sites

Thu
31
Aug
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700 Million Email Accounts Hijacked by Spammers

More than 700 million email addresses and passwords have been leaked online. While many are bogus, enough appear to be genuine that security experts have advised users to change their email passwords. The collection of account details does not ... appear to have been used for identity theft or other fraud. Instead, the collection has been marketed as a way to send spam messages. The idea is that spammers can login to the compromised accounts in order to send their unsolicited emails. This effectively flies under the spam radar, as most spam comes from IP addresses without any reputation. In this ... (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
22
Aug
John Lister's picture

Far Right Website Sparks Free Speech Debate

A company that protects websites from online attacks has stopped serving a far right website. But the man who made the decision says he feels uneasy about making such decisions. Cloudflare is designed to protect against denial of service attacks, in ... which people try to bring down a website by flooding it with bogus requests until it's inaccessible to legitimate traffic by real people. It's a tactic often used by hacker groups protesting against the organizations running the site, though it's also been used as a form of cyberwarfare. To combat such attacks, data going to and from ... (view more)

Thu
22
Jun
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Online Politics Riddled with 'Bots' Perpetuating Fake News

Political discussion on social media is often driven and manipulated by automated "bots," a university department claims. The word "bots" is a short form for "robot," and refers to online activity carried out using an automated program. The Oxford ... Internet Institute says it studied events in nine countries and found the bots played a role in every case. However, social media groups have questioned such studies saying they are often based on flawed research methods. The study looked at activity on Facebook and Twitter among users in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany ... (view more)

Thu
11
May
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Facebook to Penalize Low Quality Sites

Facebook says it will no longer accept advertisements that link to "low-quality" web pages. It's also going to reduce the likelihood that people see user-posted links to such pages. The system Facebook uses for identifying such pages will be ... automated but is based on guidelines developed from manually reviewing "hundreds of thousands" of pages that Facebook had linked to. After staff decided which of these sites were low quality, its computers looked through those pages to spot patterns of common characteristics. (Source: fb.com ) Toenail Fungus Unwelcome Facebook isn ... (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)

Fri
23
Dec
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Holocaust Denial Site Tops Google Rankings

Google has tweaked its search algorithm after discovering holocaust denial sites were topping the results for some queries. The incident may have highlighted a difference in the way Google and other search engines rank pages. The issue came to light ... when a newspaper reporter experimented with searches for the phrase "did the Holocaust happen" and discovered that the top result returned by Google was a site specifically dedicated to denying the Holocaust. Other journalists checked up potentially controversial queries and found unsettling top results, such as a search for "are ... (view more)

Thu
10
Nov
John Lister's picture

Sites Hosting Malware Get 30 Day Google Ban

Google is to take harsher actions against sites that it determines house malware or attempt to steal user data. Repeat offenders will effectively be hidden from view from many users for 30 days. The changes are to Google's Safe Browsing feature, ... which vets sites for malicious content. The feature is built into the Chrome browser and made available for other online tools. It's also built-in to all the links from Google search results, regardless of the user's browser. When Google detects a site is potentially harmful, it won't take users directly to the page when they click on ... (view more)

Thu
13
Oct
John Lister's picture

Social Media Monitoring Service Sold Data to Cops

A company accused of selling social media data to the police has been blocked from accessing some or all content from three major sites. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter made the move after complaints from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU.) ... According to the ACLU, Geofeedia markets its social media monitoring product to police forces as a way to monitor people who may be involved in protests. In one marketing message, a company representative specifically cited the use of the service during the high-profile unrest that followed the shooting of a man by police officers in Ferguson, ... (view more)

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