Internet

Thu
09
Feb
John Lister's picture

Facebook makes it Easier to Help in Crisis, Disaster

Facebook is to make it easier for people to offer practical help after a crisis or natural disaster. It's an update to an existing tool for people to check up on loved ones. When triggered, the "Safety Check" feature will check which Facebook users ... are in the relevant physical area, based on their IP address or the location information on their mobile device. They'll then be asked to choose options of "I'm safe" or "I'm not in the area." Their Facebook friends will then see them listed as safe. The idea is that publicizing somebody as being " ... (view more)

Thu
26
Jan
John Lister's picture

Facebook Revamps Trending Topics List

Facebook is making several changes to its Trending Topics section that, in effect, serves as its news headlines. The changes are designed to make it harder for people to game the system with bogus or intentionally provocative stories. Trending ... Topics is not about the stories that appear in the main news feed. They will continue to be decided by how many of the user's friends post, share or comment on links to the relevant web pages. Instead, Trending Topics is a separate list that appears on the right hand side of the page when users are logged in to the Facebook website. Clicking on the ... (view more)

Tue
17
Jan
John Lister's picture

Facebook Tests Tools to Fight Fake News

Facebook is testing tools to make it easier to combat "fake news" posted to the site. It's using Germany as a test bed for the tools, which will include making it harder for scammers to make money from false stories. The term "fake news" came to ... prominence last year and has been applied to all sorts of types of writing, including opinionated pieces and legitimate articles with unintended factual errors. However, what Facebook is targeting is material that has the appearance of legitimate news reporting but is largely completely fictional and designed either to spread ... (view more)

Thu
12
Jan
John Lister's picture

Online Tracking Ads May Get Overhaul

Major changes to privacy laws in Europe could affect the way websites deliver advertising. The move is meant to protect user privacy, but critics claim it could make ads more annoying and intrusive. The proposed changes would affect websites used by ... people in European Union countries, but the regulatory impact could be so severe that sites find it easier to change their policies worldwide. According to European officials, the changes are designed to take existing rules that affect telecommunications companies and apply them equally to Internet companies. The main principle of the change is ... (view more)

Wed
07
Dec
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Tech Giants Unite to Take Down Terrorist Posts

Some of the biggest Internet firms say they'll work together to remove images and videos that promote the message of terrorists. The announcement comes in the same week that European officials have criticized companies for failing to live up to a ... promise to tackle hate-based speech online. The agreement involves Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube. They'll build a joint database of images and videos that they have removed from their site after human moderators have flagged them as being either violent imagery produced by terrorists, or imagery specifically designed to recruit ... (view more)

Wed
23
Nov
John Lister's picture

Facebook Messages May Harbour Scams, Ransomware

Facebook users have been warned to watch out for bogus links in messages that appear to be from friends. While Facebook appears to be on top of the problem for now, it's an approach that could lead to personal data being siphoned off, or computers ... locked. The problem was highlighted by security researcher Bart Parys who became aware of the problem this weekend after a tip-off from a friend. It involves Facebook messages which appear to consist only of an image but are actually a type of file called SVG (scalable vector graphics). 'YouTube' Video Next Step In Scam Normally such ... (view more)

Wed
09
Nov
John Lister's picture

Facebook Accused of Racist Ad Policies

Facebook has denied claims that it allows racial discrimination in advertisements based on houses and jobs. A lawsuit may come down to interpretation of anti-discrimination laws. The lawsuit is filed against Facebook and "up to 9,999" unnamed ... co-defendants, though that appears to be a legal procedural move. It says Facebook has violated both the Fair Housing Act and Civil Rights Act. The legal action follows an investigation by "public interest journalism" group ProPublica, which bought an advertisement aimed at house buyers to check out claims of racial bias. Test Ad ... (view more)

Tue
08
Nov
John Lister's picture

Nearly 60% of Social Media Users Frustrated by Politics

One in five people say social media posts have changed their minds on political issues this year. But many of those changes have been to a negative position. The statistic comes from the Pew Research Center, which regularly surveys Internet users on ... their online activities. It found that 20 percent of the social media users it questioned in its latest study said they have changed their minds about a social or political issue because of something they saw on a social media service, while 17 percent said they have changed their minds about a specific candidate. (Source: washingtonpost.com ) In ... (view more)

Thu
03
Nov
John Lister's picture

Facebook Blocks Insurance App to Spy on Users, Set Premiums

Facebook has blocked plans by a British insurance company to use customer posts on Facebook to help determine motor premiums. Admiral Insurance claims no customers would have lost out from the policy. The plan was for customers to give the insurer ... automated access to their Facebook posts (but not photographs) to help decide whether to offer discounts. It would have been aimed mainly at young drivers who had no insurance history to show if they were safe or dangerous drivers. Language Could Indicate Risk Factors The precise details of the algorithm to figure out risk are confidential, but it ... (view more)

Wed
12
Oct
John Lister's picture

Yahoo Accused of Holding Email Users Hostage

Yahoo has blocked users from automatically forwarding incoming emails to an account with a rival provider. Many are interpreting it as an attempt to stop users jumping ship after revelations of a major security breach. The forwarding feature is ... pretty much a standard feature across the webmail industry, and means users can change from one account to another without having to worry about missing out on an important message during the switchover. Officially Yahoo says the feature is only temporarily disabled. It says the move was planned in advance and is to allow it to work on a range of ... (view more)

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