Social Services and Networks News Digest

In the current environment of overall tension, new working model and ongoing crisis, it sounds good to provide you with a piece of the latest news overview on social networks and services. How the major of them react to the current situation in the world and what steps they take to adjust to a new format: these and much more is going to be found in the digest below. 

Big Tech faces a ‘Big Brother’ trap on coronavirus 

More and more companies and organizations are offering their assistance in coronavirus pandemic struggle. Recently, the US government turned to tech giants, such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc., with a request to lend a hand with the crisis overcoming. The case is, all the companies mentioned have a highly powerful and helpful tool: immense data storage.  

There are two sides of the same coin, though. On the one hand, to provide the government with all the data needed would be a perfect marketing move to raise the company’s rates. On the other hand, there exists a very serious risk to wake up Big Brother suspicions and claims. The line is very fragile and extremely easy to cross. That is why the tech companies take their time and do not hurry to respond to the US government’s requests.  

Google has been the one that commented on the issue by stating that it is currently searching for the ways to cooperate through aggregated and anonymized data provision. So, what will be the final of the story? Will the risk of sharing personal data overweight the desire to become more popular and profitable in the long run? Maybe, some compromise will be reached? Read further and you will get some answers to your questions. 

Source: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/18/big-tech-coronavirus-134523 

Facebook adds data muscle to Covid-19 fight 

Our monthly digest cannot go without Facebook news as one of the most popular social networks in the world. The company, being encouraged by Google, decided to use its huge data store to help the researchers and scientists fight Coronavirus. Facebook announced its readiness to provide information on the population connectedness, movements as well as some close friends and relations to assist in: 

  • sticking to quarantine or violation of the norms surveillance; 
  • visualizing a possible map of infection spreading ; 
  • predicting some virus outbreaks and possible contamination incidents. 

What about the anonymity? Good question. The Facebook claims that all the data is ‘aggregate and anonymized’ with a number of additional steps made to muscle the issue: “Our datasets can show information at a city or county level, not the patterns of individuals,” a Facebook statement summoned. Unlike Google, the social network made its tools available to worldwide academics only.  

Source: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/06/facebook-coronavirus-data-google-168794 

Video Meeting App Zoom Vows to Focus on Improving Security Amid Massive User Growth 

Amid all those tumults caused by the pandemic and worldwide crisis, we cannot forget about Zoom, whose out-of-nowhere popularity is beating the records. In the environment of lockdowns, more and more users are launching the video conferencing tool every minute. The Zoom boom we are witnessing, cannot but popularize the app greatly. However, every single rapid popularity growth is tiptoed by a wide array of challenges. 

Zoom is of no exception. With the meetings demand increase, a number of flaws not identified before rose up. To get rid of any personal element sharing moments, the application removes Face SDK and LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator. What is more, to resist Zoombombing, new passwords, limiting screen sharing, etc. are being integrated into the system. 

Is Zoom flawless? Definitely not. However, it is taking steps to solve the issues arising and seems to be transparent and trustworthy enough to use.  

Source: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/video-meeting-app-zoom-vows-to-focus-on-improving-security-amid-massive-use/575406/ 

LinkedIn Provides Free Mindfulness Courses on LinkedIn Learning to Help People Deal with the COVID-19 Lockdowns 

What about LinkedIn in the atmosphere of the vast crisis? LinkedIn, as a social network on career development, pursues a logic algorithm by providing its audience with several free learning courses for those who have difficulties with adjusting to their lockdowns regarding their mental health and work-life balance. ‘Wild ride’ times we are having presently are highly difficult to survive psychologically and emotionally. A human being is a social creature. Being put in isolation along with new working rules and home issues is a huge challenge for everyone. LinkedIn takes care of that new aspect of living by offering its courses on mediations, work-life balancing, stress management strategies and so on. 

Besides, the social network organizes courses on productive remote work, online teaching and much more. 

Source: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/linkedin-provides-free-mindfulness-courses-on-linkedin-learning-to-help-peo/575318/ 

Coronavirus: YouTube to cut video quality to standard definition in attempt to limit impact on internet 

A global video-sharing service YouTube has also joined a worldwide initiative on coronavirus crisis fighting. It announced a decision to cut its default video quality in order to preserve the Internet bandwidth. In the current situation, when the absolute majority of people all over the world are working remotely and staying at home, online resources are highly demanded and widely used. Consequently, the network is considerably overloaded and is put in front of a number of new challenges and issues to tackle. 

Due to that fact, YouTube has appeared to be the first major service to limit its video streaming quality targeted at lessening its impact on Internet performance. What is more, YT is the first one that made an unpopular decision to be active across the whole world while some other companies limited their video quality rates decrease across the European countries only. 

However, it should be stressed, that the users still have an option to switch to a higher quality video mode without the automatic one being available. 

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/coronavirus-youtube-quality-bandwidth-internet-video-standard-definition-high-sd-hd-a9421931.html 

5G and coronavirus: YouTube vows to crack down on videos spreading baseless conspiracy theory 

To go on with the YouTube line, it would be proper to mention the response of the video website to the wave of the stormy reaction of the public regarding the videos on the conspiracy theory that 5G causes the coronavirus pandemic spreading. YT’s first reaction was not to interfere with the issue in order not to deny the coronavirus existence. Nevertheless, having weighted all the negative effects following the situation, the service administration decided on suppressing the videos mentioned by pushing their rates down but not removing them from the site. All the ‘borderline content’ videos are ruled by the statement.  

 YouTube has underlined its first priority tasks to help humanity fight the virus by reducing the spread of misinformation and providing timely and helpful one instead. “We’ll continue to evaluate the impact of these videos on the UK community and look forward to continuing our work with the UK Government and the NHS to keep the British public safe and informed during this difficult time,” a YouTube spokesperson added. 

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/5g-coronavirus-youtube-video-conspiracy-theory-a9449516.html 

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