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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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Australia Proposes To Strengthen Regulations of Facebook, Google

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia -- 68 per cent of its population -- while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users - which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users

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Australia recommends strengthening regulation of Facebook, Google. Pixabay

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Monday proposed measures to counter the dominant market positions of Google and Facebook and strengthen monitoring on their access to information, advertising and consumers personal data.

The regulatory body, which recommended 11 preliminary measures in the report, was directed to conduct a public inquiry into the impact of digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content in 2017 by then treasurer and current Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“Acting as an intermediary between consumers and news outlets, platforms are inherently influential in shaping consumers’ choices of digital journalism,” said the report cited by Efe news.

This influential position and filtration of news items could place the consumer in a so-called filter bubble, increasing the risk of consumers being exposed to unreliable news, according to the report.

“The algorithms operated by each of Google and Facebook, as well as other policies, determine which content is surfaced and displayed to consumers in news feed and search results,” it said.

“The ACCC considers that the strong market position of digital platforms like Google and Facebook justifies a greater level of regulatory oversight,” Chair Rod Sims said.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

The commission called for the creation of a regulatory authority with powers to monitor these digital platforms and recommended establishing an automatic mechanism to take down content that violates copyright.

The ACCC said consumers should be informed about the manner in which these platforms collect and use their data to create personalized advertising.

This would include a reform of privacy laws to require the user’s express consent to data collection and “enable consumers to require erasure of their personal information where they have withdrawn their consent”.

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ACCC said that it found that “competition may have been distorted in multiple sectors where consumer data is used”.

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia — 68 per cent of its population — while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users – which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users.

In 2017, Google registered 90 per cent of search traffic originating from Australian desktops and 98 per cent from mobile phones. (IANS)