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This story originally appeared on Engadget

Facebook has released a long-awaited civil rights audit that’s bound to ramp up pressure to change policies that allow hate speech and other troubling content to flourish. It revealed that executive decisions by the company caused “significant setbacks for civil rights” and that the site could become an “echo chamber” of extremism if it doesn’t take stronger measures. “The company must recognize that failure to do so can have dangerous (and life-threatening) real-world consequences,” the report states.

Throughout the document, Facebook was faulted for placing free expression above hate speech. It singled out misinformation by Donald Trump around mail-in votes in Nevada and Michigan that could potentially affect the upcoming US elections in November 2020. Despite the false statements, Mark Zuckerberg left the posts as they were.

“Allowing the Trump posts to remain establishes a terrible precedent that may lead other politicians and non-politicians to spread false information about legal voting methods, which would effectively allow the platform to be weaponized to suppress voting,” according to the report. It also found “troubling” Facebook’s decision to allow Trump’s comment “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” to stay up without any content warning, when other platforms like Twitter flagged it.

The report noted that the site doesn’t enable free speech the way Zuckerberg has repeatedly preached that it does. “When it means that powerful politicians do not have to abide by the same rules that everyone else does, a hierarchy of speech is created that privileges certain voices over less powerful voices,” it found.

The Auditors believe that Facebook should do everything in its power to prevent its tools and algorithms from driving people toward self-reinforcing echo chambers of extremism, and that the company must recognize that failure to do so can have dangerous (and lifethreatening) real-world consequences.

The report, led by civil rights leader Laura W. Murphy and the civil rights law firm Relman Colfax, had a number of recommendations. To start with, Facebook needs to apply its rules more consistently and “take steps to address concerns about algorithmic bias or discrimination.” The report also suggested that the site engage more with civil rights leaders, much as ad boycott organizers suggested at recent meetings. Finally, it said Facebook should invest resources to “study and address organized hate,” and prohibit “praise, support and representation of… white nationalism.”

In response to the report, COO Sheryl Sandberg said that Facebook has made some progress, having committed to hiring a civil rights leader to bring “much-needed civil rights expertise in-house.” It also expanded voter suppression policies, announced that it will include a link directing people to a voting information hub and committed to building a more diverse workforce.

However, the company also repeated talking points it has used before. “Facebook stands firmly against hate,” it’s “making progress… but still a long way to go,” and “it is the beginning of the journey, not the end,” Sandberg wrote. The company committed to making some, but not all the changes suggested in the report. Facebook said earlier that it will not “make policy changes tied to revenue pressure.”

Given the tide of advertisers, civil rights leaders, users and now its own audit turning against it, that might not fly anymore, however. “Facebook has what I call an appeasement strategy: Tell us what we need to hear, and Facebook can keep doing whatever they like,” said Free Press co-executive officer Jessica J. Gonzales, who participated in a call with Zuckerberg and Sandberg yesterday. “What they really need is a comprehensive sweep of the site of white supremacists, homophobes, anti-Semites and other hateful groups.”

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The actor, director and all-around force of creative nature on the power of collaboration.

Free Book Preview No BS Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing

The ultimate guide to – producing measurable, monetizable results with social media marketing.


5 min read


There’s no right or wrong way to combat the isolation and anxiety brought on by the times we live in. (Well, OK, we can probably all agree that plowing through a Costco shipment of Oreos in one sitting isn’t the most ideal way.)

But research shows that there are two vital ingredients to maintaining mental health and wellness: human connection and the feeling of doing something positive. And both of these come into play in the process of creating something with other people. A study in the journal Art Therapy found that after just 45 minutes of art-making, participants’ levels of cortisol (a chemical in the body associated with stress) were reduced dramatically.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a star in movies like The Dark Knight Rises, 500 Days of Summer and Inception, has long understood the positive power of creating alongside others, which is why he founded HITRECORD, an open online community for creative collaboration. Since 2004, HITRECORD has been connecting creators — experts and beginners alike — on passion projects. And this month, Joseph is releasing a six-episode miniseries called CREATE TOGETHER, which showcases the outcomes of those connections and the people behind them.

For an upcoming episode of podcast, I spoke with Joseph about CREATE TOGETHER, and about the more general joy that comes with making something out of nothing. Below are some edited highlights of that conversation. Read it — then go create something!

