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Facebook, Twitter and Google face questions from US senators

At present, the companies cannot be sued over what their users post online, or the decisions they make over what to leave up and take down.

Some politicians have raised concerns this "sweeping immunity" encourages bad behaviour.

But the chief executives say they need the law to be able to moderate content.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter's Jack Dorsey and Google's Sundar Pichai were summoned before the Senate after both Democrats and Republicans agreed to call them in for questioning.

'A loophole'

Facebook avoids Apple with cloud-gaming launch

Initially, only five titles already available as standalone smartphone apps will be accessible - via the main Facebook and Facebook Gaming apps on Android and Facebook's website on PCs.

Later, it may add "all types of games".

But it is not offering the product on Apple's iOS mobile operating system because "we don't know if launching on the App Store is a viable path".

Amazon, Facebook and Apple thriving in lockdown

Amazon sales soared 40% in the three months ending June, while Apple saw a surge in purchases of its iPhones and other hardware.

At Facebook, the number of people on its platforms, which include WhatsApp and Instagram, jumped by 15%.

The gains come as the firms face scrutiny over their size and power.

At a hearing in Washington on Wednesday, lawmakers grilled the companies about whether they were abusing their dominance to quash rivals, noting the sharp contrast between their fortunes and many other firms.

Facebook and WhatsApp 'pause' Hong Kong police help

Several countries, including the UK, have criticised China for imposing new security laws, which they say threaten the territory's long-standing autonomy.

Facebook said it would stop considering the requests, "pending further assessment" of the human rights issues.

No personal information about users in the region was held at or disclosed from its Hong Kong office, it added.

"We believe freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and support the right of people to express themselves without fear for their safety or other repercussions," Facebook said.

Facebook's Giphy deal investigated by competition authority

Giphy's vast library of looping short video animations is hugely popular in Facebook's apps.

But it also provides animations to competitors like TikTok, Snapchat and Twitter.

Now, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating whether the purchase is a problem.

It has sent an enforcement order to Facebook, effectively putting a hold on any merging of the companies until its investigation is over.

Announcing the acquisition in May this year, Facebook said that half of Giphy's traffic comes from Facebook apps, including Whatsapp and Instagram.

Grandmother ordered to delete Facebook photos under GDPR

It ended up in court after a falling-out between the woman and her daughter.

The judge ruled the matter was within the scope of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

One expert said the ruling reflected the "position that the European Court has taken over many years".

The case went to court after the woman refused to delete photographs of her grandchildren which she had posted on social media.

The mother of the children had asked several times for the pictures to be deleted.

Facebook buys GIF-maker Giphy to add to Instagram team

A report from Axios values the deal at $400m (£330m), but Facebook would not confirm the final price.

In a blog post, Instagram's VP of Products Vishal Shah said third party firms would still have access to Giphy's library of GIFs and stickers.

But many of those sites including Twitter and Pintrest are direct competitors to Facebook.

A Graphical Interchange Format or GIF is an animated image or short soundless video that plays on a continuous loop without requiring the viewer to press play.

Facebook reveals Gaming app to rival Twitch and YouTube

Facebook said the "accelerated" launch was a direct response to the Covid-19 lockdown.

The app lets users follow high-profile gamers, watch live gaming streams and leave comments without interacting with the rest of Facebook.

It also lets gamers broadcast their own smartphone screen.

While Facebook remains the largest social network on the planet, it has struggled to compete against dominant players Twitch and YouTube when it comes to games streaming and esports.

Facebook's Twitter and Instagram accounts hacked

The hacking group OurMine posted on the Twitter and Instagram accounts for Facebook and Messenger, writing "even Facebook is hackable".

The accounts have now been restored.

OurMine claims its attacks are an attempt to show cyber vulnerabilities. In January it hijacked over a dozen accounts for teams in the US National Football League.

The group posted a statement on Facebook's Twitter account. "Hi, we are OurMine. Well, even Facebook is hackable but at least their security is better then Twitter."

Facebook removes 11.6 million child abuse posts

They reveal 11.6 million pieces of content related to child nudity and child sexual exploitation were taken down between July and September 2019.

For the first time, Facebook is also releasing figures for Instagram and including numbers for posts related to suicide and self-harm.

This follows a public outcry over the death of 14-year-old Molly Russell.

The teenager killed herself in 2017 and her father then found large amounts of graphic material about self-harm and suicide on her Instagram account.