A Recap of NG_Hub’s Launch by Facebook: Accelerator Programs for Students & Entrepreneurs + Career Advice from Facebook Africa’s Ebele Okobi

A photo of Kezia Anim-Ado (L), Communications Manager, Facebook Sub Saharan Africa; and Ebele Okobi (R), Public Policy Director, Facebook

A photo of Kezia Anim-Ado (L), Communications Manager, Facebook Sub Saharan Africa; and Ebele Okobi (R), Public Policy Director, Facebook Africa and I.

Hi BellaNaijarians. Chinny here!

Yesterday, I attended the launch of NG_Hub by Facebook, a community hub space in partnership with CcHub. When I first received the invitation to this event, I was contemplating whether to attend or not but after I learnt that I had the opportunity to meet and interview Ebele Okobi, the Public Policy Director of Facebook Africa, I looked her up on LinkedIn and thought ‘hmmmm, the BN community can learn a lot from her… I’m in!’

L-R: Ime Archibong, VP Partnerships, Facebook; Bosun Tijani, CEO CcHub; Ebele Okobi, Head Public Policy Africa, Facebook and Emeka Afigbo, Head of Developer Programs at the launch of NG_Hub

I got there in good time for breakfast after which we heard from some Facebook professionals on the journey to NG_Hub. It was also good to learn that Facebook is partnering with seven other hubs across the country- Ventures Platform (Abuja), nHub (Jos), Colab Hub (Kaduna), DI Hub (Kano), Start Innovation Hub (Uyo), Roar Hub (Enugu) and Ken Saro Wiwa Hub (Port Harcourt) – to create spaces where creatives and developers can tap into Facebook’s resources and expertise. 

Let’s get unto my few minutes with Ebele Okobi!

After highlighting how powerful the entrepreneurial spirit is in Nigeria and Facebook’s mission to create a community that brings entrepreneurs and creatives together, we went on to discuss Facebook’s plans for NG_Hub and how you can get in! The amazing thing is that there’s something for everyone, whether you run a small business, are a startup, a student or want to improve your digital skills, there’s something for you! Check them out:

  • The FB Start Accelerator Program is designed for startup and student teams building solutions that utilize any of these technologies; Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Internet of Things, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Startup teams that get into this program which runs for 6 months, will get $20,000 in equity funding, hands-on support, access to technical and business mentors from Facebook and the CcHub network. Find out how to get into the program here.
  • Digify Pro Nigeria is a FREE 8-week intensive digital skills boot camp where you will learn all you need to know about digital marketing and have the opportunity to work on live briefs from Nigeria’s top communication agencies and brands. At the end of 8 weeks, graduates of the programme will take part in a work placement in agencies or organizations as either interns or junior staff. It’s a one-page application and a great way to kick start or advance your career in digital marketing. Start here now.
  • Boost Your Business is a one-day training that teaches digital marketing for business growth. This is specially made for micro, small and medium-sized businesses owners and they have a community you can join on Facebook here.
  • #SheMeansBusiness is a one-day training workshop which has commenced in various cities across Nigeria. It is designed to inspire and train existing and aspiring female entrepreneurs across Nigeria, empowering them with the right digital skills to run successful businesses. I attended the launch and talked about it here.

There was this one question I had to ask before leaving the room and I’m so glad I did! What would you say to a millennial whose dream is to work with a tech giant like Facebook?

Ebele Okobi: There’s a quote I say all the time- “work is love made visible”. Everybody has different approach to work but mine is that I want work that brings value to the world and drives my passion. So I believe very strongly that people should find their passion because for me, work is about making the world someway a better place.

The first thing is that people need to know themselves, what’s your passion, what’s your mission, and then pursue that as opposed to deciding what company you want to work for. If you think about it, Facebook didn’t even exist. When Mark created it, had he been simply focused on just working for a big company, maybe Microsoft, we wouldn’t have Facebook. So I would say people should not focus necessarily on a particular company or destination but should focus on how to bring value to the world. I think that’s critical.

