Tag: Facebook

Facebook Declares Instagram Makes Teens ‘Feel Worse,’ Leaked Docs Show

Image via BigTunaOnline / Shutterstock.com

For two years, Facebook has been studying the effects of its social media platform, Instagram, on its users. And it has allegedly kept it entirely in the dark.

What the company apparently found was that spending time on Instagram was harmful for a large amount of the population, which was most prevalent in teenage girls. This data had come from focus groups, online surveys, and diary studies that took place between 2019 and 2020.

Although the social media giant has consistently refuted claims that its platforms have a negative impact on teenagers, the research—and acknowledgement of the results—suggest very much otherwise.

These findings were kept secret until a leak was recently revealed. As seen by the Wall Street Journal in the form of a 2019 internal presentation, one of the slides read, “We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls.”

This declaration was further evidenced in another presentation made a year later: “32% teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse.”

Then, this was followed by another slide, which stated, “Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression. This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.”

In 2017, UK organizations the Young Health Movement and the Royal Society for Public Health published research that spotlighted Instagram as the social network with the worst effects on young people.

With perfectly curated feeds and content from celebrities and influencers easily accessible, it’s easy to fall into the rabbit hole of comparison and feelings of inadequacy, especially at an impressionable age. This is reported to worsen depression, anxiety, and suicidality in young people.

In a blog post published on Tuesday, Instagram addresses the Wall Street Journal article and argues that “the research on the effects of social media on people’s wellbeing is mixed, and our own research mirrors external research.”

“Social media isn’t inherently good or bad for people. Many find it helpful one day, and problematic the next. What seems to matter most is how people use social media, and their state of mind when they use it.”

[via The Guardian, image via BigTunaOnline / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/415763/Facebook-Declares-Instagram-Makes-Teens-Feel-Worse-Leaked-Docs-Show/

Facebook Has VIP ‘Whitelist’ That Puts Elites Above Its Guidelines, Per WSJ

Image via Mercigod / Shutterstock.com

A new report by The Wall Street Journal has purported that Facebook makes use of a program that “whitelists” millions of VIP users, so they aren’t subject to the company’s standard moderation procedures.

Known as ‘XCheck’, the program allegedly creates special moderation settings for these accounts, both on Facebook as well as Instagram. As per internal documents seen by the Journal, users under the special program won’t have their content taken down immediately when flagged by the platform’s content moderators or artificial intelligence (AI) bots.

Instead, their posts may be allowed to remain live, and are re-routed into a separate moderation system. The report also claims that Facebook uses full-time, better-trained content moderators to attend to this VIP system.

In total, the report says there were at least 5.8 million VIP users in 2020, one of which is Brazilian soccer star Neymar.

An example of his supposed special moderation privileges was spotted in 2019, when he uploaded nude pictures of a woman who had accused him of rape to his Facebook feed.

While such content would normally be removed immediately, the report said XCheck protected his account, preventing the usual content moderators from removing his posts. This delay led to over 56 million Facebook and Instagram users seeing the images.

A spokesperson for Facebook, who spoke to the Journal, said that the social media platform was “phasing out” its VIP whitelist. According to CNBC, when pressed for more details, journalists were referred to a series of tweets by spokesperson Andy Stone.

Stone, quoting an article by Facebook in 2018, said that XCheck meant “some content from certain Pages or Profiles is given a second layer of review to make sure we’ve applied our policies correctly.”

“There aren’t two systems of justice; it’s an attempted safeguard against mistakes,” it said.

It’s unclear how many people are buying the explanation, especially after the Journal’s exposé. You can read more about it here.

WSJ today published a report about a FB system to give a second layer of review to content from high-profile Pages or Profiles to ensure correct application of our policies. If this secret program sounds familiar, it should. Here's what we said in 2018: https://t.co/eqErosKOrR.

— Andy Stone (@andymstone) September 13, 2021

In 2018, we went on to say: “This typically applies to high profile, regularly visited Pages or pieces of content on Facebook so that they are not mistakenly removed or left up. Many media organizations’ Pages — from Channel 4 to The BBC and The Verge — are cross checked."

— Andy Stone (@andymstone) September 13, 2021

"For example, we have Cross Checked an American civil rights activist’s account to avoid mistakenly deleting instances of him raising awareness of hate speech he was encountering.”

— Andy Stone (@andymstone) September 13, 2021

Yet he relates those to issues with the cross-check program as a way of conflating the programs and misleading readers about the context of the remarks to Congress.

— Andy Stone (@andymstone) September 13, 2021

But since 2019, when we, ourselves, promoted that the company would take this approach to politicians’ speech, there have been literally hundreds of news stories critical of our approach.

— Andy Stone (@andymstone) September 13, 2021

The WSJ piece repeatedly cites Facebook's own documents pointing to the need for changes that are in fact already underway at the company. We have new teams, new resources and an overhaul of the process that is an existing work-stream at Facebook.

— Andy Stone (@andymstone) September 13, 2021

[via CNBC, cover image via Mercigod / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/415718/Facebook-Has-VIP-Whitelist-That-Puts-Elites-Above-Its-Guidelines-Per-WSJ/

Facebook Debuts Ray-Ban Smart Glasses With 5MP Cameras & In-Frame Speakers

Image via Facebook / Ray-Ban

Facebook has finally unveiled its highly-anticipated smart glasses—teaming up with luxury eyewear brand Ray-Ban to offer stylish eyewear.

With just the pair of sunglasses on their faces, users will be able to snap pictures and record videos with the dual 5MP cameras.

Other highlights include being able to listen to music on-the-go with the in-frame speakers, and answer phone calls without having to reach for your phone.

In order to access the full range of functions, the smart glasses need to be paired with an iOS or Android device. However, users can still take and store hundreds of images, or tens of videos, before having to transfer them to their smartphones.

Along with the glasses, Facebook has also launched an accompany View app, which will allow users to edit their photos and videos in post-production, even adding amazing 3D effects.

Facebook’s glasses are pretty easy on the eye, available in three classic Ray-Ban styles, and a variety of hues. It weighs less than 50 grams (1.7 ounces), and has a battery that can last an entire day — so you won’t have to whip out the charging case while you’re out and about.

According to TechCrunch, there are also physical buttons to help users control functions more easily. There’s a “capture” button to record media, as well as a touch pad on the right for users to adjust the volume of the speakers.

It might seem a little unsettling that wearers could go around with normal-looking sunglasses, secretly recording everyone around them. To combat this, a white LED will glow on the glasses when the camera is in use, so people around the wearer know a video is being recorded.

