hand. The 19-year-old could no longer hold back her emotions and broke out in tears live on the air. She practically stopped eating when she found out that she had scored a grade of 0 in her final examinations, her brother told the presenter. Malak does not understand why the board of examiners claims that she did not write anything. "I studied 15 hours a day for the exam," she told the interviewer. "God is my witness. I wanted to be the best student in the whole country." The official version goes that, after being top of her class for years, Malak supposedly blanked on the examination day, of all days - when a student's future university study program is determined in Egypt. No, she says, she did not black out: Malak and her lawyers believe that her exam was intentionally switched with one written by a child of wealthy parents. Malak first complained to authorities in her native region, Minya, to no avail. Then, the public prosecutor's office in the province of Asyut dismissed the case. Mariam was fed up and went public, and has thus inadvertently become an icon in the fight against rampant corruption in Egypt. A Facebook page set up to support her has gathered more than 40,000 "likes" within a week. Tens of thousands of people have taken to Twitter with the hashtag "IBelieveMariamMalak" to encourage her to go on. "You are a talented girl in a country that kills talent," one person wrote. Another commented that "I believe her because I am able to think and it is logical and because I know how our country works." Many cynical comments have been made about Egypt and its government, and a great deal of people are glad that, finally, somebody is standing up and saying "Enough!" Everybody in Egypt is affected by corruption. Last year, Transparency International gave the country 37 points - the highest grade of 100 points is awarded to "very clean" nations. "Our country's corruption has been institutionalized," Abdel Moaty, the former deputy head of Egypt's Central Auditing Agency, told DW. "It cannot only be attributed to certain individuals." Today, Moaty is the director of the Egyptian Center for Transparency and Countering Corruption. With dozens of staff members, the agency tries to name and shame those guilty of bribery, a common practice in everyday life in Egypt. "About 88 million square meters (22,000 acres) of land near the Suez Canal were sold to five people for 20 pounds a square meter - i.e., less than 5 euros ($5.65)," Moaty said, to cite just one example. "But who has the gumption to ask whether it was corrupt? The five buyers went on to sell the land for 1,000 pounds per square meter and raked in billions for the deal." Anti-corruption measures are a political show Egyptian Agriculture Minister Salah Helal has taken a tumble over this kind of deal: President Abdel Fatah el-Sissi asked him to resign. Helal was accused of accepting lavish gifts - like expensive apartments and paid pilgrimages to Mecca - in exchange for the allocation of land. He was even arrested shortly after his resignation, and the government resigned on Saturday. "It has become obvious that the Egyptian government exposes such cases about two to three months before December 9," Moaty said. The date is International Anti-Corruption Day. "The government wants to show that it is seriously cracking down on corruption," he said. After all, the country signed the UN Convention Against Corruption in 2003. "All these measures are a political show," Moaty said, adding that he believes that el-Sissi is willing to fight corruption but lacks the power to solve the problem alone. That's the impression other Egyptians have as well. Ever since the student Malak went public with her story, other groups have found the courage to take to the streets. In Alexandria, in front of the Education Ministry, outside of the Egyptian Journalists' Syndicate - young Egyptians everywhere are openly protesting corruption in the education system. Malak had wanted to study medicine, but, with a score of 0 on her final exams, she might as well scrap that idea. Her case now lies with the public prosecutor's office in Cairo. Malak hopes that comparing handwriting could clarify the matter. "I am prepared to make a comparison, no matter when," she said in the television interview. There was no trace of tears this time. Mariam Malak has decided not to let corruption win.

Mariam Malak scored a grade of 0 in her final examinations even though she had been the best in her class for years. She believes that she was cheated and is now publicly protesting pervasive corruption in Egypt. Mariam Malak was about to begin explaining how she got the nickname “zero schoolgirl” when the TV presenter asked the student about ... Read More »

Scroll To Top