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Facebook reaches an agreement with Australian government, will unblock news in the country
by Anmol Mehrotra
Last week, Facebook decided to block Australian users from accessing news in the country after the Australian government forced the company to pay publishers for using their news articles. While this was a drastic move from Facebook, it did not come as a surprise to many as Facebook and Google have been in disagreement with the government over the "News Media Bargaining Code" legislation.
While Google finally caved and signed an agreement with multiple publishers including Nine Entertainment and News Corp, Facebook took more of a nuclear route and blocked users from access the news in the country. After a week of news blackout, Facebook has announced that the company will unblock the news after reaching an agreement with the government. The company said:
On its Journalism Project page, Campbell Brown, VP, Global News Partnerships further noted that the company will be happy to let users access news articles as long as Facebook gets to decide what articles will appear on the platform.
While Facebook still has to work out deals with news outlets, the new agreement will allow users to access news articles while Facebook negotiates with the government and the media. In the meantime, Microsoft decided to seize the opportunity and offered to fill the void if Google exited the country.
By Jay Bonggolto
TikTok and Instagram are addressing eating disorder issues with new resources
by Jay Bonggolto
Social media platforms like Instagram have been working to address self-harm content on their platform by prohibiting graphic images such as cutting, among other measures. TikTok also introduced policies last year that banned ads for fasting apps and weight loss supplements for promoting "negative body image".
Now, these platforms are beefing up their efforts to keep users safe from self-harm. Facebook announced today that Instagram will begin displaying links to resources from groups that address eating disorder issues when users search for related content. TikTok is also rolling out new features to encourage body inclusivity in partnership with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).
Instagram's new features build upon its existing measures that include blurring images which may trigger negative body image and redirecting users to resources that promote body acceptance. So if you try to search for #EDRecovery (eating disorder recovery) or share relevant content, for example, you'll see links to resources that aim to guide you on developing body confidence. These pieces of advice have been created in partnership with NEDA as well and you'll see them first before Instagram shows the search results for your specific query.
In addition, the Facebook-owned platform will display contact information of eating disorders organizations in specific countries. These include Beat in the UK, National Eating Disorder Information Centre in Canada, and Butterfly Foundation in Australia. If you see a post from someone affected by a negative body image, for example, you'll also see these resources in order to provide help. Additionally, you'll be able to message or talk to a friend directly from these resources over the next few weeks if you ever need help with some difficult moments you're going through.
Instagram is also soliciting feedback from experts worldwide to understand how to address emerging issues related to eating disorders. These new efforts are part of Instagram's commemoration of the third National Eating Disorders Awareness Week in the U.S.
For its part, TikTok will surface quick access to NEDA's hotline for treatment information and support starting this week when you search for phrases related to eating disorders such as #edrecovery and #proana. The music and video service will also show tips to check for posts that may potentially lead to self-harm as well as how to focus on one's positive attributes and offer help to someone dealing with eating disorder.
Throughout the rest of the year, TikTok will provide public service announcements (PSA) that aim to help those with eating disorders recover from this condition in collaboration with NEDA. The service vows to keep refining its policy on content that glorifies eating disorders and improve the way it detects harmful content.
By Namerah S
How to enable the dark theme on Facebook desktop
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
Social media giant Facebook released dark mode for the desktop and iOS platforms in March last year. Even though testing of the Android version of the dark theme began earlier, general availability came out after the desktop and iOS versions.
We have already done a tutorial to turn on dark mode on Android. Today's guide will walk you through the steps of toggling the desktop version of dark mode. Follow the below instructions to say hello to the dark side of Facebook on PCs.
Step 1: Visit Facebook on your PC's web browser. Once open, locate the small arrow pointing downwards on the upper left corner of the dashboard and click on it.
Step 2: After clicking on the little downwards-pointing arrow, a dropdown menu will pop up. Select the "Display & accessibility" option.
Step 3: Clicking on the "Display & accessibility" option will take you to the dark mode feature. Simply click "on" to enable it.
Here are some before and after screenshots to showcase the differences in theme on Facebook's desktop dark mode:
With that, we conclude this short and easy tutorial to toggle the dark mode on Facebook on desktops. Happy browsing!
Facebook brings multi-user support and app sharing to Oculus Quest
by João Carrasqueira
Facebook is making Oculus Quest headsets easier to share with others with a couple of new features being rolled out starting today. Support for multiple user accounts as well as app sharing are coming to the more recent Quest 2 first, and they're both labeled as experimental features, but the company says it will bring them to all Quest users "eventually".
Multi-user support and app sharing means that multiple accounts can be created on the same headset, and purchases from one account can be shared with the rest of the users on the same device. There are, of course, some limitations, but Facebook says these might still be tweaked as testing progresses.
Right now, the admin account - used for initially setting up the headset - can add up to three accounts, and purchases can be shared only on that device. If one of the additional users has a separate headset, they won't be able to access the admin's purchased apps. Additionally, only the admin account can share its purchases, so if any of the other users buys anything on their account, no one else will be able to use it.
It's also worth noting that every user on a headset will need to have their own Facebook account and use it to log in, doubling down on a practice that some have already criticized. Another important thing to note is that app sharing will apply automatically to new apps on the Oculus Quest Store, but not existing ones. Furthermore, some games currently don't allow for app sharing, though that should be addressed in the future.
If you have a Quest 2, you can enable these experimental features in Settings, which will add an Accounts section to the sidebar in the Settings app. From there, you can set up additional accounts. As the feature begins rolling out, Facebook is encouraging users to share their feedback on the Oculus UserVoice page.
By Jay Bonggolto
Facebook starts debunking myths about climate change in its information hub
by Jay Bonggolto
Facebook launched a new information center last year in an effort to connect people to science-based climate information. The Climate Science Information Center came after Facebook took a lot of flak from Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Tom Carper, Brian Schatz, and Sheldon Whitehouse for a "loophole" in its climate fact-checking program.
Now, the information hub has received new improvements and is expanding to more countries. Facebook announced today that the center now has a new section where false claims about climate change are debunked. The new destination highlights common climate myths such as how global warming contributes to the reduced population of polar bears and false claims about the harmful effects of too much carbon dioxide for plants. Facebook has teamed up with experts from the George Mason University, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, and the University of Cambridge to quash these claims with current facts.
Facebook is also expanding the information center to Belgium, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Spain, South Africa, and Taiwan starting today. It's already available in the U.S., France, Germany, and the UK. In case the hub isn't available in your country yet, the service will soon connect you to the UN Environment Programme when you search for climate-related terms to help you find authoritative information about the climate crisis.
In addition, the social networking site is now labeling posts about climate change in the UK with a banner that brings users to its climate information hub. The feature will go live in other countries soon.
The new features mark Facebook's latest effort to remove lies about climate change from its platform, similar to how it addressed COVID-19 myths last year with the launch of its COVID-19 Information Center. However, it remains to be seen how the company will handle posts containing op-ed articles about climate change with little scientific basis, which was the main point of contention by a number of legislators last year.