The second thing I would say is STEM education is very important, however, there are so many other jobs within tech. If you look at all the conversations we’re having right now about privacy, content, it tells you how critical those issues are to tech’s ability to thrive, grow and gain trust. I studied Law and if you think about the skills set that are necessary around ethics and policies, that’s very relevant. That’s why I think people should really focus on what they’re good at and the contribution they make and let that contribution, mission and passion drive them.

**

Isn’t that so powerful? That’s it guys, I had a great time being with these wonderful people and learning how much opportunities are out there for us! So, take on these opportunities and fire on!

‘I’m Sorry’, Facebook Boss Tells European Lawmakers

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the annual F8 summit at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose,

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the annual F8 summit at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California on May 1, 2018. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg announced the world’s largest social network will soon include a new dating feature — while vowing to make privacy protection its top priority in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

JOSH EDELSON / AFP

 

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg apologised to the European Parliament on Tuesday and said the social media giant is taking steps to prevent a repeat of a massive breach of users’ personal data.

Zuckerberg also pledged to keep investing in Europe as he made the latest stop on a tour of contrition over the Cambridge Analytica scandal that began in the US Congress in April.

Zuckerberg told the livestreamed hearing in Brussels that it has become clear in the last two years that Facebook executives “haven’t done enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm”.

“And that goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections or developers misusing people’s information. We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility,” he said.

“That was a mistake, and I’m sorry for it.”

Facebook admitted that up to 87 million users may have had their data hijacked by British consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked for US President Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign.

The Silicon Valley giant has told the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, that the personal data of up to 2.7 million Europeans may have been sent inappropriately to Cambridge Analytica, which has since filed for bankruptcy in the US.

The Facebook chief welcomed the EU’s sweeping new personal data protection rules, which come into effect in three days, saying that his website was adopting similar steps.

– ‘Keeping people safe’ –

Zuckerberg said Facebook was bringing in new features including a special “clear history” button that would allow them to delete any cookies or browsing history details it stores.

He also told the leaders of the European Parliament’s political groups that Facebook would make fresh investments to protect its users in the wake of the scandal.

“It’s going to take time to work through all of the changes we must make. But I’m committed to getting it right, and to making the significant investments needed to keep people safe,” he added.

“I expect this will significantly impact our profitability. But I want to be clear: keeping people safe will always be more important than maximising our profits.”

Zuckerberg meanwhile admitted that Facebook had been “too slow to identify Russian interfering” in the 2016 US presidential ballot, but was working with European governments for future elections.

Facebook also serves a valuable social role with tens of thousands of people having used its Safety Check feature “after the recent terrorist attacks in Berlin, Paris, London and here in Brussels”, Zuckerberg said.

The Facebook chief staged a U-turn on Monday and agreed to the hearing being webcast, in a further bid to limit the fallout from the data scandal.

Angry EU lawmakers had objected to initial plans for it to be held behind closed doors.

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, who welcomed Zuckerberg to parliament, urged him to ensure people’s data was respected.

In April, Tajani rejected Zuckerberg’s initial offer to send a more junior executive in his place, saying it would be a “big mistake” for him not to answer questions from an elected body that regulates a market of 500 million people, many of them Facebook users.

Tajani said MEPs want to know if “people used data for changing the position of the citizens”, including during the shock 2016 referendum for Britain to leave the EU.

– ‘Hear the truth’ –

Objecting to a closed-door hearing, MEPs insisted Zuckerberg face a grilling similar to his 10-hour interrogation in US Congress last month.

Guy Verhofstadt, who heads the ALDE liberals group in parliament, dropped his plan to boycott the event now that it would be “transparent and public”.

Inviting Europeans to send him questions for Zuckerberg, Verhofstadt, a former Belgian prime minister, tweeted that EU citizens “deserve to hear the truth”.

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova recently paid Zuckerberg a backhanded compliment for having admitted that the Facebook scandal showed the need for strict new rules despite the reluctance of US internet giants.

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect on Friday, aims to give users more control over how their personal information is stored and used online, with big fines for firms that break the rules.

Zuckerberg, who has repeatedly apologised for the massive data breach, told the US Congress in April that the more stringent EU rules could serve as a model globally.

The post ‘I’m Sorry’, Facebook Boss Tells European Lawmakers appeared first on Channels Television.

