Tuesday December 11, 2018
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WhatsApp Sets A Forward Message Limit To 5 Chats

Media reports surfaced this week, claiming the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had asked telecom companies for ways to block social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram and Instagram in case of threat to national security and public order.

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WhatsApp officially rolls out forward message limit for Indian users. Pixabay
WhatsApp geared up to show ads in 'Status,' confirms VP Chris Daniels. Pixabay
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With the Indian government talking tough on WhatsApp’s failure to check the spread of fake and provocative content on its platorm, the instant messaging service on Wednesday said it has begun rolling out its forward message limit to five chats for over 200 million users in India.

The Facebook-owned platform last month announced to launch a test to limit message forwarding to five chats in India.

“The limit has started to appear this week for people in India who are on the current version of WhatsApp,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

In addition, the instant messasing app also published a new video to educate its users, saying it is expanding its user education campaign on how to spot fake news and hoaxes.

“This week, WhatsApp is publishing a new video that explains the importance of the ‘forward’ label and calls users to ‘double check the facts when you’re not sure who created the original message,'” said the company.

The Forward Message Limit Is Set To 5 Chats
The Forward Message Limit Is Set To 5 Chats

People forward more messages, photos, and videos in India than any other country in the world.

Globally, the company allows users to forward messages for up to 20 chats (either individuals or groups).

WhatsApp said that with new changes, which it will continue to evaluate, “will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app”.

“We are deeply committed to your safety and privacy which is why WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, and we’ll continue to improve our app with features like this one,” it said in an earlier statement.

Media reports surfaced this week, claiming the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had asked telecom companies for ways to block social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram and Instagram in case of threat to national security and public order.

Also Read: ‘Picture-In-Picture’ Mode Under Construction for Whatsapp

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), however, said the government should look for “more effective” steps to curb fake news and maintain public order, instead of blocking mobile applications. (IANS)

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Australia Proposes To Strengthen Regulations of Facebook, Google

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia -- 68 per cent of its population -- while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users - which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users

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Australia recommends strengthening regulation of Facebook, Google. Pixabay

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Monday proposed measures to counter the dominant market positions of Google and Facebook and strengthen monitoring on their access to information, advertising and consumers personal data.

The regulatory body, which recommended 11 preliminary measures in the report, was directed to conduct a public inquiry into the impact of digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content in 2017 by then treasurer and current Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“Acting as an intermediary between consumers and news outlets, platforms are inherently influential in shaping consumers’ choices of digital journalism,” said the report cited by Efe news.

This influential position and filtration of news items could place the consumer in a so-called filter bubble, increasing the risk of consumers being exposed to unreliable news, according to the report.

“The algorithms operated by each of Google and Facebook, as well as other policies, determine which content is surfaced and displayed to consumers in news feed and search results,” it said.

“The ACCC considers that the strong market position of digital platforms like Google and Facebook justifies a greater level of regulatory oversight,” Chair Rod Sims said.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

The commission called for the creation of a regulatory authority with powers to monitor these digital platforms and recommended establishing an automatic mechanism to take down content that violates copyright.

The ACCC said consumers should be informed about the manner in which these platforms collect and use their data to create personalized advertising.

This would include a reform of privacy laws to require the user’s express consent to data collection and “enable consumers to require erasure of their personal information where they have withdrawn their consent”.

Also Read- Actor Shahid Kapoor Finally Speak Upon His Health Rumours

ACCC said that it found that “competition may have been distorted in multiple sectors where consumer data is used”.

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia — 68 per cent of its population — while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users – which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users.

In 2017, Google registered 90 per cent of search traffic originating from Australian desktops and 98 per cent from mobile phones. (IANS)