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  • Geebo 9:11 am on April 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook, , , romance scam   

    Fake Facebook profiles a problem for the military 

    Fake Facebook profiles a problem for the military

    One of the other issues discussed with Mark Zuckerberg by Congress was not just that of privacy, but that of identity theft. US Representative Adam Kinzinger from Illinois, mentioned to Zuckerberg that the Congressman had his own information stolen by scammers who had created fake profiles in order to extort money from victims. According to CBS Marketwatch, this is not a new problem on Facebook and often targets members of the military to steal their identity.

    Members of the military often have their profiles copied to make fake Facebook profiles by overseas scammers. The scammers then use the fake profiles to try to get someone romantically interested in the fake profile. This is hen usually followed up by some request for money from the victim. These scams have claimed anywhere from hundreds to millions of dollars from victims, and it’s believed the crime is underreported due to the number of victims who are too embarrassed to come forward.

    Facebook is usually not a big help when it comes to these fake profiles. When the military reports these profiles, Facebook will have them removed, but then they’ll just pop right back up soon after. As in the video shown above, the serviceman whose profile was copied again and again couldn’t get the fakes removed due to Facebook claiming that the fake profiles did not violate their ever-vague ‘community guidelines’.

    Now you may be savvy enough to not fall for such a scam, but think of all your friends on Facebook who may not be. If they’re suddenly head over heels for someone in the military they’ve met online, warn them that this may be a scam, especially if they ask for money. As a military spokesperson put it to CBS…

    Members of the military shouldn’t be asking for money, said Heusdens. “If they say they need help paying for a medical bill, the military pays for medical treatment for soldiers,” she said. Likewise, asking for help to buy food is a red flag.

    “We get fed very well,” she said.

  • Geebo 9:01 am on April 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook, ,   

    Zuckerberg: Facebook is not a monopoly 

    Zuckerberg: Facebook is not a monopoly

    For the past two days, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before both houses of Congress in regards to the data breaches and scandals that have been in the public eye since the 2016 Presidential election. Zuckerberg’s total testimony added up to about ten hours of testimony in total, and in that ten hours not a lot of progress was actually made as Mr. Zuckerberg either tried to deflect the questions asked of him or would offer a nebulous explanation of how Facebook works.

    However, that’s not to say there wasn’t some newsworthy information to come from Mr. Zuckerberg’s testimony. When Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked if Zuckerberg thought Facebook was a monopoly, Zuckerberg responded with “It certainly doesn’t feel like that to me.” When asked by Sen Dan Sullivan (R-AK) if Facebook was too powerful, Zuckerberg replied with the non-answer of “We need to have a conversation about the right regulation.” Yet in his testimony Zuckerberg claimed that “I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”

    As we have seen through the election meddling, the Cambridge Analytica breach, and the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people through Facebook in Myanmar, the social media giant absolutely has too much power. It has so much power that Facebook isn’t even control of all of the power it possesses. The question that then needs to be asked is Mark Zuckerberg so insulated from his own company that he believes what he is telling Congress, or is he just an outright liar? No one man or company should hold such global power. Facebook needs to either rethink their business model or face possible regulatory wrath of Congress that hasn’t been seen since the breakup of AT&T.

  • Geebo 9:02 am on April 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: CubeYou, , Facebook, , Senator John Neely Kennedy   

    Senator to Facebook: “We Can Do It The Easy Way Or The Hard Way” 

    Senator to Facebook: "We Can Do It The Easy Way Or The Hard Way"

    U.S. Senator John Neely Kennedy (R-La.)

    While we await further news on any prosecutorial action against Backpage, Facebook continues to dominate the headlines with more potential data breaches and a possible Congressional showdown.

    The first bit of news that made headlines over the weekend was that Facebook divulged another potentially damaging data breach that happened in a similar vein to that of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook is said to have suspended operations with an analytical firm called CubeYou. CubeYou was accused of harvesting personal data from Facebook users through those quizzes that many people take on Facebook that appear on the surface to be innocuous. In this instance, CubeYou is accused of allegedly using the information collected to sell to marketers.

