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159

YouTube bans 5G-coronavirus conspiracy theory videos in wake of UK phone mast attacks

The coronavirus pandemic, as with most major global events, has inspired a number of conspiracy theories that are in no way supported by scientific fact. Assuming COVID-19 isn't the invention of Bill Gates, another fanciful theory asserts that 5G networks are in some way to blame. It's natural to dismiss this type of tin foil thinking as mostly harmless, but things have now escalated to the point where three 5G masts in the UK have been attacked, with arson by conspiracy theorists named as the probable cause.

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25

The Facebook app switches to a bottom bar for some

Facebook has been working on a bottom bar for its Android app for quite some time now. Last year, we saw a wild redesign that added a big "F" menu button in the middle, flanked by quick access to the news feed and notifications. That design appears to have been shoved back into the drawer, making way for a new experiment that looks much more conventional. The latest A/B test just takes the familiar top section bar and moves it to the bottom of the screen, which doesn't look too different from the iOS app.

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45

These video streaming services are reducing bandwidth consumption following the coronavirus pandemic (Update: TikTok)

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, most people have to stay quarantined at home to prevent the spread of the virus. This is causing increased network usage, as people need a stable connection to work, study, and of course, entertain themselves. Sadly, the latter requires a high bandwidth, which providers are trying to contain by reducing the quality of their service.

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8

Google issues joint statement with Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and Reddit, pledging to fight coronavirus misinformation

Today several of the bigger technology and social media companies, including Google, Facebook, Reddit, Microsoft, and Twitter, issued a joint industry statement regarding their response to the coronavirus. All of the companies are committed to "combating fraud and misinformation."

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35

The Facebook app has a new, very blue menu

Along with many other developers, Facebook got rid of colors in its app and moved to an all-white theme. It looks like the company isn't satisfied with that decision anymore, as the menu in the app's rightmost tab has received a facelift (if you want to call it that) that switches out the white background of old for a blue gradient. While at it, Facebook has also rearranged the menu items and now displays them as bubbles in a two-column interface.

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36

Dark mode for WhatsApp finally goes stable, rolling out this week

WhatsApp has been testing dark mode for a little while, enabling the feature for those participating in the beta program back in January. Today, WhatsApp announced that dark mode is now ready for the spotlight (or, lack of light, we guess), and will be rolling out over the next few days.

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17

Facebook is rolling out dark mode to its Lite app

Dark mode is all the rage right now, with apps adding the feature to save you a little eye strain. While Android 10 and most Google apps have been rocking a black theme for a while, Facebook hasn't made similarly bold strides in bringing the feature to its billions of app users. Its main app first showed signs of dark mode in November, but the feature still hasn’t reached everyone. On the other hand, many Facebook Lite users already see the dark mode toggle as part of what appears to be a wide rollout.

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7

The FTC is looking into Google's acquisitions over the last decade

The FTC has decided to look into some past acquisitions made by Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft, going back to 2010, asking them now to provide information that wasn't previously required under existing anti-trust regulations. The Commission claims it wants to deepen its understanding of these sorts of smaller acquisitions to better determine if they could be preventing competition in previously unanticipated ways, though it doesn't currently claim any of the companies involved were engaging in anti-competitive behavior.

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59

All the companies that have withdrawn from MWC

The coronavirus outbreak is shaking up the tech world, leading to factory and store shutdowns all over China. This could mean we'll see some production shortages, but fears of the virus spread also have more tangible effects. Many companies have decided to withdraw from or limit their availability at MWC 2020, slated to begin February 24. To hinder contamination, the fair organizer GSMA has put a vast number of actions in motion to keep attendees as safe as possible.

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8

Facebook's iffy past practices with facial recognition just cost it $550 million

While governments worldwide are starting to add facial recognition software to public cameras, Facebook has settled its long-term legal dispute concerning its use of this technology to tag people in photos uploaded to its platform. The company has agreed to pay $550 million to a group of plaintiffs from Illinois who argued the network didn't seek their consent when it first started the practice in 2011.

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