Activist Groups Launch Campaign To Break Up Facebook

A coalition of activist groups on Monday announced a campaign to break up Facebook, arguing that the huge social network “has

Facebook Faces 'Oppenheimer Moment' Over Trump Scandal

A coalition of activist groups on Monday announced a campaign to break up Facebook, arguing that the huge social network “has too much power over our lives and democracy.”

The groups created a website, and a Facebook page, to garner support for a petition to the US Federal Trade Commission to require the social media firm to spin off Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger into competing networks, and to “impose strong privacy rules.”

The effort was launched by a handful of groups focusing on digital rights, privacy and other social causes.

“Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have amassed a scary amount of power,” the groups said on their website.

“Facebook unilaterally decides the news that billions of people around the world see every day. It buys up or bankrupts potential competitors to protect its monopoly, killing innovation and choice. It tracks us almost everywhere we go on the web and, through our smartphones, even where we go in the real world.”

The effort comes with Facebook under fire in the US and elsewhere over the hijacking of private user data on some 87 million users, adding to concerns on how internet platforms were manipulated to spread misinformation during the 2016 US election.

Responding to the campaign, a company spokesman said Facebook “is in a competitive environment where people use our apps at the same time they use free services offered by many others.”

The spokesman said in an emailed statement that “the average person uses eight different apps to communicate and stay connected.”

Chief executive and founder Mark Zuckerberg told a US congressional panel last month that it “doesn’t feel like” Facebook is a monopoly.

Facebook has an estimated two billion users worldwide, and its Messenger and Whatsapp messaging services each have more than one billion.

Any breakup would require a lengthy investigation by US authorities and a potentially long court battle as well.

The latest campaign was launched by the activist organizations Demand Progress, MoveOn, and SumOfUs, along with the groups Citizens Against Monopoly, Jewish Voice for Peace and Muslim Grassroots Movement.

It comes as Zuckerberg prepared to appear before European Parliament members to answer questions on the data scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, which obtained Facebook user data while working on the 2016 Donald Trump campaign.

AFP

The post appeared first on Channels Television.

Facebook to take on Google in Nigeria with new hub, $20 000 accelerator

Facebook also announced partnerships with seven other hubs across the country including in Abuja (Ventures Platform), Jos (nHub), Kaduna (Colab

Facebook also announced partnerships with seven other hubs across the country including in Abuja (Ventures Platform), Jos (nHub), Kaduna (Colab Hub), Kano (DI Hub), Uyo (Start Innovation Hub), Enugu (Roar Hub) and Port Harcourt (Ken Saro Wiwa Hub).

The social network said these hubs would serve as “centres of excellence” and will feature dedicated Facebook spaces, where many of Facebook’s training sessions will take place, and a space where creatives and developers can book to help them advance their skills.

Facebook today unveiled NG_Hub in Lagos and a new accelerator programme which will offer Nigerian startups $20 000 in equity-free funding

Today’s launch followed a statement in November last year by Facebook that it planned to launch a hub in Nigeria with CcHub this year.



The NG_Hub space includes workspaces, meeting rooms, games and chill out room, an event space and a well catered café, will also be the focal point for a number of training programmes.

Accelerator to offer $20 000 in equity-free funding

The hub will include Facebook’s Fb Start Accelerator programme– a research and mentorship-driven programme focused on those building solutions using advanced technology, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

Facebook notes on its accelerator page that those accepted in the accelerator programme will get $20 000 in equity-free funding; product development and business support; access to technical experts and business mentors from the Facebook and CcHUB network and an office space with high-speed internet, meeting rooms and more.

To be eligible for the programme startups must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a functional product leveraging one of these technologies: artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), data science, artificial reality or virtual reality
  • Have gained some users or customers.
  • Have a technical lead and founder (s) that are fully committed to the business.
  • Have the potential to disrupt or greatly enhance their focus industries.

Startups that want to participate in the accelerator programme have until 22 June to apply (one can apply here).

As part of a week-long of celebrations, Facebook will host a number of events until Friday aimed at engaging the different communities in Lagos, and across Nigeria. This includes a community roundtable, a dev meetup, a VC and policy roundtable and an event aimed at women in tech.

