The Daily Beast
Rinco Chiu/GettyThe coronavirus pandemic has brought with it outbreaks of racial harassment, abuse, and physical violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities across the United States—a spike that President Joe Biden has vocally condemned since his earliest days in office. But community leaders, fearful that the “fast and furious” increase in incidents could continue long after the pandemic has retreated, say that a change in rhetoric from the Oval Office is just a first step to addressing the root causes of anti-Asian hostility.“Asian Americans have felt so invisible when it comes to these issues, that it’s not acknowledged,” said Cynthia Choi, co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, a longtime civil rights organization based in San Francisco. “I’ve heard from so many community members and leaders say what a world of difference it makes, to have the president of the United States actually acknowledge and to see us.”“It does matter and I think it is important—of course, following that up with real action.”Anti-Asian harassment is not new to the pandemic, and the recent upswing comes on the heels of deteriorating relations with China and years of anti-immigrant policies by the previous administration, both of which have contributed to the scapegoating of Asian Americans for any number of national ills. But the novel coronavirus, which was first discovered in Wuhan, China, has sparked the biggest wave of anti-Asian harassment in decades, from major cities with vibrant Asian American neighborhoods to suburbs and rural communities.Most people had little information to go on during the first weeks of the pandemic, but even during the earliest days, community leaders knew enough about the virus and its origins to know who would be blamed.“I was visiting my sister in Massachusetts, and I heard this story that there’s this virus that was discovered in Wuhan, and I said, ‘oh, my God, here we go,’” said Jo-Ann Yoo, executive director of the Asian American Federation, which coordinates the work of more than 60 nonprofit organizations that support Asian communities in the United States. “I knew exactly what this was going to be.”Yoo’s early concerns were justified swiftly, and often brutally. According to Stop AAPI Hate, which has tracked incidents of discrimination, harassment and violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders during the pandemic, the group received more than 2,800 reports of racism and harassment between March 19 and Dec. 31 of last year alone.When the group first began tracking incidents of harassment and violence against AAPI communities, President Donald Trump and his administration had already been using his platform to make racist jokes about the “kung flu” or “Chinese virus” for weeks. As the death toll from the virus climbed into the hundreds of thousands and as the nation’s economy veered on collapse, Trump steadfastly blamed the ravages of the pandemic on China and its government, rather than his own government’s mishandling of the crisis at nearly every turn.Close up of President @realDonaldTrump notes is seen where he crossed out “Corona” and replaced it with “Chinese” Virus as he speaks with his coronavirus task force today at the White House. #trump #trumpnotes pic.twitter.com/kVw9yrPPeJ— Jabin Botsford (@jabinbotsford) March 19, 2020 That rhetoric, advocates told The Daily Beast, had a direct effect on the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes and abuse that would follow.“Racist tropes really fueled this resentment, this animus towards Asians,” said Choi. “Look at where we are with the pandemic—people are really trusting our national leaders and hanging onto their every word, even the most ridiculous.”Biden has, since the early days of the coronavirus, urged Americans not to scapegoat vulnerable communities for the pandemic, and one of his first acts in office was to sign an executive order condemning Trump’s xenophobic language and ordering the Department of Justice to track hate crimes against AAPI people in the United States. Asked last month what the president might do in addition to that executive order, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that “of course” Biden would support additional action on the local and federal level to strengthen the law enforcement response to the growing crisis, but the White House has not yet specified what that might look like.Early warnings that Trump’s language could get people hurt had decades of historical evidence in their favor. The anti-Asian racism perpetuated by the White House was part of a long American tradition of pinning “culpability” for infectious diseases on members of politically, racially or economically disadvantaged and unpopular groups, particularly immigrant communities. Smallpox and leprosy outbreaks in the 1940s were blamed on Chinese immigrant communities by officials who accused them of “unclean” lifestyles; between 1982 and 1985, reported hate crimes against gay men tripled in the United States as they were blamed for the spread of HIV/AIDS.That history, community leaders say, means that a simple change in rhetoric from the Oval Office isn’t enough to end the rise in attacks on Asian American people and communities.“Donald Trump is absolutely responsible for increasing hatred against Asian Americans,” said Quyen Dinh, executive director of Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, a civil rights organization that works on behalf of Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese American communities. But Trump’s attacks, which Dinh called “a calculated tactic to distract Americans from a public health crisis” and Trump’s failed response, were only the most recent episode in a long history of fearmongering against Asian American communities.