social

Undercover report shows the Facebook moderation sausage being made

An undercover reporter with the U.K.’s Channel 4 visited a content moderation outsourcing firm in Dublin and came away rather discouraged at what they saw: queues of flagged content waiting, videos of kids fighting staying online, orders from above not to take action on underage users. It sounds bad, but the truth is there are pretty good reasons for most of it and in the end the report comes off as rather naive. Not that it’s a bad thing for journalists to keep big companies (and their small contractors) honest, but the situations called out by Channel 4’s reporter seem to reflect a misunderstanding of the moderation process rather than problems with the process itself. I’m not a big Facebook fan, but in the matter of moderation I think they are sincere, if hugely unprepared. The bullet p...

Instagram is building non-SMS 2-factor auth to thwart SIM hackers

Hackers can steal your phone number by reassigning it to a different SIM card, use it to reset your passwords, steal your Instagram and other accounts and sell them for bitcoin. As detailed in a harrowing Motherboard article today, Instagram accounts are especially vulnerable because the app only offers two-factor authentication through SMS that delivers a password reset or login code via text message. But now Instagram has confirmed to TechCrunch that it’s building a non-SMS two-factor authentication system that works with security apps like Google Authenticator or Duo. They generate a special code that you need to log in that can’t be generated on a different phone in case your number is ported to a hacker’s SIM card. Buried in the Instagram Android app’s APK code is a prototype of the u...

Tinder tests Bitmoji integration using the recently launched Snap Kit

Tinder will begin testing Bitmoji in its app in Canada and Mexico, the company announced today. The new integration comes courtesy of the recently launched Snap Kit, which allows third-party apps to take advantage of Snap’s login for sign-up and features, like its Snap Map and Bitmoji, among other things. In Tinder, users in the test regions will be able to send the Bitmoji to their matches within their chat conversations. Tinder was one of Snap’s debut partners for Snap Kit, along with Patreon and Postmates. However, it hadn’t yet launched the integrations until today. “With our Bitmoji integration, we’re giving users a playful new way to engage with matches. This is just one way we work with partners to add features that encourage users to experiment with more personalized ways of chatti...

Kapwing is Adobe for the meme generation

Need to resize a video for IGTV? Add subtitles for Twitter? Throw in sound effects for YouTube? Or collage it with other clips for the Instagram feed? Kapwing lets you do all that and more for free from a mobile browser or website. This scrappy new startup is building the vertical video era’s creative suite full of editing tools for every occasion. Pronounced “Ka-pwing,” like the sound of a ricocheted bullet, the company was founded by two former Google Image Search staffers. Now after six months of quiet bootstrapping, it’s announcing a $1.7 million seed round led by Kleiner Perkins. Kapwing hopes to rapidly adapt to shifting memescape and its fragmented media formats, seizing on opportunities like creators needing to turn their long-form landscape videos vertical for Instagram’s recently...

Fathia Williams & Saidi Balogun Son Khalid Drags Absentee Father As He Showers Praise On Mother For Standing By Him

     Tweet     Faithia & Saidi Balogun Son Khalid Drags Absentee Father As He Showers Praises On Mother For Standing By Him Khalid Balogun, one of the products of Saidi Balogun and Fathia Williams short-lived marriage has sent an indirect message to his father on the social media. The teenager who recently passed out of school took to his official IG page @thekhalid_ with this message: “I  love YOU SO MUCH MUM..YOU BEEN THERE FOR ME SINCE THE BEGINNING..U ARE THE ONLY ONE THAT NEVER GOES..I LOVE U MUM…[email protected] “. This is a direct swipe at Saidi Balogun who many described as an absentee father to Khalid and his sister, Aaliyah. Those in the know said Fathia put the interest of her children and their well being ahead of everything else. A source even said she gave up on marriage...

Yes, open office plans are the worst

If you’re endlessly distracted by your co-workers in the gaping open office space you all share, you’re not alone. Compared to traditional office spaces, face-to-face interaction in open office spaces is down 70 percent with resulting slips in productivity, according to Harvard researchers in a new study published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B this month. In the study, researchers followed two anonymous Fortune 500 companies during their transitions between a traditional office space to an open plan environment and used a sensor called a “sociometric badge” (think company ID on a lanyard) to record detailed information about the kind of interactions employees had in both spaces. The study collected information in two stages; first for several weeks before the renovat...

