Facebook’s tracking of non-users ruled illegal again

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Another blow for Facebook in Europe: Judges in Belgium have once again ruled the company broke privacy laws by deploying technology such as cookies and social plug-ins to track Internet users across the web. Facebook uses data it collects in this way to sell targeted advertising. The social media giant failed to make it sufficiently clear
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Fake news is an existential crisis for social media 

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The funny thing about fake news is how mind-numbingly boring it can be. Not the fakes themselves — they’re constructed to be catnip clickbait to stoke the fires of rage of their intended targets. Be they gun owners. People of color. Racists. Republican voters. And so on. The really tedious stuff is all the also
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Trump cites Facebook exec’s comments downplaying Russian ad influence on election

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You’d be forgiven for missing Donald Trump’s multiple retweets of Facebook executive Rob Goldman over the weekend. Perhaps you were spending time with family, watching Black Panther or just attempting to forget politics for a moment by ignoring the manic flurry of social media updates from the leader of the free world. But in amongst
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How ad-free subscriptions could solve Facebook

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At the core of Facebook’s “well-being” problem is that its business is directly coupled with total time spent on its apps. The more hours you pass on the social network, the more ads you see and click, the more money it earns. That puts its plan to make using Facebook healthier at odds with its
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Facebook didn’t mean to send spam texts to two-factor authentication users

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Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos apologized for spam texts that were incorrectly sent to users who had activated two-factor authentication. The company is working on a fix, and you won’t receive non-security-related text messages if you never signed up for those notifications. Facebook says it was a bug. But calling it a bug is
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Twitter is killing its Twitter for Mac desktop client

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On Friday, Twitter announced that it would abandon its lesser-loved Mac app, directing users to Twitter.com instead. The company declared that it will refocus its efforts on “a great Twitter experience that’s consistent across platforms” rather than continuing development for Twitter for Mac, a message that doesn’t sound great for TweetDeck lovers. The Twitter for
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Federal judge rules that embedded tweets can represent copyright infringement

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A recent ruling by a New York federal judge could have significant implications for how copyright laws are enforced. The ruling was made in a case where Justin Goldman accused publications including Breitbart, Time, Yahoo, Vox Media and the Boston Globe of violating his copyright by embedding into their stories tweets with his photo of
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Special counsel Robert Mueller indicts Russian bot farm for election meddling

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller has just handed down a set of indictments, charging 13 Russian citizens and three Russian organizations with interference in the U.S. presidential election in efforts dating back to 2014. The indictment names the Internet Research Agency, a bot farm and disinformation operation based out of St. Petersburg, as one of the
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Under Russian pressure to remove content, Instagram complies but YouTube holds off

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Instagram has taken down content posted by Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny under pressure from a government agency, while YouTube has yet to do so. Navalny and others have criticized Instagram for complying to what they call a politically motivated move to silence him. The issue is around a video accusing a Russian official, deputy
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Twitch launches always-on chat rooms for channels

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Game streaming site Twitch today is debuting an always-on chat room feature it’s simply calling “Rooms.” The addition was first announced at its developer event TwitchCon back in October, and was expected to launch before year-end. That timing shifted a bit, but the feature is going live today across both web and mobile for Twitch
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Facebook teams up with Lyft and others for crisis response efforts

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Facebook is amping up its Community Help efforts, now enabling companies like Lyft, Chase, International Medical Corps and Save the Children to easily provide information and services, like food, transportation and shelter, to people in crisis. “Our priority is to build tools that help keep people safe and provide them with ways to get the
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Social analytics companies MVPindex and Umbel are merging

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MVPindex and Umbel, two companies delivering social media data to the sports and entertainment industries, are teaming up. The combined company will be led by MVPindex’s co-founders, with Stan Woodward serving as CEO, Shawn Spieth as president and chairman and Kyle Nelson as chief marketing officer. Umbel will be represented on the executive team as
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