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Facebook launches review for handling violent videos after Cleveland murder

Metrosmag,SA

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Facebook has launched a review of how it handles violent videos and other objectionable material. This after a video of a killing in Cleveland on Sunday remained on its website and mobile app for over two hours.

Facebook will “look for ways to make it easier for people to report such videos and speed up the process of reviewing items once they are reported,” Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s vice president for global operations and media partnerships, said in a statement on Monday.

The video appeared to show suspect Steve Stephens fatally shoot 74-year old Robert Godwin. US authorities have widened the manhunt for the murder suspect. Police said they have received dozens of tips about the possible location of the suspect, Steve Stephens.

‘Need to do better’

Facebook has been criticized for not taking the video down faster. The company issued a statement on Monday afternoon saying it hadn’t received a report about the shooting video until “more than an hour and 45 minutes after it was posted.”

“We disabled the suspect’s account within 23 minutes of receiving the first report about the murder video, and two hours after receiving a report of any kind. But we know we need to do better,” the company said.

At present, any Facebook user can post video with no strings attached. Users can then flag content they find objectionable, which Facebook employees review for possible removal. Facebook has a video review team on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the company said.

Facebook relies on its 1.9 billion users to report items that violate its terms of service. Millions of items are reported each week in more than 40 languages and thousands of workers review them, Osofsky said in the statement, posted on a company blog.

“We prioritize reports with serious safety implications for our community, and are working on making that review process go even faster,” Osofsky said.

The company has also tried to automate the process for flagging offensive material.

Timeline

Facebook released a timeline of events related to Stephens, something it had not done after other violent incidents.

Stephens posted three videos, Facebook said. In the first, uploaded at 2:09 p.m. EDT on Sunday (1809 UTC), he said he intended to commit murder. No one reported it, according to Facebook.

Two minutes later at 2:11 p.m. EDT, Stephens uploaded a video of the shooting. And a third video, with a confession to murder, was broadcast live at 2:22 and reported by someone shortly after it ended at 2:27 p.m. EDT.

The shooting video was not reported by Facebook users until 3:59 p.m. EDT and Stephens’ account was disabled at 4:22 p.m. EDT, Facebook’s timeline showed.

“We disabled the suspect’s account within 23 minutes of receiving the first report about the murder video, and two hours after receiving a report of any kind. But we know we need to do better,” Osofsky said.

Not the first time

In March a 15-year-old girl was raped by multiple people in Chicago, an attack that was streamed on Facebook Live. In January three men were arrested in relation to a similar incident involving the live-streamed rape of a woman in Sweden.

In 2016, 23-year-old Korryn Gaines used Facebook to broadcast a standoff with police in Baltimore, which ended in the mother of one being shot and killed.

Facebook has also hosted videos showing the torture of a young man with disabilities in Chicago, the musings of a spree killer being chased by police, child abuse and now murder.

A game changer?

“I think it’s entirely possible that this incident could change the game,” Wired Editor-In-Chief Nicholas Thompson told “CBS This Morning” on Monday.

“What I think will happen now is Facebook will have to look at their algorithms to try to figure out whether this can be stopped, and think about the culture. There is a real culture of violence that has perpetrated itself inside of video sharing and social media platforms, and can that be changed?”

Metrosmag,sa ( inspired by Mzansi Lifestyle ) Mzansi is rich in Lifestyle, a nation diverse in race and culture. Mzansi Magazine explores the rich heritage , versitile culture and the celebrations of Life in Mzansi. Metros Magazine, SA is South Africa's informative Metropolitan lifestlye magazine with all the fresh and important news in Mzansi.

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Technology

Time to leave ADSL behind?

Metrosmag,SA

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Believe it or not, the era of ADSL and wireless is coming to a swift end. Slower, more unreliable internet connections are making way for a lightspeed revolution – fibre.

According to SEACOM’s Hilda Kritzinger, ADSL speeds rely on your business’ proximity to telephone exchanges. When ADSL is not an option, its even more unreliable brother -wireless – rears its ugly head, leaving companies prone to outages.

Kritzinger says that while internet service providers promise quick speeds, telecoms infrastructure can severely limit internet performance.

For instance, an area with many businesses is likely to have very crowded cabling and airwaves.

The solution, she writes, is fibre optic infrastructure, a technology that transfers information as light signals along long, transparent tubes.

“In recent years, South Africa’s lack of reliable Internet infrastructure has been blamed for our slow digital progress,” she says. “But lack of existing broadband infrastructure is a blessing in disguise: it leaves vast geographical areas open to the installation of brand new fibre infrastructure.”

SEACOM is the company responsible for building, running and maintaining the immense inter-continental cables running along the ocean floor. It’s quickly making fiber a widespread reality in South Africa.

