Social Media

Facebook will no longer recommend any political groups

Globally and permanently



Leading up to U.S. presidential elections last November, Facebook, along with other social media platforms, tightened their policies over politically induced content. Their goal was to stave off a potential repeat of 2016’s elections when social media unfairly influenced the results of the polling period. Now, after the events of last year’s elections and this year’s riots, Facebook is making it permanent. Facebook will no longer recommend any political groups for good, as reported by Reuters.

Prior to the new policy, lawmakers had persistently called Facebook out for continuing to foment hate across the platform. Despite the promises, inciteful parties kept using the platform to recruit new members and spread misinformation through niche groups.

As it usually works, Facebook suggests groups for users with similar interests. If the algorithm determines that you might like far right groups, it will continue to suggest similar ones that you might like.

Even then, sneaky conspirators can easily dupe the system by, for example, creating a seemingly innocuous group and, when the group finally has enough members, slowly inculcating them into controversial belief systems.

At the very least, Facebook is doing something to lessen the effect of social media manipulation. However, we’ll have to see how the platform will enforce the new policy going forward.

SEE ALSO: WhatsApp now forced to share data with Facebook


Instagram bans Pornhub

Account removed on the platform



Instagram has always had a tenuous relationship with nudity. While the platform eased up on its formerly cutthroat anti-nudity policies a few years ago, creators have always traipsed on a fine line between tasteful and less-than-tasteful NSFW content. Now, in a surprise twist of fate, Instagram has banned one of the biggest proponents of pro-nudity on the app, Pornhub.

First reported by Variety, Instagram has removed Pornhub’s account on the platform. The company has not issued a statement as to why the account has banned.

However, comments spotted by The Verge hint that an anti-Pornhub activist might have caused the incident. Laila Mickelwait, who is presumably taking credit for the removal, is the founder of TraffickingHub, a campaign to expose the pornography platform’s careless approach to child abuse and sex trafficking. She has also called for other companies to follow suit and drop Pornhub.

For its part, Pornhub has continued to moderate content on the platform by ceasing offline downloading for users, addressing the issues put forth by activists.

Also, for its part, the company has kept NSFW content away from other platforms which has stricter policies. For example, its Instagram account, which had 13.1 followers prior to the removal, shared non-pornographic content.

SEE ALSO: Pornhub stops offline downloading

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Twitter is also adding a podcasts section

In a redesigned Spaces tab



Everyone is getting a podcasts section. A few days after YouTube has quietly launched its own division, Twitter has announced the early stages of its own podcasts section through a redesigned Spaces tab.

If you don’t know or use Spaces, it’s certainly not an issue of missing out. The platform has continuously tried to reinvent the feature in hopes of making it stick. At its core, Spaces is a place to feature the platform’s audio content. However, the main focus has varied due to the constant refreshes.

This time, the new Spaces will offer a healthy selection of popular podcasts including titles from NPR and The New York Times. Additionally (and as always), Twitter Spaces will still have the same slew of live audio content from Twitter users.

As is standard in social media nowadays, the new addition will include a way to rate content to further tailor your algorithm on the platform. Twitter will suggest new content for you to listen to, based on how you react to different content.

It is, however, quite a mystery how it will fare in today’s social media world. Twitter hasn’t exactly succeeded as an audio platform. Additionally, with more players entering the realm with already big players, the platform might be in for an uphill battle in making a podcasts on the platform a thing.

SEE ALSO: YouTube has quietly launched a Podcasts hub

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Facebook will finally help users who lose their accounts

New customer service division coming soon



It’s a part of the Facebook experience. If you’ve been on the platform long enough, you’ve seen a few friends set up new accounts after losing access to their main ones — that is, if you haven’t experienced it yourself. To the seeming aid of privacy, it’s notoriously difficult to reclaim an account after a falsely reported takedown. To remedy this, Meta is setting up a new division to aid users who lose their accounts.

First reported by Bloomberg, the company will establish a customer service division specifically made to review cases wherein access to accounts are lost in unconventional ways. Currently, it’s hard for users to appeal wrongful terminations even if they were caused by false reports or hackers. Having a dedicated division for the purpose might finally bring back some agency for users to get back to their accounts.

Headed by Meta’s Oversight Board, the new division will also add transparency in letting users know what contributed to the decision. The suddenness of decisions and lack of explanation are two more pain points attributed to the loss of accounts.

Unfortunately, Meta has not announced when the new division will start operations. It is still currently in the planning stages. Upon launching, it should cater to both Facebook and Instagram users.

SEE ALSO: Facebook adds Feeds with more Friends content and less ads

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