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

    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.

     
  • Geebo 10:12 am on November 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , National Trading Standards, UK   

    Counterfeits flooding Facebook Marketplace 

    Counterfeits flooding Facebook Marketplace

    Reports are coming out of the UK’s National Trading Standards, the UK equivalent of the Consumer Protection Agency, that high-end counterfeit goods are flooding Facebook Marketplace. This includes such brands as Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton among others. The reason that counterfeit goods like this are a problem is because they’re often funding organized crime or illegal sweatshops with child labor.

    To compound the problem, the NTS has said that Facebook lacks any channels to report counterfeit goods. It also doesn’t help that fake Facebook profiles can be created with little to no information given. Also, like too many large online marketplaces, Facebook doesn’t seem to monitor or review the Marketplace ads for illegal content. While this may be currently making news in the UK, counterfeits have been sold on Facebook in the US for years predating Facebook Marketplace.

    This story shows two problems inherent in the marketplace industry today. The first is that any online marketplace worth its salt should be checking their own ads that may be harmful to their users. The second is that this is another example of Facebook having unchecked power in our everyday lives. Many people may assume that counterfeit items for sale on Facebook Marketplace are legitimate since Facebook is supposed to be about real people. Instead, it’s as fake as the bags they’re listing for sale.

     
  • Geebo 10:01 am on November 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Brexit, , , UK   

    Did Russian Facebook meddling influence another election? 

    Did Russian Facebook meddling influence another election?

    According to recent reports, there may have been Russian involvement in another historical election besides the 2016 US Presidential election. The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre is said to be getting ready to announce that there was severe Russian interference when it came to the 2016 Brexit referendum. As with the US election, Russian groups were said to have allegedly placed Facebook ads in the UK stirring the flames of nationalism and anti-immigration movements.

    Buzzfeed has reported that Facebook has admitted there may have been Russian bought ads in the UK about the Brexit vote. Interfering in the Brexit vote doesn’t just affect England but affects the whole of the European Union if not all of Europe. When the UK leaves the EU this will have a negative economic impact on the rest of Europe which Russia may be trying to exploit, all through a social network used mainly for cat pictures.

    Facebook has more users than most countries have citizens. It wields massive influential power but that power has grown wildly out of their control and Facebook doesn’t seem to be doing much to rein that power in. Instead, they’re letting burn out of control while trying to tell everyone that everything is fine. Even while they’re allegedly being manipulated by world superpower with a history of meddling in the political affairs of other nations.

     
  • Geebo 9:16 am on October 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BBC, , UK   

    BBC: Craigslist complicit in crime 

    It’s no secret in America that craigslist is the home of a number of illegal activities on its website every day. The problem is that craigslist doesn’t do anything about it and it’s almost deemed as just a part of doing business on craigslist. Outside of when craigslist still had its adult services section, rarely has a media outlet taken craigslist to task for allowing criminal activity to continually occur. However, in the UK, the vaunted BBC has decided to bring this particular problem to light.

    In a BBC expose that is set to air soon, one of their reporters took it upon himself to show just how widespread criminal activity is on craigslist in the British Isles. The reporter found everything from high-end cocaine, to stolen passports, to people who were willing to let criminals launder money in their bank account. The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners said that legislation should be put in place to prevent these activities from taking place on craigslit, while a UK cybersecurity expert said that craigslist could easily implement measures to prevent crimes like this.

    Now if crime is so widespread on craigslist in the UK, it’s more than likely occurring one hundred fold in the US. Instead of just a few voices shouting into the wind about the dangers of craigslist, we need the major news outlets to continue investigating craigslist instead of just patting themselves on the back because the adult services section closed.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on May 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , UK   

    Facebook turns to old media to fight fake news prior to UK election 

    Facebook turns to old media to fight fake news prior to UK election

    In the run up to Election Day in the UK, Facebook has turned to an unlikely ally in their continuing struggle against ‘fake news’. The social network behemoth has taken out several print ads in UK newspapers on how to recognize fake news.

    While the ads do contain helpful information on how to be a more discerning news consumer, it does indicate something Facebook probably won’t admit to itself. Facebook may feel some responsibility for the fake news that many think unduly affected the 2016 US Presidential Election. Thousands of dummy Facebook accounts have also been purged in anticipation of the election.

    However, the problem with the fake news argument is certain individuals have such a confirmation bias that they can’t be turned into more responsible content consumers. Take vaccinations for example. It was once claimed vaccinations caused autism, which caused many parents to forgo immunizations for their children. Even though that claim has been discredited many times over, there are still many people who cling to that fallacy.

    For many people, politics are their vaccinations. They blindly follow whatever dogma their chosen political party subscribes to no matter who the candidate may be. With those political leanings, many of these people will only read news from sources biased towards their own affiliation. It’s too late for Facebook users like that, they are lost to us.

    The only way to combat this kind of ignorance is for those of us who can discern fake news from fact to become more active in political matters and to get out and actually vote.

     
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