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  • Geebo 9:00 am on October 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook,   

    Latest Facebook hack was not politically motivated. The real explanation is worse. 

    Latest Facebook hack was not politically motivated. The real explanation is worse.

    It was back in late September, which was not all that long ago, when it was announced that Facebook was hacked to the tune of 50 million accounts. The hack not only exposed user information but allowed the hackers access to what’s been referred to as ‘access tokens’, which theoretically would allow the hackers to gain access to other platforms which use Facebook as a login. While Facebook is now claiming the number of accounts hacked was closer to 30 million, it was believed the attack was carried out by state-sponsored agents. Now, Facebook is walking back on that claim and the new claim isn’t much better.

    According to yesterday’s report from the Wall Street Journal, brought here via Business Insider, an anonymous Facebook insider has said that the hack was conducted by your run of the mill spam hackers. These hackers are the type who are in it for the money rather than any political ideal. Among some of the information that was taken from Facebook were birthdates, phone numbers, search history of Facebook users.

    In my opinion, it’s worse that Facebook was hacked by a group of spam hackers rather than a foreign power. To me, this means that Facebook’s security is lacking in a basic way since they can’t keep out the hackers who sell your information to email spammers and phone scammers. An attack from a world power can almost be understood against a platform that is as massive as Facebook. However, Facebook’s security should be above nickel and dime attacks like this that are more akin to the stereotypical hacker who lives in their parents’ basement.

    A saying that’s been going around in tech circles lately is that the only safe Facebook account is a deleted Facebook account.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on October 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook, ,   

    Facebook removes more Burmese pages involved in ethnic cleansing, but is it enough? 

    Facebook removes more Burmese pages involved in ethnic cleansing, but is it enough?

    In a move that seems like removing grains of sand from an avalanche, Facebook has removed 23 more accounts in Myanmar that were allegedly encouraging ethnic cleansing. If you’re not familiar with the situation. the Buddhist majority in Myanmar has been accused of persecuting the Muslim Rohingya minority resulting in the displacement of close to a million Rohingya and the death of thousands. Top government and Buddhist officials have been accused of using Facebook to fuel the flames of hatred in Myanmar. The following video will give you a glimpse into not only how the Rohingya are being treated but also how much the Myanmar government is in denial.

    This isn’t the first time Facebook has blocked the accounts of Burmese officials. Back in August, Facebook closed 70 accounts of Burmese officials and leaders who were said to be encouraging violence against and spreading false information about the Rohingya people. However, that was only after the UN condemned Myanmar for committing genocide. This time isn’t much different as Facebook closed the more recent accounts after the New York Times published a report stating that the Myanmar government was using Facebook accounts in entertainment and other social groups where the users would incite violence against the Rohingya. In America, this would be like belonging to a Game of Thrones fan page where the comments would be calling for the persecution of blacks and Hispanics and these comments would be sponsored by the government.

    Once again, Facebook is being reactive to these problems rather than proactive. Facebook won’t correct any problem until it means bad PR for them. Between political unrest and data breaches, for every leak Facebook tries to plug, ten more pop up. Before too long, the boat that Facebook built will start to sink while Mark Zuckerberg just rearranges the deck chairs.

     
  • Geebo 9:02 am on October 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Brett Kavanaugh, Facebook, , Joel Kaplan   

    Is Facebook falling apart at the seams? 

    Is Facebook falling apart at the seams?

    Once again, it has been less than a stellar week for social media juggernaut Facebook. First, there was the latest data leak which exposed 50 million users accounts. Then came the lawsuit against Facebook that alleges they had a hand in the trafficking of a then 15-year-old girl from Houston. While those were the main headline grabbers of the week, Facebook is also facing a few lesser controversies, both internal and external.

