facebook

Wed
14
Feb
John Lister's picture

'Facebook Protect' VPN Tool Actually Spies on Users

The recently debuted 'Facebook Protect' feature has sparked controversy. Facebook says it's a tool to protect user privacy, but critics suggest it is nothing more than a tracking tool designed to collect user activity. The tool appears in the ... iPhone/iPad app for Facebook. Although the menu option is listed as 'Protect', it's actually a virtual private network (VPN) tool called "Onavo." A VPN works by creating the virtual equivalent of a private "tunnel" on the Internet. The tunnel then allows data to flow back and forth between a user's computer and the website or service they are ... (view more)

Tue
13
Feb
John Lister's picture

Report: Youth Abandoning Facebook

Facebook is increasingly becoming a site for older users according to an online measurement company. eMarketer says last year saw a drop in younger users that was nearly three times bigger than it forecast. This time last year the company predicted ... that the number of 12-17 year olds using Facebook would drop by 3.4 percent. That was significant as it was the first time it predicted any form of drop among any age group. Retirees The Main Growth Area A new report from the company says in reality the drop was 9.9 percent. It also says there was an overall fall in users among under-25s, something ... (view more)

Tue
06
Feb
John Lister's picture

Former Execs to Battle 'Social Media Addiction'

Former Facebook and Google employees are campaigning to warn users of the dangers of tech addiction. The 'Center for Humane Technology' will work on lobbying officials and educating children and parents. Though the organization has been running ... since 2014, it's not achieved much publicity so far. That could change with a high-profile relaunch after receiving several forms of funding including cash from a "media watchdog" non-profit, plus the equivalent of $50 million in free advertising space from companies such as Comcast and DirecTV. Google 'Ethicist' In Charge The group is largely made up ... (view more)

Wed
31
Jan
John Lister's picture

Facebook to Promote Local News

Facebook is to give more priority to local news stories when deciding which links to feature prominently. But Mark Zuckerberg's argument that this will reduce divisions and argument has been rejected by some critics. It's the latest in a series of ... changes to the algorithm Facebook uses to decide the order in which a specific user sees content. Originally all content such as posts from friends and shared links was shown in chronological order. Facebook later decided that the average user would not be able to see all of the content in chronological order (due to the volume of posts ... (view more)

Wed
24
Jan
John Lister's picture

Facebook Creates New Unit of Time - And No, it's Not a Gimmick

Facebook has invented a new unit of time called "the flick." Perhaps surprisingly it actually serves a purpose rather than being a mere gimmick. A "flick" is a word that's a shortened version of a "frame tick". It refers to the length of time of 1 ... second divided by 705,600,000; in decimal format it would look like this: 1.417233560090703e-9. All mathematics aside, the "flick" could help make online videos smoother as well as improve virtual reality and similar technologies. The flick is now the next longest unit of time after the nanosecond, which isn't ... (view more)

Tue
19
Dec
John Lister's picture

Facebook to Penalize 'Engagement Bait' Posts

Facebook says it's cracking down on posts that unreasonably encourage users to share content or tag friends. It's also offering a way to temporarily stop seeing posts from a particular user. The move is designed to deal with people and organizations ... who take unfair advantage of the way Facebook decides what most users see on the site (with the default settings). The order posts appear for a particular user is heavily influenced by how many other people the user knows have "liked", shared or commented on. Meanwhile tagging somebody in a post (which is done by writing their name in a reply to a ... (view more)

Tue
12
Dec
John Lister's picture

Former Exec Slams Facebook for 'Destroying Society'

A former Facebook executive says the site is responsible for "ripping apart the social fabric of how society works." Chamath Palihapitiya says the problem isn't restricted to the US. Speaking at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Palihapitiya ... said he felt "tremendous guilt" about his role as Facebook's vice president of user growth. Talking about the way Facebook tried to get users to stick around on the site, he echoed the comments of former colleagues in likening it to psychological manipulation. Social Media Works Like Drug He referred to "dopamine-driven feedback loops", referring ... (view more)

Tue
05
Dec
John Lister's picture

Facebook Launches Chat For Kids - But is it Safe?

Facebook has created a special version of its Messenger tool for users aged under 13. Those are kids that are too young to use the main Facebook site (officially, at least). The core functions of Messenger Kids will be the same as the main Messenger ... app: users can exchange written messages in real time, or carry out video calls. There'll also be a range of "comedic" filters and effects to overlay on the video. One difference is that there will be no form of advertising whatsoever. There will also be some automated moderation tools that block users from sharing abusive content. Parents Must ... (view more)

Tue
28
Nov
John Lister's picture

Facebook Automated System Scans for Suicidal Posts, Offers Help

Facebook is to use artificial intelligence to spot posts made by people who might be suicidal. However, it will continue using human moderators to decide how to act over such posts. The site already has a tool that moderators can activate to display ... special messages to people whose wellbeing may be in question. These messages include details of local professional support services and help lines. The messages also encourage the user to talk over their problems with a friend and even include suggested wordings for how to ask for help. Facebook says this tool was developed with the help of ... (view more)

Tue
14
Nov
John Lister's picture

Facebook: Send Us Photos of You in the Buff

Facebook has come up with a controversial way to help people whose compromising pictures are shared online without their permission. The term is dubbed "revenge porn" - and to solve the problem, Facebook wants users to upload naked pictures of ... themselves to Facebook servers. Yes, you read that correctly. The test program is known as the "Non-Consensual Intimate Image Pilot." It's designed to counter cases where somebody - often a former partner - tries to humiliate the victim by sharing images of them in revealing situations on the victim Facebook wall. Such behavior can be ... (view more)

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