YouTube channels need 10,000 views for adverts

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YouTube has more than one billion users around the world.

YouTube is changing the rules about when users can start earning money through carrying adverts on their video channels.

New channels will have to get 10,000 views before they can be considered for the YouTube Partner Program, the firm announced in a blog post.

YouTube will then evaluate whether the channel is adhering to its guidelines before letting it carry adverts.

It will help clamp down on content theft and fake channels, YouTube said.

“After a creator hits 10k lifetime views on their channel, we’ll review their activity against our policies,” wrote Ariel Bardin, vice president of product management at YouTube.

“If everything looks good, we’ll bring this channel into YPP [YouTube Partner Program] and begin serving ads against their content. Together these new thresholds will help ensure revenue only flows to creators who are playing by the rules.”

Qingzhen Chen, senior analyst for advertising research from IHS, said it would not be difficult for most channel creators to get 10,000 views from a global audience of more than one billion users.

“That’s views not subscriptions – so even when people don’t watch the whole video that’s still considered a view,” she said.

“We need to think about why YouTube is doing this. There are have been troubles recently in the news about some of its content, some big brands and agencies have pulled their adverts – this is just another effort to deal with the those issues.

“Publishers are increasingly going to spend their money on digital so they are going to be asking for more in terms of their ads appearing alongside the right content.”

YouTube does not publish the figures video creators can earn from pre-roll adverts, which play before their video begins, but in 2014 the New York Times quoted an ad software firm which suggested the average rate was $7.60 (£6) per 1000 advert views, with YouTube taking a percentage.

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Google adds search results ‘fact check’ flag

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Google has added its fact check feature to search results globally, in a bid to help tackle the spread of “fake news”.

The search giant will now highlight “authoritative sources” in search results, with a summary of claims that have been fact-checked.

Google says sites will be judged authoritative by an algorithm and the company will not be fact-checking news stories itself.

On Thursday, Facebook announced a campaign to help people spot fake news.

Google introduced its fact check feature on its News search site in October, but has now added it to its regular search results.

Publishers who have investigated a claim, for example a politician’s statements, will be displayed more prominently.

A summary of the fact-checked statements and whether they are judged to be true or false will also appear.

However, the feature will not affect the order of search results and will not label sites known to spread false information as untrustworthy.

Google acknowledged that different publishers may draw opposing conclusions about the validity of a news story or statement, but said the feature would help people understand the “degree of consensus” on a topic.

Analysis by Chris Foxx, BBC technology reporter

Tackling the spread of false information is a big task for websites as large as Google and Facebook, given the volume of data involved.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has been clear he does not want to employ humans to make judgements about whether websites are trustworthy.

Now Google is following his lead by placing its trust in its algorithms.

Of course, algorithms can be manipulated and algorithms can get it wrong. In March, Google was found to be offering up some far-fetched claims as “instant answers”.

Google also says it will display conflicting fact checks side-by-side when websites have drawn different conclusions.

That may leave people more confused than before – but perhaps, at least, it will encourage them to question what they read online.

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Twitter forces US to drop demand for Trump critic’s details

This file photo taken on December 28, 2016 shows logos of US online news and social networking service TwitterImage copyright

The US government has dropped its request for the identity of an anti-Trump Twitter account, just a day after Twitter went to court over the issue.

@ALT_USCIS anonymously criticised President Trump’s immigration policy, and claimed to be run by employees at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

US government officials issued a summons for identifying information.

But Twitter said that demand had been withdrawn after it filed a lawsuit.

The @ALT_USCIS account’s followers also ballooned from 38,000 to 158,000 during the lawsuit’s single-day lifespan.

The original summons from the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency demanded “all records regarding the twitter account @ALT_USCIS to include, user names, account login, phone numbers, mailing addresses, and IP (computer) addresses”.

But the law cited by the agency – which is part of the Department of Homeland Security – is typically used to obtain records about imported goods.

The summons also demanded the information by 13 March 2017 – a day before the request was even sent to Twitter.

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The account’s first tweet declared itself part of a “resistance”

Twitter went to court in San Francisco to block the move, saying the CBP was “abusing a limited-purpose investigatory tool” and stifling freedom of speech.

The micro-blogging service was backed by the American Civil Liberties union (ACLU), which said it would join the court battle.

But the request was withdrawn by the government a day later, after Twitter’s court filing became public.

A justice department official told AFP news agency that the investigation had ended – but no details were given.

