Facebook joined YouTube, Twitter and payment service Venmo on Wednesday in demanding that a facial recognition company stop harvesting user images to identify the people in them, which the startup does as part of its work with police.
Facebook said it has demanded New York-based Clearview AI stop accessing or using information from its flagship site and Instagram.
"Scraping people's information violates our policies," a company spokesman said.
Clearview has drawn scrutiny following investigative reports in January by the New York Times and Buzzfeed detailing its work with law enforcement agencies and its practice of scraping social media and other internet platforms for images.
Venmo on Wednesday said it is sending Clearview a cease-and-desist letter.
"Scraping Venmo is a violation of our terms of service and we actively work to limit and block activity that violates these policies," said Venmo spokesman Justin Higgs, who said the Paypal-owned mobile payment service is in the process of sending the letter.
Google-owned video service YouTube sent a similar letter to Clearview on Tuesday.
"YouTube's Terms of Service explicitly forbid collecting data that can be used to identify a person," YouTube spokesman Alex Joseph said in a statement Wednesday. "Clearview has publicly admitted to doing exactly that, and in response we sent them a cease and desist letter."
Clearview CEO Hoan Ton-That told CBS in an interview that it has a First Amendment right to the roughly 3 billion images it has collected.
"The way we have built our system is to only take publicly available information and index it that way," he told CBS.
He also said the technology is only used by law enforcement to identify potential criminals.
CBS was first to report the YouTube letter Wednesday. Twitter sent a similar letter in January and ordered Clearview to delete all the data it has collected from Twitter, including anything already shared with third parties. Microsoft-owned LinkedIn said Wednesday it is also looking into it and will take "appropriate action" if Clearview violated its terms.
Clearview attorney Tor Ekeland said in a statement Wednesday that the company's technology "operates much in the same way as Google's search engine."
Do you have a passion for writing? Or do creative writing ideas thistle in your mind as the flowers bloom in spring? If it happens, then why don’t you turn out your writing forte into a stable income-generating source? Though blogging was taken as a hobby even a few years ago, nowadays money blogging is considered an effective way to make money online. In this wake, many bloggers/writers as well as entrepreneurs are taking money blogging as a full-time/part-time profession. To make money from a blog, first, you have to build a blog with earning potential. Next, you need to monetize your blog. Money blogging requires passion, perseverance, skills, and planning. Stay with us to learn how to make money from blogging in 2020.
If you want to work freely as a writer, but you hate looking for jobs in the online freelancing market places, then blogging is your cup of tea. If you want to make money from a blog, treat it as a business. When you take blogging as a profession, it is wise to start with some investment depending on your financial capacity, vision, content marketing plan, etc. The investment behind your blog may start as low as $10 (domain price). Unlike freelancing, money blogging requires a viable blog business plan.
First, make a budget for your blog. The blog financials must include essential costs like logo design, domain and hosting charge, cost of blog-theme and plug-ins, monthly internet fee, etc. Your blog budget should also include branding/advertisement costs depending on your marketing strategies – online and/or offline. Next, decide how much can you invest in terms of money and time. Finally, calculate the return on investment (ROI) of your money blog.
Picture Courtesy: Blogging Wizard
Creating a blog doesn’t require huge technical skills. If you have little/zero programming knowledge, still you can build a money blog. In this section, we are going to discuss how to create a blog for earning money, even if you are a non-technical person.
The first step to create a blog is choosing a potential niche for making good money. However, if you prioritize the monetization fact before your passion or skills, you may end up with a lack of interest soon. It is always recommended by the experts to pick a niche you are comfortable with. For instance, if you have a passion for gardening, you can start a blog on the Gardening Tool niche. If you like your niche, blogging would feel like entertainment instead of stress.
Certainly, native writers are ‘Pro’ in writing blogs. But as a non-native writer, you still have the opportunity to write quality blog posts, if you can level up your writing skills. The best way to upgrade your current level of writing skills is to read and write. The more you practice, the more you can learn the language and express your thoughts in terms of words in a more powerful way.