The Ray-Ban Stories start from US$299, and are compatible with prescription and polarized lenses. They aren’t waterproof, however, so it’s advised to take them off if you’re caught in the rain.

They’re now available for purchase online and in select retail stores across the US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, and the UK.

Take a look at the glasses below.

Image via Facebook / Ray-Ban

Image via Facebook / Ray-Ban

Image via Facebook / Ray-Ban

Image via Facebook / Ray-Ban

Image via Facebook / Ray-Ban

Image via Facebook / Ray-Ban

[via TechCrunch, images via Facebook / Ray-Ban] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/415675/Facebook-Debuts-Ray-Ban-Smart-Glasses-With-5MP-Cameras-In-Frame-Speakers/

Facebook Apologizes For AI Labeling Black Men As ‘Primates’ In Video Gaffe

Image via Chinnapong / Shutterstock.com

Recently, Facebook users who were viewing a video featuring a group of Black men received an automated prompt asking if they wanted to “keep seeing videos about Primates.” This “unacceptable error” is the latest gaffe involving possibly racist artificial intelligence (AI).

According to The New York Times, the video, which was uploaded in June 2021 by UK tabloid newspaper The Daily Mail, showed a group of Black Men in a dispute with police and other civilians.

As more news outlets picked up the story, Facebook came out to apologize for the error, and said it had disabled the AI-powered feature. It will also investigate the matter further to ensure such offensive prompts don’t pop up again.

“As we have said, while we have made improvements to our AI, we know it’s not perfect, and we have more progress to make. We apologize to anyone who may have seen these offensive recommendations,” the company said in a statement to the media.

As per CNET, this issue further highlights the problem surrounding social media, AI, and race.

In May this year, Twitter had to abandon its new “intelligent” photo cropping function, as it was shown to have a racial and gender bias. To rectify the problem, the company paid a user US$3,500 for demonstrating how its AI favored slimmer people with fairer skin.

With AI becoming more common worldwide, will developers be able to advance the technology enough to keep up with a surge of new users from outside the US? We sure hope so.

[via CNET, cover image via Chinnapong / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/415615/Facebook-Apologizes-For-AI-Labeling-Black-Men-As-Primates-In-Video-Gaffe/

Facebook London HQ Stormed By Protesters Dressed As Boobs For Censoring Tattoos

Image via Vicky Martin Nipple Artist

All the nipples that Facebook banned came back to bite it on Wednesday, when a group of activists wearing inflatable breast costumes took to its London office, calling for improvements to its image detection algorithms.

The campaign was run by areola tattooing group World Medical Artists, and involved breast cancer survivors as well as medical tattooists who help post-mastectomy patients “get their nipples back” by inking new, hyperrealistic 3D ones. A number of them apparently had their photos removed from the site or had their accounts banned.

Amazing day! Thank you to everyone for their support ❤️ we did it! #wma2021 pic.twitter.com/3SiusgJGlP

— Vicky Martin Nipple Artist (@VickyMMethod) September 1, 2021

“This is art!” was emblazoned across the boobs. Tits for tats.

Per Evening Standard, the protesters emphasized that they should not be objectified simply for sharing their own experiences of breast cancer. They also stressed that by taking down photos of the tattoos and the such, Facebook is preventing the community from learning about breast cancer treatments.

We made it! We were there! #wma2021@blingboxmedia⁩ ⁦@Estelle_Keeber⁩ ⁦@taania_wood⁩ ⁦@Medicoslondon⁩ ⁦@DanylAJohnson⁩ ⁦@clo1975⁩ ⁦@MattHoyOfficial⁩ ⁦@AmyJacksonL1⁩ ⁦@amy_reast⁩ ⁦@LadyNadiaEssex⁩ ⁦@theSandiBoglepic.twitter.com/xpObbh25FN

— Vicky Martin Nipple Artist (@VickyMMethod) September 2, 2021

While there are no restrictions on male nipples appearing on Facebook and Instagram, most images of female nipples are prohibited. Exceptions include “those depicting acts of protest, women actively engaged in breastfeeding… photos of post-mastectomy scarring,” and those with “clear artistic context.”

By Facebook’s own guidelines, sharing areola tattoos isn’t breaching any rules. The campaigners are thus urging the social network to improve its image checkers and stop banning photos of post-mastectomy patients.

The company has restored all images that were mistakenly taken down from the World Medical Artists page. It acknowledges that the tattoo designs are so “extremely realistic… our technology—and even our content reviewers—don’t always spot the difference.”

Facebook says uploaders can help its checking process along by clearly indicating that the images depict tattoos.

“Images showing post-mastectomy scarring and areola tattoos are absolutely allowed on Facebook and Instagram,” a spokesperson for Facebook responds. “We applaud the incredible work medical tattooists do for breast cancer survivors, and know our apps play an important role in helping these communities connect.”

The platform says it is in discussion with World Medical Artists about how to stop medical tattoo imagery from being flagged.

We are here #wma2021 pic.twitter.com/nTGWqn6QsX

— Bling Box Media (@blingboxmedia) September 1, 2021

We were there and we were heard! #wma2021 pic.twitter.com/sBeW6eY6LX

— Vicky Martin Nipple Artist (@VickyMMethod) September 1, 2021

[via Evening Standard, cover image via Vicky Martin Nipple Artist] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/415584/Facebook-London-HQ-Stormed-By-Protesters-Dressed-As-Boobs-For-Censoring-Tattoos/

Facebook Expands Successful Tests Of Reduced Political Content In Feeds Globally

Image via Mercigod / Shutterstock.com

Facebook has announced that it is rolling out an earlier experiment that will help to reduce the number of political posts in users’ News Feeds to a wider audience.

The social media platform had first trialed this in February, limiting political content for users in the US, Canada, Brazil, and Indonesia.

Now, after receiving positive feedback from users, it’s expanding the test to other countries, such as Costa Rica, Sweden, Spain, and Ireland, as per CNET.

According to a statement by Facebook, the company said it will place less importance on signals such as how likely a user is to comment or share political content. Instead, it will pay more attention to users’ negative feedback on ranked posts regarding politics and news events.

This change could affect the traffic of major news sites around the world, which is also one reason Facebook is taking it slow.

“Knowing this, we are planning a gradual and methodical rollout for these tests, but remain encouraged, and expect to announce further expansions in the coming months,” it said.

