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    • By LNN
      We're building an artificial intelligence-powered dystopia, one click at a time, says techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci. In an eye-opening talk, she details how the same algorithms companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use to get you to click on ads are also used to organize your access to political and social information. And the machines aren't even the real threat. What we need to understand is how the powerful might use AI to control us -- and what we can do in response.
    • By admin
      On a press call with reporters, the Facebook C.E.O. denied knowledge of the Republican oppo-research firm his company hired to handle its aggressive public-relations campaign.
      Speaking to reporters on a conference call Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg was unusually animated, his voice rising as he struggled to extricate himself from Facebook’s latest crisis. The original point of the call had been to discuss “content governance” on Facebook’s platform, and a new transparency memo regarding the social network’s community standards. Instead, the 34-year-old C.E.O. found himself fending off accusations that Facebook, at the height of the Russian interference and Cambridge Analytica scandals, had employed a Republican opposition-research firm to sway public opinion and smear its critics. Zuckerberg, famously stoic, even robotic in his mannerisms and emotions, sounded exasperated as he fielded almost all of the questions on the nearly 90-minute call, hardly any of which were related to content governance, transparency, or community standards.
      The call was a reckoning more than two years in the making. Since the 2016 election, Facebook has been working to rehabilitate its public profile, culminating in an apology tour that took Zuckerberg to Capitol Hill in April. Addressing senators under oath, Zuckerberg had promised that he understood where Facebook had gone wrong, and described a good-faith effort to do better in the future. But as The New York Times reported Wednesday in a more than 5,000-word, five-byline bombshell, Facebook’s actual conduct had been far less responsive—and far more cynical. According to the Times, it wasn’t until the spring of 2016 that Facebook was tipped off to Russian interference on its platform, leading the company’s chief security officer at the time, Alex Stamos, to investigate. When Stamos presented his findings to Zuckerberg, C.O.O. Sheryl Sandberg, and other top executives, Sandberg was furious. “Looking into the Russian activity without approval, she said, had left the company exposed legally,” the Times reports.
      Sandberg and Zuckerberg asked Stamos to study the issue further, but a paper containing the findings was never released, following objections from Joel Kaplan,Facebook’s vice president for U.S. public policy, and other Facebook executives. Republicans, Kaplan said, would accuse the company of siding with Democrats regarding whether Russia had sought to elect Donald Trump. Sandberg reportedly agreed. Later, as evidence of Russian infiltration became more dire, Zuckerberg and Sandberg agreed to release some of the findings in a blog post. But after Stamos and his team drafted the post, the Times reports, Sandberg and her deputies pushed to make it less specific. Critical information about the legitimacy of the 2016 election may have been buried.
      While Facebook publicly downplayed the severity of the Russian problem, Stamos was still grappling with how to fix it. In September 2017, when Stamos informed Sandberg that the issue still wasn’t under control, a ferocious boardroom interrogation of Sandberg ensued. “You threw us under the bus!” she reportedly yelled at Stamos, who she apparently believed had betrayed the company by revealing its security problem.
      Meanwhile, according to the Times, Sandberg was aggressively building inroads in Washington, doing everything possible to lobby and pressure lawmakers to keep regulation at bay. After Mark Warner and Amy Klobuchar introduced the Honest Ads Act, legislation that could compel social-media companies to say who bought ads on their sites, Facebook hired Luke Albee, Warner’s former chief of staff, to lobby against it, and tried to appeal to Klobuchar, who was featured on the Web site for Sandberg’s female-empowerment book Lean In. (Sandberg was notably absent during Thursday’s call with reporters.) In perhaps the ugliest and most revealing response to the mounting backlash, the Times reports that in October 2017, Facebook hired a political-consulting group called Definers Public Affairs, helmed in part by former Jeb Bush staffer and Crooked Media contributor Tim Miller, to ingratiate itself among conservatives and seed negative stories about its competitors:
      On a conservative news site called the NTK Network, dozens of articles blasted Google and Apple for unsavory business practices. One story called [Apple C.E.O. Tim Cook] hypocritical for chiding Facebook over privacy, noting that Apple also collects reams of data from users. Another played down the impact of the Russians’ use of Facebook.
      The rash of news coverage was no accident: NTK is an affiliate of Definers, sharing offices and staff with the public relations firm in Arlington, Va. Many NTK Network stories are written by staff members at Definers or America Rising, the company’s political opposition-research arm, to attack their clients’ enemies. While the NTK Network does not have a large audience of its own, its content is frequently picked up by popular conservative outlets, including Breitbart.
