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.
Yesterday, a Gizmodo report alleged that Facebook’s human curators had been manipulating the trending news section to kill conservative stories — allegations that Facebook carefully didn’t deny in a blandly worded response. Now, the US Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees communications and the internet, has asked for real answers.
Like Google, Facebook’s business is built around a simple design. It offers services to users for free, but those users are not Facebook’s customers. Instead, Facebook’s customers are companies that pay to run advertisements on its website and in its mobile apps. And the reason Facebook is so successful is that it offers its clients ways to target their ads better than most rivals. Why? Because Facebook knows so much about its users’ likes, dislikes and all sorts of other personal information.
It’s a successful model and it’s not going to change anytime soon. By using Facebook, you’re agreeing to let the company make use of your data in order to serve you targeted ads. As long as you understand that, then go right ahead and use Facebook all you’d like — but there are still a few things you’re better off keeping to yourself. More →
Looking to upload your homemade video clips somewhere other than Google’s YouTube or Facebook’s video services? You’re in luck, as starting Tuesday anyone with an Amazon account can take advantage of the retailer’s brand new user-generated video hosting service. More →
Earlier today, a report from Gizmodo quoted anonymous employees saying that Facebook manipulated its “Trending News” section, blacklisting some sites, and was “artificially injecting” topics into the trending section. In a statement issued by Facebook, the company carefully avoided denying the report, instead saying that it takes “allegations of bias very seriously.” More →
What were you doing when you were just 10 years old? Were you able to find any software bugs and win a boatload of cash for it? I sure wasn’t, but a Finnish boy named Jani recently told Facebook about an Instagram bug would let anyone delete comments inside the app. The social network rewarded him with $10,000 for his discovery.
It turns out that Jani is not only good with computers already, but he has a great sense of humor. More →
Instagram quickly became one of the most popular photo-based social networks in the world thanks largely to design. Photo-sharing sites were a dime a dozen when Instagram launched, but the company differentiated itself by offering sleek photo filters that instantly made users’ photos look like they had been professionally edited. In the years since the app’s initial launch though, Instagram has fallen a bit behind the times in some areas. Specifically, the Instagram app’s design is a little dated at this point — but it appears as though the company is hard at work on a remedy.
A few lucky users recently received special updates to their Instagram apps, giving them a preview of a hot new design the company is testing. The bad news is no, you can’t download the redesigned Instagram app yourself. But the good news is we have a bunch of images of the sleek new design and you can check them out right here. More →