Snapchat will shut down Snapcash, forfeiting to Venmo

Snapcash ended up a way to pay adult performers for private content over Snapchat, not just a way to pay your friends. But Snapchat will abandon the peer-to-peer payment space on August 30th. Code buried in Snapchat’s Android app includes a “Snapcash deprecation message” that displays “Snapcash will no longer be available after %s [date]”. Shutting down the feature would bring an end to Snapchat’s four-year partnership with Square to power the feature for sending people money.

Snapcash may have become more of a liability than a utility. With apps like Venmo, PayPal, Zelle, and Square Cash itself, there were plenty of other ways to split bills with friends for drinks or Ubers, so Snapcash may have seen low legitimate usage. Meanwhile, a quick Twitter search for “Snapcash” surfaced plenty of offers of erotic content in exchange for payments through the feature. It may have been safer for Snapchat to ditch Snapcash than risk PR problems over its misuse.

TechCrunch tipster Ishan Agarwal provided the below screenshot of Snapchat’s code to TechCrunch. When presented with the code and asked if Snapcash would shut down, a Snapchat spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that it would: “Yes, we’re discontinuing the Snapcash feature as of August 30, 2018. Snapcash was our first product created in partnership with another company – Square. We’re thankful for all the Snapchatters who used Snapcash for the last four years and for Square’s partnership!” The spokesperson noted that users would be notified in-app and through the support site soon.

Snapcash gave Snapchat a way to get users to connect payment methods to the app. That’s increasingly important as the company aims to become a commerce platforms where you can shop without leaving the app. Having payment info on file is what makes buying things through Snapchat easier than the web and draws brands to use Snapchat storefronts. We’ll see how Snapchat plans evolve its commerce strategy without this driver.

Given Snapchat’s cost-cutting efforts including layoffs, its desperate need to attract and retain advertisers to hit revenue estimates its missed, and its persistent bad rap as a sexting app, it couldn’t afford to support unnecessary features or another scandal.

from Social – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/22/snapcashing-out/
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With its goofy video loops, YC backed Splish wants to be the ‘anti-Instagram’

Is there any space on kids’ homescreens for another social sharing app to poke in? Y Combinator backed Splish wants to have a splash at it (😊) — with a super-short-form video and photo sharing app aimed at the under-25s.

The SF-based startup began bootstrapping out of their college dorm rooms last July, playing around with app ideas before settling on goofy video loops to be their social sharing steed of choice.

The Splish app pops content into video loops of between 1-5 seconds. Photos can be uploaded too but motion must be added in the form of an animated effect of your choice. So basically nothing on Splish stays still. (Hence its watery name.) But while wobbly, content on Splish is intended to stick around — rather than ephemerally pass away (a la snaps).

Here are a few examples of Splishes (embedded below as GIFs… but you can see them on its platform here, here and here):

 

It’s the first startup for the four college buddy co-founders: Drake Rehfeld, Alex Pareto, Jackson Berry and Zac Denham, though between them they’ve also clocked up engineering hours working for Snapchat, Facebook and Team 10.

Their initial web product went up in March and they landed a place on YC’s program at the start of May —  when they also released their iOS app. An Android app is pending, and they’ll be on the hunt for funding come YC demo day.

The gap in the social sharing market this young team reckons it’s spotted is a sort of ‘anti-Instagram’ — offering a playful contrast to the photo sharing platform’s polished (and at times preening) performances.

The idea is that sharing stuff on Splish is a bonding experience; part of an ongoing smartphone-enabled conversation between mates, rather than a selectively manicured photoshoot which also has to be carefully packaged for public ‘gram consumption.

Splish does have a public feed, though, so it’s not a pure messaging app — but the co-founders say the focus is friend group sharing rather than public grandstanding.

“Splish is a social app for sharing casual looping videos with close friends,” says Rehfeld, giving the team’s elevator pitch. “It came out of our own experience, and we’re building for ourselves because we noticed that the way you socialize right now in real life is you do activities with your friends. You go to the beach, you go to the bar, the bowling alley. We’re working to bring this same type of experience online using Splish through photo and video. So it’s more about interaction and hanging out with your friends online.”

