Facebook Roundup, February 17, 2022


CNET: Meta rolls out vanish mode, payment splitting for US Messenger users. “Facebook Messenger rolled out new features — including splitting payments, vanishing messages and improved voice message recording controls — to iOS and Android users in the US on Wednesday, according to Meta.”

Bloomberg: Meta’s Clegg Promoted as Zuckerberg Steps Back From Policy. “Meta Platforms Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has promoted his top policy executive, Nick Clegg, to an even greater role inside the company — a move that will mean less involvement in future policy decisions for the CEO and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.”

The Verge: Facebook rebrands News Feed after more than 15 years. “Meta is changing the name of Facebook’s News Feed, the primary part of the service that users scroll through to see what their friends and family have shared. Going forward, it’ll just be called the ‘Feed,’ according to a tweet from the company on Tuesday. The ‘News Feed’ name had been in place since the feature was first introduced more than 15 years ago.”

New York Times: Out With the Facebookers. In With the Metamates.. “So past Facebook values like ‘Be bold’ and ‘Focus on impact’? They are gone. In their place are ‘Live in the future,’ ‘Build awesome things,’ ‘Focus on long-term impact’ and ‘Meta, Metamates, me,’ Mr. Zuckerberg said on Tuesday.”


TIME: Inside Facebook’s African Sweatshop. “Here in Nairobi, Sama employees who speak at least 11 African languages between them toil day and night, working as outsourced Facebook content moderators: the emergency first responders of social media. They perform the brutal task of viewing and removing illegal or banned content from Facebook before it is seen by the average user.”

New York Times: Meta and Salesforce present differing takes on the metaverse.. “Real world or virtual world? Take your pick. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, set its Super Bowl ad in the metaverse. In the ad, an animatronic dog and its friend, a pink-tentacled monster, are separated in their physical reality but reunited via the company’s Quest 2 virtual reality headsets.”

BuzzFeed News: Meta Wouldn’t Tell Us How It Enforces Its Rules In VR, So We Ran A Test To Find Out. “Facebook’s parent company declined to answer our questions about how it moderates content in VR, so we created a test Horizon World filled with content banned from Facebook and Instagram. Content moderators said the world was fine — until we told Meta’s PR team about it.”


CNET: Texas Sues Facebook Over Its Use of Facial Recognition. “Texas is suing Meta, the parent company of Facebook, over the social network’s past use of facial recognition technology. The suit, filed Monday by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, accuses Facebook of violating the state’s privacy laws by capturing biometric data on tens of millions of Texans without properly obtaining consent.”

Reuters: Meta’s Facebook to pay $90 million to settle privacy lawsuit over user tracking. “Facebook agreed to pay $90 million to settle a decade-old privacy lawsuit accusing it of tracking users’ internet activity even after they logged out of the social media website. A proposed preliminary settlement was filed on Monday night with the U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, and requires a judge’s approval. The accord also requires Facebook to delete data it collected improperly.”


TechCrunch: How to ruin the metaverse? Build it around profit and centralization. “Reading back through a transcript from Facebook’s investor-disappointing fourth-quarter earnings call has solidified my perspective that we need a third-party, benevolent central entity for the metaverse. A sort of central digital clearinghouse that can transport me from place to place, inclusive of the platform-locked areas that will inevitably come to constitute a portion of our online selves.”

New York Times: Facebook Has an Innovation Problem. “Facebook can’t seem to do it. The company just doesn’t appear to know how to invent successful new stuff. Most of its biggest hits — not just two of its main products, Instagram and WhatsApp, but many of its most-used features, like Instagram Stories — were invented elsewhere. They made their way to Facebook either through acquisitions or, when that didn’t work, outright copying. But buying and copying other ideas is becoming increasingly difficult for Facebook.”

George Washington University: Study: Corrections on Facebook News Feed Reduce Misinformation. “Factual corrections published on Facebook’s news feed can reduce a user’s belief in misinformation, even across partisan lines, according to a new paper co-authored by a George Washington University assistant professor published this month in the Journal of Politics.”

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