Category Archives: World Wide Web

[P]eople on online forums worked aggressively to undermine news reports about a troubled teen accused of killing 17 people

The Washington Post: We studied thousands of anonymous posts about the Parkland attack — and found a conspiracy in the making.

“Forty-seven minutes after news broke of a high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., the posters on the anonymous chat board 8chan had devised a plan to bend the public narrative to their own designs: “Start looking for [Jewish] numerology and crisis actors.”

The voices from this dark corner of the Internet quickly coalesced around a plan of attack: Use details gleaned from news reports and other sources to push false information about one of America’s deadliest school shootings.
The success of this effort would soon illustrate how lies that thrive on raucous online platforms increasingly shape public understanding of major events. As much of the nation mourned, the story concocted on anonymous chat rooms soon burst onto YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, where the theories surged in popularity.”

Link via Garret.

18 years + 8 days

I just realized that I missed this weblog’s 18th anniversary last week on January 25th. It’s all grown up now…

To continue my tradition:

On this day in…
2005 (a day late)
2008 (16 days late)
2009 (six days late)
2011 (three days late)
2014 (eleven days late, though I posted in the meantime)
2015 (forgot the anniversary entirely, closest post was three days later)

Facebook is cutting out the human element of [tagging the photo]

NPR the two-way: Facebook Expands Use Of Facial Recognition To ID Users In Photos.

“Facebook is expanding its use of facial recognition software to alert users when photos of them are posted on the platform — whether or not they are tagged in the photo.

By default, Facebook users in the U.S. will be signed up for these face recognition alerts, unless they have previously opted out of a similar, more limited feature. But users can turn off face recognition, Facebook says.

Additionally, the company says it will roll out new tools to alert users if someone else may be impersonating them with a misleading profile photo.”

“Das Ausmaß der Datensammlung verstößt gegen zwingende europäische Datenschutzwertungen”

Deutsche Welle: Bundeskartellamt: Facebook missbraucht Nutzer-Daten. “Das Onlinenetzwerk Facebook gerät unter Druck. Das Bundeskartellamt wirft dem Konzern das “missbräuchliche” Sammeln und Verwerten von Daten vor. Damit würde Facebook seine Marktmacht ausnutzen, so die Behörde.”

“Die Wettbewerbsbehörde sehe vor allem die Datensammlung außerhalb des sozialen Netzwerks und ihre Zusammenführung mit dem Facebook-Konto als “problematisch” an, erklärte Kartellamtspräsident Andreas Mundt in einer vorläufigen Einschätzung. Zu diesen Drittseiten gehören dem Kartellamt zufolge einerseits konzerneigene Dienste wie WhatsApp oder Instagram, aber auch Webseiten und Apps anderer Betreiber, auf die Facebook über Schnittstellen zugreifen kann. “Dies geschieht sogar schon, wenn man zum Beispiel einen ‘Gefällt Mir-Button’ gar nicht nutzt, aber eine entsprechende Seite aufgerufen hat, in die ein solcher Button eingebettet ist”, erklärte Mundt. Dies sei den Nutzern nicht bewusst.”

“Do I know you? Facebook seems to think so.”

Gizmodo: How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met. “Behind the Facebook profile you’ve built for yourself is another one, a shadow profile, built from the inboxes and smartphones of other Facebook users.”

“Shadow contact information has been a known feature of Facebook for a few years now. But most users remain unaware of its reach and power. Because shadow-profile connections happen inside Facebook’s algorithmic black box, people can’t see how deep the data-mining of their lives truly is, until an uncanny recommendation pops up.”

Quartz: Google collects Android users’ locations even when location services are disabled.

“Many people realize that smartphones track their locations. But what if you actively turn off location services, haven’t used any apps, and haven’t even inserted a carrier SIM card?

Even if you take all of those precautions, phones running Android software gather data about your location and send it back to Google when they’re connected to the internet, a Quartz investigation has revealed.”

Links via MetaFilter.