Elizabeth Warren's mission to break up Facebook gets help -- from Facebook

Facebook turns to Twitter to explain outages

Facebook is developing technology that could soon make it possible to read your mind. CEO Mark Zuckerberg detailed how the firm is researching a 'brain-computer interface'
Mark Zuckerberg wants to build a ‘brain-computer interface’ that can read your THOUGHTS, report claims

Mark Zuckerberg wants to build a ‘brain-computer interface’ that can read your THOUGHTS, report claimsDonie O’SullivanCNN Business

Washington DC (CNN Business) – Facebook, the world’s largest social network, relied on Twitter on Wednesday to explain that its apps were experiencing outages around the world.

Some users of Facebook (FB) and other platforms owned by the tech giant, including Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, experienced problems accessing the services. Many people went on Twitter to vent their frustration.

In the future, Zuckerberg said the interface would let users interact with augmented reality environments using just their brain - no keyboards, touchscreens or hand gestures required
In the future, Zuckerberg said the interface would let users interact with augmented reality environments using just their brain – no keyboards, touchscreens or hand gestures required

The outages began Wednesday afternoon and appeared to affect people in multiple areas, including the US, Central and South America, and Europe, according to tweets and the outage-tracking site DownDetector.com.

Elizabeth Warren’s mission to break up Facebook gets help — from Facebook

“We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible,” Facebook tweeted.

Facebook@facebook

We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.42.9K5:49 PM – Mar 13, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy29.4K people are talking about this. Despite some early online rumors that the outages were the result of a distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attack — a type of hack in which attackers flood a company’s network — Facebook said in another tweet that “the issue is not related to a DDoS attack.”

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Facebook performs U-turn after removing Sen. Elizabeth Warren's ads calling for break up of social media giant and Amazon and Google because they have 'bulldozed the competition and used private information for profit'

Facebook says the future is private messaging, not public posts

Facebook temporarily removed several ads by senator Elizabeth Warren calling for the break up of large tech companies including the social media giant. Pictured: Warren talking about her tech company proposals on Saturday at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas
Facebook temporarily removed several ads by senator Elizabeth Warren calling for the break up of large tech companies including the social media giant. Pictured: Warren talking about her tech company proposals on Saturday at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas

“The future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever.” – CJR Editors mingram@cjr.org via mailchimpapp.net 

On Wednesday, in what seemed like a major shift, Mark Zuckerberg wrote that he wants to reorient Facebook around private, encrypted, and ephemeral messaging, rather than public sharing. This could have significant implications not just for regulators, who have been trying to get Facebook to crack down on offensive and violent content, but also for the future of news and information—including misinformation.

In the past, Zuckerberg has said that his aim was to connect people and make it easier for them to share. And in part because of how Facebook’s advertising engine works, the focus has been on making as much of that sharing as public as possible. But Zuckerberg seems to have changed his views. “As I think about the future of the internet, I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms,” he wrote. “The future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever.”

More than ever before, Zuckerberg seemed to admit there have been downsides to Facebook’s emphasis on public sharing, including “child exploitation, terrorism and extortion.” He may have been pushed to this realization by the ongoing firestorm of criticism Facebook has received—not just because of the 2016 elections, but also owing to its role in promoting violence in Myanmar, India, and elsewhere. This new commitment to privacy, however, comes with trade-offs, since a more private Facebook is less subject to public scrutiny—and that could make misinformation more difficult to track.

In focusing on the private and ephemeral, Zuckerberg appears to be embracing the model he borrowed (or stole) from Snapchat, which pioneered self-destructing posts in 2011 and turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook two years later. Since then, Facebook has implemented Snapchat-like features in WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger.

“The future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever.”

