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Facebook board delays decision about Trump’s possible return

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By Cody Godwin

BBC News, San Francisco

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Facebook’s Oversight Board has delayed its decision regarding former US President Donald Trump’s possible return to Facebook and Instagram.

Mr Trump was banned from Facebook in January after the Capitol Hill riots.

The Board said the delay was due to the time it has taken to review over 9,000 public responses to cases.

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A decision was originally due by 21 April. In a statement on Twitter, the Board said it would make a decision “in the coming weeks”.

(1/2): The Board will announce its decision on the case concerning former US President Trump’s indefinite suspension from Facebook and Instagram in the coming weeks. We extended the public comments deadline for this case, receiving 9,000+ responses.

— Oversight Board (@OversightBoard) April 16, 2021

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

The ruling will be the biggest decision the Oversight Board has had to make since it started taking on cases last year.

The Board was set up to rule on difficult or controversial moderation decision made by Facebook.

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The 20-member committee, established by Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, is often referred to as “Facebook’s Supreme Court”.

The committee is made up of journalists, human rights activists, lawyers and academics.

  • a comment that seemed derogatory to Muslims – in a post from a user in Myanmar, removed for breaking hate-speech rules – was found not to be Islamophobic, when taken in context
  • an alleged quote from Joseph Goebbels – in an old post reshared by a US user, removed for violating polices on dangerous individuals and organisations – did not support Nazi ideology, again when taken in context
  • a video about Covid-19 “cures” – referred to the board by Facebook – was a comment about French government health policy and would not lead people to self-medicate
  • an Instagram post of eight photographs of breast-cancer symptoms should not have been removed – by Facebook’s automated moderation system, only to be restored before the board’s decision – for breaking adult-nudity rules

Big Tech bans Trump

It’s not just Mr Trump’s account that is banned. Earlier this month Facebook extended their ban to include the “voice of Trump” after his daughter-in-law and Fox News contributor Laura Trump posted a video of her interviewing the former president.

Several Big Tech platforms took action after the Capitol Hill riots that left five people dead and more than 100 police officers injured. The former president was accused of inciting violence and repeatedly spreading disinformation.

He is suspended on YouTube, but chief executive Susan Wojcicki has said they may lift the ban when the threat of “real-world violence” decreases.

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He is permanently banned on Twitter.

According to data from CrowdTangle, some of Mr Trump’s Facebook posts were among the most popular in the US.

The top-performing link posts by U.S. Facebook pages in the last 24 hours are from:

1. Dan Bongino

2. Donald J. Trump

3. Dan Bongino

4. Donald J. Trump

5. Donald Trump For President

6. Dan Bongino

7. Dan Bongino

8. Dan Bongino

9. Fox News

10. Jay Sekulow

— Facebook’s Top 10 (@FacebooksTop10) December 17, 2020

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

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It has been a few months without Mr Trump on social media and with the threat of that being permanent, he has been considering creating a platform of his own.

Trump adviser Jason Miller told Fox News in March that he expects the former Republican president will return with his “own platform”.

A huge decision for Facebook delayed

It’s hard to understate Facebook’s use to Donald Trump.

He and his high-profile supporters expertly used the platform to drum up support.

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Regularly his updates would be some of the most read, shared and commented-on posts on the platform.

His ability to bypass traditional media and speak directly to people on social media was a key plank of Trumpism.

This decision then is hugely important to Mr Trump’s future political ambitions.

And if you look at the decisions that the Oversight Board has already made, he has reason to be optimistic.

In making its decisions, the board has to try to weigh up the rights of freedom of expression with public safety. For most of their rulings so far this year they have erred on the side of free speech.

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No-platforming works – we have not heard much from Trump since his election defeat. His megaphone has been taken away, and he desperately wants it back.

He’s talked about launching his own social media platform – but building a social network takes time and there are no guarantees of success.

A far easier route to social media influence would be for Facebook to allow him back.

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LinkedIn Makes its 20 Most Popular LinkedIn Learning Courses Freely Available Throughout August

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Looking to up your skills for a job change or career advancement in the second half of the year?

This will help – today, LinkedIn has published its listing of the 20 most popular LinkedIn Learning courses over the first half of 2022. In addition to this, LinkedIn’s also making each of these courses free to access till the end of the month – so now may well be the best time to jump in and brush up on the latest, rising skills in your industry.

As per LinkedIn:

As the Great Reshuffle slows and the job market cools, professionals are getting more serious about skill building. The pandemic accelerated change across industries, and as a result, skills to do a job today have changed even compared to a few years ago. Professionals are responding by learning new skills to future-proof their careers and meet the moment.” 

