Category Archives: Facebook

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Anyone can use Facebook to boost a message. Even Russian agents.

There’s no longer any question at all: Russians meddled in the 2016 U.S. election, and they relied on social media tools we can all use.

Facebook and its photo-sharing site, Instagram, are mentioned dozens of times in the indictment handed down Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller. Twitter, YouTube, and PayPal are also mentioned at various points. 

SEE ALSO: The 9 craziest things from latest Mueller indictment against Russian trolls

Mueller, for those catching up, was appointed by the Justice Department in May 2017 to investigate alleged foreign meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. The Friday indictment is only the latest development in the lengthy process of disentangling who interfered and how they did it. Read more…

More about Tech, Facebook, Russia, Donald Trump, and 2016 Election

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After Florida shooting, gun control becomes a global conversation

When you move to America from a country with more effective gun control laws, one of the first things you learn is how hard it is to talk to Americans — on either side of the political divide — about the gun issue. 

It was particularly difficult when I arrived on these shores in 1996, direct from living in Scotland during its (and Britain’s) worst-ever school shooting. In the tiny town of Dunblane, a 43-year old former shopkeeper and scoutmaster brought four handguns to a school gymnasium full of five-year-olds. He shot and killed 16 of them and their teacher, then turned his handgun on himself. Read more…

More about Facebook, Twitter, Gun Control, Mass Shooting, and Culture

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Facebook will launch two new smart speakers in July, claims report

Facebook’s foray into hardware may actually be happening. Its new smart speakers will be available starting in July, according to a Digitimes report published Wednesday.

Portal, the Facebook-connected video chat device will reportedly have two models announced at the social media company’s developer conference in May. The devices, under the code names Fiona and Aloha, will then be available to order in July, according to a report from Digitimes based on leaks from supply chain sources outfitting the devices.

SEE ALSO: Facebook to reportedly release an Echo Show competitor with facial recognition Read more…

More about Facebook, Hardware, Smart Speakers, Tech, and Consumer Tech

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Facebook Messenger is getting a surprising new Valentine’s Day update

Ten years ago, the pressure my fellow teens and I felt to make a budding relationship “Facebook Official” was real. But with fewer teenagers than ever using Facebook (in favor of Snapchat), and with us now-twenty-somethings living our lives on Instagram, the stress-inducing relationship status feature has become blissfully irrelevant.

Now, Facebook might be trying to reverse that trend — using Valentine’s Day as its weapon.

SEE ALSO: Facebook could lose younger teens for the first time ever

On Tuesday, Facebook rolled out new features in Messenger that give significant others special statuses with each other.  Read more…

More about Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Relationships, and Valentine S Day

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Unilever Threaten To Pull Advertising From Facebook And Google Over Extremist Content

Unilever has threatened to cut advertising on internet platforms is more isn’t done to combat extremist material” alt=”Unilever has threatened to cut advertising on internet platforms is more isn’t done to combat extremist material” data-credit=”PA Wire/PA Images” data-portal-copyright=”PA Wire/PA Images” data-provider=”pressassociation” data-provider-asset-id=”2.34926350″ data-has-syndication-rights=”false”>

Unilever has threatened to pull advertising from platforms like Google and Facebook if they don’t do more to tackle extremist and illegal content.

It said consumer trust in social media is at an all time low and called on the industry to “collectively build trust back into our systems and society” in an era of “fake news and toxic online content”, warning it may cut investment in “platforms which breed division”.

Speaking at a leadership meeting in Palm Springs, Florida, Unilever’s Chief Marketing Officer, Keith Weed, called on technology giants to make a veritable stand against “things they see are not right” and stop “illegal, unethical and extremist behaviour and material on their platforms”.

Unilever vowed to: 

1) Not invest in platforms that do not protect children or which create division in society.

2) Commit to tackling gender stereotypes in advertising through #Unstereotype and championing this across the industry through #SeeHer and the #Unstereotype Alliance.

3) To only partner with organisations which are committed to creating better digital infrastructure, such as aligning around one measurement system and improving the consumer experience.

Speaking ahead of his speech, Weed said: “As a brand-led business, Unilever needs its consumers to have trust in our brands. We can’t do anything to damage that trust – including the choice of channels and platforms we use. So, 2018 is the year when social media must win trust back.”

He continued: “2018 is either the year of techlash, where the world turns on the tech giants – and we have seen some of this already – or the year of trust. The year where we collectively rebuild trust back in our systems and our society.

“Across the world, dramatic shifts are taking place in people’s trust, particularly in media. We are seeing a critical separation of how people trust social media and more ‘traditional’ media. In the US only less than a third of people now trust social media (30%), whilst almost two thirds trust traditional media (58%).”

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Weed added: “Fake news, racism, sexism, terrorists spreading messages of hate, toxic content directed at children – parts of the internet we have ended up with is a million miles from where we thought it would take us.