“We want to thank @twitter and @aclu for standing up for the right of free anonymous speech,” the @ALT_USCIS account tweeted. “Thank you resistance for standing up for us.”

Alternative ‘resistance’

In January, when Donald Trump became President Trump, several so-called “alternative” accounts for US government services began appearing online.

Many claimed to be controlled by current of former staff members.

Twitter said this is “a new and innovative class of American speakers” who need anonymity because they could face retaliation or lose their jobs.

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The account’s profile image played off the official USCIS logo

“Permitting the CBP to pierce the pseudonym of the @ALT _UCCIS account would have a grave chilling effect on the speech of that account in particular and on the many other ‘alternative agency’ accounts that have been created to voice dissent to government policies”, it said.

The “alternative” departments sprung up on Twitter following the gagging of the official National Parks Service Twitter account.

On Mr Trump’s inauguration day, it tweeted a photo of the crowd, comparing it with the 2009 inauguration of then President Barack Obama.

The account was briefly shut down in response – reportedly because President Trump complained directly to the head of the National Parks Service.

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Fake news: Should we know how to spot it?

For years Facebook have insisted that they are a mere platform for communication – in other words, that they are not to be held responsible for what’s on the site, whether it’s terrorist propaganda, child abuse images or ‘fake news’.

Is that beginning to change? Facebook has announced it’s going to help people spot the difference between what they call “false news” and what’s true, or at least fair comment.

Facebook’s director of policy in Europe, Richard Allan, told the Today programme people’s newsfeed is made up of stories from sources they have chosen to follow.

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McLaren to 3D-print parts at Bahrain F1 Grand Prix trackside

McLaren plans to start 3D-printing parts for its Formula 1 cars trackside at Grand Prix competitions shortly.

The firm believes the technology will give it an advantage over rivals allowing it to make last-minute changes.

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Uncharted 4 wins best game at Bafta awards

Media captionWATCH: Uncharted 4 actor Nolan North tells BBC’s Chris Foxx: “Leave them wanting more”

Uncharted 4 has won the best game at this year’s Bafta Games Awards.

Developers from its studio, Naughty Dog, said it was “unexpected”. The action adventure title had earlier missed out on seven other categories it had been nominated for.

Chaotic restaurant kitchen game Overcooked took the prize for best British game and family title.

The surreal puzzle-platformer Inside had four wins, the most of any game at the London ceremony.

It took original property, artistic achievement, game design and narrative.

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Playdead’s Inside is a 2D platformer in which a young boy has to solve puzzles in a surreal environment

“I hate most voice acting in games, so getting a narrative [award] is very important to me,” said game designer Arnt Jensen from Copenhagen-based studio Playdead.

Brenda Romero received this year’s special award.

The co-owner of Romero Games has developed dozens of titles including the Wizardry series; Dungeons Dragons: Heroes; and Playboy: The Mansion.

She said the British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ event held importance.

“I remember when Bafta started recognising video games,” she said.

“To me that was the single most important move in our entire industry for recognising us as an art form [at a time when] people were saying games were bad or games were wastes of time.”

Media captionWATCH: Brenda Romero and her husband John on augmented reality

She was joined at the event by her husband John Romero, who helped design Doom and the original Wolfenstein 3D.

Cancer-inspired game

The developers of That Dragon, Cancer were emotional when they made their speech after winning the prize for game innovation.

The title was inspired by the death of two of the team’s son, who was diagnosed with cancer when just one year old. He died four years later.

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Amy Green based the plot of That Dragon, Cancer on the death of her son

“Our life with Joel was hard but it was really beautiful,” said his mother Amy Green, who wrote the game’s story.

“So, when we thought about creating a game that would become the only legacy he would have – the legacy we chose and he could not – we created a game that was hard to play.

“But we believe it was beautiful.

“And we thank you for believing the same thing.”

Media captionWATCH: Overcooked developers admit co-op games like theirs can stress players out

Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch won best multiplayer. The team-based first-person shooter was designed for e-sports and is notable for featuring LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) characters.

The AMD e-sports audience award, however, went to Clash Royale, a real-time card-based title featuring characters from the blockbuster mobile game Clash of Clans.

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Clash Royale beat bigger-budget rivals for the e-sports award

Best debut game went to Firewatch, an unusual mystery adventure in which the player communicates with another person via a handheld radio. It also scored Cissy Jones an award for her performance as the voice heard, Delilah.