Featured image: Ime Archibong, vice-president of partnerships at Facebook (Facebook Africa via Facebook)

Facebook Board Member Called Modi’s India Dumb For Rejecting Free Basics, Now India Looks Smart

In 2016, the “Pope of Silicon Valley” — Marc Andreessen — backed off social media after tweeting “anti-colonialism has been

In 2016, the “Pope of Silicon Valley” — Marc Andreessen — backed off social media after tweeting “anti-colonialism has been economically catastrophic for the Indian people for decades. Why stop now?”

The billionaire venture capitalist and Facebook board member was angry because Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government rejected Facebook’s plan to offer free internet — a free internet that Facebook would have control over.

In light of Facebook’s ethical fumbles — new revelations keep surfacing about how Facebook exposed millions of users’ data for four years —  India is looking smarter than the other parts of the world that gave Facebook free access to data.

After being “burned to a crisp” for manhandling Facebook users’ data, “Cambridge Analytica’s ashes blew away on 2 May,” Naked Security reported.

Andreessen criticized India’s opposition to Free Basics on Facebook, likening India’s opposition to free Internet to anti-colonialism. His comment caused such an uproar that he apologized and deleted it.

Critics argued that Facebook’s Free Basics violates tenets of net neutrality, which stipulate that all internet content and users should be treated equally, CNN Money reported. They said it was dangerous to allow Facebook to decide what content was allowed on Free Basics, and what was not.

Andreessen disagreed. “Denying world’s poorest free partial Internet connectivity when today they have none, for ideological reasons, strikes me as morally wrong,” — Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) February 10, 2016.

Cambridge Analytica wasn’t an aberration. A twin named Cubeyou turned up in April: yet another firm that dressed up its personal-data snarfing as “nonprofit academic research,” in the form of personality quizzes, and handed over the data to marketers.”

In a private message leaked in 2010, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg wrote, “Yea so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard . . . just ask.” His friend asked how he did it, Fast Company reported. “People just submitted it,” he said. “I don’t know why.”

“They ‘trust me,’” he added. “Dumb fucks.”

Those were the early days of moving fast and breaking things, and nearly 15 years later, Zuckerberg certainly regrets saying that. But even then he had caught on to a lucrative flaw in our relationship with data at the beginning of the 21st century, a delusional trust in distant companies based on agreements people don’t read, which have been virtually impossible to enforce. It’s a flaw that has since been abused by all kinds of hackers, for purposes the public is still largely in the dark about, even today.” — Fast Company

Rejecting Free Basics
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Illustration: Nishant Goswami

The post Facebook Board Member Called Modi’s India Dumb For Rejecting Free Basics, Now India Looks Smart appeared first on Moguldom.

3 Tips to Secure Facebook Account from Hackers

For many users, Facebook is just another way to communicate with friends and family. You can spend some quality time

For many users, Facebook is just another way to communicate with friends and family. You can spend some quality time on this entertaining social media platform. But for many other users, this is just a social media platform, not just a tool to communicate. Perhaps, Facebook is a place where a lot of people promote their online business.

A lot of freelancers are making money online using Facebook while many others are promoting their brand. It means that your Facebook account has some value and if you are making money from your Facebook account then it should be secured as well.

Why Your Facebook Account is at Risk?

If you own a good Facebook page or business group page, you can make money through those pages and groups. So anyone who knows that you are the owner of those pages can try to hack your Facebook account.

If any Facebook hacker hacks your account successfully he/she may remove you from the ownership of those pages and can become the owner. Now, he or she will make money online out of your pages and you will have nothing in your hands.

Even when you own just a personal profile, you also need to secure your Facebook, because a hacker with full access to your account can cause you a lot of embarrassment.

How to Secure Your Facebook Account From Hackers?

Well, it is not difficult to secure your Facebook account. You just have to take care of a few things which are quite simple and everyone knows these things, but we usually do not pay enough attention to them.

