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Russia accuses Google, Facebook of election interference

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A new country says Google and Facebook may have interfered in its elections — just maybe not the one you’d expect.

Officials in Russia have said that Google and Facebook published election-related ads in violation of the country’s laws, Reuters reported

Yes, you read that correctly: Russia is accusing the two tech giants of election interference. 

At issue are laws that prohibit political ads “during elections on Sunday and on the preceding day,” according to Reuters. Russia’s Roskomnadzor, the government body that oversees the country’s media laws, has said Facebook and Google both ran ads during Sunday elections.  Read more…

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Facebook to teens: Plz laugh at these old memes

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Facebook, as part of its never-ending quest to win over teens, is now working on a feature just for memes and funny viral content.

The social network is experimenting with something it’s calling “LOL,” according to TechCrunch, which got a look at some early beta versions of the feature. 

While Facebook could eventually decide to make LOL into its own app, it’s for now part of the main Facebook app, as the company tests out the new experience, which TechCrunch describes as “a special feed of funny videos and GIF-like clips.”

“We are running a small scale test and the concept is in the early stages right now,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to Mashable.. Read more…

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Instagram says it’s not testing or building a reposting feature

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Instagram is reportedly testing new features that could dramatically change what your feed looks like.

As first reported by The Verge, the company is looking to introduce native reposting, which will allow users to share posts from other accounts to your own feed.

An Instagram spokesperson, however, told Mashable that it is not a feature the company is currently building or testing.

According to The Verge, who viewed two screenshots of the feature, the “seamless sharing” feature will introduce a “share to feed” button when you open the “…” menu in the top right corner of a post. Currently, users need to use a third-party app to repost. Read more…

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Twitter tests suggestions on people to unfollow for when your timeline is too much

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You’re likely familiar with Twitter’s suggestions on who to follow. Now, the company is asking some users if they want to unfollow people. 

As first pointed out by Slate, the social media platform is testing unfollow suggestions.

“We know that people want a relevant Twitter timeline. One way to do this is by unfollowing people they don’t engage with regularly. We ran an incredibly limited test to surface accounts that people were not engaging with to check if they’d like to unfollow them,” a Twitter spokesperson told the publication.

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‘The Onion’ promises it won’t stop trolling Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is getting a taste of what happens when you piss off The Onion. 

The satirical news site has been relentlessly trolling Zuckerberg and Facebook for the past few days and promises it’s only getting started.

While the satirical site is known for lampooning just about anyone and everyone in the public eye, the publication has been relentlessly trolling Facebook, more so than usual. Four anti-Facebook posts were pinned to the top of its homepage for much of the day Friday, three of which mention Zuckerberg by name or feature his photo. Read more…

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Facebook launches gaming video hub to take on Twitch

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Facebook is going after those eyeballs on Twitch.

The social network has launched fb.gg, a hub which makes it easier for people to find gaming content that’s been streamed on the platform.

Front and centre in the hub are primarily popular titles such as Fortnite, PUBG and FIFA 18, as well as a selection of recommended streams. 

If you’re already following a streamer, they’ll appear on the sidebar, and you can also view streams that your friends on Facebook have recently watched too.

Image: facebook

Facebook is also making its monetisation scheme a fixture in its Level Up Program, which it trialled earlier this year. Read more…

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Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, says he doesn’t have a laptop. At all.

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Jack Dorsey does everything from his phone. 

Seriously, the CEO of Twitter doesn’t have a laptop. He shared that fact at a press breakfast in Sydney, Australia on Friday.

“I don’t have a laptop, no, I do everything on my phone,” he told 9 News presenter Deb Knight, who’d asked Dorsey about his own online security practices. Knight was referencing the infamous photo of fellow social network CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in which his webcam is physically obscured with tape.

“It was important to me because I turn off my notifications, and for me it’s one application at a time. So I just have one app up, and I can really focus on what’s in front of me instead of everything coming at me as I would a laptop.” Read more…

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Shooting suspect slammed YouTube for ‘discriminating’ against her

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The suspected shooter at YouTube’s California headquarters on Tuesday has been identified as Nasim Najafi Aghdam, San Bruno Police confirmed.

