Tag Archives: Facebook

Facebook is 15: Do you still enjoy the app?

In february 4th 2004 a young website with a baby-blue banner was born.

Founded in a dormitory at Harvard, TheFacebook.com tapped into people’s instinctive desire to see and be seen. Few guessed how successful it would become. In 2008 Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul who had bought the social-networking rival MySpace, called Facebook the “flavour of the month”; the following year this newspaper warned in an article about Facebook that it is “awfully easy for one ‘next big thing’ to be overtaken by the next.”

Instead Facebook has stayed on top by spreading wildly across America and the world and buying competitors, including the photo-sharing app Instagram and the messaging firm WhatsApp. Around two-thirds of American adults use its original social network. At its peak, the average user spent nearly an hour a day on Facebook’s platforms. Few companies have exerted such a strong influence on society, changing people’s communication habits, reuniting lost contacts, shaping their perception of world events and redefining the meaning of the word “friend”. “Every once in a while, changes in technology come along which are so profound, that there is a before and an after. Facebook is one of those,” says Roger McNamee, author of a forthcoming book called “Zucked”.

Birthdays are an occasion for reflection. In the 15 years since its founding, Facebook has altered America in three notable ways. First, it has shaped what it means and feels like to be young. The company has done this twice: once with its flagship social network, which became the pastime and addiction of college students and high schoolers in the mid-2000s, and again with Instagram, which is the digital drug of choice for their successors today, along with the rival app Snapchat.

The company has fostered a virtual “me-conomy”, where people (over)share their feelings, photos and comments. Some blame Facebook for fanning teenage narcissism and for short attention spans. Others say it has caused anxiety, depression and insecurity. Researchers have shown that people who spend more time on Facebook are more likely to think other people have it better than they do and that life is unfair.

The lasting effects of social media, and Facebook in particular, on young people’s psyches will not be fully understood for years, but it is clear that Facebook has changed human interaction. At the safe remove of a screen, bullying on social media has become painfully common; some 59% of American teenagers say they have been bullied or harassed online. Facebook has cultivated far-flung, online friendships, but it has changed the nature of offline ones, too. According to research by Common Sense Media, a non-profit, in 2012 around half of 13- to 17-year-olds said their favourite way to communicate with friends was in person. Today only 32% feel that way, with 35% preferring texting.

Second, Facebook has changed attitudes to privacy. The social network thrives through trust. After Facebook was launched, for the first time people felt comfortable sharing intimate details online, including their phone number, relationship status, likes and dislikes, location and more, because they felt they could control who had access to them. Users were vaguely aware that Facebook was starting to make a fortune mining this data and selling advertisers access to specific types of users, but they mostly did not object.

Opinions about privacy may be shifting again at Facebook’s hands, this time in reverse. Public scandals about outside firms getting access to Facebook users’ data, including last year’s Cambridge Analytica fiasco, have shone a light on the firms’ massive data collection. Around half of American adult users are not comfortable with Facebook compiling such detailed information about them, according to a survey by Pew Research Centre. Concerns about privacy and lax oversight probably played into the beating that Facebook’s reputation took last year. According to the Reputation Institute, a consultancy, Facebook’s standing among Americans fell sharply in 2018, and its score ranks significantly below other technology companies, including Google. A fresh scandal over Facebook spying on users’ online activities in the name of research may further dent the company’s image.

Third, Facebook has left a lasting mark on politics. The social-networking firm has become an invaluable tool for politicians seeking office, both through paid advertisements to reach voters and free content that spreads on the social network. “You’d be hard-pressed to find a politician who’s been elected in the last ten years who didn’t use Facebook,” says David Kirkpatrick, author of “The Facebook Effect”, a history of the social network. Two presidents, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, won election in no small part thanks to Facebook. In Mr Obama’s case, Facebook helped him fundraise and drum up support. In 2016 Facebook’s role was more controversial: false news spread wildly and Russians meddled with messages on social media, which may have helped Mr Trump gain an edge.

