Odds and Ends 

UK parliament seizes cache of internal Facebook documents to further privacy probe

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg may yet regret underestimating a UK parliamentary committee that’s been investigating the democracy-denting impact of online disinformation for the best part of this year — and whose repeat requests for facetime he’s just as repeatedly snubbed. In the latest high gear change, reported in yesterday’s Observer, the committee has used parliamentary powers to seize a cache of documents pertaining to a US lawsuit to further its attempt to hold Facebook to account for misuse of user data. Facebook’s oversight — or rather lack of it — where…

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Odds and Ends 

Facebook Lasso app lead Brady Voss leaves for Netflix right after launch

Facebook Lasso has a steep uphill climb ahead as it hopes to chase the musical video app it cloned, China’s TikTok (which merged with Musically). Lasso lets you overlay popular songs on 15-second clips of you lip syncing, dancing or just being silly — kind of like Vine with a soundtrack. It’s off to a slow start since launching Friday, having failed to reach the overall app download charts as it falls from No. 169 to No. 217 on the U.S. iOS Photo and Video App chart, according to App…

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Odds and Ends 

Facebook opens its first small biz pop-up stores inside Macys

Facebook is bursting out of the ones and zeros into the physical realm with nine brick-and-mortar pop-up stores that will show off goods from 100 small business and online brands. Facebook organized the merchants to be part of The Market @ Macy’s, which first launched earlier this year to create temporary spaces for businesses. The merchants keep all their sales revenue, with Facebook and Macy’s taking no revenue share, and Facebook paid for each merchant’s one-time fee that Macy’s charges for the space. The stores feature News Feed post-themed displays…

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Odds and Ends 

Hours before US Election Day, Facebook pulls dozens of accounts for coordinated inauthentic behavior

Facebook has pulled the plug on 30 accounts and 85 Instagram accounts that the company says were engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher revealed the latest batch of findings in a late-night blog post Monday. “On Sunday evening, U.S. law enforcement contacted us about online activity that they recently discovered and which they believe may be linked to foreign entities,” said Gleicher, without naming the law enforcement agency. “We immediately blocked these accounts and are now investigating them in more detail.” The company didn’t…

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Odds and Ends 

Zuckerberg rejects facetime call for answers from five parliaments

Facebook has declined once again to send its CEO to the UK parliament — this time turning down an invitation to face questions from a grand committee comprised of representatives from five international parliaments. MPs from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Ireland and the UK have joined forces to try to pile pressure on the company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, to answer questions related to his “platform’s malign use in world affairs and democratic process”. The UK’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, which has been running an enquiry into online disinformation for the best…

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Odds and Ends 

A Twitter employee groomed by the Saudi government prompted 2015 state-sponsored hacking warning

An explosive report in The New York Times this weekend sheds new light on the apparent targeting of Twitter accounts by “state-sponsored actors” three years ago. It comes in the wake of the confirmed death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Friday, two weeks after he disappeared in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Khashoggi had long been a target of a Saudi troll army, according to the report, which employed hundreds of people to stifle the speech of government critics, like Khashoggi, who left the kingdom to live and…

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Facebooks gaming hub Fb.gg launches into beta on Android

This summer, Facebook launched Fb.gg, its online gaming hub and Twitch competitor, designed to attract game streamers and their fans to watch videos on Facebook instead of on rival sites. The destination shows videos based on which games and streaming celebrities users follow, plus Liked Pages and Groups, and other featured suggestions of what to watch. Now, Fb.gg is expanding to mobile with its launch on Android. The new app, first spotted by Sensor Tower, arrived just a few days ago and is currently in beta testing. According to its…

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Headlines 

Facebook’s ‘Ripley’ would stream Watch shows and put a camera in your home

Facebook wants to embed itself deeper into its users homes.Image: Getty Images Facebook wants to push even further into your home. The social media company is building a TV set-top box with a built-in camera, according to a new report in Cheddar.  SEE ALSO: Portal and Portal+ speakers give Facebook a permanent place in your home The device, reportedly referred to internally as “Ripley,” will be optimized for Facebook’s burgeoning TV platform, Watch. The set-top box would let you stream Watch shows to your television, though it’s not clear if…

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Odds and Ends 

Seven reasons not to trust Facebook to play cupid

This week Facebook has launched a major new product play, slotting an algorithmic dating service inside its walled garden as if that’s perfectly normal behavior for an ageing social network. Insert your [dad dancing GIF of choice] right here. Facebook getting into dating looks very much like a mid-life crisis — as a veteran social network desperately seeks a new strategy to stay relevant in an age when app users have largely moved on from social network ‘lifecasting’ to more bounded forms of sharing, via private messaging and/or friend groups…

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Odds and Ends 

Facebook poaches new CMO Antonio Lucio from HP

Amidst Facebook’s biggest branding crisis, it’s just hired a veteran CMO formerly of Pepsi and Visa to boost the social network’s external image and cross-promote features inside its apps. Antonio Lucio today announced he’ll be leaving his role as HP’s CMO after three years to take that post at Facebook starting September 4th. He’s replacing Gary Briggs, who in January said he’d be stepping down after five years to advise companies and work with the Democrats. Lucio’s hispanic background and his efforts to champion inclusion will bring needed diversity to…

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Odds and Ends 

Facebook bans first app since Cambridge Analytica, myPersonality, and suspends hundreds more

Facebook announced today that it had banned the app myPersonality for improper data controls and suspended hundreds more. So far this is only the second app to be banned as a result of the company’s large-scale audit begun in March; but as myPersonality hasn’t been active since 2012, and was to all appearances a legitimate academic operation, it’s a bit of a mystery why they bothered. The total number of app suspensions has reached 400, twice the number we last heard Facebook announce publicly. Suspensions aren’t listed publicly, however, and…

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Odds and Ends 

Its time for Facebook and Twitter to coordinate efforts on hate speech

Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, there has been burgeoning awareness of the hate speech on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. While activists have pressured these companies to improve their content moderation, few groups (outside of the German government) have outright sued the platforms for their actions. That’s because of a legal distinction between media publications and media platforms that has made solving hate speech online a vexing problem. Take, for instance, an op-ed published in the New York Times calling for the slaughter of an…

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Odds and Ends 

Facebook builds its own AR games for Messenger video chat

Facebook is diving deeper into in-house game development with the launch of its own version of Snapchat’s multiplayer augmented reality video chat games. Today, Facebook Messenger globally launches its first two AR video chat games that you can play with up to six people. “Don’t Smile” is like a staring contest that detects if you grin, and then uses AR to contort your face into an exaggerated Joker’s smirk while awarding your opponent the win. “Asteroids Attack” sees you move your face around to navigate a space ship, avoiding rocks…

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Odds and Ends 

Goodbye Tinder: Facebooks New Dating App Finally Allows You To Romantically Connect With Your Dads Friend Who Likes All Your Posts Even Though Youve Never Met Him

Online dating can be a serious headache, and it’s more likely you’ll find yourself stuck in an endless cycle of dead-end first dates than in a compatible match. But if you’re experiencing dating app fatigue, don’t lose hope of finding that special someone just yet, because Facebook just announced a brand-new dating feature that will finally allow you to romantically connect with your dad’s friend who likes all of your posts even though you’ve never met him. Unveiled yesterday at Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference, the social media platform’s incredible…

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