    But first, we go back to the lawsuit story and Facebook has issued a statement regarding their policy on human trafficking. While Facebook did not comment on the lawsuit itself, they did say that they work closely with several anti-trafficking agencies and report any apparent instances of child sexual exploitation the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). While I’m not saying that Facebook was complicit in human trafficking, both craigslist and Backpage used to claim that they reported child trafficking to NCMEC as well, however, the NCMEC said that two marketplace sites were never really helpful in fighting trafficking.

    Facebook is also facing internal strife as many employees are upset that Facebook’s Vice President for Global Public Policy, Joel Kaplan, was seen publicly supporting Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh at the Congressional hearings on Kavanaugh. As I’m sure you’re aware of, Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual assault. This has led many Facebook employees to claim that it makes look Facebook look bad in light of the accusations against Kavanaugh. Much like when Facebook board member Peter Thiel publicly supported Donald Trump as a Presidential candidate, Facebook is not admonishing Kaplan in any way except for CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying that it’s not something he would have done.

    So with all the controversy surrounding Facebook since the 2016 election, you think to yourself that you may want to finally delete your Facebook account. Good luck with that, as Facebook is trying to make it more difficult to delete your account. It used to be if you wanted to delete your account you had a 14-day grace period to recover your account in case you changed your mind. Facebook has now increased that waiting period to 30-days. Almost like a drug dealer, Facebook will do almost anything to keep its users coming back. A desperate tactic in a desperate attempt to keep users engaged at any cost.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on October 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook, , , ,   

    Texas woman sues Backpage and Facebook over human trafficking 

    Texas woman sues Backpage and Facebook over human trafficking

    A woman from the Houston, Texas, area, only identified as Jane Doe, has filed a lawsuit against Backpage where she was allegedly trafficked while she was underage. This should come as no surprise as former Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer had admitted to the fact that Backpage knowingly made money off of the sex trafficking of girls and women. Jane Doe is also suing two area Houston hotels which is also not unheard of as many trafficking victims believe that the hotels should do more to be aware of trafficking victims. What is really making headlines about this suit is that the victim has also filed a suit against Facebook for allegedly failing to prevent her from being approached by a pimp.

    The victim claims that she was 15 in 2012 when a pimp first approached her through Facebook. As online traffickers tend to do, the pimp consoled her after a fight with her parents. The pimp was said to be Facebook friends with a number of her real friends and promised the victim a job as a model. When the victim met the pimp she was beaten and sexually assaulted before being advertised on Backpage. The suit claims Facebook allows traffickers to “stalk, exploit, recruit, groom … and extort children into the sex trade.” Even though I’ve been a very vocal critic of Facebook, at first glance I thought the suit against Facebook may have no merit, however, the victim makes a very valid point when it comes to the social media kingpin.

    The victim claims that Facebook allowed her abuser to use a false identity that allowed him to approach the girl. For some time, Facebook has prided itself on having its users use their real names, even going as far as to ban accounts that use pseudonyms. As has been demonstrated in the past, Facebook seems to enforce their own policies rather arbitrarily and haphazardly. While I’m far from being a legal expert it seems that since banning false accounts is a well established and practiced Facebook policy, this policy may allow the suit against Facebook to proceed.

    What’s your opinion? Do you feel that Facebook should be doing more to prevent human trafficking on its platform or is this lawsuit without merit? Please leave your comment and let us know.

     
  • Geebo 10:15 am on October 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook,   

    Another day, another Facebook leak. 50m users this time. 

    Another day, another Facebook leak. 50m users this time.

    It must be a day ending in Y because once again, a security breach in Facebook has exposed the user information of some 50 million accounts. It was reported this past Friday, that there was a flaw in Facebook security that potentially could have led hackers to have access to these millions of accounts. What makes matters worse with this latest Facebook security breach is that the information could have led to the hijacking of other accounts outside of Facebook.

    The information exposed is called an access token. Access tokens allow you to login to other services using your Facebook account. Facebook is so entrenched in our lives that our Facebook accounts now act as our logins to a multitude of other platforms including those not owned by Facebook. So potentially, not only could your Facebook account have been taken over but most of your online life could have been assumed if you’re that reliant on your Facebook login.