      Among the details that have been most inflammatory is the claim that Definers promoted conspiracy theories tying criticism of Facebook to Democratic mega-donor George Soros, a Jewish billionaire who has been vilified by the far right and anti-Semites, and who was recently the target of an attempted bombing.
      A research document circulated by Definers to reporters this summer, just a month after the House hearing, cast Mr. Soros as the unacknowledged force behind what appeared to be a broad anti-Facebook movement.
      He was a natural target. In a speech at the World Economic Forum in January, he had attacked Facebook and Google, describing them as a monopolist “menace” with “neither the will nor the inclination to protect society against the consequences of their actions.”
      While Definers was encouraging reporters to investigate the financial ties between Soros’s family and groups critical of Facebook, it also played the other side, “lobbying a Jewish civil-rights group to cast some criticism of [Facebook] as anti-Semitic.” (On his call with reporters Thursday, Zuckerberg said he has “tremendous respect for George Soros.”)
      Facebook’s lengthy statement in response to the Times story lists a “number of inaccuracies,” and the company denies it knew about Russian activity as early as spring of 2016. But the statement itself doesn’t contradict the Times’s reporting. Facebook’s board of directors also issued a statement that acknowledges it pushed Zuckerberg and Sandberg to move faster once it spotted Russian interference, but characterized the idea that they “knew about Russian interference, and either tried to ignore it or prevent investigations,” as “grossly unfair.”
      Facebook’s contract with Definers may be more complicated. On Wednesday, Facebook terminated its relationship with the political consultancy, and on his call with reporters, Zuckerberg was adamant that he had never even heard of the company. “This type of firm might be normal in Washington, but it’s not the kind of thing I want Facebook associated with,” Zuckerberg said at one point. At another, he said, “I learned about this relationship when I read the New York Times piece yesterday.” When the question was posed a third time, he shrugged it off. “Someone on our comms team must have hired them.”
      Journalists covering the story were incredulous. Definers is a well-known oppo firm, and prior to the end of its business relationship with Facebook, sent reporters myriad messages and e-mails in support of Facebook and decrying the company’s critics. It seems highly unlikely that Zuckerberg would not have been aware of its involvement in his company’s external public-relations campaigns. What’s more, Definers’ work was only one component of a broader P.R. effort led by Zuckerberg’s top deputies. According to the Times, Sandberg and Kaplan pressured members of the intelligence community not to criticize Facebook’s response to Russian interference. They also worked to cultivate Republican supporters in Congress to shore up Facebook’s political position. After the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke in March, Kaplan promoted Kevin Martin, a former Federal Communications Commission chairman who also served in the Bush administration, to lead Facebook’s U.S. lobbying. As part of this effort, the Times reports, Facebook broke ranks with much of Silicon Valley to support a sex-trafficking bill that holds Internet companies liable for sex-trafficking ads on their Web sites—a way to curry bipartisan favor on the Hill.
      On one level, it is shocking that the Times story was reported at all. Facebook is a famously secretive organization, particularly within its upper ranks. That multiple executives vented their frustrations to the Times is evidence that the once-impenetrable social-media juggernaut has sprung a few leaks. But it is equally shocking, if not surprising, how Facebook appears to have closed ranks. At the moment, it’s not clear who, if anyone, will answer for the company’s P.R. skulduggery surrounding the 2016 election. Zuckerberg did not directly answer questions about whether any heads would roll during Thursday’s call, and signaled his steadfast support for Sandberg, his top lieutenant since 2008. “Sheryl is doing great work for the company,” Zuckerberg said. “She is leading a lot of the efforts to improve our systems. While these are big issues, we’re making a lot of progress, and a lot of that is because of the work she’s doing.”
      Will this latest crisis be the one that finally turns public sentiment decisively against the company, or will it only scandalize the media? Facebook, after all, has weathered several storms that would knock out a smaller company with a less viable public-relations muscle. Congress may yet become a pain point, especially given the bipartisan desire to see Zuckerberg in the stockades and new regulations imposed. But Democrats and Republicans still disagree in their aims, and remain equally clueless when it comes to specifics. At least for now, the party that seems most injured by the Times bombshell is Definers, which lost a lucrative partnership and saw its name become radioactive. Facebook, despite deserving far worse, sails on.
      https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/11/mark-zuckerberg-refuses-responsibility-for-facebooks-latest-greatest-scandal
    • By Money & Finance
      “A lot of founding principles of Facebook are that if people have access to more information and are more connected, it will make the world better; people will have more understanding, more empathy. That’s the guiding principle for me. On hard days, I really just step back, and that’s the thing that keeps me going.”
