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TikTok to implement automated content moderation in the U.S. and Canada
by Chandrakant Isi
Chinese social media platform, TikTok, has outlined its new content moderation process for the US and Canada. According to the company, it is now going to implement the automated method to identify and remove "violative content" in the two biggest North American countries. It claims that the automated system has been tested in other markets and has a 95 percent accuracy rate.
TikTok's Head of US Safety, Eric Han, states that in the existing system content moderation rules are enforced by the US-based team. Anything flagged by the community is reviewed by a human for further action. While this process is effective, it is quite time-consuming. To make it efficient, ByteDance's subsidiary is planning to arm the algorithms with the authority to delete content right after it is uploaded. The system is expected to go live in the next few weeks.
According to the company, this machine-based deletion will be reserved for categories where the system has the highest degree of accuracy. This includes "minor safety, adult nudity and sexual activities, violent and graphic content, and illegal activities & regulated goods".
For areas where context and nuances matter, ByteDance is hoping to further improve its technology for better judgment. Till then, TikTokers will have to rely on the existing appeal mechanism to request human intervention. Apart from efficiency, the company hopes that the move will save the safety team from watching distressing TikTok videos.
Mozilla prepares for DNS-over-HTTPS rollout in Canada
by Paul Hill
Mozilla has announced that it’s preparing to roll out DNS-over-HTTPS for its Canadian users thanks to a partnership it has struck with a local DoH provider, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). The rollout will begin on July 20 and take a couple of months to reach all Firefox users in the country.
The first country to receive by-default DoH was the United States in February 2020. By encrypting DNS queries, Firefox provides its users with more security and privacy online. On July 20, 1% of Canadian Firefox users will get DoH switched on by default and this will gradually increase before reaching 100% in September 2021.
Commenting on the partnership, Byron Holland, president and CEO of CIRA, said:
If you’re a Firefox user in Canada, you’ll know that DoH has been enabled in your browser because you will see a pop-up near the menu button which explains that Firefox is now securely routing your DNS requests to CIRA to protect you while you browse.
Facebook ramps up anti-extremism efforts with new content warnings
by Paul Hill
People have been sharing screenshots of a new message they’ve been receiving from Facebook if they or someone they know has been looking at content that Facebook deems to be extremist. Once a user receives a notification, they can dismiss it or hit the Get Support button which presumably links to national anti-extremist organisations, although this is unclear as Neowin hasn’t been presented with the notification yet.
Commenting on the development, a Facebook spokesperson emailed the following message to Reuters:
It said that the attempt to intervene in radicalisation is a part of its commitment to the Christchurch Call to Action campaign, a reference to the mass shooting at Al Noor Mosque by the fascist Brenton Harrison Tarrant. While the warning will definitely be shown to combat far-right ideologies such as Tarrant’s, it’s unclear exactly what type of politics Facebook considers extremist.
While Facebook does pro-actively remove rule-breaking content from its website, it warned that it cannot always delete it before people have already seen it. With these warnings, it will be able to warn people that they’ve seen potentially extremist content in an attempt to stop them from getting lured into the different ideologies.
Reuters says that this feature is currently being trialled in the United States as part of a small test. Once Facebook has ironed out any issues, it should launch globally.
By Jay Bonggolto
Twitter formally announces Blue subscription, rolling out in Canada and Australia
by Jay Bonggolto
Twitter's long rumored subscription service quietly launched late last month, courtesy of an update to the app's listing on Apple's App Store. Twitter Blue costs $2.99 per month, and for that price you'll get access to a number of features such as the ability to organize tweets into folders, use custom icons, and change the app's accent color.
Today, the micro-blogging service formally introduced Blue, with its first iteration now rolling out in Australia and Canada. Subscribers in those countries will pay CA$3.49 or AU$4.49 to have access to several premium features mentioned above as well as the ability to revise a tweet before it goes live with "Undo Tweet". This feature allows you to set a timer of up to 30 seconds, within which you can retract your tweet and make the necessary changes before posting it. More importantly, it gives you some time window to preview your tweet before anyone else can see it.
In addition, there's a new Bookmark Folders feature with which you can organize your saved tweets in a single location where it's easier to find them. If you'd like a more convenient reading experience, then the “Reader Mode” is your thing. It lets you view threads more easily by “turning them into easy-to-read text”.
Twitter Blue is initially available in Australia and Canada starting today, with the goal of gathering feedback in order to build more features for subscribers. There's no word, though, as to when the service will launch in other regions.
OneWeb to help bolster the Canadian military's connectivity
by Paul Hill
The satellite company OneWeb has announced a partnership with ROCK Networks, an end-to-end communications systems firm that has a particular focus on wireless and broadband solutions. As a result of the deal, the communications utilised by the Canadian Armed Forces in the Arctic region will become more reliable.
OneWeb is occasionally featured in This Week in Rocket Launches because it operates a satellite constellation that can beam the internet back down to Earth. It formed a partnership with SatixFy a few months ago to deliver Wi-Fi to planes and now its technology will help ROCK Networks deliver more reliable connectivity to its customers including the Canadian government.
Discussing the agreement, Dylan Browne, Head of Government Services at OneWeb, said:
With the agreement in place, OneWeb will start providing service across all of Canada’s provinces and territories from November. While it waits, ROCK Networks will be training staff and onboarding customer support tools to connect to OneWeb’s Points of Presence (PoPs) in Calgary and Toronto.