Following the crisis between Ukraine and Russia, Russia’s media regulator has moved to restrict access to Facebook, as well as official accounts” of four Russian media outlets that are state-owned or state-affiliated.
These are Zvezda TV channel, RIA Novosti news agency, Lenta.ru and Gazeta.ru.
The country’s regulator, Roskomnadzor, in a statement, said Facebook’s actions violated federal law and that its owner, Meta, ignored a request from the agency to remove the restrictions.
“In accordance with the decision of the General Prosecutor’s Office, starting from Feb. 25, partial access restrictions are being imposed by Roskomnadzor on the Facebook social network,” the regulator said in a statement.
Roskomnadzor said its actions followed an agreement by the Prosecutor General’s Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs “to recognize the social network Facebook as involved in the violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms, as well as the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens.”
Reacting to this in a statement on Twitter, Meta’s head of global affairs, Nick Clegg, said: “Yesterday, Russian authorities ordered us to stop the independent fact-checking and labelling of content posted to Facebook by four Russian state-owned media organizations. We refused. As a result, they have announced they will be restricting the use of our services.
“Ordinary Russians are using our apps to express themselves and organize for action. We want them to continue to make their voices heard, share what’s happening, and organize through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.”
Aljazeera reports that Russian forces have been moving closer to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, as bloody battles took place nationwide on the second day of the Russian attack on its neighbour.
Investors King reports that over 50,000 Ukrainians have fled to other countries since the invasion began, while tens of thousands more have also been internally displaced
So far, more than 1,700 people in 54 Russian cities were arrested on Thursday, with at least 957 of them in the capital.
Meta Announces Upcoming Business Verification and Innovative Features for WhatsApp
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, on Tuesday announced plans to commence verification of businesses on WhatsApp.
Nikila Srinivasan, Meta’s Vice President of Business Messaging, shared the exciting news.
Meta’s aim is to bolster user trust through platform-granted verifications, signify the legitimacy of businesses and assure users of their authenticity.
To attain this coveted Meta verification, businesses must substantiate their credibility to Meta, reaping rewards such as a verified badge, enhanced account support, and safeguarding against impersonation.
Srinivasan further elaborated on the forthcoming features, stating, “For businesses interested in signing up, Meta Verified will offer additional premium features. These include the ability to create a customized WhatsApp page that can be easily discovered through web searches, as well as multi-device support, enabling multiple employees to efficiently respond to customer inquiries. We plan to initiate testing of Meta Verified with small businesses using the WhatsApp Business app before extending it to businesses on the WhatsApp Business Platform in the near future.”
In addition to the verification system, Meta also unveiled another exciting feature called “Flows.” This innovation will empower businesses to provide a comprehensive range of services without requiring users to leave the chat.
Srinivasan explained, “With Flows, businesses will have the capability to offer rich menus and customizable forms to cater to diverse user needs. We aim to make Flows available to businesses worldwide through the WhatsApp Business Platform in the coming weeks.”
This strategic move by Meta not only bolsters the credibility of businesses on WhatsApp but also introduces user-friendly features that are expected to enhance the overall user experience.
As Meta continues to invest in evolving its platforms, business owners and users alike can look forward to an increasingly innovative and secure WhatsApp environment.
Reddit Unveils Mod Helper Program to Mend Frayed Moderator Relations
In response to escalating tensions between Reddit and its moderators, the social media giant is launching the “Mod Helper Program” as part of its efforts to mend relations with its community of moderators.
The program aims to reward moderators who provide valuable assistance to their peers, coupled with an enhanced moderator help center.
The root of this issue lies in the fallout from Reddit’s API pricing changes, which led to the shutdown of several third-party apps that many moderators relied on for managing their subreddits.
Reddit’s native moderation tools were seen as lacking compared to these now-defunct third-party apps, sparking discontent among moderators. To protest the API pricing changes, some moderators even made their subreddits private, leading to the removal of entire mod teams by Reddit’s administrators.
The Mod Helper Program is structured as a tiered system that bestows trophies and flairs upon moderators who receive upvotes for their comments in the r/ModSupport subreddit.
The various ranks, ranging from “Helper” to “Expert Helper,” serve to acknowledge and highlight moderators who consistently offer valuable insights to their fellow moderators.
Reddit’s commitment to fostering a more supportive atmosphere among moderators is also reflected in the recent launch of the Modmail Answer Bot.
This automated tool responds with relevant links from the site’s Help Center and, if necessary, creates a ticket for human admin intervention, streamlining moderator requests and allowing the admin team to focus on more complex issues.
Also, Reddit is consolidating its moderator-specific Help Center with the sitewide Help Center to improve resource accessibility.
X (Formerly Twitter) Announces Enhanced Ad Revenue Sharing for Content Creators
X, formerly known as Twitter, has unveiled significant updates to its advertising revenue-sharing program, benefiting content creators by lowering eligibility thresholds and offering greater incentives.
Within a three-month span, the platform has reduced the required impressions for ad revenue sharing from 15 million to 5 million, allowing more individuals to participate in the program.
In addition to this, X has lowered the payout threshold for ads revenue sharing from $50 to just $10. This change has an intriguing implication: eligible users may now potentially enjoy X Premium, previously known as “Twitter Blue,” for free.
Elon Musk, a prominent figure known for his influence on social media, emphasized the implications of these changes in a tweet.
He stated, “This essentially means that X Premium (fka Twitter Blue) is free for accounts that generate above 5M views.”
Musk also highlighted the importance of verified accounts in this context, as views from unverified accounts can be easily manipulated by malicious actors using bots.
X Premium is Twitter’s premium subscription service designed to elevate the quality of conversations on the platform. This opt-in, paid subscription offers features such as a blue checkmark on the account and early access to select features, providing users with an enhanced experience.
For those interested in signing up for X Premium, the process is straightforward. Users can follow these steps:
- Open the Profile menu on the app or the side navigation on x.com.
- Select “Premium.”
- Click the “Subscribe” button.
- If necessary, verify your phone number.
- Follow the in-app purchase instructions for iOS or Android and confirm the subscription payment on the web.
Regarding the calculation of Twitter’s ads revenue, eligible users must generate enough verified replies to begin receiving payments.
The monetized portion of tweets will come from replies within tweet threads, provided the replies are impressions made by verified users.
These monetized Ad Revenue earnings will be shared directly with the user’s Stripe Express account. Once the minimum threshold of $10 is reached, users will receive the funds.
This significant update from X not only expands the pool of eligible content creators but also creates a more accessible and attractive platform for those seeking to engage with premium features while generating ad revenue.
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