Tag Archives: Facebook

Facebook Bans “Women for Trump” Ads, Because They Target “Gender”…

Facebook has banned any ads from the Women For Trump movement because they target support from “Women” for Trump.

Facebook has removed President Trump’s pro-women re-election advertisements, according to reports from tech site Gizmodo, as well as the left-wing Popular Information blog that reported a “violation” of Facebook’s terms and conditions.

Facebook policy states advertisers may not have “direct or indirect assertions or implications” about race, ethnicity, gender and sexual identity, religion, or financial standing. So the Women For Trump advert was banned… for referring to women.  (read more)

Source: by Sundance | The Conservative Tree House

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Study: Nearly Four-Fifths Of “Gender Minority” Students Have Mental Health Issues

 Depression, self-injury are also common…

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Facebook’s Secret ‘Hate Agent’ Formula Leaked By Insider

An internal Facebook document reveals that the social media giant monitors its users’ offline behavior as part of how the company determines whether a person should be classified as a “Hate Agent,” according to Breitbarts Allum Bokhari who has reviewed the document.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/zuckerberg%20trust%20me_2.jpg?itok=OCXLhvAx

Titled “Hate Agent Policy Review,” the document reveals that Facebook employs a series of “signals” which include a person’s behavior both on and off the platformOnce determined to be a “hate agent,” a person is banned from the platform. 

If you praise the wrong individual, interview them, or appear at events alongside them, Facebook may categorize you as a “hate agent.”

Facebook may also categorize you as a hate agent if you self-identify with or advocate for a “Designated Hateful Ideology,” if you associate with a “Designated Hate Entity” (one of the examples cited by Facebook as a “hate entity” includes Islam critic Tommy Robinson), or if you have “tattoos of hate symbols or hate slogans.” (The document cites no examples of these, but the media and “anti-racism” advocacy groups increasingly label innocuous items as “hate symbols,” including a cartoon frog and the “OK” hand sign.)

Facebook will also categorize you as a hate agent for possession of “hate paraphernalia,” although the document provides no examples of what falls into this category. –Breitbart

Facebook may even brand someone a hate agent for “statements made in private but later made public,” according to the report. 

Bokhari also notes from his previous reports that Facebook categorized right-wing pundit Paul Joseph Watson as “hateful” in part because he interviewed British activist Tommy Robinson on his YouTube channel. Similarly, prominent conservatives Candace Owens and Brigitte Gabriel are on the list, along with UK politicians Marie Waters and Carl Benjamin. 

The Benjamin addition reveals that Facebook may categorize you as a hate agent merely for speaking neutrally about individuals and organizations that the social network considers hateful. In the document, Facebook tags Benjamin with a “hate agent” signal for “neutral representation of John Kinsman, member of Proud Boys” on October 21 last year.

Facebook also accuses Benjamin, a classical liberal and critic of identity politics, as “representing the ideology of an ethnostate” for a post in which he calls out an actual advocate of an ethnostate. –Breitbart

Facebook divides hate speech into three tiers depending on the severity of the offense; 

Tier 1 attacks, which target a person or group of people who share one of the above-listed characteristics or immigration status (including all subsets except those described as having carried out violent crimes or sexual offenses), where attack is defined as

Any violent speech or support in written or visual form

Dehumanizing speech such as reference or comparison to:

Insects; Animals that are culturally perceived as intellectually or physically inferior; Filth, bacteria, disease and feces, Sexual predator, Subhumanity, Violent and sexual criminals, Other criminals (including but not limited to “thieves,” “bank robbers,” or saying “all [protected characteristic or quasi-protected characteristic] are ‘criminals’”); Mocking the concept, events or victims of hate crimes even if no real person is depicted in an image. 

Tier 2 attacks, which target a person or group of people who share any of the above-listed characteristics, where attack is defined as; Statements of inferiority or an image implying a person’s or a group’s physical, mental, or moral deficiency; Physical (including but not limited to “deformed,” “undeveloped,” “hideous,” “ugly”); Mental (including but not limited to “retarded,” “cretin,” “low IQ,” “stupid,” “idiot”); Moral (including but not limited to “slutty,” “fraud,” “cheap,” “free riders”); Expressions of contempt or their visual equivalent, including (but not limited to) “I hate”, “I don’t like” , “X are the worst” , Expressions of disgust or their visual equivalent, including (but not limited to), “Gross” , “Vile” , “Disgusting” , Cursing at a person or group of people who share protected characteristics

Tier 3 attacks, which are calls to exclude or segregate a person or group of people based on the above-listed characteristics. We do allow criticism of immigration policies and arguments for restricting those policies.

