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News Organisations to be Benefitted; as Social Media Giant, Facebook Announces $4.5 mn Investment

A recent announcement made by Facebook to invest an additional $4.5 million towards helping the news industry globally.

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Facebook
New Facebook tool lets journalists scrutinise political ads. Pixabay

Facebook has announced to invest an additional $4.5 million towards helping the news industry globally.

The social media giant, that reported more than $5 billion in profit in the second quarter this year, said it will give $3.5 million towards “Facebook Membership Accelerator”, a three-month pilot programme designed to help news organisations with membership models.

“We are going to continue to coach the group of metro news publishers from the pilot programme through the end of this year, and we will reconvene with them in 2019 to focus on subscriber retention,” Campbell Brown, Global Head of News at Facebook, said in a blog post on Thursday.

Facebook also announced to contribute $1 million to the 2018 “NewsMatch” campaign which matches individual donations to more than 100 non-profit newsrooms around the country.

News organisations to be benefitted from Facebook's recent announcement. VOA
News organisations to be benefitted from Facebook’s recent announcement. VOA

“Last year, ‘NewsMatch’ helped make 2017 a record-breaking year for giving to non-profit journalism and we are excited to help NewsMatch expand in 2018,” said Brown.

The “Facebook Membership Accelerator” will help non-profit news organisations and local, independent publishers with membership models build sustainable businesses, by providing supporters access to exclusive content and experiences through memberships.

An earlier “Local News Subscriptions Accelerator” programme from Facebook was designed to test strategies focused on growing digital subscription acquisitions for local publishers.

“We’re encouraged by the early successes of this programme, and proud of the tangible business results that publishers have accomplished so far,” Brown noted.

Facebook to invest an additional $4.5 million towards helping the news industry globally. Pixabay
Facebook to invest an additional $4.5 million towards helping the news industry globally. Pixabay

Facebook said it is also working with publishers across the US and Europe to test support for subscriptions in “Instant Articles”.

“Moving forward, we’ll also be exploring ways to support emerging models like membership directly on Facebook,” said Brown.

Also Read: Facebook announces huge investment to empower community leaders

On Thursday, Facebook announced its first partnership in India with Chennai-based Asian School of Journalism (ACJ).

Part of the Facebook Journalism Project, the partnership will establish a scholarship programme at ACJ and support five students in four career specialisations — print, new media, radio and television. (IANS)

Next Story

Social Media Giant Facebook Accused of Revealing Sensitive Health Data

The company has not given any official statement on the subject as yet

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Facebook, photos
This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

Facebook has been accused of failing to protect sensitive health data of users in its groups.

“Facebook has marketed this product as a Personal Health Record and it then leaked the health data that those patients uploaded to the public,” a complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) noted on Monday.

The issue was first noticed in July, when members of a women’s group with a gene mutation discovered how easily the names and email addresses of members could have been downloaded in bulk, either manually or through a Chrome extension, The Verge reported.

At that time, the social networking giant reportedly claimed to have made changes to “Groups” that ended the practice and emphasised on the option for join “Secret Groups” – that are, although difficult to join, but have a more limited discoverability.

However, the complaint highlights that public sharing of privately posted personal health information is in violation of the law, which is a serious problem with Facebook’s privacy implementation methods.

Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

“Facebook has ignored our requests to fix the specific issues we have identified to the company, and denies publicly that any problem exists. All of this represents unfair, deceptive and misleading interactions between Facebook and its users in violation of the FTC act,” the complaint added.

The complaint, which was filed by a security researcher and others, argues that Facebook has failed to make clear what personal information users might be giving up when they join a group.

Also Read- Instagram to Test Donation Sticker on its Stories Feature

Facebook is already negotiating a multibillion-dollar fine with the FTC over privacy lapses, The Verge said.

The company has not given any official statement on the subject as yet. (IANS)