Audio achievement went to The Last Guardian, a much-delayed fantasy title from Sony Interactive. It was released in December, five years after it was originally expected to debut.

Rocket League won best evolving game – meaning a title that continually changes via updates – having already won three prizes at 2016′s event.

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Psyonix’s Rocket League won the best evolving game title

The “ones to watch” prize – which highlights new talent – went to Among the Stones. The platformer was developed as a prototype by six students for their Abertay University course.


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Uncharted 4 was nominated for eight titles but only took the top prize

By Steffan Powell, Newsbeat

A mixed night here at the Baftas – lots of success for smaller independent games but the major award of the night went to Uncharted 4.

It was one of the highest-profile nominees, and the decision almost goes against Baftas’s tradition of picking unexpected titles to win the main award.

The biggest surprise of the ceremony, in my opinion, came in the best performer category. Cissy Jones won for her brilliant portrayal of Delilah in the adventure game Firewatch, getting the better of no less than three performers from Uncharted 4, including the much fancied Nolan North (the man who plays Nathan Drake).

The people who are likely to have the sorest heads tomorrow will be the team behind Inside, which in terms of numbers of trophies had the most success.

But in terms of heart warming stories from the night – think of Ghost Town Games. The two-man team quit their jobs to make the game Overcooked with their savings. From working in a spare room to winning two Baftas in less than a year is some story.

Brexit fears

More than 12,000 people are directly employed by the video games industry in the UK.

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The comedian Danny Wallace hosted this year’s ceremony

The awards took place at a time when the country’s video games trade body Ukie has warned that Brexit could result in some studios moving overseas if it leads to an immigration clampdown.

“We need diversity of talent – not just in terms of different languages, different perspectives, different culture to put into our creative products but also different experiences,” the organisation’s chief executive Jo Twist told the BBC ahead of the Baftas.

“And being able to have a friction-free system to be able to hire in the best talent from wherever they are across the globe to the UK [is needed] to keep our place at the top of the table.”

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Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch won the award for best multiplayer game

Last year, $99.6bn of video games were sold worldwide, according to research firm Newzoo, representing an 8.5% gain on the previous year and a bigger sum spent on movies.

It said China represented the biggest market in terms of consumer spend with the UK in sixth place.

The nominees for best game had included Overwatch, Titanfall 2, Firewatch, Inside and Stardew Valley in addition to the winner Uncharted 4.

Last year’s winner was Fallout 4.

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Garadget faces backlash after locking out irate user

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Garadget is designed to let owners check if they have left their garage door open by mistake

The maker of an internet-enabled garage door device is facing a backlash after blocking its use by a customer who had complained about the tech.

The owner had written negative comments about Garadget’s kit on both Amazon and the start-up’s own site after having problems with its app.

People have expressed concern about the US firm’s actions.

The block has been reversed and founder Denis Grisak agreed his first reaction was not the “slickest PR move”.

But he noted that Tesla’s Elon Musk had once cancelled a customer’s order after criticising the automaker online.

‘Abusive language’

Garadget’s kit is designed to let owners open their mechanised garage doors remotely to let visitors in, and to offer a way to check the doors have not been left open by mistake after leaving home.

The product raised nearly $63,000 (£50,000) on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo last year and has since gone on sale elsewhere.

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Garadget’s handling of a complaint has attracted undesired publicity

But on 1 April, a buyer named Robert Martin complained on Amazon that the product was “junk”, and referred to it with a swear word on the firm’s own community board.

The next day, Mr Grisak replied: “The abusive language here and in your negative Amazon review, submitted minutes after experiencing a technical difficulty, only demonstrates your poor impulse control. I’m happy to provide the technical support to customers on my Saturday night but I’m not going to tolerate any tantrums.”

He added that he had denied a server connection to Mr Martin as a consequence and suggested Mr Martin ask Amazon for a refund.

When another user accused Mr Grisak of breaking the law by “bricking” the kit, he denied this saying he had not changed its hardware or firmware.

However, other board members also complained. One compared Mr Grisak to a “petulant child” while another claimed “sales are going to tank if people think you have a kill switch to be fired any time they say something you don’t like”.

Mr Grisak has said he has no intention of repeating his action.

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Garadget’s app allows garage doors to be triggered remotely

But one tech industry consultant was also critical.

“The bottom line is that it’s already a hard sell to get people to embrace the so-called internet-of-things,” said Ben Wood from CCS Insight.

“In particular, there’s a huge amount of trust involved in having something that can open your doors.