In addition to this, you need to increase your level of knowledge regarding your niche to write informative blog-posts for the readers. For this quest, you must read niche related books and quality blog posts to continue research online/offline.
You can also take free/paid courses online/offline, where instructors can offer you guidelines on effective techniques for creative writing. If you have enough budgets for content under your Blog Business Plan, you can hire a pool of quality writers, who will write for your blog as per your requirement.
You can create a blog within a few minutes with zero programming skills and without spending a penny. Can you believe it? Yes, several platforms, like blogger.com or wordpress.com offer you this golden opportunity to create a blog free of cost. You can open a blog within a few minutes without any technical skills. However, free blogging platforms have some limitations like limited hosting space, a limited number of themes, lack of plug-ins, etc.
To create a blog you can choose a CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress, or Drupal. These popular CMS platforms offer a bunch of free themes and plugins. You can install any of these themes and plugins in your blog spending without a penny. However, free themes and plugins come with limitations. So it would be wise to install a paid theme on your money blog depending on your niche. You can purchase an appropriate theme from reputed market places like themeforest.net. You can also hire a designer to make a customized money blog complying with your specific needs.
Web Traffic is the visitor/audience to your blog. Your blog will earn money when an audience clicks on any ad. In other words, visitors are the goldmine to whom you are going to sell your product/service. It won’t be overwhelming to say that traffic serves as the blood flow for any blog.
To make money, you have to attract visitors to your blog. You need to discern from which sources you can pull out the audience. When your blog gets traffic from any search engine like Google, it is called organic traffic. It is totally free of cost.
On the other hand, if you run paid campaigns or paid advertisements in Google or social media to pull traffic to your blog, it falls under paid traffic source. The cost of posting Ads/campaigns in Google/Facebook depends upon the competition of that specific keyword/phrase for which you want to pull traffic from Google/Facebook. Therefore, depending on your Blog Business Plan, you can choose organic and/or paid sources.
When an individual puts a query (keyword) on the search box of any search engine, the search engine result pages (SERP) presents a number of relevant results based on its algorithm. If your blog-post gets a position in the first page of a search engine for any specific keyword (query), it can pull huge traffic organically. As Google is the number one search engine today, you need to work for making your blog-posts visible on the Google SERP.
You have to apply SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Techniques for the blog as well as blog-posts to get ranking in the Google SERP. You can either learn SEO expert or hire an SEO expert for doing SEO for your blog.
Besides organic and paid methods, there are some other sources to bring readers to your blog. For instance, you can ask visitors to your blog to subscribe through email. When you can build the email list successfully, send emails to the subscribers regarding your latest post, products, and/or services. You can learn email marketing techniques. You can also use free/paid software for email marketing. If your Blog Budget Plan allows, hire an email marketing expert, who can do this job professionally.
Picture Courtesy: EyeSwift
When you have prepared your blog with enough content maintaining standard and quality, you can advance towards money blogging. There are several ways to make money from a blog. You can opt for one or more ways considering the niche of your blog.
The most popular way to make money from a blog is by applying Ad Networks. First, you need to submit your blog to a specific Ad Network. If your blog gets approval, then you have to insert Ad code following the specific instruction of the respective Ad network. After successful insertion of Ad code inside the blog, Ads would automatically appear within your blog-posts depending on the content topic, user interest, availability of offers/promotions, etc.
Ad Networks pay in different ways, like PPC (Pay Per Click), CPC (Cost Per Click), and PPV (Pay Per View). Now Google AdSense is the biggest Ad Network. However, approving a new blog for Google AdSense is getting tougher day by day due to several issues, like strict quality control, huge competition worldwide, etc. If you are a new blogger, you can try some other Ad Networks like Commission Junction, Infolinks, media.net, mediavine, AdThrive, Ezoic, Propeller Ads, Revenue Hits, etc.
Affiliate Marketing is continuously getting popular among the money-bloggers to make handsome amount per month. You can write a review of a certain product and put the selling link inside your review article. The visitors can read the review and purchase that product by navigating through the link.
