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Germany sues e-commerce sites for sharing data with Facebook

Facebook isn’t the only company receiving flack from regulators over the data it collects through its “Like” button. Germany’s consumer watchdog has sued two e-commerce companies for using the button on their websites because, the Wall Street Journal reports, the sites didn’t warn visitors that their personal data would be shared with Facebook. The news follows months [...]

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How health site “The Mighty” thinks it can build the next big content platform without selling its soul to Facebook

When Mike Porath’s daughter was diagnosed with a chromosome disorder that includes autism and other challenges, he spent a lot of time on WebMD. “But WebMD didn’t cover the day-to-day challenges and the emotional side,” said Porath. There was no digital equivalent, he felt, to the indispensable routine of talking to other families that are going through [...]

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Facebook responds to Internet.org criticism (again)

Facebook isn’t taking the latest round of criticism for its Internet.org initiative lying down. Hours after my story about an open letter sent to the company by various advocacy organizations, I received an email from a spokesperson with a response from the company, and direct refutation of the organizations’ claims. Here’s the boilerplate response to the [...]

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Advocates complain about the effect of Facebook’s Internet.org on privacy, security, and net neutrality

Facebook’s efforts to convince net neutrality advocates that its Internet.org initiative doesn’t threaten their ideals have failed to make much of a difference. Organizations from Indonesia, the Netherlands, Columbia, Nigeria, and other countries have sent an open letter to Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg to discuss their concerns about Internet.org’s deleterious effect on the Internet. Here’s [...]

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Don’t shoot the messenger: Facebook asks game developers to trust its Messenger platform

Facebook wants to bring games to Messenger. The Information reports that Facebook is having “active conversations” with developers to establish Messenger, which was pulled out of the core Facebook service in March, as another platform through which they can distribute games. Much of the company’s plans haven’t been revealed. It’s not clear when games will [...]

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Belgium, unafraid of Facebook’s threat to European regulators, advises consumers to install privacy tools

Belgium’s privacy watchdog has advised consumers to install software that will prevent Facebook from collecting information about their browsing activities. And in case that recommendation didn’t make its stance on the company clear, the group also said Facebook “tramples on European and Belgian privacy laws.” Facebook has come under increasing scrutiny across Europe over fears [...]

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Facebook wants to narrow the inequality gap between its technical and non-technical workers

Facebook is advocating for higher wages, paid time off, and other benefits for many of the non-technical workers it hires through independent contractors. The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook wants these workers to have a minimum wage of $15, to have at least 15 days of paid time off, and to receive a $4,000 bonus [...]

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Facebook’s Instant Articles are here and they’re not so bad after all… Right? Not so fast…

Over the last few weeks, members of the publishing world has been waiting in anticipation — some fearfully so — for Facebook’s newest feature allowing news organizations to host content directly on the social network. Many observers worried that by giving up their own distribution channels and handing content directly over to Facebook, it made news organizations [...]

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Can we all agree the justifications for this AOL/Verizon deal are batshit insane?

“How puzzling all these changes are! I’m never sure what I’m going to be, from one minute to another.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland What is it about AOL mergers that make no sense? I’ve spent the morning intermittently reading various reports by the financial press about Verizon’s surprise/not surprise acquisition of AOL. Early [...]

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Periscope loosens the ties between its shiny new app and Twitter’s main service

Periscope is no longer limited to Twitter users. Now all people need to use the live-streaming app is a smartphone, wireless Internet, and a phone number. Twitter acquired Periscope in January. It’s not clear how much the app cost, but a quarterly earnings report lumps the live-streaming app with the Niche talent agency Twitter purchased in [...]

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Facebook’s testing a search feature meant to trap both readers and publishers

Facebook is testing a new search tool that allows its users to find links to news articles and other content without ever having to leave its mobile applications. TechCrunch reports that the tool relies on information gathered from 1 trillion posts — data the company has prevented rivals like Google from accessing. The feature is [...]

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Facebook thinks you’re too dumb to realize its scientific papers are really just PR

Yesterday, Technology Review was one of many outlets that published a headline, or variation thereof, reading, “Facebook Says You Filter News More Than Its Algorithm Does.” This revelation was lifted from a paper Facebook’s researchers published the same day in the more-or-less reputable scientific journal Science. The study sought to determine whether the social network’s News Feed algorithm — in aiming to serve up stories [...]

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Facebook makes an ad-related announcement consumers shouldn’t hate

Facebook has spent a lot of time making sure marketers are happy with its advertising tools. Now it’s trying to make consumers hate its advertisements a little bit less, too, with new ads that take people to a specific place in an app. Here’s how it works: developers purchase advertisements for their applications; interested consumers tap [...]

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