The joy of making stuff up 

“During this strange time of quarantine and isolation, I found that it’s been really helpful for me to just stay creative, to do something creative every day. But it can be hard to do that alone. To just stare at a blank page and be like, ‘Now I will write!’ Or, you know, ‘Now I’m going to make a song!’ I grew up in collaborative environments on movie sets and shows and I really feed off the creative energy of other people. Years ago, I started this community that’s all about creative collaboration called HITRECORD. And so we decided to just make a show documenting it called CREATE TOGETHER for YouTube originals.”

The movie biz vs. biz biz

“I’m actually getting a really big kick out of building this company, HITRECORD. It is quite different than making a movie or TV show. Sure, there’s some overlap, but building a product or service is different than making a work of art where you put it out and then you never change it again. Businesses are constantly changing, evolving. They’re never done! We’ve gotten amazing advice from great business leaders at places like Casper and Masterclass and Postmates, and we’ve honed our business over the years. It’s been really fascinating, fun, challenging, daunting — and sometimes frustrating. But I’ve really enjoyed it. And yeah, it’s different. It’s different than making art.”

Social media doesn’t have to be evil

“Asking for people to collaborate is different than making something and putting it on social media and saying, ‘Hey, look what I did!’ For me, social media is kind of a recipe for anxiety. I find it to be sort of angst-ridden. We all know what it’s like to put something out there and not get any likes, but I’ll tell you, even when there are a bunch of hearts and likes and retweets, it still doesn’t feel good. For me, I’m just like, ‘That’s all? There should be more! That guy over there has more than I do!’ This is all poisonous to the creative spirit. So our platform is all about collaborating, not just reacting to a finished product. I love getting to make movies — the making part. It’s the being on a set with other people and figuring something out, having a challenge. It’s those moments of the process itself that I really love — finding creative solutions.”

The ultimate reward

“I can say from my experience, it’s never really satisfying when you’re lucky enough to be involved with something that is a ‘hit.’ I have never have felt like, ‘Oh, OK, great! I made it! I’m satisfied!’ That kind of success is never like the satisfaction I get when I take my focus off those external results and put my focus on the inherent rewards of the creative process itself. That’s when I get really jazzed. I’m trying to make something and then I find it and like, ah, there it is. That’s working. And for me, that happens a lot better when I’m doing it together with other people.”

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The chorus of voices in unison with #StopHateForProfit swells; Facebook does damage control amidst falling shares.

Free Book Preview No BS Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing

The ultimate guide to – producing measurable, monetizable results with social media marketing.


2 min read


It has not been a great week for Facebook, but it’s not the only target of the Anti-Defamation League’s insurgent #StopHateForProfit social media campaign. Twitter has likewise taken its lumps as corporations — either out of conscience or calculation — ranging from consumer-goods giant Unilever to workout-apparel manufacturers Lululemon and ice-cream iconoclasts Ben & Jerry’s (see “Related” link below) beg off placing ads on social media sites until they take a definitive zero-tolerance stand against entities and individuals who use the platforms as megaphones for hateful and often falsified rhetoric. 

But Facebook has been the primary target, perhaps because Twitter has been viewed as a bit more assertive in moderating its more provocative content and exiling abusers of late. Or, possibly, because Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg continues to function as an avatar for the tech world’s historically laissez-faire approach to policing open forums. 

This past weekend was a bit of a bloodbath for the social media giants, as the likes of Starbucks (which has had to do a bit of its own image repair after returning a massive government-stimulus loan), Coca-Cola and global spirits titan Diageo all announced pauses on their social media ad-spend. (Though, somewhat significantly, none of those three companies chose to align themselves explicitly with #StopHateForProfit.)

Related: Ben & Jerry’s Joins Facebook and Instagram Boycott, Pushes for Transgender Rights

On Saturday, Facebook took the rare and prompt action of rolling out new warning labels and guidelines concerning hate speech and misinformation, although — like Twitter — it maintains that even inflammatory posts from figures like President Trump are newsworthy. 

Alas, that hasn’t helped the company’s valuation from taking a hit. Per Marketwatch, Facebook shares fell 2 percent ahead of open trading this morning (Twitter’s were down nearly 2.5 percent). 

Here is a complete list of companies specifically participating in #StopHateForProfit.