The rise of fake news and spread of filter bubbles, where people see their pre-conceptions reinforced online, have probably disillusioned many voters. Facebook has had a hand in spreading misinformation, terrorism and ethnic violence around the world. But it has also spurred civil engagement. Black Lives Matter, a campaign against police violence, began with a Facebook post and quickly spread through the social network. Much of the grassroots opposition to Mr Trump, from the women’s marches to groups like Indivisible, use the platform to organise themselves. Many other campaigns and movements have attracted members through Facebook and Twitter. “They give ordinary people a voice. That’s a net positive for society,” says Mr Kirkpatrick.

Can the social-media giant stay as influential in the next 15 years as it has already been? At the risk of being wrong about Facebook again, that seems unlikely. This is partly because its impact has already been so extensive. But it is also because of growing unease with the platform. As with all new technologies, from the printed book to the telegraph, social media can be used both for good and bad. Critics of Facebook are increasingly vocal about the harms, pointing out that Facebook is addictive, harmful for democracy and too powerful in making decisions about what content people see. “Big tobacco” is what the bosses of several top tech companies have started calling the social network, and politicians are speaking openly about regulation.

Though it has just posted record quarterly profits, it seems unlikely that Americans are going to increase the time they spend on Facebook proper. Time on its core social network is declining, probably because users are questioning whether it is as enjoyable as it used to be. Adults in America spent 11.5% of their online time on Facebook’s main platform, a fifth less than two years earlier, according to Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research. Instagram use is rising, but not enough to make up for the core social network’s decline. As more people question whether social media are good for them, Facebook could loosen its grip on America. The relationship with Facebook continues, but the love affair is over.

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Fun apart, let’s look deeper into Facebook’s 10 year challenge

If you use social media, you’ve probably noticed a trend across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter of people posting their then-and-now profile pictures, mostly from 10 years ago and this year.

Instead of joining in, I posted the following semi-sarcastic tweet

My flippant tweet began to pick up traction. My intent wasn’t to claim that the meme is inherently dangerous. But I knew the facial recognition scenario was broadly plausible and indicative of a trend that people should be aware of. It’s worth considering the depth and breadth of the personal data we share without reservations.

Of those who were critical of my thesis, many argued that the pictures were already available anyway. The most common rebuttal was: “That data is already available. Facebook’s already got all the profile pictures.”

Of course they do. In various versions of the meme, people were instructed to post their first profile picture alongside their current profile picture, or a picture from 10 years ago alongside their current profile picture. So, yes: these profile pictures exist, they’ve got upload time stamps, many people have a lot of them, and for the most part they’re publicly accessible.

But let’s play out this idea.

Imagine that you wanted to train a facial recognition algorithm on age-related characteristics, and, more specifically, on age progression (e.g. how people are likely to look as they get older). Ideally, you’d want a broad and rigorous data set with lots of people’s pictures. It would help if you knew they were taken a fixed number of years apart—say, 10 years.

Sure, you could mine Facebook for profile pictures and look at posting dates or EXIF data. But that whole set of profile pictures could end up generating a lot of useless noise. People don’t reliably upload pictures in chronological order, and it’s not uncommon for users to post pictures of something other than themselves as a profile picture. A quick glance through my Facebook friends’ profile pictures shows a friend’s dog who just died, several cartoons, word images, abstract patterns, and more.

In other words, it would help if you had a clean, simple, helpfully-labeled set of then-and-now photos.

What’s more, for the profile pictures on Facebook, the photo posting date wouldn’t necessarily match the date that the picture was taken. Even the EXIF metadata on the photo wouldn’t always be reliable for assessing that date.

Why? People could have scanned offline photos. They might have uploaded pictures multiple times over years. Some people resort to uploading screenshots of pictures found elsewhere online. Some platforms strip EXIF data for privacy.

Through the Facebook meme, most people have been helpfully adding that context back in (e.g. “me in 2008, and me in 2018”), as well as further info, in many cases, about where and how the pic was taken (e.g. “2008 at University of Whatever, taken by Joe; 2018 visiting New City for this year’s such-and-such event”).