“Hate and xenophobia against Asian American communities isn’t new,” Dinh said, citing the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese internment during World War II, and current hostilities against Chinese academics and scientists at U.S. universities. “Law enforcement and the U.S. government have been some of the worst agitators of hate.”In many ways, Choi echoed, that long history of hostility defines the contemporary Asian American experience, particularly during the pandemic.“The demonization and dehumanization of an entire group is essentially history repeating itself,” Choi said.In a statement late last month, the Department of Justice indicated that the additional action will include increased training for federal prosecutors and law enforcement officers on investigating and prosecuting hate crimes, with “hundreds” having received the training in recent months.“Hate crimes cannot be tolerated in our country, and the Department of Justice will continue to put all necessary resources toward protecting our neighbors and our communities from these heinous acts,” said Pamela Karlan, the principal deputy assistant attorney general in DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, which Karlan said is in “frequent communication” with the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Offices as they support local law enforcement investigations.Some leading advocates for a federal response to growing violence against Asian Americans have applauded the Biden administration’s willingness to coordinate the law enforcement response.“While Donald Trump stoked violence and hatred using racist language, President Biden has condemned anti-Asian racism and I have every confidence that DOJ will vigorously investigate and prosecute these acts of hate and violence against the AAPI community,” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) told The Daily Beast. “Focusing resources to expedite the review and prosecution of these cases will help alleviate the fear and trauma that AAPIs have suffered as a result of these attacks.”Multiple community leaders told The Daily Beast that the order was “a good first step,” but cautioned against solely relying on the Department of Justice to address the problem. On a roundtable call last Thursday with more than a dozen AAPI organizations, leaders from various communities told Susan Rice, the president’s top domestic policy advisor, and White House senior advisor Cedric Richmond that the climate of fear needs to be combated with a multi-front approach to structural racism, rather than just a change in rhetoric and an increase in prosecutions for hate crimes.“Law enforcement sometimes isn’t the answer,” said Yoo, who participated in the listening session. “Some of our immigrants come from countries where police interaction isn’t necessarily a positive, and so I think people are much more cautious.”L.A. Attack Against Korean-American Vet Under Investigation as Hate CrimeDinh, who also participated in the call, cautioned that a response focusing entirely on the Justice Department’s role risks further fanning the flames of division between minority communities, at the expense of all of them.“We cannot combat hate and misinformation through the very systems that hurt us—through policing, through enforcement, and through the criminal legal system,” Dinh said, warning that a response that’s overly reliant on law enforcement could further stoke tensions. “These systems criminalize our people and our Black and brown allies. They wreak havoc in our neighborhoods. They subject generations of our families to harm, to pain, to trauma. We can combat hate and misinformation through community, through compassion, and through education.”Advocates say additional resources to ensure that Asian Americans in immigrant communities are fully appraised of their rights as crime victims could actually help as well as more cooperation between community leaders and civic leaders to ensure that those resources include language access.“Victims often don’t know what their rights are. What’s the language access? What’s the language capacity for some of the law enforcement officers? I mean, if somebody is a victim, can the police take a report in-language?” said Yoo. “Can you offer assistance and explain fully what their rights are as victims and what help is available, in-language? And is that help offered in a culturally competent and relevant manner? Those are the things that I think about.”Choi, who also participated in the call with White House advisors, said that community leaders called for additional resources for victims of crimes beyond the scope of law enforcement, including access to mental health services, as well as prevention-based programs that focus on the underlying causes of violence, crime and racial bias, particularly in low-income and working class communities.“When community members and entire communities don’t have the resources to be able to have their basic needs met, that’s where you will see violence and crime, and communities hurting each other,” Choi said.Still, much of the problem was incited by the racist language of Biden’s predecessor—which means that public commitment to fighting anti-Asian racism is still a powerful tool.“Words matter, especially words said from the highest office,” Dinh said. “President Biden must affirm the pain that our communities have experienced for so long. Beyond an address, our communities are looking for action and leadership to show the path forward toward healing and justice.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Introducing Facebook Graph API v18.0 and Marketing API v18.0
Today, we are releasing Facebook Graph API v18.0 and Marketing API v18.0. As part of this release, we are highlighting changes below that we believe are relevant to parts of our developer community. These changes include announcements, product updates, and notifications on deprecations that we believe are relevant to your application(s)’ integration with our platform.
