Facebook Roundup, August 24, 2022


The Verge: A Facebook bug spammed celebrity comments to everyone for hours. “Facebook experienced a bizarre bug on Wednesday morning that filled user feeds with endless posts from celebrity accounts. Multiple Verge staffers who attempted to use the social media network experienced the same issue, where their main News Feed was flooded with minor posts sent to pages for artists like Lady Gaga, Nirvana, and The Beatles. As of 5:15AM ET the issue appears to have been resolved after creating three hours of chaos.”

Engadget: Meta’s anti-misinformation strategy for the 2022 midterms is mostly a repeat of 2020. “Meta has outlined its strategy for combatting misinformation during the 2022 US midterm elections, and they’ll mostly sound familiar if you remember the company’s 2020 approach.”

Ars Technica: Amid backlash from privacy advocates, Meta expands end-to-end encryption trial. “Meta is ever so slowly expanding its trial of end-to-end encryption in a bid to protect users from snoops and law enforcement.”


CNN: They built their businesses on Instagram. Then the platform changed. “As Instagram increasingly prioritizes videos and recommended posts in users’ feeds in an effort to keep pace with rival TikTok, some small businesses that were built on the platform are having a harder time reaching their followers and facing declining engagement, and say they’re worried about the future of their businesses.”

Reuters: Asset managers on alert after ‘WhatsApp’ crackdown on banks. “Asset managers are tightening controls on personal communication tools such as WhatsApp as they join banks in trying to ensure employees play by the rules when they do business with clients remotely.”

Engadget: Dozens of Facebook contractors lost their jobs after an algorithm reportedly chose them ‘at random’. “A firm contracted by Meta recently told dozens of its workers that their work for Facebook ‘was soon being taken away,’ according to a new report from Insider. The cuts affect about 60 employees of Accenture, a firm that oversees teams of Facebook moderators and other contractors.”

Washington Post: Facebook bans hate speech but still makes money from white supremacists. “Last year, a Facebook page administrator put out a clarion call for new followers: They were looking for ‘the good ole boys and girls from the south who believe in white [supremacy].’ The page — named Southern Brotherhood — was live on Tuesday afternoon and riddled with photos of swastikas and expressions of white power. Facebook has long banned content referencing white nationalism. But a plethora of hate groups still populate the site, and the company boosts its revenue by running ads on searches for these pages.”


Bleeping Computer: Misconfigured Meta Pixel exposed healthcare data of 1.3M patients. “U.S. healthcare provider Novant Health has disclosed a data breach impacting 1,362,296 individuals who have had their sensitive information mistakenly collected by the Meta Pixel ad tracking script. Meta Pixel (formerly Facebook Pixel) is a JavaScript tracking script that Facebook advertisers can add to their site to track advertising performance.”

CNET: Meta Reaches $37.5M Settlement in Facebook Location Tracking Lawsuit. “Court documents show that Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has reached a $37.5 million settlement in a lawsuit accusing the company of violating the privacy of some users by tracking their movements through their smartphones without permission. This is not the first time Facebook has been accused of tracking users.”

CNET: FTC Drops Mark Zuckerberg as Defendant in Antitrust Lawsuit. “The Federal Trade Commission has removed Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg as a defendant in an antitrust lawsuit that aims to block the company’s acquisition of virtual reality startup Within Unlimited. The agency said in a filing in a Northern California federal court that it had agreed to remove Zuckerberg as a defendant after the Facebook parent company’s CEO agreed to not try to personally purchase Within Unlimited.”

NPR: Nebraska cops used Facebook messages to investigate an alleged illegal abortion. “A 41-year-old woman is facing felony charges in Nebraska for allegedly helping her teenage daughter illegally abort a pregnancy, and the case highlights how law enforcement can make use of online communications in the post-Roe v. Wade era.”


Mashable: It took just one weekend for Meta’s new AI Chatbot to become racist. “The company’s new BlenderBot 3 AI chatbot — which was released in the U.S. just days ago on Friday, August 5 — is already making a host of false statements based on interactions it had with real humans online. Some of the more egregious among those include claims Donald Trump won the 2020 U.S. presidential election and is currently president, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, as well as comments calling out Facebook for all of its ‘fake news.'”

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