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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
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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)

Tue
31
Oct
John Lister's picture

Facebook to Reveal Details of Advertisers, Ads Used on Site

Facebook says it will be more transparent about who is running ads on its site. It's also introducing tighter controls on election-related ads. The transparency changes follow questions about the influence of political advertising, particularly when ... it was unclear who had actually bought and placed the ads. However, Facebook says it will apply to changes to ads of all kind. (Source: fb.com ) Changes Set For 2018 Campaigns The changes will mean that any paid ad on Facebook must be linked to a Page, which is the business or organization equivalent to a personal account on the site. When the ... (view more)

Tue
29
Aug
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Fake News Sites Banned from Facebook Ads

Facebook is to ban ads from sites that habitually share bogus 'news' stories. The ban will apply even if the ads themselves don't point to the false stories. It's no secret that Facebook is one of the biggest sources of traffic for news sites, both ... legitimate outlets and those which deliberately run tantalizing but misleading, or outright false stories. The latter sites thrive on people sharing the bogus stories on social media sites, thus bringing more visitor and bumping up ad revenue. However, some sites also buy Facebook advertising as a way to attract visitors who will then share the ... (view more)

Tue
15
Aug
John Lister's picture

Report: Facebook likened to Addictive Drugs, for Sake of Ads

One of the earliest investors in Facebook and Google has likened the effects of major Internet companies on users to the effects of addictive drugs. Roger McNamee accused the companies of "aggressive brain hacking" to make their ad business more ... profitable. Writing for USA Today before discussing the topic on NBC, McNamee also likened the companies' behavior to that of the gambling industry. He said they "exploit human nature, creating addictive behaviors that compel consumers to check for new messages, respond to notifications, and seek validation from technologies whose ... (view more)

Thu
10
Aug
John Lister's picture

Facebook Exec: Security Researchers Not Doing Enough

According to Facebook's head of security Alex Stamos, the security industry needs to do more to solve problems that affect ordinary people in their everyday lives. He says researchers are often too obsessed with technical detail because they lack ... empathy. Stamos spoke at Black Hat, a conference that brings together security professionals, researchers, self-described hackers and those with an interest in the topic. (Source: bbc.co.uk ) He said the security community had proven justified in many of its warnings about flaws in systems and networks, but that it hadn't done enough to find ... (view more)

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