Facebook Update, May 23, 2022


The Verge: Meta freezes hiring for shopping team, Messenger Kids, and other products. “Meta is pulling back its investments in a number of products, including the teams it spun up early in the pandemic to compete with Zoom and build shopping features, The Verge has learned. In addition to a hiring freeze for certain engineering roles, the company also recently paused the hiring of recruiters and low-level data scientists.”

New York Times: Meta to give researchers more information on political ad targeting.. “Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, said that it planned to give outside researchers more detailed information on how political ads are targeted across its platform, providing insight into the ways that politicians, campaign operatives and political strategists buy and use ads ahead of the midterm elections.”

CNET: Facebook and Instagram Turn Off AR Filters In Texas and Illinois. “Meta has turned off augmented reality filters for Facebook and Instagram in Texas and Illinois due to facial recognition and privacy laws in those states.”


New York Times: Buffalo gunman’s video is surfacing on Facebook, sometimes with ads beside it.. “People searching on Facebook for footage of Saturday’s racist shooting rampage in Buffalo, N.Y., may have come across posts with footage of the attack or links to websites promising the gunman’s full video. Interspersed between those posts, they may have also seen a variety of ads. The social network has sometimes served ads next to posts offering clips of the video, which a gunman live streamed on the video platform Twitch as he killed 10 people.”

CNET: Meta Doesn’t Want Employees to Discuss Abortion at Work, Report Says. “Meta employees have been told not to discuss abortion on Workplace, the company’s internal version of Facebook, The Verge reported Friday. An executive apparently said doing so could lead to the company being seen a ‘hostile work environment’ following the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion indicating that the court will overturn Roe v. Wade next month.”

CNET: Facebook Says Content Was Mistakenly Pulled Down Because of a Bug. “Facebook parent company Meta said Tuesday that a bug resulted in content getting mistakenly pulled down in the first three months of this year. The social media giant said it fixed the problem and restored posts that were incorrectly flagged for violating its rules, including against terrorism and organized hate.”


Washington Post: The midterms are here. Critics say Facebook is already behind.. “Republican congressional candidate Joe Kent recently claimed ‘rampant voter fraud’ in the 2020 election in an ad on Facebook — a misinformation problem Facebook has tried to correct. The ad, which ran in mid-May as part of the Donald Trump-endorsed candidate’s race to win Washington state’s 3rd District, was one of several by the campaign to go undetected by Facebook’s system designed to remove false claims that the election results are invalid, according to a Washington Post analysis of Facebook’s ad library.”

Washington Post: Facebook quietly bankrolled small, grassroots groups to fight its battles in Washington. “Backed by millions from Facebook-parent company Meta, American Edge has launched a full-throated campaign to combat antitrust legislation in Washington, placing op-eds in regional papers throughout the country, commissioning studies, and collaborating with a surprising array of partners, including minority business associations, conservative think tanks, and former national security officials. It’s a political playbook more common to other industries, including pharmaceuticals, tobacco and telecommunications. But tech companies, under heightened scrutiny from federal regulators, are seizing on these methods. (Meta also paid a GOP consulting firm to malign TikTok, The Post reported in March.)”

TechCrunch: Meta faces years of tougher antitrust oversight in Germany. “Facebook’s rebranded parent, Meta, has become the next tech giant to be confirmed as subject to a special competition abuse control regime in Germany, following a 2021 update to its digital competition rules that are focused on large digital companies which are considered to be of ‘paramount significance for competition across markets’, as the law puts it. The designation, which stands for five years, empowers the regulator, the Federal Cartel Office (FCO), to take faster action to respond to competition concerns linked to Meta’s operations by imposing operational conditions intended to correct antitrust abuses.”


The Conversation: Facebook Dating was set to take over the market – instead it was dead in the water. “As an online dating technology researcher, I had an eye on Facebook Dating since its announcement. But as I never heard anything about its market success, it took me a while to look into it. Now, I think I have a good idea why the app failed.”

NiemanLab: What’s working for local TV stations on Facebook? Posting early, killing hashtags, skipping sports. “… what local TV stations publish on Facebook is important. They retain generally high levels of trust, and they’re reaching an audience that might not be seeking out much other news on digital platforms. That power can, of course, be used for good or for ill. It’s also the subject of a new paper which examines how local TV stations use their Facebook prominence — and what works for them in terms of making content that spreads.”

Motherboard: Facebook’s New AI System Has a ‘High Propensity’ for Racism and Bias. “Facebook and its parent company, Meta, recently released a new tool that can be used to quickly develop state-of-the-art AI. But according to the company’s researchers, the system has the same problem as its predecessors: It’s extremely bad at avoiding results that reinforce racist and sexist stereotypes.”

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