There has been some pretty large news hit the internet regarding Twitter and its 'creepy Big Brother' behavior behind closed doors, with Project Veritas' latest expose on one of the largest social media networks in the world.
Clay Haynes, a senior network security engineer at Twitter said that the social networking giant "disturbs him", and called it "creepy Big Brother" during a secretly recorded video by Project Veritas and their investigation into Twitter.
Haynes said: "It is creepy Big Brother. I mean it's like a level... I don't want to say it freaks me out, but it disturbs me. I get to look at all of the reported tweets, which means I've seen a lot of dick pics. It's ridiculous... We can actually read your DMs... I've seen way more penises than I've ever wanted to see in my life".
He continued: "DMs, tweets, yes. Lots of dicks... Unfortunately, there is a lot of porn. This sounds horrible, but I'm actually glad it's just dicks, it's just blow job pictures, it's just that type of stuff".
There's a new plan being hatched between the Canadian government and AI firm Advanced Symbolics, where they have announced a new partnership that will work on predicting the rise of regional suicide risk by monitoring social media posts.
Advanced Symbolics will use their AI technology to predict which areas in Canada might see rises in suicidal behavior, something that includes in their contract documentation: "ideation (i.e., thoughts), behaviors (i.e., suicide attempts, self-harm, suicide) and communications (i.e., suicidal threats, plans)".
The Canadian government can then use this to spend more money on mental health resources in the right places, when needed. The project will start later this month, ending in June, with the AI firm monitoring social media accounts for three months during this trial period. After which, the Canadian government will see how successful the pilot was, and continue.
At first, the AI-driven project will cost $25,000 but if fully funded would drive up to $400,000.
A Public Health Agency of Canada spokesperson spoke with CBC, where they said in a statement: "To help prevent suicide, develop effective prevention programs and recognize ways to intervene earlier, we must first understand the various patterns and characteristics of suicide-related behaviours. PHAC is exploring ways to pilot a new approach to assist in identifying patterns, based on online data, associated with users who discuss suicide-related behaviours".
Facebook has a bi-annual report that details all of the data requests the social networking company receives from the government, with their latest Transparency Report for the first half of 2017 being released.
We have information like account data, content restrictions and internet disruptions, as well as reports from rights holders related to copyright, trademark, and IP counterfeiting. The social networking giant said that government requests for users' data increased by 21% worldwide in the first half of 2017, compared to the first half of 2016.
Over half of those requests, some 57% of them included a non-disclosure order that stops Facebook from notifying the account holder of the request of data from the government. This number is up a whopping 50% from last year, with Facebook adding that there has been a massive 304% increase in the number of content restrictions around violating local law.
Today is not a good day with NiceHash being hacked and over $50 million of miners' Bitcoin up in the air, and Reddit is down.
I discovered problems accessing Reddit when researching the NiceHash hack, with Reddit being very up and down at the time before completely dying. Reddit is one of the world's largest websites, and without a public reason for the outage people are not happy.
It seems that the outage of Reddit are more so for US visitors, but the problems are widespread right now. Reddit's status page says that they are "currently investigating this issue" and that the "issue has been identified and a fix is being implemented".
Twitter has been acting up over the last few months, with President Trump's account being disabled for 11 minutes last month, and even the international account of The New York Times experiencing troubles in the last 24 hours.
But there are big changes cooking with the social networking giant that are taking place on December 18, with Twitter announcing a couple of weeks ago that it will be monitoring its users' behavior... wait for it... "on and off the platform". Twitter will suspend an account if they are affiliated with violent organizations, even if they aren't causing any trouble on Twitter. George Orwell would be proud at Twitter's move, that's for sure.
Twitter wrote in an update to its policy: "You also may not affiliate with organizations that - whether by their own statements or activity both on and off the platform - use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes".
It's funny, because Twitter opens the update with a statement that they believe that "everyone should have the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers", except the people they decide aren't free to share their perspective, as it doesn't align with their agenda.
What I would like to know is how and why will Twitter be monitoring users' behavior off the platform?
Mark Zuckerberg has just announced that Facebook reached a new milestone. There are now 2 billion people on Facebook every month.
"We're making progress connecting the world, and now let's bring the world closer together. "It's an honor to be on this journey with you," wrote Zuckerberg.
To celebrate this milestone, Facebook is launching a personalized video to "celebrate bringing the world closer together." You may see your video in your News Feed or by visiting Facebook.com/goodaddsup.
Facebook is looking at building out its own original TV shows, reportedly offering Hollywood studios up to $3 million per episode for original shows. The social network is looking at the 17 to 30 age range, with shows similar to ABC's own Pretty Little Liars, Scandal, or The Bachelor.
The social networking giant is going to be launching over 24 shows when it launches its TV shows later this year, and is now offering Hollywood bundles of cash for original TV shows at up to $3 million per episode, according to The Wall Street Journal. The future of business in this space is content heavy, something Facebook is fully aware of. We know that content rules, which is why Netflix, Apple, Amazon, Hulu, and many others make their own original TV shows... it's massive business, and Facebook is seeing this growing wave and is jumping onto its surfboard in a big way.
Snapchat is a big competitor for Facebook, as they've signed deals with the likes of DIsney, MTV, MGM, Time Warner, and A&E for original content. Snapchat isn't the same as Facebook and Netflix with full original TV series, but they will have episodes between 3 and 5 minutes long.
Facebook Live continues to evolve, with the social networking giant making some big changes to Live video that will make it much, much more social.
Facebook has announced Live Chat with Friends, and Live With features for Facebook Live videos. As TechCrunch points out, comment streams on popular Live videos are a gigantic mess, especially when there are hundreds and sometimes thousands of people typing comments at once, with Facebook saying there are ten times as many comments for Live videos than there are on normal videos.
There is a better way of dealing with this, so Facebook is getting you chat with friends while you're both watching Facebook Live videos. You can create a private chatroom where you can invite whoever you want, which is a great way of Facebook making Live video a much more personal experience. There's also a new feature that lets you go live with another person side-by-side, which is going to be great for interviews and collaborations.
Facebook has already pushed out Live With for all profiles and pages on iOS, while Live Chat with Friends is being tested in select countries, with a wider roll out later this year.
Facebook is stepping into the world of gaming and eSports streaming, announcing it has teamed with ESL to stream eSports content on Facebook.
The social networking giant will be streaming exclusive eSports events and content in six languages, all within the elite Rank S CS:GO competition. ESL will be bringing 5500 hours of eSports content to Facebook, as well as offering 1500 hours of exclusive eSports content for Facebook.
Facebook won't just have the Rank S CS:GO matches, but we will also receive ESL One and Intel Extreme Masters events as well - all livestreamed in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and German. The social networking giant will also be making an original 30-minute Facebook Live series that will look back at previous CS:GO match highlights, showcasing top players as well as up and coming players.
Facebook has plenty to smile about for the first 3 months of 2017, with the company releasing their first quarterly earnings for the year.
The social networking giant now has 1.94 billion monthly active users, which is around 300 million more people on Facebook since this time last year. There are now an average of 1.28 billion people who use Facebook each and every day.
On the money side of things, Facebook raked in a sizeable $8 billion in revenue, a 49% increase from the same period of 2016. Facebook made just over $3 billion in net profit, representing a massive 76% increase in profits. Most of this comes from mobile advertising, which represents close to 85% of Facebook's advertising revenue.