This was the year we turned on social media

By Saturday, December 9, 2017 0 Permalink 0

With each passing day comes yet another reason to question the notion that the long arc of the universe bends toward justice. However, this year, in particular, has made it resoundingly clear that — regardless of the direction of that arc — the process by which it bends manifests with stuttering jolts and fits. Things seem one way to many people, until, for whatever reason, all of the sudden everyone realizes they’re not. ;

It is a similar reckoning that has befallen the do-no-wrong darling of the tech industry: social media. Long heralded by its profits as a digital panacea for our fractured world, services like Facebook and Twitter have instead come to both represent and fuel our darker natures. ; Read more…

More about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Russia, and Election 2016

Facebook videos may start with ads, just like on YouTube

By Friday, December 1, 2017 0 Permalink 0

Get ready for more ads on Facebook. ;

Facebook Watch, the company’s initiative for original shows, will reportedly test pre-roll video ads — a.k.a. commercials — before the actual video starts, AdAge reported Friday. ;

SEE ALSO: Facebook signs Bill Murray and Brian Doyle-Murray for an original video series

This potential change opposes Facebook’s previous strategy and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s own words. ;

“We don’t need to do pre-roll because our model is not one where you come to Facebook to watch one piece of content, you come to look at a feed,” Zuckerberg said in July during the company’s quarterly earnings report, AdAge noted. ; Read more…

More about Facebook, Youtube, Online Video, Facebook Video, and Facebook Ads

Finally, Facebook stops advertisers from excluding racial and ethnic groups… for now

By Wednesday, November 29, 2017 0 Permalink 0

Facebook has long allowed advertisers to target users based on race—and exclude users based on race, too. ;

On Wednesday, Facebook said they’re temporarily stopping that ability to exclude after repeated investigations uncovered how easy it is to discriminate. ;

The update comes after a ProPublica investigation published last week revealed advertisers can still target housing ads to white people only. That’s damning not only because it violates the federal Fair Housing Act but also because ProPublica already made Facebook aware of the issue back in October 2016. Facebook later promised to step up its enforcement. ; Read more…

More about Facebook, Advertising, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook Ads, and Propublica

Oh joy! Soon, Facebook will reveal what Russian propaganda you ‘liked’

By Wednesday, November 22, 2017 0 Permalink 0

Exciting news for Facebook users. In the near future, the social network will reveal what Russian propaganda users were exposed to during the 2016 presidential election. ;

A list of Facebook Pages or Instagram accounts will appear in a new online portal within Facebook’s Help Center and will be available to all users by the end of the year, Facebook announced in a blog post Wednesday. ;

SEE ALSO: Facebook’s effort to stop the spread of propaganda and misinformation just isn’t working

The reveal is all a part of Facebook’s attempt to make up for allowing Russian trolls to interfere with the election. Accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA) created posts to manipulate voters during the 2016 election and reached more than 150 million people. For example, Russians created Facebook events for rallies around pro-Trump policies like anti-immigration. One ad depicted Hillary Clinton as the devil boxing Jesus. Read more…

More about Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, 2016 Election, Fake News, and Russian Hack

Facebook subtly neither confirms nor denies Russian meddling during Brexit

By Tuesday, November 14, 2017 0 Permalink 0

Russia, still being investigated for meddling in the U.S. presidential election, is now under fire for its actions during the UK’s Brexit vote. ;

On Monday, BuzzFeed News reported about the possibility of Russian-backed ads influencing the June 2016 vote for the UK to withdraw from the European Union, also known as Brexit.

SEE ALSO: Russian trolls pushed the California and Texas secession movements

Afterwards, in a policy speech, UK Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russia of messing with the democratic process. ;

“It is seeking to weaponize information,” she said about the country’s tactics. “We know what you are doing and you will not succeed.” ; Read more…

More about Facebook, Uk, Brexit, Russian Interference, and Business

Facebook’s effort to stop the spread of propaganda and misinformation just isn’t working

By Monday, November 13, 2017 0 Permalink 0

The Facebook part of each breaking news cycle is pretty familiar to journalists: A story breaks, and it seems just a matter of time until a false or misleading bit of information appears on Facebook’s “trending” section or otherwise makes its way around the platform with alarming speed.

Facebook’s fake news problem, which the company initially downplayed, was on display during the 2016 election, when the platform was found to have enabled propaganda and profitable lies to spread to millions of people. ;

In theory, Facebook has taken steps to prevent this. They’re partnered with journalists at the Associated Press,, and others to verify the truth of supposed news items on Facebook. When something doesn’t meet the journalists’ standards, that story gets a “disputed” tag. ; Read more…

More about Tech, Business, Facebook, Business, and Big Tech Companies

Facebook is launching a 30-city tour to connect with small businesses

By Thursday, November 9, 2017 0 Permalink 0

Mark Zuckerberg will no longer be the only Facebook employee touring America. ;

Facebook is launching a 30-stop U.S. tour in 2018 to educate small business owners on how to use the product, Zuckerberg announced Thursday while visiting St. Louis. Called Facebook Community Boost, the program will include IRL training on how to get started or further take advantage of digital tools like Facebook.

SEE ALSO: Are you a ‘multicultural millennial’? Tag yourself in Facebook’s insane political ad document

For Facebook, the return is obvious. More business owners using Facebook inspires more activity on the site, and business owners can easily become Facebook advertisers. The effort also aligns with Facebook’s new Community mission. ; Read more…

More about Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Houston, Facebook Groups, and Facebook Ads

People think Facebook is listening to them. Here’s how they’re fighting back.

By Wednesday, November 1, 2017 0 Permalink 0

These days, Facebook seems to know more about you than you do. From eerily accurate “people you may know” suggestions to the creepily perfect ads populating your News Feed, the company undeniably has a Big Brother-like finger on the pulse of its 2 billion monthly active users. ;

But how does it do this? Could it be, perhaps, that when the boy king behind the half-trillion dollar company isn’t defending himself against charges of subverting democracy, he’s directing his algorithmic minions to listen in on your every conversation so as to better target you with shoe adverts?

Absolutely yes — at least, so goes a long-running theory repeatedly denied by Facebook. But maybe, just maybe, Facebook isn’t being totally honest with us? This seems to be the general consensus of scores of users who believe, despite any and all official proclamations to the contrary, that Facebook eavesdrops on their daily banter. ; Read more…

More about Facebook, Privacy, Smartphones, Ads, and Mark Zuckerberg

If Facebook, Twitter, and Google thought the Russia investigation would blow over, they are sadly mistaken

By Wednesday, November 1, 2017 0 Permalink 0

Read more…

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More about Facebook, Twitter, Google, Election 2016, and Donald Trump