Facebook Issued Notice by DCW Over Online Rape Threats to Gurmehar Kaur

Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal on Tuesday issued notice to Facebook seeking details to identify those who issued rape threats to Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur.

Facebook Issued Notice by DCW Over Online Rape Threats to Gurmehar Kaur

In the notice, Maliwal wrote that Kaur was subjected to “extreme abuse and rape threats” on her Facebook profile.

“The Commission is in receipt of a complaint from her which is self-explanatory and contains relevant screen shots of rape threats and abuse as evidence,” the notice read.

“The Commission is of the view that urgent action needs to be taken against the abusers by Facebook and their social media accounts need to be deactivated immediately.”

Maliwal added that an FIR has already been registered in the matter by Delhi Police after intervention by the DCW.

The DCW also asked the social media site to provide complete contact details, IP addresses and any other information available with it which will help identify the abusers.

Daughter of an army officer killed in the Kargil war, the Lady Shri Ram College student received rape and death threats on social media after launching an online campaign against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

Facebook Messenger Testing New Chat UI, Virtual Assistant ‘M’ Integration

Facebook is testing new features in its Messenger app for Android including a revamped UI and the integration of its previously announced ‘M’ assistant. These features were seen on the beta version of Facebook Messenger, and may arrive in the stable version soon.

Facebook Messenger Testing New Chat UI, Virtual Assistant 'M' Integration

Android Police first spotted these changes on Facebook Messenger beta version, and the most significant change was the revamped chat UI. Facebook has tried to reduce cluster, and has made all the UI elements fit into one row, instead of the earlier seen two rows. The plus sign seen in the screenshot below now has all the additional ‘less needed’ functions like setting a reminder or playing games.

Photo Credit: Android Police
The text bar where you usually tapped to start typing a text has now been reduced to a capsule to fit other elements in one row. This new UI reduces cluster, but increases taps to get things done like sending GIFs, emojis, or stickers. However, the UI is more organised than seen in the previous version.

Messenger has also added a notification toggle for app updates, and you can switch it off if you don’t wish to be notified every time your Messenger apps gets updated. There’s also a new ‘Links Open Externally’ toggle that lets you choose whether or not you want to use the in-app browser or stick to your preferred one.

Coming to ‘M’ virtual assistant integration, it has surely arrived in the beta version of Android after being announced in August last year, but doesn’t work as promised. The ‘M’ virtual assistant doesn’t do tasks for the user like buying groceries etc, but randomly just shows suggestions of stickers when it sees wishes being exchanged in conversations (that too not all times). But, of course, this is the beta version, so the ‘M’ assistant may be buggy, and the stable release should be able to do much more.

We tried accessing the updated UI in the Facebook Messenger beta version, but did not see it. The testing appears to be limited to select users.

Instagram Gets Stickers for Stories, Hands-Free Video Recording

Instagram has rolled out two more features that allows users to add stickers to posts and capture videos “hands-free”.

Instagram Gets Stickers for Stories, Hands-Free Video RecordingAccording to a report in the Next Web on Tuesday, users can now add stickers to videos and photo stories through a sticker button that shows up next to the drawing tool.

The feature includes specific stickers for the weather, current time and location and there are a bunch of holiday stickers like Christmas, Hannukah and all.

Instagram has also added a “hands-free” for video recording. Now the users do not have to hold down the video button to record a video anymore.

“Just tap once to start, and tap again to finish – like your regular camera app already does,” the report noted.
With the new addition, users can also add more text to their photos and videos by tapping the text button to keep on adding more instances.

With the help of a slider that appears in the Instagram, users can adjust the text size too, including automatic text wrap so that it is not chopped off the sides of screen.
iOS users can also save their entire story from the past 24 hours as a single video.

The features are available on the latest versions of Instagram (10.3) for iOS and Android.

Twitter adds more personalized follow recommendations to its apps

Twitter is trying to fix its discovery problem — again.

The company is adding a new section to its iOS and Android app that will provide users with personalized recommendations for accounts they should follow.

Additionally, the update also allows you to sync Twitter with your contact list so you can get notifications when people you know sign up.

Writing in a blog post Tuesday, “finding new accounts to follow used to require jumping through a few hoops and a dash of luck,” Twitter seems to be hoping the update will help address the network’s oft-cited discoverability problem. New users often have a difficult time finding relevant accounts to follow, which has been making it hard for the network to attract and hang onto new users, critics say.