Here are the 3 simple tips that will help you secure your Facebook account from hackers:

  • Complicated Password
  • Avoid Phishing
  • Extra Layer of Security

Choose a Complicated Password

Many hackers, don’t actually hack your Facebook account. In fact, they use trial and error method to find your password. The first thing you should do is to select a complicated password and make sure that your password is not easy to guess.

Some Facebook users choose name of their spouse, date of birth, the registration number of their vehicle, their phone number, or names of their kids as their password. These things are too obvious to guess and anyone who knows a little about you can guess your password and then make changes to your account.

So you should make sure that your password should be difficult to guess and it should have mixed case letters, numbers and special characters.

For example, if the name of your spouse is Aleena, and you set your password as ‘aleenayasir’ (suppose your name is Yasir) then anyone can try this password and can get access to your Facebook account. You should not use names in the password, or if you must you have to mix thigns up like: ‘alEenA@yaSiR23$2’.

Now this password has your name and the name of your spouse, but some letters are small while the others are capital. Moreover, this password has numbers and special characters.

Now this password is harder to guess for a hacker even if he knew your data. Also, try to change your password once a month.

Check the Web URL Before You Enter Your Password

Phishing is the widely used method to hack FB online in Pakistan. In this method, the attacker makes a web page that looks exactly like Facebook’s official page. But actually, that page is not the official page. The attacker will trick you to enter your password and email address to log in to that page.

You might think how someone can force you to provide your login details? Let’s take an example; if you receive a message in your inbox that now you can use Facebook in Urdu, or now you can use Facebook on your mobile for Free forever.

And to do so, just click on the link below and log in to your Facebook account. There is a good chance that you could get attracted to that offer and you try to login to your Facebook account using the link provided by the attacker.

When you do this you might get a message which says, sorry you don’t qualify for the offer. Meanwhile, the Facebook username and password you used to login is now in the possession of the hacker.

You can still login as normal later on your Facebook account without noticing anything unusual. Of course, the hacker can choose to lock you out of your account by changing the password.

So make sure that you are providing your email and password only on the official Facebook page. If you see the Web URL like this: www.urdu-facebook.com or something like this, don’t enter your password on that page.

Add Extra Layer of Security

The best thing you should do is to add an extra layer of security. You can do this by navigating to the settings and from security option; you can select extra options for security. You should select the option to receive a security code on your registered mobile number whenever someone tries to login to your Facebook account from an unauthorized device.

Once you do this, even if you try to login from a computer which you never used before, you will not be able to login until you enter a security code which you receive on your mobile device.

This is the best option as even if the hacker hacks your Facebook account and get your password, he will not be able to login because he has to enter the code which you get on your mobile.

Final Words:

You should take your Facebook account security seriously. Otherwise, anyone can hack your Facebook account online easily. There are so many methods which don’t need any software or access to your computer. So you must be careful about your Facebook account’s security.

 

Author Bio:

This is Syed Faran Akhtar, a Computer System Engineer and founder of MobileFun.pk. I write technology articles for MobileFun.pk and iPhone-Appstore.com on regular basis. You can contact with me on Facebook.

Related Topics

The post appeared first on Nigeria Technology Guide.

Facebook Blocks 200 Apps Over Data Misuse Investigation

Facebook Inc has so far suspended around 200 apps in the first stage of its review into apps that had

Facebook Inc has so far suspended around 200 apps in the first stage of its review into apps that had access to large quantities of user data, in a response to a scandal around political consultancy, Cambridge Analytica.

“The apps were suspended pending a thorough investigation into whether they misused any data,’’ Ime Archibong, Facebook’s vice president of product partnerships said on Monday, May 14, 2018.

Facebook said it has looked into thousands of apps to date as part of an investigation that Mark Zuckerberg, the Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, announced on March 21, 2018.

Zuckerberg had said the social network will investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before the company curtailed data access in 2014.

“There is a lot more work to be done to find all the apps that may have misused people’s Facebook data and it will take time.

“We have large teams of internal and external experts working hard to investigate these apps as quickly as possible,” Archibong said.

Facebook was hit by the privacy scandal in mid-March after media reports that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed data to build profiles on American voters and influence the 2016 presidential election.

The incident led to a backlash from celebrities and resulted in the company losing billions in market value.

