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Facebook ‘exploited’ Australian kids for advertisers

Facebook monitored the posts of Australian children and used algorithms to identify and exploit them by allowing advertisers to target them during their "most vulnerable moments", media reported, evoking criticism against the social media giant.

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May 02, 2017: Facebook monitored the posts of Australian children and used algorithms to identify and exploit them by allowing advertisers to target them during their “most vulnerable moments”, media reported, evoking criticism against the social media giant. A confidential 23-page Facebook document prepared by company’s two top Australian executives outlines how the social network can target “moments when young people need a confidence boost” in pinpoint detail, The Australian reported on Sunday.

Facebook collected the information on a person’s moods including feeling “worthless”, “overwhelmed” and “nervous” and then, it divulged the same to advertisers who use it to target them. Facebook admitted it was wrong to target the children and apologised.  “We have opened an investigation to understand the process failure and improve our oversight. We will undertake disciplinary and other processes as appropriate,” a Facebook spokeswoman told The Australian.

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“While the data on which this research is based was aggregated and presented consistent with applicable privacy and legal protections, including the removal of any personally identifiable information, our internal process sets a standard higher than required by law,” she added. Facebook’s tactic violates the Australian Code for Advertising and Marketing Communications to Children guidelines.

The revelation also points towards the how Facebook can be used for covert surveillance which most of the social networking sites claim to be fighting against. There have been rumours about Facebook’s advertising sales methods but there was no proof until now that could corroborate that. “The document is an insight on how Facebook gathers psychological insights on 6.4 million ‘high schoolers’, ‘tertiary students’ and ‘young Australians, New Zealanders… in the workforce’ to sell targeted advertising,” the report noted. IANS

 

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Social Networking Giant Facebook To Develop Camera-Equipped Set-top Box For TVs

Facebook declined to comment on the subject, the report added

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Facebook likely to launch camera-equipped hardware for TVs. Pixabay

Social networking giant Facebook is developing a camera-equipped set-top box for TVs that would support functionalities like video-calling, a media report said.

Internally codenamed “Ripley”, the device would use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automatically detect and follow people as they move through the frame during a video call, news website Cheddar reported on Tuesday.

Apart from facilitating video-chat, the device could also help Facebook compete with the likes of Apple and Amazon in the TV-segment.

In October, the social networking major launched its smart-speakers — “Portal” — which incorporated AI technology to follow user-movements while on a video-chat amd remove unwanted background noise during a call.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

Priced at $199, sporting a 10-inch display, built-in Amazon Alexa support and pre-loaded with Facebook’s own “Watch” video service, the smart speakers would begin shipping in November.

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With projects like “Portal” and “Ripley” Facebook is trying to build a consumer-hardware business outside of its virtual reality brand ‘Oculus’ that was acquired by the social networking giant in March 2014 for nearly $2 billion.

Facebook declined to comment on the subject, the report added. (IANS)

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