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Facebook Dubbed ‘Bully’ as Backlash Grows over Dispute with Australia | Voice of America – English

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The law will likely come into force next week. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Facebook had “unfriended Australia.” He described the company as arrogant and bullying and warned that Facebook was stoking international fears about oversized technology companies.

Under Australia’s new media code, social media companies will be required to reach a payment deal for news content linked or shared on their platforms. If an agreement proves elusive, an independent arbitrator can set pricing.

Facebook’s block took effect overnight Wednesday, with the digital giant preventing the sharing of news, including content from the country’s public broadcasters, as well as government pages featuring weather and emergency service warnings. Sharing or linking to community, women’s health and domestic violence pages also disappeared.

Elaine Pearson, Australia director at Human Rights Watch, said it was a “dangerous turn of events. Cutting off access to vital information to an entire country in the dead of the night is unconscionable.”

“We will not be intimidated by this act of bullying by Big Tech,” Morrison said in a statement.

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He added, “These actions will only confirm the concerns that an increasing number of countries are expressing about the behavior of Big Tech companies who think they are bigger than governments and that the rules should not apply to them. They may be changing the world, but that doesn’t mean they should run it.”

Morrison’s remarks were echoed elsewhere.

In Britain, Facebook’s action was described by Conservative lawmaker Julian Knight, chairman of a parliamentary culture and media committee, as “one of the most idiotic but also deeply disturbing corporate moves of our lifetimes.

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“Australia’s democratically elected government is democratically elected. And they have the right to make laws and legislation. And it’s really disrespecting democracy to act in this fashion,” he told British broadcaster Sky News.

In 2019, a British government review found that Facebook and Google had a damaging impact on Britain’s news media because they attracted the lion’s share of online advertising revenue, starving private sector broadcasters and newspapers of income. Researchers found that 61% of British media advertising goes to either Facebook or Google.

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Google threatened to take similar action, but last week it began signing preemptive payment deals. Google also has been striking voluntary deals in Britain and some European countries.

Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s competition commissioner, said Facebook and Google, owner of the world’s most used search engine, act like “a de facto duopoly.”

In a post, Facebook told Australia’s 18 million users that it had acted reluctantly and argued the new law misunderstood the relationship between Facebook and publishers who use it to share news content.

Facebook advocates

But Facebook also has defenders in the tech industry.

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Mike Masnick, founder of the California-based blog Techdirt.com, said users are not being blocked from accessing news. “Contrary to the idea that this is an ‘attack’ on journalism or news in Australia, it’s not. The news still exists in Australia. News companies still have websites. People can still visit those websites,” he said in a blog post.

Australia’s move to tax links is alarming, Masnick adds. “This is fundamentally against the principles of an open internet. The government saying that you can’t link to a news site unless you pay a tax should be seen as inherently problematic for a long list of reasons. At a most basic level, it’s demanding payment for traffic.”

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On Thursday, the tech giant started to allow access via its platform from public health websites.

Facebook’s move to block media content in Australia was lambasted by Britain’s News Media Association. Henry Faure Walker, chairman of the group, said the action showed why countries need to coordinate robust regulation. He said the action was “a classic example” of a monopoly power “trying to protect its dominant position with scant regard for the citizens and customers it supposedly serves.”

Facebook’s British critics also highlighted emerging news that the tech giant has accepted funding from China’s state-controlled media organizations, including the China Daily newspaper and China Global Television Network (CGTN), to promote Chinese government denials that Beijing has been targeting ethnic Uighur Muslims and other minorities in the northwest region of Xinjiang in what the U.S. government has labeled a “genocide.”

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An investigation this week by Britain’s trade journal the Press Gazette unearthed details of payments being made by Chinese state-controlled media to Facebook to advertise and promote the stories dismissing international concerns over the plight of the Uighurs as Western “disinformation.”

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Updating Special Ad Audiences for housing, employment, and credit advertisers

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On June 21, 2022 we announced an important settlement with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that will change the way we deliver housing ads to people residing in the US. Specifically, we are building into our ads system a method designed to make sure the audience that ends up seeing a housing ad more closely reflects the eligible targeted audience for that ad.

As part of this agreement, we will also be sunsetting Special Ad Audiences, a tool that lets advertisers expand their audiences for ad sets related to housing. We are choosing to sunset this for employment and credit ads as well. In 2019, in addition to eliminating certain targeting options for housing, employment and credit ads, we introduced Special Ad Audiences as an alternative to Lookalike Audiences. But the field of fairness in machine learning is a dynamic and evolving one, and Special Ad Audiences was an early way to address concerns. Now, our focus will move to new approaches to improve fairness, including the method previously announced.

