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Facebook Adding its Name to Facebook, WhatsApp to Provide Unified Experience to its Users

According to Zuckerberg, the idea is to let people utilise the apps to enhance the experience

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FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

In a first step towards merging all its platforms into one unified experience for users, Facebook is adding its name to Instagram and WhatsApp.

Instagram will soon become “Instagram from Facebook” and WhatsApp will turn into “WhatsApp from Facebook”, The Information reported late Friday.

The new titles will appear in the title for both apps in Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store.

“We want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook,” a spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Employees for the apps were recently notified about the changes, “which come as antitrust regulators are examining Facebook’s acquisitions of both apps”, said the report.

The US federal Trade Commission (FTC) is now probing what prompted Facebook to acquire Instagram and WhatsApp.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the FTC is looking to find out whether Facebook was trying to snuff out potential competitors before they could truly challenge the social media giant.

Facebook recently reached $5 billion agreement with the FTC over users’ privacy violation in the Cambridge Analytica scandal that affected 87 million users.

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Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. VOA

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has already announced plans for convergence between Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

“There’s a lot more that we need to figure out before we finalize the plans. This is going to be a long-term project that I think will probably be to whatever extent we end up doing it in – a 2020 thing or beyond,” the Facebook CEO had said earlier this year.

He said more than the commercial benefits of the chat integration between the apps, he was concerned about data encryption.

“The first reason that I’m excited about this is moving more to end-to-end encryption by default in more of our products. People really like this in WhatsApp. I think it’s the direction that we should be going in with more things in the future,” he noted.

“There are also a number of cases that we see where people tell us that they want to be able to message across the different services.”

Also Read: Apple iPhones to Get $100 Costlier After US’ New China Tariffs: Report

The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) has warned Facebook over its planned integration of chat services, asking the social media giant to provide it with an “urgent briefing” on the proposals.

“The Irish DPC will be very closely scrutinizing Facebook’s plans as they develop, particularly insofar as they involve the sharing and merging of personal data between different Facebook companies,” DPC had said in a statement.

According to Zuckerberg, the idea is to let people utilise the apps to enhance the experience. (IANS)

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Social Media Giant Facebook Requires ‘Significant Work’ to Stop Political Bias

“We don’t allow content that might encourage offline harm or is intended to intimidate, exclude or silence people,” he added

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FILE - The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

Facebook has released results of an independent internal audit conducted by a former Republican senator that found the social networking giant has been biased against conservatives and needs to do “significant work” to stop this.

Former Senator Jon Kyl, a respected Republican and his team at the law firm Covington and Burling met with more than 130 leading conservative politicians and organizations and produced the report.

Facebook has long been accused of bias against conservative viewpoints to appear on its platform

“Although these concerns appear across the political and ideological spectrum, members of the conservative community in particular are concerned that the Silicon Valley-based company’s admittedly liberal culture negatively influences the reach of conservative ideas and news.”

“Political conservatives, religious traditionalists, and others are increasingly feeling marginalised by cultural ‘gatekeepers’ such as social media, entertainment media, and academia,” the report said.

According to Nick Clegg, Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook, the report also highlights the changes Facebook has made to address some of those concerns.

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FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

“These include making our decisions more transparent by providing more information on why people are seeing specific posts on News Feed; ensuring Page managers can see when enforcement action takes place; launching an appeals process; and creating a new Oversight Board for content,” Clegg said in a statement late Tuesday.

This is the first stage of an ongoing process and Senator Kyl and his team will report again in a few months’ time.

“Facebook’s policies and their application have the potential to restrict free expression. Given the platform’s popularity and ubiquity, this is a danger that must be taken very seriously. Facebook insists that it is committed to safety, equal treatment and building community,” read the report.

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“Facebook has recognized the importance of our assessment and has taken some steps to address the concerns we uncovered. But there is still significant work to be done to satisfy the concerns we heard from conservatives,” it added.

Clegg said that “while we err on the side of free speech, there are critical exceptions”.

“We don’t allow content that might encourage offline harm or is intended to intimidate, exclude or silence people,” he added. (IANS)