Facebook Roundup, December 29, 2021


KnowTechie: Surprise! Meta has been voted worst company of the year for 2021. “The Yahoo Finance community has spoken and it has voted for Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, as 2021’s worst company of the year. The competition was stiff this year, but Meta’s year of controversy has been enough to award it the crown.”


Lifehacker: How to Spot ‘Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior’ on Facebook, According to Snopes. “You probably can’t do much to shield yourself from this kind of stuff, short of swearing off social media forever. But you can learn to recognize it for what it is. Here are some tips on how to spot this particular brand of fake news, according to”


BuzzFeed News: “Corrosive Communities”: How A Facebook Fight Over Wind Power Predicts the Future of Local Politics in America. “Like higher-profile local battles over mask mandates and critical race theory, disagreements over wind policy have become intensely antagonistic and frequently hysterical. But unlike those issues, opposition to turbines isn’t neatly polarized along red–blue lines: It often pits conservatives against conservatives and liberals against liberals. Nor does it revolve around a once-in-a-generation event, like a global pandemic. Instead, it’s elemental — quite literally, in the air. In this sense, it may offer the purest example yet of the power of social media to warp local politics in 2021, to make a single emotional issue stand in for and subsume all others.”

CNN: Zombies, laser tag and confusion: Here’s what it’s like inside Meta’s virtual world. “Horizon Worlds is Meta’s most ambitious effort yet to get people to hang out together in VR, after spending billions on this technology and recently making it an even bigger focus focus as the company touts its ‘metaverse’ ambitions. The launch comes at a promising moment: VR is more affordable, accessible and capable than ever before. But challenges remain.”


The Verge: FTC opens antitrust probe into Meta’s purchase of VR fitness app Supernatural. “The probe means that antitrust regulators are starting to scrutinize the-company-formally-known-as-Facebook’s interest in scooping up VR startups, not just its traditional social media acquisitions. According to The Information’s Josh Sisco, Meta’s previous five virtual reality acquisitions, including its deal for the studio behind hit game Beat Saber, weren’t probed by the government because the purchase prices were too small. ‘But those regulators are slowing down the $400 million-plus Supernatural deal, according to two people with knowledge of the situation,’ the report notes.”

Politico: Islamic extremists sidestep Facebook’s content police. “Photos of beheadings, extremist propaganda and violent hate speech related to Islamic State and the Taliban were shared for months within Facebook groups over the past year despite the social networking giant’s claims it had increased efforts to remove such content. The posts — some tagged as ‘insightful’ and ‘engaging’ via new Facebook tools to promote community interactions — championed the Islamic extremists’ violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, including videos of suicide bombings and calls to attack rivals across the region and in the West, according to a review of social media activity between April and December. At least one of the groups contained more than 100,000 members.”

CNET: Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp users targeted in phishing scheme. “Meta, formerly known as Facebook, said Monday it’s suing people who are behind a phishing scheme to steal usernames and passwords from its platforms. The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Northern California, says that since 2019 more than 39,000 websites have been created that impersonated the login pages for Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.”

BBC: Fake Covid passes advertised for sale online. “Fraudsters are directing people on Facebook to sites claiming to sell fake Covid vaccine passes for those who have not been jabbed, the BBC has found. People in the UK are required to prove their vaccination status in order to access some places and to avoid self-isolation after travelling abroad.”

SecurityWeek: Facebook Patches Vulnerability Exposing Page Admin Identity. “Businesses can use Facebook Pages to increase the visibility of their brand on the social media platform, but the Facebook account that has administrative rights over the page remains private. However, 19-year-old Sudip Shah from Pokhara, Nepal, discovered that an insecure direct object reference (IDOR) vulnerability in Facebook for Android could be exploited to reveal the identity of the page admin.”

News @ Northeastern: Will The Metaverse Protect Our Privacy— Or Will It Exploit Us More Than Ever?. “The metaverse is more than the latest obsession of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. It’s a three-dimensional world of virtual and augmented reality that we will be exploring—via our digital avatars—over the next decade. Amid the unlimited possibilities of what may be coming, consider this reality. If our privacy is already under siege in the two-dimensional internet, imagine how vulnerable we may be in 3D?”


EFF: Virtual Worlds, Real People: Human Rights in the Metaverse. “Today, December 10, is International Human Rights Day. On this day in 1948, the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the document that lays out the principles and building blocks of current and future human rights instruments. In honor of this anniversary, Access Now and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) are calling upon governments and companies to address human rights in the context of virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) and ensure that these rights are respected and enforced.”

WBEZ: I’m a Black woman and the metaverse scares me. Here’s how to make the next iteration of the internet inclusive. . “Problems are already surfacing. Avatars, the graphical personas people can create or buy to represent themselves in virtual environments, are being priced differently based on the perceived race of the avatar, and racist and sexist harassment is cropping up in today’s pre-metaverse immersive environments. Ensuring that this next iteration of the internet is inclusive and works for everyone will require that people from marginalized communities take the lead in shaping it.

Carnegie Mellon University: Facebook Consumers Face Challenges In Valuing Personal Data. “While platforms can quantify the value of users’ data to the platform, users face hurdles in pinpointing the value of data to themselves, which jeopardizes the equitable allocation of the benefits from consumer data. A new study examined how Facebook consumers’ valuations of their personal data change once they have received information about the value of that data and how valuations vary across demographic groups. The study identified substantial differences in users’ valuations of their social media data by gender, race, and income.”


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