Thai Facebook Live Murder: Mother Says No Anger Towards Social Network After Daughter’s Killing

The wife of a Thai man who hanged their 11-month-old daughter on Facebook Live said Wednesday her husband is the only person to blame and she bears no anger toward the social media site or the users who shared the horrific video.

The video showed 20-year-old Wuttisan Wongtalay killing his child by hanging her at an abandoned hotel. The video was livestreamed Monday evening and made inaccessible by Facebook late Tuesday afternoon.

Police said the man later killed himself. The video was apparently available for viewing online for almost 24 hours until Facebook pulled it down.

“I am not angry at Facebook or blaming them on this,” Chiranut Trairat, 21, told The Associated Press. “I understand that people shared the video because they were outraged and saddened by what happened.”

She said her husband had been abusive in the past and spent two years in prison before they started dating.

Thai Facebook Live Murder: Mother Says No Anger Towards Social Network After Daughter's KillingFacebook has been seeking ways to block videos as quickly as possible after a series of gruesome images, including murder and sexual assault, were livestreamed or posted.

“This is an appalling incident and our hearts go out to the family of the victim. There is absolutely no place for content of this kind on Facebook and it has now been removed,” Facebook said in a statement on the Thai incident.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said last week that his company has “a lot of work” to do on the problem.

The murder in Phuket came less than two weeks after a man in Cleveland, Ohio, posted on Facebook a video of himself shooting a man to death.

In Thailand, the potential for problems with Facebook Live became an issue last May when local media used the platform to broadcast live video of a university lecturer who was locked in a six-hour standoff with police who were seeking him in the shooting deaths of two colleagues. After negotiations for his surrender failed, he fatally shot himself, a moment that was shown live.

Twitter Reportedly Partners Bloomberg for Streaming TV News

Twitter Inc is partnering with Bloomberg Media for a round-the-clock streaming television news service on the social networking platform, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

The channel, which is yet to be named and is expected to begin operations this fall, would be announced Monday, WSJ said.

Twitter Reportedly Partners Bloomberg for Streaming TV NewsTwitter’s user growth has stalled in the past few quarters and the company has been trying to convince advertisers that it will strengthen its user base.

As part of its efforts, it has updated its product offerings including live video broadcasts from its app and launched new features to attract users.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in an internal memo last October one of the company’s missions was defined as being the “people’s news network”.

Twitter has made a push into news and sports on mobile devices last year and this foray could pique the interest of a media company as an acquirer, analysts have said.

Families of San Bernardino Shooting Sue Facebook, Google, Twitter

Family members of three victims of the December 2015 shooting rampage in San Bernardino, California, have sued Facebook, Google and Twitter, claiming that the companies permitted Islamic State to flourish on social media.

The relatives assert that by allowing Islamic State militants to spread propaganda freely on social media, the three companies provided “material support” to the group and enabled attacks such as the one in San Bernardino.

“For years defendants have knowingly and recklessly provided the terrorist group ISIS with accounts to use its social networks as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds and attracting new recruits,” family members of Sierra Clayborn, Tin Nguyen and Nicholas Thalasinos charge in the 32-page complaint, which was filed in US District Court in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

“Without defendants Twitter, Facebook and Google (YouTube), the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible,” the complaint said.

Spokeswomen for Twitter and Google declined to comment on the lawsuit. Representatives for Facebook could not immediately be reached by Reuters on Thursday afternoon.

Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, opened fire on a holiday gathering of Farook’s co-workers at a government building in San Bernardino on December 2, 2015, killing 14 people and wounding 22 others.

Families of San Bernardino Shooting Sue Facebook, Google, TwitterFarook, the 28-year-old, US-born son of Pakistani immigrants, and Malik, 29, a Pakistani native, died in a shootout with police four hours after the massacre.

Authorities have said the couple was inspired by Islamist militants. At the time, the assault ranked as the deadliest attack by Islamist extremists on US soil since the September 11, 2001, attacks. In June 2016, an American-born gunman pledging allegiance to the leader of Islamic State shot 49 people to death at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, before he was killed by police.

In December 2016 the families of three men killed at the nightclub sued Twitter, Google and Facebook in federal court on allegations similar to those in the California lawsuit.

Federal law gives internet companies broad immunity from liability for content posted by their users. A number of lawsuits have been filed in recent years seeking to hold social media companies responsible for terror attacks, but none has advanced beyond the preliminary phases.

US to Seek Social Media Details From Certain Visa Applicants

The State Department wants to review social media, email addresses and phone numbers from some foreigners seeking US visas, as part of the Trump administration’s enhanced screening of potential immigrants and visitors.

The department, in a notice published Thursday in the Federal Register, said it was seeking public comment on the requirement. But it also said it is requesting a temporary go-ahead from the White House budget office so the plan can take effect for 180 days, beginning May 18, regardless of those comments.