    How many more of these analytical firms are collecting Facebook user data against Facebook’s wishes? That’s what U.S. Senator John Kennedy would like to know. Yesterday Senator Kennedy, no relation to the famous Kennedy political family, appeared on Face the Nation and had a warning for Mark Zuckerberg. In the mostly friendly interview Senator Kennedy stated that he doesn’t want to regulate Facebook ‘half to death’, however, he also said that if Facebook is unwilling or incapable of fixing their problems, the Senator said “We can do this the easy way, or the hard way” in regard to Mark Zuckerberg’s expected appearance before Congress this week.

    Senator Kennedy seems like he has a good grasp on this situation at hand with Facebook. It appears that Senator Kennedy could either be Mark Zuckerberg’s best friend or worst enemy depending on how forthcoming the Facebook CEO will be with Congress this week.

  • Geebo 9:05 am on April 6, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook,   

    Facebook has more controversies than it can handle 

    Facebook has more controversies than it can handle

    Artist’s rendering of the Facebook board room

    I’m going to let you have a little peek behind the curtain here at Greg’s Corner. As the official blogger for Geebo.com, I don’t like to post about the same subject twice in the same week. For example, earlier this week, I posted about how some in tech journalism are wondering if Mark Zuckerberg should step down as Facebook CEO in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. So, I had no real intentions of posting about Facebook again this week. That was until I checked my usual sources for news and the attention on Facebook was so intense that I had no choice but to blog about Facebook once again this week. The problem is that it’s not just one story about Facebook that is grabbing headlines today, but an overabundance of headlines in regard to Facebook today.

    For example…

    The Australian government is launching an investigation into Facebook as it’s possible that the data of 300,000 Australian Facebook users may have been compromised. This is similar to a claim made my the European Union that says that 2.7 million citizens of the EU may have had their information compromised as well. While we’re still on the world stage, Indonesia is launching its own investigation to see if Facebook breached that country’s privacy laws.

    Speaking of privacy issues, Facebook recently admitted that it scans users private messages. Supposedly, they do it to block content that doesn’t fit their ‘community standards’ but Facebook has always been intentionally vague about what those standards exactly entail. However, there is one person on Facebook whose private messages are completely safe. Of course that’s Mark Zuckerberg. Some of his private messages to other Facebook employees have been removed from Facebook. Facebook claims they did this in the wake of the Sony hacking scandal of a few years ago. Still, it seems a little bit more than hypocritical on Facebook’s part. However, the most egregious possible invasion of privacy Facebook was looking to commit was that of users’ medical records. According to CNBC, Facebook was allegedly asking several prominent hospitals for anonymous data about their patients, such as illnesses and prescription info, for a proposed research project. That doesn’t sound ominous in the least. Wisely, Facebook has decided to stop pursuing that avenue of research for now.

    I was about to say that Facebook is on the verge of becoming some kine of Orwellian surveyor, but let’s face it, they already are. The fictional Big Brother from Orwell’s 1984 would be jealous of the amount of surveillance Facebook conducts on its 2 billion users.

  • Geebo 9:28 am on April 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook,   

    Is it time for Mark Zuckerberg to step down? 

    Is it time for Mark Zuckerberg to step down?

    From the foreign meddling in the 2016 Presidential election, to their alleged role in the ethnic cleansing of the Rohinngya people of Myanmar, to the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has had quite the tumultuous year to say the least. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t even seem to be sorry for their part in some of the worst data breaches in history or for supposedly allowing some governments to use Facebook to suppress their citizens. In response to the Rohingya crisis, Zuckerberg has basically stated that “It’s an issue” and that they’re working on it. This is an issue that affects 700,000 displaced refugees and Mark Zuckerberg responds to it like your cable company when the signal goes out. To compound matters, Mr. Zuckerberg says that it will take years to fix Facebook’s current problems.

