http://facecrooks.com Wed, 07 Dec 2016 20:33:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v= Facebook Teams Up With Other Major Tech Companies To Remove “Terrorist Content” http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Teams-Up-With-Other-Major-Tech-Companies-To-Remove-%e2%80%9cTerrorist-Content%e2%80%9d.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Teams-Up-With-Other-Major-Tech-Companies-To-Remove-%e2%80%9cTerrorist-Content%e2%80%9d.html/#comments Wed, 07 Dec 2016 20:33:02 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10271 The post Facebook Teams Up With Other Major Tech Companies To Remove “Terrorist Content” appeared first on .

In a statement posted to Facebook this week, the social media giant announced that it has teamed up with Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube to help “curb the spread of terrorist content” across their platforms. The group plans to create a shared database of terrorist content flagged with so-called “hashes,” or “unique digital footprints.” That way…

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like_buttonIn a statement posted to Facebook this week, the social media giant announced that it has teamed up with Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube to help “curb the spread of terrorist content” across their platforms.

The group plans to create a shared database of terrorist content flagged with so-called “hashes,” or “unique digital footprints.” That way if a terrorist video that Facebook flagged and removed pops up on Twitter, Twitter will immediately know to remove it. A similar technology is already used effectively to remove child pornography from social media, so the decision to use it to fight terrorism makes sense.

Likely anticipating a backlash against potential privacy issues that the tool could pose, the joint statement made sure to stress that Facebook and the other companies are only interested in removing terrorist content while still protecting user privacy.

“There is no place for content that promotes terrorism on our hosted consumer services. When alerted, we take swift action against this kind of content in accordance with our respective policies,” the companies’ statement read. “Throughout this collaboration, we are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and their ability to express themselves freely and safely on our platforms.”

However, the companies probably don’t need to worry about offending anyone with the tool; even consumer watchdog groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation approve, making it a win for everyone.


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Facebook Blocks, Then Unblocks, Fake News Detector http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Blocks-Then-Unblocks-Fake-News-Detector.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Blocks-Then-Unblocks-Fake-News-Detector.html/#comments Tue, 06 Dec 2016 14:41:44 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10268 The post Facebook Blocks, Then Unblocks, Fake News Detector appeared first on .

The spread of fake news stories is one of the greatest controversies Facebook has faced in recent years, with some vocal critics even claiming the social media giant helped swing the presidential election by allowing this phony content to proliferate. One third-party plugin tried to help solve the problem by creating pop-up warning flags for…

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facebook_censorThe spread of fake news stories is one of the greatest controversies Facebook has faced in recent years, with some vocal critics even claiming the social media giant helped swing the presidential election by allowing this phony content to proliferate. One third-party plugin tried to help solve the problem by creating pop-up warning flags for fake news — but then Facebook blocked it. The site soon unblocked the tool, but the initial censorship raises an important question: what did Facebook find so offensive about this helpful feature?

TechCrunch incorrectly reported last week that the plugin, called B.S. Detector, might be a tool produced by Facebook itself. According to the plugin’s creator, that might be why links to the feature were banned.

“I believe they are doing this because of TechCrunch article that came out yesterday, falsely identifying a screenshot of my plugin as a Facebook feature under development,” Daniel Sieradski, the creator of the plugin, told TechCrunch. “It would seem I’ve caused them some embarrassment by showing them to be full of bull when it comes to their supposed inability to address fake news and they are punishing me for it.”

During the brief period that the tool was banned, a warning popped up to users who clicked on its link that the feature might be “unsafe.” Facebook soon corrected its mistake and restored B.S. Detector, but why was it taken down in the first place? The site hasn’t given an exact answer, but it’s troubling that it removed a tool dedicated to helping users like this.


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Woman Gets Year In Jail For Creating Fake Facebook Profile To Frame Ex-Boyfriend http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Woman-Gets-Year-In-Jail-For-Creating-Fake-Facebook-Profile-To-Frame-Ex-Boyfriend.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Woman-Gets-Year-In-Jail-For-Creating-Fake-Facebook-Profile-To-Frame-Ex-Boyfriend.html/#comments Mon, 05 Dec 2016 13:26:39 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10266 The post Woman Gets Year In Jail For Creating Fake Facebook Profile To Frame Ex-Boyfriend appeared first on .

