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German Minister Advises Facebook to Become More Transparent

Several publications in Germany participating in the "Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland" (RND) editorial network cited the letter on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

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The minister argued that the commercial sale of user data by Facebook directly affected key rights enjoyed by the citizens.
Katarina Barley, German Minister of Justice- wikimedia commons

With the Cambridge Analytica scandal revealing massive misuse of Facebook users data, Germany’s justice minster has said that the social network must bring changes and become more transparent with users.

In a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Katarina Barley also said that the social network needs to give its users “real control” over their data and set up new internal supervisory mechanisms to ensure that formal guidelines are upheld in Facebook’s dealings with third party advertising clients.

Several publications in Germany participating in the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland” (RND) editorial network cited the letter on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

While the minister welcomed certain changes the social site had brought about to protect user privacy, Barley wrote that Facebook had so far failed to assume responsibility for its inappropriate corporate behaviour and criticised plans to transfer the storage of some user data from the European Union (EU) to the US.

With the Cambridge Analytica scandal revealing massive misuse of Facebook users data, Germany's justice minster has said that the social network must bring changes and become more transparent with users.
Facebook. Pixabay

European users of the service currently benefited from enhanced online privacy protection enshrined in EU law.

The minister argued that the commercial sale of user data by Facebook directly affected key rights enjoyed by the citizens.

She described the use of such sensitive data to politically influence or manipulate voters as unacceptable.

Facebook admitted that the data of up to 87 million users was passed on illegally to Cambridge Analytica.

The information was used in an attempt to support the election campaign of US President Donald Trump. Up to 310,000 Germans were affected by the scandal as well.

In its F8 developers’ conference in San Jose on Tuesday, Zuckerberg said the company was taking a broader view of its responsibility by not only giving people powerful tools, but also making sure those tools are used for good.

Also Read: New NASA Mission to Take First Look Deep Inside Mars  

Among the biggest announcements made in the conference was Facebook’s plans to build a “Clear History” privacy tool which will enable users to see the websites and apps that send information to Facebook when they use them.

The tool, Facebook said, will also enable the users to delete this information from their account, and turn off Facebook’s ability to store it.

In her letter, Barley, however, warned that she will keep a close eye on the further measures taken by Facebook. (IANS)

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Facebook Rolls Out an Update to Rank Comments on Public Posts to Make Conversations Meaningful

The users can moderate the comments on their post by hiding, deleting or engaging with comments

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Facebook will now start showing comments on public posts more prominently when the comments have interactions from the page or the person who originally posted or from friends of the person who posted. Pixabay

In a move to make conversations on public posts more meaningful, Facebook has rolled out an update where it will rank comments to promote those that are most relevant to users.

Facebook will now start showing comments on public posts more prominently when the comments have interactions from the page or the person who originally posted or from friends of the person who posted.

“We will continue to take other signals into account so we do not prominently show low-quality comments, even if they are from the person who made the original post or their friends,” Justine Shen, Product Manager at Facebook, said in a statement on Friday.

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FILE – The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York’s Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

The users can moderate the comments on their post by hiding, deleting or engaging with comments. Ranking is on by default for Pages and people with a lot of followers, but Pages and people with a lot of followers can choose to turn off comment ranking.

ALSO READ: Facebook Now Expands Ad Breaks to Marathi, Punjabi, Kannada and Telugu

People who don’t have as many followers will not have comment ranking turned on automatically since there are less comments overall, but any person can decide to enable comment ranking by going to their settings.

“We want people to see safe and authentic comments. If a comment violates our community standards, we remove it. “We also take into account other signals, like engagement-bait, to address the integrity of information and improve the quality of comments people see,” said Facebook. (IANS)