Odds and Ends 

LinkedIn now requires phone number verification for all users in China

LinkedIn’s China site looks and functions just like LinkedIn everywhere else, except now it asks users in the country to verify their identities through phone numbers. The American company is requiring both new and existing users with a Chinese IP address to link mobile phone numbers to their accounts, TechCrunch noticed this week. LinkedIn had for months told its China-based users to provide mobile number details before sending them to the main page, but it had mercifully kept a little “Skip” button that let users avoid the fuss — until at least…

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Apple’s Tim Cook Calls for More Regulations on Data Privacy

Cook speaks at Beijing forum following Facebook controversy Situation is so dire well-crafted regulation is needed: Cook Forum in Beijing on Saturday. His comments will ramp up pressure on Facebook Inc. and other technology companies that rely on the huge reams of data gathered from billions of people to power their products, services and sales. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg belatedly apologized for failing to better control its customers’ data following reports that it let Cambridge Analytica amass information on 50 million users. The social network’s shares have tumbled 14 percent following the…

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YouTube Bans Firearms Demo Videos, Entering the Gun Control Debate

Google’s new policy prohibits promotion of guns, bump stocks At least one video gun blogger ditched YouTube for PornHub greater restrictions on content several times in the past year, responding to a series of issues with inappropriate and offensive videos. Most of those changes involved pulling ads from categories of videos. Google is more reluctant to remove entire videos from YouTube, but has been willing to do so with terrorism-related content. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, a gun industry lobbying group, called YouTube’s new policy “worrisome.” “We suspect it will…

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Silicon Valley Has Failed to Protect Our Data. Heres How to Fix It

Twitter, LinkedIn, Cambridge Analytica used that data to target likely Trump voters. Facebook responded that, no, this was not a “Featured in , March 26, 2018. Illustration: 731 For years we’ve been talking and thinking about social networks as interesting tools to model and understand human dynamics. But it’s no longer academic—Facebook has reached a scale where it’s not a model of society as much as an engine of culture. A researcher gained legitimate access to the platform and then just … kept going, and Cambridge Analytica ended up with those 50 million profiles.…

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As Vero Blows Up, Backlash Builds Against Social Apps Shady Founder

Every few years a new viral social platform emerges to supposedly rescue us from the clenches of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all their associated problems. In 2014 we had Ello, in 2015 it was Peach. In 2018, its promises to bring back meaningful connections. Vero skyrocketed to the top of the app store this week, claiming the number one spot in the social media category and surpassing 1 million downloads, but already some users are calling for its deletion due to the problematic past of its founder and CEO, Ayman…

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Massive Cryptocurrency Heist Spurs Calls for More Regulation

At 2:57 a.m. on Friday morning in Tokyo, someone hacked into the digital wallet of Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck Inc. and pulled off one of the biggest heists in history. Three days later, the theft of nearly $500 million in digital tokens is still reverberating through cryptocurrency markets and policy circles around the world. The episode, disclosed by Coincheck executives at a hastily arranged press conference on Friday night, has heightened calls for stricter oversight at a time when many governments are working out how to regulate the booming cryptocurrency exchange…

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Facebook to Show Users Which Russian Propaganda They Followed

request from Congress to address manipulation and meddling during the 2016 presidential election. The tool will appear by the end of the year in Facebook’s online support center, the company said in a blog post Wednesday. It will answer the user question, “How can I see if I’ve liked or followed a Facebook page or Instagram account created by the Internet Research Agency?” That’s the Russian firm that created thousands of incendiary posts from fake accounts posing as U.S. citizens. People will see a list of the accounts they followed,…

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Twitter Cracks Down on Verified Accounts With New Policy

tweet, “this perception became worse when we opened up verification for public submissions and verified people who we in no way endorse.” Earlier this month, the social network stopped the system of authenticating a user’s identity with a blue check mark after drawing intense tweeted a screen shot of a note he received from Twitter, saying that his verified badge will be permanently removed “after determining that your account does not comply with Twitter’s guidelines.” The company has also removed the blue check mark from conservative commentator

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