Social Networks

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook states that withdrawal from EU is possible if data sharing with US servers will not be allowed
Facebook states that withdrawal from EU is possible if data sharing with US servers will not be allowed
Credit: unsplash.com / Thought Catalog

Following an announcement of Facebook Ireland's head of data protection Yvonne Cunnane, it is not clear how the company "could continue to provide the Facebook and Instagram services in the EU" following a preliminary order to stop the data transfer of European customers to servers based in the United States.

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) had voiced concerns over possible surveillance of the data by the United States government.

Technology • Internet & Web
After Trump "blessing" of Oracle deal, the U.S. will delay TikTok app store ban by one week
After Trump "blessing" of Oracle deal, the U.S. will delay TikTok app store ban by one week
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Logos TikTok & Oracle (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The U.S. Commerce Department on Saturday announced a one-week delay until September 27 on order to remove TikTok app from mobile application stores owned by Apple and Google. The decision came after President Trump has given tentative approval to an Oracle-Wallmart deal that will keep TikTok alive in the country.

Trump said, on Saturday, that "I have given the deal my blessing, I approve the deal in concept."

Law
Judge rules that parents of a deceased 15-year old daughter need to get access to Facebook profile
Judge rules that parents of a deceased 15-year old daughter need to get access to Facebook profile
Credit: NeONBRAND

Following a ruling of the German federal court in 2018, the parents have the right to access the Facebook profile of their deceased daughter. The parents now sued the company again, stating that the PDF file that Facebook provided them with only contained the data in unstructured form.

The court decided in favour of the parents which will now get access to the account. The parents stated that they want to use the access to research for possible signs of bullying.

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook states Apple’s new iOS update will disrupt online advertising
Facebook states Apple’s new iOS update will disrupt online advertising
Credit: Greg Bulla

Facebook wrote, in a blog post towards its developer community, the changes being implemented in iOS 14 that the company "ability to deliver targeted ads on iOS 14 will be limited.".

According to Facebook, the update will probably mean that app developers will receive less advertising revenue due to the fact "some iOS 14 users may not see any ads from Audience Network, while others may still see ads from us, but they'll be less relevant."

The beta version of iOS 14 was released earlier this week, implementing a set of anti-tracking measures that limit the ability of advertisers to track a particular user and deliver highly tailored advertising.

Technology • Internet & Web
WeChat users sue Trump administration over US app ban
WeChat users sue Trump administration over US app ban
Credit: WeChat

A coalition of WeChat users in the US launched a legal challenge to the Trump administration, questioning its ban on the popular Chinese messaging app. The users claim the ban violates their constitutional rights and that the app became an essential digital service for millions of Chinese-Americans.

President Trump signed two executive orders, effective September 20, banning US transactions with WeChat, the app owned by Tencent Holdings, and ByteDance, the owner of the video app TikTok.

The US WeChat Users Alliance, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, claimed that the ban had been "issued in the midst of the 2020 election cycle, during a time when President Trump has made numerous anti-Chinese statements that have contributed to and incited racial animus against persons of Chinese descent — all outside of the national security context".

Politics • American • US
Trump gives nod to Oracle takeover of TikTok
Trump gives nod to Oracle takeover of TikTok
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler – Logo via TikTok (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The United States President Donald Trump stated tech giant Oracle would be "a great company" to take over TikTok's US operations.

The President reaction comes days after media reported that Oracle would be a possible buyer of the TikTok in North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Trump ordered TikTok's owner ByteDance to sell their US business within 90 days or face being shut down by the government.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Oracle is working with Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic, investors that already have stakes in ByteDance.

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook faces lawsuit over illegal harvesting of biometric information from Instagram users
Facebook faces lawsuit over illegal harvesting of biometric information from Instagram users
Credit: Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum

In a new lawsuit, filed Monday in Redwood City, Facebook is accused of collecting, storing and profiting from biometric data of more than 100 million Instagram users, without explicitly asking for their consent.

According to the suit, Facebook started informing Instagram users about their biometric data being collected only at the beginning of 2020, which allegedly violated an Illinois privacy law.

Last month, the social media company offered to pay $650 million to settle a different lawsuit in which it was accused of illegally collecting biometric data through a photo-tagging tool provided to Facebook users.

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook states that they have removed 7 million posts with false information about Covid-19
Facebook states that they have removed 7 million posts with false information about Covid-19
Credit: Screenshot Transparency Report

In its sixth Community Standards Enforcement Report, Facebook has released data showing that the platform has removed seven million posts that contained false information about the Covid-19 pandemic, a cure or the virus itself.

In addition, 22,5 million posts have been removed on the grounds of hate speech and 8,7 million which are in connection to extremist organizations.

Technology • Internet & Web
Scribd acquires presentation-sharing platform SlideShare
Scribd acquires presentation-sharing platform SlideShare
Credit: Scribd

Scribd announced Tuesday the acquisition of presentation-sharing platform SlideShare from LinkedIn for an undisclosed price. According to LinkedIn, Scribd will take over operation of the SlideShare business on September 24.

Trip Adler, co-founder and CEO of Scribd said, "Our acquisition of SlideShare is a major step towards creating the world’s largest digital library."

Technology • Internet & Web
TikTok announces plans to sue Trump Administration over ban
TikTok announces plans to sue Trump Administration over ban
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler – Logo via TikTok (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The video-sharing app hugely popular with the smartphone generation will file the federal lawsuit as soon as Tuesday, according to a person who was directly involved in the forthcoming suit but was not authorized to speak for the company.

It also alleges that the administration's national security justification for the order is baseless, according to the source.