“When you use Instagram you really feel like you’re looking at a magazine. It’s just the highlights of people’s lives,” he adds. “And so we’re trying to make a place where you’re getting to know your friends better and meeting new people as well. And then on the other side, on Snapchat, you’re really sharing interesting moments of your lives but it’s not really pushing the boundaries or creating with your friends. It’s more just a communication messaging tool.

“So it’s kind of the space in between broadcast and chat — talking and interacting with your close friends through Splish, through photo and video.”

Users of the Splish app can apply low-fi GIF(ish) retro filters and other photographic effects (such as a reverse negative look) to the video snippets and photos they want to send to friends or share more widely — with the effects intended to strip away at reality, rather than gloss it over. Which means content on Splish tends to look and feel grungy and/or goofy. Much like an animated GIF in fact. And much less like Instagram.

The team’s hope is the format adds a bit of everyday grit and/or wit to the standard smartphone visual record, and that swapping Splishes gets taken up as a more fun and casual way of communicating vs other types of messaging or social sharing.

And also that people will want to use Splish to capture and store fun times with friends because they can be checked out again later, having been conveniently packaged for GIF-style repeat lols.

“Part of the power here in Splish is that relationships are built on shared experiences and nostalgia and so while [Snapchat-style] ephemerality reduced a lot of the barriers for posting what it didn’t do is strengthen relationships long term or over time because the chats and the photos disappeared,” says Rehfeld.

The idea is a content format to gives people “shared experience that lasts”, he adds.

They’re also directly nudging users to get creative via a little gamification, adding a new feature (called Jams) that lets users prompt each other to make a Splish in response to a specific content creation challenge.

And filming actual (playful) physical shoulder pokes has apparently been an early thing on Splish. That’s the merry-go-round of social for ya.

Being a fair march north of Splish’s target age-range, I have to confess the app’s loopy effects end up triggering something closer to motion sickness/vertigo/puking up for me. But words are my firm social currency of choice. Whereas Rehfeld argues the teenager-plus target for Splish is most comfortable with a smartphone in its hand, and letting a lens tell the tale of what they’re up to or how they’re feeling.

“We started with that niche first because there’s a population in that age range that really enjoys this creative challenge of expressing yourself in pretty intuitive ways, and they understand how to do that. And they’re pretty excited about it,” he tells TechCrunch.

“There’s also been a little bit of a shift here where users no longer just capture what they have in real-life using the camera, but the camera’s used as an extension of communication — especially in that age range, where people use the camera as part of their relationship, rather than just capturing what happens offline.”

As with other social video apps, vertical full screen is the preferred Splish frame — for a more “immersive experience” and, well, because that’s how the kids do it.

“It’s the way users, especially in this age range, hold and use their phones. It’s pretty natural to this age range just because it’s what they do everyday,” he says, adding: “It’s just the best way to consume on the phone because it fills the whole screen, it’s how you were already using the phone before you clicked into the video.”

Notably, as part of the team’s soft-edged stance against social media influencer culture, Rehfeld says Splish is choosing not to bake “viral components” into the app — ergo: “Nobody’s rewarded for likes or ‘re-vines’. There’s no reblog, retweet.”

Although, pressed on how firm that anti-social features stance is, he concedes they’re not abandoning the usual social suite entirely — but rather implementing that sort of stuff in relative moderation.

“We have likes and we have a concept of friends or follows but the difference is we’re building those with the intention of not incentivizing virality or ‘influencership’,” he says. “So we always release them with some sort of limit, so with likes you can’t see a list of everybody who’s liked a post for example. So that’s one example of how we’ve, kind of, brought in a feature that people feel comfortable with and love but with our own spin that’s a little bit less geared towards building a following.”

Asked if they’re trying to respond to the criticism that’s been leveled at a lot of consumer technology lately — i.e. that it’s engineered to be highly and even mindlessly addictive — Rehfeld says yes, the team wants to try and take a less viral path, less well travelled, adding: “We’re building as much as possible for user experience. And a lot of the big brands build and optimize towards engagement metrics… and so we’re focused on this reduction of virality so that we can promote personal connections.”

Though it will be interesting to see if they can stick to medium-powered stun guns as they fight to carve out a niche in the shadow of social tech’s attention-sapping giants.

Of course Splish’s public feed is a bit of a digital shop window. But, again, the idea is to make sure it’s a casual space, and not such a perfectionist hothouse as Instagram.

