Summary of “Facebook moves 1.5bn users out of reach of new European privacy law”

Facebook has moved more than 1.5 billion users out of reach of European privacy law, despite a promise from Mark Zuckerberg to apply the “Spirit” of the legislation globally.
A week later, during his hearings in front of the US Congress, Zuckerberg was again asked if he would promise that GDPR’s protections would apply to all Facebook users.
Worldwide, Facebook has rolled out a suite of tools to let users exercise their rights under GDPR, such as downloading and deleting data, and the company’s new consent-gathering controls are similarly universal.
Facebook told Reuters “We apply the same privacy protections everywhere, regardless of whether your agreement is with Facebook Inc or Facebook Ireland”.
It said the change was only carried out “Because EU law requires specific language” in mandated privacy notices, which US law does not.
“This is a major and unprecedented change in the data privacy landscape. The change will amount to the reduction of privacy guarantees and the rights of users, with a number of ramifications, notably for for consent requirements. Users will clearly lose some existing rights, as US standards are lower than those in Europe.”
“Data protection authorities from the countries of the affected users, such as New Zealand and Australia, may want to reassess this situation and analyse the situation. Even if their data privacy regulators are less rapid than those in Europe, this event is giving them a chance to act. Although it is unclear how active they will choose to be, the global privacy regulation landscape is changing, with countries in the world refining their approach. Europe is clearly on the forefront of this competition, but we should expect other countries to eventually catch up.”
That means users will exist in a state of legal superposition: for tax purposes, Facebook will continue to book their revenue through Facebook’s Irish office, but for privacy protections, they will deal with the company’s headquarters in California.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Facebook quitting advice from a professional internet quitter”

Between May 2012 and May 2013, I didn’t use the internet or ask people to use the internet for me.
If you’ve been following all the recent Facebook drama or you can’t stand the culture of Twitter discourse or you feel like the Instagram algorithm is harmful to your well-being and you’ve decided that you need to make a statement by quitting something, I might be able to offer some advice.
If your friends are heavy Facebook users, and you quit Facebook, it’s a little bit like if your friends all hang out at a certain bar and you stop going there.
What if your friends don’t like phone calls? And what if they forget you quit Facebook when they send out a party invite? And what if your appointed liaison to all Facebook drama becomes tired of being your social networking sherpa?
I’m not trying to scare you away from quitting Facebook.
You set out to protest Facebook, but you’re only hurting yourself, right?
Facebook makes you pay to actually reach your “Audience.” Instagram will always work best for people who only show their most beautiful side.
I just feel like I learned the lessons I needed to learn, and the immense positives of the internet – even the weird and scary places like Facebook – outweigh the cons.

The orginal article.

Summary of “AI is an excuse for Facebook to keep messing up”

In 2017, Facebook announced that it was “Experimenting” with AI to detect language that “Might be advocating for terrorism” – presumably a deep learning technique.
If a video of a beheading goes up that has been previously been identified as terrorist content in the database – by Facebook or one of its partners – it’ll be automatically recognized and taken down.
“But you also know that artificial intelligence is not without its risk, and that you have to be very transparent about how those algorithms are constructed.” Zuckerberg’s response was to acknowledge that it was a “Really important” question and that Facebook had a whole AI ethics team working on the issue.
Artificial intelligence cannot solve the problem of not knowing what the hell you’re doing But the point isn’t just that Facebook has failed to scale for content moderation.
It’s an excuse that deflects from the question itself: whether and how to regulate Facebook.
There are people of voting age who do not remember a time before Facebook.
The FTC put Facebook under a consent decree in 2011 over its privacy failures, a consent decree they may be in violation of because of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Give Facebook five to 10 years to fix its problems, and in five to 10 years, Mark Zuckerberg will be testifying before Congress yet again on the unintended consequences of its use of artificial intelligence.

The orginal article.

