Internet Safety & Privacy

Facebook Hit With $270 Million Fine For Violating European Privacy Law

Facebook Hit With $270 Million Fine For Violating European Privacy Law

This week, the Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp was fined nearly $270 million by Irish authorities for not being transparent about how it uses the data collected from people on the platform. This decision marks the first major ruling against Facebook since the European Union instituted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), one of the strongest…

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Facebook Apologizes To Mother Of Fallen Soldier For Removing Her Account

Facebook Apologizes To Mother Of Fallen Soldier For Removing Her Account

This week, Facebook apologized to the mother of a Marine killed in the recent suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, after the social media giant “incorrectly deleted” her account. Shana Chappell, mother of 20-year-old fallen soldier Kareem Nikoui, had been extremely critical of President Joe Biden on social media following the attacks, posting that he “had…

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Report: Facebook Will Begin Deprioritizing Political Content In Users’ News Feeds

Report: Facebook Will Begin Deprioritizing Political Content In Users’ News Feeds

Facebook is often criticized for the way that its algorithm promotes content in users’ News Feeds. Too often, inflammatory speech and misinformation bubbles to the top simply because it drives more engagement. However, this past February, Facebook announced a new plan to curb this issue by limiting the amount of political content that appears in…

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Report: Facebook Is Struggling With Ivermectin Misinformation

Report: Facebook Is Struggling With Ivermectin Misinformation

For much of the past year and a half, Facebook has faced intense criticism for failing to stop the spread of medical misinformation surrounding COVID-19 and its treatments. And right when the company seems to be getting a handle on the issue, a new threat emerges. According to a report this week from The Verge,…

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Report: Facebook Considering Creation Of Election Commission This Fall

Report: Facebook Considering Creation Of Election Commission This Fall

Facebook has been repeatedly slammed in recent years for not doing enough to stop foreign actors from interfering in U.S. elections. Additionally, the company was strongly criticized for allowing misinformation to run rampant in the leadup to both the 2016 and 2020 U.S. presidential elections. That’s why Facebook is now reportedly considering forming an election…

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Report: Facebook Won’t Share Data With Researchers, Academics, Or The White House

Report: Facebook Won’t Share Data With Researchers, Academics, Or The White House

In recent weeks, tensions have risen between Facebook and lawmakers and researchers who want access to the company’s data. First, Facebook banned a group of NYU academics who were studying the impact of political advertising on its platform. Then, President Joe Biden publicly accused Facebook of “killing people” by allowing misinformation to spread. And now,…

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Facebook Backtracks, Releases Shelved Transparency Report That Made The Company Look Bad

Facebook Backtracks, Releases Shelved Transparency Report That Made The Company Look Bad

This week, Facebook finally released its transparency report from Q1 this year after executives shelved it because they feared it would make the company look bad. And it’s easy to see why: according to the report, the most-viewed link between January and March 2021 was a since-updated news story tying a Florida doctor’s death to…

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Free Speech Expert Says Facebook’s Ban On The Taliban Could Backfire

Free Speech Expert Says Facebook’s Ban On The Taliban Could Backfire

As the Taliban rapidly took back control of Afghanistan this week, Facebook asserted that it would continue to ban all content affiliated with the terrorist organization. But while that may seem like a no-brainer decision, free speech expert Jillian C. York believes it could actually result in important content criticizing the Taliban to be taken…

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Multiple Foundations Slam Facebook For Banning Disinformation Researchers

Multiple Foundations Slam Facebook For Banning Disinformation Researchers

Facebook set off a firestorm of controversy earlier this month when it banned a team of researchers from NYU who were investigating advertising practices on the platform. And now, multiple high-profile foundations and organizations have penned an open letter to the social media giant slamming it for its actions. The letter was signed by leaders…

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Report: Facebook “Group Experts” Feature Is Helping Spread Misinformation

Report: Facebook “Group Experts” Feature Is Helping Spread Misinformation

When Facebook created its “Group Experts” feature in the spring, the move was intended to help users identify “trusted, well-informed members.” However, according to a new report from the Tech Transparency Project, the feature may actually be having the opposite effect, lending respectability to militia groups and other extremists promoting misinformation on the platform. The…

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