If you have done any of the above over the past two years, Facebook considers it a ‘hate signal.’ 

Source: ZeroHedge

Facebook Report Claims Half Its Users Are Fake

As bad as things have been for Facebook since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke one year ago, one team of researchers, led by a former peer of Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard who created one of the original Facebook prototypes, thinks the reality of the company’s circumstances is even more dire than investors realize.

In a report published Thursday by PlainSite, an independent research shop led by Aaron Greenspan, analysts calculated that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been regularly lying to investors and the public about the company’s user metrics, and that the company could be overestimating the number of users by as much as 50%.

The team detailed their findings in a 70-page report published on their website.

Facebook has been lying to the public about the scale of its problem with fake accounts, which likely exceed 50% of its network. Its official metrics—many of which it has stopped reporting quarterly—are self-contradictory and even farcical. The company has lost control of its own product.

Ultimately, this is just the latest sign that Facebook – formerly one of the world’s most successful companies – is doomed to go the way of CompuServe and AOL.

PlainSite is a project launched by the Think Computer Corporation and Think Computer Foundation which aims to make “data accessible to the public free of charge” and “lets ordinary citizens impact the law- making process,” according to Bloomberg. Aaron Greenspan recently told his story about how he fit into the history of Facebook’s founding at Harvard on a podcast

Facebook’s fraudulent numbers hurt its customers (advertisers) by overstating the effectiveness of Facebook’s product, the company said.

Fake accounts affect Facebook at its core in numerous ways:

  • Its customers purchase advertising on Facebook based on the fact that it can supposedly target advertisements at more than 2 billion real human beings. To the extent that users aren’t real, companies are throwing their money down the drain.
  • Fake accounts click on advertising at random, or “like” pages, to throw off anti-fraud algorithms. Fake accounts look real if they do not follow a clear pattern. This kind of activity defrauds advertisers, but rewards Facebook with revenue.
  • Fake accounts often defraud other users on Facebook, through scams, fake news, extortion, and other forms of deception. Often, they can involve governments.

FB shares reversed earlier gains after the report started making the rounds; shares were down 1.2% on the day in recent trade.

https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/2019.01.24fbshares.jpg?itok=3muigj3b

Here is glimpse of what the “other half” of Facebook users look like.

Read the full report below:

Source: ZeroHedge

 

Samsung Users Can’t Delete Facebook App

(Bloomberg) Nick Winke, a photographer in the Pacific northwest, was perusing internet forums when he came across a complaint that alarmed him: On certain Samsung Electronics Co. smartphones, users aren’t allowed to delete the Facebook app.

Winke bought his Samsung Galaxy S8, an Android-based device that comes with Facebook’s social network already installed, when it was introduced in 2017. He has used the Facebook app to connect with old friends and to share pictures of natural landscapes and his Siamese cat — but he didn’t want to be stuck with it. He tried to remove the program from his phone, but the chatter proved true — it was un-deletable. He found only an option to “disable,” and he wasn’t sure what that meant.

“It just absolutely baffles me that if I wanted to completely get rid of Facebook that it essentially would still be on my phone, which brings up more questions,” Winke said in an interview. “Can they still track your information, your location, or whatever else they do? We the consumer should have say in what we want and don’t want on our products.”

Consumers have become more alert about their digital rights and more vigilant about privacy in the past year, following revelations about Facebook’s information-sharing practices and regulators’ heightened scrutiny of online data collection. Some people have deleted their Facebook accounts in protest of the company’s lapses, while others simply want to make sure they have the option to do so. Many Android phone users have begun to question Samsung’s deal to sell phones with a permanent version of Facebook — and some of them are complaining on social media.

A Facebook spokesperson said the disabled version of the app acts like it’s been deleted, so it doesn’t continue collecting data or sending information back to Facebook. But there’s rarely communication with the consumer about the process. The Menlo Park, California-based company said whether the app is deletable or not depends on various pre-install deals Facebook has made with phone manufacturers, operating systems and mobile operators around the world over the years, including Samsung. Facebook, the world’s largest social network, wouldn’t disclose the financial nature of the agreements, but said they’re meant to give the consumer “the best” phone experience right after opening the box.