Nowadays, many famous e-commerce websites, like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, etc. are offering affiliate programs. You have to apply to an affiliate program and submit the required information regarding your blog. If your blog gets approved, you can insert affiliate links into your blog-posts.
Today most of the reputed companies maintain a blog to serve their customers. If you own a local business, you can start a blog on that niche. You can write posts to help the readers. If you can gain authority, the audience will trust you. Then you can advertise your own products to your audience. Using the blog you can sell products online or promote the physical locations of your stores to the audience.
If your blog can build authority for its niche and gain around 500 page views per day, you can write sponsored reviews. For writing such reviews the writer must have enough knowledge, skills as well a forte in writing. While writing sponsored product reviews, you must preserve your readers’ interest; otherwise, you may irritate your valuable subscribers.
Several websites, like Tomoson, Famebit, Revcontent, Izea Pay per post, etc. offer opportunities for paid reviews or sponsored content. If your blog has considerable traffic and page views, you can contact your niche related brands for writing sponsored reviews of their products/services on your blog and earn good money.
Selling eBooks is another great source to make money from a blog. For instance, if you are a food blogger, you can sell eBooks regarding diet plans, weight loss tricks, etc. When you have enough skills/knowledge regarding your niche, you can start writing an eBook. However, if your Blog Business Plan permits, hire a writer/expert to write the eBook as per your requirement.
The pro-level bloggers who have considerable expertise in a specific niche can sell online courses. If you own a blog under the digital marketing niche, you can offer some online courses regarding Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques, Affiliate Marketing, Email Marketing, etc. In your money blog, you can also sell other kinds of digital products like Apps, plugins, themes, music, etc.
Do you have any specific skills like graphic design, writing, programming, or photography? You can sell your skills through your money blog. You can also sell physical services like Home Shifting Aid, or Auto Repairing service, etc. You can find your clients from organic sources like Google SERP. You can also opt for paid ads in Google or Social Media to attract potential clients under your service area.
If your blog gets enough traffic and page views per month, you can directly contact the advertisers for selling space of your blog for placing advertisements. For instance, if you own a blog in the bicycle niche, you can sell ad space to bicycle manufacturing companies. To attract advertisers, the design of your blog should be user-friendly, so that users can easily navigate into it.
Picture Courtesy: YourStory
Blogging is a passion for many. To some, it is a hobby. If you want to turn your passion for blogging into a profession, work for money blogging. Blogging is a multitasking job. As a blog owner, you have to play the role of CEO, manager, worker, and several other roles at the same time. To make a stable income from a blog you need to follow a systemic process. First pick a profitable niche regarding your interest, forte, or local business. Then you have to prepare a viable Blog Business Plan, including whether/how much you can invest, source of traffic, CMS platform, earning methods, etc.
To build the blog you can utilize free/paid themes and plugins, depending on your budget. When you have prepared the blog, choose the best suitable earning method for your blog. You can make money through AdSense, affiliate marketing, selling digital products like ebooks or online courses, etc. On the whole, to build your blog as a long-term earning source, increase the value of content, and make your blog a resource for your valuable readers.
Facebook says it's working to limit the spread of misinformation and potentially harmful content about the coronavirus as bogus claims about the ongoing outbreak circulate online.
Kang-Xing Jin, Facebook's head of health, announced that the social media platform will begin removing posts that include false claims or conspiracy theories about the virus that have been flagged by health authorities. The company said it will focus on posts that discourage people from getting medical treatment, or that make potentially dangerous claims about cures.
The company will also limit the spread of posts debunked by its third-party fact checkers, and send users who shared the post a notification.
Users who search for information on the virus on Facebook, or who click on certain related hashtags on Instagram, will receive a pop-up providing authoritative information on the virus. In addition, information about the outbreak will also appear at the top of Facebook users' news feeds based on guidance from the World Health Organization.
"We will also block or restrict hashtags used to spread misinformation on Instagram, and are conducting proactive sweeps to find and remove as much of this content as we can," Jin wrote in a post. "Not all of these steps are fully in place. It will take some time to roll them out across our platforms.