Though the Connect tab hardly seems a big enough change to silence Twitter’s more vocal critics, it’s certainly an improvement over the previous “find people” section and the recommendations do seem to be a bit more relevant.

The update appears in the top left corner of the app, where the “find people” tab has been renamed to “Connect.” The Connect tab (not to be confused with the notifications tab that was previously called connect) now provides much more robust follow suggestions than previous versions of the app.

The section takes factors like who you’re already following and your previous activity into account in making its recommendations. It also explains why it’s making each suggestion. Twitter says it expects these recommendations to improve over time as it tweaks its method.

10 Facebook Live stars you need to follow now

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First there was YouTube stars, then came Vine fame. Now, the new wave of Internet-born celebrity is by way of Facebook Live.

While a lot of big brands and publishers are focused on creating content for Facebook’s livestreaming platform, some of the best broadcasts we’ve seen are made by regular people.

Whether it’s a lifestyle blogger sharing style tips or a World Champion bodyboarder taking you inside waves in real time, Facebook Live is emerging as the hot new platform for users to show what’s happening in their world. We’ve seen some pretty important broadcasts around job training workshops and events for Syrian refugees, too.

Let’s take a look at some of the most compelling Facebook Live storytellers headed toward web-celeb fame:

1. Liz Cook, tattoo artist

There’s something mesmerizing about watching Dallas-based tattoo artist Liz Cook, 33, ink customers in real time on Facebook Live. With more than 1 million followers, it’s impossible not to be entranced by her live tattooing sessions, which range in creativity from an intricate lion to a portrait of Marilyn Monroe. Her Facebook Live videos bring in tens of thousands of views each time.

2. Barkbox, pet goods company

Who doesn’t want to take a break from the workday to watch some adorable pups? The small pet goods e-commerce startup puts dogs in the spotlight as a part of a larger effort to get them adopted. While Barkbox teams up with local shelters to introduce them to its Facebook followers, the real stars, of course, are the dogs themselves — like this 11-week old puppy named Luc playing with tennis balls in the video above.

3. Brian Barczyk, Venom Hunter

Brian Barcyzyk isn’t exactly a nobody — you may recognize him from Discovery Channel’s show Venom Hunters. His job is to find, capture and extract venom from all types of snake species. Once a week, he’ll take you behind the scenes of his fascinating work on Facebook Live. You’ll squirm, you’ll gasp, you won’t want to look away.

4. Kara Andretta, baking blogger

Baking blogger Kara Andretta goes live on her Kara’s Couture Cakes Facebook page to walk fans through creative baking recipes and tutorials. She teases upcoming “bake along” broadcasts too, so you can make pastries and cakes with her in real time. She’s as charming as the food looks delicious.

5. Jordan Roth, Broadway producer

We can only assume the life of a Broadway producer is pretty fabulous, and Jordan Rothproves this theory correct. Roth is the president and majority owner of Jujamcyn Theaters, which presents some of the most popular musicals and plays on Broadway right now, including The Book of Mormon, Jersey Boys and Kinky Boots. You never quite know what to expect from his broadcasts: he takes you to VIP-only spots that often feature surprise cameos and musical performances.

6. Melissa and Lavanya Jawaharlal, robotics company founders

Learning to code is one of the biggest trends in tech, and startup founders Melissa and Lavanya Jawaharlal want to help. The duo behind Stem Center USA, a robotics company that teaches kids to code, were most recently featured (and funded) on Shark Tank. But to bring more attention to the brand, the Jawaharials use Facebook Live to teach people how to code, program and work with their students at their Claremont, Calif-based creativity center.

7. Holly Homer, family lifestyle blogger

Full-time blogger Holly Homer runs Kids Activities Blog and the Quirky Momma Facebook page, which has a dedicated fan base of more than 2.4 million followers. Homer discusses a variety of parenting topics (like how to keep hair healthy after giving birth), DIY crafting tips from guests (as seen above) and answers questions from viewers.

8. Val Castor, storm chaser

Oklahoma-based newscaster Val Castor from local news station News9 takes his wife — and Facebook followers — on storm chases. The footage is fascinating (and terrifying), and his play-by-play of what you’re seeing keeps you on the edge of your seat. Castor isn’t the only storm chaser gaining traction on Facebook Live: James Spann, a scientist and meteorologist in Alabama, brings his followers weather updates from the South ahead of big storms.

