Facebook Auditors Reach Damning Conclusion 

  • A report commissioned by Facebook has concluded that decisions made by the social media giant have resulted in serious setbacks for civil rights. 
  • The final report focused on company decisions made from June 2019 and concluded that any positive moves were offset by Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to “elevate a selective view of free expression as Facebook’s most cherished value”.
  • At the centre of the criticism, was Facebook’s decision not to remove President Donald Trump’s posts in May 2020, which the auditors said, “allowed the propagation of hate/violent speech and facilitated voter suppression.” Yesterday we published a safeguarding alert on hateful content, click here to read it.

Facebook Removes Accounts Linked to Trump Advisor and Brazilian President 

  • In a separate move to tackle disinformation and fake accounts on Facebook, the social media platform suspended numerous pages linked to the Trump adviser Roger Stone, as well as a network of accounts associated with Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro
  • The company took down 50 personal and professional pages connected to Stone and his associates, including supporters of white supremacist groups, saying they had used fake accounts and followers to promote Stone’s books and posts.
  • Facebook took down accounts tied to employees of Bolsonaro’s family, which it says were used to spread divisive political messages, as well as two other networks connected to domestic political operations in Ecuador and Ukraine.

Instagram Trials Shop in Global Test

  • Instagram has started a small global test of the Instagram Shop, which allows Instagram users to buy from top brands and creators via a new tab in the app’s navigation bar. 
  • This new global test will direct users to the same “shop” experience that U.S. users have been able to reach by tapping the “shop” button in Explore. The main difference is that the shop icon will replace the heart icon (Activity) in Instagram’s main navigation. 
  • Users can filter product searches by the brands they follow or by category, including things like beauty, clothing & accessories, home, jewellery & watches, and travel. 

Use of Stalkerware Increases Amid Huge Rise in Domestic Abuse

  • The use of spyware or so-called ‘stalkerware’ is up by more than 50% since March, with a clear link to a spike in domestic abuse and violence since the UK went into lockdown. 
  • According to cybersecurity firm Avast, its services have protected more than 1,400 people in the UK from ‘stalkerware’ since March, with the monthly average up 83% on January and February.
  • Women and children’s support charity Refuge recently reported that calls to its helpline have increased by two-thirds in the UK and visits to its websites are up almost 10 times since March.
  • Stalkerware is described as unethical software that, when installed on a target device, gives its user a number of tools that enable them to exert control over their victims. These can include tracking their victim’s location and accessing personal data.

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