Connect with us

FACEBOOK

Facebook draws fire over plan to reduce political content | CBC News

Published

on

U.S. social media giant Facebook should be more transparent about how it is reducing the political content Canadians are seeing as they prepare to head to the polls in the federal election, New Democrat Charlie Angus says.

NDP MP Charlie Angus says Facebook should tell Canadians more about the algorithm it is using to reduce the political content they see in their feeds. (CBC)

  • Have an election question for CBC News? Email us: Ask@cbc.ca. Your input helps inform our coverage.

  • Find out who’s ahead in the latest polls with our Poll Tracker.

American social media giant Facebook should be more transparent about how it is reducing the political content Canadians are seeing as they prepare to head to the polls in the federal election, says New Democrat Charlie Angus.

In an interview with CBC News, Angus said Facebook has “unprecedented power” and is the source of information for many Canadians.

“When Facebook says they’re going to be having less political coverage, I want to know what does that mean practically, because if they are throttling political conversation and political information when many people coming off the pandemic are getting their information online, that could be very troubling,” said Angus, a longtime NDP MP who has participated in the work of the International Grand Committee on Disinformation, which studies the influence of social media platforms on countries around the world.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Angus’s comments came Wednesday as Facebook unveiled its 2021 Canadian Election Integrity Initiative, which outlines steps it plans to take to prevent its platform from being used by bad actors to influence the election or to spread misinformation or disinformation.

The initiative also includes the continuation of a pilot project Facebook launched in February to reduce the political content that Canadian users see automatically in their Facebook feeds in favour of posts from friends and family.

Facebook Canada’s public policy manager Rachel Curran defended the decision to reduce the amount of political content Canadians see in a Twitter exchange with Conservative Senator Denise Batters. (CBC)

In a response to Conservative Senator Denise Batters, who tweeted Wednesday that “information suppression” could “help the incumbent government,” Rachel Curran, Facebook’s public policy manager and a former aide to Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said the suggestion was “inaccurate and unhelpful.”

Advertisement
free widgets for website

“Facebook announced a reduction in organic political content (not political ads) back in Feb, because Canadian users want to see less of it in their feeds,” Curran tweeted. “It affects content equally across the political spectrum and all parties have been briefed.”

Angus, however, is concerned.

“If they have decided that when you get up in the morning there’s going to be more stories about cat videos than what’s happening on the political front, I don’t know if that is helpful,” Angus said. “They need to explain very clearly. They need to be transparent about what they are doing so we know that Facebook’s algorithm builders aren’t monkey-wrenching public conversation.”

The algorithm can’t be kept in a black box when we’re talking about democracy.– New Democrat Charlie Angus

Angus said Facebook should make public the algorithm it is using to restrict political content in Canadian users’ feeds.

“The algorithm can’t be kept in a black box when we’re talking about democracy. That would be a fundamental. There has to be a transparency factor that we know why content is being promoted or why content is being diminished online through the algorithm.”

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Angus also questioned whether political players could manipulate the algorithm to reduce political content to favour one party or another.

“Gaming the algorithm is something that you can be rest assured that data mercenaries are working on right now, and the ones who solve that problem will sell it to the highest political bidder,” Angus said.

Liberal Party spokesman Alex Deslongchamps said communication via social media is important to the party but didn’t directly comment on Facebook’s decision to reduce political content.

“It’s important that Canadians are able to easily access and exchange ideas with political leaders and candidates online, and we have taken strong steps to ensure transparency and accountability on social media during elections,” Deslongchamps wrote.

“Positive engagement online, including on Facebook and other social media platforms, continues to be an important way that the Liberal Party and our candidates work to involve more Canadians in our democracy and elections. Regardless of the platform, the Liberal Party will continue to pursue innovative and engaging ways to connect with more people about our plan to keep Canada moving forward.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada is concerned about social media companies’ censoring conservative views by removing posts the companies consider misinformation or contrary to their community standards. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

For Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada (PPC), which has actively protested against some of the public health restrictions imposed during the pandemic, Facebook’s plan to remove content it classifies as misinformation is more troubling.

“We obviously support their intervening to prevent blatant misinformation that can cause harm, and attempts to distort and manipulate the elections,” said Martin Masse, spokesman for the party. “But Facebook (and Twitter and YouTube) rules have clearly been excessive and crossed the line into overt censorship of non-political correct views, and in particular conservative oriented views, these past few years.”

Masse said the PPC is less concerned by the move to reduce political content.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

“Facebook is a private company that is trying to please its clients, and if they believe their users want to see less political content, then it’s up to them to make this decision. Given that users can change their settings to see more if they want, we have no problem with this.”