The proposed requirements would apply to visa applicants identified for extra scrutiny, such as those who have traveled to areas controlled by terrorist organizations. The State Department said it estimates that the rules would affect about 0.5 percent of total US visa applicants, or roughly 65,000 people.

Affected applicants would have to provide their social media handles and platforms used during the previous five years, and divulge all phone numbers and email addresses used during that period. US consular officials would not seek social media passwords, and would not try to breach any privacy controls on applicants’ accounts, according to the department’s notice.

US to Seek Social Media Details From Certain Visa ApplicantsSince last year, immigration officials have sought social media information from some foreigners arriving at US border checkpoints, but that information had not previously been required on visa applications.

Homeland Security officials have said social media accounts for some asylum seekers and visa applicants would be checked. But those checks would be limited to public postings, raising questions about the effectiveness.

The new State Department rules also would require applicants to provide 15 years of travel and work history and the names and dates of birth of all siblings, children and current and former spouses or partners. Visa applicants are now generally asked for only five years of travel and work history and are not asked for information about their siblings.

The State Department said it wanted the additional information “in order to more rigorously evaluate applicants for terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities.”

The proposal follows a March directive from the State Department for all US embassies and consulates to draw up criteria for “population sets” needing extra scrutiny before receiving US visas.

Thursday’s public notice is the first announcement linked to the so-called “extreme vetting” procedures Trump has advocated.

Facebook Reactions Now Available in Comments as Well

Facebook took its own sweet time before it introduced Reaction emojis to the social networking site, and then some more time to bring them to Messenger, but the company has now expanded Reactions to the comments section. Notably, before this update, users only had the option to like the comment of other users and not react with the new emojis.

This means that you can now use Reaction emojis including “love,” “haha,” “wow,” “angry,” and “sad,” to react to comments while earlier you could only use these emojis to react to posts on the platform. The support for emojis in the comment section has been added on Android, iOS, and even the Web version of Facebook.

Facebook Reactions Now Available in Comments as Well“We’ve heard from people they’d like more ways to show their reaction in conversations on Facebook, so we’re rolling out the ability to react to comments,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement, as per a report by Mashable.

Again, just like everything else in this world right now, the reaction emojis aren’t everybody cup of tea and some people even find them annoying more than anything else. However, irrespective of how you feel about this feature, you can expect it to be rolling out to you if it hasn’t already been made available.

Last month, Facebook added support for Message Reactions to Messenger. The Reactions feature allows users to react to individual messages with emojis. Apart from the usual set of emojis, what stood out from this update was that users could also react to messages using a ‘thumbs down’ emoji. As users have been requesting Facebook for a dislike button for years, this thumbs down emoji was a surprise from the social giant.

Facebook Must Delete ‘Hate Postings’, Austrian Court Rules

Facebook must remove postings deemed as hate speech, an Austrian court has ruled, in a legal victory for campaigners who want to force social media companies to combat online “trolling”.

The case – brought by Austria’s Green party over insults to its leader – has international ramifications as the court ruled the postings must be deleted across the platform and not just in Austria, a point that had been left open in an initial ruling.

The case comes as legislators around Europe are considering ways of forcing Facebook, Google, Twitter and others to rapidly remove hate speech or incitement to violence.

Germany’s cabinet approved a plan last month to fine social networks up to EUR 50 million ($55 million) if they fail to remove such postings quickly and the European Union is considering new EU-wide rules.

Facebook Must Delete 'Hate Postings', Austrian Court RulesFacebook’s lawyers in Vienna declined to comment on the ruling, which was distributed by the Greens and confirmed by a court spokesman, and Facebook did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Strengthening the earlier ruling, the Viennese appeals court ruled on Friday that Facebook must remove the postings against Greens leader Eva Glawischnig as well as any verbatim repostings, and said merely blocking them in Austria without deleting them for users abroad was not sufficient.

The court added it was easy for Facebook to automate this process. It said, however, that Facebook could not be expected to trawl through content to find posts that are similar, rather than identical, to ones already identified as hate speech.

The Greens hope to get the ruling strengthened further at Austria’s highest court. They want the court to demand Facebook remove similar – not only identical – postings, and to make it identify holders of fake accounts.

The Greens also want Facebook to pay damages, which would make it easier for individuals in similar cases to take the financial risk of taking legal action.

“Facebook must put up with the accusation that it is the world’s biggest platform for hate and that it is doing nothing against this,” said Green parliamentarian Dieter Brosz.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has said hate speech has no place on the platform and the company has published a policy paper on how it wants to work against false news.

Facebook, Messenger Back Online After Outage in Some Parts of the World

People thronged Twitter after social media giant Facebook on Tuesday faced an outage in Asia, Australia, New Zealand and some parts of North America. Facebook users got an error message: “Sorry, something went wrong and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can.”

Later, a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch in an emailed statement: “Earlier today, some Facebook users were unable to access Facebook briefly due to a technical issue. We have now fixed the issue and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

According to DownDetector.com, the outage, which also appears to be affecting Facebook’s mobile app and Messenger, also spread to parts of North America.

