Instagram’s testing out another way to protect users from unwanted content exposure in the app, this time via DMs, with a new nudity filter that would block likely nudes in your IG Direct messages.
As outlined in this feature overview, uncovered by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, the new ‘nudity protection’ option would enable Instagram to activate the nudity detection element in iOS, released late last year, som scans incoming and outgoing messages on your device to detect potential nudes in attached images.
Where detected, the system can then blur the image, as Instagram notes – which, importantly, means that Instagram, and parent company Meta, would not be downloading and analyzing your emails for this feature, it would all be done on your device.
Of course, that still seems slightly concerning, that your OS is checking your messages, and filtering such based on the content. But Apple has worked to reassure users that it’s also not downloading the actual images, and that this is all done via machine learning and data matching, which doesn’t trace or track the specifics of your personal interactions.
Still, you’d imagine that, somewhere, Apple is keeping tabs on how many images it detects and blurs through this process, and that could mean that it has stats on how many nudes you’re likely being sent. Not that that would mean anything, but it could feel a little intrusive if one day Apple were to report on such.
Either way, the potential safety value may outweigh any such concerns (which are unlikely to ever surface), and it could be another important measure for Instagram, which has been working to implement more protection measures for younger users.
Last October, as part of the Wall Street Journal’s Facebook Files expose, leaked internal documents were published which showed that Meta’s own research points to potential concerns with Instagram and the harmful mental hälsa impacts it can have on teen users.
In response, Meta has rolled out a range of new safety tools and features, including ‘Take a Break’ reminders and updated in-app ‘nudges’, which aim to redirect users away from potentially harmful topics. It’s also expanded its sensitive content defaults for young users, with all account holders under the age of 16 now being put into its most restrictive exposure category.
In combination, these efforts could go a long way in offering important protective measures for teen users, with this additional nude filter set to add to this, and further underlining Instagram’s commitment to safety in this respect.
Because whether you like it or not – whether you understand it or not – nudes are an element of the modern interactive process. Though they’re not always welcome, and this could be a simple, effective means to limit exposure to such.
Parler meddelar att det har avslutat sitt förvärvsavtal med Kanye West
Kanye West will not follow in Elon Musk’s footsteps and buy his own social media platform, with Parler confirming today that it has ended negotiations with West on a possible sale of the app.
In response to numerous media inquiries, Parlement Technologies would like to confirm that the company has mutually agreed with Ye to terminate the intent of sale of Parler. This decision was made in the interest of both parties in mid-November.
— Parler (@parler_app) December 1, 2022
The reasoning behind the decision is not clear, but West has continued to share his controversial opinions in various media opportunities of late, which has resulted in him losing a range of sponsor and partnership deals, and has decimated his net worth.
Axios has rapporterad that West’s financial situation, as a result of these impacts, has played at least some role in the dissolution of the Parler deal.
West originally announced his intention to acquire Parler back in October, saying at the time that he needed to buy his own platform in order to share his unfiltered opinions with the world.
"People had talked about it and mentioned this idea for years, but enough was enough.”
In the weeks leading up to that announcement, West had been suspended from both Instagram and Twitter efter deliberately pushing his limits on both by sharing offensive, anti-Semitic remarks. That then led West to Parler, and with Elon Musk moving to take over at Twitter, West saw an opportunity to also play a part in what he saw as a broader shift towards allowing more free and open speech.
But now, West is moving on – though he will continue with his 2024 Presidential run, apparently.
West has also seemingly pinned his hopes on Musk for a future reformation of social media moderation rules.
I love the first amendment! Long live Ye! I pray to Jesus that Elon is for real…
— ye (@kanyewest) December 1, 2022
At least, I think that’s what this means.
The announcement leaves Parler in a less than certain predicament, as it continues its efforts to develop a more sustainable business model in order to maintain operation as a free speech platform.
In the wake of the Capitol Riots, Parler was almost killed off entirely when both Apple and Google removed the app from their respective stores due its lax moderation policies, which they said had allowed too many posts that encouraged violence and crime. Amazon then also refused to host Parler on its web-hosting service due to repeated violations of its rules.
Parler was eventually able to save itself by rolling out additional moderation rules, in alignment with the requirements of each platform, which subsequently caused a level of angst among its core user base. Parler has since been found to be censoring certain posts, and removing certain users, which has prompted further criticism of the app, and with Elon taking over at Twitter, and promising a more open approach to what can be shared via tweet, it seems like Parler’s days could indeed be numbered, especially if Musk is able to implement a significant change in Twitter’s approach.
Which will also be challenging. Just as Parler had to change its moderation approach in line with app store policies, Twitter will also have to maintain its processes on the same, which could impede Musk’s push to enable more free and open speech in the app.
Elon’s looking to challenge this, but again, there will always be a level of moderation required, which will likely always exceed what free speech advocates would prefer, given evolving rules in Europe and other regions.
And for Kanye, it seems like his ambitions for owning his own social platform are now shelved, at least for the time being.
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