Benin Govt abandon social media tax decree after protests

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After 10 days of mobilisation with more than 500 000 people being affected by the social media tax, the government in Benin have decided to cancel the tax. The government passed the decree in late  August taxing its citizens for accessing the internet and social media apps reports Mail & Guardian. It taxed the use of Over The Top services like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. Mylène Flicka, an Beninese activist, working on IRAWO, a digital media platform spoke to The Daily Vox about the decree and the cancellation of the…

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Twitter prioritizes breaking news in an app redesign

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Online news and social networking service, Twitter, announced  that it is changing up its service in favour of major events to make it easier for people to access the latest breaking news. This shift in focus sets the service apart from other social media networks such as Facebook who have opted to focus less on live events and news and more on the personal lives and interests of its user base. In terms of what they’re changing, the  app will now feature a “happening now” module to highlight all kinds…

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Twitter banishes trolls to the shadows

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Twitter says it is taking action against “trolls” that “distort and detract from the public conversation”, by making their tweets less visible. The social network has been trying to tackle abuse and harassment on its platform for several years. The company said it would now look at “behavioural signals” to “improve the health” of discussions on the platform. “People contributing to the healthy conversation will be more visible in conversations and search,” it said. Twitter said examples of suspicious behaviour included: Advertisement accounts failing to confirm the email address they…

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Facebook calls out Google, Amazon and Twitter for also harvesting user data

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Facebook wants users to know that it’s not the only one tracking their every move on the internet. The social media giant pointed a finger at Google, Amazon, Twitter and other platforms for using many of the same data collection practices that some privacy advocates are referring to as invasive. In a blog post published Monday, the firm described in depth all the ways it gathers information on you around the web — even if you’re not a Facebook member or are logged out of your account. Facebook has been…

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Twitter Bans Cryprtocurrency ads.

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Twitter has began blocking cryptocurrency-related ads. The move follows other social media platforms like Reddit back in 2016, and more recently, Facebook and Google, which have already banned cryptocurrency ads. “We are committed to ensuring the safety of the Twitter community. As such, we have added a new policy for Twitter Ads relating to cryptocurrency,” the company says. “Under this new policy, the advertisement of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and token sales will be prohibited globally.” Rumors initially circulated a week ago that Twitter would ban such ads. Earlier this…

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No More Bulk Tweeting and Duplicate Accounts on Twitter

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Twitter is announcing major limits on how users and apps can automate tweets, in order to curb spam and political propaganda bots. Developers are now banned from using any system that simultaneously posts “identical or substantially similar” tweets from multiple accounts at once, or makes actions like liking, retweeting, and following across multiple accounts at once. Twitter will remove these options from its own TweetDeck app, and third-party developers have until March 23rd to comply. Twitter says these actions are “an important step in ensuring we stay ahead of malicious…

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Facebook Gaining Popularity among Old People as the Young Leave

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A report shows that Facebook is for old people as teens and young adults are ditching the social network while the over 55s are joining. In 2018, 2.2 million 12- to 17-year-olds and 4.5 million 18- to 24-year-olds will regularly use Facebook in the UK, 700,000 fewer than in 2017, as younger users defect to services such as Snapchat, according to eMarketer. A surge in older users means over-55s will become the second-biggest demographic of Facebook users this year. The report says that while Facebook has so far been successful…

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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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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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Doctors warn against internet, gaming disorders in UAE

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Medical professionals in the UAE are warning that addiction to smartphones and technology among young people can be as powerful as addiction to gambling and drugs, with its own host of health and psychological problems. In many developed nations – the UAE included – it isn’t uncommon to see young children on a tablet or smartphone, with their parents besides them seemingly oblivious to any potential health risks. “Mental health risks of increasing addiction to technology are clear and present,” said Dr Binu George, Consultant Paediatrician (paediatric neurodevelopment and neurodisability)…

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