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India leader in purchasing through social media

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New Delhi: Indian online shoppers rank on top when it comes to buying products from social media sites, according to global technology company Pitney Bowes’ second annual Global Online Shopping Study.

As many as 27 percent of the people surveyed in India said they would consider buying products on social media, followed by Brazil (15 percent) and Russia (14 percent), the study revealed.

Social media is popular among millennials (18 to 24-year-olds) in their purchasing decisions.

In a survey of 12,000 adults from 12 nations, the study found that search engines lead in helping online shoppers find products, online marketplaces and retailer web sites for buying while mobile and social media are gaining traction.

As many as 62 percent of the respondents said search engines are their preferred route to find products while 66 percent respondents chose online marketplaces and 62 percent chose retailers’ web sites for the actual purchasing.

Russia (78 percent), China and the US (76 percent) are the top markets for online marketplace purchases while Australia (81 percent), Britain (72 percent) and Canada (71 percent) are the most likely markets to utilise retailers’ own portals for purchasing, said a statement announcing the survey findings.

“In today’s global marketplace, e-commerce is continuing to connect the world’s economies in new ways, making it possible for brands to sell, compete and expand their footprint,” said Lila Snyder, president, global e-commerce, in the statement.

Nearly a quarter of the people surveyed preferred mobile devices to make online purchases.

Britain (37 percent) leads in purchasing through mobile devices, followed by India (36 percent), China (34 percent) and the US (29 percent).

Just like social media, online purchasing through mobile device is again popular with millennials (33 percent).

However, the biggest barriers for online shopping adoption are high shipping costs (64 percent), delayed delivery (39 percent) and additional fees owed during delivery (48 percent).

Another area of concern deterring online shopping is product return policies and processes (33 percent), the statement said.

India again leads (46 percent) in product return concerns, followed by Germany (44 percent) and the US (39 percent).

Negative customer comments, reviews and ratings is another key area deterring online purchasing — with 31 percent of the online shoppers taking them seriously.

(IANS)

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How To Deal With Online Hate Speech: A Detailed Guide By Facebook

Critics of the company, however, said Zuckerberg hasn't gone far enough to address the inherent problems of Facebook, which has 2 billion users.

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Facebook, India, Fake News, Hate Speech
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Facebook says it is getting better at proactively removing hate speech and changing the incentives that result in the most sensational and provocative content becoming the most popular on the site.

The company has done so, it says, by ramping up its operations so that computers can review and make quick decisions on large amounts of content with thousands of reviewers making more nuanced decisions.

In the future, if a person disagrees with Facebook’s decision, he or she will be able to appeal to an independent review board.

Facebook “shouldn’t be making so many important decisions about free expression and safety on our own,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a call with reporters Thursday.

Facebook, India, Fake News, Hate Speech
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote address at a Facebook developers conference in San Jose, California. VOA

But as Zuckerberg detailed what the company has accomplished in recent months to crack down on spam, hate speech and violent content, he also acknowledged that Facebook has far to go.

“There are issues you never fix,” he said. “There’s going to be ongoing content issues.”

Company’s actions

In the call, Zuckerberg addressed a recent story in The New York Times that detailed how the company fought back during some of its biggest controversies over the past two years, such as the revelation of how the network was used by Russian operatives in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The Times story suggested that company executives first dismissed early concerns about foreign operatives, then tried to deflect public attention away from Facebook once the news came out.

Facebook, India, Fake News, Hate Speech
A Facebook panel is seen during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in Cannes, France. VOA

Zuckerberg said the firm made mistakes and was slow to understand the enormity of the issues it faced. “But to suggest that we didn’t want to know is simply untrue,” he said.

Zuckerberg also said he didn’t know the firm had hired Definers Public Affairs, a Washington, D.C., consulting firm that spread negative information about Facebook competitors as the social networking firm was in the midst of one scandal after another. Facebook severed its relationship with the firm.

“It may be normal in Washington, but it’s not the kind of thing I want Facebook associated with, which is why we won’t be doing it,” Zuckerberg said.

The firm posted a rebuttal to the Times story.

Content removed

Facebook said it is getting better at proactively finding and removing contentsuch as spam, violent posts and hate speech. The company said it removed or took other action on 15.4 million pieces of violent content between June and September of this year, about double what it removed in the prior three months.

Facebook, India, Fake News, Hate Speech
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

But Zuckerberg and other executives said Facebook still has more work to do in places such as Myanmar. In the third quarter, the firm said it proactively identified 63 percent of the hate speech it removed, up from 13 percent in the last quarter of 2017. At least 100 Burmese language experts are reviewing content, the firm said.

One issue that continues to dog Facebook is that some of the most popular content is also the most sensational and provocative. Facebook said it now penalizes what it calls “borderline content” so it gets less distribution and engagement.

“By fixing this incentive problem in our services, we believe it’ll create a virtuous cycle: by reducing sensationalism of all forms, we’ll create a healthier, less-polarized discourse where more people feel safe participating,” Zuckerberg wrote in a post.

Also Read: Facebook to Establish an Independent Body to Moderate Content

Critics of the company, however, said Zuckerberg hasn’t gone far enough to address the inherent problems of Facebook, which has 2 billion users.

“We have a man-made, for-profit, simultaneous communication space, marketplace and battle space and that it is, as a result, designed not to reward veracity or morality but virality,” said Peter W. Singer, strategist and senior fellow at New America, a nonpartisan think tank, at an event Thursday in Washington, D.C. (VOA)