Facebook invents new unit of time called a flick

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A Facebook engineer has invented a new unit of time called a flick. The flick has been designed to help developers keep video effects in sync, according to a description on the code-sharing site GitHub. A flick, derived from “frame-tick”, is 1/705,600,000 of a second – the next unit of time after a nanosecond. A researcher at Oxford University said the flick wouldn’t have much general impact but may help create better virtual reality experiences. Flicks are defined in the programming language C++, which is used to generate visual effects…

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Facebook to use surveys to boost ‘trustworthy’ news

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Facebook has announced it will prioritise news sources deemed to be more trustworthy on its News Feed. The firm said the social network community would determine which outlets are reliable via the use of user surveys. Founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said news content would soon make up around 4% of what appeared in people’s News Feeds – down from 5% before. The move is the latest attempt by the company to quell the spread of so-called fake news and propaganda on the network. As part of that continuing…

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Only one in four trust social media, says survey

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Only one in four Britons trusts social media and users would like to see tighter regulation, according to the annual Edelman Trust Barometer. Its survey found two-thirds of Britons believe platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are not doing enough to prevent illegal and unethical behaviour, including cyber-bullying and extremism. But faith in traditional journalism rose sharply in the last year. Edelman said it was time social media companies sat up and listened. “The public want action on key issues related to online protection, and to see their concerns addressed…

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Children at Significant Social Media Risk

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Schools should play a bigger role in preparing children for social media’s emotional demands as they move from primary to secondary school, England’s children’s commissioner says. Anne Longfield said she was worried many pupils at that stage became anxious about their identity and craved likes and comments for validation. Her study said children aged eight to 12 found it hard to manage the impact. The government said it was working with schools on online safety education. The report into the effects of social media on eight to 12-year-olds claimed many…

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Germany starts enforcing hate speech law

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Germany is set to start enforcing a law that demands social media sites move quickly to remove hate speech, fake news and illegal material. Sites that do not remove “obviously illegal” posts could face fines of up to 50m euro (£44.3m). The law gives the networks 24 hours to act after they have been told about law-breaking material. Social networks and media sites with more than two million members will fall under the law’s provisions. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will be the law’s main focus but it is also likely…

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Facebook appears to axe feed for tracking your friends’ activity

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As Facebook continues to tinker with its layout and services to spur more interactions and engagement, it seems that not even the most well-known or oldest features are spared. In the most recent development, it looks like Facebook has quietly removed the Ticker, the box that used to appear to the right of your News Feed to summarize what all your friends have been liking, commenting on, and generally doing on the social network. The removal has come after several weeks of people reporting the feature suddenly disappearing for them.…

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You can now import your Instagram contacts into Messenger

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Facebook and Instagram have begun testing a feature that allows you to more easily bring your Instagram contacts into Messenger. The experience, which is entirely opt-in for the app’s users, is the latest in a series of integrations between Instagram and Facebook’s properties, which has earlier included the cross-posting of Instagram Stories to Facebook as well as the ability to launch the Instagram app directly from Facebook.  This time around, the two apps are making it simpler to sync your Instagram and Messenger accounts with one another. In Messenger, you…

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Instagram testing GIF search for Stories

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Instagram is testing a number of new features including the ability to search for GIFs to upload in your stories, according to screenshots obtained by The Next Web. TNW also detailed a number of other new features Instagram appears to be testing: a close friends list to share with only a small group of people, an automatic archiving option for all your stories, hashtag and emoji search options, and the ability to follow hashtags to get top posts and stories on a particular trend. Granted, all of these are just…

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Facebook, Google and others join The Trust Project to fight Fake News

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Fake news” and other misinformation, online propaganda, and satirical content people believe is true have filled the web via search engines and social media, and have caused a rift in how people perceive today’s news organizations and the quality of their coverage. A nonpartisan effort called The Trust Project is working to address this situation by helping online users distinguish between reliable journalism and promotional content or misinformation. Today, a key part of that effort – called “Trust Indicators” – are going live on Facebook, offering easy-to-access, transparent information about a news…

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YouTube crafts new policy to flag weird videos targeting kids

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A New York Times piece and a subsequent Medium post this week highlighted an ongoing problem with YouTube Kids — bizarre and disturbing videos aimed at young children using key words and popular children’s characters. Now the firm says it is putting in place a new process to age-restrict these types of videos in the main YouTube app. “Age-restricted content is automatically not allowed in YouTube Kids,” the company emphasized. But the new policy allows users to flag this type of inappropriate content in the main app, which has implications for…

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