More than ever before, Zuckerberg seemed to admit there have been downsides to Facebook’s emphasis on public sharing, including “child exploitation, terrorism and extortion.” He may have been pushed to this realization by the ongoing firestorm of criticism Facebook has received—not just because of the 2016 elections, but also owing to its role in promoting violence in Myanmar, India, and elsewhere. This new commitment to privacy, however, comes with trade-offs, since a more private Facebook is less subject to public scrutiny—and that could make misinformation more difficult to track.

In focusing on the private and ephemeral, Zuckerberg appears to be embracing the model he borrowed (or stole) from Snapchat, which pioneered self-destructing posts in 2011 and turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook two years later. Since then, Facebook has implemented Snapchat-like features in WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger.

Is Facebook making changes because they are better for users, or because they make life easier for Facebook?

If hateful or violent content will soon appear in private rather than public messages, does that mean the company is no longer liable for the spread of that content?

The latter question has already come up in India, where much of the violence driven by WhatsApp has been fueled by messages posted in private groups.

When it comes to journalism, Facebook’s reorientation seems to take it even further away from being the kind of public distribution outlet many media companies have come to rely on. Although the fruit Facebook offered to publishers may have been poisoned, the reach—and, in some cases, ad revenue—it provided has become a staple of many media business models. Will private sharing mark the end of Facebook’s supposed commitment to helping journalism?

Here’s more on Facebook’s announcement and the reaction to it:

Since then, Facebook has implemented Snapchat-like features in WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger.
The latter question has already come up in India, where much of the violence driven by WhatsApp has been fueled by messages posted in private groups.

When it comes to journalism, Facebook’s reorientation seems to take it even further away from being the kind of public distribution outlet many media companies have come to rely on. Although the fruit Facebook offered to publishers may have been poisoned, the reach—and, in some cases, ad revenue—it provided has become a staple of many media business models. Will private sharing mark the end of Facebook’s supposed commitment to helping journalism?

Here’s more on Facebook’s announcement and the reaction to it:

  • Soiled culture: Recode founder Kara Swisher wrote on Twitter that it’s a bit rich for Zuckerberg to suddenly get religion about privacy. “I love that he declares this privacy thing might matter after being a big part of the soiling of online culture with sloppy public sharing tools,” says Swisher. New York Times writer Jon Herrman made a related point, noting that Zuckerberg is now arguing against the very norms of behavior—open, transparent, public—that he promoted for the past decade or so.

Data breaches, information leaks and misinformation, oh my!

To delete or not delete your Facebook account — that is the question! By KASSIDY VAVRA, msn news

Mark Zuckerberg in a blue shirt

© Christophe Morin/IP3 / Getty Images

|AIWAI! NO!|Data breaches, information leaks and misinformation, oh my!

Users are facing a multitude of factors influencing the debate on whether they should delete their Facebook accounts due to scandals involving the company.

A new wave of users decided Wednesday to leave the site for good following a New York Times report revealing that the social media giant shared users’ personal data with third-party sites such as Netflix, Spotify and Amazon.

“I remember simpler times, when my biggest facebook concern was whether I was tagged in that photo with my buddy’s bong visible in the background. Burn it down. #DeleteFacebook,” Twitter user @mjdono25 wrote.

Download the Microsoft News app for your Android or iPhone device and get news & live updates on the go.

“I decided to follow suit today. @facebook needs to make some serious changes in order to regain the trust of a great deal of users. A) Tackle foreign interference and misinformation campaigns. B) Don’t share my information. Enough is enough #DeleteFacebook,” Twitter user @Rico_Stave wrote.

Social media experts aren’t surprised users are throwing in the towel.

“Nobody who watches the industry is surprised by this,” said Karen North, Professor of digital media at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Berlin, Germany - December 20: In this photo illustration a crumpled paper napkin with the lettering from facebook lies in a wastebasket on December 20, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo Illustration by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)

© Catalyst Images Berlin, Germany – December 20: In this photo illustration a crumpled paper napkin with the lettering from facebook lies in a wastebasket on December 20, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo Illustration by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)Many users began sharing instructions on how to delete accounts permanently — but other users argued simply deleting or deactivating an account does not solve the problem if their information has already been accessed by third-party platforms.

