Pinstagram? Instagram code reveals Public Collections feature

Found on Techcrunch on Saturday, 23 February 2019
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Code buried in Instagram for Android shows the company has prototyped an option to create public “Collections” to which multiple users can contribute.

People could use the feature to bundle together their favorite memes, travel destinations, fashion items or art.

Pinterest is one of the worst and most useless websites.

YouTube removes ads from anti-vaccination video channels

Found on CNet News on Friday, 22 February 2019
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The move comes after some marketers pulled ads from the platform because they didn't know they were appearing with videos that discourage vaccinations.

"We have strict policies that govern what videos we allow ads to appear on, and videos that promote anti-vaccination content are a violation of those policies," a YouTube spokeswoman said in a statement. "We enforce these policies vigorously, and if we find a video that violates them, we immediately take action and remove ads."

It's their platform, sure, but moves like this should raise the question where to draw the line between "good and bad" content. While in the vast majority of cases vaccination is perfectly fine, there are a few borderline cases where it can be risky and as long as the information is presented in a well-researched manner there shouldn't be a problem with it.

Facebook uses its apps to track users it thinks could threaten employees and offices

Found on CNBC on Saturday, 16 February 2019
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Several of the former employees questioned the ethics of Facebook's security strategies, with one of them calling the tactics "very Big Brother-esque."

Facebook notifies its security professionals anytime a new person is added to the BOLO list, sending out a report that includes information about the person, such as their name, photo, their general location and a short description of why they were added.

Users who publicly threaten the company, its offices or employees — including posting threatening comments in response to posts from executives like CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg — are often added to the list.

Facebook has the capability to track BOLO users' whereabouts by using their smartphone's location data collected through the Facebook app, or their IP address collected through the company's website.

That does not sound "Big Brother-esque"; that is much more cult-esque like Scientology. Not to mention that tracking users like that might be very well illegal too. This is just another good reason not to use them and avoid Facebook like the plague.

Google hired microworkers to train its controversial Project Maven AI

Found on The Verge on Tuesday, 05 February 2019
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The workers were hired through a crowdsourcing gig company outfit called Figure Eight, which pays as little at $1 an hour for people to perform short, seemingly mindless tasks.

By employing these crowdsourced microworkers, Google was able to use them to teach the algorithms it was running how to distinguish between human targets and surrounding objects.

At least they get paid; millions others who train Google products via recaptcha don't see a single cent.

YouTube is trying to prevent angry mobs from abusing “dislike” button

Found on Ars Technica on Monday, 04 February 2019
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YouTube's dislike button can be a source of anxiety for many creators, and now YouTube is considering a number of options to prevent viewers from abusing that tool.

One of the new options YouTube has talked about is making those ratings invisible by default, so you wouldn't be able to see the number of likes or dislikes a video has.

What's next? Amazon hiding negative reviews because they make sellers feel bad? Soon there will be claims that dislikes cause PTSD.

Exclusive: Snapchat weighs what was once unthinkable - permanent snaps

Found on Reuters on Tuesday, 29 January 2019
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Together the changes would mark a big step in Snap’s effort to lure and keep users by making content shared publicly via the “Our Story” section, more available outside Snapchat. They could also create a new revenue source for money-losing Snap, which has seen its user base shrink and executives flee the company.

“The advertising would be visible for longer, and I could see advertisers paying more for it,” Williamson said.

So, they build a new feature into the programs? Maybe call it... screenshot?

Facebook is shutting down Moments

Found on Techcrunch on Monday, 28 January 2019
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“We’re ending support for the Moments app, which we originally launched as a place for people to save their photos. We know the photos people share are important to them so we will continue offering ways to save memories within the Facebook app,” Rushabh Doshi, director of product management said in a statement.

Moments, which first launched in 2015, has seen some competition from other Facebook products recently, which might have led to its demise.

One social media to rule them all,
One social media to find them,
One social media to bring them all,
and under Zuckerberg bind them.

Russia tries to force Facebook and Twitter to relocate servers to Russia

Found on Ars Technica on Monday, 21 January 2019
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Roskomnadzor, the Russian censorship agency, "said the social-media networks hadn't submitted any formal and specific plans or submitted an acceptable explanation of when they would meet the country's requirements that all servers used to store Russians' personal data be located in Russia," The Wall Street Journal reported today.

"At the moment, the only tools Russia has to enforce its data rules are fines that typically only come to a few thousand dollars or blocking the offending online services, which is an option fraught with technical difficulties," a Reuters article said today.

Nice try, but it won't work.

Facebook is adding petitions to your news feed

Found on Cnet News on Sunday, 20 January 2019
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The social network will start rolling "Community Actions" out to its US users on Monday. It's been testing the feature for several weeks in a couple of markets, TechCrunch first reported Sunday, and is building on that existing pilot.

In the past, activists have been able to post petitions to Facebook via third-party platforms like or Community Actions simplifies the process and gives Facebook direct oversight to monitor and take petitions down if they violate its community standards.

Not to forget it gives FB even more data about yourself, so the profiles are worth even more when sold to others.

WordPress to show warnings on servers running outdated PHP versions

Found on ZD Net on Tuesday, 15 January 2019
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The current plan is to have the warnings appear for sites using a PHP version prior to the 5.6.x branch (<=5.6).

The reason why the WordPress team wants to push site owners to update their underlying PHP servers is because the PHP team has recently dropped support for security fixes for the PHP 5.6.x and PHP 7.0.x branches.

Obviously the WordPress developers either don't know anything about enterprise grade operating systems, or are blindly riding the "latest is greatest" choo-choo train. Otherwise they would know that relying on version numbers is a grave mistake.