UK antitrust watchdog to investigate Facebook acquisition of Giphy

The United Kingdom Competition and Markets Authority, the UKs antitrust watchdog, has begun an investigation into Facebook's acquisition of Giphy. Read the rest

'Black lives matter' —Mark Zuckerberg, who says Facebook may change policy on state violence, voter suppression

"Black lives matter," said Mark Zuckerberg today. Read the rest

Facebook makes 'Boogaloo' groups advocating US civil war harder to find, after arrest of participants plotting violence

At least two of the three men charged this week with plotting violence at a Las Vegas anti-racism protest participated in “Boogaloo” groups on Facebook, an FBI criminal complaint says. Read the rest

Over 30 ex-Facebook employees slam Zuckerberg's inaction on harmful political posts in open letter

Dozens of former employees of Facebook blasted Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook in an open letter for the way it handles (or doesn't handle) political speech that is inaccurate and damaging. "Facebook’s leadership must reconsider their policies regarding political speech, beginning by fact-checking politicians and explicitly labeling harmful posts," the letter begins. And later: Facebook "is a betrayal of the ideals Facebook claims."

The letter is in reaction to Trump's recent misinformed and hostile posts about both the George Floyd protests and his warning last week that mail-in ballots will rig the election. Twitter did something about them while Facebook did not.

From The New York Times:

Mr. Zuckerberg has been under fire since Twitter added labels to several of Mr. Trump’s tweets last week for the first time to indicate they were inaccurate or glorified violence. On Wednesday, Snap, which makes the Snapchat app, said it would stop promoting Mr. Trump’s Snapchat account after determining that his public comments off the site could incite violence.

Facebook has taken no action on posts in which Mr. Trump made inaccurate statements about mail-in ballots in the November election or his aggressive messages about protesters after the death of George Floyd, an African-American man killed in police custody in Minneapolis.

Mr. Zuckerberg has since faced strong internal pushback for the inaction. The dissent has spilled out across internal message boards, with some Facebook employees resigning in protest, while others staged a virtual “walkout” this week and refused to work. On Tuesday, Mr. Zuckerberg defended his position, saying Mr.

Read the rest

Here's what Facebook employees are saying about Zuckerberg's decision not to remove Trump's threats of violence

“If we fail the test case here, history will not judge us kindly.”

Leaked internal Facebook posts reveal that Facebook employees are horrified that Mark Zuckerberg and C-suite executives refuse to remove impeached president Donald Trump’s threats of violence. Read the rest

'GrokNet', the AI behind Facebook Shops, looks for body type, skin tone, location, socioeconomic class in photos

• Yay, Clearview AI but for shopping!

Facebook Mark Zuckerberg today announced the launch of Facebook Shops, an e-commerce feature to allows business users to list and sell products on Facebook and Instagram. Read the rest

Facebook helps launch American Edge, lobbying group in DC to fight antitrust regulators

• Facebook is one of the big-tech entities behind American Edge, a new lobbying group in DC to fight antitrust regulators and push back against lawmakers trying to rein in Big Tech.

“Facebook is working behind the scenes to help launch a new political advocacy group that would combat U.S. lawmakers and regulators trying to rein in the tech industry, escalating Silicon Valley’s war with Washington at a moment when government officials are threatening to break up large companies,” reports Tony Romm at the Washington Post: Read the rest

Facebook nixes 'pseudoscience' ad-targeting category

After The Markup revealed that Facebook users were being targeted with bad ads for garbage products, Facebook has now agreed to remove “pseudoscience” as an ad targeting option for advertisers.

Yes, this was allowed during the coronavirus pandemic, until a news website shamed Facebook into eliminating it. Read the rest

Washington state sues Facebook a second time over political ads

“FACEBOOK already paid $238,000 in 2018 to resolve a previous dispute over political advertising in Washington state.”

Google spent ~$150 million on US lobbying over last decade, followed by Facebook at ~$81M, Amazon almost $80M: Federal filings

'Federal disclosures filed late Tuesday reveal Amazon and Facebook each spent roughly $17 million to battle back Washington in 2019'

Biden says Section 230 tech liability shield should end for Facebook, Zuckerberg should be subject to civil liability

Former Vice President and current 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden says U.S. Section 230 should be immediately revoked for Facebook and other social media platforms, and that Mark Zuckerberg should be submitted to civil liability. 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 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

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

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

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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