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Facebook quietly develops Censorship Tool to re-enter World’s Second Largest Economy China after 7-Year Ban

Facebook developed the software, which suppresses posts from appearing in people's news feeds in specific geographies

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FILE - Zuckerberg Pushes Internet Connectivity In Address to World Leaders at APEC. VOA

Nov 27, 2016: Facebook Inc has quietly developed a censorship tool that could persuade China to allow the world’s biggest social media network to re-enter the world’s second largest economy after a seven-year ban, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

Facebook developed the software, which suppresses posts from appearing in people’s news feeds in specific geographies, with the support of Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, the newspaper said, citing unnamed current and former employees.

Zuckerberg in March met China’s propaganda chief Liu Yunshan who said he hoped Facebook could strengthen exchanges and improve mutual understanding with China’s internet companies, according to state news agency Xinhua.

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“We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country,” Facebook spokeswoman Arielle Aryah said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

“However, we have not made any decision on our approach to China. Our focus right now is on helping Chinese businesses and developers expand to new markets outside China by using our ad platform.”

“We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country,” Facebook spokeswoman Arielle Aryah said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

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“However, we have not made any decision on our approach to China. Our focus right now is on helping Chinese businesses and developers expand to new markets outside China by using our ad platform.”

The Cybersecurity Administration of China, the country’s internet regulator, did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment. China’s foreign ministry declined to comment.

Foreign companies in China, especially in media, face political pressure from a range of regulations. The country’s military newspaper calls the internet the most important front in an ideological battle against “Western anti-China forces”.

China, which has the world’s largest population of internet users, banned the website following the Urumqi riots in July 2009 in an effort to stem the flow of information about ethnic unrest which left 140 people dead.

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Though Facebook has developed the new tool, it does not intend to suppress the posts itself, NYT said.

Facebook would instead offer the software to enable a third party to monitor popular stories and topics that gain visibility as users share them across the network, according to the Times. The third party partner would have full control to decide whether those posts should show up in users’ feeds.

There is no indication Facebook has offered the software to the authorities in China, the Times said. It is one of many ideas Facebook has discussed with respect to entering China and it may never see the light of day, it added.

Facebook, which has struggled in recent months to combat allegations that it unfairly removes certain content on its service, aims to continue to grow in developing nations where it currently has smaller penetration rates. (VOA)

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Venue: Facebook Launches New App for Interactive Live Events

The app aims to make live events more social

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Facebook Venue
Facebook has launched a new app called 'Venue' to make live events more interactive. Pixabay

Facebook is rolling out a new app for iOS and Android called ‘Venue’ which aims to provide an interactive second-screen experience for live events.

The digital companion app has been developed by Facebook’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) team and it is the third app the team has launched this week. The last two were focused on collaborative music video creations and voice-only group calling.

Facebook will first test Venue with NASCAR’s Food City presenting the Supermarket Heroes 500 race on May 31.

Future NASCAR races will also be hosted in Venue, with commentators including nascarcasm, FOX Sports NASCAR reporter Alan Cavanna and NASCAR driver Landon Cassill.

Venue
Venue happens to be the third app Facebook’s New Product Experimentation team has launched this week. Pixabay

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“As NASCAR makes its return to action over the coming weeks, Venue will provide users with a unique and exciting way to connect with fellow race fans from around the globe — all from the safety and comfort of their own homes,” Tim Clark, NASCAR SVP and chief digital officer, said in a statement.

The service has been widely compared to Twitter’s live event streaming capabilities, offering fans a place to interactively gather and respond to events in real time. (IANS)

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Facebook to Now Verify People Whose Posts Go Viral Rapidly

Facebook will provide ID verification to profiles with large audiences

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Facebook
Facebook will now verify user whose posts go viral rapidly. Pixabay

Facebook said on Thursday that it will now verify the identity of people who have a pattern of inauthentic behaviour on its platform and whose posts start to go viral rapidly.

In 2018, Facebook had first started to verify the identity of people managing Pages with large audiences.

“Now we’re extending ID verification to some profiles with large audiences in the US,” the social networking giant said in a statement.

If someone chooses not to verify their identity or the ID provided does not match the linked Facebook account, the distribution of their viral posts will remain reduced so that fewer people see them.

“In addition, if the person posting is a Page admin, they’ll need to complete Page Publishing Authorisation and will not be able to post from their Page until their account is verified through our existing Page Publisher Authorisation process,” said Facebook.

Facebook
The company said that IDs will be stored securely. Pixabay

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The company said that IDs will be stored securely and won’t be shared on the person’s profile.

“We want people to feel confident that they understand who’s behind the content they’re seeing on Facebook,” the company added. (IANS)

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Facebook Takes on TikTok; Launches Experimental App Collab

Facebook takes on TikTok again, this time with music making app Collab

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Facebook
FAcebook launched a music making app named "Collab". VOA

Taking on Chinese short-video making platform TikTok, Facebooks experimental app division has introduced a new iOS app called Collab for making and mixing music with friends.

Facebook’s app-focused New Product Experimentation (NPE) team announced the invite-only beta version of Collab that brings together creators and fans to create, watch, and mix and match original videos, starting with music.

“Collabs are three independent videos that are playing in sync. With the app, you can create your own arrangement by adding in your own recording or by swiping and discovering an arrangement to complete your composition. No musical experience is required,” the Facebook NPE team said in a statement on Wednesday.

In a TikTok-like feature, Once a collab is created, you can publish it for others to watch and mix and match further.

tiktok Facebook
In a TikTok-like feature, Once a collab is created, you can publish it for others to watch and mix. Pixabay

You can also share the music creation to Instagram, Facebook Stories, or any other platform.

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To request access, the iOS users can sign up for waitlist at https://npe.fb.com/collab.

“We’ll be opening up invites in batches, starting with folks in the US and Canada, as we continue to improve the experience,” said Facebook.

The social networking giant has aimed to take on TikTok in the past, with Reels editing feature on Instagram and the standalone app Lasso. (IANS)