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Facebook, Twitter Urged to Do More to Police Hate on Sites

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Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA
Fake accounts on Twitter are many. VOA
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Tech giants Facebook, Twitter and Google are taking steps to police terrorists and hate groups on their sites, but more work needs to be done, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said Tuesday.

The organization released its annual digital terrorism and hate report card and gave a B-plus to Facebook, a B-minus to Twitter and a C-plus to Google.

Facebook spokeswoman Christine Chen said the company had no comment on the report. Representatives for Google and Twitter did not immediately return emails seeking comment.

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Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay
Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, said Facebook in particular built “a recognition that bad folks might try to use their platform” as its business model. “There is plenty of material they haven’t dealt with to our satisfaction, but overall, especially in terms of hate, there’s zero tolerance,” Cooper said at a New York City news conference.

Rick Eaton, a senior researcher at the Wiesenthal Center, said hateful and violent posts on Instagram, which is part of Facebook, are quickly removed, but not before they can be widely shared.

He pointed to Instagram posts threatening terror attacks at the upcoming World Cup in Moscow. Another post promoted suicide attacks with the message, “You only die once. Why not make it martyrdom.”

Cooper said Twitter used to merit an F rating before it started cracking down on Islamic State tweets in 2016. He said the move came after testimony before a congressional committee revealed that “ISIS was delivering 200,000 tweets a day.”

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This photo shows Facebook launched on an iPhone, in North Andover, Mass., June 19, 2017. VOA

Cooper and Eaton said that as the big tech companies have gotten more aggressive in shutting down accounts that promote terrorism, racism and anti-Semitism, promoters of terrorism and hate have migrated to other sites such as VK.com, a Facebook lookalike that’s based in Russia.

There also are “alt-tech” sites like GoyFundMe, an alternative to GoFundMe, and BitChute, an alternative to Google-owned YouTube, Cooper said.

“If there’s an existing company that will give them a platform without looking too much at the content, they’ll use it,” he said. “But if not, they are attracted to those platforms that have basically no rules.”

The Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center is dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, hate, and terrorism. (VOA)

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Google Rolls Out Audio Streaming And Download Quality Controls For YouTube Music

Users must have the latest version of the YouTube Music app on Android to be able to get access to these features

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Google brings audio streaming, download quality controls to YouTube Music. Pixabay

Google is now rolling out audio streaming and download quality controls for YouTube Music on the Android operating system (OS), the media reported.

The latest controls come with newer options in the “Settings” and “Downloads’ menu — low, normal, high and always high — that would allow users to choose the quality of audio and video content on the platform, keeping in mind their requirements and data constraints.

YouTube
YouTube on a smartphone device. Pixabay

“Beyond an audiophile’s desire for the highest quality sound, adding this setting helps users better manage their data plans when streaming, as well as device storage when queuing songs for offline playback,” 9To5Google reported on Saturday.

The search engine officially announced audio streaming and download quality controls along with the promise to adopt a more consistent update cycle for YouTube Music earlier in August and confirmed these features last month.

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Users must have the latest version of the YouTube Music app on Android to be able to get access to these features, the report added. (IANS)