Internet

Thu
18
Jun
John Lister's picture

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)

Mon
25
May
John Lister's picture

Chrome to Encrypt DNS Lookups: What it Means

Google is increasing privacy on Chrome with a change to the way it connects users to websites. But businesses will be able to disable the move so they can keep tabs on staff. The change is to the way Chrome connects with Domain Name Servers (DNS), ... which act a little like a telephone directory for the Internet. A DNS takes a website address that a user types into their browser and finds the matching IP address, which identifies the specific connection to the device such as a server (or service) that physically stores the website's files. In the past, the connection between Chrome and a DNS was ... (view more)

Fri
08
May
John Lister's picture

Twitter to Filter, Warn Users Before They Post

Twitter is testing a program to warn users if they are about to post a potentially-offensive message. It's billed as a way to tackle hot-headedness, but could also tackle the limitations of automatic filtering. At the moment Twitter uses a ... combination of automated filters that block some content from getting posted, as well as user reports about posts already online. The test will run for several weeks and cover English language tweets only. It will mean users who are about to post something that involves "offensive or hurtful language" see a message giving them the option of revising it ... (view more)

Wed
29
Apr
John Lister's picture

YouTube Fights Fake News with 'Fact-Checking Panel'

Google is stepping up a fact-checking feature on YouTube. It won't mean removing videos, but rather placing a warning in results for searches on topics associated with misleading information. The "fact check information panels" were first used in ... Brazil and India last year and will now be rolled out to the United States. They're designed as a way to focus human resources given the sheer quantity of videos uploaded every day. The idea is to deal with misinformation about recent news events where bogus claims can appear and spread quickly. Topics will be selected based on both the amount of ... (view more)

Mon
27
Apr
John Lister's picture

WhatsApp Claims Fake News Success

Measures to stop misinformation spreading on messaging service WhatsApp appear to be making a difference. The Facebook-owned business says its seen fewer "highly forwarded messages". A couple of weeks back , WhatsApp took action after fears it was ... being used to spread bogus and potentially dangerous claims about COVID-19. One big worry was that people who saw a message in one group chat would forward it to multiple other group chats, quickly increasing the number of people who saw it. Extra Niggle May Spark Rethink The changes involved any message that had been forwarded at least five times. ... (view more)

Wed
22
Apr
John Lister's picture

Fake News: Many Twitter 'Debates' are Actually Bots

Human tiredness could be the key to spotting automated fake posts online, according to researchers at the University of Southern California. They are developing systems to distinguish between posts by humans and those posted by automated programs, ... otherwise known as 'bots' - which is a short form for robots. Since most of the online world gets their news using smartphones these days, fake news is a serious problem. It's also an incredibly serious issue for social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, where news is often talked about, debated, and forwarded to others. Bots Designed To ... (view more)

Wed
15
Apr
John Lister's picture

Webcam Bitcoin Blackmail Scam Returns

An email scam that aims to exploit embarrassment appears to be back in full effect. The scam involves the recipient getting a message falsely claiming somebody has hacked their computer through an adult website, then accessed their webcam and filmed ... the person enjoying said website. It goes on to claim the hacker has gathered a list of contacts from the user's email and Facebook accounts and threatens to send a copy of the embarrassing video to the person's friends and family. To stop this, the victim must pay the equivalent of $1,900 in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Email Allegedly Tracked The ... (view more)

Fri
10
Apr
John Lister's picture

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
John Lister's picture

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)

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