    Facebook has said they have fixed the problem but once again this is Facebook closing the barn door after the horses have already gotten out. The data breaches are becoming so prevalent that we’ve just accepted them as inevitable. Is this really the platform we want to be trusting with our personal information? We share so much on Facebook that even without access bad actors could determine so much about us that they could use to our advantage. With Facebook leaking our information on top of that it shows that we’ve clearly given up on security for convenience.

     
  • Geebo 10:24 am on September 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook, , Whatsapp   

    Founder revolts hit Facebook hard 

    Founder revolts hit Facebook hard

    Instagram is the widely popular photo-sharing app prized by most younger people. Whatsapp is the most popular messaging app in the world even though its popularity is not reflected here in the US. Both apps were developed on their own and eventually were bought by Facebook for billions of dollars. Now, the founders of both apps may be regretting their decisions to sell to Facebook.

    On this past Monday, Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger announced that they would be leaving Facebook in the upcoming weeks. It’s been alleged that they’re leaving Facebook after Facebook reportedly stopped promoting Instagram on the main Facebook site and saw Instagram more as an adversary rather than a partner. Whatsapp founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum left Facebook last year. Earlier this week, Acton took to the media regretting his decision to sell to Facebook by saying “I sold my users’ privacy to a larger benefit.” Acton was said to be so upset with Facebook that he resigned before his stock in Facebook could be fully vested which cost him $850 million.

    So you would think that with these incidents that Facebook may start looking at their internal infrastructure to keep key figures from defecting. You’d be wrong. Instead, a top Facebook executive by the name of David Marcus fired back at Acton calling him low-class

    “Lastly — call me old fashioned,” he wrote. “But I find attacking the people and company that made you a billionaire, and went to an unprecedented extent to shield and accommodate you for years, low-class. It’s actually a whole new standard of low-class.”

    If this is the official attitude of the Facebook faithful then it’s no wonder why app developers are leaving in droves.

     
  • Geebo 9:10 am on September 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook,   

    Facebook blames failure to stop hate speech on ‘glitch’ 

    Facebook blames failure to stop hate speech on 'glitch'

    Once again, Facebook finds itself in the middle of a PR nightmare when it comes to hate speech. No, I’m not talking about John Oliver’s scathing critique of Facebook (NSFW) when it comes to the ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, although he was spot on. No, today I’m speaking about something that hits much closer to home.

    BBC News has published a report that alleges Facebook is mostly paying lip service when it comes to the removal of hate speech on its platform. The BBC found that when hate speech was posted in a group that was dedicated to “Making America Great Again” and that hate speech was reported, Facebook was telling the person who flagged the content that it had been removed. However, the BBC’s investigation showed that the content remained. A spokesperson for Facebook said that there is a ‘glitch’ in their reporting system and they are “looking into it”, which seems to be a typical response for Facebook hoping that things like this just blow over.

    Once again, this is nothing new for Facebook. It has basically become the graffiti-strewn public bathroom wall of the world. With its userbase stagnating, Facebook is looking for any way to keep its users engaged on the platform which includes hate speech. We can’t realistically expect Facebook to do anything about the hate-fueled nonsense that consistently pollutes our news feeds. What should be done is that Facebook should be left to the hate mongers while the rest of us log off of the toxic platform.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on September 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook, , Motherboard, white supremacy   

    Is Facebook exhibiting shades of gray when it comes to white supremacy? 

    Is Facebook exhibiting shades of gray when it comes to white supremacy?

    When I first read Motherboard’s expose on Facebook’s policy regarding white nationalism I almost literally raised my palm to my face. Facebook’s current and constant PR disasters remind me of an episode of The Simpsons where erstwhile villain Sideshow Bob keeps walking into a rake no matter which way he turns.