In other words, thanks to this meme, there’s now a very large data set of carefully curated photos of people from roughly 10 years ago and now.

Of course, not all the dismissive comments in my Twitter mentions were about the pictures being already available; some critics noted that there was too much crap data to be usable. But data researchers and scientists know how to account for this. As with hashtags that go viral, you can generally place more trust in the validity of data earlier on in the trend or campaign— before people begin to participate ironically or attempt to hijack the hashtag for irrelevant purposes.

As for bogus pictures, image recognition algorithms are plenty sophisticated enough to pick out a human face. If you uploaded an image of a cat 10 years ago and now—as one of my friends did, adorably—that particular sample would be easy to throw out.

What’s more, even if this particular meme isn’t a case of social engineering, the past few years have been rife with examples of social games and memes designed to extract and collect data. Just think of the mass data extraction of more than 70 million American Facebook users performed by Cambridge Analytica.

Is it bad that someone could use your Facebook photos to train a facial recognition algorithm? Not necessarily; in a way, it’s inevitable. Still, the broader takeaway here is that we need to approach our interactions with technology mindful of the data we generate and how it can be used at scale. I’ll offer three plausible use cases for facial recognition: one respectable, one mundane, and one risky.

The benign scenario: facial recognition technology, specifically age progression capability, could help with finding missing kids. Last year police in New Delhi, India reported tracking down nearly 3,000 missing kids in just four days using facial recognition technology. If the kids had been missing a while, they would likely look a little different from the last known photo of them, so a reliable age progression algorithm could be genuinely helpful here.

Facial recognition’s potential is mostly mundane: age recognition is probably most useful for targeted advertising. Ad displays that incorporate cameras or sensors and can adapt their messaging for age-group demographics (as well as other visually recognizable characteristics and discernible contexts) will likely be commonplace before very long. That application isn’t very exciting, but stands to make advertising more relevant. But as that data flows downstream and becomes enmeshed with our location tracking, response and purchase behavior, and other signals, it could bring about some genuinely creepy interactions.

Like most emerging technology, there’s a chance of fraught consequences. Age progression could someday factor into insurance assessment and healthcare. For example, if you seem to be aging faster than your cohorts, perhaps you’re not a very good insurance risk. You may pay more or be denied coverage.

After Amazon introduced real-time facial recognition services in late 2016, they began selling those services to law enforcement and government agencies, such as the police departments in Orlando and Washington County, Oregon. But the technology raises major privacy concerns; the police could use the technology not only to track people who are suspected of having committed crimes, but also people who are not committing crimes, such as protestors and others whom the police deem a nuisance.

The American Civil Liberties Union asked Amazon to stop selling this service. So did a portion of Amazon’s shareholders and employees, who asked Amazon to halt the service, citing concerns for the company’s valuation and reputation.

It’s tough to overstate the fullness of how technology stands to impact humanity. The opportunity exists for us to make it better, but to do that, we also must to recognize some of the ways in which it can get worse. Once we understand the issues, it’s up to all of us to weigh in.

So is this such a big deal? Are bad things going to happen because you posted some already-public profile pictures to your wall? Is it dangerous to train facial recognition algorithms for age progression and age recognition? Not exactly.

Regardless of the origin or intent behind this meme, we must all become savvier about the data we create and share, the access we grant to it, and the implications for its use. If the context was a game that explicitly stated that it was collecting pairs of then-and-now photos for age progression research, you could choose to participate with an awareness of who was supposed to have access to the photos and for what purpose.

The broader message, removed from the specifics of any one meme or even any one social platform, is that humans are the richest data sources for most of the technology emerging in the world. We should know this, and proceed with due diligence and sophistication.

Humans are the connective link between the physical and digital worlds. Human interactions are the majority of what makes the Internet of Things interesting. Our data is the fuel that makes businesses smarter and more profitable.