Balwinder Singh’s experience wasn’t what he would consider the best. Singh, who lives in the Susquehanna Valley of the eastern U.S. and works in transportation, bought his Samsung phone seven months ago. He first tried to delete the Facebook app when he was setting up the device.

“My news feed was full of negative stuff, people going crazy on social media,” he said. “It was affecting me emotionally and mentally.” Even after disabling the app, he was bothered to still have it on his phone.

Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, said it provides a pre-installed Facebook app on selected models with options to disable it, and once it’s disabled, the app is no longer running. Facebook declined to provide a list of the partners with which it has deals for permanent apps, saying that those agreements vary by region and type. There is no complete list available online, and consumers may not know if Facebook is pre-loaded unless they specifically ask a customer service representative when they purchase a phone.

Consumer-advocacy groups have been skeptical of such arrangements for years, according to Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy.

“It’s only recently that people have become to understand that these apps really power the spy in your pocket,” he said. “Companies should be filing public documents on these deals, and Facebook should turn over public documents that show there is no data collection when the app is disabled.”

Facebook isn’t the only company whose apps show up on smartphones by default. A T-Mobile US Inc. list of apps built into its version of the Samsung Galaxy S9, for example, includes the social network as well as Amazon.com Inc. The phone also comes loaded with many Google apps such as YouTube, Google Play Music and Gmail; Google is the creator of the Android software that powers the phone. Other phone makers and service providers, including LG Electronics Inc., Sony Corp., Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc., have made similar deals with app makers. When Twitter’s app is loaded on a new phone by default, it wouldn’t collect any data unless a user had an account or created a new one, and opened the app and logged in, the company said.

But Facebook, which has spent the past year apologizing for security breaches and data privacy scandals, is the one drawing ire about its irrevocable presence on Samsung’s phones. “Very slimy,” Twitter user Gopinath Pandalai in Bangalore, who goes by @gopibella, wrote on the site in October. “Been a Samsung customer for 10 years. Time to move on.”

In December, Justin McMurry, whose Twitter handle is @BoutSebm, wrote that he considered Facebook a privacy threat. “If I can’t delete it, this will be the last Samsung product I ever own.”

Apple Inc., whose iPhone is the top-selling smartphone in the U.S., doesn’t pre-install Facebook or any other third-party apps on its new phones.

José Cortés, a Spaniard living in Sweden, has started using Facebook on his phone more infrequently, sharing less because he doesn’t like the way it broadcasts his activity to his friends. If there’s an event coming up on Facebook, he never marks that he’s going or interested, even if he is, because he dislikes that his attendance will advertise the event to his other friends.

“I understand Samsung is trying to make it easy for the user, but I don’t like that it does not allow me to uninstall,” he said. For his next phone, he said he’ll consider buying something else.

Source: by Sarah Frier | Bloomberg

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I Gave a Bounty Hunter $300. Then He Located Our Phone

T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T are selling access to their customers’ location data, and that data is ending up in the hands of bounty hunters and others not authorized to possess it, letting them track most phones in the country.

 

Why It’s Impossible to Hide Your Location from Facebook

An IT teacher noticed Facebook was still posting localized ads even though her phone’s GPS was off for this application. In investigating, she realized that Facebook has other ways to achieve this.

“The Location Controls provided by Facebook give an illusion of control over the data that informs one’s ad experience, not actual control. Moreover, Facebook makes false claims about the effect of controls. This statement – which has the merit of being clear – was made by Aleksandra Korolova, assistant professor of computer science at the Southern California University.

In an article published on Medium, she is surprised to continue to see Facebook’s advertisements based on her geographical position while she has disabled Facebook geolocation. She goes even further since she explains that her profile does not contain the city where she lives, that she has not posted a photo on Facebook for years and that she never publishes content containing her position.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/zuckerberg%20trust%20me_2.jpg?itok=OCXLhvAx

Nothing in his behavior betrays his position

She has even disabled geo-location on third-party apps such as WhatsApp, Instagram or Messenger. Finally, she never searches for a geographical criterion in the Facebook application.

So how is it possible that Aleksandra Korolova sees geolocated ads of Santa Monica, the city of California where she lives, and of Los Angeles where she works?

