Facebook is fact-checking photos and videos to fight fake news

It’s no secret that Facebook has been struggling to stop fake news from spreading on its site, though it has indeed made progress since the 2016 US presidential election. Now, as part of its ongoing efforts to fight misinformation, Facebook has announced that its 27 fact-checking partners across the world now have access to a new tool that will analyze pictures and videos. According to Facebook, this feature is powered by machine learning and is designed to help reviewers identify and take action against false content faster.

Facebook says the technology is proactive about tracking down posts that include media that may be false, using a combination of different engagement signals, such as feedback from users themselves — that’s similar to the work it does with article links. Once the system identifies an image or video that it suspects was altered, the third-party fact checkers then try to verify if the content is real or not. For example, during the 2018 presidential election in Mexico, there was a photoshopped image of candidate Ricardo Amaya floating around which suggested he had a US green card That picture turned out to be fabricated, not surprisingly, and that’s the type of content Facebook says this new tool can contain.

[embedded content]”We know that fighting false news is a long-term commitment,” Facebook Product Manager Antonia Woodford said in a blog post, “as the tactics used by bad actors are always changing.” She added that Facebook will continue to take action in the short term, which includes investing in more tech like this to ensure that its users won’t have to keep being exposed to different types of fake news.

It’s going to be challenging, without a doubt, but at least the company is taking steps in the right direction.

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OnePlus finally works up the 'courage' to dump the headphone jack in the 6T

It’s been two years since Apple courageously removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7, and it’s certainly taken its lumps over it. But Apple stuck to its guns, and today you can pretty much count the number of mainstream Android phones with a 3.5mm jack on one hand.

And now there’s one less in the pack. OnePlus has announced that it’s upcoming handset, the OnePlus 6T, won’t have a headphone jack. In an interview with Techradar, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei divulged that “now is the right time” to dump the legacy audio port, “as it’ll benefit the majority of our users while keeping the downside low.”

What that means is that most of OnePlus’s customers have wireless headphones. According to Pei, nearly 60 percent of OnePlus customers are already using wireless headphones, based on a survey taken before OnePlus released its excellent $69 Bullets Wireless earbuds last year. So that number might actually be a little higher.

Still though, some 40 percent of OnePlus’s customers aren’t using wireless headphones, which means a lot of grumbling. For those users, OnePlus will be releasing a USB-C version of its Bullets earbuds with a new DAC implemented by Ciruss Logic. OnePlus says it has “made several big improvements and changes to the Type-C Bullets to deliver a crisp and powerful sound.” OnePlus sells the 3.5mm Bullets V2Remove non-product link for $20 and doesn’t include a pair in the OnePlus 6 box.

While OnePlus hasn’t announced a release date for the 6T, it’s expected to land sometime next month. The company previously announced that the 6T will be one of the first phones to include an in-display fingerprint sensor. Pei also teased the possibility of better battery life “substantial enough for users to realize.”

But whether longer time between charges or the new Bullets makes up for the loss of the headphone jack remains to be seen. USB-C headphones are a persnickety lot, so we’ll have to wait and see how they perform on the 6T and other Android phones. But one thing we know for sure: the days are numbered for one of the only remaining phones with a headphone jack.

Why this matters: One of OnePlus’s greatest strengths is catering to Android enthusiasts on a budget, so some buyers are going to be miffed by this decision. A new USB-C version of its Bullets headphones will help—especially if OnePlus included a pair in the box—but some people are going to hold on to their OnePlus 5T and 6 as long as they can. And with the rumor that OnePlus will begin selling its phones in T-Mobile stores, keeping the headphone jack could have given it an edge over other premium phones.

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Jim Cramer praises Apple's new iPhones — these will be a 'breakthrough' for the company

CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Thursday praised Apple‘s newly unveiled iPhones, calling the smartphones much more enticing than the models released last year.

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“I found this one to be a breakthrough,” said Cramer, whose charitable trust owns shares of Apple.

Apple showcased the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max at its event in Cupertino, California, on Wednesday. It also introduced a third model — the iPhone XR — which will be an upgrade from last year’s iPhone 8 and start at a lower price point than the other models.

Cramer, host of “Mad Money,” said he was particularly impressed with the new Apple Watch, which was also unveiled Wednesday and boasts a 30 percent larger screen. “It was amazing” and “monumental,” Cramer said on “Squawk on the Street.”

Shares of Apple were more than 2 percent higher midmorning Thursday. The stock is up 31 percent year to date through Wednesday.

Last year, investors panicked about iPhone orders after a report from a Taiwan-based newspaper, The Economic Times, said the consumer tech giant may be cutting orders for the then-new iPhone 8. At the time, Cramer said news about supply concerns or iPhone orders have plagued Apple investors “since the beginning of time” and they should ignore the report.

In a note to clients Wednesday, Goldman Sachs said it was reducing its earnings forecast for Apple due to the smartphone maker’s new lineup of iPhones.

Goldman analyst Rod Hall said in part, “the new LCD ‘XR’ model was priced lower than we had thought likely” and “This effectively obsoletes two iPhone 8/8+ SKUs in our opinion.”

— CNBC’s Tae Kim contributed to this report.

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Facebook will now fact-check pictures and videos

Facebook will start fact-checking images and videos, the company said Thursday, expanding its review efforts to posts that are traditionally harder to monitor.

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“People share millions of photos and videos on Facebook every day. We know that this kind of sharing is particularly compelling because it’s visual. That said, it also creates an easy opportunity for manipulation by bad actors,” Facebook said in a blog post.

Edited photos and strong visuals were common among the posts by Russian agents attempting to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other global elections, according to examples released by members of Congress.

Facebook has been ramping up fact-checking efforts and third-party human reviewers in recent months in an effort to protect future elections from foreign interference. The company has already detected what it called “coordinated inauthentic behavior” ahead of the midterm elections in November.

“Many of our third-party fact-checking partners have expertise evaluating photos and videos and are trained in visual verification techniques, such as reverse image searching and analyzing image metadata, like when and where the photo or video was taken,” Facebook said. “Fact-checkers are able to assess the truth or falsity of a photo or video by combining these skills with other journalistic practices, like using research from experts, academics or government agencies.”

Facebook users can also flag photos or images for review.

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