One Month Facebook Ban In Papua New Guinea

The PNG (Papua New Guinea) government has banned Facebook for 30 days. This was done in a bid to look at the effects of the platform on its users, and crack down on “fake users.”

Sam Basil, the country’s communication minister, said the temporary closure would allow the ministry’s analysts to do analysis and research on people using the website, as well as how they used it. The move was caused by growing concerns with regards to productivity, security, and social well-being.

During the process, information would be collected to detect any Facebook users who post misleading and false information, upload pornographic images, or use fake accounts to hide their identity. Such users and their content would be filtered and deleted. As a result, genuine people using real identities will be the only ones able to access the network and use it responsibly.

PNG’s communication minister has consistently raised concerns regarding the privacy protection of Facebook users in the country. Basil became vocal after the Cambridge Analytica incident, which discovered that a private company had received private data of millions of users from Facebook.

The minister stated that the vulnerabilities and risks of Facebook were more than the possible threat of data breaches. He said Facebook had the potential of acting as an unregulated advertising platform, which would cause cyber-security issues and be a threat to people’s productivity. The most vulnerable groups of people were employees and children.

Additionally, the PNG government said it would determine how other countries were successfully handling such issues. They would also look into how government policies would impact private users of Facebook.

Dr. Aim Sinpeng said the ban raised some troubling questions. He is a renowned professional in politics and digital media from the University of Sydney. Sinpeng said normally Facebook was banned in other countries indefinitely, like in China, or temporarily in the run-up to elections.

Sinpeng added that a one month ban is not sufficient as little can be achieved in such a short time. According to the expert, Facebook analysis can be done without a ban. He finished by saying if the government was concerned with fake news, they could handle the problem without issuing a ban.

An Alledged Facebook Stalker Has Been Identified

The world of advanced technologies seems to be going haywire these days. With so many adverse situations with the internet, and social media, it is difficult to know who is trustworthy, and who is not. Consumers are now having trust issues because the people who are supposed to protect their information, are proving themselves to be untrustworthy, and corrupt. Facebook has been under fire for weeks, and now something else goes wrong. The security engineer with the social media giant has been accused of using the personal information of customers to stalk women online.

This is a horrible blow to the social media industry. Facebook is investigating the allegations against the security engineer who has admitted to being a stalker for a number of years. This misconduct of the employee seems like fire is being added to the downward spiral of events that are upsetting the internet social leader. Consumers may be getting to the point of disgust with what was an enjoyable way to stay connected with friends and family. The most recent allegations may decrease the popularity of Facebook. It will definitely make people be more concerned about their safety on the open web.

Whether or not Facebook is being pounded with an influx of conspiracies is at the back of the minds of many social media users. No one wants to think that they can be singled out, and stalked by someone in an entity that they once trusted. Of course, the person was fired for violating the responsibilities of his position, but who is to say that there is not another who will, or have, taken advantage of their positions. These types of allegations are found in several industries when someone has control over important information.

The Facebook consumers want to know what can they expect to happen next. Will there be some kind of assurance issued that will ensure that this type of thing doesn’t happen again? Women may be reluctant to continue on Facebook because of this. No one knows if this type of damage can be undone, or if they should continue to be uneasy about it.

Facebook Is Allowing Users to Choose if Their Data is Collected

Recently it was announced that Facebook users would soon be getting the option to opt out of the website’s ability to collect their browsing information. This comes after Mark Zuckerberg received backlash for the amount of data that was being collected. This includes from browsers who didn’t even use the Facebook service.

One of the data sets that drew the most attention was their collection of browsing history. Someone’s browser history includes information about the apps and websites that were recently visited, not just Facebook activity. This information was then being sent to developers that used their plugins.

This information’s main use was to target advertisements to users based on their internet activity. An example would be showing an advertisement for an item that a user had viewed previously but not purchased. While there were rumors and jokes about Facebook spying on their user’s internet activity, it turns out that they were not that far from the truth. Fortunately for users, soon they will be able to make sure that their internet history stays private from Facebook and their advertisers.

