In no particular order, here are MediaNama’s top 10 stories of the week ended 17th June 2018
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Facebook bug set 14 million users’ private posts to public
Facebook’s series of privacy gaffes seem to be unrelenting. According to a CNN report, the social media platform suffered from a glitch that caused changes to the privacy settings of its users. The bug which was active on the platform in May changed the suggested privacy settings of some users to public, potentially making visible to everyone posts and updates meant for just friends. Read it here
Inshorts plans to use AI to curate news feeds
News aggregator app Inshorts is adding an AI-based algorithm called Rapid60 that can automatically summarize a full-length news article to a 60-word news brief along with a headline to its platform, the Economic Times has reported. Inshorts CEO Azhar Iqubal told ET that human curation comes with a limitation on the number of articles they can produce. With the new feature, they can curate over one lakh articles per month. Currently, they curate 10,000 articles a month. Read it here
HT Media earnings call Q4FY18 : Tight cost control, slow ad revenue and more
HT Media reported a net profit of Rs 75 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2018 (Q4 FY18), up 194% from Rs 25.5 crore in the same quarter last year, and down 40% from Rs 124.3 crore in the previous quarter. The decline in ad revenue did, however, have an impact on operating revenues for the quarter, which declined marginally, by 4.1% on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, to Rs 561 crore from Rs 585 crore. Read it here
Net neutrality formally rolled back in US
The Obama administration-era net neutrality rules are gone. After a lengthy process, FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s Restore Internet Freedom order has taken effect on Monday, per the New York Times. This order undoes net neutrality protections put in place by the Open Internet order by the previous FCC chairman Tom Wheeler. Both Wheeler and Pai have worked for ISPs in the past. Read it here
RBI’s crypto ban was not backed by independent research or public consultation
The Reserve Bank of India’s order that prevented banks and other regulated entities from dealing with virtual currencies like Bitcoin was not backed by public consultation or independent research, an RTI response from the banking regulator has shown. In a response to the RTI application filed by a startup consultant, Varun Sethi, on April 9, the central bank said it does not have an internal committee that looks into virtual currencies, the Economic Times reported. Read it here
Truecaller buys payments app Chillr; will start lending operations
Truecaller is buying payments app Chillr, the company announced in a blog post. With the acquisition, Truecaller is primed to use Chillr’s workforce to start providing financial lending to users, the Economic Times reported. The company did not disclose the valuation of the acquisition. Chillr’s team will essentially become the Truecaller Pay team, the Swedish company said in its blog post. Read it here
Twitter aims to highlight content that ‘matters to you’ with new updates
Twitter started rolling out features aimed at personalizing users’ feed based on their interactions with other accounts and content on the app, with a renewed focus on delivering news on the platform.
The updates will go live for US-based iOS and Android users in the coming few months. The company is trying to make it easier for users to “discover more of what matters to you” with a newly designed explore tab, breaking news alerts and personalized news alerts on the timeline. Read it here
Aadhaar authentication by facial recognition has been delayed till August
The UIDAI has delayed the introduction of facial authentication service for Aadhaar by a month to August 1 in order to “ensure a smooth rollout”, reported The Economic Times. UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Panday said the feature needed ‘fine tuning and adjustment” to see how it performs in the field, after which it will become available to Authentication User Agencies (AUAs) Read it here.
TRAI signs net neutrality MoU with European regulator BEREC
TRAI has shared a memorandum of understanding on net neutrality with the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications. The MoU, titled ‘Joint Statement for an Open Internet’, is an announcement of intent by the two regulators to “collaborate closely and expose their common understanding of net neutrality”. Read it here
Google says you have more control over ads. You may, but does it matter?
Google announced a slew of updates to give users more control over the ads they see on the platform. Or to put it another way, Google is trying to improve targeted advertising by giving users the illusion of greater control. These settings have always existed but Google has given them a fresh coat of paint and dressed them up in its material design UI. Read it here