Facebook brings back news to platform in Australia
Any of you avid DNRU readers may recall that last moth we touched on Google’s threats to remove its search engine from Australia. This was over “unworkable” proposed legislation laid out by the Australian Government regarding media giants having to pay news providers for their news content rights online. This month, Facebook made an even clearer stance on the matter.
With next-to-no warning, Facebook earlier this month blocked the sharing or viewing of news links on their platform in Australia, in rebellion of the proposed new laws. The move sparked international debate as it also caused non-news Facebook pages related to charities, emergency response services etc. to be included in the block.
Following some tense negotiations, the Australian government have since agreed to amend the legislation’s proposed code of conduct to “include guarantees to address the social media giant’s major concerns” – whatever that means!
As much as we can question Facebook’s (and any big tech company’s) hold over government and country legislation, this series of events makes it evident how much we, as a society, rely on these platforms to communicate and educate – be it for the right, or wrong, reasons.
Take a look at Facebook’s official statement following the negotiations here.
35,000 people get offended by two men sharing a Cadbury’s Crème Egg
Last month, Cadbury’s launched a TV ad as part of their annual Crème Egg promotion that celebrates 50 decades of the infamous treat – ‘the Creme Egg Golden Goobilee’. The ad highlights the many different ways in which the chocolate can be eaten, from the great bite or lick debate, to a couple sharing an egg.
Watch the ad here.
The couple featured in the ad happened to be a real-life same-sex couple, as Cadbury’s wanted to be inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community – which has ruffled some feathers.
Despite many positive reactions to the ad, a petition has been set up by CitizenGo, a self-proclaimed “ultraconservative advocacy group”, to remove the ad due to its “sexualised content”.
They’ve stated that “By choosing to feature a same-sex couple, Cadbury’s are clearly hoping to cause controversy and escape criticism, by claiming that any objections must be rooted in ‘homophobia’.”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think this will be putting me off getting my Cadbury’s Crème Egg this year….
WhatsApp gets on serious terms
WhatsApp announced this month that users will have to accept their new terms and conditions by May 15th or be blocked from using their services.
In January, the platform saw a global mass exodus of users to competitors with 7.5 million users signing up to Signal, and 25 million signing up to Telegram. The decision to move is believed to be due to the ‘poorly explained’ update to their terms and conditions.
WhatsApp claim the update was intended to do two things:
- Enable a new set of features around business messaging
- Make clarifications and provide greater transparency around the company’s pre-existing policies
Yet the update was seen by many as allowing the platform to read users’ messages and pass this information on to Facebook (WhatsApp’s parent company!).
True or not, Niamh Sweeney, WhatsApp’s director of public policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has stated, “There are no changes to our data sharing with Facebook anywhere in the world.” There seems to be no sign of them revising the updated T&Cs to better communicate this however, with the May 15th deadline now being put in place – coincidence…?
Take a look at the updated terms of service for yourself here.
NASA brings us the sounds of Mars
I think we’ve all just about had enough of life on earth, with the current state of the world, but luckily NASA has stepped in and provided us an insight as to what it’s like on ‘The Red Planet’.
Following the successful landing of NASA’s Perseverance Rover earlier this month, they’ve now released the sound recordings of what it’s picking up on Mars’ surface. You can take a listen for yourself on NASA’s dedicated website to the project here.
Although the recordings sound similar to how you’d except it to on Earth, the way in which it behaves is actually different on Mars, as the atmosphere affects the ways the way in which sound travels. The main difference being that high pitch sounds would not be audible on the planet due to the heavily carbon dioxide atmosphere, and sounds would generally be quieter because of the less dense atmosphere and the speed of sound being slower.
But that’s enough science for today; I think I’ll stick to websites.
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