Facebook Protect, America250 Foundation, Lawsuits, More: Facebook Roundup, March 21, 2022


The Verge: Facebook is locking out people who didn’t activate Facebook Protect. “Early in March, a bunch of Facebook users got a mysterious, spam-like email titled ‘Your account requires advanced security from Facebook Protect’ and telling them that they were required to turn on the Facebook Protect feature (which they could do by hitting a link in the email) by a certain date, or they would be locked out of their account.”

KnowTechie: Meta finally adds parental supervision tools in its VR headset. “Meta is bringing parental supervision tools to its Meta Quest VR headsets, almost three years after the first release. Three years! Now, concerned parents can limit what can be accessed on the headsets, but the features aren’t quite ready yet. Instead, parents will have to wait as Meta gradually rolls out its supervision tools. The first feature will be an expansion of the existing unlock pattern, starting in April.”


Wall Street Journal: Facebook Gains Inside Role in U.S. 250th Anniversary Project With $10 Million Agreement. “The America250 Foundation, a nonprofit planning the government’s observance of the American Revolution’s 250th anniversary, has signed a deal with Meta Platforms Inc. giving Facebook’s parent an inside role in producing and promoting the Semiquincentennial commemoration in exchange for $10 million, according to documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal and confirmed by the company.”

USA Today: ‘They cannot be trusted’: Lawmakers slam Facebook over sale of deadly children’s products. “Despite repeated warnings that Facebook Marketplace allows the sale of recalled products that have killed children, the platform’s parent company, Meta, has still failed to prevent such items from being available on its site. Now, members of Congress are demanding the company do more, writing to Meta last week that its ‘continued failure’ to block the sale of recalled items is a ‘remarkable dereliction of duty by your company on behalf of your users.'”

CNN: Why WhatsApp wants to convince Americans to stop sending text messages. “Data shared with CNN Business by research firm eMarketer indicates WhatsApp had less than 63 million users in the United States as of last year, or around 19% of the country’s population. That’s far behind its audience in countries such as India, Brazil and Indonesia where it is among the most popular modes of communication. India alone has nearly 500 million WhatsApp users according to eMarketer, which is more than a third of its population and over half its internet user base.”

CNET: Mark Zuckerberg Talks Building Avatars and Buying Sweatshirts in the Metaverse. “Zuckerberg was speaking via video at SXSW on Tuesday, in conversation with Daymond John, founder and CEO of Fubu, and one of the sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank. He touched on a variety of issues facing the metaverse, very broadly defined as a digital world (or worlds) that builds off the internet, via technology including smartphones, VR headsets and AR glasses, and that will be a place to socialize, work and shop. ”


Chicago Tribune: Nearly 1.6 million Illinois Facebook users could get checks soon after appeals court upholds $650 million settlement. “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Hawaii issued a ruling Thursday upholding the class-action settlement over Facebook’s alleged violations of Illinois’ biometric privacy law. Barring further appeal, the money will go to Illinois class members within 60 days, according to Chicago attorney Jay Edelson, who filed the lawsuit against Facebook nearly seven years ago.”

New York Times: A judge throws out D.C.’s attempt to name Zuckerberg in a privacy lawsuit.. “A judge on Tuesday threw out motions by the attorney general of the District of Columbia to name Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Meta, as a defendant in a privacy lawsuit.”

BBC: Australia sues Facebook over scam ads impersonating celebrities. “Australia has launched legal action against Facebook’s parent company Meta, alleging it allowed scam ads to target users with fake celebrity endorsements. The tech giant had engaged in ‘false, misleading or deceptive conduct’ by knowingly hosting the ads for bogus cryptocurrencies, a regulator said.”

The Verge: Ireland fines Meta for bad record-keeping. “In 2018, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) was alarmed when Facebook notified the commission, between June and December, of 12 separate data breaches that affected up to 30 million users, TechCrunch reports. The DPC began to investigate and now Meta, Facebook’s parent company, has been fined 17 million euros ($18.6 million USD).”

Independent: India’s opposition calls for Facebook to stop meddling in elections after damning report. “The leader of India’s largest and oldest opposition Congress party has called out Facebook and Twitter over ‘systematic interference’ in the country’s electoral politics. Taking up the issue in the Indian parliament on Wednesday, Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born Congress president, said social media is being abused to ‘hack our democracy’ and distorting the ‘level playing field’ by ‘favouring’ the ruling, right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).”

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