We should demand that businesses treat our data with due respect, by all means. But we also need to treat our own data with respect.


Kate O’Neill is the founder of KO Insights and the author of Tech Humanist and Pixels and Place: Connecting Human Experience Across Physical and Digital Spaces.

Facebook apologises for saving draft videos users thought they had deleted

Facebook says ‘bug’ resulted in videos being kept, while CEO Mark Zuckerberg hits back at Apple chief Tim Cook’s ‘extremely glib’ attack.


Facebook

Facebook continues to deal with the fallout of the Cambridge Analytica files, announcing policy changes and bug fixes aimed at undoing some of the company’s more controversial data collection features.

On Monday, Facebook apologised for storing draft videos which users had filmed and then deleted, saying a “bug” resulted in them being indefinitely stored instead.

The bug was first reported last week after users discovered videos they had never posted were being stored by the company. The storage was only uncovered when those users attempted to download all the data the company had on them, and were startled to find that Facebook had stored unused draft videos for years.

Videos filmed using the company’s desktop web camera tool, popular in the late 00s and early 10s before Facebook fully embraced mobile, were stored even when users thought they had deleted them. The company apologised, telling TechCrunch that was a mistake: “We discovered a bug that prevented draft videos from being deleted. We are deleting them and apologise for the inconvenience.”

The company is also changing another feature, part of its ad ecosystem that allows third-parties to upload contact lists to target customers on Facebook, in order to better preserve user privacy.

The feature, Custom Audiences, is intended to allow companies who have customer lists offline to advertise to those same customers on Facebook – by, for example, uploading a list of emails and matching them to Facebook profiles. Now, Facebook will be requiring companies to certify that they obtained user consent to use the information in that specific way, according to a leaked email seen by TechCrunch.

A new tool will instead require advertisers to actively certify that they have permission. “We’ve always had terms in place to ensure that advertisers have consent for data they use but we’re going to make that much more prominent and educate advertisers on the way they can use the data,” Facebook told the tech news site.

Finally, in a wide-ranging interview with the website Vox on Monday, Mark Zuckerberg hit back at Apple chief executive Tim Cook, who had attacked Facebook’s business model for inevitably leading to the sort of data-based scandals the company is now tackling. “I find that argument, that if you’re not paying that somehow we can’t care about you, to be extremely glib and not at all aligned with the truth,” Zuckerberg said.

“The reality here is that if you want to build a service that helps connect everyone in the world, then there are a lot of people who can’t afford to pay. And therefore, as with a lot of media, having an advertising-supported model is the only rational model that can support building this service to reach people.”

 

Facebook releases privacy tools to ‘give people control’ over data

Corporation suggests changes are response to Cambridge Analytica scandal, with EU set to toughen data protection rules in May.

Facebook users bigger than Africa's population
The company said in May that duplicate accounts, according to an estimate from last year, may have represented some 6 per cent of its worldwide user base.

Facebook is launching a range of new tools in an effort to “put people in more control over their privacy” in the buildup to new EU regulations that tighten up data protection.

The changes come after a troubling two weeks for the company, which is battling with the fallout of the Cambridge Analytica files. At least one of the new features, a unified privacy dashboard, was previously discussed by Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, back in January.

Facebook is not committing to making it any easier for users to delete their accounts wholesale

“The last week showed how much more work we need to do to enforce our policies, and to help people understand how Facebook works and the choices they have over their data,” two Facebook executives wrote in a blogpost announcing the changes. “We’ve heard loud and clear that privacy settings and other important tools are too hard to find, and that we must do more to keep people informed.”

Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, and Ashlie Beringer, its deputy general counsel, continued: “Most of these updates have been in the works for some time, but the events of the past several days underscore their importance.” The features will be available to all users, not just those in countries covered by the EU general data protection regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect on 25 May.

On mobile devices, Facebook users will now be able to find all their settings in a single place, rather than spread across “nearly 20 different screens” as they were before. They will also be able to find a separate item, the “privacy shortcuts” menu, which provides a clearing house for options about data protection, ad personalisation and on-platform privacy.

