Technology • Internet & Web
Over 210 researchers urge Zuckerberg to fight misinformation spread by Trump
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Credit: Anthony Quintano (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, over 210 scientists, around 10% of whom are employed by foundations that are run by Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, have urged the Facebook CEO to "consider stricter policies on misinformation and incendiary language that harms people or groups of people, especially in our current climate that is grappling with racial injustice". In the letter, the scientists specifically call out postings of Donald Trump that should be subject to Facebooks own community standards.

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook employees voice criticism towards Zuckerberg's decision to not fact check posts

After Twitter attached a warning label to one of the tweets of US President Donald Trump, the Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook wouldn't take any action and said the post in which Trump said "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" is compliant with the rules of the platform regarding incitement of violence. Since then a number of employees have voice their disagreement with that decision. Lauren Tan, a software engineer at the company stated that "Facebook's inaction in taking down Trump's post inciting violence makes me ashamed to work here" and other employees questioned the moral standpoints of the company.

Technology • Internet & Web
Mark Zuckerberg criticizes Twitter for new fact-checking feature
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the White House in 2019
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the White House in 2019 Credit: The White House from Washington, DC (Public Domain)

In an interview with Fox News, Mark Zuckerberg criticised Twitter for its new fact-checking feature, stating “private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that". He furthermore added that he believes that "Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online".

In a serious of tweets, Twitter's Jack Dorsey responded to Zuckerberg, writing: "We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. [...] This does not make us an “arbiter of truth.” Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions."

Regional News • Asia
Tsai Ing-wen promises support for Hong Kong's people
Protest in Hong Kong on 09/06/2019
Protest in Hong Kong on 09/06/2019 Credit: unsplash.com/Jospeh Chan

Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen promises to provide "necessary assistance" for the people of Hong Kong after an increase in protests due to China's newly proposed security law to bypass the city's legislature. In an announcement on Facebook, Tsai called the proposed legislation a "serious threat to Hong Kong’s freedoms and judicial independence," and that Taiwan would "even more proactively perfect and forge ahead with relevant support work, and provide Hong Kong’s people with necessary assistance."

Lifestyle • Religion
Muslim community thanks IKEA for letting them pray in car park to keep physical distancing
Muslims praying in IKEA car park
Muslims praying in IKEA car park Credit: IGMG Wetzlar FATİH CAMİİ via Facebook

The Ikea store in Wetzlar near the German city of Frankfurt had agreed to let the local mosque use the car park for their prayers. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic distancing measures were required and in a Facebook post, the Muslim community IGMG Wetzlar FATİH CAMİİ thanked the local police and the store for their help in making the prayers possible.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves deliver masks to hospitals in rural Texas

The actor has posted on Facebook that he and his wife started delivering 110.000 face masks to hospitals in need across rural Texas. In the post, he stated that the luxury carmaker Lincoln had donated them.

Business • Economy
Facebook announces permanent remote work option for employees
Mark Zuckerberg F8 2018 Keynote
Mark Zuckerberg F8 2018 Keynote Credit: Anthony Quintano (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

During a live-streamed talk, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company will allow permanent remote work for many of its existing 45,000 employees and "aggressively open up" remote hiring..

Zuckerberg expects that about 50% of Facebook's workforce will work remotely within the next five to 10 years.

Woman ordered by court to delete Facebook photos of her grandchildren
Facebook homepage
Facebook homepage Credit: Kon Karampelas

A court in the Netherlands ruled that a Grandmother must delete pictures of her three grandchildren that she posted on Facebook and Pinterest without their parents' permission.

The case that ended up in court after a falling-out between the woman and her daughter was within the scope of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Technology • Internet & Web
Twitter test lets users control who can reply to their tweets
Conversation Settings on Twitter
Conversation Settings on Twitter Credit: Twitter

Twitter announced that it’s begun testing a new setting that let users control who can reply to their tweets.