[via CNET, cover image via Mercigod / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/415550/Facebook-Expands-Successful-Tests-Of-Reduced-Political-Content-In-Feeds-Globally/

Facebook Rolls Out Safety Check In Kabul Following Airport Blast

Screenshot via Facebook

Following a blast at Afghanistan’s Kabul airport, Facebook turned on its Safety Check feature so those in the area would be able to inform loved ones that they are alright.

This feature, which Facebook makes use of during international emergencies or disasters, is part of the platform’s crisis response.

Apart from letting their family and friends know they’re alive, users in the region can also offer or request for help via the page. Additionally, it provides news updates so those in the country and abroad can stay informed of what’s happening.

According to CNET, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said one explosion had struck near the Abbey Gate of the airport, with at least one other blast close to the Baron Hotel.

As of now, the death toll stands at 60 Afghans and 13 US troops killed, as per the Associated Press.

This is another step in how Facebook has been involved since Taliban militants took over Afghanistan. Previously, it implemented a one-click feature that allowed users in the region to lock their profiles, so as to ensure their safety wasn’t compromised.

[via CNET, images via Facebook] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/415479/Facebook-Rolls-Out-Safety-Check-In-Kabul-Following-Airport-Blast/

Facebook Criticized For Hiding ‘Most-Viewed’ Report To Safeguard Its Interests

Image via Chinnapong / Shutterstock.com

Last week, in an attempt to quash accusations that it had been prioritizing misinformation, Facebook released a ‘Widely Viewed Content’ report detailing the top posts viewed in the US over the past three months.

However, a new rumor has emerged that the social media platform skipped the Q1 2021 results, over fears that the data could harm the site’s reputation.

According to a report by The New York Times, it appears that internal emails from Alex Schultz, Facebook’s Chief Marketing Officer, and other executives showed that there were debates over the release of the earlier report.

Allegedly, the most-viewed link on the site in Q1 was a news article from The South Floridan Sun Sentinel, republished by The Chicago Tribune, that had the headline: “A ‘healthy’ doctor died two weeks after getting a COVID-19 vaccine; CDC is investigating why.”

A far-right media outlet, The Epoch Times, was also listed as the 19th-most popular page on the platform.

With more lawmakers hitting back at Facebook for being a hotbed of misinformation and alt-right rhetoric, could the social media site have hidden the Q1 results so as to prevent it from drawing more flack?

Recently, as per CNET, the Biden administration also reached out to Facebook, asking the platform to do more to combat COVID-19 misinformation that could lead users to opt out of the vaccine.

Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone said the site “considered making the report public earlier, but since we knew the attention it would garner, exactly as we saw this week, there were fixes to the system we wanted to make.”

While executives at Facebook have said the new reports are a bid to promote “transparency” to the larger community, some people still aren’t buying it.

Former Vice-President of Product Marketing at the company, Brian Boland, said the report “fails to deliver on the transparency it promises,” as limitations set on the data renders it “useless.”

[via CNET, cover image via Chinnapong / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/415378/Facebook-Criticized-For-Hiding-Most-Viewed-Report-To-Safeguard-Its-Interests/

Facebook Relocates Your Office & Coworkers Into VR With ‘Horizon Workrooms’

Image via Workroom Horizons

While most of us might have expected to be back in our offices by now, the new strains of COVID-19 have delayed plans time and time again. And to help employees stay connected with supervisors and coworkers, Facebook is introducing a brand-new app, Horizon Workrooms.

The app works together with Oculus, the virtual reality (VR) headset also owned by Facebook, allowing employees to interact with coworkers as an avatar of themselves. On a television program this week, host Gayle King conducted an interview with VR Mark Zuckerberg via the system.

.@GayleKing and Mark Zuckerberg conduct their first-ever virtual reality interview in Facebook’s new "Horizon Workrooms," a VR app that allows coworkers to interact in virtual offices. https://t.co/aVCtQu2pJi pic.twitter.com/koqNvmnHJU

— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) August 19, 2021

This demonstration showed that although two people were in different locations, they could still appear next to each other in the VR workroom. Of course, the avatar doesn’t really resemble a human being, but rather more like a Nintendo Wii character.

According to Esquire, by operating through mixed-reality instead of only VR, the app integrates a user’s physical belongings into the workroom. Upon pairing the app to a computer, items such as one’s keyboard, desk, or desktop screen will appear in the virtual setting.

Plus, every workroom offers infinite whiteboard space, so employees can plan together in real-time. Users will be able to pin images from the computer directly onto the whiteboard, making it easier to share and review ideas with coworkers. 

As for users who don’t own an Oculus headset, they’ll still be able to join the workroom via video call, which will appear at the front of the workroom just like an in-app Zoom screen. There will also be various room layouts for different uses, be it a presentation, discussion, or collaboration meeting.

Image via Workroom Horizons

Overall, this new app hopes to allow offices to regain the sense of in-person mingling and collaboration, with sounds and movements from the avatars designed to micmic real-life scenarios. With many employees hesitant to head back to the office, could this be a new way of permanently working from home?

Intrigued or dreading facing avatar coworkers? Take a look at the interview demonstration below. For more information, head over to the official site here.

Image via Workroom Horizons

Image via Workroom Horizons

Image via Workroom Horizons

[via Esquire and Facebook, images via Workroom Horizons] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/415345/Facebook-Relocates-Your-Office-Coworkers-Into-VR-With-Horizon-Workrooms/

Facebook Quickly Rolls Out One-Click Tool To Protect Afghanistan Users

Image via AngieYeoh / Shutterstock.com

Amid the chaos unfolding in Afghanistan, Facebook has swiftly rolled out a few new measures in a bid to protect its users located in the country.

Nathaniel Gleicher, the company’s Head of Security Policy, shared a statement on Twitter about the new “one-click” tool, which allows users to make timeline posts private, while preventing profile photos from being downloaded or otherwise shared.

4/ We’ve launched a one-click tool for people in Afghanistan to quickly lock down their account. When their profile is locked, people who aren’t their friends can’t download or share their profile photo or see posts on their timeline. pic.twitter.com/pUANh5uBgn

— Nathaniel Gleicher (@ngleicher) August 19, 2021

Users will receive popup alerts upon launching the social media platform, encouraging them to “limit what unknown people can see” with the option to “lock your profile.”

While Instagram doesn’t currently have a similar measure rolled out, Gleicher details that the app will be sending alerts to Instagram users reminding them of the ways they can lock their accounts down in a similar way.

He also added that the company has also temporarily removed the view and search function for friends lists for users located in Afghanistan. While this isn’t being implemented outside the country, he’s also encouraged those with Facebook friends located there to change their friends list privacy settings in order to protect them.

In the thread, Gleicher also shared external resources to keep journalists and activists safe.

