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German court finds fault with Facebook’s default privacy settings

A court in Germany has ruled that Facebook’s default privacy settings and some of its terms and conditions breached local laws. The Berlin court passed judgement late last month but the verdict was only made public this week. The legal challenge, which dates back to 2015, was filed by a local consumer rights association, the vzbv. It successfully argued Facebook’s default ... Read More »

Facebook picks up half-hour dramedy series starring Elizabeth Olsen

Facebook isn’t one to be outdone by Apple’s recent big content spending: It’s purchasing a 10-episode, straight-to-series half-hour drama-comedy series produced and starring Elizabeth Olsen. The production also includes Lizzy Weiss on board as showrunner, Kit Steinkellner as creator and lead writer and Master of None‘s James Ponsoldt as a directly and executive producer for a number of  episodes. Deadline ... Read More »

Seattle says Facebook broke one of its campaign advertising laws

Seattle’s election commission says Facebook broke a city law that requires it to disclose who paid for campaign ads. Reuters reports that the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission’s executive director, Wayne Barnett, said Facebook must reveal advertising spending information for last year’s city elections or potentially face fines of up to $5,000 per ad purchase. Facebook, Twitter and Google have ... Read More »

German antitrust office starts asking questions about online ad platform giants

Germany’s national competition regulator has announced it’s looking into market conditions in the online advertising sector, responding to concerns that a lack of transparency could be skewing market conditions. It could open up a full sector enquiry depending on results of its initial probe. The antitrust office says it will start by looking into the effects of technical developments on the market ... Read More »

Facebook and Twitter face a short deadline on Russian bot #ReleaseTheMemo reports for Congress

Two leading Democrats in Congress are calling for new disclosures from Facebook and Twitter about Russian disinformation campaigns on their platforms. In a letter, Rep. Adam Schiff and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, minority leads on the House Intel and Senate Judiciary committees respectively, called for the two tech companies to release any information that have about Russian ties to the recent ... Read More »

Facebook’s latest News Feed update will prioritize trustworthy publishers

Facebook is gearing up to prioritize news content by publishers a group of Facebook users have deemed trustworthy. Facebook head of News Feed Adam Mosseri said the company surveyed “a diverse and representative sample” of U.S.-based people about their familiarity and trust in various sources of news, he wrote in a blog post. That data, Mosseri said, will serve to ... Read More »

Bloated Facebook Messenger promises to simplify in 2018

“The app became too cluttered,” Facebook’s head of Messenger David Marcus announced today in a post of plans for 2018 including “massively simplifying and streamlining Messenger this year.” Between Messenger Day/Stories, its Snapchatty augmented reality camera, a bot Discover section, games, and more, Facebook had to build artificial intelligence “M Suggestions” just to remind people of all the features it ... Read More »

Facebook is testing a city-specific section of its app to elevate local news and events

In an effort to up its signal to noise ratio, Facebook may go local. The company is testing a new area of its app called “Today In,” a mix of city-specific events, announcements and local news. For its new local hub, Facebook is starting with a small batch of test markets. Those initial cities are New Orleans, Louisiana; Olympia, Washington; ... Read More »

Check now to see if you liked any Russian troll accounts on Facebook

This fall saw ever-rising estimates of the number of people reached by Russian-backed troll accounts — just shy of 150 million at last count . Now the social network has at last released the tool it promised last month allowing users to see if they liked or followed one of the many pages or pieces of content put online during ... Read More »

Time’s up for the Ticker? Facebook appears to axe feed for tracking your friends’ activity

As Facebook continues to tinker with its layout and services to spur more interactions and engagement, it seems that not even the most well-known or oldest features are spared. In the most recent development, it looks like Facebook has quietly removed the Ticker, the box that used to appear to the right of your News Feed to summarize what all ... Read More »

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