Social Media News / The Professor’s Pick

Facebook provides new guidelines on banned material

Facebook has updated its community standards to help clarify what material is banned on its platform. The new guidance will be sent to users who officially complain about posts made on Facebook and is intended to address confusion about why some takedown requests are rejected. As well as providing more details about the types of nudity Facebook finds unacceptable, the revised community standards also include a new section on dangerous organisations.

Content and behaviour which may fall foul of the guidelines includes:

  • Credible threats of physical harm to individuals as well as specific threats of theft, vandalism, or other financial harm
  • The promotion of self-injury or suicide (people can, however, share information about these issues as long as it is not promotional)
  • The celebration and/or facilitation of terrorist activity. This also includes expressing support for terrorist groups and praising  the leaders of such organisations
  • The celebration and/or facilitation of criminal activity (although users are allowed to propose that an illegal activity should be legalised)
  • Pages that identify and shame private individuals, as well as content, images or videos designed to degrade, blackmail or harass victims
  • Hate speech (unless explicitly shared to raise awareness of the issue)
  • Content that promotes or threatens sexual violence or exploitation
  • Some nudity including genitals, fully exposed buttocks and female breasts (if they include the nipple). This does not however, include photos of women actively engaged in breastfeeding, showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring, or photographs of paintings, sculptures, and other art that depicts nude figures
  • Explicit images of sexual intercourse and descriptions of sexual acts that go into vivid detail.

The new community standards contain nearly 2,500 words, making them almost three times as long as the previous version. To see the guidelines in full go to:

Snapchat worth $15 billion after latest investment

Last week it was revealed that Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba has invested $200 million in Snapchat, taking the messaging apps valuation to $15 billion.

It is understood that Alibaba may have made the investment as a defensive move against rival Tencent, which owns the WeChat messaging app. Snapchat, had been seeking capital to extend its core service. This latest investment sees Snapchat’s value increase by $5 billion in a matter of months.

In other SnapChat news, it has been announced that chief operating officer Emily White is leaving the company after little more than a year. The departure is the latest in a number of executive changes. There will be no immediate replacement for her position, with co-founder Evan Spiegel taking a more central role in running the business.

Twitter confirms Periscope acquisition  

Last week Twitter announced its acquisition of live streaming app Periscope. According to reports, the app, which allows people to broadcast live video from their smartphones, is set to be launched as a standalone service to Twitter.

Interestingly, Periscope has been compared to Meerkat, another live streaming video app that depends heavily on accessing Twitter’s distribution and communications tools. Attracting 100,000 users just sixteen days after launch, Meerkat has generated a massive amount of buzz over the last few weeks. However, on the same day that Twitter announced its acquisition of Periscope, it also blocked Meerkat from accessing its social graph. The move has been described by some commentators as a fatal blow to the start-up. However, Meerkat remains defiant that it can build a standalone network that doesn’t rely on accessing Twitter’s user base.

Microsoft launches Skype for business

A new version of popular chat software Skype, designed to facilitate conversations between colleagues, partners and customers has been released as a soft-launch. Due to be officially launched next month, the Skype for Business technical preview gives current Microsoft Lync customers a chance to trial the new platform.

Based on the familiar Skype experience, the business edition allows users to search for and connect with corporate contacts. Integrated with Microsoft Office, it also features Instant Messaging, voice and video calls, and online meetings. In addition, Skype for Business has enhanced security and compliance to meet the demands of companies and IT professionals.

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