Odds and Ends 

Mark Zuckerbergs personal challenge is all about fixing Facebook before it implodes

Mark Zuckerberg is arguably the public face of the internet we never chose, but also the one we deserve based on the time we all spend using Facebook products. At some point, Facebook became so big that Zuckerberg’s personal challenges became news. And this year’s personal challenge is not personal at all — it’s all about work. In 2017, Zuckerberg wanted to meet and listen to people in all 50 states (and if you live outside of the U.S., sorry but Zuck doesn’t care). In 2014, he learned Mandarin. In…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Facebook adds a Snooze button for muting people, groups and Pages for 30 days

Facebook today is launching a new feature designed to give users more control over what content they see in their News Feed: a “Snooze” button. The option, which will become available via the top-right dropdown menu on a post, will mute content from a person, Page or group for 30 days. The new feature can serve as a way to dial down the content you don’t want to see, without having to fully unfollow or unfriend someone. For example, if you’ve had enough of someone’s political rants or baby photos,…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Facebook is clamping down on posts that shamelessly beg for your engagement

A lot of crap gets shared on Facebook, but coming soon the volume may be a little less after Facebook made a move to penalize content that shamelessly begs people for engagement. The social network giant said today that it will penalize Page owners and people who resort to “engagement bait,” which means posts that encourage users to like, comment or tag people in the comments section in order to gain wider visibility of their content. The incentives — such as “Share with friends to win a free trip” or “Like…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Facebook Is Banning Women for Calling Men Scum

When comic Marcia Belsky sarcastically replied men are scum to a friends Facebook post back in October, she never anticipated being banned from the platform for 30 days. That was exactly what happened. Belsky was shocked at the severity of the punishment considering her relatively innocuous comment, and immediately spoke to her fellow female friends about the ordeal. They could relate. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, countless women have taken to Facebook to express their frustration and disappointment with men and have been promptly shut down or silenced,…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Facebook rolls out AI to detect suicidal posts before theyre reported

This is software to save lives. Facebook’s new “proactive detection” artificial intelligence technology will scan all posts for patterns of suicidal thoughts, and when necessary send mental health resources to the user at risk or their friends, or contact local first-responders. By using AI to flag worrisome posts to human moderators instead of waiting for user reports, Facebook can decrease how long it takes to send help. Facebook previously tested using AI to detect troubling posts and more prominently surface suicide reporting options to friends in the U.S. Now Facebook is…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Facebook introduces a Messenger plugin for business websites

Facebook Messenger is coming to businesses’ own websites. The social network announced today the launch of a new customer chat plugin into closed beta, which will allow customers to talk directly with businesses on their websites using Messenger, and continue those conversations across web, mobile and tablet devices. While there are already plenty of customer support and chat plugins for websites on the market, Facebook’s advantage is its platform and reach. Not only does the ability to use Messenger mean the business is making itself available within an application that…

Read More
Headlines 

Russia funded Facebook and Twitter investments through Kushner associate

Institutions with close links to Kremlin financed stakes through business associate of Trumps son-in-law, leaked files reveal Two Russian state institutions with close ties to Vladimir Putin funded substantial investments in Twitter and Facebook through a business associate of US politics and the role played by social media in last years presidential election. It may also raise new questions for the social media companies and for Kushner. What are the Paradise Papers? The Paradise Papers is a special investigation by the Guardian and 95 media partners worldwide into a leak…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

WhatsApp finally lets you recall messages youve sent by mistake

WhatsApp has finally got your back when you send a message to the wrong person or group. The Facebook-owned messaging app is rolling out a feature that will finally let its 1 billion-plus users delete a message for all people within a conversation. Right now, the app’s delete feature is fairly useless as it only removes a message for the person who sent it. That means that those the message wasn’t intended for can still read it. But this new update will give the option to “delete for everyone,” which rids…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

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 conservative nonprofit Secure America Now, which spent millions on ads on the platforms during the 2016 election. SAN’s ads, as far as they related to immigration and refugees, were execrable scaremongering, invoking the…

Read More
Headlines 

Facebook moving non-promoted posts out of news feed in trial

New system could destroy smaller publishers if implemented, after journalists report drop in organic reach but users will still see their friends posts Facebook is testing a major change that would shift non-promoted posts out of its news feed, a move that could be catastrophic for publishers relying on the social network for their audience. A new system being trialled in six countries including Slovakia, Serbia and Sri Lanka sees almost all non-promoted posts shifted over to a secondary feed, leaving the main feed focused entirely on original content from…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

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 nine 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 “Could see becoming a poet?” with your uploaded contacts on the…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Facebooks Order Food feature officially launches across the US

Facebook today formally announced its new feature that allows users to order food from local restaurants using its app. Instead of competing directly with other food ordering services, Facebook is partnering with several industry players on this effort, including EatStreet, Delivery.com, DoorDash, ChowNow, Olo, Zuppler and Slice. It’s also working with restaurant chains directly, like Jack in the Box, Five Guys, Papa John’s, Wingstop, TGI Friday’s, Denny’s, El Pollo Loco, Chipotle, Jimmy John’s and Panera. Users can find the new option “Order Food” in the Explore menu in the Facebook app,…

Read More
Headlines 

Why it always feels like Facebook is spying on you

How much is paranoia and how much is real?Image: christopher mineses/mashable Bipul Lama believes Facebook is spying on him.  And he’s got proof, sort of. Lama performed a test. For two days, all he talked about was Kit-Kats.  “The next day, all I saw on my Instagram and Facebook were Kit-Kat ads,” Lama said.  After his Kit-Kat experiment, he successfully repeated it with chatter about Lysol. The 23-year-old musician is now more convinced than ever that Facebook is listening to his conversations through his phone’s microphone.  “It listens to key…

Read More
Headlines 

Did Russia fake black activism on Facebook to sow division in the US?

The popular Blacktivist account claimed to be a force for community organizing. Now it looks to have been part of Russias effort to influence politics When longtime Baltimore activists first saw a Facebook account called Blacktivist organizing a local police brutality march, they were immediately suspicious. The page honoring died in police custody a year earlier, quickly acquired a sizable following, but no one knew who was running it. Heber Brown III, a pastor and community organizer, messaged Blacktivist asking if the person lived in Baltimore. No, replied Blacktivist on…

Read More
Headlines 

Mark Zuckerberg needs to put on a damn tie

Zuckerberg in his classic uniform. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)Image: Getty Images for Vanity Fair Let’s just say it: Mark Zuckerberg dresses horribly, and he should be ashamed every time he appears in public. Here is a man in charge of the world’s most important social network — one that probably ended American democracy as we knew it! — and thanks to a general acceptance of his limp-ass techno-bro privilege, he gets away with wearing the same ugly T-shirt and jeans whenever he steps outside. It’s a…

Read More