For a complete list of all changes and their details, please visit our changelog.
Consolidation of Audience Location Status Options for Location Targeting
As previously announced in May 2023, we have consolidated Audience Location Status to our current default option of “People living in or recently in this location” when choosing the type of audience to reach within their Location Targeting selections. This update reflects a consolidation of other previously available options and removal of our “People traveling in this location” option.
We are making this change as part of our ongoing efforts to deliver more value to businesses, simplify our ads system, and streamline our targeting options in order to increase performance efficiency and remove options that have low usage.
This update will apply to new or duplicated campaigns. Existing campaigns created prior to launch will not be entered in this new experience unless they are in draft mode or duplicated.
Add “add_security_recommendation” and “code_expiration_minutes” to WA Message Templates API
Earlier this year, we released WhatsApp’s authentication solution which enabled creating and sending authentication templates with native buttons and preset authentication messages. With the release of Graph API v18, we’re making improvements to the retrieval of authentication templates, making the end-to-end authentication template process easier for BSPs and businesses.
With Graph API v18, BSPs and businesses can have better visibility into preset authentication message template content after creation. Specifically, payloads will return preset content configuration options, in addition to the text used by WhatsApp. This improvement can enable BSPs and businesses to build “edit” UIs for authentication templates that can be constructed on top of the API.
Note that errors may occur when upgrading to Graph API v18 if BSPs or businesses are taking the entire response from the GET request and providing it back to the POST request to update templates. To resolve, the body/header/footer text fields should be dropped before passing back into the API.
Re-launching dev docs and changelogs for creating Call Ads
- Facebook Reels Placement for Call Ads
Meta is releasing the ability to deliver Call Ads through the Facebook Reels platform. Call ads allow users to call businesses in the moment of consideration when they view an ad, and help businesses drive more complex discussions with interested users. This is an opportunity for businesses to advertise with call ads based on peoples’ real-time behavior on Facebook. Under the Ad set Level within Ads Manager, businesses can choose to add “Facebook Reels” Under the Placements section.
- Re-Launching Call Ads via API
On September 12, 2023, we’re providing updated guidance on how to create Call Ads via the API. We are introducing documentation solely for Call Ads, so that 3P developers can more easily create Call Ads’ campaigns and know how to view insights about their ongoing call ad campaigns, including call-related metrics. In the future, we also plan to support Call Add-ons via our API platform. Developers should have access to the general permissions necessary to create general ads in order to create Call Ads via the API platform.
Please refer to developer documentation for additional information.
Deprecations & Breaking Changes
Graph API changes for user granular permission feature
We are updating two graph API endpoints for WhatsAppBusinessAccount. These endpoints are as follows:
- Retrieve message templates associated with WhatsAppBusiness Account
- Retrieve phone numbers associated with WhatsAppBusiness Account
With v18, we are rolling out a new feature “user granular permission”. All existing users who are already added to WhatsAppBusinessAccount will be backfilled and will continue to have access (no impact).