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook removes QAnon conspiracy group
Truck with a bumper sticker referring to QAnon.
Truck with a bumper sticker referring to QAnon. Credit: XPlayer2x (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Facebook has deleted the Official Q/Qanon group with nearly 200,000 members. The group was dedicated to sharing and discussing QAnon conspiracy theories.

According to a spokeswoman for Facebook, the company removed the group for "repeatedly posting content that violated our policies."

Last month both Twitter and TikTok also cracked down on QAnon content.

Technology • Internet & Web
Twitter adds labels for government and state-affiliated media accounts
Twitter adds labels for government and state-affiliated media accounts
Credit: Russia Today (Twitter Reproduction)

Twitter announced the introduction of labels for accounts and tweets tied to government officials and "state-affiliated media."

In a blog post, the company says: "Twitter provides an unmatched way to connect with, and directly speak to public officials and representatives. This direct line of communication with leaders and officials has helped to democratize political discourse and increase transparency and accountability"

Russia Today (RT) was one of the first accounts to be labelled "affiliated media", with Twitter pointing the ties of the media outlet with the Russian Government.

Twitter suggested that these labels are part of a more significant effort "to protect that discourse because we believe political reach should be earned not bought."

Technology • Internet & Web
Twitter fixes security issue affecting some Android devices
Twitter fixes security issue affecting some Android devices
Credit: Érico Andrei (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Twitter announced Wednesday a security vulnerability in its Android app. The company stated the problem relates to an Android security issue in versions 8 and 9 of the popular mobile operating system, and that it doesn't have evidence attackers exploited the vulnerability.

According to Twitter, around 96% of all their Android users already have installed the necessary security protections, leaving 4% still vulnerable to attackers through outside apps accessing private data on their devices.

Technology • Internet & Web
Covid-19 pandemic boosts online dating, and Match Group forecasts sales above estimates
iPhone displaying the Tinder app
iPhone displaying the Tinder app Credit: Kon Karampelas

Match Group Inc. reported Tuesday strong gains in profit and revenue in the second quarter above Wall Street expectations. The company is the owner of Tinder, Match.com, OKCupid and other online-dating properties.

As dating apps became an alternative to face-to-face meetings, as restrictions to stop the spread of the pandemic, results for the quarter were positive. Tinder gained 200,000 users in the quarter, taking its average subscribers-base to 6.2 million.

In an email, CEO Shar Dubey said: "Despite the pandemic, our user trends, like engagement and willingness to pay for our products, is up, proving what we’ve always known: Our products satisfy a very critical human need, and those needs aren’t going anywhere".

Technology • Internet & Web
WhatsApp adds new "Search the web" feature
WhatsApp adds new "Search the web" feature
Credit: WhatsApp

WhatsApp added a new feature that makes it easier for users to verify whether the assertions made in forwarded messages they have received on the app are true. The new feature, called "Search the Web" works by allowing users to upload the message via their browser without WhatsApp ever seeing the message itself.

"Search the web" is being rolled out starting today in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and US for those on the latest versions of WhatsApp for Android, iOS and WhatsApp Web.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Madonna Instagram's post about hydroxychloroquine flagged for sharing 'False Information'
Madonna Instagram's post about hydroxychloroquine flagged for sharing 'False Information'
Credit: Madonna (Instagram)

Instagram flagged on Tuesday a video posted by Madonna as "False Information". The video, about hydroxychloroquine being a cure for Covid-19, spread the same misinformation as a clip that was previously taken down from Twitter after President Donald Trump shared it.

“This woman is my hero,” Madonna wrote in her post. “Thank you Stella Immanuel.”

The post, now deleted, appeared to Instagram users blurred with a warning over the video: "False Information.".

Technology • Internet & Web
Slack files EU competition complaint against Microsoft
Slack files EU competition complaint against Microsoft
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler – Logo via Slack, Microsoft Teams (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The complaint details Microsoft’s illegal and anti-competitive practice of abusing its market dominance to extinguish competition in breach of European Union competition law. Microsoft has illegally tied its Teams product into its market-dominant Office productivity suite, force installing it for millions, blocking its removal, and hiding the actual cost to enterprise customers.

Business • Economy
LinkedIn to cut 960 jobs globally
LinkedIn to cut 960 jobs globally
Credit: Greg Bulla

Microsoft's professional networking site LinkedIn has said it plans to cut 6% of its global workforce as the Covid-19 pandemic is having a sustained impact on demand for its recruitment products. Nine hundred sixty jobs will be cut across sales and hiring divisions of the group globally.

LinkedIn said employees affected by its job cuts would be informed this week, and they will start receiving invitations in the next few hours to meetings to learn more about next steps.

Technology • Internet & Web
Tinder starts testing video dates
Tinder Face to Face screenshots
Tinder Face to Face screenshots Credit: Tinder

Tinder announced Wednesday that it has begun testing the ‘Face to Face’ chat feature in the U.S., Brazil, Australia, Spain, Italy, France, Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Peru and Chile.

In a press release, Tinder says: "We recently surveyed our members in the US, and half of them have had video dates with a match off Tinder in the past month. Not only that, but 40 percent of Gen Z members wanted to continue using video as a way to decide whether to meet IRL in the future - even once their favorite date spot is open again"

The new feature was promised as a way Tinder evolves its business in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Politics • American • Brazil
Facebook removes accounts linked to Bolsonaro's family
Screenshot of a post by one of the accounts
Screenshot of a post by one of the accounts Credit: Facebook Reproduction

Facebook announced Wednesday the removal of 35 accounts, 14 Pages, 1 Group and 38 Instagram accounts that were involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior in Brazil. Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities and coordination, Facebook investigation found links to individuals associated with the Social Liberal Party and some of the employees of the offices of Anderson Moraes, Alana Passos, Eduardo Bolsonaro, Flavio Bolsonaro and Jair Bolsonaro.