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Video-streaming service Twitch on Monday became the latest social platform to crack down on posts by President Trump and his campaign. The only difference? The suspension of Trump’s Twitch account will change relatively little.

The service, which is popular among video gamers, said that it had temporarily banned Trump’s account on Monday for posting hateful comments and had also removed the “offending content.”

“Like anyone else, politicians on Twitch must adhere to our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines,” Twitch said in a statement. “We do not make exceptions for political or newsworthy content and will take action on content reported to us that violates our rules.”

But Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, declined to comment on how long Trump’s suspension would last. It also declined to say how many people actually watched Trump’s streams on the service, which typically features video gamers competing against each other.

Since 2019, Trump’s account has been used to broadcast live campaign rallies and rerun older rallies, Twitch said.

The news comes as social media companies like Twitter and Facebook face rising scrutiny about hate speech and misinformation on their services. Twitter was the first to crack down, flagging and obscuring a handful of Trump’s tweets that violated its rules. Facebook, for a while, took a more hands-off approach, but on Friday said it had created new rules to hold politicians more accountable for what they said on the service.

Facebook’s decision to leave Trump’s posts untouched has spurred internal unrest and, most recently, an ad boycott by dozens of large customers. Big name brands like Adidas, Levi’s, Honda, and Hershey’s have all joined that campaign, called #StopHateForProfit, to pressure Facebook into doing more to police hate speech.

Twitch cited two posts by Trump that broke the rules. The first was a rebroadcast of Trump’s 2015 campaign kickoff, during which he said people coming from Mexico were “bringing drugs,” and were “rapists.” Another video show was from Trump’s recent rally in Tulsa, Okla., during which he referred to a home break-in of a young woman, calling the perpetrator a “very tough hombre.”

Twitch has a “zero-tolerance” policy for hateful conduct, which prohibits discrimination and harassment of others based on characteristics including race, religion, gender, age, and sexual orientation. The company’s rules say that it will “consider a number of factors to determine the intent and context of any reported hateful content,” and that enforcement actions could include “indefinite suspension.”

More must-read tech coverage from Fortune:

  • A new coating could protect ATMs from spreading diseases like COVID-19. But will it work?
  • George Floyd protests, coronavirus face masks pose challenges for facial recognition
  • E-book reading is booming during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Can Nikola Motor’s big battery promises be true?
  • Big investors like Bitcoin for the wrong reason

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5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


If you want your own business to grow and prosper as the world reopens and a new sense of normalcy settles in, getting to know TikTok is a good first step. The video-sharing platform has emerged from relative obscurity to become one of the leading social media companies in the world, and one of the most business friendly for entrepreneurs who know how to make it work. 

TikTok is particularly custom-made for personal-brand building, and many entrepreneurs are using it in just that way. By way of example, in a scant three and a half months, one top TikTok chef has amassed an army of more than a quarter million loyalists, all hungry for new content. This rising foodie star is Nadia Caterina Munno, but her quarter million TikTok fans know her simply as The Pasta Queen

The Pasta Queen’s Social Strategy

Always start with the brand backstory, and for Munno, that means being born to cook pasta. She is a true descendant of Rome, and pasta-making is in her blood. In the 1800s, her great grandparents owned a pasta factory just an hour and 20 minutes south of the Italian capital. To this day, Nadia’s family still has the nickname “The Macaronis.”

The online world, however, did not come as naturally. As Munno shares in an interview, “I’ve never been into technology. Honestly, I learned my video editing and uploading mastery by sheer force of will. Today, I edit all of my videos and credit the growth to a combination of drive, purpose and incentive. I truly believe that is where true talent comes from.”

Cynical entrepreneurs may say that the rapid rise of The Pasta Queen and her newfound internet stardom is simply a matter of luck. They may argue that she was simply in the right place at the right time, and that her success will be difficult, or even impossible, to replicate.

What the cynics are missing is that there really is a TikTok formula, one that smart entrepreneurs can adapt to fit their own brands and promote their own products. Those entrepreneurs may not have cooking skills or clever recipes, but they can still learn from others who have found success on the platform and shape the same strategy around their brands.

Related: 3 Reasons TikTok Is Here To Stay

In the internet age, viewers want real actionable information in exchange for their time. Communicating with the larger TikTok world is also critical on the platform. Successful TikTok content can generate thousands of comments and direct messages every single day. The Pasta Queen hears everything from home chefs trying out variations on their recipes to pleas for help from the less culinary talented. Here are several of the ingredients to her success.

