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Facebook to ‘Signal’ news gathering for journos

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

credit: www.images.focusnews.com
credit: www.images.focusnews.com

Washington: Social networking giant Facebook launched an innovative news gathering tool ‘Signal’ which will help reporters in scanning and filing stories from information posted on Facebook and Instagram.

In a bid to take on the micro-blogging site Twitter which is the biggest source of breaking news for journalists, Facebook’s free tool called ‘Signal’ would help journalists track relevant trends, photos, videos, and posts from nearly 1.5 billion Facebook users and Instagram’s 300 million users for storytelling and reporting.

Director of media partnerships Andy Mitchell posted on Facebook, “We have heard from journalists that they want an easy way to make Facebook a more vital part of their news gathering. We are excited to introduce ‘Signal’, for Facebook and Instagram, a free discovery and curation tool for journalists who want to source, gather, and embed newsworthy content from Facebook and Instagram, across news, culture, entertainment, sports, and more- all in one place.”

With this tool, journalists interested in seeing what conversations are resonating on Facebook can monitor which topics are trending and then quickly display related content that has been shared publicly by  people and from various pages for deeper context on those trends.

With the help of ‘Signal’, journalists can also access lists of public figures ranked by who is being mentioned the most on Facebook, including real-time conversations across politicians, authors, actors, musicians, sports teams, players and more.

Mitchell further posted, “Search functionality makes it easy to envision content directly related to a story or topic they are tracking. Using location-tag and topic-related search functionality, journalists can search Instagram for public posts related to specific hashtags, associated with specific public accounts, or tagged with locations using an interactive global map.”

credit: www.niemanlab.com
credit: www.niemanlab.com

Mitchell’s Facebook post further revealed, “Every Facebook post, every Instagram image or video, and every metric found in Signal can be easily saved into custom collections for later use in a downstream CMS for digital writers or for integration with broadcast graphics packages for broadcast teams.”

Journalists can easily embed any Facebook and Instagram post in their coverage by simply selecting and copying the post’s embed code.

Newsrooms can integrate Signal APIs to feed curated content onto their websites and into their broadcasts, as well as produce native visualisations of curated Instagram content for events.

“This is a first step in helping journalists use Facebook and Instagram more effectively and we will gather feedback and iterate to make ‘Signal’ as useful as possible for industry professionals,” Mitchell quipped.

With Inputs from IANS

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Facebook Asks Political Ad Buyers In UK To Reveal Their Identity

While the vast majority of ads on Facebook are run by legitimate organizations, we know that there are bad actors that try to misuse our platform,” Facebook said in a statement.

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A protester wearing a mask with the face of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is flanked by two fellow activists wearing angry face emoji masks, during a protest against Facebook policies, in London, Britain (From archives) VOA

Facebook says that anyone who takes out a British political ad on the social media platform will now be forced to reveal their identity, in a bid to increase transparency and curb misinformation.

The company said Tuesday that it will also require disclaimers for any British political advertisements. All the data on the ad buyers will be archived for seven years in a publicly accessible database.

Facebook, India, Fake News
CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote address at a Facebook developers conference in San Jose, California. VOA

Facebook is already applying a similar system in the United States, which is holding midterm elections this year.

British lawmakers have called for greater oversight of social media companies and election campaigns to protect democracy in the digital age.

A House of Commons report this year said democracy is facing a crisis because data analysis and social media allow campaigns to target voters with messages of hate without their consent.

Facebook, India, Fake News
This photo shows the app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“While the vast majority of ads on Facebook are run by legitimate organizations, we know that there are bad actors that try to misuse our platform,” Facebook said in a statement. “By having people verify who they are, we believe it will help prevent abuse.”

Also Read: Google Pixel Cameras Coming With External Microphones Support

Facebook said it’s up against “smart and well-funded adversaries who change their tactics as we spot abuse,” but it believes that increased transparency is good for democracy and the electoral process. (VOA)