Zuckerberg apologised for the mistakes his company made and testified before the U.S. lawmakers.

The company, however, regained much of its lost market value after it reported a surprisingly strong 63 percent rise in profit and an increase in users when it announced quarterly results on April 25, 2018.

Read more at Reuters

The post appeared first on The Trent.

#GrowOnlinewithChinny: Your Business should be Maximizing these Social Media Updates

Hey BellaNaijarians, Welcome to #GrowOnlinewithChinny, a weekly column that discusses strategies to help businesses grow and maximize their online presence.

Hey BellaNaijarians,

Welcome to #GrowOnlinewithChinny, a weekly column that discusses strategies to help businesses grow and maximize their online presence. As part of the BellaNaija social media team (shout out to the coolest gang), I spend a lot of time engaging with our audience online and it’s so inspiring to see how enterprising my generation is; from tech startups solving problems that shift the continent, to content creators building strong partnerships with global brands, to makeup artistes changing the narrative of black beauty…. The list goes on and on. So, I thought it would be cool to create a column for us to interact! Whether you’re a social media influencer, a business trying to engage better with your audience and turn engagement into sales, or you’re just really interested in digital, this is the place for us connect! You can also find me being ridiculous on my Instastories at @chinnysimperio.

This first feature is about some cool social media updates that can bring more value to your brand. Leggo!

Improved Instagram Inbox Management

You know how Instagram keeps direct messages from people you don’t follow in a pending folder waiting for your approval? This is actually good for personal IG accounts because we all need our spaces but it can be a bit of a challenge for business accounts that typically get a lot of inquiries from potential customers. Well, that’s about to change! Now, all inquiry messages sent to business accounts are displayed in your ‘Direct’ inbox and you can even star messages you want to follow up on later or filter unread messages. In the coming weeks, Instagram promises to roll out quick replies that will enable businesses set up templated responses to common queries. Talk about saving us some time!

 

Shopping & Call to Action Buttons on Instagram for Business

This feature is available to approved businesses that sell physical products in select countries **inserts sad emoji** but we’ve seen familiar brands like @andreaiyamah and @ofuure use it as shown below. According to Instagram, users can also buy tickets, make reservations and more with a single tap! However, this service is made available through third-party partners which Instagram business owners must have an account with. What makes this update so cool is that users can find and shop for products without leaving the app! I’m really looking forward to this feature being fully available in Nigeria and best believe I’ll be the first to let you know when that happens.

Your Customers are Learning how to do stuff on YouTube

If your business has a presence on YouTube (which it should), I’ve got some news! Short story: Last week, I changed the passcode of my phone and (please don’t ask me how), I could not remember the passcode which was required after my phone restarted! I had been unlocking with my fingerprint all week but instead of going to a phone repair store and spending some money on it, I went over to YouTube and of course, there was a ‘how to…’video! Guess what! I’m just one individual of the 70% of millennial YouTube users searching for how to do things by themselves! Millenials are self-starters so if you’re thinking of content to create, teach your followers how to do something they’re interested in!

With 40% of YouTube users searching for a product on the platform before they buy, you want to satisfy your customers ‘try before you buy’ mindset. If you’re selling a product or offering a service, you definitely want to create videos showing your customers original reviews (the good, the bad and the ugly) of your products as used by people we can all relate to!

If you’re currently maximizing any of these updates, drop a comment about your experience so far. Got a question you’ll like me to answer? Let’s talk and let’s grow online together!

*****

This column aims to share tips that would help brands grow their businesses online and will be publishedevery Tuesday. Although some brands may be mentioned from time to time, they are only for illustration purposes as this column is not promotional. 

Facebook Closes 583 Million Fake Accounts

In this file photo taken on May 17, 2012, a Facebook logo is seen through the windows of the NASDAQ

In this file photo taken on May 17, 2012, a Facebook logo is seen through the windows of the NASDAQ stock exchange as people walk by on Times Square in New York.  Emmanuel DUNAND / AFP

 

Facebook axed 583 million fake accounts in the first three months of 2018, the social media giant said Tuesday, detailing how it enforces “community standards” against sexual or violent images, terrorist propaganda or hate speech.

