Facebook Inc, leading social media giant, on Thursday announced it has launched Instagram Lite in Sub-Saharan Africa and other emerging economies.
The new lightweight version of the Instagram app for Android uses less data and works well across all network conditions, according to the company.
The new version of Instagram Lite for Android is less than 2MB in size, making it fast to install and quick to load. It also has improved speed, performance, and responsiveness. Instagram Lite not only works similarly to the Instagram app for Android, but it allows the Instagram experience to remain fast and reliable for more people, no matter what device, platform and network they use.
Commenting on the rationale for introducing the app to Sub-Saharan Africa, Engineering Manager for Instagram Lite, Peter Shin said, “Connectivity in the region can be unstable, slow and expensive, making it challenging for people to have a high-quality Instagram experience. Many people were already familiar with the concept of a Lite app after the successful roll-out of Facebook Lite some years ago. We started testing the new version of Instagram Lite when people across the continent started asking for a Lite app for Android. The feedback was very positive and we are excited to launch it across the continent today“.
“Our team aims to leave no one behind, so today we are very excited to bring Instagram Lite to people in over 170 countries, including the entire Sub-Saharan Africa region,” he added.
Instagram Lite is similar to the core Instagram app experience, though some features are not currently supported, such as Reels creation, Shopping, and IGTV. Instagram Lite is likely to gain appeal to users in locations with limited bandwidth or high data costs, especially in the developing world.
Instagram Lite is currently rolling out in over 170 countries, and Facebook remains committed to building and improving the app to help everyone in the world connect to the people and things they love.
Facebook, Big Cabal Media, and Comic Republic Launch #NoFalseNewsZone Campaign to Minimise the Spread of False News in Nigeria
Facebook, Big Cabal Media, and Comic Republic, has announced the launch of #NoFalseNewsZone, an educational campaign focused on helping people identify false news and educate them on the actions to take to help minimise its spread in Nigeria.
“At Facebook, we are committed to the wellbeing of the individuals and communities that use our platforms, and are invested in, and take responsibility in minimising the spread of false news,” Oluwasola Obagbemi, Facebook’s Corporate Communications Manager for Anglophone West Africa said, while commenting on the launch of the campaign. “We are super excited to be working with Big Cabal Media and Comic Republic to launch #NoFalseNewsZone in Nigeria,” Obagbemi added.
As part of the campaign, Big Cabal Media and Comic Republic have also joined the conversation to sensitize Nigerians on how to identify and report false news online beyond a conceptual level.
Speaking on the collaboration, Big Cabal Media CEO, Tomiwa Aladekomo said, “The world is increasingly relying on sourcing for information from digital news outlets and social media platforms. The consequences of false news are glaring and especially painful to those who fall victim. Big Cabal Media is passionate about connecting people to accurate news sources and is excited to work with Facebook on its #NoFalseNewsZone campaign.”
Comic Republic CEO, Jide Martin also said, “As more people spend time on their screens, consuming news and information on social media, service providers must become more socially responsible in order to combat misinformation on their platforms as effectively as possible. I am pleased to be working with Facebook, a company that has taken the bold step to use the longest and most relevant art form to tell the story of misinformation to drive the desired attitudinal change. Comic Republic has since used comics to shine the light on issues like social injustice, online security, and domestic violence. We are pleased to be collaborating on art for a good cause and we can’t wait to show you what we are working on.”
Facebook has also commenced the 2021 edition of its ‘safe online forum’ in Nigeria, bringing teachers, parents, and other important education stakeholders together to discuss ways of promoting and ensuring online safety and digital literacy for young people. Feedback received from the forum will be used to design future safety-related programs.
Amicable Solution In Sight For Twitter Suspension – FG
Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that issues surrounding the suspension of the operations of the micro-blogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria will be resolved soon.
The Federal Government had in June, suspended indefinitely, the operations of Twitter in Nigeria, citing persistent use of the platform for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
Mohammed while fielding questions from State House correspondents on Wednesday after the virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja said, “I want to say that the end for an amicable solution is very much in sight; we quite appreciate the anxiety of Nigerians who have been worried that, two months after the suspension, we have not been able to finalise talks.
“But I just want to assure you that we have made tremendous progress and when I say tremendous, I mean tremendous.
“We have engaged Twitter both in writing; we have engaged Twitter; we set up a technical committee to engage Twitter; they set up their own committee too.
“They have met virtually and they have exchanged correspondence about three times; and really, apart from dotting the ‘I’s and crossing the ‘ts’ we are actually almost there, almost there.’’
He said that engagements with Twitter had been positive and devoid of any acrimony.
According to him, Twitter admitted that it had never received any kind of informed or detailed or professional communication from any country as they received in Nigeria.
