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Facebook’s Helicopter Drone Project Got Grounded: Report

Facebook began Aquila project in 2014. In 2017, the solar-powered drone successfully completed the second full-scale test flight

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The Tether-tenna is, however, not the only aerial Internet project that Facebook has abandoned in recent times. Pixabay
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Facebook discontinued last year a small helicopter drone project that could temporarily replace cellular services in emergency situations, The Verge reported.

The project was discontinued a few months after being shown off at the F8 developer conference in May of 2017, said the report on Monday.

“Tether-tenna was a proof of concept project we were evaluating when we discussed it at F8 in early 2017,” a spokesperson for Facebook was quoted as saying.

The idea was to send a helicopter equipped with telecommunications equipment hundreds of metres up in the air to be able to tether to fiber and power lines in places where wireless capacity was compromised due to disaster or other factors.

“It wasn’t something we pursued further as we chose to focus our efforts on continued development and advancement of our Terragraph, millimeter-wave, and HAPS (high altitude platform station) programmes,” the Facebook spokesperson added.

Representational image.
The project was discontinued a few months after being shown off at the F8 developer conference in May of 2017, said the report on Monday. Pixabay

The Tether-tenna is, however, not the only aerial Internet project that Facebook has abandoned in recent times.

In June this year, Facebook announced it decided to abandon its plan to develop high-flying solar-powered drones called Aquila that was aimed to deliver Internet to nearly four billion people in remote parts of the world.

Also Read: Facebook Must Protect Children From Addictive Habits

A high altitude platform station (HAPS) system, Aquila’s mission, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, was to connect the world and help people who do not have online access all the opportunities of the Internet.

Facebook began Aquila project in 2014. In 2017, the solar-powered drone successfully completed the second full-scale test flight.

Tether-tenna was a much smaller scale idea compared to Aquila. (IANS)

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Facebook will not Remove Fake News – but will ‘Demote’ it

The site had done a trial displaying a red warning icon next to articles that fact checkers had identified as false, but later said it found this approach had "entrenched deeply held beliefs

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The company on Wednesday held an event in New York where it sought to convince journalists it was tackling the problem.
The company on Wednesday held an event in New York where it sought to convince journalists it was tackling the problem. Pixabay

Facebook has said that it will not remove fake news from its platform because it does not violate its community standards. Instead, it says posts that it deems to be fake news will be “demoted” in the news feed.

The social network is currently running an advertising campaign in Britain that declares “fake news is not our friend”. But it said publishers often had “very different points of view” and removing fabricated posts would be “contrary to the basic principles of free speech”, the BBC reported on Friday.

Facebook has been scrutinized for its role in spreading fake news after evidence emerged that Russia tried to influence US voters using the social network.

Facebook mobile app
Facebook mobile app. Pixabay

The company on Wednesday held an event in New York where it sought to convince journalists it was tackling the problem.

“We created Facebook to be a place where different people can have a voice,” John Hegeman from Facebook said while responding to CNN.

Also Read: Facebook Labels Russian Users as ‘Interested in Treason’

“We allow people to post it as a form of expression, but we’re not going to show it at the top of News Feed,” a Facebook spokeswoman told CNN.

The site had done a trial displaying a red warning icon next to articles that fact checkers had identified as false, but later said it found this approach had “entrenched deeply held beliefs”. (IANS)