Twitter Cracks Down On DeepFakes & Apple Removes Spy App Software

by | Nov 14, 2019 | News

Ok, seriously – will it ever stop raining? Dry off and check out the news – we’re talking Disney’s streaming service, how Instagram is fighting off TikTok, Twitter’s deepfake policy, slow badges on Chrome, and the highs and lows of Facebook Pay. 

Home > News > Twitter Cracks Down On DeepFakes & Apple Removes Spy App Software

Are you a deepfake? We can’t trust anyone. 


New Disney+ Streaming Service Delayed until March 2020 in the UK

The new Disney+ streaming service is predicted to bring fear to its streaming and broadcast rivals, thanks to its jam-packed catalogue of shows – including Star Wars, The Avengers and The Simpsons. 

However, it looks like the UK will be the last to get the service, following launches in the US, Canada, the Netherlands,  Australia and New Zealand this month. Brit viewers will have to wait till March 2020. Boo. Simon Brew, founder and editor of Film Stories magazine, highlighted “licensing hurdles” that Disney must get round before a UK launch is possible – including existing contract issues with Sky. 

When the service does launch, Disney+ will be “ the combined home of all things Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, as well as Fox content” – meaning that it could well be worth the wait. Find out more on the story at Wired


Instagram Attempting to Steal TikTok Traffic with ‘Reels’

News this week could indicate that Instagram is feeling the pressure from TikTok, with a new video editing tool that appears to copy some of TikTok’s best-known features. 

The tool, called Reels, is only available in Brazil for now, with no mention on whether a global launch will come in the future. Available on iOS and Android, it lets users record 15-second videos, setting them to music, adjusting their speed, or “borrowing audio from others’ videos”. These clips can then be shared to Stories, sent in DMs, or posted in a new dedicated section of the Explore tab – called Top Reels. 

Experts say the move is designed to take on TikTok by leveraging Instagram’s existing users; particularly at a time when TikTok is seeing huge growth. This seems eerily similar to how it pinched Stories from Snapchat back in 2016. Sneaky. Check out the story at The Verge

Twitter outlines Policy for Dealing with Deepfakes 

Following last month’s call for public submissions into its policy on deepfakes, Twitter has now announced a draft of its rules for handling deepfake content within the platform. 

Twitter plans on launching a new set of processes designed to label Tweets that share “synthetic or manipulated material”, as well as warning people before they share content of this kind. Twitter will also add links to resources about why it’s identified the content in question as being synthetic or manipulated. 

This may seem like Twitter getting ahead of itself, instead of focusing more on the detection element, but the platform is keen to make sure that it has a plan in place for dealing with deepfakes as they become more and more of a concern in the digital world. 

For now, this kind of next-level fake content is largely a novelty, but there are significant concerns that it could be used in a way that threatens privacy and security – on a potentially  massive scale. With Twitter joining the people trying to get ahead of the issue, perhaps we’ll be able to prevent some of theses occurrences. Read more on the plans at Social Media Today


Google Chrome to Snitch on Slow Pages Before you Click…

Google Chrome has announced a plan it’s hoping will encourage website owners to improve their site speed, by rewarding fast sites. 

The plan is to introduce badging, which will “warn users of slow sites as a way to provide value to them”. In the announcement, Google said: “We think the web can do better and want to help users understand when a site may load slowly, while rewarding sites delivering fast experiences.” However, there is so far no mention on how the badges will act as a reward. 

The move could mean site owners see an increase in abandonment rates on pages that take longer to load, although some feel that the badging is so subtle that some users may not even notice it. Google said that the proposal for the speed badges is still being “worked out”, and that it’s still experimenting with options, although it could also mean we see more badges signifying high-quality experiences in the future. Read more at Search Engine Journal


Attempted Cyber Attack on Labour Party Platforms

On Monday, the Labour party announced that it had successfully thwarted a cyber attack – although it has now reportedly suffered a second. 

The Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is designed to take a site offline by flooding a computer server with traffic. The attack is not thought to be linked to a state, although sources have said that computers in Brazil and Russia were used. Now, the Labour party says it has “ongoing security processes in place” to protect its platforms, which may be causing users to experience difficulties. The party assures people that its dealing with any issues quickly and effectively. 

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Monday’s cyber-attack was “very serious” and also “suspicious”, due to the fact that it took place during an election campaign. However, Emily Orton, who works for AI cyber security firm Darktrace, says that “anyone involved in politics and in government need to be preparing themselves for a lot more stealthy, sophisticated attacks than this”. Check out the full story at BBC News.

It’s Easier Than Ever to Send Money to Friends with Facebook Pay

You may remember Facebook’s previous attempts at a payment platform, and how they didn’t exactly take off – but Facebook Pay looks set to be different. 

It works by users connecting their card or PayPal account to their Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram – giving them the ability to send and receive money through any of these platforms, anywhere in the world. One of the main benefits is convenience, something Zuckerberg has been pushing since earlier this year. 

For Facebook, the move could be the foundation for further development in the future, particularly if it decides to launch its own version of popular sites like Twitch and Patreon. Plus, with the positives for advertisers, it’s likely that brands will quickly back the move.

 Can Facebook be trusted, though? That seems to be the question on everyone’s lips, particularly after the platform’s fairly tumultuous few years. Perhaps we shouldn’t get too complacent just yet….Read more on the launch at Engaget


And just like that, the week is almost over. Check back next week for more digital news – and try and stay out of the rain in the meantime. 


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