Responding to calls for transparency after the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal, Facebook said those closures came on top of blocking millions of attempts to create fake accounts every day.

Despite this, the group said fake profiles still make up 3-4 percent of all active accounts.

It claimed to detect almost 100 percent of spam and to have removed 837 million posts assimilated to spam over the same period.

Facebook pulled or slapped warnings on nearly 30 million posts containing sexual or violent images, terrorist propaganda or hate speech during the first quarter.

Improved technology using artificial intelligence had helped it act on 3.4 million posts containing graphic violence, nearly three times more than it had in the last quarter of 2017.

In 85.6 percent of the cases, Facebook detected the images before being alerted to them by users, said the report, issued the day after the company said about 200 apps had been suspended on its platform as part of an investigation into misuse of private user data.

The figure represents between 0.22 and 0.27 percent of the total content viewed by Facebook’s more than two billion users from January through March.

“In other words, of every 10,000 content views, an estimate of 22 to 27 contained graphic violence,” the report said.

Responses to rule violations include removing content, adding warnings to content that may be disturbing to some users while not violating Facebook standards; and notifying law enforcement in case of a “specific, imminent and credible threat to human life”.

Improved IT also helped Facebook take action against 1.9 million posts containing terrorist propaganda, a 73 percent increase. Nearly all were dealt with before any alert was raised, the company said.

It attributed the increase to the enhanced use of photo detection technology.

Hate speech is harder to police using automated methods, however, as racist or homophobic hate speech is often quoted on posts by their targets or activists.

– Sarcasm needs human touch –
“It may take a human to understand and accurately interpret nuances like… self-referential comments or sarcasm,” the report said, noting that Facebook aims to “protect and respect both expression and personal safety”.

Facebook took action against 2.5 million pieces of hate speech content during the period, a 56 increase over October-December. But only 38 percent had been detected through Facebook’s efforts — the rest flagged up by users.

The posts that keep the Facebook reviewers the busiest are those showing adult nudity or sexual activity — quite apart from child pornography, which is not covered by the report.

Some 21 million such posts were handled in the period, a similar number to October-December 2017.

That was less than 0.1 percent of viewed content — which includes text, images, videos, links, live videos or comments on posts — Facebook said, adding it had dealt with nearly 96 percent of the cases before being alerted to them.

Facebook has come under fire for showing too much zeal on this front, such as removing images of artwork tolerated under its own rules.

In March, Facebook apologised for temporarily removing an advert featuring French artist Eugene Delacroix’s famous work “Liberty Leading the People” because it depicts a bare-breasted woman.

Facebook’s head of global policy management Monika Bicket said the group had kept a commitment to recruit 3,000 more staff to lift the numbers dedicated to enforcing standards to 7,500 at the start of this year.

AFP

The post appeared first on Channels Television.

The Horrible Racist Way Facebook Treats Black Owned Businesses [MUST READ]

Years ago, when I chose to leave my post as a Finance professor at Syracuse University, it was easy to

Years ago, when I chose to leave my post as a Finance professor at Syracuse University, it was easy to see that social media was the wave of the future.  So, like any other guy trying to save the world, I dove right into the social media platforms that only my students seemed to understand.

I’m a pretty fast learner (being a professor and all), and I found myself marveling at all of the possibilities around us that we could only dream about as children.

Since my launch into social, I’ve posted thousands of times, reached millions of people, taught finance to people around the world and built a company (Boyce Watkins Enterprises) that feeds quite a few people from my community.  But I have to say that much of our success was IN SPITE of Facebook, rather than because of it.  This digital bully has been nothing short than a royal pain in the a**.

Like myself, most online business owners have a love-hate relationsihp with Facebook.  The reactions can go from jubilation and curiosity to fear, despair and outright devastation.   One day, Facebook is the most beautiful thing in the world, and the next day, it makes you feel like you’re living under a dictatorship.

I came of age in the 90s.  That was a time when losing a phone number meant you might never speak to someone again, every ex-relationship was easily buried in the past, and the friends in your neighborhood were the only friends you had.  Facebook changed all that, and for this, I am extremely grateful.