“It is in the digital media industry’s interest to listen and act on this.”

Weed said it was up to all stakeholders to be part of the “solution”, saying Unilever was not “interested in issuing ultimatums or turning my face while I demand others sort this out”.

Unilever has met with Facebook, Google, Twitter, Amazon and Snapchat and Weed said he had repeated “one point to each and every one of them”, that it was “critical that our brands remain not only in a safe environment, but a suitable one”.

“It is acutely clear from the groundswell of consumer voices over recent months that people are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of digital on wellbeing, on democracy – and on truth itself. This is not something that can brushed aside or ignored,” he said. 

Experts in digital media say that more buyers of advertising will have to join Unilever to spur change.

“The advertising ecosystem contains so many players, so for Facebook and Google to see any dent in the profits they make, there will need to be many companies that not only put their hat in the ring, but also follow through on these threats,” Sam Barker, a senior analyst at Juniper Research told the BBC.

Unilever’s warning came as the Government unveiled a new technology that aims to automatically detect terrorist content before it hits the web.

Tests show the tool can identify 94% of IS propaganda videos and has an extremely high accuracy rate.

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Facebook’s new slogan: ‘If you think we’re not good for your business, leave’

Facebook is famous for the mantra “move fast and break things.” But these days, the tech giant is all about time well spent, and with that comes a new tagline for everyone to follow: 

If you don’t like us, leave. 

SEE ALSO: 5 questions Facebook’s ‘privacy principles’ don’t answer

That’s what Facebook executives Campbell Brown and Adam Mosseri stressed on Monday during their onstage grilling at Recode’s Code Media conference. 

Brown said three separate times in the 50-minute conversation that publishers and businesses should feel free to leave Facebook if they feel the social network isn’t working for them. Read more…

More about Facebook, Facebook Newsfeed, Online News, Campbell Brown, and Adam Mosseri

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The latest viral challenge will have you sleeping in Ikea, and police are cracking down

South Yorkshire police issued a warning about a new internet trend called the “24 hour challenge” after an 11-year-old boy went missing. The challenge involves staying the night in an Ikea store undetected and sneaking out in the morning. The trend took-off in 2016 when 2 YouTubers successfully stayed the night at the warehouse.  Read more…

More about Watercooler, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Uk

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8 people confess why they finally deleted social media

Much has been made of the social media “detox”: a break, however permanent or temporary, from the digital world. 

Of course, because each person’s relationship with social media is unique (terrible), the way people deal with unplugging varies, too. For some, logging off for a while can be genuinely rejuvenating. For others, it’s fine, but it doesn’t change their habits in the end. And some people simply hate social media and never want to touch it again. That’s fair — it’s often bad.

SEE ALSO: An Internet Detox That’s Actually Doable

But what is the final straw that makes people delete the app, suspend the account? We asked eight humans to share why, exactly, they quit a certain platform — down to the occasionally weird details. Read more…

More about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Digital Detox, and Culture

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Facebook ban on cryptocurrency ads curbs education. Bad actors still thrive.

What’s the difference between BITCOIN and BITC0IN? 

Well, using latter might help you reach millions of people thanks to Facebook’s poorly enforced rules of advertising cryptocurrencies. 

SEE ALSO: Facebook bans cryptocurrency ads due to frequent fraud

Facebook announced last month that it would begin prohibiting ads promoting “financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings, or cryptocurrency.”

But like many Facebook updates and actions, it’s far from perfect. Tech founder Matthieu Suiche pointed out this Facebook ad last week that successfully broke through the rules by using “BITC0IN” in the shared text and article headline.  Read more…

More about Facebook, Bitcoin, Blockchain, Online Ads, and Cryptocurrency

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Facebook Reportedly Beta-Testing ‘Downvote’ Button

Last month, Facebook admitted that its platform is bad for democracy.

Now comes word of a project that may push people into more of an information cocoon.

Facebook is testing a button with selected users that allows them to “downvote” posts they consider inappropriate, uncivil or misleading, the company said.

Facebook insisted in a statement to HuffPost that it is not “testing a dislike button.”

“We are exploring a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts. This is running for a small set of people in the U.S. only. 

Sources familiar with the program said the “downvote” button is only a short-term test and will not affect how a comment, post or page is ranked.

The info gleaned is not about giving a commenter feedback but giving feedback to Facebook.

Tech reporter Taylor Lorenz said the “downvote” option first appeared Thursday in the comments sections of certain Facebook groups as well as on old Facebook memories content.

She shared screenshots on Twitter ― but not on Facebook, for some reason.

Lorenz said this newer button might allow content that’s offensive or inflammatory to be pushed to the bottom of a comment feed.

Facebook appears to be trying to invent Reddit, Alexis Ohanian, that website’s founder and CEO, noted on Twitter:

So far, only 5 percent of Android users in the U.S. are getting the downvote option, Facebook said. 

This article has been updated to include Facebook’s statement.

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