What’s happening: We’re removing the ability to create Special Ad Audiences via Ads Manager beginning on August 25, 2022.

Beginning October 12th, 2022, we will pause any remaining ad sets that contain Special Ad Audiences. These ad sets may be restarted once advertisers have removed any and all Special Ad Audiences from those ad sets. We are providing a two month window between preventing new Special Ad Audiences and pausing existing Special Ad Audiences to enable advertisers the time to adjust budgets and strategies as needed.

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For more details, please visit our Newsroom post.

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Impact to Advertisers using Marketing API on September 13, 2022

For advertisers and partners using the API listed below, the blocking of new Special Ad Audience creation will present a breaking change on all versions. Beginning August 15, 2022, developers can start to implement the code changes, and will have until September 13, 2022, when the non-versioning change occurs and prior values are deprecated. Refer below to the list of impacted endpoints related to this deprecation:

For reading audience:

  • endpoint gr:get:AdAccount/customaudiences
  • field operation_status

For adset creation:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdAccount/adsets
  • field subtype

For adset editing:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdCampaign
  • field subtype

For custom audience creation:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdAccount/customaudiences
  • field subtype

For custom audience editing:

  • endpoint gr:post:CustomAudience

Please refer to the developer documentation for further details to support code implementation.

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Introducing an Update to the Data Protection Assessment

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Over the coming year, some apps with access to certain types of user data on our platforms will be required to complete the annual Data Protection Assessment. We have made a number of improvements to this process since our launch last year, when we introduced our first iteration of the assessment.

The updated Data Protection Assessment will include a new developer experience that is enhanced through streamlined communications, direct support, and clear status updates. Today, we’re sharing what you can expect from these new updates and how you can best prepare for completing this important privacy requirement if your app is within scope.

If your app is in scope for the Data Protection Assessment, and you’re an app admin, you’ll receive an email and a message in your app’s Alert Inbox when it’s time to complete the annual assessment. You and your team of experts will then have 60 calendar days to complete the assessment. We’ve built a new platform that enhances the user experience of completing the Data Protection Assessment. These updates to the platform are based on learnings over the past year from our partnership with the developer community. When completing the assessment, you can expect:

  • Streamlined communication: All communications and required actions will be through the My Apps page. You’ll be notified of pending communications requiring your response via your Alerts Inbox, email, and notifications in the My Apps page.

    Note: Other programs may still communicate with you through the App Contact Email.

  • Available support: Ability to engage with Meta teams via the Support tool to seek clarification on the questions within the Data Protection Assessment prior to submission and help with any requests for more info, or to resolve violations.

    Note: To access this feature, you will need to add the app and app admins to your Business Manager. Please refer to those links for step-by-step guides.

  • Clear status updates: Easy to understand status and timeline indicators throughout the process in the App Dashboard, App Settings, and My Apps page.
  • Straightforward reviewer follow-ups: Streamlined experience for any follow-ups from our reviewers, all via developers.facebook.com.

We’ve included a brief video that provides a walkthrough of the experience you’ll have with the Data Protection Assessment:

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We’re having trouble playing this video.

The Data Protection Assessment elevates the importance of data security and helps gain the trust of the billions of people who use our products and services around the world. That’s why we are committed to providing a seamless experience for our partners as you complete this important privacy requirement.

Here is what you can do now to prepare for the assessment:

  1. Make sure you are reachable: Update your developer or business account contact email and notification settings.
  2. Review the questions in the Data Protection Assessment and engage with your teams on how best to answer these questions. You may have to enlist the help of your legal and information security points of contact to answer some parts of the assessment.
  3. Review Meta Platform Terms and our Developer Policies.

We know that when people choose to share their data, we’re able to work with the developer community to safely deliver rich and relevant experiences that create value for people and businesses. It’s a privilege we share when people grant us access to their data, and it’s imperative that we protect that data in order to maintain and build upon their trust. This is why the Data Protection Assessment focuses on data use, data sharing and data security.

Data privacy is challenging and complex, and we’re dedicated to continuously improving the processes to safeguard user privacy on our platform. Thank you for partnering with us as we continue to build a safer, more sustainable platform.

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

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