Why did she see ads for activities in Montana while she was crossing Glacier National Park in that state? And why did she see the same kind of geolocated ads when she went to Massachusetts or Israel?

Facebook has many other ways that the only GPS

One could almost believe that this computer scientist is paranoid, except that her doubts are well and truly proven. By going to the “About Facebook Ads” section, she first notes that the social network specifies that the users’ location is also determined by “where you connect to the Internet.

But things go even further when you consult the documents made available to advertisers. A diagram details the processes used by Facebook to measure visits to stores. In addition to the classic geolocation by GPS (which is disabled by Aleksandra Korolova), we see that Facebook collects the Wi-Fi networks that are around the user but also Bluetooth, which can be detected by beacons arranged in the shops.

(Image upload : Unable to contact the server.) — Sorry guys, I will upload it as soon as I can!

IP addresses provide valuable clues

With these data, including connection IP addresses, Facebook does not need more to extrapolate a relatively accurate position, although the geo-location of his device is disabled.

“We use the IP and other information like check-ins or the city mentioned in your profile,” confirmed a Facebook spokesperson to Gizmodo.There is no way to completely disable the location for ads.

Now You Know! If we thought we were hiding our location to Facebook, We Were Wrong. The social network has always a way to know more or less your position. Without forgetting the information that the New York Times revealed 2 weeks ago: how Facebook shares users’ data with its customers, to the point where it can read private messages….

DQmdpsoEfLe5nRg4Q1oKWHNjLdMnAucCYfRou1yF5Yiwrzs.png

Source: vijbzabyss | Steemit

Facebook Censors Image of Santa Kneeling Before Jesus

Facebook censored the following image of Santa Claus kneeling before the Baby Jesus — warning that the image “may show violent or graphic content.”

https://www.infowars.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/santa-jesus.jpg

LifeSite News reports a second warning beneath the obscured image of Santa on bended knee, reverentially adoring the Christ Child states, “This photo was automatically covered so you can decide if you want to see it.”

This is what the original posting on Facebook looked like:

https://www.infowars.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Facebook_censors_Santa_and_Jesus_442_907_75.jpg

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/zuckerberg%20trust%20me_2.jpg?itok=OCXLhvAx

Source: ToddStarnes.com via Infowars

Facebook Struck Secret Deals To Sell Preferential User Data; Used Onavo VPN App To Spy On Competitors

Update: As the giant cache of newly released internal emails has also revealed, Karissa Bell of Mashable notes that Facebook used a VPN app to spy on its competitors.

The internal documents, made public as part of a cache of documents released by UK lawmakers, show just how close an eye the social network was keeping on competitors like WhatsApp and Snapchat, both of which became acquisition targets. 

Facebook tried to acquire Snapchat that year for $3 billion — an offer Snap CEO Evan Spiegel rejected. (Facebook then spent years attempting, unsuccessfully, to copy Snapchat before finally kneecapping the app by cloning Stories.)

Facebook’s presentation relied on data from Onavo, the virtual private network (VPN) service which Facebook also acquired several months later. Facebook’s use of Onavo, which has been likened to “corporate spyware,” has itself been controversial.

The company was forced to remove Onavo from Apple’s App Store earlier this year after Applechanged its developer guide lines to prohibit apps from collecting data about which other services are installed on its users’ phones. Though Apple never said the new rules were aimed at Facebook, the policy change came after repeated criticism of the social network by Apple CEO Tim Cook. –Mashable

A top UK lawmaker said on Wednesday that Facebook maintained secretive “whitelisting agreements” with select companies that would give them preferential access to vast amounts of user data, after the parliamentary committee released documents which had been sealed by a California court, reports Bloomberg.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/zuckerberg%20trust%20me_2.jpg?itok=OCXLhvAx

The documents – obtained in a sealed California lawsuit and leaked to the UK lawmaker during a London business trip, include internal emails involving CEO Mark Zuckerberg – and led committee chair Damian Collins to conclude that Facebook gave select companies preferential access to valuable user data for their apps, while shutting off access to data used by competing apps. Facebook also allegedly conducted global surveys of mobile app usage by customers – likely without their knowledge, and that “a change to Facebook’s Android app policy resulted in call and message data being recorded was deliberately made difficult for users to know about,” according to Bloomberg.