    • By admin
      Forums, like email, is one of those "killer applications" that made the Internet so powerful. Social media came along and it appeared that forums would be pushed aside as "old technology" like IRC chat etc...
      Using the more modern forums though, such as this one, is a different experience than the forums 1.0 of the past.
      Videos can now easily be embedded with just a click (just like Facebook and Twitter) and there are even more options for editing text than possible on FB currently.
      Images are very easily shareable now on forums compared to previous years.
      I will posit that social media made forum 1.0 technology to innovate and keep up. 
      Going forward people may soon remember how refreshing categories and topics can be versus the firehose of information people typically get on a FB newsfeed which their algorithims select what you see. (think big brother 2.0)
      There is also the possibility of allowing people to talk about things they don't want thier real names attached to. The USA was started in part due to "anonymous free speech". At times it is necessary. Granted, Twitter offers this already but forums had this 25 years ago and still do.
      Forums like this one are also innovating with ideas on how to learn more from social media's success with such things as status updates etc...
      Will we someday see the resurgence of massive forums where information is exchanged without a nauseating newsfeed?
      Enjoy!
    • By admin
      Dear Mark, (I know we aren't on a first name basis .. so pardon me that)
      You created a "forum" that went viral and shook up the world. All forum admins everywhere have been trying to learn your secret to success ever since.
      Governments are trying to figure out what to do with Facebook. They love it and hate it at the same time.
      However, your shareholders greed has come to the point where they are endangering the precious baby you created.
      No one has ever seen a company pivot from desktop to mobile as fast or as successfully.
       
      With all that said, let me offer my humble opinion on your platform. Ads (as I have on this website are ok and acceptable to the public)
      All the other creepy uses of user's data are just creepy and not worth even touching.
      Facebook is getting KILLED in the privacy and trust arena which is critical and very tough to ever recover.
       
      Here are a list of moves that should never have happened and hopefully you'll be able to roll back to recover:
      Allow users the ability to control their OWN newsfeed completely. I mean down to the granular level. (Think about how that would reduce your responsibility for creating people's newsfeeds for them only to later hear them complain about how you suck at that) Keep ads OUT of the newsfeed. Settle for banner ads and make billions off of the user interaction increase. (Less can be MORE) Don't throttle Page / Group owner's views of their posts to their audience. These "publishers" / (companies) create interaction. Throttle them and you throttle interaction that the rest of the forum admins in the world would die for. (This will ignite the entire platform) Your Publishers and Page owner's created your platform's ubiquitousness. Then you abandoned them in order to charge them. They have mostly left now along with the users) There are more including a complete brand refresh that we should talk about someday. Facebook is dying but it can still be revived and grow even more.
      Imagine what could be accomplished in the ecommerce area alone? But that lack of trust is killing you.
      Anyways, I wish you all the best.
      Forum Admin
       
       
    • By admin
      Zuckerberg Is Instagram Straight Flexin’
      The numbers are in...and? Instagram has officially passed 1 billion monthly active users (MAU).
      So be hard on the Zuck all you want, but just remember he now owns:
      Facebook: 2.19 billion monthly active users WhatsApp: 1.5 billion Messenger: 1.3 billion And of course, Instagram So it's no wonder Facebook shares jumped to a record-high $203 yesterday. As outspoken NYU professor Scott Galloway puts it: "Zuckerberg oversees the content and influence and mood of a community greater than Christianity, the southern hemisphere, plus India."
      And Insta didn't stop at 1 billion. It also announced the rollout of IGTV—a YouTube competitor.
      + Is Zuckerberg bound to pass Buffett in wealth? He's getting close.
    • By Nicole
      Si Perú gana el mundial...' así empiezan todos los resultados de esta aplicación de Facebook que muestra resultados como: 'Prometo no caer en sus mentiras', 'Prometo dejar de bebes', 'Prometo abrir la puerta a los testigos de Jehova', entre otras.
      https://larepublica.pe/tendencias/1260834-facebook-curiosas-promesas-peruanos-ganan-mundial-fb-viral
    • By Nicole
      NUEVA YORK (EFE) -
      Facebook anunció este lunes que contrató una firma externa para que audite a la consultora que manipuló con fines políticos la información de más de 50 millones de usuarios en la red social en EU, así como a uno de sus fundadores y al creador de la aplicación que recabó todos esos datos.
