News

Facebook Roundup, July 22, 2022

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Wall Street Journal: Facebook Shifts Resources From News to Focus on Creator Economy. “Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook… is reallocating resources from its Facebook News tab and newsletter platform Bulletin, as the company focuses more on the creator economy, senior executive Campbell Brown told employees in a memo.” Gosh, this couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that Facebook is being increasingly forced to share ad revenue with publishers, could it?

Ghacks: Facebook has started to encrypt links to counter privacy-improving URL Stripping. “Facebook has started to use a different URL scheme for site links to combat URL stripping technologies that browsers such as Firefox or Brave use to improve privacy and prevent user tracking.” Facebook claims it’s fighting against scrapers. I don’t find that particularly credible.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Bloomberg: Facebook Internal Memo on Rivals Undercuts Antitrust Defense. “Facebook’s parent company insists that its social-networking and messaging services have dozens of outside rivals, but an internal memo reveals that Meta Platforms Inc.’s top executives were more worried about the threat posed by its own products…. It outlines ways to prevent Instagram and WhatsApp, acquired by Facebook in 2012 and 2014 respectively, from cannibalizing Facebook’s trajectory.”

WIRED: Instagram Slow to Tackle Bots Targeting Iranian Women’s Groups. “IRANIAN WOMEN’S RIGHTS groups have for months faced a deluge of bots following their Instagram accounts and disrupting their digital outreach operations. Activists say that while they have repeatedly asked Meta, Instagram’s parent company, to stymie the flood of junk followers, more keep coming, totaling in the millions across dozens of organizations operating in Iran and elsewhere around the world.”

Variety: BBC Sets Zuckerberg Doc to Mark 20 Years of Facebook – Global Bulletin. “The series, which will have access to key players, insider testimony, personal journals and rare archive material, is made by Mindhouse Productions and was commissioned by Jack Bootle, head of commissioning, science and natural history at the BBC.”

WIRED: At Facebook, It’s Always Been All About Growth. “This week on Gadget Lab, we’re joined by Shirin Ghaffary from Recode and Alex Heath from The Verge. The new season of their podcast, Land of the Giants, is all about Facebook’s transformation into Meta and what it means for the billions of people on Facebook, and in the world at large.” Audio along with a beautifully-formatted transcript on the same page.

SECURITY & LEGAL

Ars Technica: Facebook users’ lawsuit forces Mark Zuckerberg to give 6-hour deposition. “In 2018, when Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified for a Senate hearing following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, his most frequent response to questions was some iteration of the evasive phrase ‘my team will get back to you.’ Four years later, plaintiffs in a subsequent California class action lawsuit claim that Meta’s team of designees on various topics have been just as unprepared to answer questions as Zuckerberg was before the Senate.”

CNN: Another company called Meta says Facebook rebrand ‘obliterated’ its business. “Meta Platforms, the company formerly known as Facebook, has been sued for trademark infringement by MetaX LLC, a company that says it does business publicly as Meta and had been operating in the virtual and augmented reality technology space for years before Mark Zuckerberg announced his company’s rebranding.”

WIRED: A Lawsuit Against Meta Shows the Emptiness of Social Enterprises. “EARLIER THIS YEAR, Meta and its largest content moderation partner in Africa, Sama, were accused of union busting, forced labor, and human trafficking. The lawsuit claims that ‘misleading job ads’ lured potential employees from across Africa who, once realizing the true nature of the work, often had no means to get home. And when content moderator Daniel Motaung attempted to organize his colleagues for better working conditions and pay, Sama fired him.”

Euronews: UK tribunal quashes Meta-Giphy deal block, regulator to reconsider ruling. “Britain’s competition regulator said on Monday it would carry out another review of Facebook owner Meta’s acquisition of Giphy after a tribunal quashed its original decision to block it. Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) last year ordered Meta to sell animated images platform Giphy, which it acquired for a reported $400 million, because of its concerns about a loss of a possible competitor in advertising, and the potential impact on social media rivals.”

Techdirt: Facebook Is So Sure Its Erroneous Blocking Of Music Is Right, There’s No Option To Say It’s Wrong. “Facebook muted 41 seconds of a video [Markus Pössel] uploaded to Facebook because Universal Music Group (UMG) claimed to own the copyright for some of the audio that was played. Since the music in question came from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, and Bach died in 1750, there’s obviously no copyright claim on the music itself, which is definitely in the public domain. Instead, it seems, the claim was for the performance of this public domain music, which UMG says was played by Keith Jarrett, a jazz and classical pianist, and noted interpreter of Bach. Except that it wasn’t…”

RESEARCH & OPINION

The Miami Student: Facebook algorithm may favor the Republican party, study co-authored by Miami University professors finds . “New research from Miami University has shown that a change in the Facebook algorithm may have increased the visibility of posts from local Republican parties. Professors from Miami and Wright State University (WSU) found that, despite posting more, Democratic parties received significantly less interaction on their posts.”

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