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One in five work Zoom freezes or breaks up because of bad Wi-Fi


One in five work video calls freezes and 15 per cent drop out altogether because of bad Wi-Fi, a study has found

Research polling 2,000 adults found they have done an average of five video calls a week since the start of the pandemic.

But a fifth of those also suffered delays, leading to awkward conversations as people tried to keep up with what was being discussed.

Following the findings, an amusing gallery of some embarrassing mid-call freeze moments has been compiled.

It includes people being caught eating as the video screen freezes as well as those who lost connection while pulling an embarrassing facial expression.

Gareth Lister, director of connectivity at Virgin Media, which commissioned the research and compiled the images as part of the launch of Intelligent Wi-Fi Plus, said: “We understand how frustrating bad Wi-Fi can be and no one wants the shame of a frozen self-portrait.

Work calls are now a big part of many people’s lives

“With work meetings and social events being held virtually, it’s more important than ever that your Wi-Fi is on point all of the time and reaches every part of your home.”

The study also found that a quarter of adults lose patience with a frozen or lagging call after just 30 seconds of problems.

Almost four in 10 are left feeling frustrated while 21 per cent feel fed-up.

Of those polled, 15 per cent admitted they have taken a screenshot of someone else after they froze on the screen and 11 per cent have had their photo taken.

This includes pictures of people yawning (22 per cent), eating (17 per cent) and rolling their eyes (10 per cent).

To get around the connection issues, people have restarted devices (19 per cent), moved closer to their router (12 per cent) or even to another room (10 per cent) in search of signal.

A further 11 per cent have closed all other browsers while 10 per cent have upgraded their broadband package (10 percent).

For many the work Christmas party went online
For many the work Christmas party went online

But it’s not just video calls where Brits have experienced Wi-Fi issues, with films and TV shows buffering (30 per cent) and online games lagging (12 per cent) also leaving them frustrated.

Gareth added: “People are going out of their way – quite literally to different rooms – to try and find a reliable W-Fi signal for crucial work calls or when catching up with family and friends.

“Intelligent Wi-Fi Plus with our new Wi-Fi Pods will provide faster and more reliable speeds throughout the entire home to help customers stay connected on all of their devices, in every room, all of the time.”

With the nation once again under lockdown restrictions, Brits most want to improve Wi-Fi in their office or work from home space (16 per cent) and in their living rooms to watch Ultra-HD TV (13 per cent) during the lockdown.

BIGGEST VIDEO CALL BUGBEARS:
1. Everyone speaking at once
2. Struggling to hear someone but not wanting to say ‘pardon’ again
3. Cameras freezing
4. Speaking before realising you’re on mute
5. Not being able to see everyone on the call at once
6. Not knowing when to jump in the conversation
7. Microphone not working
8. Struggling to share your screen
9. The call crashing and having to log back in
10. The call time running out and having to log back in





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Headline USA

Facebook freezes accounts of British historical re-enactment society

Facebook has frozen the accounts of members of a British historical re-enactment society after mistaking them for a US far-right militia group. 

Wimborne Militia recreates historic battles from the 17th century including the 1685 Monmouth Rebellion and helps out with other local events – including recently turning on a town’s Christmas lights.

But five of its 60 members have had their Facebook profiles disabled, leaving them unable to post photos or comments.

The group, based in Dorset, fears it is because the social media giant has mis-identified its page as being part of a right-wing movement in the US.

Wimborne Militia recreates historic battles from the 17th century and helps out with other local events – including recently turning on a town’s Christmas lights

One of those affected is Chris Brown (pictured), who is also the local town crier

 One of those affected is Chris Brown (pictured), who is also the local town crier

The group’s founder, Chris Brown, 64, also runs the Wimborne Neighbourhood Watch Facebook page – another of the frozen pages.

He said: ‘The first we knew something was wrong was last week when none of us could access our Facebook accounts.

‘There was a message that appeared that stated “your account has been disabled due to contraventions of community standards. This decision is irreversible.”

‘We had no idea what had gone on. We thought somebody had hacked our accounts at first.

‘We couldn’t get hold of anybody at Facebook. I even emailed Nick Clegg, who is the director of global communications at Facebook, but I’m still waiting for a reply.

‘We suspected it was down to this business in the US where you have militia groups that are armed to the teeth and an algorithm is wiping off anybody who has the word militia on their page.

‘It looks like Facebook made a blanket decision without checking us out. If they did it would have been fairly obvious that were aren’t a dangerous, political group.

‘We are an English Civil War re-enactment group with 17th century weapons which we had shotgun licences for. We operate under strict health and safety rules and everything is done by the book.’

The group relies on social media to keep the public informed of its activities – especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

Wimborne Militia entertain the crowd by firing their muskets. The group relies on social media to keep the public informed of its activities - especially during the coronavirus pandemic

Wimborne Militia entertain the crowd by firing their muskets. The group relies on social media to keep the public informed of its activities – especially during the coronavirus pandemic

It said in a post on Facebook: ‘Hello, It seem that due to events overseas, Facebook is deleting anything to do with Militias.

‘Unfortunately despite being a British Reenactment society we seem to have been caught up in the algorithm.

‘So if this page disappears that is why. We shall have to start again!’

While the five deleted accounts were those of the group’s administrators, the main page has remained online.

One of those affected is Chris Brown, who is also the local town crier.

Facebook vs US militias: How the tech giant has banned thousands of pages

Facebook has removed thousands of accounts, pages and groups as part of what it called a ‘policy expansion,’ seeking to limit violent rhetoric tied to QAnon, political militias and protest groups like Antifa.

Facebook has been under immense pressure to clamp down on hate speech and dangerous conspiracy theories, both of which are found in abundance on the site.

Last year the company announced new policies to reduce the visibility of vaccine misinformation on its platform, including rejecting advertising and excluding groups and pages from search results that spread ‘vaccine hoaxes.’

Facebook will now deliberately push down in its rankings QAnon, militia and anarchist protest groups on users’ News Feeds and in Facebook and Instagram’s search engines.  

He told the BBC: ‘I run a number of social media pages and contribute to pages about Wimborne.

‘I’m the administrator of the neighbourhood watch, so I can’t even do that at the moment.’

The Monmouth Rebellion, also known as the Pitchfork Rebellion, the Revolt of the West or the West Country rebellion, was an attempt to overthrow James II. 

Facebook began banning militia groups in the US after critics claimed the platform was being used to encourage violence.

In October the company began down-ranking content in restricted pages and groups, meaning members would only see it further down in their feed.

‘We are also prohibiting anyone on our platform from running ads that praise, support or represent militarized social movements and QAnon,’ Facebook said in an update.

In August, Facebook had banned about 900 pages and groups and 1,500 ads tied to the conspiracy theorists which believe the president is secretly fighting against elite Satan-worshiping pedophiles in the government.

The effort was part of what they called a ‘policy expansion,’ seeking to limit violent rhetoric tied to QAnon, political militias and protest groups like Antifa.

Brian Fishman, who runs Facebook’s global counterterrorism team, on Wednesday said they have since identified more than 300 groups under the policy and removed more than 6,500 groups and pages between August 19 and September 15. 

Facebook, which moved to take down or restrict controversial accounts earlier this year, said it had restored the accounts after an ‘error’.

A spokesman told MailOnline: ‘The Group and accounts were removed in error and have now been restored. We’re sorry for any upset this has caused and we’ve taken steps to prevent this happening again.’