“The way the product is built allows people to feel pretty comfortable even in the more public feeds, the more featured feeds,” adds Rehfeld. “They post still very casual moments, with a creative spin of course. So it’s stayed pretty similar content, private and public.”

Short and long

It’s fair to say that short form video for social sharing has a long but choppy history online. Today’s smartphone users aren’t exactly short of apps and online spaces to share moving pictures publicly or with followers or friends. And animated GIFs have had incredible staying power as the marathon runner of the short loop social sharing format.

On the super-short form video side, the most notable app player of recent years — Twitter’s Vine — sprouted and spread virally in 2013, amassing a sizable community of fans. Although Instagram soon rained on its video party, albeit with a slightly less super-short form. The Facebook-owned behemoth has gatecrashed other social sharing parties in recent years too. Most notably by cloning Snapchat’s ‘video-ish’ social sharing slideshow Stories format, and using its long reach and deep resources to sap momentum from the rival product.

Twitter voluntarily threw in the towel with Vine in 2016, focusing instead on its livestreaming video product, Periscope, which is certainly a better fit for its core business of being a real-time social information network, and its ambition to also become a mainstream entertainment network.

Meanwhile Google’s focus in the social video space has long been on longer form content, via YouTube, and longer videos mesh better with the needs of its ad network (at least when YouTube content isn’t being accused of being toxic). Though Mountain View also of course plays in messaging, including the rich media sharing messaging space.

Apple too has been adding more powerful and personalized visual effects for its iMessage users — such as face-mapping animoji. So smartphone users are indeed very, very spoiled for sharing choice.

Vine’s success in building a community did show that super-short loops can win a new generation of fans, though. But in May its original co-founder, Dom Hofmann, indefinitely postponed the idea of reviving the app by building Vine 2 — citing financial and legal roadblocks, plus other commitments on his time.

Though he did urge those “missing the original Vine experience” to check out some of the apps he said had “sprung up lately” (albeit, without namechecking any of the newbs). So perhaps a Splish or two had caught his eye.

There’s no doubt the space will be a tough one to sustain. Plenty of apps have cracked in and had a moment but very few go the distance. Overly distinctive filters can also feel faddish and fall out of fashion as quickly as they blew up. Witness, for example, the viral rise of art effect photo app Prisma. (And now try and remember the last time you saw one of its art filtered photos in the wild… )

So sustaining a novel look and feel can be tough. Not least because social’s big beast, Facebook, has the resources and inclination to clone any innovations that look like they might be threatening. Add in network effects and the story of the space has been defined by a shrinking handful of dominant apps and platforms.

And yet — there’s still always the chance that a new generation of smartphone users will shake things up because they see things differently and want to find new ways and new spaces to share their personal stuff.

That’s the splash that Splish’s team is hoping to make.

from Social – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/21/with-its-goofy-video-loops-yc-backed-splish-wants-to-be-the-anti-instagram/
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Facebook suspends analytics firm Crimson Hexagon over data use concerns

As part of its ongoing mission to close the barn doors after the cows have got out, Facebook has suspended the accounts of British data analytics firm Crimson Hexagon over concerns that it may be improperly handling user data.

The ominously named company has for years used official APIs to siphon public posts from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other sources online, collating and analyzing for various purposes, such as to gauge public opinion on a political candidate or issue. It has clients around the world, serving Russia and Turkey as well as the U.S. and United Kingdom.

Facebook, it seems, was not fully aware of the extent of Crimson Hexagon’s use of user data, however, including in several government contracts which it didn’t have the opportunity to evaluate before they took effect. The possibility that the company is not complying with its data use rules, specifically that they may have been helping build surveillance tools, was apparently real enough for Facebook to take action. Perhaps the bar for suspension has been lowered somewhat over the last year, and with good reason.

“We are investigating the claims about Crimson Hexagon to see if they violated any of our policies,” said Facebook VP Product Partnerships Ime Archibong in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the suspension, noted that Crimson Hexagon currently has a contract with FEMA to monitor online discussion for various disaster-related purposes, but a deal with ICE fell through because Twitter resisted this application of their “firehose” data.

However, beyond the suggestion that the company has undertaken work that skirts the edge of what the social media companies consider appropriate use of public data, Crimson Hexagon doesn’t seem to have done anything as egregious as the wholesale network collection done by others. It restricts itself to publicly available data that it pays to access, and applies its own methods to produce its own brand of insight and intelligence.

