Social Networks 

Antisocial media?

Antisocial media? As Facebook finds itself publicly on the hook for enabling Russian agents to spread divisive propaganda via its platform, be it in the form of fake news, ‘dark ads‘, issue pushing Facebook pages, and even political rallies organized using its Event tools, there’s another side to the story of how tech tools are impacting the democratic process currently playing out in Catalonia, where the regional government has been pushing for independence from Spain. To some, the Catalan political crisis has been a long time coming. It has its roots in the…

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Social Networks 

You can now PayPal friends in Messenger and get help via chat

You can now PayPal friends in Messenger and get help via chat PayPal users in the U.S. will now be able to send and receive person-to-person payments over Facebook Messenger, the company announced this morning. The deeper integration with Messenger’s platform, which will also include PayPal’s first customer service bot for handling customer questions and requests for help, follows a series of tie-ups between the two companies. Last year, Facebook and PayPal announced a deepened relationship that allowed customers in the U.S. to shop from online merchants using their Messenger…

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Social Networks 

Bipartisan bill seeks to regulate political ads on Facebook, Twitter and Google

Bipartisan bill seeks to regulate political ads on Facebook, Twitter and Google A new bipartisan bill known as the Honest Ads Act is the first major attempt to regulate online platforms that sell ads with rules akin to those that apply to more traditional advertising on TV, radio and in print. The bill, introduced today by Democratic Senators Mark Warner and Amy Klobuchar, with a bipartisan boost from Republican Senator John McCain, imposes regulations on social platforms, websites, ad networks and other online entities with more than 50 million unique…

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Social Networks 

Facebook attacks Pinterest with ‘Sets’ of posts

Facebook attacks Pinterest with ‘Sets’ of posts Identity is prismatic. You show different sides of yourself to different friends in your life. Now Facebook wants to let you share the niches of your interests while stealing thunder from Pinterest’s boards. Facebook is now testing a feature called Sets that lets you select several status updates, photos or videos and share them as a themed collection to everyone or specific friends. Facebook confirms to TechCrunch that Sets are testing in a few countries and provided this statement: “We’re testing a way for people…

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Social Networks 

‘Bad things happen,’ Facebook’s response to Russian election interference

‘Bad things happen,’ Facebook’s response to Russian election interference Facebook has come under fire for its role in influencing the U.S. presidential election, particularly when it comes to “fake news” and Russian-sponsored ads.  When asked about this at WSJ D.Live in Laguna Beach on Wednesday, Facebook VP David Marcus at first deflected, talking at length about all the positive impacts that the social media giant has had on the world. “When you design a platform that reaches 2 billion people every month…sometimes bad things happen,” he concluded. Marcus said that…

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Social Networks 

Facebook and Google competed for anti-immigration ad dollars during the 2016 election

Facebook and Google competed for anti-immigration ad dollars during the 2016 election In a textbook illustration of the conflict of interest between Facebook and Google’s ostensible dedication to free speech and their ostensible espousal of progressive values, the internet giants reportedly took millions in advertising money from a major anti-immigration group at the same time as both were engaged in pro-immigration advocacy. Bloomberg reports that both companies worked with Secure America Now, which spent millions on ads on the platforms during the 2016 election. SAN’s ads were execrable scaremongering, invoking…

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Social Networks 

Facebook’s Building 8 head, Regina Dugan, is leaving the company

Facebook’s Building 8 head, Regina Dugan, is leaving the company Facebook’s Regina Dugan, who led the company’s secretive Building 8 hardware lab, is leaving the company after just 18 months in the role. Dugan detailed in a Facebook post that she would be leaving to focus on “building and leading a new endeavor.” She will be staying in her position until “early next year” to help the team transition into 2018. As rumors pile up that Facebook is working on moving into consumer hardware, all eyes remain on the company’s…

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WhatsApp joins other messaging platforms with live location sharing

WhatsApp joins other messaging platforms with live location sharing Sharing your current location with someone is a great way to passive-aggressively explain that you’re on your way when they ask where you are. But it also has other uses, and WhatsApp has now joined rivals Facebook Messenger and iMessage in offering the feature (with its own somewhat unique twist). The new feature will be available on both Android and iPhone soon, and it’s accessed the same way you’d normally send your location. But now you’ll have the option not just…

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Social Networks 

Silenced by “free speech”

Silenced by “free speech” There’s a fundamental incongruency between being inflexibly pro ‘free speech’ and operating a global social network for civil public discussion. Twitter is struggling with it. Facebook is struggling with it too. And it can’t be solved by a little more transparency or by hoping average citizens will do the right thing. The principle of free speech on which the United States was founded was not conceived with our modern interconnectedness in mind, nor has it scaled to adapt to it. The idea was that anyone could…

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Social Networks 

Facebook acquires anonymous teen compliment app tbh, will let it run

Facebook acquires anonymous teen compliment app tbh, will let it run Facebook wants tbh to be its next Instagram. Today, Facebook announced it’s acquiring positivity-focused polling startup tbh and will allow it to operate somewhat independently with its own brand. tbh had scored 5 million downloads and 2.5 million daily active users in the past 9 weeks with its app that lets people anonymously answer kind-hearted multiple-choice questions about friends who then receive the poll results as compliments. You see questions like “Best to bring to a party?”, “Their perseverance is admirable?”, and…

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