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YouTube will temporarily increase automated content moderation – Engadget

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Anatoliy Sizov via Getty Images

YouTube will rely more on machine learning and less on human reviewers during the coronavirus outbreak. Normally, algorithms detect potentially harmful content and send it to human reviewers for assessment. But these are not normal times, and in an effort to reduce the need for employees and contractors to come into an office, YouTube will allow its automated system to remove some content without human review.

YouTube admits that this could lead to increased video removals, including some videos that do not violate its policies. YouTube already has a touchy relationship with creators, so potentially removing valid videos might not go over well. YouTube won’t issue strikes on the content, unless it is clearly in violation, and creators can appeal content takedowns.

YouTube warns, though, that “our workforce precautions will also result in delayed appeal reviews.” This may become more common in the weeks ahead. Earlier today, Google told developers that Play Store app reviews may also be delayed.

YouTube says it will also be more cautious about what content gets promoted, including livestreams. Because the situation is changing so rapidly, the policies will likely change, too. The platform initially demonetized all videos that mentioned the coronavirus, but then agreed to enable ads on a limited number of channels that discuss the outbreak. The UK government has now enlisted influencers to help battle coronavirus misinformation.

“We recognize this may be a disruption for users and creators, but know this is the right thing to do for the people who work to keep YouTube safe and for the broader community,” YouTube wrote on its Creator Blog. “We appreciate everyone’s patience as we take these steps during this challenging time.”

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Zoom enables meeting passwords by default, waiting rooms to cut down on intruders – MobileSyrup

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Free video conferencing app Zoom announced its first feature change to improve security and privacy: passwords by default.

The announcement comes after the company said it would halt development on new features for 90 days to devote all its resources to fixing the numerous security and privacy flaws plaguing the app.

For those who haven’t followed the Zoom saga, the video conferencing service grew massively in popularity over the last few months — from an average 10 million daily users to 200 million daily users — thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in remote work and physical distancing measures. However, with that popularity Zoom also became a target. Over the last week, reports have detailed several vulnerabilities with Zoom, a flaw that leaked email addresses and something called ‘Zoombombing.’

Zoom’s plan to add passwords by default for all meetings should help prevent that latter issue. Previously, people were able to join publicly available Zoom meetings through links traded online. While that feature was intended to make joining meetings a seamless experience, it also enabled the Zoombombing mischief that has run rampant on the platform. Specifically, Zoombombing is when someone joins a public Zoom meeting and takes advantage of the screen sharing tool to take over the meeting. Often, Zoombombers share graphic content like pornography.

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While Zoom users could mitigate Zoombombings by adjusting the default settings so that only specific meeting participants can share their screen, the addition of passwords to all meeting rooms should help. Zoom already turned on passwords by default for new meetings, instant meetings and meetings joined through a ‘meeting ID.’ Starting April 5th, it will turn on passwords for previously scheduled Zoom meetings too.

Zoom’s waiting rooms feature will help cut down on unwanted participants

Ultimately, the process of joining a meeting shouldn’t change for most users. Zoom notes on its support page that attendees who join through meeting invites or calendar events will not have to use a password. Instead, the changes apply to people who try to join manually through a meeting ID.

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Along with the new password protections, Zoom will enable waiting rooms by default for all meetings. That means when meeting participants join a call, they’ll have to wait in a “waiting room,” a virtual buffer between participants and the call. From there, meeting hosts can grant some or all in the waiting room access to the meeting.

Zoom released the above YouTube video detailing the changes and how they work. You can also read up on the changes on Zoom’s support website.

The Verge notes that the changes could also help fix another security issue plaguing Zoom. Security researchers recently developed a tool that could scan and identify 100 non-password-protected Zoom meeting IDs in an hour. Plus, the tool could scrape information about those meetings. It’s possible the new password-by-default approach could protect users against similar scanning tools.

Source: Zoom Via The Verge

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Forget Zoom: Skype unveils free 'Meet Now' video calls – Tom's Guide

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There’s no question that Zoom has quickly become the leader in video meetings and video calls during the coronavirus pandemic. It offers free, 40-minute conference calls with up to 100 attendees, and lots of people are using this tool to stay in touch and have fun with features like swapping out Zoom backgrounds.

But there’s also serious questions about Zoom’s security and privacy issues, only some of which the company has addressed thus far. In order to capitalize on Zoom’s troubles, Skype has rolled out Skype Meet Now calls that don’t require a sign-up or installation.

Here’s how it works. Meet Now allows you to host conference calls by generating a free unique link with one click. You then share that link with participants to enjoy unlimited meetings via Skype. According to Microsoft, which owns Skype, your meeting link does not expire and can be used at any time.

Skype says that you’ll be able to leverage its features during your video conferences. This includes the ability to record your call and save it for later. The company stores your recording for 30 days. You can also blur your background before entering the call, which is helpful for those of us are don’t have the neatest home office or who have pets or children jumping in and out of the frame.

With Skype Meet Now, you can also share your screen at any time, which makes it easier to collaborate with colleagues and share presentations with a group.

Meet Now works on any device with the Skype app installed, and you don’t even need a Skype account to join these calls. You can also use the Skype web client for making calls.

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Skype now lets you make a call without sign up or app download – PocketNow

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Making a Skype call can be bit frustrating experience because it requires you to either sign up for the service or download the app. Thankfully, Skype has removed both the hassles, making it as easy as creating a link with the press of a button to make a call.

Skype now lets you make a video call by just going to the new Skype conference call page and tapping on the ‘Create a free meeting’ button to generate a link that you can share with other people. Once you’ve done it, people can join the call by just tapping on that link.

If you have the Skype app, you can tap on the ‘Meet Now’ button and create a link that can be shared with others. We’ve tested the new feature and it works as advertised. However, participants will have to choose a username for identification before they join a call if they don’t have an account or the app.

Source: Skype

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