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Facebook’s secret guidance on graphic content leaked

The social media giant’s views on sex, violence and hate speech are exposed after criticism over its handling of extreme content.

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Facebook hesitates before deleting images and videos of hate speech and similar upsetting material due to fears of being accused of censorship, internal documents have revealed.

Pictures and footage of violent deaths, abortions, the non-sexual abuse of children, and self-harm do not have to be deleted according to the leaked guidance for moderators.

More than 100 internal training manuals, spreadsheets and flowcharts revealing Facebook’s secret internal policies on upsetting material were obtained by The Guardian.

The documents show how internal policy at the social media giant compares with its testimonies before a number of government committees as it receives increasing attention for the content hosted on its platforms.

Facebook has been criticised for hosting terrorism-related material, as well as a number of violent broadcasts.

One source told The Guardian that “Facebook cannot keep control of its content. It has grown too big, too quickly.”

Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that over the next year Facebook would be adding 3,000 staff to its 4,500-strong content moderation team, following criticism over a series of graphic posts on the site.

In April a Thai man filmed himself murdering his 11-month-old daughter on the site, before killing himself.

Last week, a 12-year-old boy in Argentina accidentally shot dead a girl of the same age while streaming on Facebook Live.

Facebook gun death

A 12-year-old Argentinian girl was killed by her brother live on Facebook.

The secret documents say such recordings of violent deaths must be marked as disturbing, but do not need to be deleted if they “can help create awareness of issues such as mental illness”, The Guardian reports.

According to the paper, Facebook advises that “remarks such as ‘Someone shoot Trump’ should be deleted, because as a head of state he is in a protected category.

“But it can be permissible to say: ‘To snap a b****’s neck, make sure to apply all your pressure to the middle of her throat’, or ‘f*** off and die’ because they are not regarded as credible threats.”

Similarly, Facebook will allow the live-streaming of attempts of self-harm cause it “doesn’t want to censor or punish people in distress”.

Videos of abortions are also considered to be acceptable content as long as there is no nudity.

Photographs of “non-sexual physical abuse and bullying of children do not have to be deleted or ‘actioned’ unless there is a sadistic or celebratory element” according to the documents.

They also advise that images of animal abuse can be shared “with only extremely upsetting imagery to be marked as ‘disturbing’,” The Guardian reports.

Monika Bickert, the head of global policy management at Facebook, said: “We work hard to make Facebook as safe as possible while enabling free speech.

“We’re going to make it simpler to report problems to us, faster for our reviewers to determine which posts violate our standards and easier for them to contact law enforcement if someone needs help.”

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Analysis

45% of Indians do not back up their data, files: Survey

The survey was conducted among 728 Avast and AVG users between February 20-March 25.

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Data Privacy

New Delhi, March 30 : Nearly half of Indians do not back up because they think their data or files are not important enough and most of those who back up their data, do it once a month, a survey said on Monday.

Other reasons cited by the respondents for not backing up their data included not knowing how to do it, not having time and forgetting about it, according to the survey by cybersecurity company Avast.

“It could be that many aren’t aware they are backing up, as it could be happening automatically, in the background, however, others really might not be backing up at all, thinking it is not worth it,” Luis Corrons, Security Evangelist at Avast, said in a statement.

“Losing personal documents, photos and videos can be a painful experience and it’s not until this happens that they realize how valuable it actually is,” Corrons added.

Of those who do back up their data, nearly 42 per cent Indians back up to a cloud storage, 36 42 per cent back up their data to an external hard drive, 23 42 per cent back up to a USB or flash disk, 18 42 per cent back up their phone to their PC, and 10 42 per cent back up to a network storage drive, the results showed.

Corrons recommended to back up data to two different locations, like the cloud, and a physical storage, like an external hard drive.

When it comes to iPhone and Android phone owners, the percentage that backs up is nearly the same, 69 per cent and 70 per cent respectively.

The percentage of smartphone owners that don’t know how to back up their data does not vary much between iPhone and Android owners, with 13 per cent and 17 per cent claiming not knowing how to, respectively, the study revealed.

Data loss can be caused by users accidentally deleting their data themselves, hardware damage and failure, as well as malware, causing valuable data such as photos, videos, documents, and messages to be lost forever.

Ransomware and other malware, such as wipers, can either encrypt or completely destroy files, and there is no guarantee that files can be decrypted if a ransom is paid.

The survey was conducted among 728 Avast and AVG users between February 20-March 25.

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Business

Global smartphone sales declines 14% in February: Report

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Mobile Subsriber

New Delhi, March 30 : Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, market demand is fragile but global smartphone sales in February declined only 14 per cent compared to last year, thus showing some resilience, a new report has said.

From the supply-side, global smartphone shipments (sell-in) fell a slightly more, down 18 per cent compared to last year but again a lower than expected drop, according to Counterpoint Research.

As coronavirus spreads like wildfire around the globe, its impact on the technology industry is unprecedented.

The global smartphone market is largely a replacement market, meaning that smartphones are a discretionary purchase.

“While people may delay purchasing due to the coronavirus pandemic, especially in the early part of the crisis when the disruption and uncertainty are both high, they will still replace their smartphone at some point. This means that sales will not be entirely lost – just delayed,” Peter Richardson, VP and Research Director, Counterpoint Research, said in a statement.

Sell-in shipments, which represents the supply of smartphones, were relatively weaker, but February is a traditional low period for production, especially if it coincides with the Chinese New Year as was the case this year.

However China, the initial epicenter of the epidemic, did show a huge 38 per cent decline. But it is showing signs of a rebound already.

Overall, global smartphone sales in February showed weakness in many markets as consumers became cautious.

But with the growth of online channels, we saw sales shifting from offline to online. Offline sales in China fell more than 50 per cent during February.

But this fall was partially offset with stronger online sales, so the overall drop at 38 per cent, was not so severe.

“While China and South Korea are gradually recovering, the worst is far from over for many other parts of the world,” said Jene Park, Senior Analyst at Counterpoint.

In terms of the competitive landscape, the demand for Samsung smartphones remained stable due to the minimum exposure to the Chinese supply chain and China market demand, thus, capturing 22 per cent global smartphone market share in terms of sales volumes.

Apple felt some impact from the supply-side during the month both in China in early February and outside of China in the latter half of the month, which affected its sales performance.

However, Huawei which has maximum exposure to China from both supply and demand perspectives, actually performed well above expectations, selling more than 12 million smartphones during February, seeing just a 1 per cent drop in global market share.

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Disaster

Oppo donates Rs 1 crore to PM relief fund

“We have initiated an Online Repair Service that will help you with basic troubleshooting and software related issues,”Athe company added.

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OPPO-smartphone

New Delhi, March 29 : Chinese manufacturer Oppo on Sunday said that it has donated Rs 1 crore to Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s Distress Fund to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“It is a small step towards ensuring the well-being of those fighting at the frontline and showing our gratitude for the services they are providing to the citizens,” the company said in a statement.

The smartphone maker has also initiated an online repair service that will help with basic troubleshooting and software related issues.

“We have initiated an Online Repair Service that will help you with basic troubleshooting and software related issues,”Athe company added.

Meanwhile, the company has suspended all on-ground operations due to lockdown announced by the government and has also postponed the launch of OPPO Emco M31.

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