Die-cut Delete Facebook stickers

W Aaron Waychoff created these great diecut #DeleteFacebook stickers ($5 for 5); he sells them from his Etsy store where he also offers a bounty of other political stickers, pins and swag. Read the rest

TeenVogue/Facebook/2020 Election Security thing blows up badly

Wow, this blew up and imploded and tried to disappear quickly and totally did not disappear at all. Read the rest

Brazil's fascist Bolsonaro Facebooks himself watching Trump's Iran speech

This is the future, I guess. Read the rest

Despite 50 state AGs' antitrust investigations, Google stocks hit an all time high

50 states' Attorneys General are investigating Google for antitrust violations, doing the work that Federal regulators have shirked since the Reagan era. Read the rest

An exclusive interview with an AI neural network based on Mark Zuckerberg

Ever since the glorious disaster that was Cambridge Analytica and the entire political climate of 2016, Mark Zuckerberg has been making the rounds from press outlets to private meetings with Republican donors to Congressional testimonies to more private meetings with Republican donors, all with increasing frequency. But he has yet to grant an audience to the Guardian since they broke the initial story with whistleblower testimony.

So naturally, the Guardian enlisted the help of Botnick Studios to create a neural network trained on some 200,000+ words from Zuckerberg's interviews, speeches, and blogposts over the last three years. And they interviewed that instead.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this "Zuckerbot" sounds about as convincing as the real Zuckerberg — which is to say like an eerily fabricated alien simulacrum of a human being. For example, here's how it describes the purpose of Facebook:

First, I want to thank you all for being a part of my mission. The purpose of Facebook is to bring about internet for people in the digital room. It is about advertising dollars to people who pay to be able to pay. We believe in building $8bn of voice on the platform for dads who are hungry for coffee.

And on his secret meetings with Donald Trump:

Is anything ever secure? Is anything ever secret? Guess what? The answer is a clear maybe. Or maybe not. I am going to say quiet words in your face just like I did with him and Congress. You can’t expect me to tell you a secret that I didn’t share with him but I am confident that we are sharing the same infrastructure.

Read the rest

Facebook & Twitter ban pro-Trump network that reached 55 million accounts with AI-generated faces, Epoch Media Group and Falun Gong links identified

They had 'American' faces, but these pro-Trump social media accounts all had algorithmically generated faces that only appeared 'American.'

Facebook and Twitter have banned a pro-Trump network that reached 55 million accounts and is said to be linked to a US-based media company called The BL which has ties to Epoch Media Group and the Chinese Falun Gong cult. Read the rest

Facebook offers funny answer for why it tracks users’ locations even when they turn tracking services off

Facebook offered a revealing explanation to lawmakers for why it continues to track users’ locations even after those users turn Facebook's location tracking services off. Read the rest

Large, diverse coalition of civil society groups tell the US, UK and Australian governments not to ban working encryption

Facebook's decision to default to end-to-end encryption for Facebook Messenger prompted the governments of the UK, the USA and Australia to write to Mark Zuckerberg, urging him to delay implementation of the move, warning him that adding working encryption by default would make it harder for spies and cops to do their jobs. Read the rest

Facebook promised to provide academics data to study disinformation, but their foot-dragging has endangered the whole project

Social Science One is an academic consortium that was created to conduct "independent scientific research into potentially consequential phenomena such as online disinformation, polarization, and echo chambers" after the Big Tech platforms made changes to their policies that made this kind of research effectively impossible without cooperation from the platforms themselves. Read the rest

2019 was the year of voice assistant privacy dumpster fires

2019 was the "I Told You So" year for privacy advocates and voice assistants: the year in which every company that wanted you to trust them to put an always-on mic in the most intimate places in your home was revealed to have allowed thousands of low-waged contractors to listen in on millions of clips, many of them accidentally recorded: first it was Amazon (and again!), then Google, then Apple, then Microsoft. Read the rest

Judge says Facebook users entitled to better security but not $ damages

In a decision released late Tuesday night, a federal judge ruled that up to 29 million Facebook users whose personal info was stolen in a September 2018 data breach are not entitled to sue Facebook as a group for damages -- but the users may be entitled to demand better personal data security at Facebook. Read the rest

NSO Group employees kicked off Facebook for spying for brutal dictators are suing Facebook for violating their privacy

The NSO Group (previously) is an Israeli spyware company that sells tools to autocratic states that are used to spy on democratic opposition movements, journalists, and so on (the company's tools were used by the Saudi government to spy on Jamal Khashoggi in the runup to his kidnap and grisly murder). Read the rest

Amnesty International: Google and Facebook spell trouble for human rights

Amnesty International has had just about all that it cares to take of Google and Facebook's profiting off of our personal information. In a recent report, the international human rights charity stated that they were deeply concerned that the two companies mass surveillance ventures were making large scale human rights violations an easy go for anyone with access to the information and ill-intent.

From TechCrunch:

“[D]espite the real value of the services they provide, Google and Facebook’s platforms come at a systemic cost,” Amnesty warns. “The companies’ surveillance-based business model forces people to make a Faustian bargain, whereby they are only able to enjoy their human rights online by submitting to a system predicated on human rights abuse. Firstly, an assault on the right to privacy on an unprecedented scale, and then a series of knock-on effects that pose a serious risk to a range of other rights, from freedom of expression and opinion, to freedom of thought and the right to non-discrimination.”

If this argument sounds vaguely familiar to you, then you've been paying attention to this nonsense. As TechCrunch points out, the points that Amnesty International makes have been brought before by the United Nations, Zeynep Tufekci and Shoshana Zuboff—an organization and pair of noted scholars anyone would do well to listen to.

This feels like a topic better left to Cory Doctorow to explain than a chump like me, but let's have a go at it anyway.

By agreeing to Facebook or Google's terms of service, you're agreeing to allowing them to use and abuse your private information. Read the rest

Donald Trump had undisclosed dinner with Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel at White House, Facebook confirms

Facebook today confirmed what has long been rumored: Donald Trump hosted a dinner which was not disclosed to the public in October 2019 with Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel, at the White House. Read the rest

Activists target Facebookers over "Gold Tier" sponsorship of Kavanaugh event

Facebook's top lobbyist is so close with rapey Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh that he took the day off to lend Kavanaugh moral support during his confirmation hearing, and then hosted a victory bash at his lobbyist mansion. Read the rest

Why is Facebook's iOS app accessing my camera while I do unrelated things, users ask

Facebook says, oops, it's 'likely' a bug.

Goodbye Libra, hello Facebook Pay

A new proprietary online payment system for WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook launches today, exactly two weeks after all the payment companies dropped out of Libra. Read the rest

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