Since the outbreak began a number of misleading claims and hoaxes about the virus have circulated online. They include false conspiracy theories that the virus was created in a lab and that vaccines have already been manufactured, wildly exaggerations about the number of sick and dead, and potentially harmful claims about bogus cures.
The coronavirus has now infected more than 9,800 people around the world, based on numbers released Friday. Some 213 deaths have been reported in China, with most of the deaths in the central province of Hubei. The number of cases grew in Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan and Germany on Friday, while Russia, Italy and England reported their first cases.
The first person-to-person transmission of the virus in the U.S. was announced Thursday in Chicago. The U.S. declared a public health emergency on Friday, as the nation's seventh case was identified.
Other internet companies have announced their own efforts to stem the flow of misinformation about the disease.
Twitter users who search for information about coronavirus are now given a link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website on coronavirus. YouTube and Google, meanwhile, say they're promoting authoritative information about the virus to the top of search results.
Google also announced that users who search for information on the virus will see an "SOS Alert" at the top of their screen giving them links to the World Health Organization's references on the outbreak.
Facebook had a strong fourth quarter, making more money on advertising and adding more users despite challenges around regulation, privacy and efforts to fight election interference.
Its profit and revenue both handily surpassed Wall Street's expectations.
The company also said it settled a lawsuit filed in 2015 over its facial recognition practices and will pay $550 million as a result. The suit alleged Facebook violated Illinois privacy regulations with a feature that suggested to users other people to tag in their photos. Facebook replaced the tag suggestion tool with a broader facial recognition setting last year.
Facebook said that about 2.89 billion people use at least one of its services — Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram or Messenger — each month. About 2.26 billion people use at least one every day. The Menlo Park, California, company said its main service had 2.5 billion monthly users at the end of the year, up 8% from a year earlier.
"This is a company that has shown that it can withstand ongoing criticism of its practices and yet still pull out gains in both revenue and users," said eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson.
Facebook is under growing regulatory scrutiny around the world. In the U.S., it faces several government investigations for alleged anti-competitive behavior. Last August, it was fined $5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations, the largest FTC fine ever for a tech company.
Amid ongoing criticism about how Facebook handles the private data of its users, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the company was shifting course for a more "privacy-focused" future. This includes emphasizing small-group and private communication, though details are still scant.
It's not clear if this privacy focus will mean anything for how ads on Facebook are targeted, which has always been among the chief concerns for privacy advocates.
And Facebook continues to face challenges over election interference. After Russian actors used social media platforms like Facebook to interfere in the 2016 U.S. elections, the companies have tried to clamp down on fake accounts, misinformation and other forms of misuse. This Election Day will be a test of whether they've done enough.
In reporting fourth-quarter results Wednesday, Facebook said it earned $7.35 billion, or $2.56 per share, up 7% from $6.88 billion, or $2.38 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 25% to $21.1 billion from $16.9 billion, the bulk of that from ads. Analysts were expecting earnings of $2.52 per share and revenue of $20.9 billion, according to FactSet.
Facebook's stock dropped more than 6% in after-hours trading after the results came out. Some investors may be concerned about the company's growing expenses, while others could simply be cashing out following a record high for the stock earlier in the day.
China says its diplomats and government officials will fully exploit foreign social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter that are blocked off to its own citizens.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Monday likened the government to "diplomatic agencies and diplomats of other countries" in embracing such platforms to provide "better communication with the people outside and to better introduce China's situation and policies."
Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have tried for years without success to be allowed into the lucrative Chinese market, where Beijing has helped create politically reliable analogues such as Weichat and Weibo. Their content is carefully monitored by the companies and by government censors.
Despite that, Geng said China is "willing to strengthen communication with the outside world through social media such as Twitter to enhance mutual understanding." He also insisted that the Chinese internet remained open and said the country has the largest number of users of any nation, adding, "we have always managed the internet in accordance with laws and regulations."
The canny use of social media by pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong has further deepened China's concern over the use of such platforms, prompting further crackdowns on the mainland, including on the use of virtual private networks.