Many social media users took to Twitter to talk about the rare Facebook outage.

Facebook, Messenger Back Online After Outage in Some Parts of the WorldWhatsApp, the popular messaging service owned by Facebook, also suffered a widespread global outage last week that lasted for several hours before being resolved, the company said.

WhatsApp was down in parts of India, Canada, the United States and Brazil. It affected people who use the service on Apple’s iOS operating system, Google’s Android, and Microsoft’s Windows mobile OS.

In Brazil, where the professional class relies heavily on the messaging service, WhatsApp was down for about two and a half hours. Many users switched to rival system Telegram, which has picked up millions of customers in Brazil after two previous WhatsApp outages resulting from court orders.

WhatsApp’s is used by more than 1.2 billion people around the world and is a key tool for communications and commerce in many countries. The service was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion.

Facebook Says It Found Faster Way to Translate Through AI

In a bid to overcome language barriers, social networking giant Facebook has announced a new machine learning translation method, claiming it to be nine times faster than other competitors.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been already in place at Facebook for automatically translating status updates to other languages, but the company is making a transition from lab to app, The Verge reported on Tuesday.

“We’re currently talking with a product team to make this work in a Facebook environment. There are differences when moving from academic data to real environments in terms of language. The academic data is news-type data; while conversation on Facebook is much more colloquial,” the report quoted Facebook’s AI engineer David Grangier as saying.

The new machine learning translation technique has not been implemented yet and exists as a research as of now. But Facebook has said that it will likely happen further down the line.

“Usually, AI-powered translation relies on what are called recurrent neural networks (RNNs), whereas this new research leverages convolutional neural networks (CNNs) instead,” Facebook’s AI engineers explained.

Facebook Says It Found Faster Way to Translate Through AIRNNs analyse date sequentially, working left to right through a sentence in order to translate it word by word while CNNs look at difference aspects of data simultaneously – a style of computation that is much better and faster.

“So translating with CNNs means tackling the problem more holistically and examining the higher-level structure of sentences. The [CNNs] build a logical structure, a bit like linguistics, on top of the text,” said Michael Auli, another Facebook AI engineer.

Facebook noted that the AI community were willing to improve upon the commonly used RNNs for translation – a method that has devoured tremendous efforts already.

“The short answer is that people just hadn’t invested as much time in this, and we came up with some new developments that made it work better,” Grangier added.

Twitter Elevates Taranjeet Singh as Country Director for India

Microblogging platform Twitter on Wednesday said it has elevated Taranjeet Singh as its Country Director for India.

Singh was earlier leading the charge for sales and marketing support for Twitter’s advertisers in India.

In his new role, Singh will lead the Twitter India team by driving an integrated business strategy and spearheading cross-functional collaboration, Twitter India said in a statement.

He will also focus on accelerating Twitter’s audience and revenue growth in this “key growth market”, it added.

India is among the world’s fastest growing social media markets. It is already among the largest markets for companies like Facebook, WhatsApp and Google.

While Twitter does not give country-specific user numbers, it counts India among its top five audience markets globally.

Twitter Elevates Taranjeet Singh as Country Director for IndiaTwitter, which allows users to engage with peers, corporates and government using 140 characters, has over 319 million users globally.

Recently, Twitter had launched a lighter version of its platform – Twitter Lite– for users in India, ahead of other markets like Indonesia and Philippines.

“Investing in our Indian management team now is a strong vote of confidence that we believe in the strategic importance of India and that our local business growth strategy is successful,” Twitter Managing Director Asia Pacific Maya Hari said.

Before joining Twitter, Singh was sales director, South Asia for BBC Advertising. Prior to BBC, he held various positions at Outlook Publishing.

Twitter Says It Uses Deep Learning to Recommend Tweets on Timelines

Making a transition from algorithmic timeline, micro-blogging site Twitter has started using deep learning, a trendy type of artificial intelligence (AI) to recommend certain tweets on its 328 million monthly active users’ timelines.

Twitter had introduced algorithmic timeline last year that ranked tweets based on relevance instead of them being in reverse chronological order.

Twitter has brought on people who are talented in this area through acquisitions of companies and it has open-sourced some of its deep learning software, CNBC reported on Tuesday.

Twitter Says It Uses Deep Learning to Recommend Tweets on Timelines“The company is evaluating and scoring thousands of tweets per second to determine what’s worth recommending in timelines, taking into consideration an increasing number of factors, including whether tweets contain images or videos, the number of retweets and likes, and your previous interactions with other account holders,” Twitter’s software engineers said in a blog post.

Other tech giants like Facebook, Google and Microsoft have previously attempted to improve various products using deep learning, a trendy type of AI.

“Before putting the deep learning system into production recently, Twitter was using less computationally intensive machine learning methods such as decision trees and logistical regression,” the software engineers stated.