The company also isn’t (at least, not obviously) a quasi-independent arm of a big, shady network of companies working actively to obscure their connections and deals, as Cambridge Analytica was. Crimson Hexagon is more above the board, with ordinary venture investment and partnerships. Its work is in a way similar to CA, in that it is gleaning insights of a perhaps troublingly specific nature from billions of public posts, but it’s at least doing it in full view.

As before, the onus of responsibility is equally on Facebook to enforce as it is on partners to engage in scrupulous handling of user data. It’s hardly good data custodianship for Facebook to let companies take what they need under a handshake agreement that they’ll do no evil, and then take them to task years later when the damage has already been done. But that seems to be the company’s main priority now: to reiterate the folksy metaphor from above, it is frantically counting the cows that have bolted while apologizing for having left the door open for the last decade or so.

Incidentally, Crimson Hexagon was co-founded by the same person who was put in charge of Facebook’s new social science initiative: Harvard’s Gary King. In a statement, he denied any involvement in the former’s everyday work, although he is chairman. No doubt this connection will receive a bit of scrutiny on Facebook’s side as well.

from Social – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/20/facebook-suspends-analytics-firm-crimson-hexagon-over-data-use-concerns/
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Facebook, Google and more unite to let you transfer data between apps

The Data Transfer Project is a new team-up between tech giants to let you move your content, contacts, and more between apps. Founded by Facebook, Google, Twitter, an Microsoft, the DTP today revealed its plans for an open source data portability platform any online service can join. While many companies already let you download your information, that’s not very helpful if you can’t easily upload and use it elsewhere — whether you want to evacuate a social network you hate, back up your data somewhere new, or bring your digital identity along when you try new app. The DTP’s tool isn’t ready for use yet, but the group today laid out a white paper for how it will work.

Creating an industry standard for data portability could force companies to compete on utility instead of being protected by data lock-in that traps users because it’s tough to switch services. The DTP could potentially offer a solution to a major problem with social networks I detailed in April: you can’t find your friends from one app on another. We’ve asked Facebook for details on if and how you’ll be able to transfer your social connections and friends’ contact info which it’s historically hoarded.

From playlists in music streaming services to health data from fitness trackers to our reams of photos and videos, the DTP could be a boon for startups. Incumbent tech giants maintain a huge advantage in popularizing new functionality because they instantly interoperate with a user’s existing data rather than making them start from scratch. Even if a social networking startup builds a better location sharing feature, personalized avatar, or payment system, it might be a lot easier to use Facebook’s clone of it because that’s where your profile, friends, and photos live.

If the DTP gains industry-wide momentum and its founding partners cooperate in good faith rather than at some bare minimum involvement, it could lower the barrier for people to experiment with new apps. Meanwhile, the tech giants could argue that the government shouldn’t step in to regulate them or break them up because DTP means users are free to choose whichever app best competes for their data and attention.

from Social – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/20/data-transfer-project/
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Instagram adds a status indicator dot so people know when you’re ignoring them

In a blog post today, Instagram announced a new feature: a green status dot that indicates when a user is active on the app. If you’re cruising around Instagram, you can expect to see a green dot next to the profile pics of friends who are also Instagramming right then and there.

The dot will show up in the direct messaging part of the app but also on your friends list when you go to share a post with someone. Instagram clarifies that “You will only see status for friends who follow you or people who you have talked to in Direct” so it’s meant to get you talking more to the people you’re already talking to. You can disable the status info in the “Activity Status” bit of the app’s settings menu, where it’s set to on by default.

Prior to the advent of the green dot, Instagram already displayed how long ago someone was active by including information like “Active 23m ago” or “Active Now” in grey text next to their account info where your direct messages live. For those of us who prefer a calm, less realtime experience, the fact that features like these come on by default is a bummer.

Given the grey activity status text, the status dot may not seem like that much of a change. Still, it’s one opt-out design choice closer to making Instagram a compulsive realtime social media nightmare like Facebook or Facebook Messenger. The quiet, incremental rollout of features like the grey status text is often so subtle that users don’t notice it — as a daily Instagram user, I barely did.

Making major shifts very gradually is the same game Facebook always plays with its products, layering slight design changes that alter user behavior until one day you wake up and aren’t using the same app you used to love, but somehow you can’t seem to stop using it. Instagram is working on a feature for in-app time management, but stuff like this negates Facebook’s broader supposed efforts to make our relationship with its attention-hungry platforms less of a compulsive tic.

