Facebook Honours Those We’ve Lost
This week, Facebook Newsroom reported they will apply new AI features to help prevent users from receiving notifications about deceased love ones. Notifications like these include suggestions to wish the deceased a happy birthday or invite them to an event. According to the BBC, Facebook users have explained it is painful and upsetting to receive notifications about friends or loved ones who have passed on.
For nearly a decade, Facebook has provided a “memorialise” feature, where users can apply this feature to profiles of deceased loved ones, preventing the person’s profile from popping up in certain areas of the social media network. Facebook’s AI features will assist in this area by ending the suggestion of user profiles who are deceased but have not yet been memorialised, according to the BBC. Through Facebook’s newsroom article, CEO Sheryl Sandberg revealed the introduction of a new Tribute section. This feature creates a separate timeline tab where loved ones can share memories separately from the deceased user’s timeline, in order to preserve the page how the late user left it.
Additionally, “Legacy” contacts, who have the ability to care for a persons’ Facebook account when they pass away, can now dictate posts that are shared to the Tribute section of a profile. This is to allow the managing of certain content to help support and protect those still suffering from the loss who might not be ready to view certain posts.
As stated by the BBC, in addition to eliminating distressing user experiences, these changes have taken place as a result of cruel pranks on users, where false reports of deceased users have been made to the social media network, and consequently Facebook locking that user out of their account.
Verizon’s 5G Launches in Two US Cities5G has been a frequent topic of discussion in this space; and it’s finally here. Verizon Communications Inc. is the first telecommunications company to provide fifth generation mobile service in the U.S. cities of Chicago and Minneapolis, beginning 11th April. According to TechCrunch, Verizon plans to provide 5G service in over 30 cities this year.
As well as paying an additional $10 USD per month alongside their existing unlimited plan, Verizon customers can access this service if they have a Motorola Z3 mobile smartphone, which is currently the only device that supports the 5G network. Customers who do not can use Verizon’s 5G “Moto Mod”, a magnetic attachment that provides devices with access to the 5G network speeds priced at $50 USD, according to Reuters. 5G networks will provide user data speeds that are anywhere from 50-100 times faster than 4G networks. Access to this type of data will drastically change not just personal communications, but will also provide astronomical advances across the tech industry and its innovative products.
Verizon has been competing with other leading networks AT&T and Sprint, who are also working on providing their customers access to 5G networks and plan to release 5G smartphones later in 2019, as reported by Reuters. According to TechCrunch, Verizon’s 5G service will support the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and LG’s V50 ThinQ.
UK Addresses Internet Safety
Earlier this week, the UK Government disclosed to the world their Online Harms White Paper—the first proposed set of online safety laws. According to Gov.UK, technology and social media companies will be legally required to protect their users by eliminating harmful online activity on their platforms. Companies that do not obey will receive strict penalties.
TechCrunch states any company that allows the interaction of users or sharing of user-generated content will be required to follow. Alongside social media websites, public discussion boards, messaging applications and search engines will also be required to follow the proposed policies.
The proposal details an independent regulator, who will act as a sort of watchdog, will be responsible for enforcing these penalties and ensuring that companies are meeting the standards of the laws. Prime Minister Theresa May took to Twitter and quoted to Gov.UK, “The internet can be brilliant at connecting people across the world – but for too long these companies have not done enough to protect users, especially children and young people, from harmful content…Online companies must start taking responsibility for their platforms, and help restore public trust in this technology.”
Areas of unsafety that the UK is hoping to diminish with these laws include the dissemination of terrorist content, cyber bullying, violent content, and abusive content. Gov.UK also made a point that the regulator will take care to not infringe on privacy or the freedom to express oneself.
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