WhatsApp rises as a major force in news media

WhatsApp rises as a major force in news media

WhatsApp is becoming one of the prevailing ways people discover and discuss news, according to a study. But use of the messaging app appears to vary widely between countries. In Malaysia, more than 50% of those surveyed said they used WhatsApp for news at least once a week. But in the US, the figure was only 3%, and in the UK it was 5%. The Digital News Report also indicates the Brexit debate has led…

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Social media pressure is linked to cosmetic procedure boom

Social media pressure is linked to cosmetic procedure boom

Young people are turning to cosmetic procedures such as botox and dermal fillers as a result of social media pressure, according to a report. A study by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics says government must protect people from an unregulated industry. The report also condemns makeover apps and online plastic surgery games aimed at children as young as nine. The authors fear such apps are contributing to growing anxieties around body image. Much of the…

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Beyonce gives birth to twins: US media

Beyonce gives birth to twins: US media

American pop star Beyonce has given birth to twins, according to media in the US. Entertainment Weekly, Us Weekly and People magazines confirmed the news, but the date of birth and gender of the babies are not yet publicly known. Beyonce, who is married to rapper Jay-Z, announced her pregnancy in an Instagram photo in February – the most-liked post in history on the network. The couple already have a daughter, Blue Ivy, aged five….

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US can ask visa applicants for social media history

US can ask visa applicants for social media history

The Trump administration has approved plans to ask US visa applicants for details of their social media use. Consular officials can now ask for social media usernames going back five years via a new questionnaire. It also allows authorities to request email addresses, phone numbers and 15 years of biographical information. This can be requested when “more rigorous national security security vetting” is needed, a State Department official told Reuters. According to reports, the State…

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Messaging app Telegram centrepiece of IS social media strategy

Messaging app Telegram centrepiece of IS social media strategy

The Islamic State militant group (IS) is fighting on many fronts against those seeking to defeat it. One of those fronts is a digital one. IS puts media warfare on a par with its battle on the ground and often glorifies “media martyrs” – people who are killed while creating videos and other digital content for the group. Like many other such groups, IS has been an enthusiastic user of social media and the web,…

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Social media giants 'shamefully far' from tackling illegal content

Social media giants 'shamefully far' from tackling illegal content

Social media firms are “shamefully far” from tackling illegal and dangerous content, says a parliamentary report. Hate speech, terror recruitment videos and sexual images of children all took too long to be removed, said the Home Affairs Select Committee report. The government should consider making the sites help pay to police content, it said. But a former Facebook executive told the BBC the report “bashes companies” but offers few real solutions. The cross-party committee took…

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US Marines get social media tips after nude photos scandal

US Marines get social media tips after nude photos scandal

US Marines have been given guidelines for using social media after it was discovered some had been sharing nude photos of female colleagues online. The advice encourages marines to behave responsibly when sharing marine corps-related material online. It adds that existing orders for the marines have “long prohibited” sexual or other harassment. The Pentagon previously said sharing nude photos was “inconsistent” with its values. “Marines should think twice before engaging in questionable online activities, and…

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Germany warns social media firms over illegal content

Germany warns social media firms over illegal content

Social media firms in Germany could face fines of up to 50 million euros if they take too long to remove illegal content including fake news. Germany’s justice minister has drafted a law that seeks to impose the fines as part of efforts to police toxic chat. Heiko Maas said the voluntary efforts of social networks to tackle the problem had not gone far enough. The proposal requires sites to run 24-hour helplines and to…

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