Facebook confirms human review of Messenger audio recordings (The Daily Charge, 8/14/2019)
The Daily Charge
Today on The Daily Charge, Twitter testing away to let you follow topics.
Instagram hiding likes, and guess who's leaving your private conversations now?
Spoilers, it's Facebook.
Good morning and welcome to CNet's daily charge.
It's Wednesday, August 14th, I'm is actor.
And I'm Claire Riley.
Let's take a look at today's headlines.
Twitter is testing a new way to use it service.
The feature would allow people to follow topics like sports.
These tweets would show up in your home feed.
The planet is a relative topic feature worldwide by the end of this year.
When asked if Twitter would give users the ability to edit a tweet, the product lead said, quote, the feature is not anywhere near the top of our priority list.
Claire, do you think that people being able to follow topics is gonna get Twitter more users?
I don't know, I think it could make it easier for people to find what they're looking for.
Cuz that's the big barrier to entry for Twitter, isn't it, it's the ability to Go on there, get through all the hashtags and junk and weird shortened links and to find the stuff you're interested in following because that's the conversation.
So hopefully it might be like, Yeah, I mean to the New England Patriots, that's the example we gave.
I don't know if that's a bad team to like over here.
I'm told it is So yeah.
So you could follow your team and then start to build out from there.
I think once you start with a thing you like it's much easier to get a hook on Twitter.
So I could see it working.
It also could lead to people filing certain accounts that way instead because when you have this vast firehose of information you're not so sure who's saying what.
I would think that if Twitter is testing this they would have some kind of curation on top of it.
So maybe you're getting.
Reputable sources with great information, so we'll see if that's different.
[LAUGH] Reputable sources on twitter [UNKNOWN].
[LAUGH] I'm living in a dream world.
Speaking of that, next up Instagram is hiding the amount of likes and video views each post gets from the public in certain areas.
The person who posts will still be able to see those stats.
According to a Facebook spokesperson, hiding the data from the public will quote remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, end quote.
Interviews with some people who are testing out the feature suggest.
Some users think hiding likes will improve their mental health.
Now if this feature does go live all over Instagram, they think its gonna change the way people actually use that service.
I think it will a bit, because it changes the way engage.
You feel that sort of Instagram is hype mentality-
So Changing the fact that I won't see that your posts get more likes than mine or whether I'm going to be less likely like because I haven't seen that certain friends have.
I certainly notice that with some celebrity accounts, I'll take note that my friend has like the post.
I'll be like okay.
Didn't know that they followed them as well.
So I feel like it's that hard mentality, and that's gonna shift a bit.
I'll be interested to talk about what it means for brands as well because in a story on this, we, Queenie Wong our reporter interviewed a couple of people who were behind smaller companies that promote heavily on Instagram And they were noticing a drop down in the number of likes they got.
So whether that affects their businesses and all of the stuff that we drunkenly buy on Instagram late at night.
I mean, just to see if it has an effect on that.
Yeah, I could see it having impact pretty much coast to coast on this because it's going to be effecting everybody so
Whether likes or not, get people up to the top, I could see that maybe even changing the way that they're advertising is there because you got to change once, that once the game changes.
And lastly, our main story where we will keep it social.
This time a Bloomberg report says that Facebook paid contractors to transcribe clips of audio from users of its services.
The contractors told Bloomberg that they did not know why Facebook needed the audio transcribed.
Now Facebook confirmed it was having audio transcribed and said quote much like Apple and Google we paused human review of audio
More than a week ago, Facebook says the audio in question was transcribed from users messenger users of messenger excuse me, who opted into having their voice chats transcribed.
Now as Facebook mentioned in a statement, reports of Apple and Google transcribing audio had been in the press Amazon as well.
At this point, Claire do you think people are just desensitized to the amount of companies that are just listening to them?
Facebook, Facebook, Facebook.
This is the one thing that has haunted them forever.
Is Facebook listening to me to deliver customize ads, and this is just gonna do them no favors and trying to quell that rumor.
I do particularly love that they said, we've stopped it more than a week ago.
Bloomberg incidentally probably started reporting on this and asking questions more than a week ago.
But that's another story.
I think people are desensitized but I think this is the big elephant in the room with Facebook and privacy.
It's the one that certainly when I have conversations outside by tech circle, with the normies as they call them.
I definitely notice that, that's the big question that I get asked.
Facebook listening to me is Facebook listening to me.
I think this is gonna do them no favors.
It's gonna be a real struggle.
I mean Facebook is saying that people opted into this feature.
I'm sure people like things they clicked right through and they just probably give them notice and they've read every single line
Like they do every single chain.
Yeah, I certainly, I was trying to think myself, I opt out of most things on messenger, I don't link my phone number too and I don't link my contact.
But I don't ever remember having the option of having my messages transcribed, but that's not a feature I even knew about.
So I sort of wanted have I opted into this I mean privacy not clad Probably not.
I trust my nature.
To hate everything.
But I don't know if that is a feature, so there would definitely be people there that have opted in without realizing.
And on the other side, the contractors who are doing the transcribing, this is how we found out about this, that they sort of raised a flag, saying, we're not comfortable with this, this seems unethical.
The fact that the contractors Are doing that rather than Facebook saying this is unethical, that's a red flag and some of them said that they were really concerned that they they were conversations they didn't feel that they should be listening into it they were inappropriate to be listening into.
So I think they would certainly even if people have opted in maybe they opted in three years ago and forgot about it wouldn't necessarily be happy for having all of those Calls transcribed.
You would take privacy over accuracy of what you're gonna say?
I mean, that sounds silly.
Yes, it's like you don't even know me at all!
It's just crazy.
I think there are lots of great transcription services out there But I used them for work, when I'm interviewing someone not to transcribe my calls with my mother or my husband.
Yeah, I think that's in some respects for things like Google Home or things where you're calling up these devices.
So you know you're being listened to.
I agree with you, I think people probably didn't notice that they were opting in.
Maybe they're opting into like a bunch of things that one time.
I do enjoy [UNKNOWN] accurate because if I'm doing a Voiced attacks or am I doing a voice anything I wanted to be clear, I don't want some miscommunication happening.
So I think people are desensitized at this point cuz like, look it's Facebook now, that's like every major company at this point is listening so.
So you're happy that it's transcribing, having a couple of humans do audits and stuff so that the AI gets smarter.
If I'm actually aware of it.
I'm using a workflow, we're on the show.
We report this, I'm aware of this.
It's just like all right, I know what I'm getting into.
I don't know if everyone else is paying attention to that.
That's what we're talking about.
This is the Daily Charge.
I'm Liam Zachtar.
And I'm Claire Riley.
Thanks for listening.