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Meta, Facebook Set up Team to Monitor Fake News, Hate Speech Ahead of Nigeria’s 2023 Elections

Meta noted that the monitoring team will help to identify and flag fake news and hate speeches. 

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Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp disclosed it has constituted a team to monitor posts made by Nigerians ahead of the next year’s general elections.

Meta noted that the monitoring team will help to identify and flag fake news and hate speeches. 

Investors King understands that the next general election in Nigeria which comes up every four years has been scheduled to take place in February and March 2023. The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has scheduled the Presidential and the National Assembly elections for the 23rd of February while Governorships and State House of Assembly elections will hold on the 11th of March

According to Meta, the team which has a number of Nigerians and others was put together purposely for the election. 

Addressing a press conference in Lagos on Wednesday, Meta’s Head of Public Policy for Anglophone West Africa, Adaora Ikenze noted that members that made up the team are experts in misinformation, public policy programmes, and communication. 

“The team also includes individuals with global expertise in misinformation, hate speech, elections, and disinformation. These teams are working hard to prevent any abuse of our services before, during, and after Nigeria’s 2023 general elections. Locally, we also have staff who reside in Nigeria and work in public policy, & public policy programmes, and communications,” she said. 

Adaora added that Meta has a big responsibility of keeping people safe from any danger that might come through misinformation on its platforms. She noted that the social media giant has invested hugely to reduce misinformation and harmful content on its platforms while promoting civic engagement.

“We know we have an important responsibility when it comes to helping keep people safe during the elections. Using lessons from the past including input from experts and policymakers across the national spectrum, we’ve made substantial investments in people and technology to reduce misinformation, remove harmful content on our platforms, fight voter interference and promote civic engagement during the elections”, she noted. 

Similarly, Meta added that it is working closely with all relevant election authorities and local partners in Nigeria to ensure quick identification of any potential threats before, during, and after the election. 

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Short-Form Video Platform TikTok Improves Private Messaging Feature

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Short-form video hosting platform TikTok has improved its private messaging feature by expanding the direct message settings, giving users the option to choose who they want to receive messages from.

The company which sent an email to users updating them on the feature disclosed that the current messaging update contains options such as suggested friends, mutual followers, and people you have sent messages to.

Through settings, users can access the DM options, and also filter out suspicious spam messages. To change their direct messaging settings, all they need to do is to tap the profile icon at the bottom of the Tiktok home screen.

Next, they will tap on the menu button at the top and select “settings and privacy”, and then tap “privacy”. From there they will need to select direct messages and then they would be able to choose who they would like to allow to send them DM.

This feature could make TikTok a messaging app, enabling users to DM their favorite content creators. The feature is currently on other social platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat which enables users to choose who they want to receive messages.

Investors King understands that TikTok’s latest messaging feature can be seen as a move towards competing with other social media platforms that have enabled such feature.

The short-form video platform has continued to improve its platform with the latest user-friendly features as it continues to heighten competition in the social media space. Last year, it introduced a “new friends tab” that replaced the “discover tab”, which the app disclosed that it was looking for a new way to recommend content based on users’ friendships.

After its launch in 2016, reports disclose that TikTok awareness has grown exponentially. Its popularity skyrocketed with a 61% increase in mentions year over year (YOY) during the first half of 2021.

According to report, TikTok has the power to help brands connect with their target market especially when they engage them. Being the first non-facebook app to reach 3 million global downloads, TikTok is poised to continue its dominance in the social media space.

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After Over Two Years, Meta Promises to Lift Suspension on Donald Trump’s Facebook, Instagram Accounts

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As the political atmosphere gathers momentum in the United States of America ahead of its Presidential election next year, stakeholders have started paving way for possible contenders to marshal their manifestos and seek the electorate’s support.

A former President of the United States, Donald Trump, while addressing a crowd of supporters in Texas, late last year, had hinted of his desire to contest the presidency in 2024.

Meanwhile, of these key stakeholders are owners of Information, Communication, Technology including the social media platforms. Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) belongs to this category.

Meta, an American multinational technology conglomerate, promised to will restore Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts soon.

Trump’s accounts, with about 57 million followers, had been suspended after a riot broke out in Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021.

The social media handles, after the suspension would have been lifted on them, would afford the former president of opportunities of interacting with his political supporters online in line with his aspiration to oust the incumbent President Joe Biden.

While his Facebook account has 34 million followers, his Instagram has 23 million.

Investors King had reported that Trump’s Twitter account had been suspended following alleged misinformation and incitement of violence.

But, after Elon Musk took over Twitter in November, 2022, he reinstated Trump’s account.

Ahead of the poll, advocates of free speech have said it would be good if political candidates are allowed to reach out to the public on social media.

Meanwhile, critics have accused Meta of relaxing its policies to accommodate posting of contents that are inappropriate to standard. But, the technology conglomerate said it has made some barriers that would prevent misinformation.

Explaining how it would tackle Trump posts henceforth, Meta’s President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, had said that any violating content of the politician would be removed and that Trump risks between one month and two years suspension depending on how serious the offence is.

Nonetheless, the decision to reinstate Trump’s accounts has been generating condemnation as civil rights groups accused Meta of parading weak policies that allow disparaging content on their platforms.

Some of these advocates described the former president as danger that should be tamed.

Some of the groups,l including Free Press, Anti-Defamation League and NAACP, among others said they are worried that Facebook may not be able to checkmate possible future attacks by Trump on democratic process.

But, Jameel Jaffer, executive director at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and a former ACLU official, said the restoration of Trump’s accounts is justified.

Jaffer said the reinstatement would allow members of the public, the opportunity of hearing directly from candidates gunning for political offices in the forthcoming presidential election.

 

 

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Twitter Teams up With Adtech Companies to Notify Advertisers of Inappropriate Ad Content

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Microblogging platform Twitter has teamed up with digital ad verification companies Integral Ad Science and Double Verify Holdings to notify advertisers of inappropriate Ad content.

These Ad-tech companies which have previously partnered with Twitter will use its technology to provide brands insights into what kind of tweets are appearing around their ads and the reason behind that. Also, they will ensure that brands/marketers ads are seen by real people and not bots.

These companies revealed that their Tweet scanning solutions will cover Twitter’s home timeline first and then expand to profile and search placements.

Senior Vice President, product management of Integral Ad science disclosed that “marketers are looking for the confidence to continue to invest in Twitter and grow their investments, which is what the company plans to do in collaboration with Double verify to give advertisers measurement for brand safety, an industry term to protect its online reputation and evaluate content that is next to an ad at the tweet level.

Investors King understands that Twitter has been struggling to retain advertisers on the platform, hence the reason for the partnership with Ad-tech platforms.

Following Musk’s takeover of the company last year, marketers and advertisers have been scrambling to keep up with a recent surge of changes at Twitter.

Many big brands and advertisers are having to rethink their social media marketing plans which have seen about 46% of them pause their ad campaigns on the platform.

Recently, the company’s CEO Elon Musk has been looking for ways to lure advertisers back onto the platform. Earlier this month, he offered free ad space by offering to match advertisers’ ad spending up to $250,000 to woo advertisers back on the platform.

Meanwhile, analysts disclose that even if Musk improves Twitter’s advertising, his promise not to turn the platform into a free-for-all hellscape” where anything can be said without no consequences, will pose a major challenge and will deter most brands from advertising on the platform.

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