Odds and Ends 

Europes top court sharpens guidance for sites using leaky social plug-ins

Europe’s top court has made a ruling that could affect scores of websites that embed the Facebook ‘Like’ button and receive visitors from the region. The ruling by the Court of Justice of the EU states such sites are jointly responsible for the initial data processing — and must either obtain informed consent from site visitors prior to data being transferred to Facebook, or be able to demonstrate a legitimate interest legal basis for processing this data. The ruling is significant because, as currently seems to be the case, Facebook’s…

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Facebook Suit Reveals Ukrainian Hackers Used Quizzes to Take Data from 60,000 Users

Two Ukrainian men used online quizzes to lure more than 60,000 Facebook users into installing malicious browser extensions that exfiltrated their profile data and friends lists to offshore servers, according a federal lawsuit the company filed late Friday. The men, Andrey Gorbachov and Gleb Sluchevsky, allegedly used the browser extensions to overlay their own advertisements onto Facebooks news feed when their victims visited through the compromised browsers. The company doesnt offer a motive for the data-scraping, but it may have been used to work friends names into the ad copy,…

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What history could tell Mark Zuckerberg

Perhaps Mark Zuckerberg obsessed over the wrong bit of history. Or else didn’t study his preferred slice of classical antiquity carefully enough, faced, as he now is, with an existential crisis of ‘fake news’ simultaneously undermining trust in his own empire and in democracy itself. A recent New Yorker profile — questioning whether the Facebook founder can fix the creation he pressed upon the world before the collective counter-pressure emanating from his billions-strong social network does for democracy what Brutus did to Caesar — touched in passing on Zuckerberg’s admiration for Augustus, the first emperor of…

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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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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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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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Headlines 

Mark Zuckerberg’s remarks on Holocaust denial ‘irresponsible’

Facebook founder had suggested site did not need to remove unintentional denial Mark Zuckerberg has been criticised by Jewish groups and anti-racism organisations for suggesting Holocaust denial should be allowed on Facebook because it could be unintentional. In an published in detail in April, a year after the Guardian obtained ban hate speech because it creates an environment of intimidation and exclusion and in some cases may promote real-world violence. But the companys definition of hate speech requires violent or dehumanising speech, statements of inferiority, or calls for exclusion or…

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Everything Facebook launched at F8 and Why

Day 1 of Facebook’s F8 conference was packed with announcements and updates. Here are 10 big takeaways from Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote on Day 1. You can find full coverage and analysis of F8 here.  1. FaceDate Facebook is launching a dating feature where you can volunteer to make a profile that’s only visible to non-friends who’ve also opted in to looking for love. Facebook will match you based on all its data, and messaging will happen in a dedicated inbox rather than Messenger. Why: If Facebook wants to drive “meaningful…

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Mark Zuckerberg: There will always be a version of Facebook that is free

Today during Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before the Senate, the Facebook CEO reiterated that “there will always be a version of Facebook that is free.” In the midst of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the user data of up to 87 million people was sold by a third-party developer to Trump Campaign-linked firm Cambridge Analytica, there has been talk of Facebook potentially adding a subscription layer. The scandal has brought to light the heart of a problem that many have been well aware of: if you’re not buying a product,…

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Headlines 

Within Facebook, a Sense of Relief Over the Zuckerberg Hearings

About two hours, or 20 percent, into Mark Zuckerberg’s marathon testimony before Congress this week, the Facebook CEO had a slightly awkward exchange with senator John Cornyn (R-Texas). Cornyn wanted to know what happens to people’s data when they delete their accounts. Zuckerberg responded that Facebook deletes their data. But Cornyn continued, “How about third parties that you have contracted with to use some of that underlying information, perhaps to target advertising for themselves?” To Zuckerberg, this must have been exasperating. As he has said over and over, Facebook doesn’t…

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Odds and Ends 

Facebook data misuse scandal affects substantially more than 50M, claims Wylie

Chris Wylie, the former Cambridge Analytica employee turned whistleblower whose revelations about Facebook data being misused for political campaigning has wiped billions off the share value of the company in recent days and led to the FTC opening a fresh investigation, has suggested the scale of the data leak is substantially larger than has been reported so far. Giving evidence today, to a UK parliamentary select committee that’s investigating the use of disinformation in political campaigning, Wylie said: “The 50 million number is what the media has felt safest to report…

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Headlines 

If Congress Doesn’t Understand Facebook, What Hope Do Its Users Have?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg received a less than warm welcome in Washington, DC, where he testified before a joint hearing of two Senate committees Tuesday. Among the crowds of spectators lining up to watch Zuckerberg get grilled were members of the activist group CodePink, wearing oversized sunglasses with the words, "Stop Spying," written across them. Another group wore t-shirts with the hashtag #DeleteFacebook scrawled on them in red Sharpie. "What many young people feel about Facebook is they’ve kind of turned on us," said Emmanuel Sessegnon, as he waited to…

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Public Interrogation: Every Senator Is Angrily Grilling Mark Zuckerberg On Why ClickHoles Articles Arent Getting Shared As Widely On Facebook After It Changed Its Algorithms

It’s just a few minutes into Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees, but it’s already looking like the Facebook founder isn’t going to be getting off easy: Every senator in attendance is angrily grilling Mark Zuckerberg on why ClickHole’s articles aren’t getting shared as widely on Facebook since it changed its algorithm. Wow. Senators on both sides of the aisle are clearly determined to hold Zuckerberg accountable for Facebook’s role in preventing them from being constantly showered in the web’s most viral content, courtesy of ClickHole.com.…

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Odds and Ends 

Facebook retracted Zuckerbergs messages from recipients inboxes

You can’t remove Facebook messages from the inboxes of people you sent them to, but Facebook did that for Mark Zuckerberg and other executives. Three sources confirm to TechCrunch that old Facebook messages they received from Zuckerberg have disappeared from their Facebook inboxes, while their own replies to him conspicuously remain. An email receipt of a Facebook message from 2010 reviewed by TechCrunch proves Zuckerberg sent people messages that no longer appear in their Facebook chat logs or in the files available from Facebook’s Download Your Information tool. When asked…

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