9. Lee Jeffries, performance artist

Lee Jeffries is a performance artist known for his hula hoops routines. While his reach isn’t as large as some of the other Facebook Live users on this list, he gives hula-hooping tutorials and preps for workshops he holds around the country. If you need a breather, there’s nothing like a little hula hoop choreography set to pop songs to add to your day.

10. Mike Stewart, bodyboarding champion

It’s not everyday you can go bodyboarding in real time from the comforts of your computer chair. 51-year-old Mike Stewart, a nine-time World Champion bodyboarder, takes you inside the waves from competitions. His broadcasts are invigorating, but you can’t help but feel exhausted after he takes you along for a ride. Most recently, he did a Facebook Live broadcast at Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii — a competition he’s won 11 times.

Facebook just changed its Android app in a huge way

In early April, Facebook announced a very significant change to its mobile apps: A Facebook Live tab was to take center place in the app, pushing the Messenger button aside. The tab would offer a dedicated place for users to find live videos — but even though a month has passed since the initial announcement, very few people have seen the feature in the flesh.

Until now, that is. My Facebook app on Android just received the update, and after playing with it for half an hour, I can tell you that this will significantly change the way we use Facebook.

First of all, the Facebook Live button has arguably the most prominent position in the app’s top interface: dead center. As you can see in the screenshot below, my Messenger icon is now above and to the right of the main interface, while the Facebook Live button is nested between friend requests and feed updates.

Clicking on the button leads me to a never-ending, scrollable list of videos, sporting a very visual look that’s unlike anything else on the Facebook Android app.

Even the top menu and the search bar turn dark to make the video viewing experience more enjoyable.

The videos on the list seem to be a mix between Facebook’s guess of your preferences, and whatever is popular now, or has been popular in the last 24 hours. The videos autoplay as you scroll (and, thankfully, auto stop when you keep on scrolling).

Clicking on a live video lets you comment and react right there in a “live” environment, with other folks’ comments whizzing by; if it’s a recorded video, you can comment or react as if you would a standard Facebook post.

Finally, clicking on “Guide” on the top right gives you a list of topics, including World News, TV & Movies, Funny, Politics, Arts & Culture, Health & Fitness, Food, Science & Tech and the like.

By clicking the “+” on the topics, you add them to your preferences, and Facebook will show more of those videos in your Live feed. You can also click on the topics themselves for (presumably) a list of videos, but none of the topics I clicked contained anything except for a “No videos available yet” message.

While I’ll definitely need more time to test out the feature, it’s obvious to me that this is one of the biggest changes in Facebook’s history.

Live video is no longer an afterthought; it’s the central part of the experience.

 

Facebook continues Southeast Asia march with new Malaysia office

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Just two weeks from its Philippines office opening, Facebook has launched another office in Malaysia.

Facebook’s Asia-Pacific vice president, Dan Neary, announced the opening Wednesday.

He said the company counts 18 million Malaysians as active users, which makes up 81% of the country’s Internet base.

Facebook said 94% of its 12 million daily users access the social network via mobile phones.

Malaysians are also a social bunch. They have 60% more friends than the global average number on Facebook, and as a country are ranked 10th in the world for having the most friends.

Like the other offices that Facebook has set up in Southeast Asia, its Malaysia office will be focused on reaching out to businesses in the country, as more start to connect with customers via their Facebook pages.

Meet the IRL Romeo and Juliet who met via Snapchat Story

“I was so nervous. I knew so many people were watching.”

Reed Bjork felt anxious as he walked toward The KK, a popular college bar near the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He was about to meet a pretty young woman for the first time — and a bunch of Snapchat strangers were there to witness it.

Within 24 hours, their romance unfolded on UW’s campus Snap Story, capturing the attention of the student body. In subsequent days, the story of how they met went Internet viral. The YouTube video montage had more than 1.3 million views at the time of writing.

Last Thursday morning, Bjork, 22, learned he had an admirer. Abby Diamond, also 22 and a UW student, had posted a simple plea to the local campus story on Snapchat around 11 a.m.: “To the guy wearing the Vikings jersey in the UW Snap Story, I’m seriously in love with you. Find me.”

When Bjork’s friend told him to check the Story, he was intrigued and attracted: “To the girl from Memorial Library. It looks like they took down my first Snap. That’s ok, if it’s fate maybe they’ll post this one. Meet me here.”