In one email, dated Feb. 4, 2015, a Facebook engineer said a feature of the Android Facebook app that would “continually upload” a user’s call and SMS history would be a “high-risk thing to do from a PR perspective.” A subsequent email suggests users wouldn’t need to be prompted to give permission for this feature to be activated. –Bloomberg

The emails also reveal that Zuckerberg personally approved limiting hobbling Twitter’s Vine video-sharing tool by preventing users from finding their friends on Facebook. 

In one email, dated Jan. 23 2013, a Facebook engineer contacted Zuckerberg to say that rival Twitter Inc. had launched its Vine video-sharing tool, which users could connect to Facebook to find their friends there. The engineer suggested shutting down Vine’s access to the friends feature, to which Zuckerberg replied, “Yup, go for it.”

“We don’t feel we have had straight answers from Facebook on these important issues, which is why we are releasing the documents,” said Collins in a Twitter post accompanying the published emails. –Bloomberg

We don’t feel we have had straight answers from Facebook on these important issues, which is why we are releasing the documents.

— Damian Collins (@DamianCollins) December 5, 2018

Thousands of digital documents were passed to Collins on a London business trip by Ted Kramer, founder of app developer Six4Three, who obtained them during legal discovery in a lawsuit against Facebook. Kramer developed Pikinis, an app which allowed people to find photos of Facebook users wearing Bikinis. The app used Facebook’s data which was accessed through a feed known as an application programming interface (API) – allowing Six4Three to freely search for bikini photos of Facebook friends of Pikini’s users. 

Facebook denied the charges, telling Bloomberg in an emailed statement: “Like any business, we had many of internal conversations about the various ways we could build a sustainable business model for our platform,” adding “We’ve never sold people’s data.” 

A small number of documents already became public last week, including descriptions of emails suggesting that Facebook executives had discussed giving access to their valuable user data to some companies that bought advertising when it was struggling to launch its mobile-ad business. The alleged practice started around seven years ago but has become more relevant this year because the practices in question — allowing outside developers to gather data on not only app users but their friends — are at the heart of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Facebook said last week that the picture offered by those documents was misleadingly crafted by Six4Three’s attorneys.WaPo

“The documents Six4Three gathered for this baseless case are only part of the story and are presented in a way that is very misleading without additional context,” said Facebook’s director of developer platforms and programs, Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, who added: “We stand by the platform changes we made in 2015 to stop a person from sharing their friends’ data with developers. Any short-term extensions granted during this platform transition were to prevent the changes from breaking user experience.”

Kramer was ordered by a California state court judge on Friday to surrender his laptop to a forensic expert after he admitted giving the UK committee the documents. The order stopped just short of holding the company in contempt as Facebook had requested, however after a hearing, California Superior Court Judge V. Raymond Swope told Kramer that he may issue sanctions and a contempt order at a later date. 

“What has happened here is unconscionable,” said Swope. “Your conduct is not well-taken by this court. It’s one thing to serve other needs that are outside the scope of this lawsuit. But you don’t serve those needs, or satisfy those curiosities, when there’s a court order preventing you to do so.”

Trouble in paradise?

As Facebook is now faced with yet another data harvesting related scandal, Buzzfeed reports that internal tensions within the company are boiling over – claiming that “after more than a year of bad press, internal tensions are reaching a boiling point and are now spilling out into public view.”

Throughout the crises, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who maintains majority shareholder control, has proven remarkably immune to outside pressure and criticism — from politicians, investors, and the press — leaving his employees as perhaps his most important stakeholders. Now, as its stock price declines and the company’s mission of connecting the world is challenged, the voices inside are growing louder and public comments, as well as private conversations shared with BuzzFeed News, suggest newfound uncertainty about Facebook’s future direction.

Internally, the conflict seems to have divided Facebook into three camps: those loyal to Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg; those who see the current scandals as proof of a larger corporate meltdown; and a group who see the entire narrative — including the portrayal of the company’s hiring of communications consulting firm Definers Public Affairs — as examples of biased media attacks. –Buzzfeed

“It’s otherwise rational, sane people who’re in Mark’s orbit spouting full-blown anti-media rhetoric, saying that the press is ganging up on Facebook,” said a former senior employee. “It’s the bunker mentality. These people have been under siege for 600 days now. They’re getting tired, getting cranky — the only survival strategy is to quit or fully buy in.”

A Facebook spokesperson admitted to BuzzFeed that this is “a challenging time.”

Source: ZeroHedge