Threads Users Can Keep Their Posts Off Instagram and Facebook

Many Threads users are now saying they have the ability to opt out of having their posts shown on Instagram and Facebook. To keep Threads posts from showing up on Meta’s other platforms, tap the two lines in the top right of the Threads app > Privacy > Suggesting pots on other apps – two switches let users turn off suggestions on Instagram or Facebook, The Verge reported.

According to The Verge, Meta tends to roll out Threads features slowly, so if you don’t see the new toggles yet, give it time.

Instagram and Facebook each got a “For you on Threads” carousel in the last few months. Responding to user grumpiness, Threads said in October it was “listening to feedback” shortly before testing the opt-out switch that’s rolling out now.

The Verge reported that the feature was clearly intended to drive engagement on Threads, as the platform seemed to be foundering after its impressive initial launch. But things look a lot better now. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on an earnings call last month that Threads now has almost 100 million monthly users. That’s still short of the “over half a billion monthly users” that Elon Musk recently claimed that X has, but its a good sign for Threads, just over four months into life.

9to5Mac reported that Meta first started showing these Threads suggestions on Facebook and Instagram in August. The carousels show Threads posts from people you’re associated with on Facebook or Instagram, with a quick link to open (or download) the Threads app and join the conversation.

“If your profile is public, your posts may be suggested on other apps so people can discover and follow you,” Meta explains.

However, this week Meta is now giving Threads users the option to opt out of having their posts appear as suggested content in Meta and Instagram.

PCMag reported that Meta undoubtedly made the decision to share posts by default on other platforms in order to drive engagement and interest in Threads while the service was new and gaining traction.

The idea being a friend of yours might see on Instagram that you’ve posted on Threads, then visit Threads for more. Testing for the feature began in August with Instagram showing Threads posts.

According to PCMag, last month, the company said its was “listening to feedback” from users who didn’t want their posts shared on Instagram and Twitter as well. The company offers a similar option on Instagram allowing you to opt in or our of sharing your posts on Facebook as well.

Personally, I find it interesting that Meta didn’t take into account that there will always be some people who join a social media app and immediately make their accounts private. This is super important for the company to recognize, and it makes sense that Meta is now allowing Threads users to opt-out of having their posts appear on Instagram and Facebook.

DOJ Says Apple Discriminated Against U.S. Citizens In Hiring

Apple illegally discriminated against US citizens and other US residents in its hiring and recruitment practices for certain types of positions that went to foreign workers, the US Department of Justice said yesterday, ArsTechnica reported.

Apple discriminated “against US citizens and certain non-US citizens whose permission to live in and work in the United States does not expire,” the agency said. The $25 million payment was called the largest ever collected by the Justice Department under the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Apple is required to pay $6.75 million in civil penalties and create an $18.25 million fund to provide back pay to those harmed by its hiring practices. Apple did not admit guilt in the settlement, but the company acknowledged in a statement that it had “unintentionally not been following the DOJ standard,” according to Reuters.

The Department of Justice posted a press release titled: “Justice Department Secures $25 Million Landmark Agreement with Apple to Resolve Employment Discrimination Allegations Based on Citizenship Status”. From the press release:

The Justice Department announced today that it has secured a landmark agreement with Apple Inc. (Apple) to resolve allegations that Apple illegally discriminated in hiring and recruitment against U.S. citizens and certain non-U.S. citizens whose permission to live and work in the United States does not expire.

Under the agreement, Apple is required to pay up to $25 million in backpay and civil penalties, the largest award that the department has recovered under the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality act (INA).

“Creating unlawful barriers that make it harder for someone to seek a job because of their citizenship status will not be tolerated,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This resolution reflects that Civil Rights Division’s commitment to ending illegal discriminatory employment practices.”

The settlement agreement resolves the department’s determination that Apple violated the INA’s anti-discrimination requirements during Apple’s recruitment for positions falling under the permanent labor certification program (PERM). The PERM program is administrated by the Department of Labor an the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

It allows employers to sponsor workers for lawful permanent resident status in the United States after completing recruitment and meeting other program requirements. Any U.S. employer that utilizes PERM program cannot legally discriminate in hiring or recruitment based on citizenship or immigration status…

The Hill reported that, according to the Department of Justice, Apple did not advertise positions that it sought to hire through the PERM program on its external job website and required candidates to mail in paper applications, often resulting in fewer or no submissions by those who would be eligible for the program.

According to The Hill, the settlement agreement that Apple maintains it “adhered to the recruitment steps” required by the program and “any alleged failures were the result of inadvertent error and not intentional discrimination.”

In my opinion, a company as large as Apple should have known better than to (intentionally or unintentionally) discriminate against workers. As a result, Apple now has to pay a lot of money to fix the problems it caused to potential workers.

Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg Details Tumblr’s Future

This week, owner Matt Mullenweg confirmed his company would be shifting the majority of Tumblr’s workforce to other areas at the parent company Automattic in light of the social blogging site’s continued financial woes, TechCrunch reported.

After acknowledging and explaining the meaning behind a leaked internal memo detailing staff changes, Mullenweg then went on to field a number of questions about Tumblr’s future as an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on his own Tumblr blog. Here, the exec responded to questions about Tumblr’s plans for existing products like, Tumblr Live, its monetization efforts, policies and its planned integration with the decentralized social networking protocol ActivityPub, which Mullenweg had earlier said was in the works.

What are Tumblr’s monetization plans?

Tumblr today offers a subscription which is currently the best way to support the site, Mullenweg said. Users can choose from either the Tumblr Support badge for $29.99/year or $2.99/month or subscribe to a similarly-priced ad-free offering. Subscribing on the web instead of in-app allows Tumblr to keep more of its revenue as it doesn’t have to pay app store commissions.

However, TechCrunch reported, out of Tumblr’s 11.5 million active users, only 27,000 are subscribers (0.2%). If 10-20% subscribed, Tumblr would be in good shape, Mullenweg noted. Then, “we could run the site forever,” he shared.

What’s more, he said the Tumblr Supporter badge hasn’t been very successful on its own, with only 2,300 total subscribers to that product.

ArsTechnica reported that Tumblr will lose a majority of its product-minded staff by the end of this year, according to the CEO of the company that owns it. But, despite a recently leaked memo quoting Tennyson’s “better to have loved and lost” line, the CEO believes they are “setting up Tumblr for success in this next chapter.”

The memo states that a majority of the 139 employees on product and marketing at Tumblr (in a team apparently named “Bumblr”) will “switch to other divisions.” Those working in “Happiness” (Automattic’s customer support and service division) and “T&S” (trust and safety) would remain.

“We are at the point where after 600+ person-years of effort put into Tumblr since the acquisition in 2019, we have not gotten the expected results from our effort, which was to have revenue and usage above its previous peaks,” the posted memo reads. After quotes and anecdotes about love, loss, and mountain climbing, and learning on the journey, the memo notes that nobody will be let go and that team members can make a ranked list of their top three preferred assignments elsewhere inside Automattic.

PCMag reported that Tumblr is in trouble. Recent efforts to turn things around at the blogging site have fallen flat, which will result in a 2024 re-org.

“What’s super clear is our previous approach wasn’t working,” Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Tumblr owner Automattic, said in a recent post. “It didn’t turn around the business to make enough money to support the investment of infrastructure and staff needed to run Tumblr, and a lot of users were unhappy with some of the changes we tried.”

In my opinion, there would be a lot of people who currently use Tumblr that would be sad if the site disappears due to lack of revenue. Tumblr has changed hands over the years, and it would be a shame if the site just poofs out of existence.

OpenAi Custom GPTs Change Everything #1705

Today, I created 4 OpenAI custom GPTs that is the beginning of something completely revolutionary. I will never ever look at task the same going forward I will make a determination can I help myself or my company or my others. This is the start of Agent AI’s and I am as convinced of anything I have been in my whole life that this is going to be the biggest thing in tech in 2023!

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Sony Confirms It’s Delayed Half Of It’s 12 Planned Live Service Games

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) has halved the number of live service games it plans to release over the next few years, it’s confirmed.

According to VideoGamesChronicle, SIE had previously said it planned to have 12 live service titles in the market by its fiscal year ending in March 2026 – up from three during its last business year ended this March.

However, earlier this year, PlayStation’s management team confirmed that it had partnered with Destiny studio Bungie for a “rigorous portfolio review” process. According to press reports, this has led to some projects being scaled back.

During an earnings call on Thursday, Sony president, COO and CFO Hiroki Totoki seemingly confirmed that this review had results in some games being pushed back due to quality concerns.

Among the 12 titles in development are a The Last of Us online game, a Horizon online game, and an original IP from PlayStation’s London Studio.

Game Developer reported that Sony’s planned output of live-service games has hit a stumbling block, as six of those intended 12 titles have been pushed back. During its recent earnings call, president Hiroki Totoki explained the unannounced titles were being delayed due to quality concerns and ensuring they live up to PlayStation’s first-party standards.

According to Game Developer, last year, Sony made clear the company wanted in on the revenue of live-service titles like Destiny 2 (whose developer, Bungie, it now owns) and Fortnite. Since then, multiplayer spinoffs for Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us and Guerrilla Games’ Horizon franchises have been confirmed to be in development.