The admin has the flexibility to change these permissions. If the admin changes the permission and removes access to view message templates or phone numbers for one of their users, that specific user will start getting an error message saying you do not have permission to view message templates or phone numbers on all versions v18 and older.
Deprecate legacy metrics naming for IG Media and User Insights
Starting on September 12, Instagram will remove duplicative and legacy, insights metrics from the Instagram Graph API in order to share a single source of metrics to our developers.
This new upgrade reduces any confusion as well as increases the reliability and quality of our reporting.
After 90 days of this launch (i.e. December 11, 2023), we will remove all these duplicative and legacy insights metrics from the Instagram Graph API on all versions in order to be more consistent with the Instagram app.
We appreciate all the feedback that we’ve received from our developer community, and look forward to continuing to work together.
Deprecate all Facebook Wi-Fi v1 and Facebook Wi-Fi v2 endpoints
Facebook Wi-Fi was designed to improve the experience of connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots at businesses. It allowed a merchant’s customers to get free Wi-Fi simply by checking in on Facebook. It also allowed merchants to control who could use their Wi-Fi and for how long, and integrated with ads to enable targeting to customers who had used the merchant’s Wi-Fi. This product was deprecated on June 12, 2023. As the partner notice period has ended, all endpoints used by Facebook Wi-Fi v1 and Facebook Wi-Fi v2 have been deprecated and removed.
API Version Deprecations:
- September 14, 2023: Graph API v11.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
- February 8, 2024: Graph API v12.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
- May 28, 2024: Graph API v13.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
- September 20, 2023: Marketing API v14.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
- September 20, 2023: Marketing API v15.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
- February 06, 2024: Marketing API v16.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
To avoid disruption to your business, we recommend migrating all calls to the latest API version that launched today.
Facebook Platform SDK
As part of our 2-year deprecation schedule for Platform SDKs, please note the upcoming deprecations and sunsets:
- October 2023: Facebook Platform SDK v11.0 or below will be sunset
- February 2024: Facebook Platform SDK v12.0 or below will be sunset
First seen at developers.facebook.com
Allowing Users to Promote Stories as Ads (via Marketing API)
Before today (August 28, 2023), advertisers could not promote images and/or videos used in Instagram Stories as ads via the Instagram Marketing API. This process created unwanted friction for our partners and their customers.
After consistently hearing about this pain point from our developer community, we have removed this unwanted friction for advertisers and now allow users to seamlessly promote their image and/or video media used in Instagram Stories as ads via the Instagram Marketing API as of August 28, 2023.
We appreciate all the feedback received from our developer community, and hope to continue improving your experience.
Please review the developer documentation to learn more.
First seen at developers.facebook.com
Launching second release of Facebook Reels API: An enterprise solution for desktop and web publishers
We’re excited to announce that the second release of FB Reels API is now publicly available for third-party developers. FB Reels API enables users of third-party platforms to share Reels directly to public Facebook Pages and the New Pages Experience.
FB Reels API has grown significantly since the first release in September 2022. The new version of the APIs now support custom thumbnails, automatic music tagging, tagging collaborators, longer format of reels and better error handling.
FB Reels API will also support scheduling and draft capability to allow creators to take advantage of tools provided either by Meta or by our partners. Based on the feedback we received from our partners, we’ll now provide additional audio insights via the Audio Recommendations API and reels performance metrics via the Insights API.
Our goal in the next couple of releases is to continue to make it easier for creators to develop quality content by adding features like early copyright detection and A/B testing. We’re also excited to start working on enhanced creation features like Video clipping- so stay tuned to hear more about those features in the future.
If you are a developer interested in integrating with the Facebook Reels API, please refer to the Developer Documents for more info.
Not sure if this product is for you? Check out our entire suite of sharing offerings.
Tune in to Product @scale event to learn more about FB Video APIs and hear from some of our customers.
First seen at developers.facebook.com
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