Facebook has published the fifth edition of its Community Standards Enforcement Report, providing metrics on how well it enforced its policies from October 2019 through March 2020.
Announcing the report in a Facebook Newsroom post, Guy Rosen, Vice President, Integrity said the company has in the last few years built tools, teams and technologies to help protect elections from interference, prevent misinformation from spreading on its apps and keep people safe from harmful content.
“So when the COVID-19 crisis emerged, we had the tools and processes in place to move quickly and we were able to continue finding and removing content that violates our policies.
“When we temporarily sent our content reviewers home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we increased our reliance on these automated systems and prioritized high-severity content for our teams to review in order to continue to keep our apps safe during this time,” he said.
The report, he said, includes data only through March 2020, so it does not reflect the full impact of the changes the company made during the pandemic.
“We anticipate we’ll see the impact of those changes in our next report, and possibly beyond, and we will be transparent about them.
“For example, for the past seven weeks we couldn’t always offer the option to appeal content decisions and account removals, so we expect the number of appeals to be much lower in our next report.
“We also prioritized removing harmful content over measuring our efforts, so we may not be able to calculate the prevalence of violating content during this time. Today’s report shows the impact of advancements we’ve made in the technology we use to proactively find and remove violating content,” Rosen said.
For the first time, the report includes metrics across 12 policies on Facebook and metrics across 10 policies on Instagram. The report introduces Instagram data in four issue areas, namely: Hate Speech, Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity, Violent and Graphic Content, and Bullying and Harassment.
Also for the first time, the report shared data on the number of appeals people make on content the company took action against on Instagram, and the number of decisions overturned either based on those appeals or when it identifies the issue on its own. The report also contains data on Facebook’s efforts to combat organized hate on Facebook and Instagram.
Highlights the progress the company has made so far in finding and removing violating content, Rosen said Facebook has improved its technology that proactively finds violating content, which helped in the removal of more violating content so fewer people saw it.
Said Rosen: “On Facebook, we continued to expand our proactive detection technology for hate speech to more languages, and improved our existing detection systems.
“Our proactive detection rate for hate speech increased by more than 8 points over the past two quarters totalling almost a 20-point increase in just one year.
“As a result, we are able to find more content and can now detect almost 90% of the content we remove before anyone reports it to us. In addition, thanks to other improvements we made to our detection technology, we doubled the amount of drug content we removed in Q4 2019, removing 8.8 million pieces of content.
“On Instagram, we made improvements to our text and image matching technology to help us find more suicide and self-injury content. As a result, we increased the amount of content we took action on by 40% and increased our proactive detection rate by more than 12 points since the last report.
“We also made progress in our work combating online bullying by introducing several new features to help people manage their experience and limit unwanted interactions, and we announced new Instagram controls today. We are sharing enforcement data for bullying on Instagram for the first time in this report, including taking action on 1.5 million pieces of content in both Q4 2019 and Q1 2020.”
Lastly, improvements to Facebook’s technology for finding and removing content similar to existing violations in our databases helped the company take down more child nudity and sexual exploitative content on Facebook and Instagram, Rosen disclosed.
Over the last six months, he said, Facebook has started to use technology more to prioritize content for its teams to review based on factors like virality and severity among others.
Going forward, it plans to leverage technology to also take action on content, including removing more posts automatically. This will enable our content reviewers to focus their time on other types of content where more nuance and context are needed to make a decision.
The Community Standards Enforcement Report is published in conjunction with Facebook’s bi-annual Transparency Report that shares numbers on government requests for user data, content restrictions based on local law, intellectual property take-downs and internet disruptions.
“In the future we’ll share Community Standards Enforcement Reports quarterly, so our next report will be released in August,” he said.
TikTok Picks Oracle to Provide ‘Secure’ Cloud Tech
Enterprise software giant Oracle announced that it has been chosen to become TikTok’s “secure” cloud technology provider.
According to Oracle, this technical decision by TikTok was heavily influenced by Zoom’s recent success in moving a large portion of its video-conferencing capacity to the Oracle Public Cloud.
Oracle’s announcement comes after TikTok parent ByteDance last week said it will not be selling the video-sharing app’s US operations to software giant Microsoft.
This after US president Donald Trump signed an executive order on 6 August, blocking all transactions with ByteDance in an effort to address “national emergency” issues.
On 14 August, the US president issued an order that gave ByteDance 90 days to divest the US operations of TikTok.
Since then, US companies such as Microsoft and Oracle have been lining up as potential buyers for the popular short video app.
As the trade war between the US and China rages on, the US government has accelerated its efforts to purge Chinese apps and technology companies that it deems untrustworthy.
Trump and his administration raised national security issues, alleging the Chinese-owned company will share sensitive user data with the Chinese government.
“TikTok picked Oracle’s new Generation 2 Cloud infrastructure because it’s much faster, more reliable, and more secure than the first generation technology currently offered by all the other major cloud providers,” says Oracle chief technology officer Larry Ellison.
“In the 2020 Industry CloudPath survey that IDC recently released where it surveyed 935 infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) customers on their satisfaction with the top IaaS vendors including Oracle, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM and Google Cloud…Oracle IaaS received the highest satisfaction score.”