8/ For journalists & activists in Afghanistan (or any high-risk environment), it’s important to remember that @FB is only one piece of the online environment so I wanted to boost a few CSO guides for protecting accounts online more broadly:

— Nathaniel Gleicher (@ngleicher) August 19, 2021

“We know that no single step is enough by itself in crises like this, but we’re watching closely as the situation develops and will take steps to help protect people in real-time,” he concluded.

2/ Over the past week, our teams have been working around the clock to do everything we can to help keep people safe. While we have to be careful to avoid tipping off bad actors, here are a few security measures we’ve rolled out for people in country to protect their accounts.

— Nathaniel Gleicher (@ngleicher) August 19, 2021

14/ Another useful resource for people in Afghanistan looking to protect themselves online (via @runasand and @msuiche): https://t.co/uRYnhrtrMb

— Nathaniel Gleicher (@ngleicher) August 19, 2021

[via Engadget, image via AngieYeoh / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/415341/Facebook-Quickly-Rolls-Out-One-Click-Tool-To-Protect-Afghanistan-Users/

Facebook Removed Over 20 Million Posts With False Claims About COVID-19 Vaccines

Image via Mercigod / Shutterstock.com

Facebook revealed that the social media platform and its photo app, Instagram, took down more than 20 million posts with COVID-19 misinformation from the start of the pandemic to June this year.

While the social network is usually able to measure how prevalent other types of content—such as hate speech and nudity—are, it says compiling the information for pandemic misinformation is more complex.

The COVID-19 situation is “evolving even more quickly so it does make prevalence even more difficult to define and measure,” said Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity.

This report follows one earlier this year by the White House that identified 12 people as responsible for 65% of the vaccine misinformation on social media. According to CNET, the individuals are all still active on Facebook, which the White House isn’t taking too kindly.

“In the middle of a pandemic, being honest and transparent about the work that needs to be done to protect public health is absolutely vital, but Facebook still refuses to be straightforward about how much misinformation is circulating – and being actively promoted – on their platform,” a White House spokesperson told CNN Business.

Many people, including US president Joe Biden, have criticized social media platforms for their failure to stop the spread of COVID-19 misinformation, especially misleading reports surrounding vaccines.

While Facebook has introduced measures such as fact-checkers and pushing false posts down the feed, there’s still doubt if what it’s done is enough to target the problem.

[via CNET, cover image via Mercigod / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/415333/Facebook-Removed-Over-20-Million-Posts-With-False-Claims-About-COVID-19-Vaccines/

Facebook Debuts ‘Most Viewed Posts’ Lists Showing Farthest-Reaching Content

Image via Allmy / Shutterstock.com

To fend against claims that it has been prioritizing misinformation and fanning the flames in politics, Facebook has launched a new ‘Widely Viewed Content’ report.

Scheduled to be released quarterly, the lists detail top posts in the US from the past three months, so they’re not exactly designed for trendspotting. “Over time, the Widely Viewed Content Report will provide more detail on the most-viewed content that people see on Facebook. It starts with the Top 20 most-viewed domains, links, Pages, and posts in News Feed in the past quarter, and excludes ads but includes content recommended by Facebook within News Feed units like Suggested For You,” the company elaborates in a blog post.

Its top links for Q2 2021 strike as a little odd. Leading the pack is the alumni website for the Green Bay Packers football team, with 87.2 million viewers. This is followed by an online business selling hemp, a UNICEF page about its response to COVID-19 in India, a recipe site, and a Christian apparel store.

Click to view enlarged version

Click to view enlarged version. Image via Facebook Transparency Center

While a few links there direct users to political content, Facebook has been quick to defend that external links only make up a small fraction of views. “The vast majority of content viewed in News Feed during Q2 2021 (87.1%) did not include a link to a source outside of Facebook,” it notes. “Only about 12.9% of News Feed content views in the US during Q2 2021 were on posts that contain links.”

This is evidently a response to the @FacebooksTop10 Twitter account set up by New York Times journalist Kevin Roose, where he publishes daily Facebook engagement rankings. In his tweets, Roose posits that content by divisive figures in politics frequently gets the most engagement.

The top-performing link posts by U.S. Facebook pages in the last 24 hours are from:

1. Ben Shapiro
2. Journal Star
4. Nick Adams
5. NPR
6. Ben Shapiro
7. Donald Trump For President
8. News And Guts
9. Love Meow
10. Love Meow

— Facebook's Top 10 (@FacebooksTop10) August 18, 2021

The social network argues that views and engagement are not the same, and that reach data is a better metric. “The content that’s seen by the most people isn’t necessarily the content that also gets the most engagement,” it says.

“Based on our analysis, political content makes up about 6% of what you see on Facebook. This includes posts from friends or from Pages (which are public profiles created by businesses, brands, celebrities, media outlets, causes and the like).”

Click to view enlarged version

Click to view enlarged version. Image via Facebook Transparency Center

Click to view enlarged version

Click to view enlarged version. Image via Facebook Transparency Center

Click to view enlarged version

Click to view enlarged version. Image via Facebook Transparency Center

[via Social Media Today and TechCrunch, images via various sources] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/415320/Facebook-Debuts-Most-Viewed-Posts-Lists-Showing-Farthest-Reaching-Content/

Facebook Caught A Marketing Firm Paying Influencers To Criticize COVID Vaccines

Image via Chinnapong / Shutterstock.com

In Facebook’s July 2021 Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior (CIB) report, the company announced that it has removed a campaign in which users were being targeted with vaccine misinformation surrounding the Pfizer and AstraZeneca doses.

Described by the social network as a “misinformation laundromat,” the campaign had targeted audiences mainly in India and Latin America, as well as the US “to a lesser extent.” Investigations linked it to Fazze, a UK-registered Russian marketing agency.

The campaign began in November 2020, and it saw the network posting memes and comments dictating that the AstraZeneca vaccine would “turn people into chimpanzees.” Then in May 2021, after a period of inactivity, it posted information questioning the safety of Pfizer with an allegedly “leaked” AstraZeneca document.

An article by The New York Times in May 2021, during the second phase of the campaign, states that various French and German influencers had received strange messages from Fazze, which claimed to be a marketing platform for influencers and advertisers.