Jaron Lanier, Author of “Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now,” said many users are often hesitant to delete their social media accounts because they are “addicted” — and Facebook itself may be addicted, too.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 19: Information about Facebook stock shares is displayed on a monitor as traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at the closing bell, November 19, 2018 in New York City. Technology stocks continued to plunge on Monday, with Facebook and Apple down again as the Dow Jones Industrial average dropped nearly 400 points on the day. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

© Catalyst Images NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 19: Information about Facebook stock shares is displayed on a monitor as traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at the closing bell, November 19, 2018 in New York City. Technology stocks continued to plunge on Monday, with Facebook and Apple down again as the Dow Jones Industrial average dropped nearly 400 points on the day. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)“Facebook’s actions are the worst in the industry. It’s not that they’re bad people… I think what it is, is they haven’t been able to integrate into their own minds that they’re damaging the world. It’s such a difficult message… In a way they’re addicted themselves,” Lanier said.

Lanier noted it can be difficult for people to delete their accounts. People often have years’ worth of pictures on the platform and friends from high school or around the globe that they were not able to connect with before the social media giant existed.

“Obviously deleting an account requires a degree of commitment and bravery in a way. It means you’re going to have to delete a portion of your life,” Lanier said.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 19: Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at the closing bell, November 19, 2018 in New York City. Technology stocks continued to plunge on Monday, with Facebook and Apple down again as the Dow Jones Industrial average dropped nearly 400 points on the day. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

© Catalyst Images NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 19: Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at the closing bell, November 19, 2018 in New York City. Technology stocks continued to plunge on Monday, with Facebook and Apple down again as the Dow Jones Industrial average dropped nearly 400 points on the day. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)Lanier — who does not have any social media accounts himself — believes deleting accounts will be instrumental in mankind’s survival.

“When you realize the whole world’s being driven by this stuff, that politics have gone haywire… That people are acting out of a sense of paranoia and irritation that isn’t rational… I think a lot of people are scared that it’s our own doing… What they don’t realize is it’s their own personal lives it affects,” Lanier said.

“I don’t think you can have a civilization survive that has people in this system… it’s a recipe for disaster for civilizational collapse.”

MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 18: Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg speaks during a Facebook Community Boost event at the Knight Center on December 18, 2018 in Miami, Florida. The Community Boost event is the last of a 50 city tour across the U.S. and is put on by the social media company to give people access to in-person training programs, which includes free workshops and networking designed to help small businesses use the social media platform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

© Catalyst Images MIAMI, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 18: Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg speaks during a Facebook Community Boost event at the Knight Center on December 18, 2018 in Miami, Florida. The Community Boost event is the last of a 50 city tour across the U.S. and is put on by the social media company to give people access to in-person training programs, which includes free workshops and networking designed to help small businesses use the social media platform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)Even if users delete their Facebook account, the social media behemoth owns a multitude of other platforms — including Instagram and Whatsapp.

North said Facebook’s actions have been contradicted by numerous statements amid scandals involving privacy breaches and data mining.

“I think the thing that has given fuel to the fire is that Facebook has been so public in its very strong statements in concerns for our privacy, and that it has been hypocritical,” North said.

KRAKOW, POLAND - 2018/12/18: Facebook logo is seen on an android mobile phone. (Photo by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

© Catalyst Images KRAKOW, POLAND – 2018/12/18: Facebook logo is seen on an android mobile phone. (Photo by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)Facebook may not have violated any laws or its own privacy policies — that will be decided by courts — but it still creates trust problems for users because it is ”misleading.”

“People don’t like to be tricked. Even if we’ve agreed to it, we feel like we’ve stabbed in the back. It’s like catching a friend in the lie… It erodes the relationship that we have with Facebook,” North said.