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Thursday 30th March, 2023

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Facebook Launches Campaign In Sub- Saharan Africa To Help Spot False News

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As part of its ongoing commitment in connecting people to accurate sources and combating misinformation, specifically around COVID-19, Facebook will begin rolling out a new on-platform campaign across a number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Named ‘Three Questions To Help Stamp Out False News’, this campaign aims to educate and inform users about how to detect potential false news, and was created in consultation with a number of its third-party fact-checking partners.

Delivered on Facebook’s platform, users will see a series of creative and educative adverts, featuring a link to a dedicated website, www.stampoutfalsenews.com which asks users to challenge the information they see on posts by asking themselves the following:

-Where’s it from? If there’s no source, search for one.

-What’s missing? Get the whole story, not just the headline.

-How does it make you feel? People who make false news try to manipulate feelings.

This campaign comes on the heels of last month’s context notification update, which lets people know when the news articles they are about to share are older than 90 days, providing greater visibility and context to help make informed decisions about what to share.

“We know misinformation is an ongoing challenge, which is why we have invested heavily as a business in addressing misinformation, and more recently around COVID-19. We continue to focus on combating this,” says Aïda Ndiaye, Facebook’s Public Policy Manager, Programs and Campaigns, EMEA.

“This campaign is just another step in taking our responsibility for improving the accuracy and quality of information on Facebook seriously.

“We remain committed to working with industry experts and the community on our platforms, to tackle misinformation and empower people with resources that help them decide what to read, share and trust.”

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Meta To Spend $14million On Mark Zuckerberg’s Personal Security

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Mark Zuckerberg, META CEO

Meta says it is increasing the amount of money it spends on Mark Zuckerberg’s personal security by $4 million, taking the total to $14 million.

Techspot reports that this comes as the company eliminates thousands of jobs and its CEO talks about 2023 being the “year of efficiency.”

Meta revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the annual pre-tax allowance to cover Zuckerberg’s security costs has increased from $10 million, which had stayed the same since 2018, to $14 million.

Last week, Meta’s board of directors decided that the 40% increase was “appropriate and necessary under the circumstances.”

Meta said that the higher amount was “to address safety concerns due to specific threats to his safety arising directly as a result of his position as Meta’s founder, Chairman, and CEO.”

The $14 million per year is to pay for “additional personnel, equipment, services, residential improvements, or other security-related costs” for Zuckerberg and his family.

That’s a lot of money, but the final figure for keeping Meta’s CEO safe will be even higher as the filing doesn’t include other security expenses.

Last year, the company spent $16.8 million protecting Zuck on top of the $10 million allowance for a total of $26.8 million, and it spent $23.44 million protecting its founder in 2020.

Most big tech companies spend a lot of money keeping their CEOs and other top execs safe, but Zuckerberg’s costs exceed all others by a wide margin.

Meta spending millions of dollars to keep its boss and his family safe is unlikely to please the 11,000 people the company has laid off recently, a move that the CEO took accountability for.

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Zuckerberg’s talk of Meta becoming leaner while calling 2023 the “year of efficiency” now rings slightly hollow, too.

Meta’s filing also notes that its founder has a salary of just $1 per year, but his shares in the company mean his earnings are much higher.

Zuckerberg might not be in Bloomberg’s top ten billionaires list anymore, but his $64.2 billion fortune makes him the 18th richest person in the world.

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WhatsApp Adds New Status Features

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Meta is adding several new features to WhatsApp status, which lets users post disappearing pictures and other media, reports The Verge.

Once the features roll out over the coming weeks, you’ll be able to react to people’s posts with an emoji, limit who can see your status, and post voice messages.

According to an announcement post, the status emoji reactions work similar to how they do on Instagram; when you swipe up on the post, you get the option to choose from one of eight emojis. (The options are 😍,😂,😮,😥,🙏,👏,🎉, and 💯.)

While a WhatsApp blog post calls emoji reactions the No. 1 requested feature after it launched the ability to react to messages last year, analysts feel the Private Audience Selector is the most useful addition announced today.

The feature lets you change who can see your statuses, with the option to show it to everyone, hide it from certain contacts, or only show it to specific people.

According to Meta, the options you pick will be the default for the next status you post, but you’ll be able to change it without changing the visibility of past statuses.

Other features are small quality-of-life improvements. Statuses that include links will also be more visually appealing — Meta says there’ll now be previews for the site or page that the link will take you to.

WhatsApp is also trying to make it clearer when people post status by adding a ring around their profile picture in the chat lists, group participant lists, and contact info screens.

ALSO READ  Twitter Reacts To Ban, Promises To Restore Access For Nigerians

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Meta To Open Operation Centre For 2023 Elections In Nigeria

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Meta has announced plans to activate an elections operations centre for the 2023 general elections in Nigeria.

Meta, formerly known as Facebook stated that it was investing in people and technology to reduce the spread of misinformation and remove harmful content across its apps.

This it said is to help ensure a safe and secure general election in the country.

The social media giant disclosed this in a post titled, ‘How Meta is Preparing for Nigeria’s 2023 General Elections’ by its Head of Public Policy for Anglophone West Africa, Adaora Ikenze.

It stated that its work towards the elections would continue in the lead-up to, during, and after the vote.

“As Election Day approaches, we will activate a Nigeria-specific Elections Operations Centre focused on identifying potential threats across our apps and technologies in real-time, accelerating our response time.

“This initiative will bring together experts from across our company on our intelligence, data science, engineering, research, operations, public policy and legal teams,” the statement disclosed.

Meta explained that part of its strategy to combat misinformation and false news would involve removing serious kinds of misinformation from Facebook and Instagram, such as content that could contribute to imminent violence or physical harm, or intended to suppress voting.

It stated that for the Nigerian elections, it would remove photos and videos shared out of context that falsely depict ballot stuffing, acts of violence, or weapons.

It said that it was working with independent fact-checking organisations such as AFP, Africa Check, Dubawa, and Reuters.

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