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Former Facebook employee exposes its inability to stop misinformation

a34d2e80-180c-11ea-8bdf-45f34cbf9a5eA 6,600-word memo written by fired Facebook data scientist Sophie Zhang shows how widespread political misinformation campaigns are on the platform — and how little the social network is doing about it. According to BuzzFeed News, which has obtained…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/facebook-memo-political-misinformation-053704272.html
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Facebook adds ‘Watch Together’ viewing parties to Messenger

4f964c70-f481-11ea-93e5-34dce2da8cc6Facebook Messenger is giving users yet another reason to use its video calling: the app is introducing a new “Watch Together” feature that allows friends to view TV shows and other content during group calls. The concept is similar to Facebook’s “Wat…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/facebook-messenger-watch-together-120004158.html
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How to Transfer Your Facebook Photos and Videos to Dropbox

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Facebook’s data transfer tool allows you to transfer your photos and videos to Dropbox and Koofr without manually downloading every album and reuploading them. If you’ve used the tool to move images to Google Photos, you’ll be right at home.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/688951/how-to-transfer-your-facebook-photos-and-videos-to-dropbox/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Shubham Agarwal

Facebook Updates Messenger Rooms With Custom Backgrounds and Easier Access

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When Facebook unveiled Messenger Rooms last May, it spent a lot of time focusing on making it easy to get to without the Messenger app. Now, the company is improving upon Messenger Rooms when you do have the Messenger app, including adding custom background options and a new interface.

Read This Article on Review Geek ›

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/51941/facebook-updates-messenger-rooms-with-custom-backgrounds-and-easier-access/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Josh Hendrickson

Oculus VR Headsets Will Soon Require Facebook Accounts

An Oculus Quest in front of a Logitech keyboardJosh Hendrickson

Some of the very best VR headsets right now are Oculus branded, and we’d even argue that the Oculus Quest is THE VR headset to own. Facebook bought the Oculus company in early 2014, and now the social network is imposing its will on virtual reality fans. Eventually, you’ll have to log in using a Facebook account, though current owners get a short reprieve.

When the Oculus first came out, it introduced Oculus accounts to buy and install games. Even after Facebook bought the company, those accounts continued to work. You can still create one, and if you want link it to a Facebook account.

But now Facebook wants to move you over to just using a Facebook account. The social network announced that starting in October, everyone using an Oculus device for the first time will have to sign in with a Facebook account. If you’re an existing user with an Oculus account, you’ll get the option to merge it with your Facebook account.

If you decide not to merge your account, you can keep using your device until January 2023. At that point, Facebook plans to disable Oculus accounts, and while your device will still work, it will be severely limited. You won’t have store access to buy games anymore, for instance. Facebook says it will try to help you keep your existing games and apps, but they may stop working.

Facebook also says that future devices (like the rumored Oculus Quest sequel) will require a Facebook account even if you have an Oculus account. One way or another, Oculus will move you to a Facebook account, or you’ll have to move to a new VR headset company.

Facebook says it’s doing this to move to a single-method sign-on system that empowers social networks inside Virtual Reality. The company wants to push its services like Facebook Horizon and Facebook Gaming streams.

In some ways, the biggest surprise here is that Facebook didn’t make the move sooner. But at least the change isn’t coming without warning.

Source: Facebook

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/51123/oculus-vr-headsets-will-soon-require-facebook-accounts/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Josh Hendrickson

Zoom Arrives on Google, Echo, and Portal Smart Displays

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Now that Work From Home is becoming the new normal, video conference from home is the new regular work meeting. But webcams are hard to come by, and so are decent microphones. What if you could use your smart display? If you’re a Zoom user, chances are now you can, whether it’s a Googe, Echo, or Portal device.

Read This Article on Review Geek ›

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/51084/zoom-arrives-on-google-echo-and-portal-smart-displays/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Josh Hendrickson

Facebook Starts Merging Instagram and Messenger Chat

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Between Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, Facebook owns quite a few direct messaging platforms. Each ran on its own system, and Facebook wants to change that. Combining the backend will bring encryption from WhatsApp to Instagram and Messenger. And now, Facebook is flipping the switch to make that change.

Read This Article on Review Geek ›

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/50835/facebook-starts-merging-instagram-and-messenger-chat/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Josh Hendrickson

Facebook has removed 7 million posts for coronavirus misinformation

a757cfc0-8b17-11ea-9fc7-806d45708f3aIf it seems like there’s a lot of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic on Facebook, that’s because there is: Between April and June, the social network says it removed 7 million posts for spreading harmful misinformation about COVID-19. It a…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/facebook-coronavirus-misinformation-takedowns-184146592.html
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Facebook cracks down on political content disguised as local news

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Facebook is rolling out a new policy that will prevent U.S. news publishers with “direct, meaningful ties” to political groups from claiming the news exemption within its political ads authorization process, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: Since the 2016 election, reporters and researchers have uncovered over 1,200 instances in which political groups use websites disguised as local news outlets to push their point of view to Americans.


  • Now, Facebook is ensuring that Pages connected to those groups are held to the same standard as political entities when it comes to advertising on the platform.
  • The “news exemption” means that promoted content about social issues, elections or politics from news publishers is not labeled as political within Facebook’s political archive.

With the new policy, Pages on Facebook belonging to news outlets that are backed by political groups or people will still be allowed to register as a news Page and advertise on Facebook, but they will no longer be eligible for inclusion in the Facebook News tab, and they won’t have access to news messaging on the Messenger Business Platform or the WhatsApp business API. 

Be smart: Key to Facebook’s new policy is the way that it’s differentiating a straight news outlet from a political persuasion operation. Facebook will consider an outlet to be political if it meets any of the following criteria:

  • It’s owned by a political entity or a political person (definitions below).
  • If a political person is leading the company in an executive position, such as a CEO, board member, chairman of its board, or a publisher or editor-in-chief.
  • If the publisher shares proprietary information about any of its Facebook accounts or account passwords, API access keys, and/or data about their Facebook readers — like location, demographics, or consumption habits — directly with a Political Person or Entity as they are defined below.
  • If the Page lists a political entity or a political person as its “Confirmed Page Owner” or “Confirmed Page Partner” on Facebook.

Definitions: Facebook defines a “political person” as “a candidate for elected office, a person who holds elected office, a person whose job is subject to legislative confirmation, or a person employed by and/or vested with decision-making authority by a political person or at a political entity.”

  • It defines a “political entity” as “an organization, company, or other group whose predominant purpose is to influence politics and elections.”
  • That definition would include political parties, campaigns for elected office, ballot initiative campaigns, PACs and Super PACs, and entities regulated as “Social Welfare Organizations” under Section 501(c)(4) of the IRC.
  • For-profit businesses that provide political consulting or strategic communications services to other types of Political Entities will also be considered Political Entities themselves.

Between the lines: The move comes days after Google confirmed to Axios that come September, it will ban politically-motivated advertisers that disguise themselves as local news websites to promote their political point of view.

  • Earlier this year, Twitter banned all political advertising. According to a Twitter spokesperson, this includes self-identified “news” sites that are funded by a PAC, SuperPAC or a 501(c)(4).
  • News publishers who meet Twitter’s exemption criteria may run ads that reference political content and/or prohibited advertisers under Twitter’s political content policy, but they can’t include advocacy for or against those topics or advertisers.

The big picture: Ahead of the 2020 election, big-money political groups have been exploiting the huge gaps in local news in America by propping up fake local news websites that are disguised as non-partisan.

  • Many of these sites leverage social media advertising, especially on Facebook, to boost their content.
  • The practice of setting up these types of websites has been used by political groups for years, dating back to 2014, and picking up steam during the 2018 midterms.
  • As Axios has previously reported, some of these efforts are done openly with the backing of big donors, while others are done in a secretive, spammy fashion. Both tactics are manipulative, and Facebook’s new policies address both.

Be smart: While many of the big local news spam networks initially uncovered by researchers belonged to conservatives, Democrats have been throwing millions at it too.

  • One of the tactics they’ve been using to potentially skirt election rules is to establish newsrooms as “for-profits.”
  • Still, according to Facebook’s rules, these “for-profits” would be defined as having “direct, meaningful ties” to a political entity or group due to being majority funded by a progressive nonprofit organization.
  • The biggest and most sophisticated example of this type of website is Courier Newsroom, which is backed by ACRONYM, a 501(c)4 progressive nonprofit organization that invests in multiple for-profit companies in the media and technology space.

Yes, but: Some news sites may fall in a grey area. For example, they could be backed or owned by a person with ties to a partisan foundation, but they are not influenced by that person’s political affiliations.

  • Facebook’s policy team will ultimately be responsible for making decisions around which news sites would be subject to these policies.

The bottom line: It was a deceptive and effective practice while it lasted. These new policy changes by Facebook and its tech rivals should help to reduce the distribution of these sites, or at least provide more transparency to users about who is really behind them.

Go deeper:

Source: https://www.axios.com/facebook-pages-news-exemption-e66d92ce-2abd-4293-b2ad-16cf223e12f1.html
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Sara Fischer

How to Share Your Screen on Facebook Messenger for iPhone and Android

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When you’re trying to help someone troubleshoot a smartphone problem, having access to their screen makes things a lot easier. Instead of installing a specialized screen-sharing app, you can use Facebook Messenger to share your screen on iPhone and Android.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/682684/how-to-share-your-screen-on-facebook-messenger-for-iphone-and-android/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Khamosh Pathak

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