      "Hemos contratado a una firma de análisis forense digital, Stroz Friedberg, para que haga una amplia auditoría de Cambridge Analytica", la consultora británica, que ha acordado darle "un acceso completo a sus servidores y sistemas", escribió Facebook en su blog corporativo.
      La red social también pidió a las otras partes implicadas en la polémica que se sometan a una auditoría como parte de su investigación para determinar si es cierto que los datos filtrados sobre sus usuarios aún existen, de acuerdo con un informe que recibió hace varios.
      Se trata de Christopher Wylie, uno de los fundadores de Cambridge Analytica, y del profesor universitario Aleksandr Kogan, que accedió a la información de millones de usuarios a través de su aplicación para Facebook, llamada thisisyourdigitallife y que ofrecía un servicio de predicción de la personalidad, y la compartió con él.
      https://expansion.mx/tecnologia/2018/03/19/facebook-contrata-a-firma-que-audite-a-consultora-e-implicados-en-robo-de-datos
    • By Nicole
      SOCIAL NETWORKS WALK a fine line between being a useful tool and a crippling addiction. Whether you want your free time back or don’t like your information scattered about on the internet, you may be considering deactivating some accounts. Wanting to delete your account is one thing, but actually being able to hit the delete button is another story. Social media outlets make money off of you and your information, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they don’t want to let you go. Because of this, the biggest networks have made it overly complicated to delete your account. But if you are set on getting rid of them, here’s what you’ll have to do.
      Facebook
      You’ve had your Facebook account for about a decade, and in that time you’ve posted a little too much personal information. Maybe you’re just sick of all the baby pictures and slightly offensive status updates your friends are sharing. You’ve had enough.
      If you’ve ever deactivated your account, you may have noticed that everything goes back to normal the next time you log in, as if nothing has happened. That’s because deactivating your Facebook account is not the same as deleting it. When you deactivate your account, you are just hiding your information from searches and your Facebook friends. Although nothing is visible on the site, your account information remains intact on Facebook’s servers, eagerly awaiting your return.
      Even so, deactivating your account is still a complex process. Go into your settings and click General. At the bottom, you'll find Manage your Account. From there, click on "Deactivate your account" and type in your password. Before you're completely off the hook, Facebook shows you photos of all the "friends" you'll miss ("Callie will miss you", "Phoebe will miss you", "Ben will miss you") followed by a survey asking you to detail your reasons for leaving. Get through that, click Deactivate, and you're good to go.
      Now, to permanently delete your account, you'll need to learn where the delete option resides. The easiest way to find it is by clicking the "Quick Help" icon in the top-right corner, then the "Search" icon. When you see the search field, type “delete account.” You'll see a list of search results. Click on "How do I permanently delete my account?" and Facebook will give you the obscure instructions to “log into your account and let us know.” In this case, “let us know” is code for “delete my account,” so click on that link. From here, the final steps are clear: Enter your password and solve the security captcha, and your request to permanently delete your account is underway.
      Yes, you read that right—it's just a request. Facebook delays the deletion process for a few days after you submit your request, and will cancel your request if you log into your account during that time period. You know, just in case you change your mind. It's crucial that you don't visit Facebook during this waiting period. Delete the app from your phone.
      If you want to delete your account but don't want to lose all your account information, download all your crucial data first. The information you can download includes everything from the photos and statuses you post, to the ads you’ve clicked and the IP addresses you’ve used. The list of what’s included is extensive, but you can view it in its entirety here. Also, due to the nature of this data, you’ll want to keep it in a safe place.
      To download your account, go into Settings> General Account Settings > Download a copy of your Facebook dataand then click “Start My Archive.” When your download is ready, Facebook will send you an email with a link to download. For added security, this link will expire after a few days, so download it quickly.
      Instagram
      Even though it’s such a mobile-first service, Instagram doesn’t let you delete your account through the app. Instead, you’ll have to log into your Instagram account via the web in order to delete it.
      Like Facebook, navigating through Instagram’s settings will only give you the option to temporarily disable your account. Disabling your account will hide your profile, photos, likes, and comments from the platform. Find the disable option by clicking the person icon in the top right corner and selecting Edit Profile. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see the option to temporarily disable your account.
      If you want to get rid of it for good, you’ll have to enter “https://instagram.com/accounts/remove/request/permanent/” into your browser's address bar. Once you’re on that page, enter in your password and click “Permanently delete my account.”
      In the past, Instagram users have reported that they are prompted to enter their phone number when deleting their account. Luckily, it seems like this is no longer necessary.
