One of the best thing you can do for your smartphone is to remove the Facebook app, and instead, use it in a browser. The advantages are multiple: it saves you storage space, it can save battery life, and it should prevent you from wasting precious time on Facebook when you shouldn’t be on Facebook. You can even remove the standalone Messenger app, and do all your Facebook chatting from the browser version of the app. But Facebook is about to make a major change to its mobile site, and potentially force you to install one extra app on your device.
Yes, Facebook is listening in on the conversations you have when your phone is nearby and the app is open. It’s not for advertising purposes, the company claims. Instead, it simply wants to help you post easier and faster, about the kind of content you might be consuming, as Facebook is hunting for the background noise to identify TV shows or music.
Can it be stopped? Yes, it can. You can restrict Facebook’s access to the iPhone or Android device’s microphone in order to limit its reach. More →
Facebook Messenger, a chat service that has more than 900 million users, is going to get end-to-end encryption later this year, a new report. However, it’s not the kind of end-to-end encryption available on iMessage or WhatsApp, where all chats are fully encrypted by default. Instead, Facebook will make the privacy-enhancing feature an opt-in, taking a page out of Google’s Allo smart chat product. More →
In a somewhat bizarre story which proves that truth is often stranger than fiction, a serial mugger in England was arrested after one of his victims spotted him under Facebook’s “People you may know” section.
Originally reported by the BBC, 21-year old Omar Famuyide had a long history of theft, muggings and armed robberies to his name. Not too long ago, Famuyide brandished a knife and stole a car. Flash forward a bit, and the victim of said car robbery was recently shocked to see Famuyide’s face pop up as a suggested friend he might want to add on Facebook.
Facebook will be getting social with astronauts next week.
The company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, will be chatting live with astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, and viewers will be able to both watch and submit questions for him to ask, NASA announced Friday.
Interested parties on Earth can tune into NASA’s Facebook page for the 20-minute video call, which will begin at 12:55 p.m. EDT on June 2. Zuckerberg will be speaking with two NASA astronauts on the ISS, Jeff Williams and Tim Kopra, as well as Tim Peake of the European Space Agency. More →
It’s official: there’s nowhere to hide.
Companies like Facebook and Google are happy to offer you their services for free, but free always has a cost on the internet. Advertising pays the bills, and these big companies separate themselves from the pack by serving up ads that are better targeted than other networks. How do they target so well? By tracking you as you make your way across the web and building a profile that helps determine which ads you’re most likely to click.
Some people don’t want to be tracked by Facebook, so they don’t register an account with the site. But thanks to some major changes rolling out now, on one will be able to hide from Facebook tracking. More →
Facebook said in an official response to US Senator John Thune that it has found no wrongdoing following an internet investigation into allegations that the social networking giant was manipulating stories in its trending news section to block conservative political content. At the same time, however, the company said that it is making big changes to the processes that power its trending news section, sending mixed messages in the process. More →
Being tracked on the internet is something that’s only to be expected, since advertising is still the biggest online moneymaker out there. Google and Facebook are two of the biggest companies that make money by being able to tell advertisers what we like, and there are many others who track our every move online.
Some of these companies offer you ways to limit the amount of data they collect, and they also offer some amount of transparency for their advertising programs. While you might never evade Google or Facebook completely, there are ways to see everything Google knows about you, and you can also find out which companies are tracking you on Facebook… aside from Facebook itself, that is. More →
A Facebook Live stream made headlines on Monday, as father-in-the-making Kali Kanongata’a livestreamed his baby’s birth on Facebook Live. Only, Kanongata’a didn’t realize he was livestreaming to 120,000 people — he thought it was just going out to friends and family.
As People reports, Kanongata’a just “intended to share the video on Facebook so that his family on the Polynesian island of Tonga could share in his joy.” They did — but they were joined in their joy by 120,000 other random strangers off the internet. But the video at least has a happy ending for him:
“We just see it as a positive. I know some people are mad that it’s not private, but I’m from the island [of Tonga], and years ago, we would have water births in public. I wasn’t too worried about hiding anything because our culture has done this for thousands of years.”
Facebook is pushing its livestreaming video project pretty hard — so hard that it’s paying media companies cold hard cash to use Facebook Live. So when Buzzfeed set up an interview with President Obama using Facebook Live, it should have been a major coup for the platform. Instead, Facebook crashed, and YouTube had to save the day.
Buzzfeed’s legal editor was supposed to sit down with the President to discuss his Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland at 2.50PM ET this afternoon. Unfortunately, Facebook’s video tool had some technical problems, and users were stuck with one short loading video.
According to CBS58, two teenage girls are under investigation for livestreaming themselves on Facebook having sex with a 15-year-old boy. To make matters worse, the stream happened during school time, and other teenagers watched on their phones from a health ed class.
The two girls, students at Barack Obama School in Milwaukee, are under investigation from Milwaukee Police, and are likely to be charged with “exposing a child to harmful material.” Milwaukee police have given a search warrant to Facebook, asking for account information of the 14-year-old girl.
To address allegations of anti-conservative bias in its trending news topics, Facebook has published more transparent details about how and where it sources news. Included is a list of 1,000 websites and publications that Facebook thinks are worth checking.
On first inspection, the list looks exactly like a vanilla cross-section of the biggest news publications, organized by category. Facebook is publishing the list in an effort to do away with allegations of bias, specifically that some sources were “blacklisted,” while other stories were “artificially injected” into the Trending News section.
Hot on the heels of bringing 360-degree video to its social network, Facebook announced on Wednesday that it will also be giving users the ability to post 360-degree photos on the News Feed in the coming weeks. As with 360-degree videos, you’ll be able to click and drag on the photos in order see them in full.