Facebook is allowing users to share death threats, videos of self-harm and pictures of animal torture, it emerged yesterday. The english newspaper Guardian has obtained leaked copies of over 100 internal documents outlining Facebook's rules for handling sensitive content that reveal staff moderating the social media website are told not to delete such content. The images may be removed from the site "once there's no longer an opportunity to help the person," unless the incident has news value, according to the documents. Facebook is said to have an extensive list of secret rules and guidelines for deciding what its 2 billion users can and cannot post.
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) imposed a 3-million-euro ($3.2 million) fine on WhatsApp messaging service for allegedly forcing its users to share their personal data with its parent company Facebook, the agency said in a statement Friday. All 28 European Union data protection authorities asked Whatsapp last year to stop sharing users' data with Facebook due to doubts over the validity of users' consent. The Italian agency said the application led users to believe they would not have been able to continue using the service unless they agreed to terms including sharing personal data. Whatsapp did not immediately respond to an email asking for comment on the fine. The amount is lower than the maximum €5 million the agency could have levied.
Facebook had another strong quarter, beating estimates to start 2017. Revenue in the first quarter climbed 49% to $8 billion, which was significantly higher than most analysts expected, and net income was $3 billion or $1.04 per share, compared with consensus estimates of just 87 cents. It earned that from 1.94 billion users, up from 1.86 billion last quarter, growing at a faster 4.3% compared to 3.91% last quarter. Facebook said in its last quarterly update that it expects to see its advertising growth rate "come down meaningfully" in 2017 as it stops adding more advertising to the news feed.
Facebook Messenger now has over 1.2 billion monthly active users, with the platform adding 200 million users in just eight months. The milestone, announced ahead of Facebook's annual conference for software developers next week by head of Messenger David Marcus, is key to Facebook's push to own more of people's time and wallets on mobile devices as the arms race with Google and other competitors escalates.
The German Parliament approved a plan Wednesday that will force social media companies like Facebook and Twitter to remove hate speech within 24 hours or face a fine of up to $53 million. Angela Merkel’s cabinet voted on the measures amid concerns over free speech, with campaigners, technology firms and journalists raising fears that tightened regulations could restrict expression. "Hate crimes that are not effectively combated and prosecuted pose a great danger for the peaceful cohesion of a free, open and democratic society," said Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet.
The European Commission is accusing Facebook of providing incorrect or misleading information during the Commission's investigation into its merger with WhatsApp back in 2014, opening the company to a possible fine of 1% of its turnover. It centers around the fact that Facebook told the Commission that it would be unable to reliably automate matching between separate accounts on the messaging app and the social network. "Companies are obliged to give the Commission accurate information during merger investigations. They must take this obligation seriously," Ms Vestager, the European Union's Competition Commissioner, said.
The European Union has given Microsoft the green light over its $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, CNBC reports. As expected, the EU has put some conditions in the deal. As expected, the EU has put some conditions in the deal. The European Commission granted its approval on the condition that Microsoft allows rival professional networking sites to integrate its Office applications and cloud-computing services for the next five years. PC makers in the EU will also have the option of not installing LinkedIn's app, Microsoft said.
Facebook has received a licence from the central bank in Ireland to operate a financial payments service, two years after applying for authorisation, according to the Sunday Business Post. A subsidiary of the social media giant can now act as a payments provider and electronic money issuer, as well as provide credit transfers and remittance services across the EU, as a result of the regulatory approval. The company has been in the payments space for some time in the US.
Google, Facebook and telecom and undersea infrastructure developer TE SubCom and PLDC (Pacific Light Data Communication Co. Ltd.) are teaming up to build a 120 Terabits per second (Tbps) submarine cable that will connect Los Angeles with Hong Kong. The new 12,800 km cable, called the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), will be the highest-capacity trans-Pacific cable yet. The companies did not say how much they will invest in the new ultra high-speed link.
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