The feature that is currently being developed is being called “clear history”. It will have a few options to meet the security desires of the users. Not only will Facebook users be able to prevent Facebook from collecting any further browsing history and data, they will be able to have the information that was already collected on their servers removed. While it may still remain on the server, it will be in an aggregated collection that is completely anonymous and unable to be connected to an individual account. Unfortunately for non-users of the site and app, they cannot choose to opt-out of this anonymous collection. If they choose not to have Facebook collect their data, their easiest option is to not visit the website.

In recent weeks, Facebook has made many important changes in how they deal with data collection and the privacy of their users. Many users expressed their dismay with Facebook after it was discovered that they were sharing this data with Cambridge Analytica.

Is a Facebook Subscription Service On The Way?

In the face of growing criticism regarding Facebook advertisors and transparency, a user subscription service seems to be picking up steam. Many users believe the social media monster has taken on a life of its own that caters to corporate giants, and leaves users vulnerable to unwanted ads. Many also believe this exposes them to further unwanted communication, due to levels of information advertisers are sometimes able to get from Facebook apps. One of the solutions to those complaints may be a subscription service, which allows users to pay a monthly fee to remove ads from member pages and news feed.

Many social media experts believe a Facebook subscription service would satisfy the complaints of many users, and would allow the company to recoup any lost advertising. There are also other reasons for the company to pursue a subscription model. Paid subscribers will be seen as in a higher income bracket, true or untrue, which make them more lucrative to potential advertisers. Advertisers are of course who Facebook care most about since they currently are the customer.

The subscription fee is likely to be $11 a month. Some wonder if users, comfortable with a free model will opt into a paid service. That question was answered by three economists who sought to answer that question. The economists offered users money not to use Facebook for a month. They used a sample of the U.S. Facebook user market. Their findings revealed that it would take a median $40-$50 per month to convince users to give up Facebook.

But not everyone agrees with the findings of the economists. Some experts feel many users will not pay for a paid service, especially after using the free model for a significant period of time. Users value Facebook because of its free model, according to Avi Goldfarb, co-author of Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence.

“Facebook is valuable partly because everybody else that you know is on Facebook. If it starts to be behind a paywall, some of those people will choose not to be on Facebook,” she explained.

Many others also doubt the normal user will pay $11 for an ad-free service, while deriving no other benefit than what they are already receiving with the free model. Time will tell what model Facebook will release for paid service. Time will also tell if the giant will continue into the future as the same company its users admire.

Facebook to Give Lower Privacy Standards to Americans

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg has said himself that North America will be excluded from some of the privacy enhancements being rolled out in the coming months. This is following the scandal that Facebook has been collecting phone records, Internet history, and various other private things from people around the world.

In the phone interview with Reuters conducted yesterday, Zuckerburg declined to talk about implementing privacy standards worldwide to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation, passed by the European Union. He said, however, his company was working to rework the law to guarantee certain European privacy rights worldwide. When asked about these rights, however, he declined to comment on which factors of the GDPR they were working to come online.

In a blog post from late last month, Facebook promised its users that their privacy options would be easier to find in the future, and the blog post also mentions that they will be changing their terms of service in the future to help users across the world.

It’s no surprise that social media profits off of our data. They have to make their money somehow to be able to maintain their servers and services. But in these recent months, people have cried out that Facebook has simply crossed the lines and has become something reminiscent of the thought police from 1984. Facebook has been at the front lines of the privacy argument against the general public, trying to keep their actions secret from the world. The European Union’s GDPR is a great first step to protect the privacy of millions of people who use Facebook. But North America simply does not have these laws in place, so what is stopping Facebook from preying on North America only?

In the continuing fight of net neutrality, the NSA and privacy of the American people, companies will have to change soon. If Facebook keeps harvesting data from innocent civilians, they may be on the wrong end of a class action lawsuit.

Facebook Loses 7% in Day’s Trading On Data Breach Worries

It was a bad day for Mark Zuckerberg and his shareholders of Facebook on Monday. While the tech giant has experienced great success with his company that has left shareholders experiencing significant returns over the last year, there are problems that need to be addressed. There have been a series of controversies such as Russia advertising on Facebook to interfere with the 2016 election and data breaches in user confidentiality.