When Mark Zuckerberg created this extraordinary platform that changed the world, Facebook was a very different company. They seemed to care about people more than profits, and that they actually allowed the betterment of humanity to remain part of the bottom line.

But when Facebook became a publicly-traded company, something changed.  Suddenly, small business owners saw their businesses mutilated overnight after a snap judgement algorithm change.   People were being censored for the silliest reasons (like quoting Malcolm X or Jesus).  Loyal users were being put into “Facebook jail” and banned for weeks without any form of due process, a hearing, or even a f**king response from customer service.

Personally, I’ve been banned for weeks at a time, without even the ability to respond to my friends who were asking, “Boyce, are you ok?”  Our business had spent thousands of hours and tons of money building up a Facebook page to nearly half a million fans.  The page had become so strong and active that even the popular rapper Young MA gives us credit for jumpstarting her career after we posted one of her videos (she thinks I was criticizing her, when I was actually critiquing racist media culture that promotes violence and death among black youth – maybe that kind of talk is what got me in trouble with Facebook).

When Facebook took down our page, we were stunned.  My team members were unable to figure out which post got us banned, because we were only told that we’d violated Facebooks elusive, confusing, unclear (secret) list of “Community Standards.”  We messaged the company several times to find out what happened, and how we could fix it.   All we needed was a phone call, an email or anything to allow us to plead our case.

We got nothing.  To this day, the page is officially “suspended,” with Facebook teasing us with a stupid button claiming that if we simply tap it, the page will be published again.  We’ve hit this button dozens of times, only to find that the page would go back into suspension only seconds later.  It’s surprising that a company that earns billions of dollars per month would have such an obvious glitch in their system.

How horribly disrespectful can you be?  What more has to happen before we realize that this company has entirely too much power?  I haven’t even mentioned the fact that researchers have discovered that Facebook uses techniques to get you addicted to social media, like a crackhead waiting for his next hit.

You see, when Facebook kills someone’s account, there is a human element that their algorithms and financially analysts aren’t accounting for.  Many people open their Facebook app every morning like it’s medication, a cup of coffee or a lifeline to the majority of the connections they have with other human beings.   Being banned from Facebook can leave them feeling isolated and hurt.

So, only the cruelest company can create various forms of economic, social and psychological addiction and just play with your emotions like a frat boy who gets girls to fall in love with him so he can dump them out on the street.  That’s what Facebook does to millions of people every single day and it’s terrible.   In fact, if I were Mark Zuckerberg, I would spend at least $20 million per year on personal security.  The decision to play with the lives of millions of (sometimes unstable) people can often come with serious consequences.

Adding to Facebook’s socioeconomic terrorism is what it does to black people.  Most black leaders who speak truth to power are having their pages banned as if they are the black equivalent to a white supremacist.   Even pages like Black Knowledge and Bossip have been banned or suspended without so much as an explanation from the company.  Louis Farrakhan gets suspended on a regular basis, as well as men like Malik Zulu Shabazz.  Tariq Nasheed, Cynthia G, and many others have complained to me about their treatment on Facebook and the list goes on and on.

The fact is that Facebook is not designed for black people.  Most of their employees aren’t black and many of their misguided data analysts have no respect for the black experience, our day-to-day struggles and ways in which social media is used to connect us with those who understand our objectives.

Not only is the unfair persecution of black social media users unfair and unjust, it is disrespectful.  Many people put thousands of hours of labor into developing and nurturing their pages, only to have them instantly taken away by the Destroyer of Worlds – some nerdy white boy locked away in a corporate office who hasn’t spoken to a black person in two weeks.

This is wrong, and Facebook knows it.  The problem is that Facebook doesn’t care, because the government has given this company entirely too much power.  It’s time to take some of that power away.

I suggest that all black people either leave Facebook or at least diversify their social media options.  The fact that this company is profiting from our presence, exploiting our labor, wasting our time and stealing our data should be enough for us to walk away.   We gave them a chance and they failed, and the reality is that it will only get worse from here.

Boyce Watkins is a Finance PhD, and founder of the social media site Blaggenuf.com, which caters to those who believe in freedom of speech and expression.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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