Turns out that "unsubscribing" from spam actually works


After my spam hit a point where I couldn't actually download my email faster than it was arriving, I spent a month clicking the unsubscribe links in all the spams in my inbox. Weirdly, it worked. Read the rest

Facebook won't remove photo of children tricked into posing for neo-fascist group


The mother a 13-year-old girl has been unable to get Facebook to remove a photo that her daughter and a 12-year-old friend were tricked into having taken, which is being used to promote the violent neo-fascist group Britain First. Read the rest

When identity thieves targeted beloved open course teachers, Facebook sided with the crooks

Your account has been disabled for pretending to be someone else.

Teachers don't go into education to get rich. It's a great job, the rewards are awesome and although they're not financial, they are of value. They are socially valuable. It's why teachers are one of the "professional" people allowed to verify your passport photograph, to qualify that it really is a picture of you. Society recognises that they're more likely to value the long rigorous process of acquiring that trust above jeopardising it to earn a quick kick-back. We even trust them with our children.

And then you get open teachers, who make their classes available online for free, for any learner regardless of their ability to pay or personal circumstance. Open teachers naturally earn this trust, this social capital, very publicly and because they're often teaching at scale they potentially earn this social capital at scale too. It means they and people like them are great people to impersonate in order to steal, from the people who trust them (all of us).

It isn't just teachers who are "Catfished" (the process of having your online identity hijacked). It can happen to anyone of us but what's worrying is when someone as trusted, high profile and digitally literate as an open teacher is Catfished, and try as they might, can just do nothing about it, then what are the rest of us meant to do when it happens to us (assuming we ever find out)?

Alan Levine made my open classes possible and anyone in open education knows Alan as the open teacher's teacher, the go-to-guy for teachers as well as students. Read the rest

Facebook is censoring links to competitor social network Tsu and deleting old mentions

What I saw when I tried to link to Tsu.co in a Facebook post.—XJ

Log in to Facebook, create a post, and type in “Tsu.co.” Facebook will censor the link on all its platforms. That means facebook.com, as well as Messenger, Instagram, and the Facebook apps for iOS and Android.

Facebook did something a lot scarier, too. The retroactively censored over a million Facebook posts which mentioned Tsu.co. So those Facebook posts, and associated images, videos, or comments? All deleted by Facebook. Gone.

Read the rest

This viral photo contains female breasts and hate speech. Guess why Facebook censored it?


Warning: TITTIES.

Nipples, Nazi slogans, and racist slurs against Syrian war refugees have all collided on German Facebook to create the ultimate viral headline, and we at Boing Boing are *so very on it.*

A German photographer came up with a provocative way to pressure Facebook to do something about the recent surge in racist, xenophobic slurs against war refugees. His point: Facebook will censor images of female breasts in an instant, but anti-migrant hate speech is just fine by the social network's terms of use.

So last week, photog Olli Waldhauer posted this photo. The man is holding a racist sign that reads "Don't Buy From Kanaken," which references a Nazi-era slogan about stores owned by Jewish people. “Kanaken” is kind of like the n-word, but for refugees or migrants from the Middle East.

"One of these people is violating Facebook's rules," says the caption, and there's the hashtag #nippelstatthetze ("nipples instead of hate speech").

The image and the story are total viral crack for news outlets in Germany, and hey, we love boobs and outrage here in America too -- as well as our own racism and xenophobia.

Wonder if it'll lead to any change?

More on Verge, Washington Post in English. In German: meedia.de, tagesspiegel.de.

Read the rest

Petition: Facebook betrayed us by secretly lobbying for cyber-surveillance bill


Tiffiny from Fight for the Future writes, "New information has surfaced about Facebook's position on S. 754, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). Sources on the Hill tell us that Facebook lobbyists are welcoming CISA behind closed doors, even though Facebook has been lauded as opposing the bill after CCIA, an industry association they are a member of, came out against it.. CISA would give companies like Facebook legal immunity for violating privacy laws as long as they share information with the government. It's supposed to be for cybersecurity, but in reality companies would be encouraged to share information beyond cyber threat data and the information could be used for prosecuting all kinds of activities." Read the rest

Next time a government hacks your Facebook account, Facebook will let you know

Photo: Reuters
Facebook says that starting today, they will notify users “if we believe your account has been targeted or compromised by an attacker suspected of working on behalf of a nation-state.”

Read the rest

Facebook UK made £105M in 2014, paid £35M in bonuses, and will pay £4,327 in tax

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Facebook UK made £105M in 2014, paid £35M in bonuses, and will pay £4,327 in tax.

This is a notable improvement on its tax bill for 2013, which was £0 on earnings of £223m. Read the rest

Facebook wants to be the attention economy's central banker


Warren Ellis ruminates on the the way that the old idea that the Internet was birthing an "attention economy" has been transformed by Facebook, which has literally monetized attention, charging you money to reach the people who've asked to hear from you. Read the rest

Global coalition tells Facebook to kill its Real Names policy


The Nameless Coaltion, a global alliance of women's groups, LGBTQ groups, human rights and digital rights groups has asked Facebook to abandon its "Real Names" policy, which puts Facebook users in danger of reprisals including state violence, stalkers, and on-the-job harassment. Read the rest

Tell-all free-to-play-game dev's confessions


An anonymous developer for a free-to-play game explains how his company stalked its most prolific players, creating fake sexy-lady Facebook accounts to friend them in order to gain insight into their proclivities so that super-expensive, one-off virtual goods could be made and targeted to them. Read the rest

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


Today in Betteridge headlines: "Should Facebook Block Offensive Videos Before They Post?" Read the rest

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


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. Read the rest

Fix your Facebook privacy settings

Photo: 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. Read the rest

The Data Drive, a dystopian Facebook spoof


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! Read the rest

Escaping the new media cargo cult

Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Ignore the Metrics

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. Read the rest

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