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Our Progress Addressing Challenges and Innovating Responsibly – About Facebook

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How technology companies grapple with complex issues is being heavily scrutinized, and often, without important context. There is a lot more to the story. What is getting lost in this discussion is some of the important progress we’ve made as a company and the positive impact that it is having across many key areas.

We firmly believe that ongoing research and candid conversations about our impact are some of the most effective ways to identify emerging issues and get ahead of them. This doesn’t mean we find and fix every problem right away. But because of this approach, together with other changes, we have made significant progress across a number of important areas, including privacy, safety and security, to name a few. Just as the world has changed a lot, so has Facebook.

In the past, we didn’t address safety and security challenges early enough in the product development process. Instead, we made improvements reactively in response to a specific abuse. But we have fundamentally changed that approach. Today, we embed teams focusing specifically on safety and security issues directly into product development teams, allowing us to address these issues during our product development process, not after it. Products also have to go through an Integrity Review process, similar to the Privacy Review process, so we can anticipate potential abuses and build in ways to mitigate them. Here are a few examples of how far we’ve come.

Safety and Security

Some of the most important changes we’ve made in recent years have been in prioritizing safety and security. As a result: 

  • Today we have 40,000 people working on safety and security, and have invested more than $13 billion in teams and technology in this area since 2016.
  • Since 2017, Facebook’s security teams have disrupted and removed more than 150 covert influence operations, both foreign and domestic, helping prevent similar abuse.
  • Our advanced AI has helped us block 3 billion fake accounts in the first half of this year.
  • Our AI systems have gotten better at keeping people safer on our platform, for example by proactively removing content that violates our standards on hate speech. We now remove 15X more of such content across Facebook and Instagram than when we first began reporting it in 2017.
  • Since 2019, we’ve started using technology that understands the same concept in multiple languages — and applies learnings from one language to improve its performance in others. 

We have also changed our approach to protecting people’s privacy as a company. This includes investing in and expanding our Privacy Checkup, which today is used by tens of millions of people every month to manage their settings and control their experience on Facebook, and launching tools like Off-Facebook Activity and Why Am I Seeing This? that show people how their information is used and let them more easily manage settings.

Combating Misinformation

Misinformation has been a challenge on and off the internet for many decades. People are understandably concerned about how it will be handled for future internet technologies. At Facebook, we’ve begun addressing this comprehensively — rather than treating it as a single problem with a single solution. This means we’ve gotten better at addressing this complex challenge. We’ve worked to develop and expand our systems to reduce misinformation and promote reliable information. As a result: 

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  • We remove false and harmful content that violates our Community Standards, including more than 20 million pieces of false COVID-19 and vaccine content.
  • We’ve built a global network of more than 80 independent fact-checking partners who rate the accuracy of posts covering more than 60 languages across our apps. 
  • We’ve displayed warnings on more than 190 million pieces of COVID-related content on Facebook that our fact-checking partners rated as false, partly false, altered or missing context. 
  • We’ve helped over 2 billion people find credible COVID-19 information through our COVID-19 Information Center and News Feed pop-ups — and more than 140 million people visited our US 2020 Voting Information Center.

Innovating More Responsibly

Most importantly, we’ve also changed not just what we build but how we build so that when we launch new products, they are more likely to have effective privacy, security and safety protections already built in. For example: 

  • This year when we rolled out Live Audio Rooms, we built them with integrated safety and integrity measures:
    • We prohibit people who have reached a certain threshold of Community Standards violations from creating or speaking in Live Audio Rooms.
    • We give room hosts the ability to demote speakers to listeners or block people from joining their room entirely.
    • We give speakers and listeners the ability to report the host.
  • We also launched Facebook Horizon in beta last year with a number of new features that put people in control of their experience in VR. 
    • We introduced Safe Zone, which lets people take a break from their surroundings and then block, mute or report. 
    • And we introduced a new feature in Horizon that makes it easier to submit reports, since we know it’s difficult to record a painful incident while it’s happening.

Image of Facebook Horizon Safe Zone

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You can read more about the direction of our responsible innovation efforts from Margaret Stewart, VP of Product Design & Responsible Innovation at Facebook. 

Yes, we’ve made progress. But we also know that there will always be examples of things we miss and things we take down by mistake. There is no perfect here. Collaborating with experts, policymakers and others has made us better, and continued collaboration will be key to making sure our progress continues. And that’s our plan. 

Read more about our efforts on our new page, which features updated information and figures, to give a sense of where things have improved and where we still have more work to do. Our Transparency Center is also a comprehensive destination for our integrity and transparency efforts. Also, see a timeline of our integrity efforts since 2016.

For more, visit about.facebook.com/progress.

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

Meta has announced the arrival of a new Split Payments feature in Facebook Messenger. This feature, as the name suggests, will let you calculate and split expenses with others right from Facebook Messenger. This feature essentially looks to bring an easier method to share the cost of bills and expenses — for example, splitting a dinner bill with friends. Using this new Split Payment feature, Facebook Messenger users will be able to split bills evenly or modify the contribution for each individual, including their own.

The company took to its blog post to announce the new Split Payment feature in Facebook Messenger. 9to5Mac reports that this new bill splitting feature is still in beta and will be exclusive to US users at first. The rollout will begin early next week. As mentioned, it will help users share the cost of bills, expenses, and payments. This feature is especially useful for those who share an apartment and need to split the monthly rent and other expenses with their mates. It could also come handy at a group dinner with many people.

