Facebook Roundup, March 7, 2022


The Verge: Meta reportedly breaks up the 300-person team that was building a hybrid VR / AR OS. “Meta has reportedly broken up the around 300-person team tasked with working on an OS for AR and VR headsets, moving some of the engineers to teams working on AR glasses and Oculus (er, Quest) headsets, according to a report by The Information. This comes after recent reports — which Meta denied at the time — that the company had halted work on the team’s project creating a unified custom operating system for its VR and AR headsets.”

The Verge: Facebook has stopped recommending Russian state media globally. “In a call with reporters on Tuesday, Meta executives said Russian media affiliated with the government had been demoted in the main Facebook Feed, and that it was no longer being recommended algorithmically anywhere on the social network. Instagram is also in the process of blocking all recommendations of Russian state media globally, the executives said, adding that links to outlets under the influence of the Russian government will be labeled on both apps.”

TIME: Facebook Content Moderators in Kenya Are Receiving a Pay Rise Following TIME Investigation . “Facebook content moderators based in Kenya will receive a salary increase of between 30% and 50%, in a move announced two weeks after a TIME investigation drew attention to low pay, poor working conditions and alleged union-busting by Sama, the outsourcing company that is their direct employer.”

CNET: Facebook Gives Up on Its College-Focused App . “Facebook tried to return to its roots with the 2020 launch of Campus, a niche designed for college students. But the pilot for this private section of the social network wasn’t a success and will shut down March 10, the company confirmed to CNET.”


WIRED: Dependent on Facebook Groups? Here’s How to Break Free. “In this group, and other similar Facebook groups I belong to, people ask for extra vials of insulin, a spare continuous glucose monitor, supplies that will help their children survive until morning and beyond. I don’t know what I would do without these circles that I go to daily for input from more experienced parents of kids with type 1 diabetes, and, occasionally, simply to express sadness that my son has to struggle with this disease. Complicating my reliance on Facebook groups is the unfortunate fact that I, like many others, have serious issues with Facebook, Meta, and Mark Zuckerberg.”


CNET: Meta’s Plea At MWC 2022: Come Build Metaverse-Ready Networks With Us. “On the eve of the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Facebook parent company Meta issued a bid for partners to work with the company on bringing its vision for the metaverse to life.”

BuzzFeed News: Russia Said It Has Blocked Facebook. “Amid the country’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s communications regulator said it blocked Facebook because of 26 cases of ‘discrimination against Russian media and information resources’ since October 2020.”

CNN: How Mark Zuckerberg is trying to reduce his exposure to public scrutiny. “When Russia moved to ‘partially restrict’ Facebook access in the country last week, drawing the social network deeper into an international conflict, it prompted a defiant response from the company’s most visible representative on the world stage. Not Mark Zuckerberg, but Nick Clegg.”

BBC: Facebook hits out at Russia blocking its platforms. “Facebook has hit out at a ban on its platforms introduced in Russia on Friday amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. Russia’s communications regulator said the ban was a response to restrictions placed on its media there.”


Irish Times: Court told of former Facebook moderator’s security concerns. “A former Facebook content moderator who is suing the firm over alleged mental health damage arising out of their employment has been granted anonymity by the High Court after expressing fears for their security and safety. The employee, a non-EU national, said there were concerns the nature of their previous role within the social media company puts them at risk of government retaliation in another jurisdiction they regularly visit.”


Bloomberg: Facebook researchers find its apps can make us lonelier. “Loneliness has come into sharper focus at Meta during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people use its social media apps as alternatives to in-person experiences. Meta has promoted its role as a digital connector, running ads touting its groups and messaging products. ‘We change the game when we find each other,’ reads a tagline for one of its recent commercials. But internally, employees are questioning their products’ impact on mental health. Meta wants to address the problem but doesn’t know how.”

Mashable: A massive Facebook redesign just went live for me, and it’s…not great. “It’s been almost exactly two years since Facebook launched its last major redesign, which included a big change in the site’s navigation, a cleaner look (with nearly none of the company’s favoured blue color to be seen), as well as the optional dark mode. It was a major change, and it took some getting used to, but it was a much-needed overhaul of the over-cluttered Facebook of old. This new change is disorienting.” Good morning, Internet…

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