The Russian Scandal and Data Breach

Both the U.S. Congress and the U.K. Governments have been seeking details on how Russia was able to spread vast amounts of disinformation on the Facebook media platform to sway American voters during the election process. It was additionally discovered that Russia had used the same platform for political purposes outside their country to affect other governmental democratic processes.

Evidence has been uncovered that links Russian intelligence in trying to interfere in other government elections through Facebook in Britain, Italy, Austria and other countries through their platform. These two scandals have caused alarms to be raised over the integrity and safety of the Facebook platform and its ability to protect its users and the public.

On St. Patrick’s Day, the luck of Facebook seemed to wear off for a bit as news headlines broke the story that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that worked as a consultant to the Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign had harvested profile information of 50 million Facebook users. The report was published in the New York Times. On Sunday, lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic party wanted more information from Facebook as to how this could have happened and how they intend to prevent it from happening again. The concern is that this private user information can be used for partisan politics and violates the privacy of users of the Facebook platform.

Because of these consecutive debacles, shares of the social platform giant took a substantial hit Monday, losing 7% of its value in the day’s trading. Zuckerberg who owns 16% of the company’s shares lost $5.1 Billion dollars in the day’s trading. His present net worth after today’s losses are $69.5 billion.

While he is still the 7th richest person on the planet, down from the 5th richest, it could easily be said he must be a bit concerned that one day of trading losses from this data breach could make him lose so much of his wealth. If the trend continued it would certainly be a problem for both Zuckerberg and Facebook.

Did Facebook Help Fund Trump’s Campaign

Facebook is a popular social media platform that is heavily used by people of all ages around the country and around the world. Even-though the social media platform is losing more and more younger users, its still attracting more mature users that are voting age. A lot of those voting age citizens are heavy users of Facebook and they were paying a lot of attention to Trump’s advertising and campaign messages on Facebook during the 2016 campaign. Facebook insiders state that they knew that Trump was gaining a greater growing voter base and contributions on Facebook than his Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton.

Trump’s Primary Source Of Funding
Those that wondered who was funding Trump’s campaign should look no further than Facebook. Trumps’ campaign managers were able to use vital statistics and advertising tools on Facebook to build a profile that would attract more people with their targeted ads. In essence the campaign was able to build a picture of the type of person that would vote for Trump. They targeted those specific Trump ad campaigns at guaranteed Trump supporters. Insiders state that Hillary Clinton ads sent out complicated messages that did not speak directly to the voter. However, Trump sent out very simple messages that spoke to the voter. Trumps simple messages received millions of likes and shares.

The Big Guns
Trump’s campaign managers called in the big guns to further target the right audience on Facebook. For example, they called in Cambridge Analytica. The data analytic company specialized in the shady side of analytics that heavily involved psychology, psycho metrics and profiling. Certainly, a lot of the messages that were prepared and released to the public preyed on the fear and anxiety that voters held on a lot of topics that were discussed in the campaigns by Clinton and Trump. Trump campaign managers discovered a way to use the Facebook platform that would work for their campaign and attract millions of contributions and Trump supporters, while Hillary Clinton’s campaign message lagged in contrast.

Facebook Losing Touch With Younger Generation

In the beginning, Facebook was a networking platform that was created for college students. Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook achieved amazing success with the college crowd and soon expanded to numerous colleges across the country. Soon, it was made available online to anyone with an email address. Most of the early users were young people. The older generation was very reluctant to use the social media platform. However, a recent study showed that Facebook is losing touch with the younger generation. In fact Facebook lost millions of users that were under 25.

Facebook Is For Older People
Recent studies performed by an organization outside of Facebook showed that the social platform was losing out on several youth groups. Those youth groups were the under 25 crowd that generally are the heaviest users of the social media platforms. Of course, the younger generation loved Facebook in the beginning. Facebook was probably very happy with that demographic because they attract more advertisers. More advertisers means more profits for Facebook. Taking a look at the numbers, its easy to note that under 25 years old users declines dramatically. In fact, this is a steady decline that seems to be continuing.