The site is also complying with rules about access to stored personal data with a new “access your information” tool, that allows people to find, download and delete Facebook data.

But Facebook is not committing to making it any easier for users to delete their accounts wholesale. The option to permanently delete an account is currently buried in a help menu, deprioritised in favour of the non-destructive option to “deactivate” a user account, which leaves all the data on Facebook’s servers and accessible to the company’s data-mining tools.

Facebook says that further changes will come in response to user feedback, including updates to the terms of service and data policies. “These updates are about transparency,” Egan and Beringer write, “not about gaining new rights to collect, use, or share data.”

Why Facebook’s news feed is changing | how it will affect you

The social media site wants its users to ‘have more meaningful interactions’, but what does that mean in practice?

Facebook users bigger than Africa's population
FILE PHOTO: Today, most people’s news feeds are dominated by professionally made content from brands, businesses and the news media.

What has Facebook announced?

The company is altering the algorithm that runs the news feed, which displays a computer-curated selection of posts from other users and Facebook pages. No longer will it prioritise “helping you find relevant content”, says the site’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg. The new goal is to help you “have more meaningful interactions”.

What will change?

Today, most people’s news feeds are dominated by professionally made content from brands, businesses and the news media. Zuckerberg says Facebook wants to change that balance, so your feed will instead be dominated by posts from friends and family, as well as Facebook groups you are a member of.

The change is not yet in effect, so it is hard to know how different this approach will be. At its most extreme, it could be similar to the “experiment” Facebook ran in six smaller countries, where it removed wholesale any post from professional publishers and put them in a second feed, the “explore” feed.

But if Facebook wants to take a light-touch approach, the effect could be more like other tweaks to the news feed algorithm, which subtly alter the balance of content, changing the types of posts which have the most success but not removing them entirely.

Why is it doing this?

Zuckerberg says Facebook has studied academic research and concluded that social media is only good for users’ wellbeing if they use it to “connect with people we care about”. In November, the company published a post that claimed “passive” social media use could be harmful, arguing instead for a more active and communal approach to the site.

As a result, Zuckerberg says, Facebook wants to promote the sorts of posts that encourage those interactions, while demoting those its data shows encourage only surface interactions – likes and shares but little else.

The change will bring Facebook other benefits. By diminishing the influence of news media, it may be able to avoid a repeat of the bad press it received during the 2016 US election when it became a breeding ground for “fake news”, helping spread stories that misled millions.

And the company has long displayed concern over the decline in “organic sharing” – users posting content about their own lives, rather than simply sharing links to the wider web or professionally produced videos and photos. Users are more likely to share details about their own lives if they see others doing the same, and so promoting organic content begets more organic content.

What are the wider ramifications?

Some publishers and civil society groups have reacted with alarm. In Guatemala, one of the countries where the explore feed experiment took place, some journalists reported readership halving overnight as a result of them disappearing from most social media feeds. A similar change worldwide would wreak havoc on the media ecosystem, as well as the ability of activists and campaigners to have a voice with the wider public.

But the pain will not be shared equally. Past experience suggests the organisations that will be most damaged will be those who rely most on Facebook to generate traffic; organisations with a dedicated base and control of their own platforms will find it easier to ride out the change.

Has Facebook done something like this before?

In December 2013, Facebook changed its algorithm to promote “high-quality articles” over “a meme photo hosted somewhere other than Facebook”. In the process, it also took aim at publishers who produced content that was too appealing. The social news site Upworthy saw its traffic halve in the month after the algorithm change, a decline it has never quite recovered from.

Similar changes have happened over the years as Facebook decided to focus on promoting “instant articles”, a type of Facebook native content; to pivot to promoting video; to pivot from video to live video; and to pivot from live video to Facebook groups, the company’s most recent attempt to build a stronger sense of community.

What other troubles is Facebook dealing with?