Une agence m’a contacté pour partager, en échange de rémunération, des articles qui décrédibilisent le vaccin pfizer, et de parler de son taux de mortalité. 2/4

— Sami Ouladitto (@SamiOuladitto) May 20, 2021

L'adresse de l'agence londonienne qui m'a contacté est bidon. Ils n'ont jamais eu de locaux là bas, c'est un centre laser esthétique ! Tous les employés ont des profils LinkedIn chelous… qui disparaissent depuis ce matin. Tout le monde a bossé en Russie avant.
WTF pic.twitter.com/RKiEpYoMgV

— Léo Grasset (@dirtybiology) May 24, 2021

These messages had been sent to the influencers almost at the same time, offering them sums of money in exchange for their participation in the “partnership.” When called out on its actions on social media, Fazze backtracked and deleted its content and some accounts, as well as wiped its dubious website.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the campaign “fell flat.” Almost all its Instagram posts received no likes.

Facebook writes in the CIB report that “it is noteworthy that both phases coincided with periods when a number of governments, including in Latin America, India and the United States, were reportedly discussing the emergency authorizations for these respective vaccines.”

The social media giant also removed a network associated with the Myanmar military. A total of 144 Facebook and 262 Instagram accounts were eradicated across the two networks this time.

[via Engadget, image via Chinnapong / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/415193/Facebook-Caught-A-Marketing-Firm-Paying-Influencers-To-Criticize-COVID-Vaccines/

Facebook Confirms It Will Release Ray-Ban Smart Glasses As Next Consumer Device

Image via Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has now confirmed that Facebook’s next consumer device will be its smart glasses, made by Ray-Ban in partnership with EssilorLuxottica. This was news that came during the company’s second quarter earnings call on Wednesday.

There aren’t any visuals to go off right now, but according to Zuckerberg, they’re going to look like normal eyewear; no heavy, bulky, sci-fi-movie-esque offerings here. “The glasses have their iconic form factor and they let you do some pretty neat things,” he states.

What are the “pretty neat things”? That’s left mostly up to users to find out; the company hasn’t elaborated any further on this.

However, we do know that the smart glasses aren’t going to be fully AR, and that the development of the glasses is part of Facebook Reality Labs, the company’s venture into XR technologies. Currently, with Project Aria—the glasses used to collect research material to contribute to future AR devices—underway, the new glasses being sent out into the world could provide new real-life data to enhance the team’s current findings.

This device is part of Facebook’s plans to become a “metaverse company.” Zuckerberg has revealed that the company has plans to gradually morph into a shared, liveable platform which will allows users to “teleport” between AR and VR social experiences, as Engadget reports.

The glasses don’t yet have a final release date, despite having been expected sometime in 2021. With more than half of the year gone, it looks probable that they’ll be coming pretty soon. Perhaps the plan is for them to be available closer to the year-end holiday season, just in time to be gifted and enjoyed.

Beyond thrilled to finally share a sneak peek of our Facebook partnership with Ray-Ban! Our first smart glasses will launch next year, and that’s just the beginning… The future will be a classic and it's coming in 2021 😎 pic.twitter.com/l9992ZQGoy

— Hugo Barra (@hbarra) September 16, 2020

[via Mashable, image via Facebook] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/415005/Facebook-Confirms-It-Will-Release-Ray-Ban-Smart-Glasses-As-Next-Consumer-Device/

Facebook Debuts ‘Campaign Ideas Generator’ With Free Assets To Get You In Flow

Image via Facebook

On the heels of Adobe’s ‘Inspiration Generator’, Facebook endeavors to get small business owners out of a creative slowdown with an all-new ‘Campaign Ideas Generator’. Plus, it’s not just giving you the nudge you need; there are also pre-made templates, assets, and data to supplement your promotional campaigns.

As you know, advertising isn’t one-size-fits-all. Hence, the generator churns out prompts specific to your business type or needs. You’ll first have to select your business type—such as consumer goods, professional services e-commerce, and travel—and pick the time of year you intend the post to be up; you could even select an upcoming holiday for more precision.

When you’re done with your selection, the tool will deliver results in three categories: ‘Campaign Ideas’, ‘Data and Insights’, and ‘Resources’. The first gives you prompts to fuel your ideation process, the second shares consumer data related to your given parameters, and the last offers reports and case studies to aid your decision making.

In addition, the generator includes a ‘Ready to Go Ads’ option that provides images and text to use in your campaign. Along those lines, an Organic Post Pack of post templates is at hand to be used right away in your advertisements.

To get started, check out the Campaign Ideas Generator micro-site here.

Image via Facebook

[via Social Media Today, images via via Facebook] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414988/Facebook-Debuts-Campaign-Ideas-Generator-With-Free-Assets-To-Get-You-In-Flow/

Facebook Halts Oculus Quest 2 Sales Due To Skin Irritation Concerns

Image via Oculus

Facebook has stopped sales of the Oculus Quest 2 after several users reported skin irritation issues caused by its foam faceplate.

Existing Quest 2 users will be offered a silicone cover for their faceplate, which will also be included with every Quest 2 when sales resume on August 24.

According to Rock Paper Shotgun, it seems the company was already aware of the issue last year, when it made a blog post about skin irritation affecting “about 0.01% of people” using the virtual-reality headset.

It said the complaints were similar to those of other headgear such as ski goggles. However, it does seem that more complaints have rolled in, causing sales to be halted completely.

Since then, Facebook has confirmed that customers’ skin concerns are not due to an allergic reaction, but are offering the replacement silicone cover “as part of a joint voluntary recall of the Quest 2 removable foam facial interface with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada.”

“In addition, we’ve been communicating with global regulators and are taking the extra step of temporarily pausing sales of Quest 2 globally while we work to include the new silicone covers in all Quest 2 packages. The new silicone cover fits over the Quest 2 removable foam facial interface and starting on August 24, all Quest 2 headsets will come with a silicone cover included in every box,” Facebook added.

If you’re a Quest 2 owner, head over here to request for the free silicone cover.

[via Rock Paper Shotgun, cover image via Oculus] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414941/Facebook-Halts-Oculus-Quest-2-Sales-Due-To-Skin-Irritation-Concerns/

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content

There’s no denying that content creation is time-consuming. You have to think of what to post, create a graphic, write a caption, choose hashtags, post the content, and engage with your audience in the comments—and then do it all again, and again, and again.

While the challenges of social media content creation may feel daunting, showing up consistently has big benefits for your business. By posting valuable content consistently, you can:

  • Grow your audience
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Build authority in your industry
  • Improve engagement

If you are looking to achieve any of the benefits listed above, it is worth figuring out a sustainable strategy for saving time planning and creating social media content. The key to achieving this is twofold—planning in advance and batch working content creation.