It’s not like users will be relieved that they can now see who is “online” in the app. The last time Instagram users passionately requested a feature it was to demand a return to the chronological feed and we all know how that went. Over the years, Instagram users have mostly begged that the app’s parent company not mess it up and yet here we are. The Facebookification of Instagram marches on.

It’s a shame to see that happening with Instagram, which used to feel like one of the only peaceful places online, a serene space where you weren’t thrown into fits of realtime FOMO because usually your friends were #latergramming static images from good times previously had, not broadcasting the fun stuff you’re missing out on right now. It’s hard to see how features like this square with Facebook’s ostensible mission to move away from its relentless pursuit of engagement in favor of deepening the quality of user experiences with a mantra of “time well spent.” As users start to resent the steep attentional toll that makes Facebook “free”, it’s a shame to see Instagram follow Facebook down the same dark path.

from Social – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/19/instagram-green-dot-status-indicator/
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Here’s what Facebook employees were saying about Holocaust denial … in 2009

Mark Zuckerberg has been in hot water this week thanks to comments he made during an interview with Kara Swisher about the kinds of content that should and shouldn’t be removed from the platform.

Zuckerberg brought up Holocaust deniers as an example, saying he found them “deeply offensive,” then added, “But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong.” (In a follow-up email, Zuckerberg repeated that he found Holocaust denial to be “deeply offensive” and said, “I absolutely didn’t intend to defend the intent of people who deny that.”)

In light of the ensuing controversy, it seems worth bringing up some old posts by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington — from all the way back in 2009, when Arrington highlighted an effort by Brian Cuban to get Holocaust denial groups removed from the social network.

Those posts drew comments from a number of Facebook employees, including Adam Mosseri, who’s currently the VP of product management in charge of the Facebook News Feed, and Andrew Bosworth, who took over the company’s hardware efforts last year.

We’re exhuming these old comments not as a “gotcha!” moment, but simply as a reminder that this is a longstanding debate, one in which senior Facebook figures (some of whom took pains to emphasize that they were speaking for themselves, not the company) have articulated a pretty consistent position. Here’s Mosseri, for example:

I don’t understand how one can rationalize censorship, no matter how wrong or evil the message. It’s not the place of government, news media or communication platforms to tell anyone what they can or cannot say.

And here’s Bosworth:

Yelling fire in a crowded building isn’t protected (legally or morally) because it directly infringes on the physical safety of others, something they have a right to in our moral judgement. I think it is pretty clear that these groups pose no such imminent threat. They are distasteful and ignorant to all of us, but they should not be shut down unless they pose a credible threat to the physical safety of others, such as through threats of violence.

And here’s Ezra Callahan, who was then on the PR team:

You do not combat ignorance by trying to cover up that ignorance exists. You confront it head on. Facebook will do the world no good by trying to become its thought police.

There’s a lot more discussion in the original post.

from Social – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/19/facebook-holocaust-denial/
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Facebook and Instagram change to crack down on underage children

Facebook and Instagram will more proactively lock the accounts of users its moderators suspect are below the age of 13. Its former policy was to only investigate accounts if they were reported specifically for being potentially underage. But Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch that an ‘operational’ change to its policy for reviewers made this week will see them lock the accounts of any underage user they come across, even if they were reported for something else, such as objectionable content, or are otherwise discovered by reviewers. Facebook will require the users to provide proof that they’re over 13 such a government issued photo ID to regain access. The problem stems from Facebook not requiring any proof of age upon signup.

Facebook Messenger Kids is purposefully aimed at users under age 13

A tougher stance here could reduce Facebook and Instagram’s user counts and advertising revenue. The apps’ formerly more hands-off approach allowed them to hook young users so by the time they turned 13, they had already invested in building a social graph and history of content that tethers them to the Facebook corporation. While Facebook has lost cache with the youth over time and as their parents joined, Instagram is still wildly popular with them and likely counts many tweens or even younger children as users.

