facebook

Wed
08
Jul
John Lister's picture

Facebook Accused of Empowering Extremists

Two years ago Facebook commissioned an audit on its effect on civil rights. The results are in, and they don't make for pretty reading. The report makes a series of suggestions for Facebook to change its policies, but the company says it won't ... implement all of them. Arguably the most damaging conclusion in the report is that Facebook isn't just hosting extremist views and hatred, but that its very setup may actually be encouraging and boosting such material. The biggest criticism is that Facebook's own algorithms may have pushed users towards "self-reinforcing echo chambers of extremism." The ... (view more)

Wed
01
Jul
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25 Android Apps Steal Facebook Passwords

Google has removed 25 malicious Android apps which tried to steal user Facebook logins. As always, it's worth checking devices to see if these apps are installed, because they won't automatically uninstall from phones even being ousted from the Play ... Store. This particular batch of apps didn't have a common subject, but each promised to carry out a basic function, including: a flashlight, file cleaner, or card game. Hidden deep inside each app was malicious software that ran behind the scenes. The malware came alive each time an app was opened on the phone, specifically checking to see if the ... (view more)

Thu
18
Jun
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Facebook Users Can Opt Out of Political Ads

Facebook chief says the site will let users opt-out of seeing political advertising for this year's US presidential elections. But the site won't seek to block controversial content posted by politicians themselves unless it breaks the law. Writing ... in USA Today, company chief Mark Zuckerberg announced a voter registration drive. Facebook will have a dedicated section with information about how to register, cast a vote, or arrange mail-in or early votes. The section will include verified content from election officials. This section will be promoted at the top of user's news feeds and on ... (view more)

Fri
10
Apr
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WhatsApp Attempts to Slow Spread of Fake News

A messaging service owned by Facebook is to change its policies to reduce the risk of people passing on bogus information. The WhatsApp changes follow a "significant increase" in forwarded messages since the COVID-19 pandemic began. WhatsApp lets ... users form and join multiple chat groups: for example, one for work colleagues, one for personal friends and one for neighbors. One key feature is that it's relatively simple to forward a message from one group to another, which means information can spread rapidly. That's particularly problematic when it comes to false and even dangerous information ... (view more)

Tue
07
Apr
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Chrome Cookie Change Put on Hold due to Pandemic

Google has temporarily reversed a change intended to increase security and privacy in the Chrome browser. It says it can't risk disrupting websites when so many people are more reliant on the Internet than normal. The change was to the way Chrome ... handles third-party cookies . These are small text files placed on a computer when it visits a website. Unlike standard cookies, they aren't accessed by the site in question, but rather a third-party and are often associated with unpopular behavior such tracking a user's activity across the web to build up a profile of their interests to target ... (view more)

Wed
18
Mar
John Lister's picture

Tech Giants Tackle COVID-19 Fake News

Leading tech companies have agreed a joint program to week out false information about the COVID-19 pandemic. It could have a knock-on effect on the rest of their services. The program is announced in a joint statement from Facebook, Google, ... LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter and YouTube. It says they will take steps "to make sure everyone has access to accurate information, stop misinformation and harmful content, and support global health experts, local governments, businesses and communities." (Source: fb.com ) It's part of a four part program of measures from Facebook. The ... (view more)

Wed
05
Feb
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Facebook Messenger Kids Beefs Up Parental Controls

Facebook has given parents more ability to monitor their child's use of its messaging tool. The move follows criticism of Facebook producing such a tool in the first place. "Messenger Kids" launched back in 2017 for use by under 13s, who aren't ... allowed to use Facebook itself. The key selling point was that parents had to approve the contacts that the child could then exchange messages with. That hasn't always worked exactly as planned, as a glitch meant children could take part in group chats containing people who weren't approved or even that they'd blocked. Parents will now be ... (view more)

Tue
24
Dec
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Facebook Stops Using Phone Numbers for Advertisements

Facebook is to stop treating user's phone numbers as a way to target advertising and recommend friends. Critics said the practice undermined a key security measure. The company says it wasn't collecting the numbers directly from phones or the ... Facebook app. Instead, users provided the number when taking advantage of two factor authentication. With this set-up, it means that if a user tries to log in to Facebook on a new device or from a new location, Facebook sends a security code by text message to the number on file. The user then has to type the code in to Facebook before they can login ... (view more)

Tue
03
Dec
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Facebook, Google Photos to Allow Data Sharing

Facebook is to let users automatically copy their uploaded photos and videos to Google's photo service. It's part of a "data portability" project between tech giants, but is also a demonstration of how slowly the project itself is moving. The tool ... will mean users can transfer files without needing to download them to their devices, then re-upload them to another service. In particular, Google's Photos service makes it easy to access photos on multiple devices. It also has automatic tagging so that users can quickly find all their photos of a particular location or activity, for example. It's ... (view more)

Thu
24
Oct
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Facebook Faces $35B in Facial Recognition Lawsuit

Facebook is set to face a $35 billion class action lawsuit over claims it used facial recognition tools without permission. The case will proceed despite Facebook's protest that no one suffered direct financial losses. The case is taking place in ... Illinois, where three individual lawsuits from 2015 were combined into a single class action case. It's based on Facebook using automated recognition on uploaded photographs. The way it works is like this: let's say that Bob uploads a photograph to Facebook, which also includes his friend Alice. After the upload is complete, Facebook scans the ... (view more)

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