This test phase is open only to a limited group of people globally on Twitter for iOS, Android, and twitter.com.

Quite similar to Facebook’s post view settings, the new featured was previewed earlier this year at CES.

Technology • Internet & Web
Giphy to be bought by Facebook for $400 million
Giphy Logo
Giphy Logo Credit: Giphy

According to a report by Axios, Facebook is set to acquire Giphy, an animated GIF online database and search engine founded in 2013, for $400 million. Giphy will supposedly keep its branding and will soon be integrated into Instagram.

Regional News • Europe
Second Hungarian Taken by Police for Writing on Facebook

Five policemen showed up at a man's home in the town of Gyula, Hungary, to take him in. The reason: he posted on Facebook about the 1170 beds that were emptied in the local hospital. This is the second time Orbán's "war on fake news" has resulted in action by the police since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in Hungary, when the government bill giving the Prime Minister near-total power was passed, including a section that criminalizes the spread of misinformation about the virus. During the four hours of questioning at the local police precinct, the man kept asking for his lawyer until he got released but was left to get home on his own means, regardless of his physical disability.

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook's AI Residency Program cancelled

Facebook announced the cancellation of the company's AI Residency Program 2020-2021 on Wednesday. The AI Residency Program is a "one-year research training position designed to give you hands-on experience with artificial intelligence research while working in Facebook AI". Al Jerome Pesenti, Facebook's vice president, stated that the decision was made to "put the health and safety of our community first".

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook names the first 20 people on its new content oversight board
Members of the Oversight Board
Members of the Oversight Board Credit: Facebook (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Facebook announced today that new content oversight board includes a former head of state, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and several constitutional law experts and rights advocates in its first 20 members.

The content oversight board is an independent body that the social networking platform has launched to reconsider some of its most important content decisions.

The members contract directly with the Oversight Board, are not Facebook employees, and cannot be removed by Facebook. They are Michael McConnell, John Samples, Julie Owono, Nicolas Suzor, Emi Palmor, Afia Asantewaa Asare-Kyei, Ronaldo Lemos, András Sajó, Alan Rusbridger, Nighat Dad, Pamela Karlan, Maina Kiai, Katherine Chen, Tawakkol Karman, Endy Bayuni, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Jamal Greene, Catalina Botero-Marino, Evelyn Aswad.

Professional tennis players will compete in virtual Mario Tennis
Serena William,  2013 US Open.
Serena William, 2013 US Open. Credit: Edwin Martinez (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Sixteen professional tennis players and celebrities will battle in an online tournament of the Nintendo game Mario Tennis Aces. The contestants will play in pairs composed each of one celebrity and one professional tennis athlete with Facebook live-streaming the event on Sunday 3 May. The winning team can choose a charity towards which a donation of $1m will be donated to.

The pairs competing include Serena Williams and Gigi Hadid, Naomi Osaka and Hailey Bieber, Maria Sharapova and Karlie Kloss, Kevin Anderson and Ryan Tannehill, Venus Williams and Deandre Hopkins, Kei Nishikori and Steve Aoki, Madison Keys and Seal, Taylor Fritz and Addison Rae.

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook launchs Message Rooms with support to up to 50 people on video chats
Rendering of Message Rooms on mobile devices
Rendering of Message Rooms on mobile devices Credit: Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Messenger Rooms, a tool for starting virtual hangouts with up to 50 people, without the need for users to have a Facebook account.

The account-free nature of Messenger Rooms would appear to be a direct response to Zoom, which has exploded to 300 million daily active users during the pandemic. Other video chat platforms like Skype have followed in Zoom’s footsteps, dropping account sign-up requirements and expanding the number of supported users.

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram delete Brazilian President posts

Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, posted videos of himself going into crowds in Brasilia, hyping hydrochloride as a cure, and encouraging an end to isolation.

First, Twitter, and now Facebook and Instagram, deleted the posts for violating platform rules.