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Social Networking Giant Facebook Set to Restrict Livestreaming Post NZ Attack

Facebook has also banned praise, support and representation of white nationalism and white separatism on its platform and Instagram

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A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Facing flak after the New Zealand terror attack that was livestreamed on its platform, the social media giant is now exploring restrictions on who can use its “Facebook Live” feature.

Facebook came under pressure after a white man livestreamed a terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch on Facebook Live.

The video of the terror attack in which 50 people were killed was viewed over 4,000 times before it was removed.

“We are exploring who can go Live depending on factors such as prior ‘Community Standard’ violations.

“We are also investing in research to build better technology to quickly identify edited versions of violent videos and images and prevent people from re-sharing these versions,” Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Facebook, said in a statement late Friday.

In the immediate aftermath, Facebook had taken down the terrorist’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, removed the video of the attack, and used Artificial Intelligence to find and prevent related videos from being posted.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on March 28 that Facebook needed to do a lot more to curb hate propaganda.

“We have heard feedback that we must do more — and we agree,” said Sandberg.

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FILE- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is seen during a keynote speech in San Jose, California, May 1, 2018. VOA

“In the wake of the terrorist attack, we are taking three steps: strengthening the rules for using Facebook Live; taking further steps to address hate on our platforms; and supporting the New Zealand community,” she added.

While the original New Zealand attack video was shared Live, the video spread mainly through people re-sharing it and re-editing it.

Facebook has identified more than 900 different videos showing portions of those horrifying 17 minutes.

“In the past week, we have also made changes to our review process to help us improve our response time to videos like this in the future,” the Facebook COO noted.

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Facebook has identified a range of hate groups in Australia and New Zealand, including the Lads Society, the United Patriots Front, the Antipodean Resistance, and National Front New Zealand.

“These groups will be banned from our services, and we will also remove praise and support of these groups when we become aware of it,” informed Sandberg.

Facebook has also banned praise, support and representation of white nationalism and white separatism on its platform and Instagram.

Facebook users searching for terms associated with white supremacy will be directed to Life After Hate, an organisation set up by former violent extremists, which provides crisis intervention, education, support groups and outreach. (IANS)

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Mark Zuckerberg Not Going to Sell WhatsApp or Instagram

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has rejected a US lawmaker's call to break his company, saying he's not going to sell WhatsApp or Instagram

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Mark Zukerberg, Facebook, Instagram, Sell, Business
Zuckerberg, however, rejected these calls, saying the size of the social media giant was actually a benefit to its users and the security of the democratic process. VOA

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has rejected a US lawmaker’s call to break his company, saying he’s not going to sell WhatsApp or Instagram at any cost.

Senator Josh Hawley (Missouri Republican) tweeted that he met Zuckerberg during his visit to Washington, DC on Thursday, and asked him to sell Instagram and WhatsApp.

“Just finished meeting with @facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Had a frank conversation. Challenged him to do two things to show FB is serious about bias, privacy & competition. 1) Sell WhatsApp & Instagram 2) Submit to independent, third-party audit on censorship. He said no to both,” tweeted Hawley, one of Facebook’s biggest critics.

Zuckerberg also met President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

“Nice meeting with Mark Zuckerberg of @Facebook in the Oval Office today,” tweeted Trump.

This is Facebook CEO’s first public trip to Washington since he testified before House and Senate committees in April last year over Cambridge Analytica data scandal affecting 87 million users globally.

According to media reports, Zuckerberg met several lawmakers this time and discussions included allegations that Facebook curtails conservative speech.

Mark Zukerberg, Facebook, Instagram, Sell, Business
Mark Zuckerberg has rejected a US lawmaker’s call to break his company, saying he’s not going to sell WhatsApp or Instagram at any cost. Pixabay

As the chorus grows to break up Facebook, the social networking platform’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg recently said that it won’t serve any purpose.

“You could break us up, you could break other tech companies up, but you actually don’t address the underlying issues people are concerned about,” she had said earlier.

Several US senators have called for breaking up the social network amid repeated data breaches and privacy violations on the platform.

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Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Kamala Harris, has stressed that authorities should take a serious look at breaking up Facebook as the social network platform is a “utility that has gone unregulated”.

Another Democratic 2020 candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren, has also stressed upon the possibility of breaking up Facebook.

Zuckerberg, however, rejected these calls, saying the size of the social media giant was actually a benefit to its users and the security of the democratic process. (IANS)