Hong Kong protests: Twitter and Facebook remove Chinese accounts

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Media captionHow Hong Kong got trapped in a cycle of violence

Twitter and Facebook have taken steps to block what they described as a state-backed Chinese misinformation campaign.

Twitter said it removed 936 accounts it said were being used to “sow political discord in Hong Kong”.

The network said the accounts originated in mainland China and were part of a coordinated attempt to undermine the “legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement”.

Facebook said it had, after being tipped off by Twitter, removed "seven Pages, three Groups and five Facebook accounts.”

"They frequently posted about local political news and issues including topics like the ongoing protests in Hong Kong,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy.

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WhatsApp flaw 'puts words in your mouth'

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A newly-released tool that exploits a vulnerability in Facebook’s WhatsApp allows you to "put words in people’s mouths", researchers say.

A team from cybersecurity firm Checkpoint has demonstrated how the tool can be used to alter the text within quoted messages, making it look as if a person had said something they did not.

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Twitch loses streaming star Ninja to Microsoft's Mixer

Mr Blevins made the announcement via a videos showing mock press conference Image copyright Team Ninja
Image caption Mr Blevins made the announcement via a videos showing mock press conference

Amazon’s games streaming platform Twitch has lost one of its biggest stars - to a rival site owned by Microsoft.

Tyler Blevins, known to fans as Ninja, had 14.7 million followers on Twitch and mostly played Fortnite.

Read full article Twitch loses streaming star Ninja to Microsoft's Mixer

Facebook won't rule out digital currency launch without US approval

Facebook's David Marcus answered questions from Congress in two sessions last week Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Facebook's David Marcus answered questions from Congress in two sessions last week

Facebook is facing immense pressure from US regulators over its plans to launch a digital currency, Libra, in association with more than 20 partners including Visa, MasterCard and Uber.

As well as co-creating the Libra currency, Facebook plans, on its own, to offer its own digital wallet, called Calibra. Like a physical wallet with cash, Calibra will store a users’ Libra, and make it possible to engage in transactions with other wallets.

Read full article Facebook won't rule out digital currency launch without US approval

Facebook kids app flaw let strangers into chats

Screengrab from Messenger Kids Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Children can have video chats on Messenger Kids

A flaw with Facebook’s app for under-13s meant children came into contact with unapproved strangers, the company has confirmed.

Messenger Kids, launched in 2017, was pegged as a safe space for children who were too young to use the “grown-up” version of the social network.

Read full article Facebook kids app flaw let strangers into chats

Maybe Facebook will be punished after all

Facebook Libra Image copyright Getty Images

Many were left wholly unsatisfied by news that the punishment for Facebook's privacy misdeeds, from the US at least, would be set at $5bn - an amount the firm can well afford, and for which it had already mostly accounted.

The mood among the network’s critics: Mark Zuckerberg has gotten away with it.

Read full article Maybe Facebook will be punished after all

Pluribus: Facebook heralds its 'superhuman' poker-playing AI

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Image caption The bot is being regarded as a breakthrough - an AI that can compete against multiple opponents

Facebook’s artificial intelligence team has made what it describes as a “superhuman” poker champion, a bot with the ability to beat world-leading human pros.

Facebook is heralding the AI bot, named Pluribus, as a major breakthrough: the first capable of beating as many as six players, in a game that involves “hidden” information - the cards that are yet to be revealed.

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Instagram now asks bullies: 'Are you sure?'

Bullying message on Instagram Image copyright Instagram

Instagram believes its new anti-bullying tool, which prompts users to pause and consider what they are saying, could help curb abuse on the platform.

It will also soon offer the targets of bullying the ability to restrict interactions with users who are causing them distress.

Read full article Instagram now asks bullies: 'Are you sure?'

Facebook may be 'pivoting' to something worse

Mark Zuckerberg wants to shift Facebook users into being more private Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mark Zuckerberg wants to shift Facebook users into being more private

Over the past few months, Mark Zuckerberg has spoken at length about his grand plan for fixing Facebook.

In short, it involves “pivoting” - as they say - to a more private social network. One which focuses on closed spaces, like groups or messaging, rather than the public News Feed.

Read full article Facebook may be 'pivoting' to something worse

Amazon's next big thing may redefine big

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Media captionAmazon executive Werner Vogels on the ethics of facial recognition

"I see Amazon as a technology company that just happened to do retail," begins Werner Vogels, Amazon's chief technology officer.

"When Jeff [Bezos] started Amazon, he wasn't thinking about starting a bookshop. He was really fascinated by the internet.”

Read full article Amazon's next big thing may redefine big