The company has been fighting a pair of awkward court cases in Ireland and Austria. In the former, it has been accused of negligence in a revenge porn caseinvolving a 14-year-old girl; in the latter, it has been ordered to remove hate speech.

What’s happened in Ireland?

The girl in question had been the target of a “shame page” for almost two years on the site, with a naked photograph of her repeatedly posted between November 2014 and January 2016. On Tuesday, Facebook agreed to an out-of-court settlement, a rare act for a company that typically argues it has diminished responsibility for content posted on its site by others. The girl’s lawyer, Pearse MacDermott, said the settlement “now puts the onus on the provider to look at how they respond to indecent, abusive and other such images put on their platform. Whenever an image is put up that is clearly objectionable they should be able to stop that ever going up again.”

And in Austria?

Hate speech targeting the former head of the Austrian Green party is at issue, and the question is again whether Facebook has a responsibility to act more broadly when it takes content down, including whether it should actively search for reposts of the content and delete them without being asked. The case has been referred upwards to the European court of justice, whose ruling could have a global impact.


SOURCE: The Guardian UK

Facebook to set up Nigerian hub next year in African tech drive

Facebook will open a “community hub space” in Nigeria next year to encourage software developers and technology entrepreneurs and become the latest technology giant to pursue a training program in fast-growing Africa.

The U.S. social media company said the center would host an “incubator program” to help develop technology start-ups, while it will also train 50,000 Nigerians in digital skills.

Africa’s rapid population growth, falling data costs and heavy adoption of mobile phones rather than PCs is attracting technology companies looking to attract more users.

Facebook did not provide details of the period over which its planned training would take place in Nigeria, which is Africa’s most populous country with 180 million inhabitants.

“We understand the important role Facebook plays here in Nigeria with developers and start-ups and are invested in helping these communities,” Emeka Afigbo, its regional head of platform partnership, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Facebook said the training – aimed at software developers, entrepreneurs and students – would be offered in cities including the capital, Abuja, Port Harcourt in the south, Calabar in the southeast and Kaduna in the north.

Last year Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg visited technology companies in Lagos and his charitable foundation provided $24 million to Andela, which trains developers.

Google’s chief executive in a July visit to Lagos said the company aimed to train 10 million people across the continent in online skills over the next five years. He also said it hoped to train 100,000 software developers in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

Although Africa may not offer as much opportunity to add consumers as China or India, because large wealth gaps mean that many people in places like Nigeria have little disposable income, Facebook said more than 22 million people already use its social media website every month in Nigeria.

Widespread poverty means mobile adoption tends to favor basic phone models. That, combined with poor telecommunications infrastructure, can mean slow internet speeds and less internet surfing, which tech firms rely on to make money.

Facebook users bigger than Africa’s population

Facebook Inc said on Tuesday that two billion people are regularly using its flagship service, marching past another milestone in its growth from a college curiosity in the United States to the world’s largest social media network.

 

The user base is bigger than the population of any single country, and of six of the seven continents. It represents more than a quarter of the world’s 7.5 billion people.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg disclosed the number to his followers in a Facebook post. “It’s an honor to be on this journey with you,” he wrote.

Africa with a continent of over 1.2 billion helped Facebook reach the remarkable milestone with over 300 million Internet users of which 170 million are active Facebook users.

Nigeria, Kenya, Algeria, Egypt and south Africa all set the pace for other countries in the continent with the the highest active users in Africa.

Although only 170 million out of 300 million internet users are active on Facebook, the 94 percent increase of last year from 2015 shows more Africans are getting more aware of the social network.

Facebook defines a monthly active user as a registered Facebook user who logged in and visited Facebook through its website or a mobile device, or used its Messenger app, in the past 30 days. It does not include people who use the Instagram or WhatsApp networks but not Facebook.

The company said in May that duplicate accounts, according to an estimate from last year, may have represented some 6 per cent of its worldwide user base.