The Bloc Québécois focused on its election advertising plans and refused to comment on Facebook’s decision to reduce political content.

“At the Bloc Québécois, we value being present in traditional Quebec media, notably in national and regional radio as well as on large advertising billboards,” wrote Yves Perron, chairman of the Bloc’s election campaign and candidate in the riding of Berthier–Maskinongé. “On the digital side, we will be present in banners in Quebec media in their online versions. Finally, when we do social media advertising, we will ensure that we fulfil all the legal requirements.”

The Conservative and Green parties have not yet responded to requests by CBC News for comment.

Elizabeth Thompson can be reached at elizabeth.thompson@cbc.ca

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Read More

See also  Ex-Facebook employee bringing sharp criticisms to Congress - AP News
Continue Reading
Advertisement free widgets for website
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

FACEBOOK

Understanding Authorization Tokens and Access for the WhatsApp Business Platform

Published

on

By

understanding-authorization-tokens-and-access-for-the-whatsapp-business-platform

The WhatsApp Business Platform makes it easy to send WhatsApp messages to your customers and automate replies. Here, we’ll explore authentication using the Cloud API, hosted by Meta.

We’ll start with generating and using a temporary access token and then replace it with a permanent access token. This tutorial assumes you’re building a server-side application and won’t need additional steps to keep your WhatsApp application secrets securely stored.

Managing Access and Authorization Tokens

First, let’s review how to manage authorization tokens and safely access the API.

Prerequisites

Start by making sure you have a developer account on Meta for Developers. You’ll also need WhatsApp installed on a mobile device to send test messages to.

Creating an App

Before you can authenticate, you’ll need an application to authenticate you.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Once you’re signed in, you see the Meta for Developers App Dashboard. Click Create App to get started.

Next, you’ll need to choose an app type. Choose Business.

After that, enter a display name for your application. If you have a business account to link to your app, select it. If not, don’t worry. The Meta for Developers platform creates a test business account you can use to experiment with the API. When done, click Create App.

Then, you’ll need to add products to your app. Scroll down until you see WhatsApp and click the Set up button:

Finally, choose an existing Meta Business Account or ask the platform to create a new one and click Continue:

Advertisement
free widgets for website

And with that, your app is created and ready to use. You’re automatically directed to the app’s dashboard.

Note that you have a temporary access token. For security reasons, the token expires in less than 24 hours. However, you can use it for now to test accessing the API. Later, we’ll cover how to generate a permanent access token that your server applications can use. Also, note your app’s phone number ID because you’ll need it soon.

See also  Scammers strike again, tricking local businesses on Facebook

Click the dropdown under the To field, and then click Manage phone number list.

In the popup that appears, enter the phone number of a WhatsApp account to send test messages to.

Then, scroll further down the dashboard page and you’ll see an example curl call that looks similar to this:

Advertisement
free widgets for website
curl -i -X POST https://graph.facebook.com/v13.0//messages -H 'Authorization: Bearer ' -H 'Content-Type: application/json' -d '{ "messaging_product": "whatsapp", "to": "", "type": "template", "template": { "name": "hello_world", "language": { "code": "en_US" } } }'

Note that the Meta for Developers platform inserts your app’s phone number ID and access token instead of the and placeholders shown above. If you have curl installed, paste the command into your terminal and run it. You should receive a “hello world” message in WhatsApp on your test device.

If you’d prefer, you can convert the curl request into an HTTP request in your programming language by simply creating a POST request that sets the Authorization and Content-Type headers as shown above, including the JSON payload in the request body.

Since this post is about authentication, let’s focus on that. Notice that you’ve included your app’s access token in the Authorization header. For any request to the API, you must set the Authorization header to Bearer .

Remember that you must use your token instead of the placeholder. Using bearer tokens will be familiar if you’ve worked with JWT or OAuth2 tokens before. If you’ve never seen one before, a bearer token is essentially a random secret string that you, as the bearer of the token, can present to an API to prove you’re allowed to access it.

Failure to include this header causes the API to return a 401 Unauthorized response code.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Creating a Permanent Access Token

Knowing that you need to use a bearer token in the Authorization header of an HTTP request is helpful, but it’s not enough. The only access token you’ve seen so far is temporary. Chances are that you want your app to access the API for more than 24 hours, so you need to generate a longer-lasting access token.

Fortunately, the Meta for Developers platform makes this easy. All you need to do is add a System User to your business account to obtain an access token you can use to continue accessing the API. To create a system user, do the following:

  • Go to Business Settings.

  • Select the business account your app is associated with.
  • Below Users, click System Users.
  • Click Add.
  • Name the system user, choose Admin as the user role, and click Create System User.
  • Select the whatsapp_business_messaging permission.
  • Click Generate New Token.
  • Copy and save your token.

