by Elton Gomes
Facebook has instated a team of ex-intelligence officers, researchers, and media buyers to eliminate the worst possible things that can be done on the platform, and to help the company prevent such untoward instances in the future.
Known as the “Investigative Operations Team,” the group of officers is reportedly testing Facebook’s advertising systems, Pages, Instagram, and Messenger, among other services. In addition, the team is looking for any troubling behaviour, reviewing keywords and other indicators that could be a potential trigger for violence.
Lynda Talgo, Facebook’s Business Integrity Director, told IANS: “What we have now is a series of people who are truly looking for how could you possibly do something wrong.” Talgo added, “Their entire job is to look forward and figure out what’s coming around the corner.”
Facebook’s attempt to weed out potentially worrisome content is gaining ground in Silicon Valley. Tech firms in Silicon Valley have realized that they cannot rely on users’ behaviour and are now preparing for the worst case scenario. Moreover, Facebook received considerable flak for the data scandal involving Cambridge Analytica. The Mark Zuckerberg-led firm had to take some staunch steps in rebuilding its image. Here’s what Facebook has been involved in lately
Curbing your time on Facebook
Ironic as that might sound, it’s true. In Facebook’s Android app, app investigator Jane Wong found code titled “Your Time on Facebook.”
Facebook is working on “Your Time on Facebook” which could help users to manage their time spent on Facebook app.
Instagram is also working on helping users to improve their digital wellbeing: https://t.co/y38mV3RtqB
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) June 22, 2018
The function depicts how much time you’ve spent on the Facebook app on each of the last seven days. It allows you to set a daily reminder when you’ve reached your self-imposed limit of surfing Facebook. Additionally, a shortcut to change your Facebook notification settings is also present. Facebook confirmed the presence of such a feature when after a spokesperson told TechCrunch: “We’re always working on new ways to help make sure people’s time on Facebook is time well spent.”
Extended use of social media can have a deprecating effect on our mental health. Although it is uncertain when Facebook might release its “time on Facebook” function, it seems indispensable in today’s day and age.
Providing tools for better pictures
Researchers at Facebook have employed AI to help people who can never keep their eyes open during photographs. Similar to what Adobe and its “content-aware fill tool” does, Facebook’s tool uses AI to retouch the eyes. Facebook takes an approach similar to Adobe’s, in that, it utilizes a generative adversarial network (GAN) that teaches two separate machine learning systems. One system is taught to recognize whether images of open eyes are real, while the other one attempts to confuse it. TechCrunch reported that the results were “quite realistic.”
Funding a news show
In an attempt to prevent the site from becoming the go-to source for misleading reports, Facebook said that it would be paying for original news shows that will run alongside its news feed. According to the Independent, the news programmes will be made specifically for Facebook, keeping in mind its audience rather than existing programming. CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Shepard Smith of Fox News, and Jorge Ramos of Univision are expected to be hosting the programme. It has been reported that the news show will feature in Facebook’s “Watch” section.
Facebook is taking several initiatives after the data scandal tarnished its image. The social media giant even entered the online dating space in an attempt to not lose users. Facebook, however, seems to be losing its grip on millennials around the world. Only time will tell whether the company’s new measures will lead to positive developments.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius.
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