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content

Multitasking—A Cautionary Tale

Let’s take a moment to talk about something we all do—multitasking. Multitasking often feels productive because you are doing “all the things”, but in reality, multitasking is one of the least productive things you can do.

It has been estimated that only 2% of the population is actually proficient at multitasking. When you switch from task to task, it actually takes 50% longer to accomplish a task. (John Medina, Brain Rules).

“Only 2% of the population is actually proficient at multitasking.”

So what are the 98% of us that are not proficient multitaskers supposed to do? The answer—when it comes to social media content creation—is creating a system and batch working. Below is a process that you can repeat each month to save time planning and creating your social media content.

Content Planning Process

Each month, set aside time to map out your social media content for the following month. By outlining the content topics you want to cover for the entire month, you can look at your content from a higher level and be more strategic about your content plan. Plan on spending 1-2 hours each month mapping out your content for the following month.

Plan on spending 1-2 hours each month mapping out your content

Things to include in your content plan:

  • Number of posts. How often do you post (or want to post) each week? Keep in mind that quality and consistency are more important than the number of posts. Stick to a schedule and frequency you can sustain long-term.
  • Goals. What are your overall business goals for the month? How can your content support those goals?
  • Any important dates. Do you have a new product or service launching, or an event? Plug those into your plan first, so you can fill in supporting content around them.
  • Social media holidays you want to “celebrate”. Are there relevant social media holidays you want to celebrate on your social platforms? This list has a good roundup of these types of holidays, or you can always research those that are specific to your industry.

With this content roadmap, you can confidently go into the month knowing what content needs to be created each week (more on that later).

What Types of Social Media Content Should You Create?

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to social media content is knowing what to post. When creating content for social media, it is important to share a variety of types of content. Your content should educate, entertain, or sell.

Below are a few examples of businesses balancing content that educates, entertains, and sells.

Bulletproof (@bulletproof)

Bulletproof balances entertainment, education, and sales very well in their content. They highlight their products, share recipes and answer FAQS, and create funny, relatable GIFs.

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content
Screenshot of Bulletproof's Instagram profile.

Shopify (@shopify)

Shopify shares inspiring personal stories of their customers, encourages conversation and engagement by asking questions, and sharing video content with “how” and “why” motivating life hacks.

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content
Screenshot of Shopify's Instagram profile.

Flodesk (@flodesk)

Flodsesk highlights new features, shares tips and best practices for email marketing, and encourages engagement from their audience by asking “this or that” and “would you rather?” questions.

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content
Screenshot of Flodesk's Instagram profile.

Another advantage of planning your content for the entire month is that you can better distribute and plan the types of content you will be sharing. Rather than scrambling to come up with something to post and potentially posting too many sales-focused posts or too many funny memes, planning in advance allows you to be more intentional and strategic with what you post. That ensures you are hitting all the marks building the know, like, and trust factor with your audience, serving them, and ultimately converting them.

Let’s say you want to share four posts per week. To balance your content types, you could share two educational posts, one sales-focused post, and one entertaining post each week. As you plan your month of content, you can start to plug in your content ideas according to that cadence and flow.

Bonus tip: This step of the process does not need to be high-tech. Simply use a monthly calendar (you can print one at Print-a-Calendar.com if you don’t have one) and grab some sticky notes and a pen and start jotting down your content topics. This process allows you to move things around as needed to better balance and distribute your content. Alternatively, you can plan in digital form on a Google calendar or in software like Asana, Trello, or Cickup. Choose the tool that works best for you so that you are more likely to use it.

When planning content, it is important to remember that content doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Really anything can be content if it is valuable to your ideal audience. Share your knowledge, take your audience behind the scenes, introduce your team, share customer testimonials or reviews, answer frequently asked questions. Know that you have insight that your audience craves—they told you that when they chose to follow you.

Streamline Content Creation With Batchworking

Let’s circle back to batch working and how to apply the tactic to content planning.

What Is Batch working?

Batch working is a highly focused, topic-specific form of working. When batch working, you divide your work into different hours/days and focus on only one thing at a time. Batch working can be applied to all areas of your life and work, but here we will focus on how to utilize it for content creation.

The idea is that by focusing on one task at a time, you can get into a flow state which is when your productivity and creativity truly flourish. The end result is better quality content in less time. A win-win!

Step 1: Plan a Month of Content

As outlined above, the first step in planning and creating social media content is to map out the entire month on content.

Assuming you have your monthly content plan and roadmap ready to go, each week you should follow the steps below to streamline the content creation piece of the puzzle.

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content
Photo by @stilclassics.

Step 2: Create All Visual Content

With your content roadmap, decide what visuals need to be created for the week. Write a list of everything you need from stock photos, custom graphics, videos, Reels, cover images, etc.

Once you have the list, it’s time to start creating. For custom branded graphics, you can use a tool like Canva. Create (or purchase) a library of templates you can easily customize with different content each week. This keeps your branding consistent and also saves you time as opposed to starting designs from scratch each week.

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content
Photo by Canva.

Step 3: Write All Captions

Captions do not have to take a long time to create. By batching captions and following a caption formula, you can quickly write captions that convert your audience. A good caption should include:

  • Hook: Grab their attention right off the bat. Think of the first 7-14 words of your caption like an email subject line. You have to inspire your audience to click “read more”.
  • Value: Deliver on what you promised in your hook and share content that educates, entertains, or sells.
  • Call to Action: Tell your audience what you want them to do next (i.e. share, like, comment, click, buy, sign up, tag, etc.). Keep your calls to action simple and fun to increase the likelihood that your audience will follow through.
How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content
Photo: Luke Southern via Unsplash

Step 4: Schedule Posts

Now that you have your visuals and captions, it’s time to schedule your posts according to your content calendar. Using Buffer’s Publishing tool, go to Settings and set your posting schedule.

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content

Then navigate to your queue, drag and drop images and copy/paste captions and click “Schedule Post” or “Add to Queue”. Depending on the type of post, your post will either automatically publish at the scheduled time, or you will receive a push notification at the scheduled time to post yourself.

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content

Step 5: Add Hashtags (if posting to Instagram)

If you are posting to Instagram, when you schedule your post, you also have the option to add up to 30 hashtags to the first comment of your post. Buffer’s hashtag manager allows you to save hashtag groups right in the platform. This makes it easy to choose the right hashtag group(s) to add to your post. When used thoughtfully and strategically, hashtags are a great way to extend the reach of your content.