A 25-year-old Las Vegas woman had her ex-boyfriend arrested four times by creating a fake Facebook profile in his name and threatening herself with it, according to prosecutors. However, when authorities investigated the “threats” further they found that they were coming from the woman’s own IP address. She pleaded guilty to two felonies and was…

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Original Round Blue Facebook Web IconA 25-year-old Las Vegas woman had her ex-boyfriend arrested four times by creating a fake Facebook profile in his name and threatening herself with it, according to prosecutors. However, when authorities investigated the “threats” further they found that they were coming from the woman’s own IP address. She pleaded guilty to two felonies and was immediately sentenced to a year in jail this week.

It all started last fall when the woman, Stephani Lawson, claimed that her ex-boyfriend, Tyler Parkervest, had stalked, kidnapped and beaten her. Her proof these crimes had occurred? Screenshots of Facebook messages sent to her from a Facebook account named “Tyler Parker.” She repeatedly reported her ex to the police, and he was charged with kidnapping, battery, making threats and more — she even claimed that he threatened her not to testify in court. However, authorities eventually became suspicious of the Facebook screenshots.

“One of my DA colleagues looked at it and said, ‘It doesn’t look right,’ and that triggered in our mind, ‘Maybe we need to look into this further,” Deputy District Attorney Mark Geller said.

That’s when the cops realized that the threatening messages were being sent from Lawson’s own computer. All charges against Parkervest were dropped last month, though this incident shows just how easily someone can create a fake profile. Facebook’s rules specifically ban users from creating fake profiles, but policing compliance on this issue is another matter? The site claims to be able to detect fraudulent accounts, but it certainly whiffed big on this one.


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Facebook Could Use Artificial Intelligence To Filter Out Fake News http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Could-Use-Artificial-Intelligence-To-Filter-Out-Fake-News.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Could-Use-Artificial-Intelligence-To-Filter-Out-Fake-News.html/#comments Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:22:37 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10264 The post Facebook Could Use Artificial Intelligence To Filter Out Fake News appeared first on .

Facebook launched an initiative this week to educate users about artificial intelligence and dispel some common fears about the technology. This public relations push will consist of a series of short videos and literature detailing some of the ways AI is shaping the future of technology, including through so-called “deep learning,” language translation and Facebook’s…

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Fake signFacebook launched an initiative this week to educate users about artificial intelligence and dispel some common fears about the technology. This public relations push will consist of a series of short videos and literature detailing some of the ways AI is shaping the future of technology, including through so-called “deep learning,” language translation and Facebook’s own News Feed.

Given the recent controversy about the viral spread of fake news content on Facebook, this last point has garnered particular attention. After all, if Facebook could use AI to prevent hoaxes, scams and fake news, why hasn’t it done so already? One high-ranking Facebook official wondered the same thing himself this week.

“What’s the trade-off between filtering and censorship? Freedom of experience and decency?” Yann LeCun, Facebook’s director of artificial intelligence, told reporters during a roundtable this week. “The technology either exists or can be developed. But then the question is how does it make sense to deploy it? And this isn’t my department.”

Facebook has a vested interest in making users comfortable with AI; much of the company’s future rests with it. And while it’s troubling that the site so far hasn’t used it to prevent fake content, we might as well get used to the technology’s presence.

“AI is going to affect our lives and it’s going to affect technology and it’s very important to have some idea of how it works and what it can do,” LeCun said.


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Study: Facebook Privacy Controls Cause Privacy-Conscious Users To Share More http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Study-Facebook-Privacy-Controls-Cause-Privacy-Conscious-Users-To-Share-More.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Study-Facebook-Privacy-Controls-Cause-Privacy-Conscious-Users-To-Share-More.html/#comments Thu, 01 Dec 2016 14:32:22 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10261 The post Study: Facebook Privacy Controls Cause Privacy-Conscious Users To Share More appeared first on .

A new study released this week examines the relationship between Facebook’s privacy controls and how users shared content after the controls were released. The researchers conducting the study, published in an information systems journal, looked at so-called “disclosure patterns” on two of Facebook’s most popular sharing platforms: wall posts and private messages. They studied how…

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facebook-privacyA new study released this week examines the relationship between Facebook’s privacy controls and how users shared content after the controls were released.

The researchers conducting the study, published in an information systems journal, looked at so-called “disclosure patterns” on two of Facebook’s most popular sharing platforms: wall posts and private messages. They studied how much users shared on both following the December 2009 release of Facebook’s granular privacy controls that allowed users to set specific audiences for every piece of content posted.

A bit counter intuitively, the study found that more privacy-conscious users shared more on their public walls following the release of the controls, perhaps because they felt safer to do so. On the other hand, users who were less sensitive to privacy issues started publicly sharing less and used Facebook’s private messaging more. The study speculated that these users may have been spooked by the announcement of the privacy controls, and realized they needed to be more careful with what they shared.

