Social Media Weekly Podcast

Social Media Weekly 29 January 2019

UK considers banning Social Media if Harmful Content Not Removed, Facebook Plans to Unify Messenger, Whatsapp and Instagram, Twitter adds ‘Original Twitter’Tag, Documents Detailing How Facebook Made Money Off Children Released, WhatsApp Business Brings Crucial Features to Web Apps

The UK Considers Banning Social Media if They Don’t Remove Harmful Content.

A recent BBC reports that UK Healthy Ministry will consider banning social media platforms if they do not remove all harmful content. In 2017, Molly Russell took her own life. After looking into her Instagram account, it was found that she had been following multiple accounts sharing content on self-harm.


Hashtags like #suicide #selfharm will lead one to accounts that share images and quote on suicide. And Instagram’s algorithm will keep showing us more of the same content.


After Molly’s dad approached Instagram about this, the company released a standard response saying: [it] works with expert groups who advise them on the “complex and nuanced” issues of mental health and self-harm.


After that, they simply placed pop-up advising users to seek help when they look for such content on their platforms. This is clearly not enough, because they could simply exit that pop-up and continue viewing the content.


The UK authorities said that if the banning will happen, it would likely take on the form of blocking ISPs. Although this does not make it full-proof, which means it would be a better alternative if they were to work with the social media platforms instead.


Facebook Plans to Bring WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Together

Just when we were talking about Facebook’s plan to bring about a big evolutionary change to messages, we get this news the next week.


In an announcement made by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook plans to unify all three messaging platforms by streamlining the underlying infrastructure. Although they will remain standalone apps, users will soon be able to communicate with each other across the apps.


Although Zuckerberg said all three apps will have end-to-end encryption, we know that Facebook will not do something if it doesn’t help bring them more money.

Twitter Adds ‘Original Tweeter’ Tag To… Original Tweeters


If you are an avid user of Twitter and follow global conversations that span thousands of replies long, you know why this is important. Some conversations get so long, span such a lengthy period, and evolve into something so different, that we do not know who started it in the first place or what it was originally about.


Thankfully, we now have an Original Tweeter badge for the person who first started the tweet. So in case conversations get out of hand, we can always check our sources.

Documents Detailed How Facebook Made Money Off Children.

In 2012, Facebook was caught in a lawsuit against the parents of two children. These children purchased Facebook Credits on their accounts.


Although Facebook settled the case in 2016, documents of this event remained sealed. Until the 14th of January 2019, when the court asked Facebook to reveal the documents. The reason for this was the increasing interest in this event following Facebook’s endless streak of scandals last year.


This 100-page document detailed how the children were able to make repeated purchases of Facebook Credit after having their parent’s credit cards registered once. The cards were repeatedly charged without being clear that transactions were occurring.


When oblivious parents contacted Facebook for a refund after the saw their bills, Facebook refused the refund. The key flaw in this system was that no consent was required for further purchases beyond the first time, which led to their children repeatedly pushing the button for more Credits.


While Facebook will reveal the documents, they also managed to convince the court to agree to keep some documents sealed because they “contained information that would cause the social media giant harm, outweighing the public benefit.”


WhatsApp Business Brings Crucial Features to Desktop and Web Apps


WhatsApp Business has been a growing choice of small business owners, especially in emerging markets, since its launch last year.


As a business chat app, it has some important features that set it apart from our usual consumer version.


It can organise and filter chats and it has Quick Replies which allows business owners to post auto-generated replies to frequently asked questions with shortcuts. It also has labels and chat list filters which helps organize chats by categories.


Now, all these functions are available on WhatsApp web app and desktop browser. This will make it easier for users to manage their chats on a larger screen.

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