Summary of “MySpace Tom beat Facebook in the long run”

My MySpace profile was abandoned when, at the ripe age of 18, I decided it was just a little too juvenile – the glittering GIFs affixed to every page, the garish customized designs, the pressure on maintaining your top 8.
By 2006, Facebook offered a cleaner social experience; by 2009, Twitter offered a more casual one.
Back in 2005 long before MySpace burned out, its founder, Tom Anderson – whose grinning face greeted every new user as their first “Friend” – sold the site for $580 million to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.
While his site was becoming a punchline during the rise of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the other social media networks we now use everyday, Anderson disappeared entirely from the tech scene.
It’s now apparent that Facebook and Zuckerberg didn’t really consider any of this when aggressively pursuing growth, and now we’re all screwed as we try to untangle the consequences.
MySpace Tom? His most recent Instagram post from seven days ago is a giveaway for a stay at an Iceland hotel.
Had Facebook not gotten too good at inserting itself between human users, there’s no way it would’ve run into their current problems at such a wide scope.
I never thought we’d declare MySpace the winner over Facebook, but then again, I never thought a lot of things about the moment we’re in.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I Downloaded the Information That Facebook Has on Me. Yikes.”

Facebook Retains More Data Than We ThinkWhen you download a copy of your Facebook data, you will see a folder containing multiple subfolders and files.
In addition to recording the exact date I signed up for Facebook in 2004, there was a record of when I deactivated Facebook in October 2010, only to reactivate it four days later – something I barely remember doing.
The Ad Industry Has Eyes EverywhereWhat Facebook retained about me isn’t remotely as creepy as the sheer number of advertisers that have my information in their databases.
Brands can buy different types of customer data sets from a provider, like contact information for people who belong to a certain demographic, and take that information to Facebook to serve targeted ads, said Michael Priem, chief executive of Modern Impact, an advertising firm in Minneapolis.
Last month, Facebook announced that it was limiting its practice of allowing advertisers to target ads using information from third-party data brokers like Acxiom.
There are many different trackers on the web, and Facebook offers 10 different trackers to help brands harvest your information, according to Ghostery, which offers privacy tools that block ads and trackers.
Your credit card loyalty program, for example, could share your information with a hotel chain, and that hotel chain could serve you ads on Facebook.
The upshot? Even a Facebook lurker, like myself, who has barely clicked on any digital ads can have personal information exposed to an enormous number of advertisers.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Facebook Current – Stratechery by Ben Thompson”

The sentiment seemed widespread on tech and media Twitter: there was a lack of specificity in terms of questions about privacy, plenty of dodged questions, and bad questions that presumed Facebook sells data, letting Zuckerberg run out the clock at least three times by explaining the basics of Facebook’s business model.
This can certainly be frustrating if one wants faster change – or a relief if one fears those in power – but that is precisely why Zuckerberg’s appearance was noteworthy: there is a current moving against Facebook, and while it is not realistic to expect that current to already be a wave, it was strong enough to sweep him to Washington D.C. for the week.1.
Secondly – and count this as another indication that that current is stronger than it seems – there was a significant amount of agreement amongst the Senators in yesterday’s hearings that something needed to be done about Facebook.
OK, so maybe one of the viewpoints fit the partisan cliche, but the idea that Facebook might need regulation was a frequent talking point, particularly from Democrats pushing already-proposed legislation.
Do you think that that’s a risk given your influence that if we regulate, we’re actually going to regulate you into a position of cemented authority, when one of my biggest concerns about what you guys are doing is that the next Facebook, which we all want, the guy in the dorm room, we all want that to be started, that you are becoming so dominant that we’re not able to have that next Facebook? What are your views on that?
Your testimony, you have talked about a lot of power, you’ve been involved in elections, I thought your testimony was very interesting, really all over the world, 2 billion users, over 200 million Americans, $40 billion in revenue, I believe you and Google have almost 75% of the digital advertising in the U.S., one of the key issues here is Facebook too powerful? Are you too powerful?
The most likely outcome of Facebook’s current scandal continues to be that nothing will happen, for all of the inherent lethargy in our political system noted above.
It’s worth keeping in mind that because Facebook is so dominant, the question of its governance is ultimately a political question, and to that end the shifts in the terms of debate, if not yet its outcome, have been striking.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Christopher Wylie: Why I broke the Facebook data story”