However, the researchers behind the study noted that with its privacy changes, Facebook managed to both please advertisers by prodding users to share more while giving users the privacy controls they want. So even when users feel like they’ve won, Facebook still gets more of our data.


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New Tool Mines Facebook Data To Predict When You Will Die http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/New-Tool-Mines-Facebook-Data-To-Predict-When-You-Will-Die.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/New-Tool-Mines-Facebook-Data-To-Predict-When-You-Will-Die.html/#comments Wed, 30 Nov 2016 13:36:21 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10257 The post New Tool Mines Facebook Data To Predict When You Will Die appeared first on .

Video game developer Ubisoft recently developed an online tool called Predictive World that can access your Facebook profile and (allegedly) tell you things about yourself, including how tall your are, how much you weigh, how much you drink and smoke, and even when you are going to die. The tool, which was created in conjunction…

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Eye Looking Through A KeyholeVideo game developer Ubisoft recently developed an online tool called Predictive World that can access your Facebook profile and (allegedly) tell you things about yourself, including how tall your are, how much you weigh, how much you drink and smoke, and even when you are going to die.

The tool, which was created in conjunction with the Psychometrics Center at the University of Cambridge, serves to promote Watch Dogs 2, Ubisoft’s latest game that deals with themes of hacking and big data. According to the company, they created the site to show users just how much can be gleaned about them from the seemingly inconsequential information they share online.

“Each day, we leave a trail of more than 5 billion gigabytes of data behind us,” the video game company wrote. “This information comes from billions of collection points: from online transactions of course, to GPS signals, social media likes, texts we exchange, or even parking tickets, soda dispensers, etc. They are then sold, bought, and analyzed through different touch points in order to create strong and accurate probabilities on who we are or what we’re most likely to do.”

However, the tool may not be entirely accurate; writing for Naked Security, Lisa Vaas noted that Predictive World thought she was significantly heavier, taller and more cash-poor than she actually is. Still, it’s scary that tools like this that gather all of your Facebook information can be made so easily in the first place. For this reason, we often encourage our users to avoid such apps.


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Facebook Denies Report That Images Could Be Used To Hack Your Account http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Denies_Report-Images-Could-Be-Used-To-Hack-Your-Account.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Denies_Report-Images-Could-Be-Used-To-Hack-Your-Account.html/#comments Tue, 29 Nov 2016 17:00:11 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10253 The post Facebook Denies Report That Images Could Be Used To Hack Your Account appeared first on .

According to a new report, Facebook images could be used to contain and spread malicious code across the platform. The security researchers at Check Point, an Israeli security firm, publicized the flaw in Facebook’s defenses this week, noting that so-called “Locky” ransomware could be downloaded and installed by unwitting users via images. The security firm…

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skeleton_hackerAccording to a new report, Facebook images could be used to contain and spread malicious code across the platform.

The security researchers at Check Point, an Israeli security firm, publicized the flaw in Facebook’s defenses this week, noting that so-called “Locky” ransomware could be downloaded and installed by unwitting users via images. The security firm also claimed to have noticed a “massive spread” of this ransomware on Facebook in recent weeks, but Facebook vehemently denied the accusation.

“This analysis is incorrect,” the site said in a statement. “There is no connection to Locky or any other ransomware, and this is not appearing on Messenger or Facebook. We investigated these reports and discovered there were several bad Chrome extensions, which we have been blocking for nearly a week. We also reported the bad browser extensions to the appropriate parties.”

However, despite Facebook’s defense for the security problems that Check Point noticed, the overall vulnerability that the firm called out could still be a problem. Check Point says that it reported the vulnerability to Facebook in September, but the social media giant has not said if there is a fix in place. The site’s statement on the Check Point accusation also dodged this bigger, more serious question.


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Facebook Acquires “Emotion Detection” Facial Recognition Startup http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Acquires-%e2%80%9cEmotion-Detection%e2%80%9d-Facial-Recognition-Startup.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Acquires-%e2%80%9cEmotion-Detection%e2%80%9d-Facial-Recognition-Startup.html/#comments Fri, 25 Nov 2016 18:04:07 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10249 The post Facebook Acquires “Emotion Detection” Facial Recognition Startup appeared first on .

Facebook announced late last week that it acquired a facial recognition startup company to help compete with Snapchat’s filters. The startup, called FacioMetrics, specializes in creating face detection apps, including one that can recognize seven different emotions in human faces. There’s no doubt that Facebook has its sights set on Snapchat, the popular photo-sharing app…

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Facial recognitionFacebook announced late last week that it acquired a facial recognition startup company to help compete with Snapchat’s filters. The startup, called FacioMetrics, specializes in creating face detection apps, including one that can recognize seven different emotions in human faces.

