facebook

30 posts
Facebook doesn’t seem to fully know how its data is used internally

Lorenzo Franceschi reporting for Motherboard on a leaked Facebook document: “We do not have an adequate level of control and explainability over how our systems use data, and thus we can’t confidently make controlled policy changes or external commitments such as ‘we will not use X data for Y purpose.’ And yet, this is exactly what regulators expect us to do, increasing our risk of mistakes and misrepresentation,” the document...

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Analysis of Facebook groups before January 6

The Washington Post and ProPublica analyzed Facebook group posts that disputed election results: To determine the extent of posts attacking Biden’s victory, The Post and ProPublica obtained a unique dataset of 100,000 groups and their posts, along with metadata and images, compiled by CounterAction, a firm that studies online disinformation. The Post and ProPublica used machine learning to narrow that list to 27,000 public groups that showed clear markers of...

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How Facebook disappeared from the internet

Cloudflare describes how things looked from their point of view the day that Facebook, along with its other properties, went down. From the Border Gateway Protocol, which defines routing information: A BGP UPDATE message informs a router of any changes you’ve made to a prefix advertisement or entirely withdraws the prefix. We can clearly see this in the number of updates we received from Facebook when checking our time-series BGP...

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Facebook feed comparison between groups

As part of their Citizen Browser project to inspect Facebook, The Markup shows a side-by-side comparison between Facebook feeds for different groups, based on the feeds of 1,000 paid participants. There are pretty big differences for news sources and group suggestions, but the news stories don’t seem as big as you might think with a median 3 percentage points difference between groups. Although, the distribution shows a wider spread. Tags:...

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Trump’s criminal justice ad spending on Facebook

The Marshall Project contrasted ad spending on Facebook by Trump’s campaign against Joe Biden’s: Our analysis found that of the $82 million Trump’s reelection campaign has spent on Facebook ads this year, $6.6 million paid for ads about crime and policing—a top focus of his Facebook campaign. Almost all of it came since George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis in May. More than one-third of those ad buys...

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Readability of privacy policies for big tech companies

For The New York Times, Kevin Litman-Navarro plotted the length and readability of privacy policies for large companies: To see exactly how inscrutable they have become, I analyzed the length and readability of privacy policies from nearly 150 popular websites and apps. Facebook’s privacy policy, for example, takes around 18 minutes to read in its entirety – slightly above average for the policies I tested. The comparison is between websites...

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Judging connectedness of American communities, based on Facebook friendships

We talk about geographic bubbles a lot these days. Some areas are isolated, in their own bubble. Other areas seem more connected. Emily Badger and Quoctrung Bui for The Upshot looked at this geographic connectedness through the lens of Facebook friendships. In the millions of ties on Facebook that connect relatives, co-workers, classmates and friends, Americans are far more likely to know people nearby than in distant communities that share...

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Facebook logs calls and text messages

Woo. Woo. Alex Hern reporting for The Guardian: In at least one previous version of the Messenger app, Facebook only told users that the setting would enable them to “send and receive SMS in Messenger”, and presented the option to users without an obvious way to opt out: the prompt offered a big blue button reading “OK”, and a much smaller grey link to “settings”. Nowhere in the opt-in dialogue...

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What Facebook and Google know about you

Facebook and Google (among other companies) know a lot about you through the services you use. Dylan Curran for The Guardian provides a rundown: This information has millions of nefarious uses. You say you’re not a terrorist. Then how come you were googling Isis? Work at Google and you’re suspicious of your wife? Perfect, just look up her location and search history for the last 10 years. Manage to gain...

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Facebook still allowed race exclusion for housing advertisers

Last year, ProPublica revealed that Facebook allowed housing advertisers to exclude races in their campaigns. Facebook said they would address the issue. ProPublica returned to the topic. Facebook didn’t do a very good job. All of these groups are protected under the federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to publish any advertisement “with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or...

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