    By this time, most other companies would be looking to oust their CEO or the CEO would be taking the responsibility upon themselves and would step down. Wired Magazine has posted a detailed article on why Mark Zuckerberg should step away from Facebook and how it should proceed without him. The problem is Mark Zuckerberg has a majority of the controlling shares in Facebook so he can’t be voted out by the board of directors. Not to mention that stepping down doesn’t even appear to be an option he’s considered whether due to ego or obsession.

    Users aren’t going to wait years for Facebook to right itself. If Facebook continues to go down this road with its leadership taking little to no actual responsibility could we see Facebook become the next MySpace? All it would take is for another platform to come along to do what Facebook does, but only better. While not a small task, it has been done before.

  • Geebo 9:07 am on March 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook, housing   

    Facebook accused of discriminatory housing ads 

    Facebook accused of discriminatory housing ads

    It appears that Facebook is trying to fend off controversy from all sides these days. Not only is it facing lawsuits over the data they’ve been allegedly collecting from Android users, but Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expected to testify himself before Congress over the purported Cambridge Analytical data breach. Now to compound matters for Facebook, they’re being sued for allegedly allowing certain demographics from seeing certain housing ads.

    Four fair housing groups are suing Facebook claiming that their ad program allows groups such as single parent families, disabled veterans and minorities from to be excluded from seeing housing ads based on users likes and groups. According to the complainants, they created a phony realty firm and Facebook had a preset list of options of who could be excluded from being shown the ads.

    Choosing from a list of preset options, the fictitious landlord was able to exclude people with interests in the “National Association for Bikers with a Disability,” “Disabled American Veterans,” “Disability.gov,” and “Disabled Parking Permit.” Facebook estimated that the ad would reach 1.2 million people, the group reported.

    Facebook denies the charges and says the lawsuit has no merit, however, this isn’t the first time Facebook has come under fire for discriminatory ad practices. Late last year they were accused of allowing job ads to be shown only to a certain age group.

    For all intents and purposes, Facebook is a monopoly as they virtually have no competition in the social media space. If they continue to engage in such practices like they’re being accused of, how long will it be before the government decides to either heavily regulate them or break them up? Considering the unchecked power they wield it can’t come soon enough.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on March 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook,   

    Facebook has been collecting Android user data for years 

    Facebook has been collecting Android user data for years

    While the Cambridge Analytica scandal continues to find its way into the headlines, Facebook is undergoing yet another perceived breach of user trust. Over the weekend, tech news site Ars Technica reported that Facebook has been allegedly collecting data for years from users who use its mobile application on Android devices.

    The report states that Facebook has been collecting information not just on your contacts on Android, but information about your calls and text messages such as who you contacted and how long the call may have been. Facebook tries to defend itself by saying this an optional and voluntary feature, but as the Ars Technica report points out, that particular check box is pre-checked when you install Facebook to your device. Forbes has an article on how you can see how much of your data Facebook has and how to prevent Facebook from gathering this data in the future.

    Even Silicon Valley, which is normally protective of its own, has been coming down hard on Facebook lately. Not only has Elon Musk removed the Facebook pages for Tesla and Space X, but Apple CEO Tim Cook said that “well-crafted” rules toward Facebook privacy may well be needed.

    It’s long been said on the internet that if you’re using a free service as much as Facebook is used, you’re not the customer but the product. With each passing day, Facebook continuously seems to prove that adage correct.

  • Geebo 9:01 am on March 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cambridge Analytica, , , Facebook, Steve Bannon   

    50 million Facebook accounts exposed in political data breach 

    50 million Facebook accounts exposed in political data breach

    In a story that seems like it was taken straight from the 1988 sci-fi movie ‘They Live’, a large data firm is accused of allegedly breaching the Facebook accounts of 50 million US voters in order to ‘change audience behavior’. It was supposedly done, once again, to try to influence the 2016 Presidential election.

