Facebook Roundup, January 11, 2022


CNET: Instagram’s chronological feed is coming back. “Instagram has begun testing changes to the way you see your feed, including a return to the old chronological format. Under the new system, users would be able to switch between three different types of feeds on their home screen, called Home, Favorites and Following, Instagram head Adam Mosseri tweeted Wednesday.”

The Verge: Meta reportedly canceled a 300-person VR / AR operating system project. “Meta reportedly pulled the plug on a custom operating system that was supposed to power upcoming virtual and augmented reality headsets, although its full reasoning and future plans still aren’t clear, and the company has denied it’s scaling back its overall OS efforts. The Information reported the news today, saying the company formerly named Facebook suspended development of a project called XROS — named after XR, an umbrella term for AR / VR — in November.”

CNET: Meta rolling out a new hub for users to learn about privacy. “Meta wants you to feel safer using its products. The social media giant announced the Privacy Center on Friday, a one-stop shop for users to learn about the company’s approach to privacy across its platforms including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, and how to use the privacy tools it offers.”

Reuters: Facebook parent’s head of communications leaves company. “The head of communications at Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc, John Pinette, is leaving the company, the social media company said late on Friday. Chris Norton, vice president of international communications, will cover the role on an interim basis, a Meta spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Reuters.”


ProPublica: Facebook Hosted Surge of Misinformation and Insurrection Threats in Months Leading Up to Jan. 6 Attack, Records Show. “A ProPublica/Washington Post analysis of Facebook posts, internal company documents and interviews, provides the clearest evidence yet that the social media giant played a critical role in spreading lies that fomented the violence of Jan. 6.”

Techdirt: A Fight Between Facebook And The British Medical Journal Highlights The Difficulty Of Moderating ‘Medical Misinformation’. “Forcing down misinformation leads to all sorts of dangerous consequences. Hell, we saw this in China, where such a law was used to silence a doctor who tried to raise the alarm about COVID-19, and was forced to apologize for spreading ‘untruthful information online.’ But there’s another aspect of this which people rarely try to deal with: content moderation involves a lot of very gray areas and an awful lot of context, much of which may not be immediately obvious.”

New York Times: Why Did Facebook Reject These Ads?. “A new report found that the social network has rejected ads from 60 companies focused on women’s sexual health, citing policies on ‘adult products and services.'”

EuroNews Green: Could a new Facebook data centre throw the Netherland’s off its climate path?. “A new Facebook data centre in a small Dutch town may soon be using two times more energy annually than the whole town put together. The social media giant, now known as Meta, has provoked criticism from environmental groups in the country amid fears the data centre could make the Netherlands miss its climate goals. The plans for the 166 hectare site were voted through in December by the municipality’s council, which could pave the way for Meta to build the centre in Zeewolde, near Amsterdam.”


Notes from Poland: Facebook bans Polish far-right party for Covid disinformation and hate speech. “A Polish far-right political party has been banned from Facebook due to ‘repeated violations’ of the platform’s community standards regarding COVID-19 disinformation and hate speech. Figures from Poland’s national-conservative government have criticised the decision.”

CNBC: Judge grants FTC second chance to challenge Facebook on antitrust grounds. “A judge granted the Federal Trade Commission a second chance to pursue its charges of illegal monopolization against Facebook, rejecting the company’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit in a new filing on Tuesday.”


Mashable: Instagram is currently in its flop era. “Instagram is slowly dying. A 2021 survey from financial services firm Piper Sandler found that only 22 percent of teenagers said Instagram was their favorite social media platform, coming in third after Snapchat and TikTok. Back in 2015, the same survey showed Instagram as the preferred social media app among teens, with 33 percent of participants claiming it as their favorite… In 2016, the platform introduced in-feed shopping and switched from a chronological feed to an algorithm. In 2017, the app introduced recommended posts. And in the years since, Instagram has become more about e-commerce and less about sharing photos with your friends.”

Mozilla Blog: Mozilla partners with The Markup to launch Rally study into Facebook’s tracking and data collection practices. “Browser maker Mozilla today announced a partnership with The Markup, the non-profit newsroom that investigates how technology is reshaping society, on a research project to provide insights into and data about a space that’s opaque to policymakers, researchers and users themselves. By joining Mozilla and The Markup’s ‘Facebook Pixel Hunt’ in Firefox, people can help Rally and The Markup unravel how Facebook’s tracking infrastructure massively collects data about people online – data that is used to target ads, tailor content recommendations and spread misinformation – all by simply browsing the web.”

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