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Facebook overhauls messaging as it pivots to privacy

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has revealed a series of changes to the firm’s portfolio of social platforms, including Instagram and Whatsapp.

The new designs and features for its apps are a direct response to widespread criticism of how the firm protects user data.

Zuckerberg said the company plans to put privacy first.

He acknowledged that there was much to do to rebuild trust.

In a speech to developers, Zuckerberg described the firm’s new focus on privacy as “a major shift” in how the company is run.

“As the world gets bigger and more connected, we need that sense of intimacy more than ever, so that’s why I believe that the future is private. This is the next chapter for our services,” Zuckerberg said.

Some of the more visible changes to those who use the firm’s products will include:

Messages sent via messenger will be end-to-end encrypted by default, meaning Facebook itself won’t see the contents, and the platform will be fully integrated with Whatsapp.

Instagram is trialing a “private like counts” feature which would hide the “likes” a post attracts from viewers, but not the account owner.

A whatsapp secure payment service trialled in India is set to be rolled out to other countries later this year.

“It’s going to take time, I’m sure we are going to keep unearthing old issues for a while, so it may feel like we are not making progress at first but I think that we have shown time and time again as a company that we can do what it takes to evolve and build the products that people want,” Zuckerberg said.

Other Facebook executives introduced changes within the Messenger and Instagram apps aimed at helping businesses connect with customers, including appointment booking and enhanced shopping features, as well as a tool to lure customers into direct conversations with companies via ads. (REUTERS)

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Two of us: Father and son capture the hearts of netizens

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

Antonio Antoquia drives the bus everyday for a living. His usual route is Fairview-Alabang. Oftentimes he takes his 19-year-old son, Joshua, so his wife can sell coffee and eggs.

Marivic Ando Natividad was one his passengers. She was able to capture the special moment between a father and his son.

For Joshua, who is a child with special needs, it seemed like it was never about riches or fame. His great love and admiration for his father resonated until it was felt by thousands.

Everyone who saw the photo found a much needed oasis amid the chaos of everyday life.

“Mahal na mahal kita, (I love you very much)” Joshua said to his father during an interview with one of our reporters.

Antonio holds back his tears. Joshua is his little helper whenever he brings him to work.

“Hindi siya mahirap dalhin kasi uupo lang siya, (It is not difficult to care for him, he would just sit there)” Antonio said. “Pagdating namin sa Alabang ayusin niya iyan. Kunwari ito sinusuksok ng mga pasahero to ayusin niya iyan itali niya iyan. Kunin niya ang mga tiket, tapon niya dito marunong siya, (When we arrive in Alabang he sees to it that all the curtains are properly arranged and he will throw out all the tickets that were left behind).”

During days when Antonio is not accompanied by Joshua, he couldn’t help but worry. He will call home asking if Joshua had eaten or if he is doing okay. And just like how he misses Joshua, Joshua misses him as well.

“Kunyari bibiyahe ako ng Davao tatawag iyan, taltlong araw palang sasabihin niya Papa, uwi kana miss na miss na kita, (Whenever I travel to Davao, he will call. He will tell me how much he misses me even when I was just gone for three days)

Marivic saw how much Antonio and Joshua love each other. She was on her way to work. She recalled that Joshua was happily assisting Antonio. Antonio, in return, was happy to be assisted.

“He [the boy] was very happy, jolly and smiling at me all the time,” Marivic said. She added that the boy “knows all the bus stops and the roads,” and would shout the names every time a passenger gets off.

Marivic witnessed how the two laughed, talked, and had fun despite the heat, despite the traffic.

For Marivic, it inspired her to feel thankful for her father especially when Father’s Day is only two weeks away.

Antonio kept holding back his tears every time he talks about Joshua. He feels lucky to have a son like him. However, there is always fear in Antonio’s heart.

“Natakot ako kapag ako nawala, paano ito? Mahirap kasi ito mamaya magsawa mga kapatid nito. Kung saan ito kakalat-kalat kapag wala ako. Iyon ang kinakatakutan ko, (I fear that when am gone, what will happen to him? It will be difficult, what if his siblings will get tired caring for him. Sometimes, he wanders around when am gone. That’s my fear),” he said.

“Masasabi ko lang dito kay Joshua,” he adds. “Kahit ganito ito mahal na mahal ko talaga itong batang ito, sobrang pagmamahal ko dito. (All I can say to Joshua is that I love him very much. I have much love for him)(with reports from Joan Nano)

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Facebook to apply new live-streaming rules after Christchurch shooting

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2019

A screenshot of the footage from the Christchurch attack | Courtesy : Reuters

Facebook is set to apply new live-streaming rules after the New Zealand shooting.

According to the social media platform on Tuesday (May 14), they will implement a ‘one-strike policy’ for users who violate community standards.

“We will now apply a ‘one strike’ policy to Live in connection with a broader range of offenses,” their statement reads.

Violators will have to be restricted from using Facebook Live for set period of time.

“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,” the statement further reads.

Facebook aims to minimize the risk of abuse on Facebook Live while enabling people to use Live in a positive way every day.

Meanwhile, Facebook will also strengthen their systems to detect manipulated media across images, video and audio as well as to distinguish between unwitting posters and adversaries who intentionally manipulate videos and photographs.

“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 organized bad actors who try to outwit our systems as we saw happen after the Christchurch attack,” Facebook said.

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College student viral for graduating in a wheel chair passes away

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, March 28th, 2019

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Smart, humble, and a good friend. That is how Joemar Kenik Mangkok’s friends describe him.

Joemar’s story became viral after his sister, Lyn Mangkok-Ayob, posted his graduation ceremony on Facebook .

#LABANPUSO…datu congrats🎓 dahil e2 na ang pangarap natin lahat na maabot mo ang araw na e2😭😭😭.sana gumaling kana at kc…

Posted by Lyn Mangkok Ayob on Saturday, 23 March 2019

Noor Galmak Mopak, one Joemar’s friends, said they have been together since first year college. They were even co-interns. Noor, Joemar and the rest of their friends made a promise to one another.

“First year pa lang po kami may pangako kami sa isa’t isa na kahit anong mangyari, sabay-sabay kami ga-graduate (Ever since first year, we promised that all of us will graduate together, no matter what ) she said.

Joemar graduated on March 22, Friday, at Southern Mindanao Institute of Technology Inc. in Sultan Kudarat. He graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education, major in Mathematics.

He had been suffering from rheumatic heart disease for five years and no matter what happened, he kept his promise.

Despite being unable to walk and despite the heaviness of his oxygen tank, he went up the stage and accepted his diploma.

No illness could stop him.

After receiving his diploma, Joemar was rushed to the hospital and went into a coma on March 25.

On Tuesday, his sister Lyn announced his passing.

Lyn expressed her heartfelt thanks to everyone who sent their support. In her previous post, she expressed her wish for her brother after he graduated in college.

“Sana maging inspirasyon ka sa mga kabataan. We love you so much datu (I hope you become an inspiration to the youth)—Aileen Cerrudo

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