There’s no doubt that Facebook has its sights set on Snapchat, the popular photo-sharing app that lets users apply “masks” and other visual effects to their faces. However, the potential for this technology extends far beyond that.

“We started FacioMetrics to respond to the increasing interest and demand for facial image analysis — with all kinds of applications including augmented/virtual reality, animation, audience reaction measurement, and others,” FacioMetrics said in a statement. “Now, we’re taking a big step forward by joining the team at Facebook, where we’ll be able to advance our work at an incredible scale, reaching people from across the globe.”

As TechCrunch points out, it’s within the realm of possibility that Facebook could use this technology to allow users to “like” or interact with pages using only facial expressions. Indeed, one of Facebook’s own stated goals for its AI program is to “recognize facial expressions and perform related actions.” Of course, this seemingly-harmless technology will also use our biometric data — a practice that has already landed Facebook in court around the world.


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[Scam Alert] Beware of Image Files spreading Ransomware on Facebook & LinkedIn http://facecrooks.com/Scam-Watch/Scam-Alert-Beware-Image-Files-spreading-Ransomware-Facebook-LinkedIn.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Scam-Watch/Scam-Alert-Beware-Image-Files-spreading-Ransomware-Facebook-LinkedIn.html/#comments Thu, 24 Nov 2016 16:28:50 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10247 The post [Scam Alert] Beware of Image Files spreading Ransomware on Facebook & LinkedIn appeared first on .

Security researchers recently discovered Locky Ransomware being spread on Facebook and LinkedIn. This new attack is being called ImageGate by Checkpoint security researchers. The malware is distributed by infected SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) image and graphic files. Users are prompted to download a codec allowing them to view the file in question.  We often warn…

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alert-150x150Security researchers recently discovered Locky Ransomware being spread on Facebook and LinkedIn. This new attack is being called ImageGate by Checkpoint security researchers.

The malware is distributed by infected SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) image and graphic files. Users are prompted to download a codec allowing them to view the file in question.  We often warn users about avoiding malicious extensions, as they are a favorite tool of cyber criminals. It’s important to note that the malware laden  images bypassed Facebook Messenger’s file extension filters, according to Blaze.

Once users open the downloaded file, the Locky ransomware becomes active. Our friends at Bitdefender have written extensively about the global ransomware threat. For those unfamiliar, ransomware encrypts all of the files on the infected system until a ransom is paid.

In October, Locky accounted for 5% of total malware attacks making it the second most common malware attack currently circulating.

We strongly encourage users to be suspicious of any image based files received via Facebook Messenger and LinkedIn contacts. It’s also a good idea to avoid downloading extensions of any kind. You shouldn’t need to download anything to view an image sent by a Facebook friend.


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Report: Facebook Created A Secret Censorship Tool To Get Back Into China http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Report-Facebook-Created-A-Secret-Censorship-Tool-To-Get-Back-Into-China.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Report-Facebook-Created-A-Secret-Censorship-Tool-To-Get-Back-Into-China.html/#comments Wed, 23 Nov 2016 20:31:01 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10244 The post Report: Facebook Created A Secret Censorship Tool To Get Back Into China appeared first on .

Facebook was blocked in China in 2009, its dedication to openness clashing with the Chinese government’s desire to censor and control communication. However, according to a new report in The New York Times, Facebook might be bending over backwards to accommodate Chinese censorship. Three anonymous current and former Facebook employees were quoted in the report…

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Censorship And Free SpeechFacebook was blocked in China in 2009, its dedication to openness clashing with the Chinese government’s desire to censor and control communication. However, according to a new report in The New York Times, Facebook might be bending over backwards to accommodate Chinese censorship.

Three anonymous current and former Facebook employees were quoted in the report saying that Facebook has quietly developed a censorship software tool that will allow the site to suppress posts in specific geographic areas. According to the report, this was designed to appease the Chinese government so the social network can reenter the country.

For its part, Facebook released a vague statement on the report, neither confirming nor denying the existence of the censorship software.

“We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country. However, we have not made any decision on our approach to China,” a Facebook spokesperson told Fortune. “Our focus right now is on helping Chinese businesses and developers expand to new markets outside China by using our ad platform.”

Facebook does not plan to suppress posts itself, but would likely offer the software to Chinese third-party partners that could decide what they wanted to do with it.

Of course, it’s important to note that this project may never see the light of day. Still, it’s troubling that Facebook is so willing to sacrifice free speech just to gain a bigger user base.


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