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Google bans negative reviewing of former place of work

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London, Dec 30, 2017: Google has updated its review policies according to which people are now banned from reviewing their former place of work negatively on its business tool.

The move will also make more accurate the reviews that people post on Google My Business – a tool behind the rating that appears on-screen when you carry out a search for a business using the search engine or its maps functions.

Maps user-contributed content is most valuable when it is honest and unbiased posting negative content about a current or former employment experience” is not allowed, The Independent quoted the company as saying.

Previously, former employees were free to post any kind of review of places they used to work at. Google said that it considers this practice to be a “conflict of interest”.

The tech giant said posting negative reviews about former employers has the potential to damage a company’s reputation in the eyes of an actual customer and were difficult to remove.

Now companies can directly contact Google to remove any reviews they consider to be unfair, which in turn could improve the ratings of businesses helping users get unbiased information. (IANS)

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Social Media Companies Accelerating To Remove Online Hate Speech

A law providing for hefty fines for social media companies if they do not remove

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In this Jan. 4, 2018, file photo, a man demonstrates how he enters his Facebook page as he works on his computer in Brasilia, Brazil. Facebook is once again tweaking the formula it uses to decide what people see in their news feed.
In this Jan. 4, 2018, file photo, a man demonstrates how he enters his Facebook page as he works on his computer in Brasilia, Brazil. Facebook is once again tweaking the formula it uses to decide what people see in their news feed. VOA

Social media companies Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube have greatly accelerated their removals of online hate speech, reviewing over two thirds of complaints within 24 hours, new EU figures show.

The European Union has piled pressure on social media firms to increase their efforts to fight the proliferation of extremist content and hate speech on their platforms, even threatening them with legislation.

Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube signed a code of conduct with the EU in May 2016 to review most complaints within a 24-hour timeframe.

The companies managed to meet that target in 81 percent of cases, EU figures seen by Reuters show, compared with 51 percent in May 2017 when the European Commission last monitored their compliance with the code of conduct.

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova has said previously she does not want to see a removal rate of 100 percent as that could impinge on free speech. She has also said she is not in favor of legislating as Germany has done.

Social Media Companies Accelerating To Remove Online Hate Speech
Social Media Companies Accelerating To Remove Online Hate Speech, VOA

A law providing for hefty fines for social media companies if they do not remove hate speech quickly enough went into force in Germany this year.

“I do not hide that I am not in favor of hard regulation because the freedom of speech for me is almost absolute,” Jourova told reporters in December.

“In case of doubt it should remain online because freedom of expression is [in a] privileged position.”

Of the hate speech flagged to the companies, almost half of it was found on Facebook, the figures show, while 24 percent was on YouTube and 26 percent on Twitter.

The most common ground for hatred identified by the Commission was ethnic origins, followed by anti-Muslim hatred and xenophobia, including expressions of hatred against migrants and refugees.

Following pressure from several European governments, social media companies stepped up their efforts to tackle extremist content online, including through the use of artificial intelligence.

The Twitter app is seen on a mobile phone in Philadelphia, April 26, 2017
The Twitter app is seen on a mobile phone in Philadelphia, April 26, 2017, VOA

Also read: Social media use may affect teenagers’ real life relationship

The Commission will likely issue a recommendation, a soft law instrument, on how companies should take down extremist content related to militant groups at the end of February, an official said, as it is less nuanced than hate speech and needs to be taken offline more quickly. (VOA)

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