Facebook

Facebook gives users 'more control' over news feed

The social network has been under intense scrutiny in recent years for how its algorithms promote content.

Now, it says it is testing controls to "adjust people's ranking preferences" and customise the feed.

That includes, for example, increasing the number of posts from friends and family, and decreasing those from groups and pages.

It will also make controls that already exist "easier to access", it said - such as the favourites and snooze features, which largely live inside a settings sub-menu.

Facebook to shut facial recognition system and delete 1bn ‘faceprints’

Facebook will delete the “faceprints” of more than a billion people after announcing that it is shutting down its facial recognition system due to the “many concerns” about using the technology.

Facebook announces name change to Meta in rebranding effort

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the social media giant will change the name of its holding company to Meta, in a rebrand that comes as the company faces a series of public relations crises.

Zuckerberg revealed the new name at Facebook’s annual AR/VR conference on Thursday, where he outlined the company’s virtual-reality vision for the future.

Facebook harms children and weakens democracy: ex-employee

Frances Haugen, a 37-year-old former product manager turned whistleblower, heavily criticised the company at a hearing on Capitol Hill.

Facebook however said Ms Haugen spoke about areas she has no knowledge of.

It comes amid growing scrutiny of the social media giant and increasing calls for its regulation.

Facebook is the world's most popular social media site. The company says it has 2.7 billion monthly active users. Hundreds of millions of people also use the company's other products, including WhatsApp and Instagram.

Gone in Minutes, Out for Hours: Outage Shakes Facebook

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook and its family of apps, including Instagram and WhatsApp, were inaccessible for hours on Monday, taking out a vital communications platform used by billions and showcasing just how dependent the world has become on a company that is under intense scrutiny.

Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp go down

"We're aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products," Facebook said on Twitter. "We're working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience."
Outage tracking site Down Detector logged tens of thousands of reports for each of the services. Facebook's own site would not load at all for about an hour on Monday; Instagram and WhatsApp were accessible, but could not load new content or send messages.

‘I Am Digital’ promotes positive online experiences

Save the Children is partnering with Facebook to deliver a campaign across the Pacific entitled, ‘I Am Digital’, specifically directed at issues that concern young people from local communities and where they are seeking reliable support. 

Shairana Ali, CEO of Save the Children Fiji, said, “In the Pacific region, children with access to the internet and social media are often left unsupervised. There is an urgent need to educate and empower our children on digital safety.” 

The ‘I Am Digital’ online safety campaign will run for five weeks. 

New WhatsApp policy to share user data with Facebook draws backlash

WhatsApp alerted users to the controversial change to its privacy policy via an in-app notification which asks them to agree to share personal data, including their phone number and IP address, with Facebook.

“By tapping Agree, you accept the new terms, which take effect on February 8, 2021,” the notification states, adding “After this date, you’ll need to accept the new terms to continue using WhatsApp. You can also visit the Help Center if you would prefer to delete your account."

Users who do not accept the new policy by February 8 will lose access to their accounts.

EU reveals plan to regulate Big Tech

Fresh restrictions are also planned to govern their use of customers' data, and to prevent the firms ranking their own services above competitors' in search results and app stores.

The measures are intended to overhaul how the EU regulates digital markets.

Large fines and break-ups are threatened for non-compliance.

It is proposed that if companies refuse to obey, they could be forced to hand over up to 10% of their European turnover.

Facebook Oversight Board reveals its first cases

All involve decisions originally made by the platform to remove user content.

They include images of female breasts in a post about breast cancer, and an image of a dead child alongside text about whether retaliation was justified against China for its treatment of Uighur Muslims.

The board said Facebook users had submitted 20,000 suggested incidents for review since October 2020.

The arbitration body is inviting the public to comment on the cases - which have all been anonymised - over the next seven days.