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Wed
10
Oct
John Lister's picture

Google+ Social Network Bites Dust amid Data Breach

Google is to shut its social network Google+. Although the service was something of a flop, the closure is more to do with a massive data exposure. Google+ launched back in 2011 and was one of several attempts by the company to compete with the ... likes of Facebook. Its main selling point was the concept of Circles, which meant that users weren't restricted to sharing posts and updates with a fixed set of friends. Instead, they could write a post that was seen by a particular group, such as work colleagues or people with a shared hobby. Facebook does have such a feature, but it's not as ... (view more)

Tue
09
Oct
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Facebook Launches Dedicated Screens

Facebook is launching dedicated devices for video-calling friends and family. While they have some impressive technology, it's a bold move from a company whose reputation on privacy issues is controversial to say the least. The devices are known as ... the "Portal" and "Portal+". They both offer some of the features of 'smart speakers' such as Google Home and the Amazon Echo, but the main function is for making video calls. That's reflected in the 10 inch screen of the Portal and the 15 inch screen of the Portal+. There's no charge for making calls on the devices as they work ... (view more)

Tue
04
Sep
John Lister's picture

Facebook Tells Users What They Have in Common

Facebook is testing a feature that identifies when users have something in common. The theory is that it will boost connections and even lead to more polite conversations. The feature is not related to the "People You Might Know" section, which ... suggests other Facebook users to add as friends. That's proven controversial in the past as it often appears to be driven by data users haven't provided directly, such as when two users both appear in the phone contacts list of a mutual friend. Instead the new feature will take effect in comments, whether that be underneath a post, a photo, a link or ... (view more)

Tue
17
Jul
John Lister's picture

Courts: Facebook Accounts Can Be Inherited After Death

A German court has ruled that Facebook accounts can be inherited. It's the latest attempt to solve the problem of what happens to online data after somebody dies. The ruling came from the Federal Court of Justice, Germany's highest court, and ended ... a six-year legal process. It began with the death of a 15-year-old who died when she was hit by a train. Her parents asked Facebook to give them access to her account, meaning they could see the contents of private message exchanges. They said they wanted to find any clues as to whether the death was suicide or an accident. As well as giving the ... (view more)

Thu
12
Jul
John Lister's picture

New FB, Messenger, Whatsapp Tools Prevent Scams, Fake News

Facebook is testing new tools to stop people being fooled by bogus messages. Meanwhile it's subsidiary "Whatsapp" is working on ways to stop hoaxes and other false information. The Facebook trial is for a series of tools relating to the direct ... messaging elements of the service, which includes messages through the website itself and via the dedicated "Messenger" app for mobile devices. The tools are aimed at messages which come from people or organizations the user hasn't previously communicated with, which carry a higher risk of being bogus than from genuine contacts. The ... (view more)

Tue
10
Jul
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Facebook Flags Declaration of Independence as Hate Speech

Facebook removed a post with sections of the Declaration of Independence because it was "hate speech." It's not clear if the screw-up was a human error or a failure of an automated filter. The post came from Texas newspaper the Liberty County ... Vindicator, which posted the Declaration of Independence as a series of scheduled posts to mark July 4th. One of the posts was flagged and removed by Facebook while it was still in the scheduled queue, yet to go live. The newspaper received a message saying the deletion was because the post "goes against our standards on hate speech." Indians Reference ... (view more)

Wed
30
May
John Lister's picture

Country Plans to Ban Facebook for a Month

Papua New Guinea is set to ban Facebook for a month. Unlike with bans in more authoritarian countries, it's designed to research cyber crime laws rather than stifle debate - or so the official explanation goes. However, the country's government have ... warned it might need to create a "more conducive" site that meets local laws. The government says its necessary to block access to the site while it investigates if and how Facebook helps users breach the Cyber Crime Act passed in 2016. The act was an attempt to update numerous laws to cover activity that was often already illegal in the "real ... (view more)

Wed
16
May
John Lister's picture

Facebook Reveals Content Removal Stats

Facebook says it deleted 583 million fake accounts in the first three months of the year. That means on average three to four percent of active accounts in this period were bogus. The figure comes in the company's first Community Standards ... Enforcement Report, which gives statistics about the action it takes over content that breaks its rules. It's part of an effort to improve transparency about the site and follows last month's publication of the full detail of the 'community standards' for the first time. Spam The Most Prevalent Problem As well as improving transparency, the figures are ... (view more)

Thu
03
May
John Lister's picture

Facebook Fires 'Stalker' Engineer

Facebook has fired an engineer accused of misusing private data to 'stalk' women online. He is thought to be a security engineer who abused his 'privileged access' level to data. One of the engineer's alleged victims was the founder of a cyber ... security company. She's made public the conversation she had with the Facebook engineer, in which the man talks about being a security analyst. He wrote: "... I also try to figure out who hackers are in real life... [so, I'm a] professional stalker." It appears the pair were conversing after being connected through the dating app Tinder. To make ... (view more)

Wed
25
Apr
John Lister's picture

Facebook Unveils 'Content Rules'

Facebook has, for the first time, published the full details of what types of content and posts breach its rules. The list had previously been kept secret and seen only by moderators who vet requests to take down content. The full list of "community ... standards" is broken down into six categories: violence and criminal behavior; safety; objectionable content; integrity and authenticity; respecting intellectual property; and content-related requests. (Source: facebook.com ) In the first section, staff are to take into account the tone and context when dealing with threats of violence. The policy ... (view more)

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