“With a business fibre connection, all the headaches of broadband disappear – with far superior speeds allowing more employees, on more devices, to effectively use the network,” she continues. “Fibre connectivity is capable of simultaneous uploads and downloads, so data travels unhindered in both directions.”

As she puts it, fibre “runs circles around an ADSL connection”. Perhaps it’s time to take your business to the next level of digital?

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Brooklyn SAPS embrace Namola technology to keep citizens safe

Metrosmag,SA

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At a celebratory event earlier today, Brigadier Nair of the Brooklyn SAPS and Yusuf Abramjee, Chief Ambassador of Namola, signed a partnership agreement committing collaborative efforts to ensure citizen to safety.

“To combat crime in Tshwane and across South Africa, we need all hands on deck. Partnerships like this add support and capacity to our emergency services, like the Brooklyn SAPS. Embracing innovative technology to help the way we fight crime is the way of the future for safety and security in South Africa,” Namola’s Chief Ambassador, Yusuf Abramjee.

“We are very excited about this partnership,” said Brigadier Nair of the Brooklyn SAPS, “Our officers are committed to the safety of our citizens, and we need to ensure they have the support and tools to do this work. Namola is revolutionary; giving the people of Tshwane immediate access to our police service is empowering for them, and ensures improved efficiency in our operations.”

The signing of this agreement is a milestone as the Brooklyn SAPS and Namola commit to working together to improve the safety of citizens. The partnership will further extend Brooklyn SAPS’ excellence in fighting crime by harnessing innovation in technology.

Namola is the innovative mobile application that is helping to keep the citizens of Tshwane safe. Designed to enable citizens to connect directly with crime fighting authorities, Namola is increasing the effectiveness and efficiency needed to combat crime in South Africa.

The crime fighting safety app allows users – via their GPS enabled smartphones – to share their physical location with the nearest three police emergency response vehicles and receive an immediate response. The first available officer is immediately directed to the citizen’s location while being monitored by the control room. It’s faster and it makes the task of getting help as simple as pushing a button.

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Mastercard Collaborates with SA Fintech Startup to Bring Cashless Payments to SA’s Informal Economy

Metrosmag,SA

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South African mobile payments startup iKhokha and Mastercard today announced a partnership that aims to significantly boost payment card acceptance at micro, small and medium enterprises in informal settlements, while educating consumers and business owners on the benefits of using electronic payments instead of cash.

In the next six months, iKhokha aims to roll out 700 mobile point of sale terminals to cash-based micro-enterprises including spaza shops, taverns, food outlets, and hair and beauty salons in KwaMashu, north of Durban and in Ladybrand in the eastern Free State. This pilot project will act as a blueprint for the direct expansion into other informal settlements nationally.

iKhokha managing director Matt Putman says card acceptance can help small business owners to formalise their businesses, increase sales and minimise their risks.

“We are focusing on businesses at the main trade and transit points where volumes of people are high and cash-related crime is a serious problem. We explain to entrepreneurs that they can grow their sales with iKhokha and then gain access to unsecured capital for growth needs. If customers would prefer to pay with a card, then it’s time to move beyond cash only acceptance,” Putman says.

Recent iKhokha research reveals that low-income earners who are banked, generally withdraw their entire monthly income from an ATM, and then carry cash for the month as a result of very limited card acceptance in informal settlements.

“While the number of South Africans with access to formal financial products has increased significantly over the last five years, the true potential of electronic payments is going to remain dormant unless payment cards are accepted at the stores and outlets where the newly-banked would normally shop,” says Mark Elliott, Division President for Mastercard, South Africa. “Our association with iKhokha not only extends financial inclusion to merchants and consumers, but educates them on the benefits of using payment cards instead of unsafe and costly cash.”

The World Bank states that micro entrepreneurs need support in basic accounting, record keeping and planning to grow sustainably and that increasing financial inclusion must be done responsibly.

“Consequently iKhokha allows SMEs to track cash, card and mobile transactions and provides unsecured cash advance to these business owners based on trading history. Providing SMEs with growth capital, transaction recording capabilities, as well as digital and physical card payment acceptance, in one mobile app is to our knowledge an African first. We will also be providing financial literacy materials to consumers and merchants at financial wellbeing workshops which will be facilitated by community representatives.”

iKhokha presently has more than 3000 merchants. Its mobile payment acceptance platform includes card present payments and card-linked QR code payments via Masterpass, Mastercard’s digital payment service. iKhokha also recently won the MTN Enterprise App of the year award. The company has been funded by Capital Eye Investments, a Gauteng based private equity investor with a key focus on payment technology.

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