“She’s really pretty! Why not? There’s no harm,” Bjork tells Mashable he thought at the time. He was flattered.

But Diamond, never imagining her mystery guy would see her Snap or even respond, missed his invitation.

When she did see his response, she felt relieved. “I was thrilled because then I didn’t look desperate.” She asked her roommate what to say next, then took down her hair, changed her clothes and played a “cat and mouse game.” She put the ball back in his court. Eventually, they settled on The KK as a place to meet.

Each of their attempts to connect was posted on UW’s Snapchat Story. Other students caught on and the momentum built; people posted their support for the “fated” couple and dropped helpful hints in the process. Someone even created custom Snapchat geofilters in support of the couple.

“Updating my Snapchat every 30 seconds, rooting for you guys!” users crooned. Everyone hoped for a romantic rom-com ending to a simple social media post.

Eventually, Diamond and Bjork ended up meeting at The KK around 1:30 a.m., despite the latter’s nerves. A crowd of people hovered at the bar, essentially pushing the two together for a hug — while capturing it all on Snapchat.

Their romance wouldn’t have happened without the support of their campus, which Bjork calls “close-knit” and “super friendly.”

“I think it’s because we were complete strangers,” Diamond says now, via phone interview. “It was kind of like Romeo and Juliet…They were rooting for us to get together.”

Diamond and Bjork have been “hanging out” since Thursday, mainly studying and taking a few media interviews.

“‘School before anything else,'” says Diamond’s mom, according to Diamond. “She’s happy but just a little worried [of the fame].”

Their friends, on the other hand, are psyched. Besides people recognizing them on the street and asking for autographs, dozens of friends are texting, sharing articles and questions to their Facebook profiles, letting them know Snapchat posted their Story all the way in New York. “‘I need updates!’ ‘What’s happening now?’ ‘Have you hung out?’ ‘Have you guys clicked?’ ‘Do you have anything in common?'” they ask.

The couple hasn’t even had their first date.

“When this starts dying down, we’ll start going on dates then,” says Diamond, who graduates in two weeks with a degree in zoology. Bjork will graduate in December with a biomedical engineering degree. Both plan to stay in town this summer. Both are considering med school.

But via phone, one can sense a little early flirtation.

“I was trying to be funny,” says Diamond now, of making the first move. “I think it kind of paid off…”

“I thought it was funny,” Bjork laughs sweetly.

“OK, good!”

 

This living mural proposal will make you do a double take

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This is one surreal proposal.

San Francisco artist Alexa Meade uses people as human canvasses to create stunning pop art paintings that look like moving murals, and one recent photo shoot proved especially eye-popping when it concluded in a real-life proposal.

Longtime couple Cristina Cordova and Daniel Levine were painted by Meade for a shoot in San Francisco’s Balmy Alley on April 24, Meade wrote on her Facebook, at the end of which Levine proposed to Cordova.

Meade captured the surprise proposal on video and posted the sweet moment on Facebook.

In the optical illusion of a video, a black-and-white painted Levine is able to find the perfect moment to kneel down with a ring while an unsuspecting Cordova looks the other way.

Once Cordova catches on to what’s happening, her response is just as picture-perfect: She said yes.

Aaron Moorehead and Laremy Tunsil: Football fandom in the age of online spectacle

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The sports world was treated to a meltdown in real time Wednesday night, a toxic brew of schadenfreude and absurdity that’s also an apparent first for college football. Pull up a seat — they’re all front row in this digital arena — as a man becomes undone.

This is the ballad of Aaron Moorehead, who never should have tweeted at all. His folly is just the latest example of football’s most absurd spectacles being further twisted by social media drama.

Moorehead, who won a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts, is now the wide receivers coach at Texas A&M. The Aggies had secured a verbal commitment from Tate Martell, one of the top high school quarterback prospects in America. But Martell announced late Wednesday night that he was re-opening his recruitment and intended to pick a new school for his college football career.

Moorehead’s reaction was not cool, calm and collected. Rather, he went off, deciding to fire up the ol’ Twitter application and release his boiling rage into the digital void.

The rash decision would have disastrous consequences for Texas A&M — and make Moorehead a laughingstock in the process.

