Facebook’s Algorithms Flagged a Power Mac G4 as Sexually Explicit

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Not much to the story but I think it’s funny. Someone posted in the Macrumors forums saying that Facebook’s algorithms flagged their G4 workstation with the message, “This listing may go against our rules on overtly sexual content.”

I am trying to sell an old G4 tower on Facebook but their AI is loosing its cool on my G4 MDD’s sexy curves.

That sure wouldn’t happen with a modern, square piece if metal!

Makes me want to keep it…

Facebook is Fine With Political Lies But Bans Pro-Vaccination Ads

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Facebook is happy to let politicians lie in advertisements on the platform, but it bans pro-vaccination ads that are rooted in science.

The study, published today in the journal Vaccine…found that a small group of “well-connected, powerful people” promoting broad anti-vaccination messages had successfully leveraged the platform’s targeted advertising service to reach select audiences…Meanwhile, those behind pro-vaccine messages well far less well funded and centralised, with their advertising often focusing on inoculating against specific conditions.

Is Facebook Secretly Accessing Your Camera? This Man Found a Bug

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For years there have been anecdotes from people saying that Facebook secretly uses their phone’s microphone and/or camera for targeted advertising. Joshua Maddux tweeted about a bug he found within the Facebook app. By tapping on a profile picture and slowly sliding it down the screen, you can see his rear camera being accessed on the left hand side. He tested it using five iPhones running iOS 13.2.2.

Found a @facebook #security & #privacy issue. When the app is open it actively uses the camera. I found a bug in the app that lets you see the camera open behind your feed. Note that I had the camera pointed at the carpet.

Only 44% of People Correctly Spotted Fake News on Facebook

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In a small study (n=80) undergraduate students were fitted with a wireless electroencephalography (EEG) headset. They were then asked to read political news headlines as they would appear on a Facebook feed to determine their credibility. They overwhelmingly chose headlines that aligned with their political beliefs as true.

“We all believe that we are better than the average person at detecting fake news, but that’s simply not possible,” said lead author Patricia Moravec, assistant professor of information, risk and operations management. “The environment of social media and our own biases make us all much worse than we think.”

Leaked Internal Facebook Documents Reveal Disturbing Information

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Today a trove of 4,000 internal Facebook documents reveal how the social media giant profits off user data and battles rivals.

Here are some of the key revelations from the document dump, including from reports published from earlier leaks:

Facebook wielded its control over user data to hobble rivals like YouTube, Twitter, and Amazon.

Facebook executives quietly planned a data-policy “switcharoo.”

Facebook considered charging companies to access user data.

Facebook whitelisted certain companies to allow them more extensive access to user data, even after it locked down its developer platform throughout 2014 and 2015.

Facebook planned to spy on the locations of Android users.

The PDF can be found here but currently it’s taking forever to load. Grab it while it’s hot.

Facebook Says 100 App Developers Improperly Accessed Data From Groups

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In another case of Facebook letting app developers access whatever data they want, 100 of them improperly accessed data from Groups despite Facebook claiming it restricted that access.

Today we are also reaching out to roughly 100 partners who may have accessed this information since we announced restrictions to the Groups API, although it’s likely that the number that actually did is smaller and decreased over time.

100 app developers you say? Why would 100,000 app developers do such a thing?

Like an Addict Facebook is Chasing Even More of Our Data, Now With Facial Scans

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Researcher Jane Manchun Wong found that Facebook is working on facial scans called “facial recognition-based identity verification.” It would ask users to upload a selfie of them looking in different directions before they can access their account.

On that same screen and later in the actual video selfie process, Facebook notes that “no one else will see” the video selfie you submit to them and says the video will be “deleted 30 days after your identity is confirmed.”

Deleted after 30 days. Based on Facebook’s past actions we can safely assume it will do the exact opposite. There’s not much room for giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Facebook Profits on Manipulating Us, an Insider Reveals

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Writing for The Washington Post, Yaël Eisenstat writes about paid political advertising at Facebook and how the company profits off of manipulation.

The “culture of fear,” nasty political campaigns and amplified extreme voices are not new in American society. But the scale to which these platforms have fueled and exacerbated this by using our emotional biases to keep our eyeballs on their screens, to vacuum up our data and sell their targeting tools to advertisers, has tilted the playing field toward the most salacious and fanatical voices.

Arguing That Platforms Can't Moderate Content is a Cop Out

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Mike Masnick writes about Elizabeth Warren’s Facebook feud over its advertising policy that leaves room for fake information. He also says it’s “impossible” to moderate content at scale. I disagree. Facebook and the rest of Big Tech have billions of dollars. They absolutely can moderate content. They either choose not to, or put in place petty measures that don’t do anything. Perhaps the new motto for corporations should be, “If you can’t do it ethically, don’t do it at all.” Online platforms should follow the same/similar rules that broadcasters do.

And this is the point that lots of us have been trying to make regarding Facebook and content moderation. If you’re screaming about all the wrong choices you think it makes to leave stuff up, recognize that you’re also going to pretty pissed off when the company also decides to take stuff down that you think should be left up.

Facebook Claims it can Protect Elections But Lets Politicians Lie

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Facebook announced new features today that it claims can stop 2020 election interference. However, its advertising policy lets politicians lie and gladly pockets the money it gets from allowing it.

One new feature is called Facebook Protect. By hijacking accounts of political candidates or their campaign staff, bad actors can steal sensitive information, expose secrets, and spread disinformation. So to safeguard these vulnerable users, Facebook is launching a new program with extra security they can opt into.

Mark Zuckerberg on letting politicians lie in Facebook ads: “I don’t think people want to live in a world where you can only say things that tech companies decide are 100 percent true. And I think that those tensions are something we have to live with.”

Private Social Network MeWe Reaches 6 Million Members

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Private social network MeWe has reached six million members in 2019 and was named the Best Entrepreneurial Company for this year.

MeWe expects over 100 million members by the end of 2020, having achieved 405% growth in 2018 and growing twice as fast on a daily basis in 2019. 60% of MeWe’s traffic is international and 35% of members are active—exceeding industry standards.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t used MeWe since I reviewed it. But I’ll gladly promote alternatives to Facebook, especially if privacy is the number one focus.