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IT giants join forces to combat child sexual abuse imagery



Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft and Yahoo and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) are joining their efforts in the fight against child sexual abuse.

Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft and Yahoo are joining their effort in the fight against child sexual abuse.

The IT giants child after joining forces with a the UK charity, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), will remove sexual abuse images from the web.

The news was reported by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) that announced it will share hashes of child sexual abuse imagery with the IT giants. The initiative aim to improve and speed up the identification of the despicable images and consequent removal.

The knowledge of the hash of the child sexual abuse imagines will allow companies to rapidly identify the content once published and shared on the Internet.

“The IWF will provide hashes of child sexual abuse images to the online industry to speed up the identification and removal of this content worldwide.

This enables the internet industry to actively protect their customers and help victims of child sexual abuse.”

  • Victims’ images can be identified and removed more quickly, preventing them from being shared time and time again.
  • Child sexual abuse images will be prevented from being uploaded to the internet in the first place.
    This gives internet companies the power to stop people from repeatedly sharing the images on their services.
  • Men, women and children of all ages are protected from accidentally stumbling across the images online.

The Internet Watch Foundation states that its experts will assist the IT companies to create three different types of hashes, PhotoDNA (A technology developed by Microsoft to identify a child abuse image), MD5 and SHA-1.

child sexual abuse images Hash-list-explanation-flow-diagram

The hashed will be calculated starting from the images discovered during its investigations as well as those provided by the IT giants and by the public. Another source for the IWF analysts will be the archive of the UK Home Office’s new Child Abuse Image Database (CAID).

Thanks to the initiative it will be possible to identify and remove as many as 500 child sex abuse web pages every day, an impressive result against the most villain kind of online crimes. The IWF highlighted that each of those pages will host multiple images, so the initiative will potential allow to remove millions of child sex abuse images.

The Internet Watch Foundation notes that this is a first step against child sex abuse, unfortunately, there are billions of such images online.

“The IWF Hash List could be a game-changer and really steps up the fight against child sexual abuse images online. …It means victims’ images can be identified and removed more quickly, and we can prevent known child sexual abuse images from being uploaded to the internet in the first place.” The Internet Watch Foundation’s CEO, Susie Hargreaves

Unfortunately, paedophiles prefer to exploit anonymizing networks like Tor to share child sexual abuse images, a territory difficult to explore despite the effort of the British Government recentlyannounced by Prime Minister Cameron.

The sharing of hash lists of child sexual abuse images has been welcomed by other child protection groups, including the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).


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Instagram is working on a new messaging app




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.


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Massive change coming to WhatsApp with introduction of ads




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.


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Facebook Messenger finally adds quoted replies




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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