Monday, October 2, 2023
Monday, October 2, 2023

For Georgia Senate hopefuls, Facebook ads are back

With early voting underway in the hotly contested Georgia Senate runoffs and TV ads already blanketing the airwaves, Facebook decided it is a pretty good time to start up the old ad machine again. In a Tuesday blog post, the social media behemoth said that as of Wednesday, eligible advertisers would be allowed to place ads about the Jan. 5 races "in the state of Georgia only." That still allows for a lot of content, and money, to flow. Earlier this fall, Facebook announced a suspension of political ads as a way to fight election misinformation, after months of a deluge from candidates and interest groups up and down the ticket and across the country. Now the ads are back, with Georgia candidates and the interest groups that care about them flooding smartphones with talk of the dangers of socialism or the crucial nature of these twin elections. "Control of the U.S. Senate comes down to Georgia," says one new ad for Democrat Jon Ossoff. President Donald Trump, though on his way out of the White House, is hardly in the rearview in the ad sphere. "ALERT: We just printed 500 "TRUMP STILL MY PRESIDENT" stickers. Don’t wait, claim your…

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Local family's Facebook rap videos bring joy during pandemic

The Klemmer family has released eight rap videos on Facebook since the pandemic began. (Bobby Klemmer)SOUTH LYON, Mich. – The Klemmer family has been making waves on Facebook with their original rap videos that they’ve been creating since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.Dad Bobby Klemmer’s oldest daughter, Sienna, was given a homework assignment in the spring using an online vocabulary tool that engages children through hip-hop.“One of the options was to write a rap,” said Klemmer. “When she mentioned it to me I said, ‘We’re totally doing this.’”After she wrote several raps for her class covering various academic topics, Klemmer said his other children started to become interested in writing and performing raps as well.In the beginning, the videos focused on being in quarantine. Klemmer said their tribute to healthcare workers was shared 500 times and had over 32,000 views.They also did one for Mother’s Day, one to celebrate teachers, a video to encourage people to vote, and, most recently, a Christmas rap.Klemmer and his wife both teach at Washtenaw Community College. Before that, he taught for 13 years at Ann Arbor’s Pioneer High School.They have five children ages 18 months through 11 years. Their youngest, Eliza, was hospitalized…

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Facebook exec says “We are at the center of what it means to be human”

An internal company-wide meeting at Facebook revealed some disturbing statements and projects from the social network this week. In addition to tone-deaf language, a Facebook product manager revealed a tool called “TL;DR” currently in development. It’s been suggested that this AI tool will summarize long form articles “and spit out bullet points so people don’t have to read the full piece.” Reading your articles for you Information about this meeting comes via Ryan Mac, senior tech reporter for BuzzFeed News. Per his relay of the meeting, the TL;DR tool will decide which parts of articles are most important via artificial intelligence. This tool will also (apparently) work with voice assistant systems to parse articles and offer answers to contextual questions. In other words, Facebook’s computers will decide which bits of what articles are most important for you to read. While Twitter attempts to push people to actually READ the articles they share, Facebook’s aiming to shorten the reading to the bare minimum. Facebook compared to COVID vaccine “We all get the privilege of seeing the future, because we are making it,” said Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer. “We have to build responsibly to earn trust and the right to continue to…

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Facebook launches revamped Instagram Lite app in India

Facebook is working to bring back the Instagram Lite app, months after it shut down the light version offering worldwide. The social conglomerate said on Wednesday that it is testing the revamped Instagram Lite app in India, where it hopes to “gain valuable insights” about the new offering before “a global rollout” of the app later. The revamped Instagram Lite app weighs less than 2MB and delivers a “fast, reliable, and responsive” experience of the social service. The Android app supports Bangla, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu, but currently lacks a several core features of Instagram, including Reels, Shopping and IGTV. Facebook quietly discontinued the previous iteration of Instagram Lite earlier this year. In July, Vishal Shah, VP of Product at Instagram, told TechCrunch that the company had identified some issues in the app and was working to resolve those. In September, a new Lite app was spotted in the wild, though Facebook did not acknowledge it. Lite apps are especially popular in emerging markets where most users don’t have access to high-end smartphones or fast and cheap mobile internet data. The Facebook Lite app, for instance, had about 40 million monthly active users in India…

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Facebook is reportedly developing AI to summarize news — what could go wrong?

