Posts tagged Internet-based applications and services

Twitter to remove images of deceased upon request

Twitter has some reservations in granting wishes of kin

Twitter said late Tuesday it will remove images and videos of deceased people upon the request of family members, but it put conditions on the policy.

The microblogging service made the announcement a week after the daughter of the late comedian Robin Williams said she would quit Twitter after receiving gruesome images of him from online trolls.

The move also comes as Twitter tried to delete images and video depicting the death of U.S. photojournalist James Foley, who was apparently killed by the militant group Islamic State, better known as ISIS.

“In order to respect the wishes of loved ones, Twitter will remove imagery of deceased individuals in certain circumstances,” Twitter spokesman Nu Wexler said in a message about the update to its policies.

“When reviewing such media removal requests, Twitter considers public interest factors such as the newsworthiness of the content and may not be able to honor every request.”

Twitter, which boasts 271 million active monthly users, posted details of the policy that require the estate or a person’s family member to provide documents such as copies of a death certificate and government-issued identification.

Family members or other authorized people can request the removal of photos or video of deceased people on Twitter “from when critical injury occurs to the moments before or after death,” it said.

Twitter still refuses to provide account access to anyone, even if they are related to the person who has died.

Women have been the target of threats an abuse on Twitter, and critics have urged the company to change its Twitter Rules. A year ago, it introduced an “in-tweet” abuse button to report violations.

But some have complained that it’s still impossible to stop determined trolls.

“Ive endured this for two years, and so have countless others,” Twitter user Imani Gandy recently wrote about the racist invective she suffers at the hands of one particular troll.

“He creates hundreds of accounts to tweet his inane ramblings to my friends, online acquaintances and even my work. He latches on to any tweet of mine and harasses anyone that I interact with.”

She criticized Twitter for being slow to act and having no solutions beyond suspending accounts, adding she and other users are trying to get Twitter CEO Dick Costolo to strengthen the service’s abuse policies.


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Symantec to shut down Backup Exec.cloud

The cloud-based backup and recovery service was introduced last year

Symantec plans to close down its Backup Exec.cloud service, saying it lacks mobile and content-sharing features and wouldn’t be the right platform for delivering them.

Backup Exec.cloud is a pure cloud-based offering designed to make it easy for small businesses and remote branch offices to back up their data. It was announced in February 2012.

Symantec disclosed its plans to shut down the service in an email to channel partners that was seen by IDG News Service. An FAQ about the shutdown was on Symantec’s site earlier on Tuesday but appears to have been removed. In its email to channel partners, Symantec said it would start informing end users by email in early December. The company will stop selling subscriptions or renewals for Backup Exec.cloud on Jan. 6, 2014.

Cloud-based options for both backing up data and working with files have proliferated in recent years and taken on growing importance as more employees work at home and on the road. Backup Exec.cloud, introduced along with Symantec’s Backup Exec 2012 product suite, is a standalone system focused on off-premises data protection for sites with no IT staff.

“Customers want features such as synch & share and mobile access. Backup Exec.cloud was not designed with these features in mind,” Symantec’s FAQ said. “As a result, Symantec has decided to discontinue Backup Exec.cloud in order to focus on more productive and feature-rich cloud-based applications which include this type of functionality.”

Symantec offers a range of other data protection products, including on-premise and hybrid backup and recovery, as well as Norton Zone for file synchronization and sharing. It will continue to invest in backup and recovery products, including its on-premise Backup Exec product and its NetBackup software, and will expand the functionality of Norton Zone, the company said.

Asked for comment on the change, Symantec said it was simplifying its product lineup.

“As we align with our new offering strategy and efforts to streamline our product range to provide fewer, more integrated solutions for our customers, Symantec has made the decision to retire Backup Exec.cloud,” the company said in a statement. “We are firmly committed to doing everything we can to help our partners and customers successfully navigate this process.”

In January, Symantec announced a reorganization of its software business under President and CEO Steve Bennett, appointed in 2012, that is focused on more integrated products.

Cloud-based backup has both grown in popularity and become more complex over the past several years, said Eran Farajun, executive vice president of Asigra, which supplies software for cloud backup services from companies including Hewlett-Packard and Terremark.

Among other things, enterprises need to back up data from more locations, including virtual machines, mobile devices and cloud-based services such as Salesforce.com, he said. Meanwhile, the per-gigabit price of cloud backup has fallen as the volume of data involved continues to grow. However, there’s still room for standalone cloud-based backup, Farajun believes.

The service and support for it will cease on Jan. 6, 2015. Existing customers will be able to keep using Backup Exec.cloud until the end of their annual subscriptions. For customers with multiyear subscriptions that go beyond that date, Symantec will provide information about refunds at a later date, according to the FAQ. Users are entitled to Backup Exec on-premises backup software for 35 percent off list price, Symantec said. The company also suggested Norton Zone as an alternative for some customers.

Users will have to migrate their own data to any alternative service. “We are here to help you navigate this process, but we are not able to provide any data migration services as part of this announcement,” Symantec said in the FAQ.

Customers’ data in the cloud will be deleted after their subscriptions expire. However, customers shouldn’t have to download all the data after expiration because it will already exist on their own PCs and servers, the company said. The service is a near-term backup that normally maintains data for just 90 days.


 

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