In the case of Naughty Dog, said spinoff was revealed to be quietly shelved this past October. Earlier in the year, it was reported that the game (currently known as Factions) was suffering from a lack of clear vision and general quality.

Kotaku reported that Sony was betting big on turning PlayStation into a live-service juggernaut, but it sounds like the platforms shift into online multiplayer games hasn’t been anywhere near as quick or smooth as it once hoped. Unlike originally planned, Sony’s president Hiroki Totoki told investors six of the company’s 12 upcoming live service games won’t arrive until 2026 and beyond.

According to Kotaku, Sony’s president went on to say that its big live service push for PlayStation remains the “unchanged policy of the company,” but that “game quality” will be the most important thing overall as it makes production and scheduling decisions.

The full slate of 12 games had originally been promised by around the end of 2025. The man who made that promise, Jim Ryan, is currently in the middle of retiring as the head of PlayStation.

Kotaku noted that live-service games have been a gold mine for the companies who have managed to make them work. Money players spend in games like Madden and Call of Duty now outpaces revenue from sales of the games themselves.

Personally, I think there is potential for live service games to be extremely fun. For example, I play a lot of Diablo IV, which is a live service game. These types of games can make it easier to group up with friends or to jump into random encounters with strangers.

Cruise Recalls 950 Of Its Cars To Update Software

Cruise, the autonomous vehicle venture owned by General Motors, has issued a recall effecting 950 of its robotaxis following a pedestrian collision in San Francisco last month, NBC News reported.

Previously, the company had grounded all of its driverless operations following the Oct. 2 collision during which a pedestrian was thrown into the path of the Cruise robotaxi by a human driver in a different car who hit her first.

The Cruise autonomous vehicle braked aggressively before impact and then tried to pull over to the side of the road, according to the NHTSA filing and prior statements from the company. In the process, the vehicle dragged the pedestrian forward about 20 feet.

Cruise posted “Important Updates From Cruise” on its website. From the press release:

We believe that over time autonomous vehicles can significantly reduce the number and severity of car collisions, including the more than 40,000 deaths on U.S. roads each year. This is what motivates our work. We also know we have a responsibility to operate at the highest standards of safety, transparency and accountability.

We recently announced a pause of all our driverless operations while we take time to examine our processes and improve how we operate. During this time we plan to seek input from our government and agency partners and other key stakeholders to understand how we can be better partners.

Here are some of the initial steps Cruise has taken:

Issued a Voluntary Software Recall: As part of our larger efforts to assess, identify and remedy issues as we work with NHTSA and other regulators, we have issued a voluntary recall of part of our AV software based on a new analysis of our AV’s post-collision response on October 2. The recall addresses circumstances in which the Cruise collision detection subsystem may cause the Cruise AV to attempt to pull over out of traffic instead of remaining stationary when a pullover is not the desired post-collision response.

Issued a Recall through a 573 NHSTA Filing: We issued the recall through a 573 NHTSA filing, which is the standard protocol for a company looking to notify consumers of hardware or software safety issues that require a remedy. We have also developed a software update that remedies the issue described and have deployed it to our supervised test fleet, which remains in operation. We’ll deploy the remedy to our driverless fleet prior to those operations.

Announced a Chief Safety Officer (CSO) Role: Cruise is conducting a search to hire a Chief Safety Officer who will report directly to the CEO. In the meantime, Dr. Louise Zhang, VP of Safety & Systems, will assume the role of interim Chief Safety Officer and oversee our safety review & investigations.

Engadget reported that Cruise will soon lay off employees. The company’s CEO Kyle Vogt told staff of the decision in an all-hands meeting earlier this week. Cruise hasn’t yet decided who or how many people will lose their jobs.

It seems to me that Cruise is trying very hard to improve the actions taken by its driverless vehicles. Hopefully, their software update will prevent the cars from harming pedestrians. It is extremely unfortunate that Cruise is intending on laying off (at least some) of its workers, especially during the holiday season.

Meta Platforms Enforces Disclosure of AI-Altered Media in Political Ads

Meta Platforms has introduced a new policy necessitating advertisers to reveal when political ads include media manipulated by AI or other software before the 2024 U.S. presidential election. Political ads featuring significantly altered images, videos, or audio must be marked starting from the new year.

This measure follows the surge in generative AI technology post-ChatGPT’s release by OpenAI in November 2022. The upcoming U.S. primaries will be a crucial test for generative AI’s impact on elections. Meta has developed its own generative AI products but restricts their use to creating political ads. Non-disclosure can lead to ad rejection and potential penalties, though immaterial alterations are exempt. The policy also covers social issue-related ads, aligning with Meta’s stance against using its generative AI tools for political ad creation. Source Tech Crunch