Facebook has been trying to get a foothold in the news space for many years. Last year, the company launched a dedicated section on its site called Facebook News for users in the US. It also wants to expand this program to other countries such as Brazil, Germany, and India. But that’s not the only project the social network is working on in the news space. According to a report from BuzzFeed News, Facebook is testing an AI-powered tool called TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) to summarize news pieces, so you don’t even have to click through to read those articles. The report noted that the company showed off this tool in an internal meeting last night. It’s also planning to add features such as voice narration and an assistant to answer queries about an article. At the outset, this seems like a great idea — getting a short summary of an article you don’t have time to read, right. There are already some similar tools such as the AutoTLDR bot on Reddit. However, given Facebook‘s sketchy history with news and publishers, there are many ways this could go wrong. At best, the AI makes silly mistakes in parsing the article content, so you…

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'The way out is through': Zuckerberg, execs set Facebook roadmap at year-end meeting

PALO ALTO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc’s top executives sought to rally employees around business priorities like commerce and virtual reality at a year-end meeting on Tuesday, playing down criticism faced this year of the company’s record on false and violent speech.FILE PHOTO: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies remotely via videoconference in this screengrab made from video during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled, "Breaking the News: Censorship, Suppression, and the 2020 Election,? on Facebook and Twitter's content moderation practices, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 17, 2020. U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee via REUTERS/File Photo“The way out is through. I believe the only way forward is to keep working,” Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg told employees, according to audio of the address heard by Reuters.Zuckerberg acknowledged that criticism of Facebook had hurt staff morale, saying public scrutiny “comes with the territory.” But he also struck a defiant tone, arguing that at least some of the pushback came from rivals or those with an interest in tarnishing Facebook’s reputation.“We also have to recognize that we have many competitors, and there are people who believe that their success depends on us failing. So it’s important that we don’t just reflexively accept all criticism,”…

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Indy man charged with murder after Facebook dispute leads to deadly shooting

by: Jesse Wells Posted: Dec 15, 2020 / 04:05 PM EST / Updated: Dec 15, 2020 / 04:05 PM EST INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man is behind bars and charged with murder following a deadly shooting two months ago on Indy’s near northeast side. The death is not the first time gun violence has torn apart the victim’s family. According to court records, the accused killer spotted the victim driving at an apartment complex on Baltimore.  The suspect then allegedly followed the victim for a half mile before ambushing him while sitting at a red light at 30th and Keystone. The 22-year-old victim, Daniel Baxter, crashed his silver Chevy after being shot five times through the passenger window. “Every time you turn around someone is burying their child and it needs to stop,” said the victim’s mother Brandy Hughes.  “When they took my son from me, it left a hole in my heart I can never get back.” Prosecutors claim the killing was caught on camera and showed the suspect, Keith Cole, jump out of his car, open fire and then speed away down Keystone. Those cameras spotted the license plate of the getaway car, leading to the arrest. According…

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Amul Seeks Removal of 'Cow Cruelty' Videos from YouTube and Facebook

New Delhi: The Delhi high court has sought the response of Google and Facebook on a plea moved by the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) Limited, which sells milk and dairy products under the Amul trademark, seeking removal of certain videos alleging that they are cruel to cows. Issuing notice to the two social media platforms and the person who uploaded the videos and seeking their replies to the GCMMF’s suit, Justice Mukta Gupta refrained from passing any interim order directing removal of the videos, titled “Unholy Cattle of India: Exposing Cruelty in the Indian Dairy Industry”, from YouTube and Facebook. The court asked the person who uploaded the video, to indicate how the GCMMF or its members were indulging in cruelty against cows and why Amul’s mascot was used in the video, in his reply. With this direction, the court listed the matter for hearing on January 15, 2021. The GCMMF, in its suit, has sought the removal of the videos from YouTube and Facebook, claiming that the person who has uploaded those is targeting it. The suit has contended that the videos uploaded by defendant Nitin Jain “were slanderous and disparaged and denigrated the Amul brand and…

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