Facebook tightens rules around Live streaming

San Francisco, May 15
Following the New Zealand mosque attack which was streamed live on Facebook, the social networking giant has tightened the rules that apply specifically to the Live camera feature on its platform.

As part of its updated policies, anyone who violates Facebook's most serious policies would be restricted from using Live for set periods of time - for example 30 days, starting on their first offence.

"We will now apply a 'one strike' policy to Live in connection with a broader range of offences. For instance, someone who shares a link to a statement from a terrorist group with no context will now be immediately blocked from using Live for a set period of time," Guy Rosen, Vice President, Integrity at Facebook, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

After the New Zealand attacks at two mosques in Christchurch city that claimed 51 lives in March, Facebook claimed it removed 1.5 million videos of the C attacks within the first 24 hours itself. It also said it blocked 1.2 million of them at upload, meaning they would not have been seen by users.

The original 17-minute video of the attack was viewed 4,000 times before it was removed from the platform.

"Our goal is to minimise risk of abuse on Live while enabling people to use Live in a positive way every day. We plan on extending these restrictions to other areas over the coming weeks, beginning with preventing those same people from creating ads on Facebook," Rosen said.

Previously, if someone posted content that violated the platform's Community Standards, Facebook would take down the posts and block the users for a while.

In some cases, users were banned from Facebook services altogether, either because of repeated low-level violations, or, in rare cases, because of a single egregious violation.

To develop technology that would help Facebook improve image and video analysis, the company is investing $7.5 million in new research partnerships with leading academics from major universities.

"This work will be critical for our broader efforts against manipulated media, including deepfakes -- videos intentionally manipulated to depict events that never occurred. We hope it will also help us to more effectively fight organised bad actors who try to outwit our systems as we saw happen after the Christchurch attack," Rosen added.

Facebook brings back 'View as Public' feature

To make it easy for people to manage their publicly visible information on Facebook, the social media giant is restoring the "View as Public" feature it had disabled last year owing to a major security flaw.

The feature helps users view their profile from the perspective of someone they aren't friends with.

It also makes it easier for users to manage what information does or doesn't get displayed on the public-facing version of their profiles, reports The Verge.

"Today, we're making it easier for people to manage their publicly visible information on Facebook with two updates: (1) we're bringing back the 'View As Public' feature and (2) we're adding an 'Edit Public Details' button directly to profiles," Facebook said in a tweet on Tuesday.

Last September, Facebook had disabled the feature after a security flaw that allowed an attacker to steal access tokens for over 50 million accounts by exploiting a related feature.

Stolen tokens can allow hackers to break into accounts.

In order to address the issue, Facebook was forced to make over 90 million users log back into their accounts to ensure that they were secure.

"We have completed our security review and are re-enabling the version of the 'View As' feature that lets people see what their profile looks like to people they aren't friends with on Facebook," said the company.

This version was unaffected by the security incident and was significantly more popular than "View as Specific Person".

The "View as Specific Person" feature was responsible for the security flaw and is not being restored at this time.

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