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Google threatened with $100m lawsuit over nude celebrity photos

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Firm threatened with lawsuit over failure to remove hacked photos from subsidiaries including YouTube and BlogSpot

Jennifer Lawrence, one of the actresses whose photos were stolen by hackers, on the red carpet at the 2014 Academy Awards.

Lawyers representing celebrities whose private photos were published by hackers have threatened to sue Google for $100m, accusing the company of “making millions from the victimisation of women”.
Private images of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Rihanna and others were widely distributed on the internet last month in the largest celebrity hacking scandal in history.
The top entertainment lawyer Martin Singer has written to Google demanding that the company pay for its “blatantly unethical behaviour”. His Los Angeles-based firm Lavely & Singer represents more than a dozen of the women affected, the director Bryan Singer and the actors John Travolta and Charlie Sheen.
In the letter, addressed to Google’s co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page and other top executives, and first published by the New York Post’s Page Six website, Singer accused the tech giant of failing “to act expeditiously and responsibly to remove the images” and of “knowingly accommodating, facilitating, and perpetuating the unlawful conduct”.

“Google’s ‘do no evil’ motto is a sham,” he wrote.
“Google knows the images are hacked stolen property, private and confidential photos and videos unlawfully obtained and posted by pervert predators who are violating the victims’ privacy rights … Yet Google has taken little or no action to stop these outrageous violations.”
Singer’s letter, sent on behalf of his unnamed clients, claims that he sent a notice to the company to remove the images four weeks ago, but that many are still available on Google sites such as BlogSpot and YouTube.
He said that after the images were released over the Labor Day holiday weekend, his office had written to various website operators and internet service providers (ISPs) demanding that the images be taken down under the digital millennium copyright act (DMCA). The DMCA requires tech firms to “expeditiously” remove unlawful images from their servers.
“The vast majority of those sites and ISP/hosts, all of which are much smaller than Google, with far fewer staff and resources, complied with their obligations under the DMCA and removed the images within an hour or two of receiving our DMCA notice,” he wrote.
Google, by contrast, had “recklessly allowed these blatant violations to continue in conscious disregard of our clients’ rights”.
“Because the victims are celebrities with valuable publicity rights you do nothing, nothing but collect millions of dollars in advertising revenue … as you seek to capitalise on this scandal rather than quash it. Like the NFL, which turned a blind eye while its players assaulted and victimised women and children, Google has turned a blind eye while its sites repeatedly exploit and victimise these women.”

A Google spokesman said: “We’ve removed tens of thousands of pictures –within hours of the requests being made – and we have closed hundreds of accounts. The Internet is used for many good things. Stealing people’s private photos is not one of them.”

If Singer follows through on his threat to go to court, it will not be the first time Google has faced legal action over inadvertently facilitating the spread of nude photos. In March this year, Hollie Toups, 34, sued both Yahoo and Google for failing to remove links to pictures of herself hosted on a revenge porn site.
Like Singer, Toups alleged that she had sent Google proper notice, requesting links to the pictures be taken down, but that the company had refused to do so.

source:http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/oct/02/google-lawsuit-nude-celebrity-photos

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Instagram is working on a new messaging app

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Rivaling Snapchat, Threads will enable users to automatically share their location, movements, and battery life with their IG ‘close friends’ list

Now Facebook is a wasteland for your racist aunt and high school friends’ wedding photos, the platform is determined to maintain its social media stronghold via Instagram and WhatsApp (sorry, ‘Instagram and WhatsApp from Facebook’). Its latest venture? A new messaging app called Threads.

As reported by The Verge, Threads will be a companion app to Instagram, promoting constant sharing between users and their IG ‘close friends’ list. The app will enable people to automatically share their location, movements, and battery life with each other, as well as send text, photo, and video messages.

The development could be seen as another attempt to rival Snapchat – which already lets users share their location – following Instagram’s introduction of Stories three years ago.

Instagram has been trying to develop the messaging side of its app since late 2017 when the company started working on Direct, a standalone camera-first app exclusively for DMs. The platform ceased work in May this year after research revealed users found it frustrating to switch apps when they wanted to send a message – although this is exactly what happened with Facebook Messenger in 2016.

Screenshots acquired by The Verge show that users have the option to switch on automatic sharing, but are also able to update their statuses manually. Although Threads encourages friends to share their location with one another, it will reportedly show updates like ‘on the move’, rather than a real-time location.

The app’s main feed will show all messages, as well as friends’ updates and active status, and will allow users to watch their close friends’ IG stories as opposed to having to go back to Instagram to view them.

This announcement comes after a number of updates to the platform, including the removal of likesan anti-bullying feature, and a tool to report fake news. Although, there’s currently no launch date for Threads, and given Instagram’s history with fucked-up trials, it may never even materialise.

Source: https://www.dazeddigital.com/science-tech/article/45768/1/instagram-facebook-new-social-media-messaging-app-threads-to-rival-snapchat

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Massive change coming to WhatsApp with introduction of ads

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WhatsApp will see a massive change by 2020 with the introduction of adverts into the instant messaging app.

It’s been rumoured for a while and now WhatsApp looks set to finally bring adverts to its popular messaging app.

The Facebook-owned firm revealed the news during its annual Marking Summit in the Netherlands, with a rollout expected next year.

Photos of the way these new adverts will look have even been posted online with attendee Olivier Ponteville, giving fans a closer look at what’s to come.

The image, which can be seen on Twitter, shows how ads currently appear on Facebook and Instagram with a WhatsApp screenshot then revealed with a full-screen advert.

According to technology website BGR, once the message appears users will be able to “swipe up when an ad appears for more information about the product or service being advertised.”

Adverts in WhatsApp have been spoken about for a while but this is the first evidence that things are changing within the popular service.

How fans react is yet to been seen but it’s unlikely to go down well with its billions of users.

The bad news is that it seems there’s nothing that can be done to stop this new feature from arriving within the app.

It seems almost certain that there will be no way to switch them off or hide these paid-for messages which may prove to be hugely irritating.

Source: https://www.thenewsguru.com/technology/internet/article/massive-change-coming-whatsapp-introduction-ads/

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Facebook Messenger finally adds quoted replies

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Today Facebook Messenger has added a sorely missing feature – quoted replies. This allows you to reply to a specific message in a conversation, and is incredibly helpful when you’re engaged in chats that have a big range of topics. Using the new feature, the people you’re talking to will now know exactly what you were replying to with that “LOL”, for example.

This has been a feature in WhatsApp, which is also owned by Facebook, for a very long time, and it’s always been sort of a baffling omission in Messenger. So it’s good to finally see it there too.

In order to quote a specific message, long tap on it and you’ll see a new Reply button to the right of the reaction emojis. Tap that, write your reply, and, just like in WhatsApp, the message you’re replying to will appear above your reply. Easy. This potentially means you’ll have less misunderstandings with your friends as to which message was referencing what.

The feature is rolling out now on both iOS and Android.

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