Weekly News: Twitter cuts replies, Facebook attacks deepfakes

Social networks continue their private crusades to improve their images, but the effects are controversial.

In 2019 it seemed impossible, but here we are, 2020! I mean, it’s been 2020 for 10 days now, but today we have the first weekly news from RD’s blog this year! We know it was hard to wait, but we promise a lot of work in the next 12 months to bring the news in technology and Digital Marketing that move your life.

The first week of this new Earth walk around the sun featured two old acquaintances: Twitter and Facebook. With markets increasingly dominated by tech giants, we sometimes end up repeating ourselves. However, we will make an effort to vary the themes in future editions!

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Twitter will have a tool to define who can reply to posts

Remember when social networks emerged and humanity believed it had found the ideal tools for people from different countries and communities to talk to each other in a civilized and quality way? Don’t laugh, it actually happened. And the biggest hope was Twitter. Seriously, stop laughing, please continue reading the text.

I found it interesting to make this brief introduction to contextualize the announcement of the Director of Product Management at Twitter, Suzanne Xie, during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020. In summary, the user will be able to define who will have the ability to reply to each of their users. tweets. There will be four levels, for now with a name only in English:

  • Global:  everyone can respond;
  • Group:  the people the user follows and the ones he tagged (with the @) in the tweet;
  • Panel:  the people marked in the tweet;
  • Statement:  no one can reply.
  • The justification presented by the executive revolves around mental health, a letter that Instagram has been using with some frequency – like hiding the likes counter, for example. In this Twitter case, Suzanne Xie said the idea is to reduce harassment and bullying, giving the tweeter control over who he wants to interact with.
  • There is still no deadline for this new feature, but it is known that it will be made available to all tweeters in this world. Today, what we have is the possibility of hiding replies to individual tweets, as if it were a “mute”. Connecting with the hopes I mentioned at the beginning, I would like to propose some reflections.

How far have we reached?

  • The first is: an essentially conversational social network has decided to limit its ability to generate conversations. Apparently, Twitter has become so toxic to such a representative part of its audience that it’s preferable to limit interactions with new voices and unknown people. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone, but it’s disturbing.
  • Another reflection: we tend to assess how these issues impact the small user, that is, the common citizen. However, pay attention to the “statement” option. In an era in which the checking of facts and counterpoints is increasingly necessary, powerful people (politicians, governments, large corporations) will be able to block denials and questioning.
  • This will all happen in a presidential election year in the largest and most relevant democracy in the world: the United States of America. A country that, as you may have been tired of knowing, has as president (and favorite candidate for re-election) the most famous tweeter on the planet. As we asked up there: how far have we come?

Ad and vacillation: another common week on Facebook

Speaking of social media and elections, the week had Facebook’s bombastic announcement about deepfakes. In September of last year, Mark Zuckerberg and his friends had already launched a joint initiative  with companies and universities to combat the controversial videos that deceive everyone – with potentially serious consequences.

Well, the idea seems to have given the first results. In a post on the official FB blog , the company showed the two criteria that, when identified together, will cause a video to be taken off the air by moderators. See what they are, in the words taken directly from the post:

  1. The content has been edited or synthesized – apart from clarity or quality adjustments – in a way that is not clear to the average person and would likely lead one to think that a person in the video said words they didn’t actually say; and
  2. It is a product of artificial intelligence or machine learning (machine learning) that merges, replaces or superimposes content on a video, making it look authentic.

Deepfakes are one of the main themes of American elections. There is a general fear of contamination of the debate by fake videos, which, if released without time to inform the public of their nature, could define the outcome. And the hole is much lower: we will hardly have verification in closed groups and on WhatsApp.

Facebook’s Mysterious Advertising in Teen Vogue

This news is not really news, just as an advertorial is not really a report. However, it is worth recording the hesitation. On Wednesday, Teen Vogue magazine published an article on its website about 5 Facebook managers who are said to be leading the fight, within the tech giant, to ensure the integrity of the American elections.

Sheryl Sandberg, the powerful COO of Facebook, even shared the story on her personal profile, praising the employees. The problem is that, soon after, a warning appeared in the article that it was sponsored content. A little later, the warning disappeared. Finally, the article went down. It really was an editorial.

The New York Times did a story  to try to understand what happened. Apparently, the two teams didn’t quite match whether it was to be paid content or editorial content. When in doubt, it was all at the same time, in a matter of hours. Perhaps if it had been a less controversial topic, it would have passed by.

California law that can change the world

The state of California is home to some of the world’s leading technology companies. Google, Facebook, Uber and Apple are there, just to name the most famous. So when state legislation comes into effect there, the effects could potentially be felt by billions of people across the planet.

Earlier this year, more precisely in the first second of the 1st, a law came into effect that intends – explaining in a simplified way – to transform application companies’ deliverers (Uber, Lyft, Postmates, etc.) into employees of these companies. So, they would have to bear labor responsibilities and all that.

In September, when the Californian Senate passed the law, Uber already said it would not comply. Or, more precisely, that the legislative text was not clear enough  and therefore did not apply to their business model. Now, he reiterated this position, which will end up in the courts . In Brazil, what to do about the so-called “gig economy” is already being discussed.

If transport and delivery applications are required to follow the law (um…), their business models will need to change substantially. This would certainly have repercussions for all of their operations around the world. It’s a valid reminder that, in the world of startups and tech, nothing is 100% definitive.

RD Launches Content Marathon How to Generate More Leads and Boost Sales

How about starting 2020 with a marathon? If you’re not an athlete, don’t worry: we’re talking about RD’s first content marathon this year! The theme is perfect to already get that accelerated in January: How to Generate More Leads and Boost Sales.

There will be 6 webinars exhibited between the 13th and the 29th, always at 10 am, with experts from RD and the market. By subscribing to the bannera below, you will have access to the videos to watch whenever you want! Also, recommend the marathon to friends and win prizes. Don’t miss it!