“Scared for this next group of kids,” Moorehead wrote in a tweet that he later deleted. “There is no accountability and no sense of positivity when it comes to adversity. #selfish #allaboutme”

He didn’t stop there. Here’s another since-deleted tweet.

Then Moorehead tried to walk his rant back slightly, claiming that everyone had misinterpreted his meaning. Too late. (These next two tweets have since been deleted, too.)

Moorehead did not have whatever impact he looking to make: Mannie Netherly, a highly-touted wide receiver prospect, immediately announced via Twitter that he too was reopening his recruitment after previously committing to Texas A&M.

Netherly left no doubt about the reason behind his change of heart. He blamed it squarely on Moorehead’s outburst.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Netherly even added multiple emoji exclamation points for emphasis. Damn. You know he’s serious.

But we haven’t even accounted for all of Moorehead’s self-inflicted damage yet.

Tyjon Lindsey is another blue-chip wide receiver prospect. He’s also reportedly close with Martell, the quarterback whose de-commitment sparked Moorehead’s meltdown in the first place. Lindsey had been considering Texas A&M, among other schools — but said that changed Wednesday night.

“I would like to say thank you to TAMU & fans but due to some tweets subtweeted towards my brother, I will no longer be looking at A&M,” Lindsey wrote in a tweet that has since been deleted.

So, to recap: High school athletes change their minds sometimes. That’s what happened with Martell. But Moorehead’s deranged reaction ended up costing the Aggies another previously committed recruit, as well as their shot at a third stud prospect.

Nice job, coach!

The Internet, no surprise, was merciless in drawing every ounce of derisive joy from Wednesday night’s events. Wikipedia, for example, identified him as Texas A&M’s “subtweeting coordinator” as of Thursday morning.

Some speculated Moorehead would be fired for his meltdown, but that didn’t seem to be the case Thursday. Moorehead returned to Twitter to post an apologetic message, writing “I need to do better & I will.”

Let’s step back for a second, though.

This whole thing is extremely odd on a great many levels.

Most of all, it’s weird that the college football sub-sport of recruiting — a process in which grown men woo teenage boys with sweet nothings and promises of glory — has become such a spectacle. We were all sitting there staring at our own backlit screens, gleefully reacting with each successive cringeworthy tweet from Moorehead. (This fascination with recruiting certainly didn’t begin this week as coverage of Martell’s short-lived commitment to University of Washington as a 14-year-old in 2012 shows.)

Such is the modern cycle of 24/7 sports #content, for better or worse. Simple games and backstories are not enough. Everything is spectacle, including previously minor events like college football recruiting and the NFL Draft.

The NFL Draft now sprawls into an marathon affair that runs from Thursday through Saturday. Fans are delivered breathless reports on proposed trades, mulled offers, prospects on the rise and those whose stock is falling. Players get drafted, then walk across a stage and pull on a hat repping their new team. Analysts bloviate. For three days! It’s the epitome of what the bloated sports-content industrial complex has become.

This year’s NFL Draft, held April 28-30, delivered its own twisted take on the symbiotic relationship between social media and sports spectacle. But this is an even darker tale than Moorehead’s.

Laremy Tunsil’s mistake cost him millions of dollars.

Tunsil is a 6-foot-5, 305-pound absolute beast of an offensive lineman from the University of Mississippi. Many prognosticators had him going in the top five picks of Thursday’s first round.

Then something astonishing happened: Less than half an hour before the draft officially began, Tunsil’s Twitter account tweeted out a short video that appeared to show Tunsil smoking marijuana out of a bong that was connected to a gas mask, which he was wearing.

It bears repeating: The weed-smoking video came from the NFL prospect’s own account! Minutes before the biggest day of his professional life!

We’ll get to how this is even possible in a second, but more than anything the leak was costly. Tunsil fell from being a probable top-five pick to getting plucked by the Miami Dolphins with the draft’s 13th pick. The tumble cost Tunsil about $8 million.

So what happened? Tunsil’s camp says they are investigating, but it seems clear someone whom Tunsil once trusted used that trust against the football star to sabotage Tunsil on his most important night. A former business manager seems to be the prime suspect, at least for now — but the damage done on draft-night can’t be undone.

In Tunsil’s case, the sports media circus created by cable television and ‘roided out by social media had a dark underbelly. In the case of Aaron Moorehead, it had more comedic overtones, yet cast a stark new light on one of the seedier areas of sports coverage.

In both cases, the rest of us couldn’t look away.