Your access token is a random string of letters and numbers. Now, try re-running the earlier request using the token you just created instead of the temporary one:

curl -i -X POST https://graph.facebook.com/v13.0//messages -H 'Authorization: Bearer ' -H 'Content-Type: application/json' -d '{ "messaging_product": "whatsapp", "to": "", "type": "template", "template": { "name": "hello_world", "language": { "code": "en_US" } } }'

Your test device should receive a second hello message sent via the API.

Best Practices for Managing Access Tokens

It’s important to remember that you should never embed an App Access Token in a mobile or desktop application. These tokens are only for use in server-side applications that communicate with the API. Safeguard them the same way you would any other application secrets, like your database credentials, as anyone with your token has access to the API as your business.

If your application runs on a cloud services provider like AWS, Azure, GCP, or others, those platforms have tools to securely store app secrets. Alternatively there are freely-available secret stores like Vault or Conjur. While any of these options may work for you, it’s important to evaluate your options and choose what works best for your setup. At the very least, consider storing access tokens in environment variables and not in a database or a file where they’re easy to find during a data breach.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Conclusion

In this post, you learned how to create a Meta for Developers app that leverages the WhatsApp Business Platform. You now know how the Cloud API’s bearer access tokens work, how to send an access token using an HTTP authorization header, and what happens if you send an invalid access token. You also understand the importance of keeping your access tokens safe since an access token allows an application to access a business’ WhatsApp messaging capabilities.

Why not try using the Cloud API, hosted by Meta if you’re considering building an app for your business to manage WhatsApp messaging? Now that you know how to obtain and use access tokens, you can use them to access any endpoint in the API.

First seen at developers.facebook.com

Continue Reading

FACEBOOK

Now people can share directly to Instagram Reels from some of their favorite apps

Published

on

By

now-people-can-share-directly-to-instagram-reels-from-some-of-their-favorite-apps

More people are creating, sharing and watching Reels than ever before. We’ve seen the creator community dive deeply into video content – and use it to connect with their communities. We’re running a limited alpha test that lets creators share video content directly from select integrated apps to Instagram Reels. Now, creators won’t be interrupted in their workflow, making it easier for them share share and express themselves on Reels.

“With the shift to video happening across almost all online platforms, our innovative tools and services empower creativity and fuel the creator economy and we are proud to be able to offer a powerful editing tool like Videoleap that allows seamless content creation, while partnering with companies like Meta to make sharing content that much easier.”- Zeev Farbman, CEO and co-founder of Lightricks.

Starting this month, creators can share short videos directly to Instagram Reels from some of their favorite apps, including Videoleap, Reface, Smule, VivaVideo, SNOW, B612, VITA and Zoomerang, with more coming soon. These apps and others also allow direct sharing to Facebook , which is available for any business with a registered Facebook App to use.

We hope to expand this test to more partners in 2023. If you’re interested in being a part of that beta program, please fill out this form and we will keep track of your submission. We do not currently have information to share about general availability of this integration.

Learn more here about sharing Stories and Reels to Facebook and Instagram and start building today.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

FAQs

Q. What is the difference between the Instagram Content Publishing API and Instagram Sharing to Reels?

See also  Facebook grows in Bellevue's Spring District

A: Sharing to Reels is different from the Instagram Content Publishing API, which allows Instagram Business accounts to schedule and publish posts to Instagram from third-party platforms. Sharing to Reels is specifically for mobile apps to display a ‘Share to Reels’ widget. The target audience for the Share to Reels widget is consumers, whereas the Content Publishing API is targeted towards businesses, including third-party publishing platforms such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social that consolidate sharing to social media platforms within their third-party app.

Q: Why is Instagram partnering with other apps?

A: Creators already use a variety of apps to create and edit videos before uploading them to Instagram Reels – now we’re making that experience faster and easier. We are currently doing a small test of an integration with mobile apps that creators know and love, with more coming soon.

Q: How can I share my video from another app to Reels on Instagram?

Advertisement
free widgets for website

A: How it works (Make sure to update the mobile app you’re using to see the new Share to Reels option):

  • Create and edit your video in one of our partner apps
  • Once your video is ready, tap share and then tap the Instagram Reels icon
  • You will enter the Instagram Camera, where you can customize your reel with audio, effects, Voiceover and stickers. Record any additional clips or swipe up to add an additional clip from your camera roll.
  • Tap ‘Next’ to add a caption, hashtag, location, tag others or use the paid partnerships label.
  • Tap ‘Share’. Your reel will be visible where you share reels today, depending on your privacy settings.
See also  Letter: Social media buyer explains Facebook's role

Q: How were partners selected?

