Weekly Industry News Round-Up
France trying to censor the world? Facebook claiming to give more control to users? Check out all the latest news with Tuesday News Day at Bright Design.
During a rare Q&A session held by Radio 1 Newsbeat, the top Facebook executives answered the public’s questions about the social media platform and how they intend to run the platform in the near future.
The majority of the public’s questions did revolve around users’ data and privacy on the platform, and who could blame them? As it seems that every week we report and talk about the latest controversy coming from the social giant (seriously, I’m running out of GIFs to use for Facebook). However, it seems that all the backlash, negative press and the widespread disapproval of Facebook’s management of user data is finally leading the top executives to realise that change must happen, that users need to be shown that Facebook is looking out for their users.
The top executives said that Facebook could do a “much better job” to help users control their experience on the site. Facebook’s Steve Hatch used marketing as an example of the control their users have. He explained that users will have a button displayed above an ad which will show them why they are being shown that specific advertisement. Steve Hatch also said that Facebook will bring in little nudges like this to give users more and more control on the social platform.
Censor the World?
Back in 2014, a man called Mario Costeja complained that when searching for his name on Google, the search results would show out-of-date content about his prior debt. This complaint brought in the Right To Be Forgotten act which allowed people to request out-of-date or irrelevant information to be erased from search engines.
We do understand why some people would want to be forgotten from the internet, as let’s be honest, the internet can be a brutal place for your name to appear on. However, we believe that the censorship of certain information to the public in some situations negatively impacts society as a whole. Censorship not only restricts our understanding of people and the world around us but also limits our ability for debates and discussions.
Now, this decision by the French government is a bit controversial and it would be wrong of us to complain about censorship on Chinese search engines and not discuss the French alternative. However, France may be taking this censorship even further than China. As the French data regulator is seeking to extend their censorship to the entire world.
The data regulator wishes to remove the link for censored information to apply not only to google.fr domains but for all Google domains. This would also include Google in the UK and US for example.
The issue we can see is that if France is able to wield the power to censor what the world sees, how long until every country in the world is bidding to censor what is available on the world wide web. It seems to be a bit of a grey area – which takes priority, an individual’s right to privacy or the public’s right to information?
Alexa, Interrogate the Employees
On Sunday 16th September, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon is investigating reports of employees leaking internal data from the company. The employees were also offering their services to sellers on Amazon’s e-commerce platform in exchange for bribes.
Amazon’s investigation of their employees reports that employees of the internet’s biggest retailer are selling vital information from Amazon. The information sold allows merchants to have an edge against their competitors on Amazon. However, it isn’t just an increase in sales that some Amazon employees are selling, their services also stretch to removing negative reviews and restoring banned Amazon accounts. It is reported that some of the bribes in China are conducted on WeChat (which is a messaging service like WhatsApp) where bribes reach £80-£2,000.
After months of investigations, suing more than 1,000 entities and a crackdown on false advertising on their platform, it is interesting that this level of bribery still exists within Amazon.
Who said Doodling Wouldn’t Get You Anywhere?
As of Sunday 16th September, Google has released over 2,000 separate Doodles for their search engine. Everything from Doodles celebrating maths and science to Doodles that pay tribute to moments in time. You think of it and Google has probably Doodled it.
Google Doodle is nearly as old as Google itself (and nearly as old as me!). The Google tradition started out as the founders of Google Larry Page and Sergey Brin modified their search engine logo to show that they were away at Burning Man Festival. Since this introduction, Google has released over 2,000 different Google Doodles which you can check out here.
Needless to say, I think if Google Doodles stopped we all would notice and begin to miss them. Congratulations to Google for keeping their long-lived tradition of promoting and sharing their own way of remembering and celebrating events.
Microsoft War on Other Browsers
As we reported a few weeks ago, Microsoft’s grasp of the internet browsers market is very slim. It is commonly known that the first things users do when purchasing a brand-new pc or laptop is to go onto Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer and download another internet browser such as Google Chrome or FireFox.
Well in a new ditch attempt to scare Windows users into using Microsoft Edge, Microsoft have now implemented their new strategy of including pop-up warnings to keep users away from other internet browsers.
The pop-up warnings claim that Microsoft Edge is the faster and the safer internet browser on the internet. Personally, I believe that this tactic is a way to scare the less ‘tech-savvy’ generation, the user that is scared to do something wrong on their computer. I believe that this audience is what Microsoft are relying on in order to keep their internet browser alive.