Posting Regularly

If you post at least once a day, the TikTok algorithm starts to favor you as a creator and you have an increased likelihood of getting featured on the sought-after “For You” page.

Not Worrying About Your Niche 

Over-analyzing your niche can stifle your content distribution. Munno says to be your authentic self — and let it shine.  

Engaging Your followers 

Engaging your early followers helps build a loyal foundation, which is a critical first step you have to take. 

Going “Live” At Least Once a Week 

By going live, even if you have a small following, you can be discovered on the “For You” page.

Grabbing Immediate Attention 

You have to engage someone from the start and grab them within half a second. People scroll, scroll and scroll almost on automatic — but if they immediately see something impactful or shocking, they’re likely to stick around. 

Incorporating How-Tos

Any time you can teach, educate or inform an audience, the likelihood of traction is significantly increased (views, comments, shares, etc.).

Studying Analytics

You should frequently review your post analytics to see what is working or what can be adjusted. It also helps you understand your audience better to cater content accordingly. 

Keeping it (Relatively) Short 

Munno says 20-30 seconds has been her sweet spot, adding, “It never hurts to leverage a topic which is universally accepted, such as food. I see lawyers giving rapid public-awareness tips, realtors touring homes and accountants giving tips on taxes. You can do anything, as long as it is fast and digestible.”

A Business, Not a Hobby

Overnight growth is not easy, and it can have a dark side for the unprepared. Entrepreneurs and individuals who suddenly find themselves going viral can feel a bit overwhelmed, but they need to stay professional and learn to treat the opportunity with the appreciation it deserves.

That can mean spending half the day shooting, perfecting and uploading videos to the platform, and additional hours answering social media inquiries, responding to questions and engaging with the wider community. The most famous TikTok users are the ones who take the platform seriously and understand its true potential.

Related: The Rise of Social Media as a Career (Infographic)

Leveraging TikTok into a successful brand building operation is no easy task, and there are a lot of roadblocks along the way. There are still misconceptions about what the platform is, who it is designed for, and how it works. Entrepreneurs who hope to achieve the same success they would growing a business should treat it with the same level of respect.

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CEO Adam Mosseri says the social network needs to ‘better support’ underrepresented groups.

Free Book Preview No BS Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing

The ultimate guide to – producing measurable, monetizable results with social media marketing.


2 min read


This story originally appeared on PC Mag

Instagram has become a popular platform for the Black Live Matter movement, with supporters using the social network to demand justice, express solidarity, support businesses, amplify voices, and raise awareness. But while a revolution rages on the surface, Instagram is reconciling how it treats equality at the core.

“In the last few weeks, we’ve seen an incredible movement happening around the world. As these important conversations have come to our platform, we’ve seen communities on Instagram mobilizing,” CEO Adam Mosseri wrote in a blog post.

“At the same time, we’re also hearing concern about whether we suppress Black voices and whether our products and policies treat everyone equally,” he continued, highlighting the irony that “we’re a platform that stands for elevating Black voices, but at the same time Black people are often harassed, afraid of being ‘shadowbanned’ and disagree with many content takedowns.”

For years, users have complained of stealth banning—the act of blocking someone and/or their content in such a way that they don’t realize it’s happening. Instagram promised more information “soon” about the types of posts it avoids recommending. The company, which has previously taken steps to curb online bullying and bolster mental health, is turning its focus toward underrepresented groups at and on Instagram.

“We need to better support the Black community within our own organization, as well as on our platform,” according to Mosseri, who outlined four key elements for change:

  1. Harassment: Address safety inequalities on and off the site and fill gaps in products and policies

  2. Account verification: Adjust current criteria to ensure inclusivity

  3. Distribution: Review how content is filtered on Explore and Hashtag pages

  4. Algorithmic bias: Investigate how internal technology enforces inequality

“This work is going to take some time, but we’re going to provide updates over the next few months—both about what we learn and what we address,” Mosseri said. “These efforts won’t stop with the disparities people may experience solely on the basis of race; we’re also going to look at how we can better serve other underrepresented groups that use our product,” including the LGBTQ+ community and body positivity activists.

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Having a personalized sticker is becoming a trend in the social network. It’s time to create yours.

