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Facebook Must Protect Children From Addictive Habits

Senior Facebook insiders admitted that some features in Facebook were designed to keep users hooked on the platform which may harm children and adolescents

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Facebook
Facebook releases Messenger redesign on Android, iOS. Pixabay

Speaking of an “insidious grip” that social media activities may have on young people, a top health official in England has asked social media companies like Facebook to do more to protect children from addictive habits and dangerous content, The Telegraph reported.

“There is emerging evidence of a link between semi-addictive and manipulative online activities and mental health pressures on our teenagers and young people,” Chief Executive of National Health Service (NHS) Simon Stevens was quoted as saying.

“Parents are only too aware of the insidious grip that some of these activities can have on young people’s lives,” he added.

In order to deal with the fallout for an explosion of social media, NHS England which leads the national health services in the country is planning to ramp up its mental health services.

Facebook mobile app
Facebook mobile app. Pixabay

But Stevens pointed out that it is important to think about the prevention of mental health issues, and not just the cure, said the report on Sunday.

In a BBC Panorama programme last week, senior Facebook insiders admitted that some features in Facebook were designed to keep users hooked on the platform which may harm children and adolescents.

Also Read: Facebook’s Blockchain Division Has a New Director of Engineering

Facebook’s founding president, Sean Parker, earlier said the company was “exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology” and that the company set out to consume as much user time as possible. (IANS)

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4,000 Viewed NZ Mosques Shootings Live, Claims Facebook

Facebook said it removed the original video and hashed it to detect other shares visually similar to that video and automatically remove them from Facebook and Instagram

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Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. Facebook said it is aware of outages on its platforms including Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. VOA

Facing the flak over its inability to spot and remove the livestreaming of New Zealand mosque’s shooting, Facebook on Tuesday said 4,000 people viewed it before being taken down.

“The video was viewed fewer than 200 times during the live broadcast. No users reported the video during the live broadcast,” Chris Sonderby, VP and Deputy General Counsel, said in a blog-post. “Including the views during the live broadcast, the video was viewed about 4,000 times in total before being removed from Facebook,” Sonderby added.

Strapped with a GoPro camera to his head, the gunman broadcasted graphic footage of shooting via Facebook Live for nearly 17 minutes. It was later shared in millions on other social media platforms.

Fifty people were killed in the shootings at Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Avenue Masjid in Christchurch on March 15 after 28-year-old Australian national Brenton Tarrant opened indiscriminate firings.

According to Facebook, the first user report on the original video came in 29 minutes after the video started, and 12 minutes after the live broadcast ended. “Before we were alerted to the video, a user on ‘8chan’ posted a link to a copy of the video on a file-sharing site,” said Sonderby.

Facebook, photos
This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

“We removed the personal accounts of the named suspect from Facebook and Instagram, and are identifying and removing any imposter accounts that surface,” he said.

Facebook said it removed the original video and hashed it to detect other shares visually similar to that video and automatically remove them from Facebook and Instagram.

Also Read- Netflix Not to Integrate its Services with Apple Streaming Platform

“Some variants such as screen recordings were more difficult to detect, so we expanded to additional detection systems, including the use of audio technology,” Sonderby said.

“In the first 24 hours, we removed about 1.5 million videos of the attack. More than 1.2 million of those videos were blocked at upload, and were therefore prevented from being seen on our services,” he said. (IANS)