Facebook would make a martyr by banning Infowars

Alex Jones’ Infowars is a fake news-peddler. But Facebook deleting its Page could ignite a fire that consumes the network. Still, some critics are asking why it hasn’t done so already. This week Facebook held an event with journalists to discuss how it combats fake news. The company’s recently appointed head of News Feed John Hegeman explained that, “I guess just for being false, that doesn’t violate the community standards. I think part of the fundamental thing here is that we created Facebook to be a place where different people can have a voice.” In response, CNN’s Oliver Darcy tweeted: “I asked them why InfoWars is still allowed on the platform. I didn’t get a good answer.” BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel meanwhile wrote that allowing the Infowars Page to exist shows that “Facebook simply is...

Researchers find that filters don’t prevent porn

In a paper entitled Internet Filtering and Adolescent Exposure to Online Sexual Material, Oxford Internet Institute researchers Victoria Nash and Andrew Przybylski found that Internet filters rarely work to keep adolescents away from online porn. “It’s important to consider the efficacy of Internet filtering,” said Dr, Nash. “Internet filtering tools are expensive to develop and maintain, and can easily ‘underblock’ due to the constant development of new ways of sharing content. Additionally, there are concerns about human rights violations – filtering can lead to ‘overblocking’, where young people are not able to access legitimate health and relationship information.” This research follows the controversial news that the UK government was exploring a country-wide porn filter, a product th...

Goodwall gets $10.8M to expand its ‘LinkedIn for students’

Goodwall, a US-focused student and graduate professional network which aims to connect young people with college and employment opportunities, has closed a $10.8 million Series A funding raise. The round was led by Randstad Innovation Fund, a strategic corporate VC fund that focuses on recruitment, and Swiss private equity firm Manixer. Additional investors include Francis Clivaz, Zurich Cantonal Bank and Verve Capital Partners. The 2014 founded startup says it will be using the new funding to grow the professional network, which has a core demographic of 14-24 year-olds, and more than one million members at this stage. “Our main initiative with this round of funding is hiring new talent in New York to support our expansion,” says Taha Bawa, co-founder and CEO. “The funding will be used to...

Twitter lets advertisers “takeover” the Explore tab

Twitter is ready to squeeze a lot more money out of its trending topics. After minimizing its mediocre Moments feature and burying it inside the renamed Explore tab, Twitter is now starting to test Promoted Trend Spotlight ads. These put a big visual banner equipped with a GIF or image background atop Explore for the first two times you visit that day before settling back into the Trends list, with the first batch coming from Disney in the US. These powerful new ad units demote organic content in Explore, which could make it less useful for getting a grip on what’s up in the world at a glance. But they could earn Twitter  strong revenue by being much more eye-catching than the traditional Timeline ads that people often skip past. That could further fuel Twitter’s turnaround after it soundl...

Facebook independent research commission ‘Social Science One’ will share a petabyte of user data

Back in April, Facebook announced that it would be working with a group of academics to establish an independent research commission to look into issues of social and political significance using the company’s own extensive data collection. That commission just came out of stealth; it’s called Social Science One, and its first project will have researchers analyzing about a petabyte’s worth of sharing data. The way the commission works is basically that a group of academics is created and given full access to the processes and datasets that Facebook could potentially provide. They identify and help design interesting sets based on their experience as researchers themselves, then document them publicly — for instance, “this dataset consists of 10 million status updates taken during the week...

Timehop admits that additional personal data was compromised in breach

Timehop is admitting that additional personal information was compromised in a data breach on July 4. The company first acknowledged the breach on Sunday, saying that users’ names, email addresses and phone numbers had been compromised. Today it said it that additional information, including date of birth and gender, was also taken. To understand what happened, and what Timehop is doing to fix things, I spoke to CEO Matt Raoul, COO Rick Webb and the security consultant that the company hired to manage its response. (The security consultant agreed to be interviewed on-the-record on the condition that they not be named.) To be clear, Timehop isn’t saying that there was a separate breach of its data. Instead, the team has discovered that more data was taken in the already-announced incident. ...