Tag Archives: facebook

Facebook Inc make changes ahead U.S presidential election


Facebook Inc said on Thursday, ahead of the U.S. presidential election that it was making some changes to its approach to political ads, including allowing users to turn off certain ad-targeting tools.

However, the updates stop far short of critics’ demands and what rival companies have pledged to do.

The world’s biggest social network has vowed to curb political manipulation of its platform, after failing to counter alleged Russian interference and the misuse of user data by defunct political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica in 2016.


But ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November 2020, Facebook is struggling to quell criticism of its relatively hands-off ads policies.

In particular, it has come under fire after it exempted politicians’ ads from fact-checking standards applied to other content on its network.


Facebook said that in addition to rolling out a tool enabling individual users to choose to see fewer political and social issue ads on Facebook and its photo-sharing app Instagram, it will also make more ad audience data publicly available.

In contrast, Twitter Inc banned political ads in October, while Alphabet Inc’s Google said it would stop letting advertisers target election ads using data such as public voter records and general political affiliations.


Other online platforms like Spotify, Pinterest and TikTok have also issued bans.

In a blog post, Facebook’s director of product management Rob Leathern said the company considered imposing limits like Google’s, but decided against them as internal data indicated most ads run by U.S. presidential candidates are broadly targeted, at audiences larger than 250,000 people.


“We have based (our policies) on the principle that people should be able to hear from those who wish to lead them, warts and all,” Leathern wrote.

The expanded ad audience data features will be rolled out in the first quarter of this year and Facebook plans to deploy the political ads control starting in the United States early this summer, eventually expanding this preference to more locations.


Another change will be to allow users to choose to stop seeing ads based on an advertiser’s “Custom Audience” and that will apply to all types of advertising, not only political ads.

The “Custom Audiences” feature lets advertisers upload lists of personal data they maintain, like email addresses and phone numbers. Facebook then matches that information to user accounts and shows the advertiser’s content to those people.


However, Facebook will not give users a blanket option to turn off the feature, meaning they will have to opt-out of seeing ads for each advertiser one by one, a spokesman told Reuters.

The change will also not affect ad targeting via Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences tool, which uses the same uploads of personal data to direct ads at people with similar characteristics to those on the lists, the spokesman said.


Leathern said in the post the company would make new information publicly available about the audience size of political ads in the company’s Ad Library, showing approximately how many people the advertisers aimed to reach.

The changes follow a New York Times report this week of an internal memo by senior Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth, who told employees the company had a duty not to tilt the scales against U.S. President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.

Bosworth, a close confidant of Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg who subsequently made his post public, wrote that he believed Facebook was responsible for Trump’s election in 2016, but not because of misinformation or Trump’s work with Cambridge Analytica.

Rather, he said, the Trump campaign used Facebook’s advertising tools most effectively.


#Newsworthy…

I am number one on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg told me – Donald Trump said


President Donald Trump boasted Monday that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told him at dinner he is “number one” on the global social media platform.

“I had dinner with Mark Zuckerberg the other day and he said ‘I’d like to congratulate you… you are number one on Facebook,’” Trump said.


The president, speaking in a live interview with right-wing radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, did not specify when the dinner happened.

A spokesman for Facebook said the last such dinner took place in October.


The president noted the importance of social media to his messaging, which depends on bypassing much of the professional news media, which he accuses of bias against him.

Trump, who has nearly 70 million followers on Twitter, told Limbaugh that without the platform, “I think we’d be lost.”


“We wouldn’t be able to get the truth out,” he said.

US social media platforms have come under criticism for enabling misinformation and fake news in the build-up to the 2020 presidential election.


Trump himself has repeatedly used Facebook and Twitter to push untrue statements and conspiracy theories.

Both those platforms have responded by saying they will not attempt to weed out lies from politicians because their statements fall under the category of “newsworthy” content.


Trump is number one on Facebook in terms of political ad spending, leading to accusations that the company is unduly influenced by the Republican.

At the October dinner at the White House, Trump and Zuckerberg were reportedly joined by Facebook board member Peter Thiel.

U.S Presidency, Donald Trump

After, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren called for transparency over Facebook’s links to Trump.

“What did they talk about?” Warren tweeted.


#Newsworthy…

CITAD:We traced hate speech instances on social handles across the country

…total of 387 documented

The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has said it tracked and documented a total of 387 Hate and dangerous speech instances on Facebook and Twitter handles across the country in November.

Hamza Ibrahim, CITAD Coordinator, Countering Hate Speech Project, disclosed this at a Post-Gubernatorial Election Press briefing organised by the Centre and supported by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) on Thursday, December 5th in Lokoja.

Ibrahim said that the speech incidents were tracked by the centre’s trained monitors stationed across different parts of the country.

“Our analysis established that the speech instances occur in textual, video, pictorial and symbolic forms and 32 per cent of the offending species were ethnic-based while 26 per cent were election-related,” he said.