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content

Enjoy The Benefits of Planning & Scheduling Your Content in Advance

Imagine not having to constantly be wondering, “What should I post?”. As you get into the habit of planning and scheduling content in advance, you will start to see your efforts pay off. Not only will your content strategy benefit you, but you will also save yourself time and reduce stress around social media content. Instead of “posting just to post”, adopting a content batching routine allows you to create high-quality content when you are in your “content zone” and schedule it according to your social media strategy.

When you plan content in advance, your content can better support your overall business goals. If you have a product or service that you want to promote, an event or a company milestone, planning in advance lets you work backward to create strategic social media content that supports those goals.

Finally, by freeing up time and energy in the content creation process, you allow yourself to spend more time in other areas of your business. That extra time can be spent building connections and relationships with your social media community, or in other areas of your business like sales, admin tasks, networking or growing your team, or even on self-care. Think about what you would spend those extra hours on each month, and use that as motivation for sticking with your new content process.

Social media is a powerful tool for businesses. By planning in advance, you can leverage social media strategically and thoughtfully.


Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 Explores Bringing VR Switches & More In The Real World

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image via Oculus

After Oculus Quest brought revolutionary new technology to the wireless VR scene, Oculus Quest 2 aims to push the boundaries even further: a blending of cameras with VR graphics. Essentially, mixed reality, the marriage of AR and VR.

Outlined in Oculus’ developer toolkit, Passthrough API Experimental aims to satisfy three components: productivity, gaming, and a co-located social experience. Passthrough enables elements from games to take place in your surroundings; for example, fighting off zombies in your kitchen, or petting a virtual cat curled up on your bed.

There’s even the option to browse the web and type using a Logitech keyboard with the new software. Hand-tracking will also allow you to draw on top of the image captured in real-time, and custom meshes allow for a seamless experience.

Quest 2 itself is “taking things even further” than the first release, according to the product’s press announcement. It boasts a huge upgrade in power, graphics processing, a display supporting 90Hz “from day one”, comfortable new Touch controllers, longer battery life, and an overall lighter piece of hardware. There’s a focus on accessibility, whether through design, accessories, or pricing.

While Passthrough is coming up in the v31 SDK release, Quest 2 is available for pre-order on the Oculus website. And, as if all of this wasn’t already cool enough, it’ll only cost you US$299, which is $100 less than the original Oculus.

Image via Oculus

Image via Oculus

[via CNET, image via Oculus] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414905/Facebook-s-Oculus-Quest-2-Explores-Bringing-VR-Switches-More-In-The-Real-World/

Facebook Messenger Adds Sound To Emojis So You Can Sadly Play From A Tiny Violin

Image via Facebook

Facebook has launched a new library of emojis for its messaging app with a new added feature: sound effects.

These emojis with sound, aptly named ‘Soundmojis’, will allow recipients to play a sound effect together with an emoji, pretty much like ‘Nudges’ in the ol’ MSN instant messaging software.

For example, in Messenger, the violin emoji now comes in a Soundmoji version, which plays a melancholic tune when you tap it. Users can locate Soundmojis by selecting the smiley face icon in Messenger, followed by the loudspeaker icon.

Thankfully, each Soundmoji and its corresponding sound effect can be previewed in the library before you send it – so it’s best to ensure the sound you’re sending conveys the correct message. The emojis themselves remain the same, though there are “soundwave” indicators around them to indicate that they come with a playable sound.

According to SlashGear, it’s not clear how many emojis have been turned into Soundmojis, though commonly-used expressions like clapping hands, crickets, and the crying-laughter expression now have an accompanying sound effect.

More notably, Facebook has also added audio clips from popular media to Soundmojis. Users will now be able to share brief snippets of dialogue from the sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine or the movie F9. The tech giant plans to update its library regularly, allowing users more sound bites to play around with.

For more information, check Facebook’s official announcement here.

Sometimes, words just aren’t enough to express how you really feel 🎻🎻 pic.twitter.com/dbJX6BBNgQ

— Messenger (@messenger) July 15, 2021

👏#Soundmojis, the way to share what words just can’t! 👏 pic.twitter.com/0OOlRhAFtP

— Messenger (@messenger) July 15, 2021

Image via Facebook

[via SlashGear, images via Facebook] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414766/Facebook-Messenger-Adds-Sound-To-Emojis-So-You-Can-Sadly-Play-From-A-Tiny-Violin/

Facebook & Instagram To Start Rewarding Creators With Over $1 Billion Next Year

Image via Primakov / Shutterstock.com

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in a Facebook post that the social media giant will be paying out more than US$1 billion to creators on Facebook and Instagram throughout 2022.

The new investment will include bonus programs that will pay creators for hitting certain milestones when using Facebook or Instagram tools. It will also provide funding for creators to produce more of their own content.

According to Variety, Facebook has plans to launch a dedicated section for creator bonuses within the Instagram app this summer, with it rolling out to Facebook in the fall. This will allow creators to learn about the bonuses available to them, and if they’re eligible for the payout. As of now, bonuses are only available by invitation.

On Facebook, video creators can look forward to receiving an in-stream bonus if they choose to allow in-stream advertisements on their page. The platform is also expanding its ‘Stars Challenges’ program to include gaming creators, with these users receiving monthly bonuses for hitting specific milestones on the platform over the next three months.

As for Instagram, select users will be able to earn a one-time IGTV advertising bonus upon signing up for IGTV advertisements. This will also enable them to earn a share of the revenue the advertisements generate when running against their content.

The platform has also begun trialing an Instagram Live bonus, which is currently available to creators in 11 countries across the globe. When the users meet certain milestones and badges on Live, they’ll earn extra rewards too.

To tie in with Instagram Reels, the app’s TikTok rival that rolled out last year, there’s a new Instagram Reels bonus for creators this summer. In the next few weeks, creators will be invited to be part of a rewards program that pays them based on the amount of engagement their Reels receive.

“We want to build the best platforms for millions of creators to make a living, so we’re creating new programs to invest over $1 billion to reward creators for great content they create on Facebook and Instagram through 2022,” Zuckerberg explained.

“Investing in creators isn’t new for us, but I’m excited to expand this work over time.”

[via Variety, cover image via Primakov / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414731/Facebook-Instagram-To-Start-Rewarding-Creators-With-Over-1-Billion-Next-Year/

Facebook Launches Its Own Newsletter Platform To Rival Substack

Image via Mercigod / Shutterstock.com

Facebook has launched its own newsletter platform, Bulletin. A separate entity from the main site, Bulletin aims to “enable creators to grow their audience in ways that are not exclusively dependent on the Facebook platform.”

While users won’t need a Facebook account to subscribe to a newsletter, Bulletin is part of Facebook’s larger infrastructure, relying on functions such as Facebook Pay to purchase premium subscriptions to newsletters and subscriber-only groups.