Free Book Preview No BS Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing

The ultimate guide to – producing measurable, monetizable results with social media marketing.


2 min read


Brought to you by Cine Premiere

Facebook has implemented a new feature where you can create a custom avatar inspired by yourself. Like any new function, having a personalized avatar is becoming a trend, since this avatar has different ways of using it, including highlighting using it as a profile photo, making posts with the avatar by making some fun gesture, sending it as a message through Messenger, and even as stickers in the comments of publications. If you still do not have your custom avatar, here we explain how to create it.

Once in the application, you should go to the settings page distinguished by the icon with three horizontal lines located in the upper right corner for Android and lower right for iOS.

Then, sliding the screen downwards you will find an option from the «See more» menu, distinguished by colored geometric figures. When you click on this option, you will first see the “Avatars” option.

Related: How to Delete Your Facebook Account

When entering, there is only the simplest thing left, which is to create your own avatar. You can choose between different physical features such as face shape, eyes, eyebrows, nose and mouth, as well as customize your avatar with different colors and haircuts, hairstyles and head accessories. You can also modify the avatar’s complexion and choose between the different outfits that are available.

Once your Facebook avatar is finished, you must click on the popcorn that appears at the top of the screen. Even when saving your custom avatar, Facebook will show the option to make it a profile picture if you want to use it.

Similarly, in the comments of the publications when selecting the happy face that takes you to the stickers, you will find a tab with all the ones you can use with your personalized avatar.

Now that you know how to create your avatar and how to use it, you can now share it with your friends. Do you like this new Facebook feature?

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Influencers drive engagement and are cost effective.

Free Book Preview No BS Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing

The ultimate guide to – producing measurable, monetizable results with social media marketing.


3 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Coronavirus has thrown the ad industry in disarray. Offices are closed and staff are working from home. Productions have been postponed or canceled. Marketing budgets have been slashed. The traditional way of doing things is over, which means that this is the perfect time invest in influencer marketing, which is effective, efficient, nimble and drives results. 

In terms of measurable ROI, influencer engagement scores much higher than most brand content. Brand videos on Facebook have an average watch time of 4.57 seconds, while influencers get tens of minutes. According to recent studies, influencers are more trusted (not to mention far cheaper) than celebrities or athletes among Gen Z and Millennials. Under normal circumstances, these are great reasons to work with influencers. Given today’s landscape, here are a few more reasons.

Related: How to Make Instagram Your Not-So-Secret Sales Weapon

Influencers are still producing

Given bans on large congregations, few productions are happening. However, clients still have needs. Influencers make for a one-stop shop solution since they are the talent/director/producer/editor/DP/media distributor rolled into one. They’re set up better than anyone to create content with limited resources — they’ve been doing it for years.

Influencers are inexpensive 

Brands and agencies are tightening their belts in preparation for a recession. Influencers are feeling the impact as well. Campaigns are being delayed or canceled. A recent report shows that influencer prices are likely to fall by 25 percent. As a result, you can work with influencers more cheaply than ever.

Influencer engagement is skyrocketing

At the same time influencer pricing is going down, their audience is growing. With much of the world forced indoors, social media usage is skyrocketing. Facebook and Instagram saw a 50% percent increases in livestreams. Twitch’s viewership shot up 31 percent in two weeks. YouTube’s U.S. viewership has increased 63%. Influencers are benefitting from this, with some reportedly seeing as much as a 76% increase in “likes” on Instagram sponsored posts. 

Related: The What, Why and How of Programmatic Advertising (and 5 Tips on Using It)

Influencer marketing works

With everyone forced to shop online, influencers are driving more purchases than usual. Data from affiliate marketers showed upticks in sales via influencers. SmartCommerce reported a 30 percent increase in orders, and competitor RewardStyle has seen a similar spike. 

But agencies should tread carefully

While the benefits are clear, I do have a word of caution. Given today’s landscape, agencies need to tread carefully. Not all influencer marketing is the same, and the best programs are collaborations with trusted partners. Influencers are people, and some people can act irresponsibly (and very publicly) while others are using their platforms for good. Choose wisely.

In a “shelter at home” world, advertisers and agencies are scrambling to create things fast, cheap and with few promotional dollars — just the things influencers have been doing for years. More than ever, this is the time to invest in the experts.

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