Human Rights, Giphy, Snapchat, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, March 30, 2018


IRIN: A LinkedIn to combat rights abuse? . “In 2016, a 12-year-old boy was reportedly detained and tortured in Giwa barracks in northeastern Nigeria. He ended up nearly paralysed. ‘We wanted to cite the officers in charge,’ said lawyer Chino Edmund Obiagwu. ‘But we weren’t able to get the information on their names.’ Obiagwu is the director of the Legal Defence and Assistance Project, an organisation representing victims of abuse by the Nigerian security forces. He explained how a new website, Who Was in Command, has made his work a lot easier by publishing the names, ranks, and command responsibilities of security forces in Nigeria, Egypt, and Mexico.”


TechCrunch: Instagram reenables GIF sharing after GIPHY promises no more racism. “A racial slur GIF slipped into GIPHY’s sticker library earlier this month, prompting Instagram and Snapchat to drop their GIPHY integrations. Now Instagram is reactivating after GIPHY confirmed its reviewed its GIF library four times and will preemptively review any new GIFs it adds. Snapchat said it had nothing to share right now about whether it’s going to reactivate GIPHY.”

Mashable: Snap cuts 100 employees as it fights to survive. “Snap Inc. is laying off about 100 employees, Bloomberg first reported on Thursday, in its latest step to restructure the company after aggressive hiring over the last few years. This round of layoffs is focused on the advertising team and comes after Snap’s decision to layoff about 120 engineers earlier in March. Snapchat also laid off 22 employees in the content department in January.”

The Next Web: ‘Timestamps’ feature makes Twitter the news site it was always meant to be. “Twitter today introduced Timestamps, which allows users to share both live videos and recorded ones from a certain point. It’s essentially the same as the timestamp option on YouTube’s share button. Timestamps roll out today for the iOS and Android apps, as well as Periscope.”

Nieman Journalism Lab: Two months post-News Feed tweak: real news is not drowning, comments are growing, and videos are still winning, NewsWhip says. “It’s been two months since Facebook dropped the bomb for many publishers about changing its algorithm, demoting news from about five percent of one’s News Feed to four percent in favor of ‘meaningful interactions.’ NewsWhip, the social media monitoring company, crunched some numbers on how publishers’ Facebook pages have been faring since then and offered some tips for not being the next Little Things, Cooking Panda, or Opposing Views. ”


Motherboard: Don’t Just Delete Facebook, Poison Your Data First. “If you’re savvy with code, you can employ a script that repeatedly alters your Facebook posts with nonsense, making it more difficult for the social media site to collect user data.” This may violate Facebook’s TOS, so proceed with caution.


BBC: Google’s tax bill rises to £50m. “The technology giant’s annual accounts show that the company will pay corporation taxes of £49.3m on UK profits of £202.4m. Although the tax figure is the highest the company has paid – and up on the £36.4m it paid last year – it will be likely to reignite the debate about taxation and digital firms. The total value of Google’s sales in the UK is about £5.7bn a year.”

New Straits Times: Bangladesh plans to curb ‘digital opium’ of social media. “Bangladesh wants to limit the amount of time its young people spend on social media, an official said Thursday, flagging plans to curb access to apps it considers ‘digital opium’. The telecoms regulator blamed excessive use of Facebook and other popular social media platforms for distracting tens of millions of students from their studies.”

Radio New Zealand: Samoa PM threatens to ban social media. “Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi told news media on Wednesday that it would be his government’s last resort if bloggers using social media to attack government did not start revealing their identities.”


BetaNews: Under Armour MyFitnessPal suffers data breach, becomes MyFitnessFoe. “While technology can be good, it can also be vulnerable, leading to stolen user data. Under Armor’s ‘MyFitnessPal’ is the latest platform to experience a security breach. If you aren’t familiar with it, Under Armour calls it a “Free calorie counter, diet, and exercise journal.” Unfortunately, hackers have made off with the data of 150 million users. I guess you could say MyFitnessPal has become MyFitnessFoe!”

Washington Post: US to seek social media details from all visa applicants . “The State Department wants to require all U.S. visa applicants to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers, vastly expanding the Trump administration’s enhanced vetting of potential immigrants and visitors. In documents to be published in Friday’s Federal Register, the department said it wants the public to comment on the proposed new requirements, which will affect nearly 15 million foreigners who apply for visas to enter the U.S. each year. Previously, social media, email and phone number histories were only sought from applicants identified for extra scrutiny, such as those who have traveled to areas controlled by terrorist organizations. An estimated 65,000 people per year are in that category.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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