A San Diego resident, Aghdam died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound after shooting three people, one of whom is in critical condition. A fourth victim injured their ankle while fleeing the scene at the San Bruno office. 

The suspected shooter in today’s YouTube incident has been identified. Please see press release for details – https://t.co/Xvr2l9bB9s pic.twitter.com/NEBoX3WWK5

— San Bruno Police (@SanBrunoPolice) April 4, 2018

On her website, Aghdam accused YouTube of “filtering” her videos to prevent them from getting views and embedded a video from prominent YouTube star Casey Neistat complaining about YouTube’s demonetization policy, known as the adpocalypse. Read more…

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Scientist at centre of Facebook scandal didn’t think data would be used to target voters

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The man who helped gather Facebook users’ information for Cambridge Analytica claims that he didn’t think it’d be used to target voters.

Data scientist Aleksandr Kogan, who also goes by the surname of Spectre, told CNN‘s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday that he was “heavily siloed” from knowing about the UK data firm’s clients and funders, who are linked to the 2016 Trump election campaign.

“I found out about Donald Trump just like everybody else, through the news,” Kogan told the program. 

Exclusive: Aleksandr Kogan, the data scientist who worked with Cambridge Analytica to harvest data, tells @AndersonCooper he didn’t know they would use the data to target voters. Full interview, tonight on 9p ET, on @CNN https://t.co/9L3itGMW79 pic.twitter.com/z4ny9vytCp

— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) March 21, 2018 Read more…

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Facebook suspends Trump-linked data firm Cambridge Analytica

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A data analytics firm linked to both Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Brexit referendum has been banned by Facebook.

Cambridge Analytica, the British firm that claimed it helped Trump get elected, has been suspended from Facebook, the company revealed. 

At issue is Cambridge Analytica’s use of user data obtained by a third-party developer, a University of Cambridge professor named Dr. Aleksandr Kogan. Kogan, according to Facebook, obtained information on 270,000 Facebook users via his app, which he touted as a research experiment.  Read more…

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Selfie tourism is killing these incredibly cute creatures

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Warning: this article contains images of animal abuse which some may find distressing.

A small furry creature huddles close to a tree branch on the edge of the forest. Its large, globular eyes are shut (it’s daytime, and so now it sleeps); its strong hands and arms hold firm even as it slumbers.

In a deep sleep, the creature doesn’t hear the rustling of approaching predators. Before it knows what’s happening, it’s plucked from the tree and bundled into a bag. When it is finally taken out into the blinding light of day, metal pliers are forced into its mouth to clip its teeth. Then it is shoved into a wire cage, alone and in pain. Read more…

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Facebook’s Workplace is turning into a serious Slack competitor

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Facebook may be the last company you’d ever expect to make software for serious businesses, but the social network is quickly proving the haters wrong.

A year after officially launching Workplace, the business-focused version of Facebook, the service now counts more than 30,000 businesses and organizations using the software, Facebook announced Thursday. 

That group, more than double what Workplace claimed six months ago, includes names like Starbucks, Spotify, Lyft, and Walmart.

Though not as huge as some of its biggest competitors — less than a year in Microsoft Teams counts more than 125,000 organizations — the growth is impressive, considering that it wasn’t that long ago that the idea of Facebook launching professional software seemed like more of a joke than anything else. Read more…

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Facebook comments might soon get colored backgrounds, because we all deserve to suffer

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Oh, no. First it was the colored statuses — those awful, ugly, often-gradient-based abominations that pop up in your Facebook feed now and then — but we thought at least our Facebook comments are safe. 

Well, not any more. It appears that Facebook is testing comments with colored backgrounds. 

First spotted by The Next Web on Wednesday, the feature allows users to choose from a solid or gradient color for the comment’s background, just like the statuses.

The feature currently appears to only be available on mobile, and only to a small subset of users. We’ve checked a dozen or so phones here at Mashable, and no one had the feature available.  Read more…

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