A. We are currently working with a small group of developers that focus on video creation and editing as early partners. We’ll continue to expand to apps with other types of creation experiences.

Q: When will other developers be able to access Sharing to Reels on Instagram?

A: We do not currently have a date for general availability, but are planning to expand further in 2023.

Q: Can you share to Facebook Reels from other apps?

Advertisement
free widgets for website

A: Yes, Facebook offers the ability for developers to integrate with Sharing to Reels. For more information on third-party sharing opportunities, check out our entire suite of sharing offerings .

First seen at developers.facebook.com

Continue Reading

FACEBOOK

What to know about Presto SQL query engine and PrestoCon

Published

on

By

what-to-know-about-presto-sql-query-engine-and-prestocon

The open source Presto SQL query engine is used by a diverse set of companies to navigate increasingly large data workflows. These companies are using Presto in support of e-commerce, cloud, security and other areas. Not only do many companies use Presto, but individuals from those companies are also active contributors to the Presto open source community.

In support of that community, Presto holds meetups around the world and has an annual conference, PrestoCon, where experts and contributors gather to exchange knowledge. This year’s PrestoCon, hosted by the Linux Foundation, takes place December 7-8 in Mountain View, CA. This blog post will explore some foundational elements of Presto and what to expect at this year’s PrestoCon.

What is Presto?

Presto is a distributed SQL query engine for data platform teams. Presto users can perform interactive queries on data where it lives using ANSI SQL across federated and diverse sources. Query engines allow data scientists and analysts to focus on building dashboards and utilizing BI tools so that data engineers can focus on storage and management, all while communicating through a unified connection layer.

In short, the scientist does not have to consider how or where data is stored, and the engineer does not have to optimize for every use case for the data sources they manage. You can learn more about Presto in a recent ELI5 video below.

Caption: Watch the video by clicking on the image above.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Presto was developed to solve the problem of petabyte-scale, multi-source data queries taking hours or days to return. These resources and time constraints make real-time analysis impossible. Presto can return results from those same queries in less than a second in most cases, allowing for interactive data exploration.

See also  Facebook Messenger product director Interview - The Hindu

Not only is it highly scalable, but it’s also extensible, allowing you to build your own connector for any data source Presto does not already support. At a low level, Presto also supports a wide range of file types for query processing. Presto was open sourced by Meta and later donated to the Linux Foundation in September of 2019.

Here are some Presto resources for those who are new to the community:

What is PrestoCon?

PrestoCon is held annually in the Bay Area and hosted by the Linux Foundation. This year, the event takes place December 7-8 at the Computer History Museum. You can register here. Each year at PrestoCon, you can hear about the latest major evolutions of the platform, how different organizations use Presto and what plans the Technical Steering Committee has for Presto in the coming year.

Presto’s scalability is especially apparent as every year we hear from small startups, as well as industry leaders like Meta and Uber, who are using the Presto platform for different use cases, whether those are small or large. If you’re looking to contribute to open source, PrestoCon is a great opportunity for networking as well as hearing the vision that the Technical Steering Committee has for the project in the coming year.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Explore what’s happening at PrestoCon 2022:

Where is Presto used?

Since its release in November of 2013, Presto has been used as an integral part of big data pipelines within Meta and other massive-scale companies, including Uber and Twitter.

The most common use case is connecting business intelligence tools to vast data sets within an organization. This enables crucial questions to be answered faster and data-driven decision-making can be more efficient.

How does Presto work?

First, a coordinator takes your statement and parses it into a query. The internal planner generates an optimized plan as a series of stages, which are further separated into tasks. Tasks are then assigned to workers to process in parallel.

Workers then use the relevant connector to pull data from the source.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

The output of each task is returned by the workers, until the stage is complete. The stage’s output is returned by the final worker towards the next stage, where another series of tasks must be executed.

The results of stages are combined, eventually returning the final result of the original statement to the coordinator, which then returns to the client.

How do I get involved?

To start using Presto, go to prestodb.io and click Get Started.

We would love for you to join the Presto Slack channel if you have any questions or need help. Visit the community page on the Presto website to see all the ways you can get involved and find other users and developers interested in Presto.

If you would like to contribute, go to the GitHub repository and read over the Contributors’ Guide.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Where can I learn more?

To learn more about Presto, check out its website for installation guides, user guides, conference talks and samples.

Make sure you check out previous Presto talks, and attend the annual PrestoCon event if you are able to do so.

To learn more about Meta Open Source, visit our open source site, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

First seen at developers.facebook.com

Advertisement
free widgets for website
Continue Reading

Trending