“As a part of this agreement, TikTok will run on the Oracle Cloud and Oracle will become a minority investor in TikTok Global,” says Oracle CEO Safra Catz.
“Oracle will quickly deploy, rapidly scale and operate TikTok systems in the Oracle Cloud. We are 100% confident in our ability to deliver a highly secure environment to TikTok and ensure data privacy to TikTok’s American users, and users throughout the world.
“This greatly improved security and guaranteed privacy will enable the continued rapid growth of the TikTok user community to benefit all stakeholders.”
Inq. Acquires Vodacom’s Business in Nigeria, Others
inq. Holdings Limited, artificial intelligence service provider, has acquired Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in Nigeria, Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire.
It plans further acquisition in Cameroon subject to regulatory approvals.
Mr. Valentine Chime, managing director, inq. Holdings Limited, said the 100 per cent acquisition of the Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in the three countries was in pursuit of the company’s dream of building pan-African network that will help in creating better future through digital solutions.
Domiciled in Mauritius, inq. Holdings Limited is a subsidiary of Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund, a fund dedicated solely to communications infrastructure and related services and technologies across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
Formerly known as Synergy Communications, the latest acquisition has grown inq.’s regional footprint with operations in 12 cities in seven countries across Africa. It has existing operations in Botswana, Malawi and South Africa with an additional investment in Mozambique.
“Under the inq. banner the company will embark on the next phase of building a unified Pan-African cloud and digital service provider, bringing to market a very relevant suite of next generation technology solutions in the fields of Edge AI, SD-WAN/NFV and Cloud,”Chime said.
According to him, with operations in major African cities of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Gaborone, Lusaka, Ndola, Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Abidjan and Johannesburg, the inq. team prides itself on global best practice methodologies customised to local customs in each of the 16 cities, covering different sectors including banking, oil and gas, fast moving consumer goods, mining, health, real estate, information technologies, public sector and logistics.
“Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation, and inq. is perfectly positioned to deliver intelligent connectivity through seamless delivery of cloud and digital services and technologies to our clients. We are about simpler, seamless solutions,” Chime said.
HP Lauds TD Africa, Says Tech Experience Centre will Unlock New Wave in Nigeria
As Nigeria looks forward to the official launch of the Tech Experience Centre, globally renowned tech giant, Hewlett Packard Inc. (HP) has heaped praises on the management of TD Africa for spearheading the project, noting that the centre will herald a new technological wave in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by Ife Afe, managing director – Nigeria and District Manager – Central Africa (CAF).
Equally important, HP is one of the global Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) that will be represented in the Tech Experience Centre located within Yudala Heights at 13 Idowu Martins, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Consequently, Afe has expressed delight with the development, even as she disclosed that the launch of the centre will bridge the gap to complete technology adoption for millions of Nigerians.
She said: ‘‘I do believe Nigerians are early adopters of new and exciting technology. Having a dedicated space where people can view and experience cutting-edge technology across rich and diverse portfolio is an important step towards complete Adoption.
‘‘Technology is about transformation. This tech centre will serve as a bridge, taking people from the imaginative stage to the experiential stage, thereby unlocking a new technological wave.
“I am very glad that TD Africa is taking this bold step and I look forward to the great collaborations that will flow out of this initiative.’’
Furthermore, the HP Senior Management Executive reiterated the strong interest in Nigeria by the tech brand.
‘‘We are strong believers in the Nigerian project and the boundless potential inherent in the population when exposed to cutting-edge technology.
“We also value the foresight and vision of our long-time partner and co-developer – TD Africa. We are proud of this project and are confident of its success and positive impact not just in the sphere of business but also in human capital development,’’ Afe enthused.
On what to expect from HP in the Tech Experience Centre, she revealed that a lot is in store for every visitor.
‘‘HP is in the business of making life better for everyone, everywhere, hence revolutionary innovation in Health care, Security, Gaming and Printing Solutions will be showcased in the Technology Centre. Cutting- edge, sustainable, diverse and relevant innovation in technology.
‘‘This brings technology closer to home. I believe that the ambience of the Tech Centre will cater to a wide spectrum of users: CEO’s, Government officials, entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts, students, gamers etc. It will be the crucial meeting point of people and technology.
“Our wide spectrum of products and solutions will cater to all demographics – from first time users to specialists, professionals, gamers to moviemakers, work or play,’’ she affirmed.
The revolutionary Tech Experience Centre, the first of its kind in Africa, is set for launch on Thursday, October 1st 2020, incidentally the occasion of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary by 12noon, with the launch streamed live online for the benefit of tech enthusiasts.
Expected to officially commission the centre is the Minister of Communica99tions and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami.
The Tech Centre is widely expected to boost Nigeria’s relevance in the global technology race and shore up the country’s march to technology independence.
For the first time, Nigeria will play host to the latest global technologies including those not normally available in Africa, offering all classes of visitors a first-hand experience of new gadgets, solutions and infrastructure that would have previously required a visit abroad, thereby saving corporate organizations, government establishments and individuals money or scarce foreign exchange expended on these trips.
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