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India imposes new rules on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

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(CNN Business)India issued strict new rules on Thursday for Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR) and other social media platforms weeks after the country’s government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down accounts it deemed incendiary.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles in India: a “compliance officer” who will ensure they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who will address complaints from Indian users about their platforms; and a “contact person” available to Indian law enforcement 24/7. The companies will also have to publish a compliance report every month detailing how many complaints they received and what action they took.

Social media platforms will also be required to remove some types of content, including posts that feature “full or partial nudity,” a “sexual act” or “impersonation including morphed images.”

Large social networks, which India will define soon based on the number of users, will be given three months to comply with the policy changes, while smaller ones are expected to comply immediately, the government said.

    The new rules come on the heels of a tense standoff between Twitter and the Indian government. Twitter reinstated several accounts that the government had ordered it to take down for using what it called “incendiary and baseless” hashtags related to farmers protesting against new agricultural reforms. The platform ultimately took down hundreds of accounts and partially restricted others, but drew a line by refusing to block accounts of journalists, activists and politicians.

    At the same time, the rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.

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    “Social media is welcome to do business in India — they have done exceedingly well, they have brought good business, they have brought good number of users, and they have also empowered ordinary Indians,” Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s minister for electronics and information technology, told reporters on Thursday. But he said that while the government “welcomes criticism and the right to dissent,” tech companies need to do more “against the abuse and misuse of social media.”

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    Facebook said it would “carefully study” the new rules. “We have always been clear as a company that we welcome regulations that set guidelines for addressing today’s toughest challenges on the internet,” a company spokesperson told CNN Business. “Facebook is an ally for India and the agenda of user safety and security is a critical one for our platforms.”

    Twitter and Google, which owns YouTube, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    Some other provisions in India’s rules could end up being a little more contentious, particularly a requirement to trace the “first originator” of problematic messages or posts that go viral. WhatsApp, the mobile messaging app owned by Facebook that is hugely popular in India, has pushed back against those requirements in the past, saying it would require breaking the app’s end-to-end encryption.

    Prasad also called out the difference between how social media platforms reacted to events in the United States and India, contrasting the Capitol Hill riots on January 6 with the violent clashes between Indian police and protesters at New Delhi’s Red Fort a few weeks later. (The Indian government previously criticized Twitter for taking immediate action against several accounts following the Capitol Hill riot while doing so “unwillingly, grudgingly and with great delay” in India.)

    “If there is an attack on Capitol Hill in Congress then social media supports the police action, but if there is an aggressive attack on Red Fort, the symbol of India’s freedom … there is a double standard,” he said. “This is unacceptable.”

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    Twitter is stuck between a rock and a hard place in India

      The escalation in India creates a particular challenge for Silicon Valley as the South Asian country represents one of its biggest markets. India has more internet users than any other country except China, but its government has shown a growing tendency to regulate and restrict (or even outright ban) foreign tech companies in recent years.

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      In Thursday’s press conference, Prasad cited industry estimates that highlight how important India is to these companies: WhatsApp has 530 million users in the country. Facebook’s flagship platform has 410 million users and Facebook-owned Instagram has 210 million. YouTube and Twitter have around 450 million and 17.5 million users, respectively, he said.

      CNN’s Esha Mitra contributed to this report.

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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.

      First seen at developers.facebook.com

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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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      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.

      First seen at developers.facebook.com

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

      First seen at developers.facebook.com

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