      Twitter
      It takes a lot of time and effort to maintain a well-curated Twitter account, but the good news is that deleting your account doesn’t require as much work.
      Before you delete your Twitter account, you may want to download your archive. This will include all your tweets in a chronological order, which is great if you want to relive your first tweet, or see all those unanswered tweets you sent to celebrities. To download your archive, click your profile icon, go to Settings, then click on “Request your archive.” It’ll take some time for Twitter to get your archive ready, but when it is, you’ll be sent an email with a download link that will give you a .zip file.
      Once you have your downloaded copy, you can proceed with deleting your account. Log in to your Twitter, go into your account settings, then scroll to the bottom and click “Deactivate my account.” After that, you’ll be prompted to enter your password, and once you do so your account will be deactivated.
      Keep in mind that your data isn’t actually deleted for another 30 days. This window gives you the opportunity to revive your account if you choose. Once the 30 day period is up, Twitter will begin deleting your account. According to the company's Privacy Policy, this could take a few weeks.
      Snapchat
      Maybe you’re sick of seeing who’s besties with who according to the app’s Friend Emoji guide. Maybe you’re one of many Snapchat users converting to Instagram, despite Snapchat’s radically different function. In any case, if you decide to delete your Snapchat account, here’s how.
      Open the app and click on your profile icon in the top left corner. From there, go to Settings in the top-right corner. Go down to Support, which is found under More Information, and you’ll be lead to a search engine. Enter “Delete my account” and you'll see the instructions as a search result. It’s pretty straightforward from there. Like Twitter, Snapchat allows you 30 days to reactivate your account before it’s deleted forever.
      The Rest
      While there are a lot of social media sites out there, few are as sticky as the ones mentioned above. If you are looking to delete any of your numerous accounts, the best places to start are in your user settings, or on the company’s support/FAQ page. From there you’ll be able to find the necessary path to deleting your account. Shortcuts for these web forms can be found here for LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.
      https://www.wired.com/story/how-to-delete-your-facebook-instagram-twitter-snapchat/
    • By Nicole
      SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook has introduced sweeping changes to the kinds of posts, videos and photos that its more than two billion members will see most often, saying on Thursday that it would prioritize what their friends and family share and comment on while de-emphasizing content from publishers and brands.
      The shift is the most significant overhaul in years to Facebook’s News Feed, the cascading screen of content that people see when they log into the social network. Over the next few weeks, users will begin seeing fewer viral videos and news articles shared by media companies. Instead, Facebook will highlight posts that friends have interacted with — for example, a photo of your dog or a status update that many of them have commented on or liked.
      The changes are intended to maximize the amount of content with “meaningful interaction” that people consume on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, said in an interview. Facebook, he said, had closely studied what kinds of posts had stressed or harmed users. The social network wants to reduce what Mr. Zuckerberg called “passive content” — videos and articles that ask little more of the viewer than to sit back and watch or read — so that users’ time on the site was well spent.
      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/technology/facebook-news-feed.html
    • By admin
      Figure out Facebook’s algorithms, and you too can rule the Newsfeed. It’s a strategy executed to perfection by Bored Panda, a digital publisher that’s amassed more than 30 million likes, shares, reactions, and comments on its FB page just this past month (far more than BuzzFeed, CNN, and NYT). Even more remarkable? This isn’t some Silicon Valley unicorn. The 41-person team operates out of Vilnius, Lithuania.
    • By Nicole
      Victor Frankenstein, looking over a creature he had made, eventually realized that he couldn’t control his creation. CreditHammer Film, via Photofest
      On Wednesday, in response to a ProPublica report that Facebook enabled advertisers to target users with offensive terms like “Jew hater,” Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s chief operating officer, apologized and vowed that the company would adjust its ad-buying tools to prevent similar problems in the future.
      As I read her statement, my eyes lingered over one line in particular:
      “We never intended or anticipated this functionality being used this way — and that is on us,” Ms. Sandberg wrote.
      It was a candid admission that reminded me of a moment in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” after the scientist Victor Frankenstein realizes that his cobbled-together creature has gone rogue.
      “I had been the author of unalterable evils,” he says, “and I lived in daily fear lest the monster whom I had created should perpetrate some new wickedness.”
      If I were a Facebook executive, I might feel a Frankensteinian sense of unease these days. The company has been hit with a series of scandals that have bruised its image, enraged its critics and opened up the possibility that in its quest for global dominance, Facebook may have created something it can’t fully control.
      Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/21/technology/facebook-frankenstein-sandberg-ads.html
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