    In this latest controversy, Motherboard, the tech arm of Vice News, obtained allegedly leaked documents from Facebook that determines which content is allowed to remain on their platform when it comes to the white supremacy movement that’s been emboldened in our country since a certain official was elected to office. According to Motherboard, Facebook tells its moderators that white supremacy is not allowed on Facebook, however, posts that advocate white separatism and white nationalism are allowed. While those among the goose-stepping set may argue that those are three different philosophies, they’re all cut from the same cloth. A cloth I might add that’s fashioned into a pointy hat with two eye holes.

    After Motherboard brought their findings to Facebook, the social media giant said they were going to review their policies regarding this kind of content in the future. However, the question needs to be asked, why were these kind of semantics allowed to happen in the first place. In my opinion is all goes back to the theory that Facebook thrives on this kind of controversy on their site as it is said to keep Facebook users engaged in their platform. There have been too many examples lately of Facebook harboring hate speech in order to maintain their userbase numbers. Not just in the US but across the world. Facebook has declined from a place where people kept in touch with old friends to become a global hate machine and Facebook likes it that way.

     
  • Geebo 9:33 am on September 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ACLU, , , Facebook   

    Facebook accused of discriminating against women in job ads 

    Facebook accused of discriminating against women in job ads

    Facebook doesn’t seem to be able to stop making headlines for all the wrong reasons. If it’s not for massive data breaches or election meddling, it’s for doing little to nothing to prevent hate crimes and ethnic cleansing. Now Facebook is back in the news once again for allegedly allowing employers to target only men in ads for employment. This practice has been outlawed in the United States since the early 1960s.

    The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging that Facebook allowed the option of gender exclusion in their ad platform. For example, when an employer places an ad with Facebook there is an option that allows you to target only male Facebook users. Several employers are also accused in the complaint of actively using this feature.

    With all its faults, I don’t think Facebook purposely looked to violate civil rights laws by actively trying to exclude women from ads for jobs in male-dominated fields. However, this is a gross oversight that Facebook should have been well aware of before this became a legal matter. This is yet another example of how Facebook has lost control of its own power and scope. When the ad platform was designed, someone should have had enough sense to realize that while targeting merchandise ads to specific genders is fine while allowing employers to use the same gender-specific targeting was just asking for more bad PR nightmares than Facebook already has.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on September 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook, ,   

    Even breeders can be puppy mills 

    Even breeders can be puppy mills

    In the past when I’ve posted about purchasing a new puppy for your family I’ve always recommended going to a licensed breeder if you’re looking for a particular breed of dog. Unfortunately, not every licensed breeder is on the up and up. Just because a breeder may be a legitimate business doesn’t mean their breeding their dogs in the most ethical way possible as one family in Tennessee found out.

    An elderly couple from Clinton, Tennessee, put a deposit down on a Yorkshire Terrier puppy they planned to purchase from a breeder that had advertised on Facebook. However, they wouldn’t be able to bring the puppy home until it was old enough to be separated from its mother. Sadly, after the couple put their deposit down the puppy became sick and died. The breeder allegedly told the couple that they would refund their deposit and find them a replacement puppy. According to this article from WTAE, neither has happened. The breeder was said to have had financial hardships and might not be breeding anymore yet advertisements for puppies have supposedly not ceased.

    As has been mentioned before, Geebo does not accept ads for pets as puppies advertised online tend to come from puppy mills where breeders put profit ahead of a puppy’s well-being. In the past, I’ve recommended going to a licensed breeder but even a licensed breeder can be a puppy mill which is actually not a crime. However, thanks to WTAE article we have more tools to find a legitimate breeder as you can use the American Kennel Club’s Breeder Referral Search to try to find a trusted breeder. Once again though, I strongly advise anyone looking to add a four-legged friend to their family to try to adopt a pet from their local shelter. Not only do shelters provide much-needed medical requirements for most pets looking for adoption but some even have services where you can be notified if they receive a certain breed of dog that you may be looking for.

     
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