The change comes in response to an undercover documentary report by the UK’s Channel 4 and Firecrest Films that saw a journalist become a Facebook content reviewer through a third-party firm called CPL Resources in Dublin, Ireland. A reviewer there claims they were instructed to ignore users who appeared under 13, saying “We have to have an admission that the person is underage. If not, we just like pretend that we are blind and that we don’t know what underage looks like.” The report also outlined how far-right political groups are subject to different threshholds for deletion than other Pages or accounts if they post hateful content in violation of Facebook’s policies.

In response, Facebook published a blog post on July 16th claiming that that high-profile Pages and registered political groups may receive a second layer of review from Facebook employees. But in an update on July 17th, Facebook noted that “Since the program, we have been working to update the guidance for reviewers to put a hold on any account they encounter if they have a strong indication it is underage, even if the report was for something else.”

Now a Facebook spokesperson confirms to TechCrunch that this is a change to how reviewers are trained to enforce its age policy for both Facebook and Instagram. Facebook prohibits users under 13 to comply with the US Child Online Privacy Protection Act that demands that requires parental consent to collect data about children. The change could see more underage users have their accounts terminated. That might in turn reduce the site’s utility for their friends over or under age 13, making them less engaged with the social network.

The news comes in contrast to Facebook purposefully trying to attract underage users through its Messenger Kids app that lets children ages 6 to 12 chat with those approved by their parents, which today expanded to Mexico, beyond the US, Canada, and Peru. With one hand, Facebook is trying to make under-13 users dependent on the social network while pushing them away with the other.

Child Signups Lead to Problems As Users Age

A high-ranking source who worked at Facebook in its early days previously told me that one repercussion of a hands-off approach to policing underage users was that as some got older, Facebook would wrongly believe they were over 18 or over 21.

That’s problematic because it could make minors improperly eligible to see ads for alcohol, real money gambling, loans, or subscription services. They’d also be able to see potentially offensive content such as graphic violence that only appears to users over 18 and is hidden behind a warning interstitial. Facebook might also expose their contact info, school, and birthday in public search results, which it hides for users under 18.

Users who request to change their birthdate may have their accounts suspended, deterring users from coming clean about their real age. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that in the US, Canada, and EU, if a user listed as over 18 tries to change their age to be under 18 or vice versa, they would be prompted to provide proof of age.

Facebook might be wise to offer an amnesty period to users who want to correct their age without having their accounts suspended. Getting friends to confirm friend requests and building up a profile takes time and social capital that formerly underage users who are now actually over 13 might not want to risk just to able to display their accurate birthdate and protect Facebook. If the company wants to correct the problem, it may need to offer a temporary consequence-free method for users to correct their age. It could then promote this options to its youngest users or those who algorithms suggest might be under 13 based on their connections.

Facebook doesn’t put any real roadblock to signup in front of underage users beyond a self-certification that they are of age, likely to keep it easy to join the social network and grow its business. It’s understandable that some 9- or 11-year-olds would lie to gain access. Blindly believing self-certifications led to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, as the data research firm promised Facebook it had deleted surreptitiously collected user data, but Facebook failed to verify that.

There are plenty of other apps that flout COPPA laws by making it easy for underage children to sign up. Lip-syncing app Musically is particularly notorious for featuring girls under 13 dancing provocatively to modern pop songs in front of audiences of millions — which worryingly include adults. The company’s CEO Alex Zhu angrily denied that it violates COPPA when I confronted him with evidence at TechCrunch Disrupt London in 2016.

Facebook’s Reckoning

The increased scrutiny brought on by the Cambridge Analytica debacle, Russian election interference, screentime addiction, lack of protections against fake news, and lax policy towards conspiracy theorists and dangerous content has triggered a reckoning for Facebook.

Yesterday Facebook announced a content moderation policy update, telling TechCrunch “There are certain forms of misinformation that have contributed to physical harm, and we are making a policy change which will enable us to take that type of content down. We will be begin implementing the policy during the coming months.” That comes in response to false rumors spreading through WhatsApp leading to lynch mobs murdering people in countries like India. The policy could impact conspiracy theorists and publications spreading false news on Facebook, some of which claim to be practicing free speech.

Across safety, privacy, and truth, Facebook will have to draw the line on how proactively to police its social network. It’s left trying to balance its mission to connect the world, its business that thrives on maximizing user counts and engagement, its brand as a family-friendly utility, its responsibility to protect society and democracy from misinformation, and its values that endorse free speech and a voice for everyone. Something’s got to give.

from Social – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/19/facebok-under-13/
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