As per TechCrunch, current newsletter platforms such as Substack take a back seat to content moderation, with any user being able to start their own newsletter. However, as of now, Bulletin has curated a list of writers to start off the platform. Famed writers on Bulletin include Malcom Gladwell, Mitch Albom, Erin Andrews, and Tan France.

Currently, Bulletin’s beta program is US-centric, with Facebook saying it’ll look to add more international creators after its official launch. The current payment model allows writers to receive money upfront for their newsletters, with Facebook not taking a cut of the profits. If a writer chooses to move to another newsletter platform in the future, they’ll also be able to take their subscriber list with them.

For more information on Bulletin or its curated list of writers, head over here.

[via TechCrunch, cover image via Mercigod / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414516/Facebook-Launches-Its-Own-Newsletter-Platform-To-Rival-Substack/

Facebook Rolls Out Shops In WhatsApp, So You Can Buy As You Text

Image via Facebook

Since Facebook bought over WhatsApp, it’s been slowly integrating more of its features into the messaging app. Now, users can make purchases on WhatsApp just like they do on Facebook, with the introduction of Shops on the platform.

With many companies already using a business account on WhatsApp to attend to customers, Shops could be the added convenience needed to covert queries into sales. Users will be able to view a brand’s products directly from the WhatsApp app, much like how the Instagram shopping feature works.

Over 300 million monthly visitors use Shops at the moment, according to Facebook, and that number is expected to rise exponentially following the WhatsApp integration.

The Next Web reports that the feature will be rolled out soon in “select countries,” though Facebook has yet to specify which countries will get the first look.

Soon, you’ll be able to text a friend about an outfit you’re coveting and buy it within the same messaging app.

[via The Next Web, cover image via Facebook] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414435/Facebook-Rolls-Out-Shops-In-WhatsApp-So-You-Can-Buy-As-You-Text/

Facebook’s Oculus Headset To Get Ads In The VR Realm, Here’s How They’ll Look

Image via Facebook

Facebook, which acquired Oculus in 2014, has announced it will start testing in-headset advertisements in a few virtual reality (VR) titles.

However, unlike popup advertisements on the browser, these VR advertisements will be more subtle.

Instead of interrupting gameplay, the advertisements will be integrated right into the VR scene you’re in. For example, an in-game billboard could start featuring real-life brands, giving you an option to visit their webpage if you click on it.

While no one wants advertisements, it’s necessary for a profitable business model. Facebook said it is exploring new ways for game developers to generate revenue, so the platform will be self-sustaining enough to support a variety of business models for new content and audiences.

According to SlashGear, Facebook will first trial these in-game advertisements with Blaston from Resolution Games, along with other developers launching new titles over the coming weeks.

After gathering data and feedback from the trial, it will then determine the next steps for advertising on the platform.

In terms of user feedback, gamers will be able to hide specific advertisements, or blacklist a developer completely. Users can also access a more detailed ‘Ad Preferences’ page, by clicking the “Why am I seeing this ad?” option in-game.

Advertisers will not access raw Quest sensor or hand-tracking data, which is not shared with Facebook itself.

Facebook has said it has “no plans to use movement data to target ads,” and Messenger, Parties, chats, or voice interactions will not be used either.

While it’s no surprise VR advertisements have arrived, it remains to be seen how users will react to these less-intrusive advertisements, and how brands moving forward will choose to advertise in-game.

Image via Facebook

[via SlashGear, images via Facebook] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414371/Facebook-s-Oculus-Headset-To-Get-Ads-In-The-VR-Realm-Here-s-How-They-ll-Look/

Facebook Debuts Typography Deepfake AI That Uncannily Mimics Fonts From Photos

Image via Facebook AI

You’ve likely grappled with identifying typefaces that have caught your eye, but Facebook has taken things up a pixel with the TextStyleBrush AI, a research project that remarkably replicates the style of text from a photo on another canvas—and all it needs is a single word to do the work.

In a series of applications demonstrated by the social network, the deepfake tool seems profoundly astute at picking up nuances from text in photos, including handwriting and decorative text, and applying those styles in other images. It can, for instance, be used in language translation tools and mimic signs in other languages with the same style.

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Facebook commends the tool’s versatility in going beyond “well-defined, specialized tasks,” which existing typography-focused AIs are limited to, as it is “the first self-supervised AI model that replaces text in images of both handwriting and scenes — in one shot — using a single example word” without being influenced by the scenario’s textures or colors.

The company’s AI team details that this technology could open up a world of possibilities for creative self-expression through photo-realistic AR translations and personalized messaging or captions.

While such tools can pose ethical implications, such as the creation of more openings for forgery, Facebook stresses that sharing the project’s methods, capabilities, and results can also bring positive change by “[spurring] dialogue and research into detecting potential misuse of this type of technology, such as deepfake text attacks — a critical, emerging challenge in the AI field.”

Image via Facebook AI

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[via Creative Bloq, videos and images via Facebook AI] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414354/Facebook-Debuts-Typography-Deepfake-AI-That-Uncannily-Mimics-Fonts-From-Photos/

Facebook Will Penalize Accounts That Spread Misinformation By Pushing Posts Down

Image via Facebook

Facebook is finally taking action against misinformation super-spreaders, which have dealt a hefty blow to the site’s credibility in recent years.

The tech firm now wants to give its users more information before they like or follow a page. Upon visiting a page, you may start seeing a popup that reads, “This Page has repeatedly shared false information.”

Pages that repeatedly contravene Facebook’s rules or have been fact-checked to be spreading false information multiple times will have this popup appear.

Users can then select ‘Learn More’ to find out more about the social media site’s fact-checking program. The firm hopes this new feature will help users make a more informed decision before following a page.

As for individual user accounts, Facebook is also stepping up the punishments for viral misinformation.

If your account has been repeatedly flagged for sharing misinformation or false content, its post reach will be reduced, and all your account posts could be moved further down the News Feed, so others are less likely to see them.

Going a step further, when a user shares an article or post that later gets fact-checked for misinformation, the user will be notified about it. You’ll receive a notification with the fact-checker’s article debunking the post, as well as a prompt to share the new, fact-checked article with your followers.

After a long period of complaints about Big Tech’s compliance in the spreading of misinformation on social media, Facebook’s new features are welcomed step in the right direction.

Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

[via Facebook, images via Facebook] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414163/Facebook-Will-Penalize-Accounts-That-Spread-Misinformation-By-Pushing-Posts-Down/