With Split Payments, users can add the number of people the expense needs to be divided with and, by default, the amount entered will be divided in equal parts. A user can also modify each person’s contribution including their own. To use Split Payments, click the Get Started button in a group chat or the Payments Hub in Messenger. Users can modify the contribution in the Split Payments option and send a notification to all the users who need to make payments. After entering a personalised message and confirming your Facebook Pay details, the request will be sent and viewable in the group chat thread.

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Once someone has made the payment, you can mark their transaction as ‘completed’. The Split Payment feature will automatically take into account your share as well and calculate the amount owed accordingly.


For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com.

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Facebook Owner Meta Launches New Platform, Safety Hub to Protect Women in India

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Meta (formerly Facebook) on Thursday announced a slew of steps to protect woman users on its platform, including the launch of StopNCII.org in India that aims to combat the spread of non-consensual intimate images (NCII).

Meta has also launched the Women’s Safety Hub, which will be available in Hindi and 11 other Indian languages, that will enable more women users in India to access information about tools and resources that can help them make the most of their social media experience, while staying safe online.

This initiative by Meta will ensure women do not face a language barrier in accessing information Karuna Nain, director (global safety policy) at Meta Platforms, told reporters here.

“Safety is an integral part of Meta’s commitment to building and offering a safe online experience across the platforms and over the years the company has introduced several industry leading initiatives to protect users online.

“Furthering our effort to bolster the safety of users, we are bringing in a number of initiatives to ensure online safety of women on our platforms,” she added.

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StopNCII.org is a platform that aims to combat the spread of non-consensual intimate images (NCII).

“It gives victims control. People can come to this platform proactively, hash their intimate videos and images, share their hashes back with the platform and participating companies,” Nain said.

She explained that the platform doesn’t receive any photos and videos, and instead what they get is the hash or unique digital fingerprint/unique identifier that tells the company that this is a known piece of content that is violating. “We can proactively keep a lookout for that content on our platforms and once it”s uploaded, our review team check what”s really going on and take appropriate action if it violates our policies,” she added.

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In partnership with UK Revenge Porn Helpline, StopNCII.org builds on Meta’s NCII Pilot, an emergency programme that allows potential victims to proactively hash their intimate images so they can”t be proliferated on its platforms.

The first-of-its-kind platform, has partnered with global organisations to support the victims of NCII. In India, the platform has partnered with organisations such as Social Media Matters, Centre for Social Research, and Red Dot Foundation.

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Nain added that the company is hopeful that this becomes an industrywide initiative, so that victims can just come to this one central place to get help and support and not have to go to each and every tech platform, one by one to get help and support.

Also, Bishakha Datta (executive editor of Point of View) and Jyoti Vadehra from Centre for Social Research are the first Indian members in Meta”s Global Women”s Safety Expert Advisors. The group comprises 12 other non-profit leaders, activists, and academic experts from different parts of the world and consults Meta in the development of new policies, products and programmes to better support women on its apps.

“We are confident that with our ever-growing safety measures, women will be able to enjoy a social experience which will enable them to learn, engage and grow without any challenges.

“India is an important market for us and bringing Bishakha and Jyoti onboard to our Women”s Safety Expert Advisory Group will go a long way in further enhancing our efforts to make our platforms safer for women in India,” Nain said.

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Facebook Adds New Trend Insights in Creator Studio, Which Could Help Shape Your Posting Strategy

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Facebook’s looking to provide more content insight within Creator Studio with the rollout of a new ‘Inspiration Hub’ element, which highlights trending content and hashtags within categories related to your business Page.

Facebook Inspiration Hub

As you can see in these screenshots, posted by social media expert Matt Navarra, when it becomes available to you, you’ll be able to access the new Inspiration Hub from the Home tab in Creator Studio.

At the right side of the screen, you can see the first of the new insights, with trending hashtags and videos from the last 24 hours, posted by Pages similar to yours, displayed above a ‘See more’ prompt.

When you tap through to the new hub, you’ll have a range of additional filters to check out trending content from across Facebook, including Page category, content type, region, and more.

Facebook Inspiration Hub

That could be hugely valuable in learning what Facebook users are responding to, and what people within your target market are engaging with in the app.

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The Hub also includes insights into trending hashtags, within your chosen timeframe, which may further assist in tapping into trending discussions.

Facebook Inspiration Hub

How valuable hashtags are on Facebook is still up for debate, but you’ll also note that you can filter the displayed results by platform, so you can additionally display Instagram hashtag trends as well, which could be very valuable in maximizing your reach.

Much of this type of info has been available within CrowdTangle, Facebook’s analytics platform for journalists, for some time, but not everyone can access CrowdTangle data, which could make this an even more valuable proposition for many marketers.

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Of course, overall performance really relates to your own creative, and thinking through the action that you want your audience to take when reading your posts. But in terms of detecting new content trends, including hashtag usage, caption length, videos versus image posts, and more, there’s a lot that could be gleaned from these tools and filters.

It’s a significant analytics addition – we’ve asked Facebook for more info on the rollout of the new option, and whether it’s already beyond test mode, etc. We’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

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