Tuesday October 23, 2018
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How words play their game

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By Anjali Gursahaney

A new mouth and an unstrained idea for Indians that comes to fore is ‘blogs’. There has been a lot of fuss about creating our own blog which has become a status symbol and a marker of identity. There is an ongoing tussle between Blogspot and WordPress and people are trying to figure out which one is better and why.

Earlier, Blogspot had a larger number of bloggers. But ever since WordPress has become the ‘new cool’, people are more enthusiastic about it. It can be said that since it includes the word ‘press’ in it, people are getting more passionate about it. Blogspot was launched on August 23, 1999, while WordPress was launched on August 8, 2005.

Photo credit : spillspace.com
Photo credit : spillspace.com

There is no doubt about it that WordPress is better than Blogspot as it includes many new and different features in it. If we compare them, we will see that they both have their own pros and cons. Where on one hand, Blogspot is free, reliable, easy to use and also has decent selections of templates. On the other hand, the drawback of Blogspot is that it has limited features, there is no premium framework and Google is not accountable when it distributes our content.

Also, WordPress has multiple features as its software is free, extremely flexible and feature rich, it can be customized as per our needs  (especially with web design/development knowledge), easy-to-use without coding knowledge, wide-variety of free and premium themes and the most important part is that you own your content.

However, there are few disadvantages of WordPress as well. For instance, theme customization can be difficult for beginners, it also requires paid web hosting

and a domain name but some web hosts are unreliable. Last but not the least, it is easier to hack blogs on WordPress rather than on Blogspot.

Preksha Buttan told NewsGram, “I have recently joined Blogspot and it is good platform for starters. Also, it is an amazing platform for those who don’t want to earn and just write because they want to pursue their passion.”

On the other hand, Simran Keswani has entirely different view as she prefers to use WordPress rather than Blogspot. She said, “WordPress is any day better and is the new cool. It has amazing themes and Blogspot on the other hand, has a lot limitations, like you cannot update pictures more than 1 GB.”

It can be concluded by saying, Blogspot is easy for beginners and is for people who love writing. While WordPress is for people who want to earn money by writing. In my opinion, people who have been on Blogspot from a long time aren’t too keen to shift from it , as they think that they might lose their followers. Or may be they don’t find the need to use WordPress.

Picture Credit : zedge.net
Picture Credit : zedge.net

People’s reluctance has been witnessed earlier as well – Orkut and Facebook are one of the examples.  Earlier, people did not like Facebook much, but because Facebook offered privacy and many other features people eventually shifted to it. Another example is Hangouts of Gmail versus Google Talk .

Thus, we can clearly say, that although people are not very comfortable moving from one thing to the other, yet over the passage of time, their perceptions change. Perhaps it will also change for WordPress too.

The debate is still on!

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Facebook Set up a War Room to Fight Election Interference

With the new ad architecture in place, people would be able to see who paid for a particular political ad

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Facebook
Facebook now has a War Room to fight election interference. Pixabay

In line with its efforts to prevent misuse of its platform during elections, Facebook has set up a War Room to reduce the spread of potentially harmful content.

Facebook faced flak for not doing enough to prevent spread of misinformation by Russia-linked accounts during the 2016 US presidential election. The social networking giant has rolled out several initiatives to fight fake news and bring more transparency and accountability in its advertising since then.

The launch of the first War Room at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, is part of the social network’s new initiatives to fight election interference on its platform.

Although Facebook opened the doors of the War Room ahead of the general elections in Brazil and mid-term elections in the US, it revealed the details only this week.

The goal behind setting up the War Room was to get the right subject-matter experts from across the company in one place so they can address potential problems identified by its technology in real time and respond quickly.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

“The War Room has over two dozen experts from across the company – including from our threat intelligence, data science, software engineering, research, community operations and legal teams,” Samidh Chakrabarti, Facebook’s Director of Product Management, Civic Engagement, said in a statement on Thursday.

“These employees represent and are supported by the more than 20,000 people working on safety and security across Facebook,” Chakrabarti added.

Facebook said its dashboards offer real-time monitoring on key elections issues, such as efforts to prevent people from voting, increases in spam, potential foreign interference, or reports of content that violates our policies.

The War Room team also monitors news coverage and election-related activity across other social networks and traditional media in order to identify what type of content may go viral.

These preparations helped a lot during the first round of Brazil’s presidential elections, Facebook claimed.

The social networking giant said its technology detected a false post claiming that Brazil’s Election Day had been moved from October 7 to October 8 due to national protests.

While untrue, that message began to go viral. But the team quickly detected the problem, determined that the post violated Facebook’s policies, and removed it in under an hour.

“And within two hours, we’d removed other versions of the same fake news post,” Chakrabarti said.

Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

The team in the War Room, Facebook said, also helped quickly remove hate speech posts that were designed to whip up violence against people from northeast Brazil after the first round of election results were called.

“The work we are doing in the War Room builds on almost two years of hard work and significant investments, in both people and technology, to improve security on Facebook, including during elections,” Chakrabarti said.

Earlier this month Facebook said that it was planning to set up a task force comprising “hundreds of people” ahead of the 2019 general elections in India.

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“With the 2019 elections coming, we are pulling together a group of specialists to work together with political parties,” Richard Allan, Facebook’s Vice President for Global Policy Solutions, told the media in New Delhi.

Facebook has also set a goal of bringing a transparency feature for political ads — now available in the US and Brazil — to India by March next year, Allan informed.

With the new ad architecture in place, people would be able to see who paid for a particular political ad. (IANS)