Category Archives: facebook

How an Experimental Billion-Dollar Privacy Lawsuit Could Clobber Facebook

What if law enforcement was outsourced to class action attorneys? Don’t imagine. It’s happening as the Cambridge Analytica scandal becomes Mark Zuckerberg’s legal nightmare.

Less than one week. That’s all the time needed for Jay Edelson to swing into action in March and file suit upon splashy headlines that Cambridge Analytica had harvested data from tens of millions of Facebook users in the interest of swinging the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. Edelson was hardly the only class-action lawyer rushing to allege a huge violation of trust on the part of the world’s biggest social network. But not every attorney is known to be a corporate America bogeyman, notorious for picking fights with large and small companies over the seedier sides of online life, including surreptitious information collection and the hawking of personal data to occasionally shady third parties.

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Mark Zuckerberg‘s 2019 Resolution: More Censorship on Facebook

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised to better prevent “election interference” and “the spread of hate speech” — neglecting to define either term — in a blog posted on his company’s platform.

Zuckerberg repeated his previous calls to suppress “sensationalism and misinformation” and to “remove content related to terrorism,” terms he did not define. He also committed to promoting “news from trusted sources,” which he did not list.

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Report Details Nature Of Facebook’s Secret Rulebook Governing Global Speech

Facebook’s secretive rulebook regulating how employees censor certain forms of expression contains numerous biases and outright errors, according to internal documents The New York Times obtained Friday.

The nearly 1,400-page document shows the Silicon Valley company’s guidebook is riddled with mistakes and is not nimble enough to handle cultural nuance, the report notes. The guidelines censor mainstream speech in one country while allowing extremist language to fester in others.

Several dozen Facebook employees gather every other Tuesday to brainstorm rules that flesh out what people can and cannot say while navigating the platform, according to TheNYT. The guidelines that are agreed upon are then sent out to 7,500-plus moderators around the world.

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Facebook allowed companies to read your private messages

As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants

For years, Facebook gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed, effectively exempting those business partners from its usual privacy rules, according to internal records and interviews.

The special arrangements are detailed in hundreds of pages of Facebook documents obtained by The New York Times. The records, generated in 2017 by the company’s internal system for tracking partnerships, provide the most complete picture yet of the social network’s data-sharing practices. They also underscore how personal data has become the most prized commodity of the digital age, traded on a vast scale by some of the most powerful companies in Silicon Valley and beyond.

This will look great in the class-action lawsuit. Can you say runaway jury?

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New Facebook bug exposed millions of photos

Facebook has revealed that a software bug exposed the photos of up to 6.8 million users, including pictures they had not posted.

It made the announcement a day after hosting its pop-up privacy experience “It’s Your Facebook” in New York’s Bryant Park.

It said several third-party apps had access to “a broader set of photos than usual” for 12 days in September.

The company said it would notify affected users.

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Not journalism but propaganda: Fact-checkers turn on Facebook for spreading its own fake news

Journalist fact-checkers who signed up for a controversial partnership with social media giant Facebook to combat fake news are abandoning ship citing ethical concerns and shady practices.

The fact-checkers became disillusioned with Facebook after the company ignored requests for meaningful data that showed the impact of the anti-fake news initiatives. Participating journalists anecdotally reported minimal results and Facebook allegedly did nothing to assuage their concerns.

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Facebook adopts bizarre new anti-sex speech code in secret

Facebook has opted to purge its platform of all sex-related content with a new policy banning everything from nude pictures to “sexualized slang,” up to and including “vague suggestive statements” – without informing its users.

The new “sexual solicitation” rules were adopted in mid-October, according to PCMag, and forbid everything from pornography to “implicit sexual solicitation.” The latter term is purposefully vague, encompassing “vague suggestive statements, such as ‘looking for a good time tonight,’” discussion of “sexual partner preference,” content (including hand-drawn art) that depicts “suggestively posed persons,” and even the use of sexualized slang.”

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Foreign Trolls Are Targeting Veterans on Facebook

I FIRST CAME across the imposter Facebook page by accident. The page was made to look like that of my employer, Vietnam Veterans of America, complete with our organization’s registered trademark and name. As an Iraq veteran and the office’s designated millennial policy guy, I was helping run VVA’s social media accounts. The discovery kicked off what would become a 15-month-long amateur investigation into digital trolls in Bulgaria, the Philippines, and 27 other countries—all running Facebook pages targeting American troops and veterans with political propaganda.

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World watches as Australian regulator rules on Facebook and Google

A titanic struggle is taking place between some of the world’s largest corporations.

In one corner is Google and Facebook. In the other is News Corporation. It’s not alone. It stands with most of the established media companies which have watched with growing horror as their advertising revenues have migrated into the coffers of the digital behemoths.

Alphabet, Google’s parent, reported worldwide revenues of US$33bn in the third quarter and is on track to top US$120bn in 2018, mostly from advertising. Facebook’s revenues topped US$40bn in 2017 and have continued to grow during 2018. In just 10 years, the platforms have gone from nothing to hoovering up the majority of advertising dollars in Australia.

In contrast, News Corporation and most media companies have seen their revenues draining way. It began with what used to be known as print media, but are probably now better described as news media sites.

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Facebook and its ‘black people problem’

When it rains, it pours – and Facebook’s utterly sodden year continues to be flooded by accusations of bad governance.

Mark Luckie, a black, former Facebook employee whose job it was to handle the firm’s relationship with “influencers”, put it quite plainly: “Facebook has a black people problem.”

His 2,500-word note, posted on Tuesday, outlines what he sees as a culture that talks about inclusion, but does not practise it. In some buildings at the company, Mr Luckie said, there were “more ‘Black Lives Matter’ posters than there are actual black people”.

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UK MPs seize documents expected to expose Facebook’s covert data harvesting

The UK Parliament has taken hold of documents from Facebook that may shed light on the online giant’s carefree approach to user privacy amid claims that it was fully aware of user data loopholes exploited by Cambridge Analytica.

The documents were seized from the founder of US tech startup Six4Three, who was on a business trip to the UK, the Guardian reported, citing MP Damian Collins, chair of the Commons select committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The DCMS is in charge of investigating a siphoning of Facebook user data by UK consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica. The news on the massive data breach broke in March with Facebook later admitting the data of up to 87 million people might have been shared with Cambridge Analytica without their explicit consent.

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