Social Media Rundown: Facebook Research (er, Spy) App; EU: Combat Fake News, or Else; YouTube Cracks down on Toxic Videos

As usual, there’s plenty of negative Facebook news this week. Also in the news section, YouTube takes measures to crack down on toxic videos. And the biggest news might be the Chart of the Week showing that Instagram Stories now has 500 million daily active users; that’s way more than Snapchat.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook Pays Teenagers $20 a Month to Monitor What They Do Online (Vice News). Facebook bought access to teenagers’ and young adults’ data by paying them to install an app that reveals everything they do online, paying up to $20 a month for installation of the Facebook Research App. Seems totally ethical. Axios has more insight into this news. And in related news, Facebook shares shot up after strong Q4 earnings despite numerous data scandals.
  • Google, Facebook, Twitter Must Do More Against Fake News: EU (Reuters). Failure to do more to combat fake news and disinformation in the run-up to European elections could mean the companies will face regulatory action, the European Commission said.
  • Facebook Roadblocks ProPublica’s Ad Transparency Tool (Nieman Lab). ProPublica collected 100,000 Facebook ads — and to whom they were targeted — through a browser extension installed by 16,000 volunteers. Its reporters used the tool to report on the targeting strategies of politicians and political groups, misleading tactics, and the fact that Facebook’s ad archive kept missing the very ads it was supposed to openly store. Meanwhile, the company is giving some power back to its users — but very slowly.
  • YouTube Will Crack down on Toxic Videos, but It Won’t Be Easy (Wired). The video-sharing platform plans to reduce the spread of toxic videos by limiting how often they appear in users’ recommendations. I’m not holding my breath.

Learn:

Chart of the Week:

Facebook Plans New Products as Instagram Stories Hits 500m Users/Day (TechCrunch). Roughly half of Instagram’s 1 billion users now use Instagram Stories every day. By the way, Snapchat is on the decline and now has about 186 million daily active users.

Instagram Stories has left Snapchat in the dust.
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