As the world’s tech giants have been competing in advancing misinformation-fighting techniques, it's no surprise to see that Facebook is mulling to add pop-ups that ask users to read the whole article before reposting it; an obviously stolen idea right from Twitter's playbook.
However, one can’t help but wonder if the social media platforms will ever be free of misinformation or will their very own content moderation policies jeopardize free speech rights? The pandemic tragically showed us that misinformation can be deadly and it’s amazing to see platforms taking some steps to rein the spread of these horrible harmful deceptions by urging people to be less reckless about what they share. I personally think that if you’re looking for facts, social media is not your best bet and misinformation will always be a global issue, that's why we should know how to find the right reliable sources and learn how to identify misinformation.
On a side note, Facebook is getting grilled over Instagram Kids plans as many lawmakers and activists are speaking up about why it might be a bad idea. Also in tech this week, Clubhouse has finally launched the Android versions but will that decrease Clubhouse's potential Android user take-up, and can it compete with the other big players? Without further ado, check out this week's quick roundup of the biggest and most important tech stories:
US State’s Attorneys Generals Urges Facebook to Drop Instagram for Kids Plan
As Albawaba reported earlier this year, Facebook intends to launch an Instagram app for kids under 13. This move was faced with backlash from lawmakers and Child safety groups who press Facebook to abandon these plans and citing ‘concerns about the safety and well-being of children and the harm social media poses to young people’.
A bipartisan coalition of 44 AGs urge Facebook to abandon plans to launch a version of Instagram for kids under 13. In their letter, the AGs cite concerns about the harm social media poses to children. @MassAGO @AGDougPeterson @TNattygen @VTAttorneyGenhttps://t.co/0xWjqxqVI4 pic.twitter.com/DlP5VN8Oz0— NAAG (@NatlAssnAttysGn) May 10, 2021
The National Association of Attorneys General sent an official letter to Facebook signed by 44 state attorney generals, expressing various concerns about the use of the platform by predators to target children as children’s lack of capacity to navigate the complexities of what they encounter online, including advertising, inappropriate content, and relationships with strangers.
Facebook has repeatedly failed to protect the health and wellbeing of children on its platforms. "Instagram for Kids" is a shameful attempt to exploit and profit off vulnerable people. I'm leading a letter to Mark Zuckerberg with 44 AGs to demand they abandon this plan.— Maura Healey (@MassAGO) May 10, 2021
However, Facebook answered these concerns by saying that ‘such a service would give parents greater control over their children's online activity', according to CNN.
Facebook is Piloting Pop-up Messages Asking People to Read Link before Sharing it
Following Twitter’s footsteps and lead, Facebook is currently fighting the infodemic by adding a pop-up message that encourages users to read the articles they didn’t click open before sharing them on its platform.
Starting today, we’re testing a way to promote more informed sharing of news articles. If you go to share a news article link you haven’t opened, we’ll show a prompt encouraging you to open it and read it, before sharing it with others. pic.twitter.com/brlMnlg6Qg— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) May 10, 2021
Although users can still ignore the message, Facebook wants users to read more than just the headline of a news article as it might be deceiving with misinformation or promotes fake news, or inflammatory content.
It’s with mentioning that Twitter has rolled out this feature back in September 2020 and it worked as 40% of people are actually opening the articles after seeing the prompt:
We shouldn't have to say this, but you should read an article before you Tweet it. https://t.co/Apr9vZb2iI— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) September 24, 2020
So, we’ve been prompting some people to do exactly that. Here’s what we’ve learned so far. ⤵️
Clubhouse Finally Releases Android Version
Soon after Facebook announced the testing of Hotline, a mashup website of Clubhouse, Instagram Live, and Tweeter's Spaces, Clubhouse has finally rolled out the long-anticipated Android version. The announcement reads: “We will begin gradually, with the U.S. today, followed by other English-speaking countries and then the rest of the world. Our plan over the next few weeks is to collect feedback from the community, fix any issues we see and work to add a few final features like payments and club creation before rolling it out more broadly”.
Android is finally here! You can download the Clubhouse beta right now in the US, & around the world in the coming days/weeks.— Clubhouse (@Clubhouse) May 9, 2021
Before you ask...yes, still invite-only. We're managing growth so we can build more sustainable infrastructure before the floodgates open. Soon(ish)! pic.twitter.com/EdltTZS0hD
The Invitation-only audio-chat social networking app has taken quite ‘some time’ to launch this version, giving all other competitors an opportunity to explore and expand more, but will that decrease Clubhouse's potential Android user take-up and can it compete with the other big players?
Upcoming Video Games, Updates
- PUBG Mobile back to India under the brand name Battlegrounds Mobile India.
- Resident Evil 8: Village [PS5, Xbox Series X, PC] on May 7, 2021
- 'Gotham Knights' Batman game Delayed to 2022
- Marvel’s Avengers [PS5] available until Monday, July 5, 2021
- Borderlands 3 [PS5] available until Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Events to Keep An Eye On:
May 11-12: IBM Think 2021 [Virtual]
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