Connect with us

Facebook

Facebook begins testing popup to quell misinformation spread

McKenzie Elyse

Published

on

We may earn a small commission when you click or purchase an item using a link on this website.


Facebook wants to make sure that its users have read the articles that they share with a new popup feature, which was rolled out to 6 percent of global Android users on Monday. It announced the feature on Twitter, a platform which began testing a similar concept in June 2020.

The popup will only appear on articles that the user hasn’t opened, asking them if they would like to read the article before they continue sharing it. The popup is accompanied with a warning message: “sharing articles without reading them may mean missing key facts.”


Facebook has long struggled with the spread of misinformation and “fake news” on its platforms, particularly during the 2020 election. The announcement of the new popup feature came days after its newly established Oversight Board, a committee of lawyers, politicians, and speech experts, upheld a ban on Former President Donald Trump’s account.

Twitter’s version of the popup feature has received mostly positive feedback, and has prompted users to open articles 40 percent more often than before its release. The feature rolled out to all of its users in September 2020 after three months of testing.

I'm a copywriter, journalist, and web content creator with a strong passion for my work. Crafting narratives of the world around me brings me an incredible sense of joy — there's nothing I would rather be doing. Besides writing, I enjoy cooking, mixology, music, and my weird cat named Marceline.

Amazon

Facebook, Google, And More Pressure SEC to Require Business Climate Reports

Brandon Marcus

Published

on

Seven of the biggest technology companies in the world are urging the federal government to hold them accountable about climate change. 

Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google parent company Alphabet, and more sent a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler on Friday, asking that the SEC require businesses to regularly reveal issues related to climate change to shareholders and the public. 


The coalition’s letter stated that the companies “believe that climate disclosures are critical to ensure that companies follow through on stated climate commitments and to track collective progress towards addressing global warming and building a prosperous, resilient zero-carbon economy.” It marks one of the most high-profile attempts by big tech to spur more self-responsibility and involvement from their sector and follows other instances of the industry being vocal about the need to address climate change.

Perhaps the biggest request in the letter is regarding greenhouse gases. The companies claim that the SEC should require businesses to report on these gas emissions in an annual report that provides transparency to anyone involved in the company and any potential customers as well. 

Additionally, the group of businesses stated that they have purchased 21 gigawatts of clean energy in their quest for a fully renewable economy. 

The letter doesn’t come as a major surprise, since many major tech companies have long been adamant about fighting climate change. However, even the most vocal companies have been criticized for their lack of tangible action. Recently, some of these companies – such as Amazon – have put forth plans to show how serious they are about tackling the pressing issue. Jeff Bezos launched the “Climate Pledge” in September 2019, which included plans for Amazon to use 80% renewable energy by 2024 before transitioning to complete zero emissions by the year 2030. 

Continue Reading

Facebook

Facebook is Ending Its Special Treatment for Politicians

Brandon Marcus

Published

on

Months after an oversight board said that the same rules should apply to all its users, Facebook is set to end its controversial policy that has protected politicians from traditional moderation standards.

The oversight board that gave Facebook the advice to change their policy was created after the company banned former president Donald Trump in response to the Capitol insurrection in January 2021. The surprising ban upset many on the far right, with some calling it unfair treatment of a political figure expressing free speech. It has set off a firestorm of controversy, with some states even enacting new laws to punish social media companies that ban politicians.


The Trump ban was a major departure for Facebook, which had enacted a hands-off approach to politicians and their posts for years. The company had long insisted that political accounts shouldn’t be subjected to fact-checking like common user accounts. Mark Zuckerberg himself has repeatedly stated that Facebook should not be policing the speech of elected officials because such speech is already monitored and critiqued by the mass media and voters. Zuckerberg has claimed he didn’t want Facebook to interject itself into any political matters, even if politicians were spreading falsehoods.

That choice by Facebook has caused intense criticism, especially in the last year when mainstream lies about the presidential election of 2020 were spread across every form of social media. A year before the election, a group of Facebook employees asked that the decision to not moderate politicians’ accounts be overturned. Despite that plea, top brass at Facebook claimed that all speech from politicians will be treated as “newsworthy” content, even if it was full of misinformation. This change in policy that will be announced is a complete departure from that stance.

It remains to be seen how Facebook will crack down on politicians’ accounts now that they are altering their years-long stance. Any new rules created by the company will definitely be put into regular use during the midterm elections of 2022 and far beyond.

Continue Reading

Facebook

New Florida Bill Fines Tech Companies for Banning Politicians

Brandon Marcus

Published

on

Social media platforms can no longer ban politicians from using their services in the state of Florida, unless they want to be fined a hefty sum.

That’s the basis of the new bill signed Monday by Ron DeSantis. The Republican governor said that the bill is a way to protect free speech for elected officials and those in contention to hold office. It comes after months of accusations that tech companies, specifically Facebook and Twitter, are de-platforming politicians and limiting their access to supporters. 


In a statement, the governor said “If Big Tech censors enforce rules inconsistently, to discriminate in favor of the dominant Silicon Valley ideology, they will now be held accountable.”

Just how much will they be held accountable? Quite a lot, actually. The bill permits the Florida Election Commission to impose a fine of $250,000 per day to any social media company that bans a candidate for a statewide office. The fee for banning a candidate for a non-statewide position is $25,000 per day. A suspension of up to 14 days is still allowed under the new legislation.

“What we’ve been seeing across the U.S. is an effort to silence, intimidate and wipe out dissenting voices by the leftest media and big corporations,” DeSantis remarked. 

Many on the right applauded the bill while others decried it as an attempt to punish social media companies. These companies have come under heavy opposition from many following the 2020 election and especially after former President Trump was banned from multiple platforms after the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6. Since then, there has been a rise of allegations against tech companies and calls for federal legislation to limit their abilities to ban politicians and limit speech. 

While no national bills have been seriously proposed or debated in Congress, the Florida law is the first of what will likely be many more across the country. In fact, a similar law is now making its way through the Texas legislature. 


Continue Reading
Advertisement

Sign Up For The Latest Bite Sized Tech News


Trending

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x