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Talk Social: 4 February, 2020

Facebook’s oversight board is coming soon

Facebook expects its long-awaited oversight board to begin hearing cases this summer, with board members to be announced “in the coming months.”

The board is conceived as an independent body to handle Facebook’s most difficult moderation decisions. Its members will be selected to represent a full diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints so decisions don’t simply reflect the values of silicon valley.

While the board will determine the pace of its meetings, Facebook has outlined a specific timeline for handling all claims within 90 days.

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Facebook reaches 2.5 billion monthly active users

Facebook’s newly published Q4 2019 performance update shows growth in both active users and revenue.

Helped by fast growth in the Asia Pacific market, the social media platform has climbed past the milestone of 2.5 billion monthly active users.

In terms of revenue, Facebook posted a massive $21 billion result for Q4, up 25% year-over-year. However, its financial data also reveals the company’s cost and expenses have increased over 50% over the year as they invest more in efforts to clean up its platform and better moderate content.

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117 new emojis coming this year

The latest batch of new emojis from the Unicode Consortium includes both men in wedding dresses and a gender-neutral Santa.

The additional 117 new characters show a greater focus on diversity and inclusion with several same-sex couples represented as well as the transgender flag.

No specific date has been given for when the emojis will be available but Apple typically updates the list of available new characters at the same time as the autumn operating system update.

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Facebook rolls out greater data control options

Facebook is rolling out a new privacy feature called ‘Off-Facebook Activity’ that lets users see which third-party apps have shared data about them.

Users can then disconnect any information the third party has shared from their account. The data is not deleted but anonymised to stop the user from receiving targeted ads.

The update is part of Facebook’s commitments to improve privacy controls on its social network following its $5bn from the US Federal Trade Commission over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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Google discloses YouTube ad revenue

Google has revealed it took in more than $15 billion from YouTube ads in 2019. This accounts for nearly 10 percent of Alphabet’s total revenue. 

This is the first time the company has disclosed the numbers, along with revenue for its growing cloud business, ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings call.

This number is related purely to ad revenue and doesn’t include other sources of income from YouTube, such as premium subscriptions.More here

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