“When incidents like this happen, it makes it even harder to get these kind of products into people’s homes. This was a very ill-advised move.”

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Uber sued by car-share stab victim

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A woman who was attacked with a knife in an Uber car is suing the ride-sharing company.

Chicago resident Jennifer Camacho says another passenger slashed her face several times while using Uber Pool.

The service lets strangers share a car to reduce the cost of a trip.

But Uber said the “altercation” did not involve the company and its insurance provider has refused to compensate Ms Camacho because the assault was not considered accidental.

Ms Camacho had ordered a shared vehicle in January after a night out celebrating with friends.

But as she climbed into the back of the car, another passenger who was already in the front seat slashed her face with a three-inch blade, according to her lawyer Bryant Greening.

Ms Camacho had to fight off her attacker, a 34-year-old woman, until the police arrived.

The case against Uber and the alleged attacker claims the car-hailing firm was negligent and Ms Camacho is seeking more than $150,000 (£120,000) in damages.


Uber has previously declined to comment, telling local media that the incident was “an altercation between two riders that didn’t involve Uber”.

However, Mr Greening said the ride-sharing company should take responsibility.

“The way Uber is promoting a safe riding experience, they should have solutions and remedies in place for when things go wrong,” he told the BBC.

“The difference between Uber and a city bus or train is that Uber is consciously deciding who is put in a car and who people are sharing a ride with.

“Uber has control over the process and should be training drivers how to deal with situations, to protect passengers.”

Uber has been encouraging people to use its Pool service, rather than booking a private vehicle. The ride-sharing company makes more money when passengers choose to share a car with strangers.

It told the BBC it could not comment on the case because it was “pending litigation”.

But a spokeswoman told the BBC: “Whenever an incident is reported to Uber, we look into it to help ensure the safety of everyone who uses the Uber app.”

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Facebook revenge porn to be blocked from reposts

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Facebook will use image recognition tech to prevent intimate photos being posted more than once

Facebook is taking fresh action to prevent so-called revenge porn from being spread across its platforms.

The social network is making it impossible to repost or share intimate images of people thought to have been uploaded without their permission once they have been identified as such and removed.

The measure is being rolled out across Facebook, Messenger and Instagram but not WhatsApp.

Campaigners welcomed the development.

“It’s a huge step forward,” said Laura Higgins, founder of the UK’s Revenge Porn Helpline.

“Quite often these images are posted on social media as part of a domestic situation in which someone is trying to get at their target and their nearest and dearest.

“One of the greatest challenges is to stop people re-uploading the content.”

‘First step’

Facebook is not hunting out revenge porn imagery itself, but instead will rely on users flagging the content via its Report tool.

Its community operations team will then make a judgement as to whether the posts qualify, taking into account factors including whether sexual activity is depicted, the setting and whether the person making the complaint is shown.

If the image is judged to be revenge porn, it will be removed and the account that posted it blocked, pending a potential appeal.

Photo-recognition software is then deployed to ensure any further attempts to circulate the picture are blocked without human operators needing to review them.

The technique is similar to that already used by Facebook and others to prevent child abuse imagery being shared.

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Victims of revenge porn can suffer deep psychlogical distress

“We are constantly looking to build and improve the tools that we offer and it became very apparent to us that this was a problem occurring across many regions that created unique harm,” Antigone Davis, Facebook’s global head of safety, told the BBC.

“This is a first step and we will be looking to build on the technology to see if we can prevent the initial share of the content.”

Ms Davis added that Facebook might look at how it could tackle the problem on WhatsApp in the future.

However, the app’s use of end-to-end encryption prevents Facebook from being able to see what users are sending to each other.

Devastating attack

Ms Higgins said her organisation had dealt with more than 6,200 cases of revenge porn since 2015 – a figure she called the “tip of the iceberg”.

“Our clients have presented with post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal feelings – they can lose their jobs, marriages and children,” she said.

“It’s an absolutely devastating thing to have done to you.”

She said that dedicated revenge porn websites remained the biggest problem, but added that she hoped other social media companies might follow Facebook’s lead.

If you have been a victim of revenge porn you can contact The Revenge Porn Helpline, UK at its website or call 0345 6000 459 during working hours

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Ordnance Survey’s digital map of Britain offers stunning views

A new digital tool produces 3D aerial views of countryside walks, cycle routes and mountain climbs.

It has been developed by Ordnance Survey, which hopes the interactive maps will make the outdoors safer and more fun.

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