Boing Boing 

Who, exactly, is asking Facebook to censor things for us?

facebook-10-big1Today in Betteridge headlines: "Should Facebook Block Offensive Videos Before They Post?"

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Facebook spoof's "user data" for sale to the highest bidder—on eBay

datadrive

After making a mocking Facebook spoof and getting folks like us to link to it, thedatadrive.com is selling the "bespoke user data" gathered from visits—as a thumbdrive, on freakin' eBay.

On August 4th, we launched The Data Drive (www.thedatadrive.com), a sprawling dystopian Facebook spoof fashioned out of paper cut-outs by Daniel Kolitz. The premise of The Data Drive was that Mark Zuckerberg had fled Facebook with all of its user data and now the company had to launch a "data drive" to replenish data stores. … What most of the coverage missed, however, was that The Data Drive really was collecting user data. The website featured two fields where visitors could anonymously enter any text they wanted. (The fields are on this page and this page.)

These submissions were sent directly to our servers for processing. Now we are thrilled to offer this cache of user data to the highest bidder. Own a piece of internet history!

Literally a data drive.

Fix your Facebook privacy settings

Reuters Facebook's privacy settings remain mysterious and ever-changing. The idea is to lead users into a state of pervasive self-exposure that's fit for aggregation, without us realizing we've lost control. Wired's guide to raising your Facebook privacy shields will be good until at least this afternoon.

The Data Drive, a dystopian Facebook spoof

facebook

At first glance, thedatadrive appears to be a charming cartoon version of Facebook. But it soon turns into a nightmare, distilled from the social network's brain-drilling efforts to force your attention to BRANDS. It's impossible to tell if and when the joke dissolves and actual marketing, presented as adbusters-esque antimarketing, starts up again. Which is the point, I guess! It's impossible to know, now that we are all living in the last chuckle of a dead French philosopher.

Turns out, though, that the spoof's heart is in the right place: it's the work of Daniel Kolitz, Adrian Chen, Alix Rule and Sam Lavigne, who are launching a new publishing venture—Useless Press— which promises "high-quality internet things."

Good luck!

Escaping the new media cargo cult

Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Ignore the MetricsRead the rest

Moxie Marlinspike profiled in WSJ. Obama thinks secure messaging apps like the one he built are “a problem.”

[Wall Street Journal]


[Wall Street Journal]

The Wall Street Journal just discovered what some of us have known for a long time: Moxie Marlinspike is really cool, and the work he does is important.

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Let's turn everything into Facebook

twitter-bird Nick Bilton does not approve of how Twitter works.

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Why Facebook changed its friends icon

friends

Caitlin Winner, design manager at Facebook, explains why she gave Facebook's friends icon a much needed update:

Next, I was moved to do something about the size and order of the female silhouette in the ‘friends icon’. As a woman, educated at a women’s college, it was hard not to read into the symbolism of the current icon; the woman was quite literally in the shadow of the man, she was not in a position to lean in.

My first idea was to draw a double silhouette, two people of equal sizes without a hard line indicating who was in front. Dozens of iterations later, I abandoned this approach after failing to make an icon that didn’t look like a two headed mythical beast. I placed the lady, slightly smaller, in front of the man.

When she says "slightly smaller," she means it:

ffr

Do you have your own ideas for a redesign? Post them in the comments!

On Big Data's shrinking returns


In my new Guardian column, I point out that the big-data-driven surveillance business model is on the rocks.

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Facebook can't trace revenge-porn poster

revengeporn

Because its policy is to delete data 90 days after an account closure, Facebook is unable to comply with a court order that it turn over information about the revenge-porn-posting user.

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What does Facebook learn about you when you rainbowify your profile pic?

terrify When Facebook offered a "rainbow filter" for images, following last week's landmark Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage, people joked that it was probably another creepy social experiment. Well, probably, yes.

Even seemingly small online actions—clicking the “like” button, changing one’s profile photo—are being tracked and analyzed. Just like McAdam’s research on Freedom Summer shapes our understanding of support for marriage equality, Facebook's past research on marriage equality has helped answer a question we all face when deciding to act politically:

Does the courage to visibly—if virtually—stand up for what a person believes in have an effect on that person’s social network, or is it just cheap, harmless posturing? Perhaps the rainbow colors across Facebook will become part of the answer.

Previously: Facebook's massive psychology experiment likely illegal

Anti-corruption journalist immolated by cops, allegedly under orders from minister


Jagendra Singh reported on corruption in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on his Facebook account, which allegedly prompted Ram Murti Singh Verma, a ruling party politician, to send police to his house to burn him alive; he died a week later of his injuries.

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If the FBI has a backdoor to Facebook or Apple encryption, we are less safe

Reuters


Reuters

Freedom of the Press Foundation director Trevor Timm tells Boing Boing,

Now that the USA Freedom Act is out of the way, it seems pretty clear the next battle in Congress will almost certainly be over encryption, as the FBI has not stopped its push to force tech companies to insert a backdoor into their communications tools, despite being ridiculed for it by security experts. The FBI seems to push it even farther in the past week, testifying before Congress that they need to stop encryption "above all else" and leaking a story to the LA Times about ISIS using encrypted text messaging apps. I wrote about what a dumb move it is on several levels for the Guardian.

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After lying and covering up, Facebook finally changes rules for inmates' pages


After at least four years of lying about its rubberstamp takedown process for prison authorities and omitting prison takedowns from its transparency reports, Facebook is finally bringing a crumb of due process to its treatment of prisoners.

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Facebook rolls out new encryption features

Reuters


Reuters

An update rolled out today by Facebook allows users to post their public email encryption key on their Facebook profile, so others can encrypt future emails to that user. Here's the official blog post at Facebook.

More at CPJ:

Facebook profiles now have a field for PGP public keys--just like for phone numbers or email addresses. Uploaded keys can be shared as widely or narrowly as desired, just like other information on a Facebook profile. For journalists who use Facebook to connect with sources and disseminate, share, and comment on news, their profile will now indicate they are available for encrypted emails. The new feature will also make it easier to securely contact potential sources.

A sample display of the new encryption feature offered to users by Facebook.


A sample display of the new encryption feature offered to users by Facebook.

"Status update: Facebook users now have access to PGP encryption" and "CPJ welcomes Facebook move to add PGP encryption features" [Committee to Protect Journalists]

"Securing Email Communications from Facebook" [Facebook]

Mark Zuckerberg just dropped another $100M to protect his privacy


Remember when Mark Zuckerberg declared that the age of privacy was over?

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Images of breastfeeding, operative scars now permitted on Instagram

shutterstock_254688832

How magnanimous of them! Your breasts are now appropriate for their "authentic and safe" environment, so long as you're not doing anything bad with them. But don't get any ideas: "close-ups of fully nude buttocks" are still unacceptable.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock