How to Find Out If Your Facebook Data Was Stolen by Cambridge Analytica

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Roughly 87 million people had their Facebook data stolen by the political research firm Cambridge Analytica. And starting today, Facebook will finally notify the people who had their information scooped up. About 70 million are in the US, while the rest are primarily in the UK, Indonesia, and the Philippines. How can you find out if your Facebook information was compromised? A notification will appear at the top of your Facebook newsfeed, along with a new button for changing your privacy settings. Even if your information wasn’t swallowed up by…

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Facebook Reveals New Verification Process for Large Pages

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Facebook released policy prescriptions to combat election meddling in the upcoming U.S. midterms. These prescriptions are its most detailed to date. The new rules will impact businesses running Pages and Instagram accounts. The plan is effective immediately in the U.S., and in the coming months elsewhere. On Friday, the company said that it would require large Pages to verify the identities and locations of the people and businesses managing them, a move largely meant to prevent people outside the U.S. from making fraudulent posts on topics like domestic politics. (It…

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Snapchat adds 16-person group video calls

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Snapchat has launched a feature that enables up to 16 people to take part in a live chat together, using either video or just their voices. The app’s members can also start tagging each other by username, using the @ symbol in their posts. The changes will roll out over the coming weeks, the firm said. Snapchat came under fire for a recent redesign. A petition calling for the changes to be reversed attracted more than 1.2 million signatures. At the weekend, Snapchat’s first TV advert aired in the US.…

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Instagram suddenly chokes off developers as Facebook chases privacy

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Without warning, Instagram has broken many of the unofficial apps built on its platform. This weekend it surprised developers with a massive reduction in how much data they can pull from the Instagram API, shrinking the API limit from 5,000 to 200 calls per user per hour. Apps that help people figure out if their followers follow them back or interact with them, analyze their audiences or find relevant hashtags are now quickly running into their API limits, leading to broken functionality and pissed off users. In a puzzling move,…

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LinkedIn is introducing auto-playing video ads

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In a move that was probably inevitable, LinkedIn is introducing video advertising as one of its Sponsored Content formats. Although my LinkedIn newsfeed already includes plenty of video, Abhishek Shrivastava, director of product for the Socail network’s Marketing Solutions, explained for advertisers, the only way to incorporate videos was to link to other websites. Now, the Microsoft -owned professional network is rolling out a native ad format, where video ads will appear as standalone posts in the feed. The video ads will play automatically, though with the sound turned off…

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Facebook will cut off access to third party data for ad targeting

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In a surprise change, Facebook will give up one major data source that the company uses to help advertisers target relevant users on the platform. The company just announced that it will end a feature called Partner Categories, launched back in 2013 out of a partnership between Facebook and major data brokers. Facebook confirmed that the change is permanent, not a temporary precaution. In order to leverage the deep pool of data Facebook collects on users, the company mixes information that it obtains from users themselves (Pages a user liked,…

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Twitter Bans Cryprtocurrency ads.

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Twitter has began blocking cryptocurrency-related ads. The move follows other social media platforms like Reddit back in 2016, and more recently, Facebook and Google, which have already banned cryptocurrency ads. “We are committed to ensuring the safety of the Twitter community. As such, we have added a new policy for Twitter Ads relating to cryptocurrency,” the company says. “Under this new policy, the advertisement of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and token sales will be prohibited globally.” Rumors initially circulated a week ago that Twitter would ban such ads. Earlier this…

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Reddit has the secret to fixing facebook

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Reddit somehow seems to fly under the radar for the average person, despite being the sixth most popular website in the world. But while its ugly aesthetic – and often, ugly content – is alienating to many, there is much to admire. In fact,  Reddit provides a model for how to create a more interesting, fairer web. A model that doesn’t drag down other publishers in the process. Reddit’s system – where users upvote things they like, and downvote things they don’t – is about as transparent as it gets…

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Snap reportedly laying off around 100 engineers

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Snap is about to undergo another round of layoffs, with this one seeing a cut of around 100 engineers, according to Cheddar and CNBC. While that’s a small portion of Snap’s total headcount — around 3,000 people — it reportedly represents about 10 percent of the company’s engineering team. The cuts are expected to come within a week and will be the first focused on engineering. Snap hasn’t commented on the report. This is the fourth round of layoffs at Snap in the past year, though the first three were…

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How Much Screen Time is Too Much?

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Concerns about the harm caused by too much screen time – particularly when it is spent on social media – are widespread. But working out what a healthy amount might be is far from easy. Apple’s Tim Cook recently said he would not want his nephew on a social network, while child health experts wrote to Facebook warning excessive use of digital devices and social media “is harmful to children and teens”. Some negative experiences on social media – like bullying, or becoming worried about how your appearance compares to…

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