LinkedIn says that over seven million people have undertaken these 20 courses this year, covering everything from improved communication, project management, coding, strategic thinking and more.

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Here are the top 20 LinkedIn Learning courses right now, which you can access via the relevant links:

  1. Goal Setting: Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) with Jessie Withers
  2. Excel Essential Training (Office 365/Microsoft 365) with Dennis Taylor
  3. Interpersonal Communication with Dorie Clark
  4. Cultivating a Growth Mindset with Gemma Leigh Roberts
  5. Project Management Foundations with Bonnie Biafore
  6. Using Questions to Foster Critical Thinking and Curiosity with Joshua Miller
  7. Essentials of Team Collaboration with Dana Brownlee
  8. Unconscious Bias with Stacey Gordon
  9. Learning Python with Joe Marini
  10. Communicating with Confidence with Jeff Ansell
  11.  Speaking Confidently and Effectively with Pete Mockaitis
  12. Learning the OWASP Top 10 with Caroline Wong
  13. Power BI Essential Training with Gini von Courter
  14. Strategic Thinking with Dorie Clark
  15. SQL Essential Training with Bill Weinman
  16. Developing Your Emotional Intelligence with Gemma Leigh Roberts
  17. Communication Foundations with Brenda Bailey-Hughes and Tatiana Kolovou
  18. Agile Foundations with Doug Rose
  19. Digital Marketing Foundations with Brad Batesole
  20. Critical Thinking with Mike Figliuolo
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If you’ve been thinking about upskilling, now may be the time – or maybe it’s just worth taking some of the programming courses, for example, so that you have a better understanding of how to communicate between departments on projects.

Or you could take an Agile course. If, you know, you don’t trust your own management ability.

The courses are available for free till August 31st via the above links.

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Instagram Is Rolling Out Reels Replies, And Will Be Testing A New Feature Which Informs …

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Instagram has added a few more social features to the platform, with Reels Replies being rolled out. Along with the Replies, anew feature is being tested that shows when two users are active together in the same chat.

Reels has been performing much better than perhaps even Instagram ever anticipated. The TikTok-inspired new video format (which officially claims to have absolutely no relation to the former) had some trouble really finding its footing initially. However, Reels has grown massively and while it may not be a source of the most direct competition to TikTok, it is indeed a worthy alternative.

Reels has grown to the point that it has a massive creator program attached to it, and the video format has even been migrated to Facebook with the goal of generating further user interest there. Naturally, with such a successful virtual goldmine on its hands, Instagram has been hard at work developing new features and interface updates for Reels, integrating it more and more seamlessly into the rest of the social media platform. Features such as Reels Replies are a major part of such attempts at integration.

Reels Visual Replies are essentially just what they sound like: A Reel that is being used to reply to someone. It’s a feature that’s been seen frequently across TikTok as well. Reel Replies essentially take a user’s comments, and reply to them in video format. The comment will then show up within the Reel itself as a text-box, taking up some amount of space, and showing both the user who issued said comment along with the text. The text-box is apparently adjustable, with users having the ability to move it around and change its size depending on where it obstructs one’s Reel the least.

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Overall, it’s a fun addition to the Reels format, even if the credit should be going to TikTok first. At any rate, it’s an example of Instagram really utilizing Reels’ social media capabilities, outside of just serving it up as a form of entertainment.

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Speaking of social media capabilities, a new feature might help alleviate one of the most common frustrations encountered across all such platforms. Isn’t it annoying when you see that a friend’s online, but isn’t replying to your chat? Sure, they’ve probably just put their phone down to run a quick errand, but there’s no way for you to know, right? Well, there sort of is now! Instagram is beta testing a new feature via which if both users are active within a chat, the platform will display that accordingly. It’s a work-around, sure, and one that’s currently being tested for usefulness, but it’s still a very nice, and even fresh, addition to the social media game.

Now, the active status will only appear when you are both active at the same time.#Instagram #instgramnewfeature@MattNavarra @instagram @alex193a pic.twitter.com/2chGZP9hr4

— Yash Joshi  (@MeYashjoshi) December 10, 2021

Read next: Instagram Plans On Allowing Users To Return To Its Old Chronologically Sorted News Feed

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5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android

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Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.

You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).

You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.

While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.

1. Planoly

PLANOLY

We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.

Planoly is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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2. Buffer

BufferCredit: buffer / app store

Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.

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Buffer is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

3. Preview

PreviewCredit: preview / app store

Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.

Preview is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

4. Content Office

Content OfficeCredit: content office / app store

An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.

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Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

5. Plann

PlannCredit: plann / apple store

You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…

Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.

Plann is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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