A couple of days later, early on Saturday, Facebook took another dramatic action: it suspended AggregateIQ. This is important because AIQ was the Canadian data firm on which Vote Leave spent 40% of its budget during the EU referendum.
Facebook has suspended AIQ while it investigates AIQ’s relationship with Cambridge Analytica and whether it had access to Facebook data.
When four different campaigns – Vote Leave, BeLeave, Veterans for Britain and the DUP – all used the same data firm, AIQ, it’s pretty much impossible.
1 Cambridge Analytica data harvesting apps captured more than 87 million Facebook profiles, including one million UK records.
Facebook knew in December 2015 that data had been harvested on Cambridge Analytica’s behalf.
AIQ built the “Ripon” platform that Cambridge Analytica used to target people using misappropriated Facebook data.
Facebook suspended AIQ after learning “It may be affiliated with SCL and, may, as a result have improperly received Facebook data”.
9 What is AIQ’s role in this? Was British Facebook data, harvested using Cambridge Analytica’s apps, employed? Was data shared between Vote Leave, BeLeave, Veterans for Britain and the DUP?

The orginal article.

Summary of “Instagram Looks Like Facebook’s Best Hope”

Instagram relied on Facebook for its success, but now Facebook may depend on Instagram for its longevity.
“We had a dashboard that had a live updating number of who signed up for Instagram per minute. That was growth for us.” Once the acquisition closed, only a few months after Facebook’s initial public offering in 2012, Zuckerberg installed members of the Facebook growth team at Instagram.
A spokeswoman says Instagram “Initiated and drove the creation of Stories internally and was not pressured.” Systrom acknowledges there was “Tension” over the direction of Instagram, which he’s grateful for.
One Kolkata shopper told an Instagram researcher, Ashlee Edwards Brinegar, that she didn’t feel as if her life was interesting enough to post on an Instagram account.
During the meeting, Kevin Weil, Instagram’s head of product, pointed out that if Instagram got local celebrities and cricket stars to use the less-polished Instagram Stories, it might teach everyone else how to do so.
On LinkedIn, when employees change jobs from Facebook to Instagram, they list Instagram as a separate company.
Some of his followers asked, what about Instagram? Instagram was “Borderline” but “Probably okay,” Musk tweeted, “As long as it stays fairly independent.”
Roger McNamee, an early Facebook investor who’s now one of the company’s loudest critics, says Facebook “Used its dominant position in social media to grease the skids for Instagram” and has intentionally tweaked Instagram to make it more Facebook-like.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg runs a nation-state, and he’s the king”

“In a lot of ways Facebook is more like a government than a traditional company,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said.
It’s good to see Zuckerberg starting to grapple with Facebook’s political responsibilities.
Zuckerberg is the chair, chief executive officer, and controlling shareholder of Facebook.
Zuckerberg has defended the way power at Facebook is concentrated in his own person.
Network effects – which Facebook has gone to great lengths to reinforce – lock both businesses and users into Facebook, even if they all individually might prefer a different system of rule.
Zuckerberg has proposed setting up independent bodies that would hear appeals from users regarding Facebook’s decisions.
Now, Zuckerberg is arguing in his interview with Klein for establishing a far more independent process: “You can imagine some sort of structure, almost like a Supreme Court, that is made up of independent folks who don’t work for Facebook, who ultimately make the final judgment call on what should be acceptable speech in a community that reflects the social norms and values of people all around the world.”
It’s heartening to see Zuckerberg recognizing that Facebook needs real democratic legitimacy and accountability – and that it’s considering more binding procedures.

The orginal article.