    Cambridge Analytica is accused of allegedly using a paid survey app that was disguised as a personality test. The app required users to log in through Facebook. After a user logged into Facebook, the app would not only harvest the information of the user, but also data from everyone in the user’s friends list. Trump advisor Steve Bannon was a board member of Cambridge Analytica and, according to the New York Times, “was intrigued by the possibility of using personality profiling to shift America’s culture and rewire its politics.”

    To make matters worse, Facebook allegedly knew of the misuse of the data and did little about it except to ask Cambridge Analytica to delete the information they had. Again, the New York Times claims that the data was not deleted and was discoverable online. So this seems like it is another instance where Facebook supposedly knew of alleged election interference and chose to do next to nothing about it. Many lawmakers are even calling for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress. It’s about high time that he did since it’s obvious he really has little to no control over what’s really happening throughout Facebook and the detrimental effect it has on our society.

  • Geebo 9:06 am on March 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook, genocide, , , United Nations   

    UN: Incitement to violence on Facebook rampant and unchecked 

    UN: Incitement to violence on Facebook rampant and unchecked

    We’ve previously posted about the crisis of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar here about how Facebook was allegedly being used to not only spread falsehoods about the Rohingya, but also how the social network is being used to fuel ethnic cleansing. The use of Facebook as a weapon against the Rohingya has gotten so bad in Myanmar that the United Nations has referred to Facebook as a ‘beast’.

    UN investigators looking into claims of genocide against the Rohingyan people recently said that Facebook is the de facto internet in Myanmar and that “Everything is done through Facebook in Myanmar.” The investigators also said that the incitement to violence against the Rohingya on Facebook were rampant and unchecked.

    While Facebook has not commented on the UN’s recent findings, in the past their responses have been non-committal at best saying it’s hard to curb hate speech at this magnitude before throwing out figures like “it removes about 66,000 posts a week — around 288,000 monthly — on what it considers hateful rhetoric.” That’s all well and good but it doesn’t change the fact that the government and some of the populace of Myanmar are using Facebook’s platform to help carry out what some consider an ongoing genocide of a religious minority in their country. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of people who have either been targets of violence or have been forced to flee from their homes. Facebook telling people how many posts they’ve removed isn’t helping and unless Facebook doesn’t take greater measures to prevent their network from being used by oppressive forces they will forever be known as a tool of genocide.

  • Geebo 11:52 am on March 6, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook, survey,   

    Facebook survey asks bizarre questions about child grooming 

    Facebook survey asks bizarre questions about child grooming

    (Disclaimer: This post will be discussing frank topics that may be disturbing to some readers)

    Hot on the heels of Facebook trying to solve their foreign meddling problem with postcards, the social network finds itself in the news once again for all the wrong reasons. Over this past weekend, Facebook users in the UK were asked some rather odd and disconcerting questions in a survey about how they thought Facebook should handle certain volatile situations. A couple of those questions asked about the hypothetical grooming of a 14-year-old girl by an online predator.

    As The Guardian reports, the questions asked by Facebook were more than tone-deaf and insensitive by the way they were posed. Facebook asked how it should be handled if an adult man asked for sexual pictures of the 14-year-old girl. The responses users could choose from ranged from “this content should not be allowed on Facebook” to “I would not mind seeing it” and “I have no preference on this topic”. None of the responses included any kind of suggested contact with law enforcement. Facebook has come out with one of the understatements of the year by saying the survey was a mistake.

    Now do we think that Facebook is gearing up to become some kind of underground network for child predators? No, we do not. Facebook actually has a better record of dealing with online predators than a lot of other social platforms like Kik, Snapchat, and craigslist. However, this shows once again that Facebook is the textbook definition of ‘the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing’. Whether or not this survey was created by an algorithm or by committee, someone along the Facebook chain of command either allowed this survey to pass by them unnoticed or worse yet, approved the survey.

    This is yet another example of how Facebook’s sphere of influence has gotten away from them like so many wild horses. For a company that has such a global reach, maybe it’s time for the social giant to be reined in.

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