Tuesday October 22, 2019
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Interoperability of Facebook Apps Could Work Only on Android: CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg said that Facebook will have to address other issues including safety and spam vulnerabilities before making the apps interoperable

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A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Even as Mark Zuckerberg laid out plans to let people reach their friends across Messenger, Instagram or WhatsApp from whichever app they prefer, the Facebook CEO hinted that the interoperability of apps could be possible only on Android devices.

While Messenger is Facebook’s messaging platform, both Instagram or WhatsApp are Facebook-owned platforms with massive user base.

“We plan to start by making it possible for you to send messages to your contacts using any of our services, and then to extend that interoperability to SMS too. Of course, this would be opt-in and you will be able to keep your accounts separate if you’d like,” Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

Today if you want to message people on Facebook you have to use Messenger, on Instagram you have to use Direct, and on WhatsApp you have to use WhatsApp.

In a bid to prevent foreign interference into elections, facebook has also begun labelling all political and issue ads in the us -- including a "paid for by" disclosure from the advertiser at the top of the advertisement.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Wikimedia commons

There are privacy and security advantages to interoperability, Zuckerberg said.

“For example, many people use Messenger on Android to send and receive SMS texts. Those texts can’t be end-to-end encrypted because the SMS protocol is not encrypted. With the ability to message across our services, however, you’d be able to send an encrypted message to someone’s phone number in WhatsApp from Messenger,” he added.

However, there are several issues Facebook will need to work through before this will be possible.

Also Read- New Breed of Nation-state Hackers Keep Governments on Their Toes

“First, Apple doesn’t allow apps to interoperate with SMS on their devices, so we’d only be able to do this on Android,” he said.

Zuckerberg said that Facebook will have to address other issues including safety and spam vulnerabilities before making the apps interoperable. (IANS)

Next Story

Social Media Giant Facebook to Bring New Tools to Protect 2020 US Elections

Facebook also announced an initial investment of $2 million to support projects that empower people to determine what to read and share - both on Facebook and elsewhere

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Fake, News, WhatsApp, Facebook, India
The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

Stung by spread of fake news and privacy violations, Facebook on Monday announced several new tools to protect 2020 US elections from being manipulated by nation-state bad actors, and avoid the repeat of 2018 presidential elections hit by Russian interference.

The social networking giant launched “Facebook Protect” to secure the accounts of elected officials, candidates, their staff and others who may be particularly vulnerable to targeting by hackers and foreign adversaries.

“Beginning today, Page admins can enroll their organization’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in ‘Facebook Protect’ and invite members of their organization to participate in the programme as well,” said three top Facebook executives in a lengthy blog post.

Participants will be required to turn on two-factor authentication, and their accounts will be monitored for hacking, such as login attempts from unusual locations or unverified devices.

“If we discover an attack against one account, we can review and protect other accounts affiliated with that same organization that are enrolled in our programme,” said Guy Rosen, VP of Integrity at Facebook.

The company said it has seen people failing to disclose the organization behind their Page as a way to make people think that a Page is run independently.

To address this, Facebook is adding more information about who is behind a Page, including a new “Organizations That Manage This Page” tab that will feature the Page’s “Confirmed Page Owner”, including the organization’s legal name and verified city, phone number or website.

Initially, this information will only appear on Pages with large US audiences that have gone through Facebook’s business verification.

A new US Presidential candidate spend tracker will share ad details across national, state and regional levels.

facebook, instant games
FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

“We’ll also make it clear if an ad ran on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, or the Audience Networks,” said Facebook.

Next month, Facebook will begin labelling media outlets that are wholly or partially under the editorial control of their government as state-controlled media.

This label will be on both their Page and in Facebook Ad Library.

“We will hold these Pages to a higher standard of transparency because they combine the opinion-making influence of a media organization with the strategic backing of a state,” said Katie Harbath, Public Policy Director, Global Elections.

Facebook said it will update the list of state-controlled media on a rolling basis beginning in November.

In early 2020, Facebook plans to expand its labeling to specific posts and apply these labels on Instagram as well.

Also Read: Uber Brings its ‘Public Transport’ Service in Delhi

The company said that over the next month, content across Facebook and Instagram that has been rated false or partly false by a third-party fact-checker will start to be more prominently labeled so that people can better decide for themselves what to read, trust and share.

“The labels below will be shown on top of false and partly false photos and videos, including on top of Stories content on Instagram, and will link out to the assessment from the fact-checker,” informed Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy and Rob Leathern, Director of Product Management.

Facebook also announced an initial investment of $2 million to support projects that empower people to determine what to read and share – both on Facebook and elsewhere. (IANS)