Ibrahim noted that in the last three months, the two categories, ethnic-based and election-based, had dominated the prime position, beating religion-based hate speech which used to top the list. He called on Nigerians to shun Hate Speech and all forms of negative remarks but value and practise tolerance no matter the provocation.

Ibrahim said hate speech had done disastrous damage to people, communities and countries around the world, adding that it prolonged hatred, destroyed mutual coexistence, promoted suspicion, tension and violence.

“We want to specifically draw the attention of the entire people of Kogi to the dangers and consequences of hate speech and therefore urge that they neither engage in or accommodate hate speech on social media platforms or at community gatherings,” he said.

The centre condemned the gruesome murder of Mrs Salome Abu and attack on Natasha Akpoti before the election, saying that the incidents further revealed the nasty experience of Nigerian women politicians in political processes.

It called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the heartless killing of Mrs Abuh was not allowed to go unpunished but ensure that her killers were brought to book.

#Newsworthy…

Mark Zuckerberg and wife vows, set to give 99% of their wealth to their charitable initiatives.

…mostly in the form of Facebook stock.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have promised to give 99% of their personal wealth to their charitable initiative.

The couple is steering their Facebook stock towards the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), which is awarding millions of dollars to projects like eliminating all disease and improving equity in education.

In their first-ever joint network TV interview, the two spoke about what they want to accomplish with the philanthropic endeavour.

Speaking on “CBS This Morning” the couple revealed their plans to give back through their charitable initiative, the CZI company, that turned four years old on Tuesday and has about 400 employees.

Zuckerberg said: “There are a lot of philanthropies that try to bring capital, right? And help fund important work. But there aren’t that many that have the capability to build tools to empower different folks who are on the front lines.”

Chan added: “Teachers, doctors, scientists — we don’t have the right tools to do that. And Mark has such incredible experience of building tools.”

The couple has promised to give the initiative 99% of their personal wealth, mostly in the form of Facebook stock.

“One of the promises that you gave… was you want to eliminate all diseases,” King said. “I heard that and I went, ‘What?'”

Zuckerberg replied: “Well, we’re not going to do that ourselves, but… we do think that it will be possible to cure, prevent, or be able to manage all diseases by the end of this century.”

King noted that it sounded almost “fantastical” and a little “pie-in-the-sky,” to which Chan said: “Setting audacious goals is important, and we need to think about beyond what’s possible.”

Chan said one of those goals is to map every single cell in the human body.

She added: “You would think that we already know all the cells and what they do, and the thing is, we don’t … and we need a reference.”

Zuckerberg said such a biological map could serve as a “very basic building block for a lot of biological research to happen on top of that.”

Recalling how they began working together on the initiative, Zuckerberg said: “One of the first things that she said to me was, ‘Okay, if we’re going to work together on education, you need to go be a teacher somewhere.’ And I was like, ‘I can’t be a teacher. I’m running this company. It’s a public company. I don’t have time to do that.’ And she was like, ‘No’. She was like… ‘There’s no way that we’re going to do this work together if you don’t get some experience doing this.’ So I started this after-school program on entrepreneurship.”

Chan told CBS co-host Gayle King she felt it was important for her husband to gain that practical experience because, “one, it’s so rewarding… and, two, it makes you feel what you read in the news… in a visceral way … and I want you to have that deep gut feeling of, like, ‘This is critical.'”

Watch the couple speak about their plans in the video below.

.@facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have promised 99% of their personal wealth to their charitable initiative, @ChanZuckerberg.

“Setting audacious goals is important, and we need to think about beyond what’s possible.” https://t.co/j7TCHi1oLJ pic.twitter.com/q0vTSWKokP

— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) December 3, 2019

#Newsworthy…

Instagram and Facebook will stop under 18s from seeing sexually explicit videos and photos as from 2020…

Social media giants, Facebook and Instagram will start blocking under-18s from viewing sexual content from as early as next year.

As part of a new policy, the online platforms will hide suggestive adverts and pictures such as art depicting sexual activity, which are otherwise allowed.

Teenagers under the age of 18 will be banned from viewing sexualised adverts, fictional depictions of sex and artistic portrayals of nudity or sex acts, among others, the Daily Telegraph reports, adding that the restrictions, which are due to come in on both platforms, will rely solely on teenagers inputting their own ages, making it easy for them to lie and view inappropriate content anyway.

It was also stated that under the new measures, underage users will get an error message if they declare they are under 18 and try to load sexual content.

Andy Burrows, the NSPCC head of child safety online policy, told MailOnline: ‘It is good to see Facebook taking steps in recognition of the fact that there is content on their platforms that’s unsuitable for children.

‘But these measures look like little more than tinkering around the edges, rather than tackling the more profound clear-cut dangers from grooming and abuse every day on their platforms.

‘Facebook already has the tech to micro-target ads at under-18s so we simply can’t understand why they won’t use the same tech to put safeguards in place.’

#Newsworthy…