Washington Post: Facebook keeps researching its own harms — and burying the findings

Washington Post: Facebook keeps researching its own harms — and burying the findings. “While the stories are noteworthy in themselves, their provenance points to a deeper issue at Facebook. It is that the world’s largest social network employs teams of people to study its own ugly underbelly, only to ignore, downplay and suppress the results of their research when it proves awkward or troubling. Why it would do such a thing is a question whose answer lies at least partly in the company’s culture and organizational structure…. Facebook routes weighty decisions about content policy through some of the same executives tasked with government lobbying and public relations — an arrangement that critics say creates a conflict of interest. Often, they seem to prioritize public perception over transparency.

CNET: Facebook tackles harmful authentic accounts with new approach

CNET: Facebook tackles harmful authentic accounts with new approach. “Facebook’s security team routinely takes action against fake accounts that mislead others about their purpose and identity. That team is now going to crack down on groups that attempt to use real accounts to evade enforcement and spread harm. The tech company might reduce the reach of content from these accounts or pull down these authentic accounts, Pages and Groups.” I’m including news like this because Facebook is so large that even what it says it’s going to do makes an impact. But I no longer believe that Facebook is operating with good intentions, and I do not believe it will make any serious effort to limit disinformation on its platform.

Senator Richard Blumenthal: Blumenthal & Blackburn Announce Probe Into Facebook Coverup of its Platforms’ Negative Impact on Teens & Children

Senator Richard Blumethal: Blumenthal & Blackburn Announce Probe Into Facebook Coverup of its Platforms’ Negative Impact on Teens & Children. “‘When given the opportunity to come clean to us about their knowledge of Instagram’s impact on young users, Facebook provided evasive answers that were misleading and covered up clear evidence of significant harm. We are in touch with a Facebook whistleblower and will use every resource at our disposal to investigate what Facebook knew and when they knew it – including seeking further documents and pursuing witness testimony. The Wall Street Journal’s blockbuster reporting may only be the tip of the iceberg.’”

Wall Street Journal: Facebook Tried to Make Its Platform a Healthier Place. It Got Angrier Instead.

Wall Street Journal: Facebook Tried to Make Its Platform a Healthier Place. It Got Angrier Instead.. “Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said the aim of the algorithm change was to strengthen bonds between users and to improve their well-being…. Within the company, though, staffers warned the change was having the opposite effect, the documents show. It was making Facebook’s platform an angrier place. Company researchers discovered that publishers and political parties were reorienting their posts toward outrage and sensationalism. That tactic produced high levels of comments and reactions that translated into success on Facebook.”

TechCrunch: TikTok expands mental health resources, as negative reports of Instagram’s effect on teens leak

TechCrunch: TikTok expands mental health resources, as negative reports of Instagram’s effect on teens leak. “TikTok announced this morning that it is implementing new tactics to educate its users about the negative mental health impacts of social media. As part of these changes, TikTok is rolling out a ‘well-being guide’ in its Safety Center, a brief primer on eating disorders, expanded search interventions and opt-in viewing screens on potentially triggering searches.”

CNET: Facebook’s own research shows Instagram is harmful to teens, report says

CNET: Facebook’s own research shows Instagram is harmful to teens, report says. “In studies conducted over the past three years, Facebook researchers have found that Instagram is ‘harmful for a sizable percentage’ of young users, particularly teenage girls, reported The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. Research presented in 2019 reportedly found that Instagram makes body image issue worse for one in three teen girls. In focus group and online surveys done by the company, teens also apparently said Instagram increased rates of anxiety and depression, reported the Journal.”

CNBC: Facebook shields millions of VIP users from standard moderation protocols, per report

CNBC: Facebook shields millions of VIP users from standard moderation protocols, per report. “Every day Facebook users can have their content taken down immediately if the company’s artificial intelligence technologies or contracted content moderators find their posts to be in violation of the company’s rules. Users in the XCheck program, however, may have their content stay live on Facebook’s services before being routed into a separate moderation system. That process is also staffed by better-trained content moderators who are full-time employees, and XCheck users , according to the report.”

Fueling the Fire: How Social Media Intensifies U.S. Political Polarization — And What Can Be Done About It

NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights: Fueling the Fire: How Social Media Intensifies U.S. Political Polarization — And What Can Be Done About It. “Determining whether social media plays a role in worsening partisan animosity is important because political polarization has pernicious consequences. We conclude that social media platforms are not the main cause of rising partisan hatred, but use of these platforms intensifies divisiveness and thus contributes to its corrosive effects.”

Mashable: Facebook’s Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses are just an overpriced influencer toy

Mashable: Facebook’s Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses are just an overpriced influencer toy. “…unlike Google Glass with its small screen and internet connectivity, there’s no promise of a futuristic, wearable computer here. Facebook’s newest bit of hardware comes with such a comically limited and shoddily executed feature set for the price that it’s hard to take it seriously as a product at all. This is just an expensive toy for influencers seemingly designed to make Facebook look ‘cool’ again, built for a world where ‘Stories’ are now widely known as ephemeral and easily forgotten snippets of our social media lives.”

Associated Press: Facebook slams UK antitrust watchdog over call to sell Giphy

Associated Press: Facebook slams UK antitrust watchdog over call to sell Giphy. “Facebook has criticized the U.K. competition watchdog’s provisional decision ordering that it sell off Giphy because it said the acquisition of the company stifles competition for animated images. The social network’s strongly worded response to the Competition and Markets Authority sets the stage for a battle over the future of Giphy.”

“Facebook has always been where my audience was”: Meet some of the local journalists writing the first paid newsletters at Facebook (NiemanLab)

NiemanLab: “Facebook has always been where my audience was”: Meet some of the local journalists writing the first paid newsletters at Facebook. “I spent the past week talking to a handful of the local journalists who have partnered with Bulletin, and I found that while they’re aware of Facebook’s mixed history with publishers, they can’t help but be hopeful. Facebook has been responsive to their suggestions and requests, several writers told me, and the platform offers an enormous opportunity to reach local audiences where they’re already spending lots of time online.”

The Verge: Facebook and Ray-Ban tease smart glasses announcement on September 9th

The Verge: Facebook and Ray-Ban tease smart glasses announcement on September 9th. “Facebook and Ray-Ban are teasing an announcement around their upcoming smart glasses on September 9th. Ray-Ban posted a promotional page with a silhouette of a pair of glasses, the date ‘09.09 2021,’ and the text “sign up now to get your release notification” — although it doesn’t specify whether that’s news about the release or the release itself.”