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Facebook Reports Increased Posts of Graphic Violence in Q1 2018

It said the growth was a possible result of a higher volume of graphic violence content shared on Facebook in the first three months of this year

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Facebook on Tuesday unveiled for the first time a transparency report that shows an increasing number of posts identified as containing graphic violence in the first of quarter of 2018.

“Of every 10,000 content views, an estimate of 22 to 27 contained graphic violence, compared to an estimate of 16 to 19 last quarter,” Xinhua quoted the report as saying.

It said the growth was a possible result of a higher volume of graphic violence content shared on Facebook in the first three months of this year.

Facebook defines content of graphic violence as the information that glorifies violence or celebrates the suffering or humiliation of others, which it says may be covered with a warning and prevented from being shown to underage viewers.

The report said Facebook has removed or put a warning screen for graphic violence in front of 3.4 million pieces of content in the first quarter, nearly triple the 1.2 million a quarter earlier.

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Facebook. Pixabay

Facebook said it has recently developed metrics as a way to review the content shared on its platform and the transparency report reviewed the content posted in the community during the period from October 2017 through March 2018.

The content audited included graphic violence, hate speech, adult nudity and sexual activity, spam, terrorist propaganda (IS,al-Qaeda and affiliates) and fake accounts.

Facebook took action against 2.5 million pieces of content in the first quarter, up 56 per cent over the previous quarter.

It also took action on 837 million pieces of content for spam, 21 million for adult nudity or sexual activity and 1.9 million for promoting terrorism.

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A total of 583 million fake accounts have been disabled in the quarter, down from 694 million in the first quarter of 2017, according to the report.

“We estimate that fake accounts represented approximately 3-4 per cent of monthly active users on Facebook during Q1 2018 and Q4 2017,” the report said.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post also on Tuesday that his company is employing Artificial Intelligence tools to remove spam before users report it. (IANS)

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The European Union Warns Facebook Over Consumer’s Data Usage

Facebook said it has already updated its terms of service in May to incorporate changes recommended at that point by EU authorities.

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Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration. VOA

The European Union’s consumer protection chief said Thursday she’s growing impatient with Facebook’s efforts to improve transparency with users about their data, warning it could face sanctions for not complying.

EU Consumer Commissioner Vera Jourova turned up the pressure on the social media giant, saying she wants the company to update its terms of service and expects to see its proposed changes by mid-October so they can take effect in December.

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European Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova attends an interview with Reuters at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. VOA

“I will not hide that I am becoming rather impatient because we have been in dialogue with Facebook almost two years and I really want to see, not the progress — it’s not enough for me — but I want to see the results,” Jourova said.

The EU wants Facebook to give users more information about how their data is used and how it works with third party makers of apps, games and quizzes.

“If we do not see the progress the sanctions will have to come,” she said. She didn’t specify punishment, saying they would be applied by individual countries. “I was quite clear we cannot negotiate forever, we just want to see the result.”

The EU has been pressing the U.S. tech company to look at what changes it needs to make to better protect consumers and this year Facebook has had to adapt to new EU data protection rules. The concerns took on greater urgency after the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal erupted, in which data on 87 million Facebook users was allegedly improperly harvested.

Jourova said she hopes Facebook will take more responsibility for its nearly 380 million European users.

“We want Facebook to be absolutely clear to its users about how their service operates and makes money,” she said.

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An advertisement in The New York Times is displayed on Sunday, March 25, 2018, in New York. Facebook’s CEO apologized for the Cambridge Analytica scandal with ads in multiple U.S. and British newspapers. VOA

Facebook said it has already updated its terms of service in May to incorporate changes recommended at that point by EU authorities.

The company said it “will continue our close cooperation to understand any further concerns and make appropriate updates.”

Jourova also said U.S.-based property rental site Airbnb has agreed to clarify its pricing system in response to complaints that it could mislead consumers.

Airbnb has promised to be fully transparent by either including extra fees in the total price for a booking quoted on its website or notifying users that they might apply, she said.

 

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U.S.-based property rental site Airbnb has agreed to clarify its pricing system in response to complaints that it could mislead consumers. Flickr

The company is complying with EU demands spurred by concerns that consumers could be confused by its complicated pricing structure, which could add unexpected costs such as cleaning charges at the end of a holiday.

Airbnb is also changing its terms of service to make it clear that travelers can sue their host if they suffer personal harm or other damages. That’s in response to complaints that its booking system can leave tourists stranded if the rental is canceled when all other arrangements have been already made.

Also Read: EU Regulators Question Online Retailer Amazon’s Data Usage

Airbnb said “guests have always been aware of all fees, including service charges and taxes, before booking listings,” and will work with authorities to make it even clearer. (VOA)