Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, has called for large technology firms to be regulated to prevent the web from being “weaponised at scale”. Berners-Lee, in an open letter to mark the 29th anniversary of his invention, said: “In recent years, we’ve seen conspiracy theories trend on social media platforms, fake Twitter and Facebook accounts stoke social tensions, external actors interfere in elections, and criminals steal troves of personal data.” These problems have proliferated because of the concentration of power in the hands of a few platforms – including Facebook, Google, and Twitter – which “control which ideas and opinions are seen and shared”. “What was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms,” said the 62-year-old British computer scientist. These online gatekeepers can lock in their power by acquiring smaller … [Read more...] about Tim Berners-Lee: we must regulate tech firms to prevent ‘weaponised’ web
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"Great night last night, how much do I owe you for the dinner? £25? Here you go." It's a conversation most of us have had in person, but these days it's happening increasingly on social media.The chat could take place on Facebook's Messenger service and finish with a simple click to transfer the cash between friends. The payment service has just been launched in the UK, although the country is already some way behind China and the US in the widespread adoption of social media payments. But will it disrupt traditional banking?"There's definitely a trend towards mobile payments moving into social media," says Charlotte Crosswell, chief executive of Innovate Finance, an organisation that represents the UK's global financial technology community.Big players such as Facebook and Google are already enabling payments through their platforms, she says."The success of companies such as Paypal's Venmo app in the US, which allows users to share their mobile payment messages on social feeds, … [Read more...] about Chat and pay: How social media is beating the banks
Buying food for the whole family or paying for a doctor to see one child? Paying for your children to use a toilet facility or buying much needed medicines for yourself? These are some of the choices facing mothers living in Kenya's slums.Susan Mbula and her husband cradle their newest addition to the family - Peace. She is the couple's fourth child and together they live in Sinai, a slum in Nairobi. Their home is one room divided in two by a single sofa. It's neatly organised and, compared to others in the neighbourhood, it's in decent condition.The slum has no running water and sanitation comes at a premium. The priority each day is to find enough water for the family; healthcare is viewed as a luxury.About 25% of Kenyans are covered by some form of health insurance, the rest pay as they go, leading a lot of people into poverty, says the Kenya Healthcare Federation. For many, saving or pre-paying for healthcare is not possible.Peace is the first of Susan's four children to have … [Read more...] about Buy food for the family or pay to see a doctor?
Facebook moderators were instructed not to remove extreme, abusive or graphic content from the platform even when it violated the company's guidelines, an undercover investigation has found. While nudity is almost always removed, violent videos involving assaults on children, racially charged hate speech and images of self-harm among underage users all remained on Facebook after being reported by users and reviewed by moderators. "These revelations about Facebook's content moderation are alarming, but not surprising," said Julian Knight, a member of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. The Conservative Solihull MP said: "Facebook has recently committed to reducing fake news and improving privacy on its platform, which is welcome. "But they don't seem as committed to sacrificing profits made from extreme content, as is demonstrated by Channel 4's investigation.” Facebook, the world's biggest social network with more than two billion users, called the … [Read more...] about Facebook page for Tommy Robinson is given ‘special’ protection so moderators CAN’T remove graphic or abusive material, investigation reveals
RUSSIAN fake news bots discouraged black voters with anti-Hillary Clinton memes during the 2016 US election, according to reports released by the US Senate intelligence committee. The bots also encouraged black voters, who tend to support the Democrats, not to cast their ballots. One analysis shows that black voters were targeted through memes and slogans on Facebook pages set by Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA). One page was called Blactivist, which had 4.6million likes, and Brown Power, which amassed 2.1million likes. A statement that was posted on Blacktivist 10 days before the election read “NO LIVES MATTER TO HILLARY CLINTON. ONLY VOTES MATTER TO HILLARY CLINTON”, as a play on of the “Black Lives Matter” slogan. Five days before the election the page posted: “NOT VOTING is a way to exercise our rights”.The IRA is made of up of 1,000 people based in St Petersburg and has reached more than 126million Facebook users and at least … [Read more...] about Russian fake news bots bombarded black voters with anti-Hillary memes on Instagram and encouraged them not to vote during 2016 US election