Facebook blames malicious browser plugins for leak of 81,000 users' private messages and offer of account data for 120,000,000 users

A user called FBSaler is offering personal data for Facebook users at $0.10 each, claiming to have account data from 120,000,000 users to offer; to prove that they have the goods, they've dumped the private messages sent by 81,000 Facebook users; and account data from 176,000. Read the rest

A human being at Facebook manually approved the idea of targeting ads to users interested in "white genocide"

A year ago, Facebook apologized for allowing advertisers to target its users based on their status as "Jew haters" and blamed an algorithmic system that automatically picked up on the most popular discussions on the platform and turned them into ad-targeting segments. Read the rest

If you tell Facebook you're a senator looking to buy political ads, they just take your word for it

Vice decided to test out Facebook's commitment to positively identifying the people and organizations behind political ads, so they applied for clearance to buy ads in the names of ever sitting US Senator, showing no proof, and Facebook granted permission in each case. Read the rest

EU Parliament demands Facebook audit after breach hits 87 million users

MEPs in European Parliament want Facebook to submit to a full audit by European Union bodies to determine whether the U.S. based social media company adequately protects users’ personal data. The demand made in the form of an EU resolution adopted Thursday, October 25, 2018, follows the company's recent breach scandal, in which data belonging to 87 million Facebook users around the world were improperly obtained and misused. Read the rest

Facebook's former security head: making Facebook moderate content will cement its dominance

Alex Stamos stepped down as CSO for Facebook in August, after a career in which he rather fearlessly and bluntly warned about deficiencies in Facebook's security (this was totally in keeping with Stamos's character; he seems to have walked out on his job running security for Yahoo rather than building an NSA backdoor for them, making him something of a human warrant canary). Read the rest

Facebook hires Nick Clegg, British politician who annihilated his own party, as new global affairs chief

Nick Clegg's leadership of the UK's Liberal Democrats brought it briefly into the halls of power only to be destroyed by political incompetence and ambitious indifference. He started out commanding a quarter of the popular vote in a three-party system and left it with just 8 MPs, marginalized for a generation. Let's hope he can do the same thing for Facebook as their Head of Global Affairs.

Facebook has hired Nick Clegg, the former UK deputy prime minister, to head its global affairs and communications team as it faces escalating problems over data protection and the threat of greater government regulation.

Mr Clegg, 51, will move to Silicon Valley in January to succeed Elliot Schrage, who announced he would leave Facebook after 10 years in June.

His recruitment will be as much of a surprise to the British political establishment as it will be to Silicon Valley, where few European politicians enjoy a high profile in the insular tech industry.

"Months of wooing by Mark Zuckerberg," the Financial Times says, but you may recall this recent licking of the boot from Clegg, who just last month called criticism of Facebook "outright Luddism."

Mark Zuckerberg et al are regularly criticised for not doing enough to stop fake news and extremism, and doing too much to mine our data for the benefit of advertisers, but a threat to the continued existence of humankind? Hardly. ... It’s time we pause for breath before everyone charges off in a stampede of condemnation of tax-dodging-fake-news-extremism-promoting-data-controlling tech firms.

Read the rest

This is what a Facebook election security charm offensive looks like

Facebook is working very hard right now to prove it can be trusted to protect users from malicious fake news, political disinformation, and cyberattacks intended to throw the 2018 midterms. What Facebook is not doing: providing details. Read the rest

Instagram's bullying, stalking, and harassment crisis

Twitter gets well-deserved attention for online harassment, but know who else has a huge problem there? Instagram. Big time. Read the rest

Deleting Facebook is not enough: without antitrust, the company will be our lives' "operating system"

Facebook is the poster-child for the techlash, the worst offender in the monopolistic bunch, and recent books like Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy by Siva Vaidhyanathan (previously) and Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier present variations on the main critiques of Facebook with some prescriptions for what to do about it. Read the rest

Facebook lied: its in-home "Portal" cameras will collect your data

Facebook Portal is a camera that is supposed to follow you around your house while you videoconference; the product launch was repeatedly delayed because of the company's string of horrific privacy breaches; when the company finally pulled the trigger on the launch it was at pains to insist that Portal would not collect your data while you used it. Read the rest

Lawsuit: "pivoting to video" was a disaster led by Facebook's cooked viewing data

Several years ago media sites began firing writers en-masse to hire video people instead, because Facebook and other social media companies told them that this was the future. "Pivoting to video," some called it. But what Facebook actually delivered was "fraudulent" analytics. Advertisers slowly figured out the videos weren't being watched. Facebook lied about it for a while. Then it apparently admitted it. Then the media sites started firing the video people too.

Here's an excerpt from a lawsuit unsealed yesterday, posted to Twitter by Jason Kint, the CEO of an online publishers' trade group.

63. In June 2016, a Facebook engineering manager finally followed up on advertiser complaints dating back to early 2015, writing that "[s]omehow there was no progress on the task for a year." But even once it was decided to take action on the metrics, Facebook did not promptly fix its calculation or disclose that the calculation was wrong. Instead, it continued reporting miscalculated viewership metrics for another several months, as it developed a "no PR" strategy to avoid drawing attention to the error. The company decided to "obfuscate the fact that we screwed up the math" by quietly retiring the erroneous metrics and replacing them with corrected metrics under a new name. For instance, Average Duration of Video Viewed would be replaced with Average Watch Time.

64. In August 2016, Facebook began reaching out privately to select, large advertisers, telling them that Facebook had "recently discovered a discrepancy" in the video ad average view metrics.

Read the rest

Facebook: Hackers got (very) personal data from 29M users. FIND OUT if your info was breached.

The good news: Facebook downgrades the number of accounts hit in the breach they disclosed two weeks ago to 29 million, down from 50 million. The bad news: Uh, that's still a LOT. And if you were one of those 29 million Facebook users, A LOT of your intimate personal data was stolen. Read the rest

Facebook's new product: every-room cameras for your home

Facebook's newest product is "Portal," a home camera intended to follow you from room to room while you videoconference. Read the rest

Facebook's top lobbyist threw Kavanaugh a victory celebration in his home

When Facebook hired Joel Kaplan to serve as Vice President for US Public Policy, who could have predicted that he would turn out to be a far-right partisan who would embarrass the company by throwing a victory bash for a serial rapist on the occasion of his being handed a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court? Read the rest

Why was Facebook's Joel Kaplan sitting right behind Brett Kavanaugh during bizarre Senate hearings?

During the Senate hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump's supreme court nominee, a number of observers on Twitter noticed a weird detail. Read the rest

A detailed anatomy of the hack that compromised Facebook's 50 million user breach

Yesterday, at least 90,000,000 Facebook users were forced to log back into the service without any explanation; later, the company revealed that at least 50,000,000 of them had been hacked, but wouldn't say how. Read the rest

Facebook's spam filter blocked the most popular articles about its 50m user breach

When news broke yesterday that Facebook had suffered a breach affecting at least 50,000,000 users, Facebook users (understandably) began to widely share links to articles about the breach. Read the rest

More posts