The social network’s user population dwarfs that of similar companies. Twitter Inc reported in April monthly active users of 328 million, while Snap Inc’s Snapchat had 166 million daily users at the end of the first quarter.

WeChat, a unit of Tencent Holdings Ltd and a widely used service in China, said in May that it had 938 million monthly active users in the first quarter.

Facebook had 1.94 billion people using its service monthly as of March 31, an increase of 17 per cent from a year earlier. It reached 1 billion in October 2012.

The company, which Zuckerberg started in 2004 in his college dorm room, uses its huge size advantage to lure advertisers, offering them highly targeted marketing capabilities based on its data about users.

The number of advertisers topped 5 million in April, the company said.

Facebook’s growth has increasingly come from outside the United States, Canada and Europe. Three years ago, those regions accounted for some 38 percent of users, compared with about 30 percent in the first quarter of this year.

To increase penetration rates in developing nations, Facebook has rolled out pared-down versions of its apps that use less data, and it has been developing solar-powered drones to extend internet connectivity around the planet.

Clueless DSS, Conte, NASS – Your Friday briefing

FRIDAY 12TH MAY, 2017

(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up)

Good morning, Here are yesterday’s top stories, and a look ahead – Click on any title to read the complete story.

The Trend 1

How can DSS miss something as big as this, how can they just miss this, as inciting as this is, as threatening as it is in the eys of the world, was it hidden from them? No, it is being sold in the streets of Abuja, the base of the DSS.

Antonio Conte not distracted by Inter Milan link
Antonio Conte needs one win from Chelsea’s final three games to claim the Premier League title in his first season. Photo: BBC

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says he is solely focused on clinching the Premier League title – and is not distracted by reports linking him to Inter Milan.

Senate has passed the 2017 Appropriation Bill estimating N7,441,175,486,758.

The Red Chambers passed the budget shortly after the House of Representatives passed it.

Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki

The budget process was largely delayed owing to the failure of committees to turn in their report to the appropriation committees after ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) had defended their budgets.

Facebook Apps

The social network is tweaking the algorithm that picks posts for feeds to do a better job of spotting “low quality” web pages.

Instead, the algorithm will seek out more informative posts.

It said the change was part of broader work it was doing to make Facebook less profitable for spammers.

How a victory for Macron and the European Union will unite a divided France

The media, and of course the social media in particular, has been agog with the news of 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron emerging the French president.

The victory of Macron has caused a heated debate within the Nigerian social media space. And that’s for two obvious reasons: One, the charismatic young man won on the platform of En Marche, a political movement which he formed less than a year ago.

Have a great day!


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Tech: Facebook to cut off ‘shocking’ news feed posts

Websites that harbour “disruptive, shocking or malicious” adverts will appear less frequently on user’s news feeds, Facebook has said.

Facebook 2

The social network is tweaking the algorithm that picks posts for feeds to do a better job of spotting “low quality” web pages.

Instead, the algorithm will seek out more informative posts.

It said the change was part of broader work it was doing to make Facebook less profitable for spammers.

Building trust

The change was aimed at sites that contained “little substantive content” and were set up only to profit from users’ attention, it said.

Facebook said it had already worked on ways to stop spammers from advertising on the network and now it wanted to do more to take on “organic posts” that turned up in news feeds.

Users had told it they were “disappointed” when they clicked on links that seemed to point to a news site but instead put them on a page built largely around adverts, Facebook said.

And these included pages with intrusive pop-up or interstitial ads, or that used pornographic pictures for dating sites or shocking images for treatments that purported to tackle many different ailments.

Facebook said its analysis of hundreds of thousands of web pages helped it to identify those run by spammers.

And this “fingerprint” of a spam site was now being used to spot whether posts for feeds had similar characteristics.

Facebook said the updated algorithm would be rolled out across its many territories over the next few months.

“The change could help Facebook fight fake news, as fakers are often financially motivated and blanket their false information articles in ads,” wrote Josh Constine on news site TechCrunch.

He added that the change was important as it would help build trust in the content users were being fed.