John Minchillo / AP
Thor Benson | Truthdig | August 15, 2015
It isn’t news that presidential candidates are logging on to Facebook to rustle up followers and spread their messages. What is new, as The New York Times recently reported, is how involved Facebook is getting in providing social media services to those candidates.
In the past three years, the company has doubled its political team, according to the Times. New video capabilities on the site and the ability to upload voter files are said to be two of the most important features that the social media giant is providing to the campaigns. What will likely have the biggest impact is how these candidates advertise on the popular platform. Facebook has already made news with its breakdown of data concerning how many people are talking about certain candidates in specific geographical areas, and that’s likely just the beginning.
“They provide something that political campaigns have wanted for, really, as long as there [have] been political campaigns, which is a really precise way to target the people they’re interested in talking to,” Chris Calabrese, the vice president of policy at the Center for Democracy and Technology, told Truthdig.
Social media giant Facebook has developed software to check in on people who may be engaging in criminal activities and alert company employees to decide whether to contact authorities. Boom Bust’s Erin Ade talks with Manila Chan about the software and security concerns for consumers.
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Facebook. (photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images)
Josh Halliday | Guardian UK | Reader Supported News | August 9, 2015
Software developer exploits loophole to obtain thousands of names, pictures and locations of users who link their mobile phone number with account
acebook has been urged to tighten its privacy settings after a software engineer was able to harvest data about thousands of users – simply by guessing their mobile numbers.
The developer obtained the names, profile pictures and locations of users who had linked their mobile number to their Facebook account but had chosen not to make it public.
Security experts said the loophole would allow hackers to build enormous databases of Facebook users for sale on internet black markets. “They should be attempting to prevent the widescale hoovering up of data, and I’m disappointed to hear that they appear to have failed on this occasion,” said Graham Cluley, a computer security analyst.
Rainbow pride: Facebook’s diversity team is letting its users freely self-identify their gender. Photo: Facebook
Hannah Francis | The Age | February 26, 2015
Facebook has given another thumbs up to social progression with the introduction of a custom gender option for all Facebook US English users worldwide.
Now, rather than being restricted to female or male, users can enter just about whatever they like into a custom field – whether it’s transgender, transexual or lumbersexual – and customise who gets to see that information.
The change expands upon the social network’s introduction last year of more than 50 gender options for its United States users to choose from in a drop-down list.
Amanda Terkel | Huffington Post | January 14, 2015
A gay substitute teacher in Charlotte, N.C., has been fired from his job at a Catholic high school after posting on Facebook about his plans to marry his longtime partner.
Lonnie Billiard taught theater and English at Charlotte Catholic High School for more than a decade. After retiring in 2012, he has remained part of the community as a substitute teacher.
Those ties ended, however, after Billiard revealed his plans to marry Rich Donham, his partner of 12 years. On Dec. 30, Billiard said he received a call from the school’s assistant principal saying he was no longer welcome to be a substitute teacher.
Glenn Greenwald | The Intercept | Reader Supported News | January 14, 2015
orty-eight hours after hosting a massive march under the banner of free expression, France opened a criminal investigation of a controversial French comedian for a Facebook post he wrote about the Charlie Hebdo attack, and then this morning, arrested him for that post on charges of “defending terrorism.” The comedian, Dieudonné (above), previously sought elective office in France on what he called an “anti-Zionist” platform, has had his show banned by numerous government officials in cities throughout France, and has been criminally prosecuted several times before for expressing ideas banned in that country.
The apparently criminal viewpoint he posted on Facebook declared: “Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly.” Investigators concluded that this was intended to mock the “Je Suis Charlie” slogan and express support for the perpetrator of the Paris supermarket killings (whose last name was “Coulibaly”). Expressing that opinion is evidently a crime in the Republic of Liberté, which prides itself on a line of 20th Century intellectuals – from Sartre and Genet to Foucault and Derrida – whose hallmark was leaving no orthodoxy or convention unmolested, no matter how sacred.
Since that glorious “free speech” march, France has reportedly opened 54 criminal cases for “condoning terrorism.” AP reported this morning that “France ordered prosecutors around the country to crack down on hate speech, anti-Semitism and glorifying terrorism.”