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Teenage Girls Being Urged To Befriend ‘Middle-Aged Men’ On Facebook: Report

In October, Facebook had removed 8.7 million user images of child nudity

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Fake News, Facebook, dating
Intel, Facebook working on cheaper AI chip. VOA

Facebook is encouraging grooming by offering teenage girls middle-aged men as ‘friend suggestions’, the media reported.

Teenage girls, as young as 13-year-olds, who join the social network are given up to 300 suggestions for who they can add as friends, some of which include middle-aged men who are topless in their profile photos, The Telegraph reported late on Saturday.

Facebook has said that was not a typical experience for teenagers for signing up for the service and that it has safeguards built into its recommendation system.

Following the findings, UK-based charity the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has called for friend recommendations to be suspended for children on the social networking giant’s platform.

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A cellphone user looks at a Facebook page at a shop in Latha street, Yangon, Myanmar. VOA

‘Groomers are seeking to infiltrate children’s friendship groups on social networks, often with the intention to move children to live streaming or encrypted sites where it is easier for them to commit sexual abuse,” Andy Burrows, NSPCC Associate Head of Child Safety Online, was quoted as saying.

“Social media algorithms risk making it easier for groomers to find and contact children and ‘friend of friend’ or ‘new follower’ recommendations can add legitimacy to their requests, which is why we are calling for these features to be blocked for children.

“For too long social networks have failed to make their platforms safe for children, and that is why the Home Secretary must commit to strong and effective regulation to finally ensure that children’s safety is non-negotiable,” she said.

According to Facebook, the company has safeguards to protect children. However, the campaigners warn that the networking giant must do more to stop groomers who use the site to become friendly with children.

facebook, U.S. Politicals ads, dating
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“Grooming is incredibly serious, and we have teams specifically focused on keeping children safe, informed by extensive research and outside experts,” said a spokesman for Facebook, the Daily Mail reported on Saturday.

“We use artificial intelligence to proactively identify cases of inappropriate interactions with minors and we refer potential abuse to law enforcement.

“We limit how children can be found in search, we remind them to only accept friend requests from people they know and we caution them before making public posts.”

Also Read: Twitter Giving Its Users More Freedom To Report Fake, Suspicious Accounts

In October, Facebook had removed 8.7 million user images of child nudity with the help of previously undisclosed machine learning software that automatically flagged such photos during the last quarter.

The company has said that it is also considering rolling out systems for spotting child nudity and grooming to Instagram. (IANS)

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Facebook Funds India’s Fastest Growing Education Start-Up “Unacademy”

In addition to raising the funding, Unacademy also provided exits to some of the angel investors

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"Facebook is an ally for India's economic growth and social development, and we are excited about India and it's rapidly rising Internet ecosystem," said Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India. VOA

Social media giant Facebook on Wednesday joined others such as General Atlantic and Sequoia India for a fresh $110 million round of funding into one of India’s fastest growing education technology start-up Unacademy.

“We thank General Atlantic and Facebook who have joined us in this journey and our existing investors who continue to be a part of the journey by supporting us. Our goal is to democratise education and become not just the largest educational organisation but the largest consumer Internet story out of India,” Gaurav Munjal, Co-Founder and CEO, Unacademy, said in a statement.

Nexus Venture Partners, Steadview Capital and Blume Ventures also participated in this round of funding, along with Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart and Sujeet Kumar, co-founder, Udaan, Unacademy said. “Facebook is an ally for India’s economic growth and social development, and we are excited about India and it’s rapidly rising Internet ecosystem,” said Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India.

“With this investment in Unacademy, we are reinforcing our commitment to the Indian startup ecosystem as well as investing in a company that is transforming learning in India. We love that the company is fundamentally democratising education and driving innovation in new learning models,” Mohan said.

Unacademy
Social media giant Facebook on Wednesday joined others such as General Atlantic and Sequoia India for a fresh $110 million round of funding into one of India’s fastest growing education technology start-up Unacademy. Pixabay

The edtech start-up said that it would utilise the funding to further penetrate into the test preparation categories, launching more exam categories, acquiring top educators, and creating exceptional learning experiences for the learners through great content and product. In addition to raising the funding, Unacademy also provided exits to some of the angel investors.

ALSO READ: Here’s how Late School Start Times Can Reduce Road Accidents

“Our goal from day one has been to democratise education and make quality education accessible to everyone. We do that by bringing the best educators and content on our platform and ensuring it is accessible to everyone across the country,” Munjal said. (IANS)