The minister said that Twitter promised that it was going to look into the issues while Nigeria made very clear what it wanted from Twitter.
“Even though our report is not ready; even though we are expecting more clarifications around some conversations with Twitter; I think I can share with you that some of our conditions for Twitter operations to resume in Nigeria.
“And I’m glad that both the Minister of Works, who is a member of the Ministerial Team and Tolu, who is a member of the technical team are here.
“If I am wrong they will correct me; I know that one of clarification that we set is that Twitter must first, in line with the Companies and Allied Matters Act, establish legal presence in Nigeria, with the registration of Nigerian office with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
“We think this is only fair that if you want to do business in Nigeria, you must first register as a Nigerian company, and of course if you want to register, you must have an address. That is one of the conditions we gave Twitter; we also asked that Twitter shall be mandated to employ a designated country representative.
“As of today, we are not aware of any Twitter representative in Nigeria; we say that representative shall be a staff of Twitter, but must be one that has access to the global management of Twitter so that he can serve as a liaison between Nigeria and Twitter.’’
The minister said that the country representative should also have a physical office address in Nigeria with its head office in Abuja and could also have, offices outside the capital if he wanted.
He said that Twitter, in addition to registering in Nigeria, must also register with relevant regulatory authorities like National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
“Fourthly, we asked that Twitter would be mandated to retain a designated local agent to manage its engagement with the government on its operations in Nigeria.
“We also asked that Twitter should commit itself to work with the FIRS on its tax liability because we believe that if you make money in Nigeria, the law says that you must pay taxes according to Nigerian laws.
“Of course, we also asked that they should immediately also start paying VAT and other tax liabilities of any company resident in Nigeria.
“We propose to Twitter that we should agree on a Charter on Online Conduct for content management; this charter will guide both of us. We will agree on what content will be acceptable and which content will not be acceptable.’’
Mohammed said that the Ministerial Team was concerned about contents that would be liable to jeopardise Nigeria’s security, unity and sovereignty.
He said that the team also asked for an agreement on what amounted to prohibited publication and when such was cited and brought to the attention of Twitter, it would delete or remove such publication.
“We also proposed an ombudsman between both Twitter and Nigeria, and it is this ombudsman to whom we can report harmful accounts or suspected troll and then he will act accordingly.
“Finally, we asked that Twitter should immediately establish a local compliance and grievance redress mechanism to be domiciled in Nigeria and to be staffed by persons who understand local content and our culture,’’ he said.
According to him, Twitter has responded, but there are still areas that both parties have yet to agree on.
He said that he was hopeful that Twitter would comply with all the demands, adding that the platform was considering having an office in Nigeria by 2022.
Google to Introduce Strike-Based System to Clamp Down on Advertisers Violating Google Ads Policies
The world’s leading search engine Google on announced it will introduce a new strike-based system to clamp down on advertisers who repeatedly violate the company’s ads policies.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the tech giant said the new strike based system would be introduced in September 2021, to be precise it said implementation of the new system will commence on September 21, 2021, “with a gradual ramp up over a period of 3 months, for the following policies: Enabling dishonest behavior, Unapproved substances, Guns, gun parts and related products, Explosives, Other Weapons, and Tobacco.”
“The policy coverage of the strike-based system will be expanded to add additional policies in phases over time and advertisers will be notified each time new policies are brought within scope of the strike-based system.
“Please note that this update does not impact the account suspension procedures for egregious Google Ads policy violations.”
To help ensure a safe and positive experience for users, Google requires advertisers to comply with Google Ads policies. As a part of the Google Ads enforcement system, Google will begin issuing strikes to advertisers, which will be accompanied by email notifications and in-account notifications to encourage compliance and deter repeat violations of our policies.
An advertiser’s first policy violation will only result in a warning. But advertisers will earn their first strike if we detect continued violation of our policies. Advertisers will be able to receive a maximum of three strikes, and the penalties applied with each strike will progressively increase. Temporary account holds will be applied for the first and second strikes (for 3 and 7 days respectively), while the third strike will result in an account suspension.
An advertiser placed on a temporary account hold will be required to remedy the violations in question and to submit an acknowledgement form to resume serving ads. Following this acknowledgement, their account will be released from the temporary account hold state either 3 days after the first strike was issued, or after 7 days for a second strike. Advertisers can also appeal a strike decision if they believe it was issued in error. Ads will resume serving immediately after successfully appealing the strike. Accounts will remain on temporary hold if no action is taken by the advertiser to either acknowledge or appeal a strike. Strikes will remain on the Google Ads account for 90 days unless they’re successfully appealed.
Accounts suspended following a third strike will not be able to run any ads or create new content unless the suspension is successfully appealed. Learn more about suspended accounts.
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