What Led To The Decline
There are a number of factors that led to the decline of the under 25 Facebook users. Early on, Facebook was the place to share all your information and to keep up with friends, schoolmates, and other associates. Parents simply did not get Facebook. Therefore, this fact improved the cool factor of using the social media site. However, Facebook has gone old school. Now, Facebook is the social media of choice for your parents and grandparents. The younger crowd prefer other social media sites to share quick bits of information. The under 25 crowd are not that interested in sharing their time line with followers. Today, Snapchat and Instagram are the place to go for the under 25 crowd.

Future Predictions
Marketers online, predict that Facebook will lose even more of their under 25 users in the future. However, the same group predicts that more and more older users will continue to use Facebook well into the future. Certainly, a bit of good news for Facebook and advertisers.

The Johnson Amendment Stays, Says End Citizens United

The United States’ Founding Fathers founded the nation on a principle that separated the church from political affairs under the legislation Johnson Amendment. At the moment, the powers of the Johnson Amendment law are at risk of being stripped away owing to conservative Congress members efforts. The Johnson Amendment outlaws tax-exempts NGOs such as churches from actively taking part in campaigns for political candidates. Recently, End Citizens United (ECU) held a press release where they urged the Congress not to allow the annulment of the Johnson Amendment.

Ever since President Trump was elected to office, he has made it his top priority to terminate the Johnson Act. Even though not many Americans are aware of the implication if this revocation, the wealthiest individuals in the country are excited and could not wait for the nullification to take effect. If the Johnson Amendment annulment takes effect, individuals could donate indiscriminately to religious organizations as such institutions can, in turn, use those funds to do whatever they pleased including backing political candidates campaigns.

This is the reason why Ends Citizens United is at the center of this battle as they want the law to remain so that it is easier to regulate the influence of NGOs in politics. According to Tiffany Muller, the President if End Citizens United, the Republican House tax’s initiative seeks to end the Johnson Amendment so that they can use the church as a secret campaign tool. This will, in turn, have a negative impact on democracy of the nation as a whole. For instance, in 2015, Americans gave out nearly $119 billion to religious institutions. Approximately $6.5 billion was used to fund the most expensive election in history in 2016. So what this means is that should the Johnson Amendment be thrown out, a more substantial chunk of the $119 billion will find its way to campaigns for conservative candidates thereby creating an unfair advantage for them when compared to their Democratic counterparts.

The Republicans are becoming sneaky in trying to eliminate the Johnson Act by attaching it to others laws so that it can be passed without much oversight. End Citizens United is handling the issue by bringing awareness to the public so that they can understand what is at stake and thereby influence the decision not to annul the law. Moreover, even the churches do not support the abolition of the law, and over 100 churches have joined ECU in the battle to maintain this critical bill. Citizens are encouraged to participate in the fight too to win their nation back.

About End Citizens United

End Citizens United is a grassroots Political Action Committee (PAC) that was established on March 1, 2015, to reverse the Supreme Courts’ decision that allowed PACs such as Citizens United to have unlimited and unspecified funds into politics. The PAC has a very robust social media presence where it makes several tweets and Facebook posts in a day to educate Americans on their democratic rights. R Michael Bennet of Colorado. Additionally, ends Citizens United have endorsed Randy Bryce to go against Paul Ryan in the coming midterm election cycle to be held in 2018. The PAC has confidence that Bryce will accomplish the unthinkable despite Mr. Paul’s firm hold on the state’s 1st Congressional District. Learn more on https://www.fec.gov/data/committee/C00573261/

 

Is Facebook Spying On Your Conversations With Latest Form Of Advertising Technology?

It seems like almost everyone these days has a Facebook. Dogs, grandmothers, and everyone in between are creating profiles on the popular social media site. With so many users and so much information being shared, some people begin to wonder about the safety of it all. Afterall, Facebook seems to know more about you than your family might even know. When does Facebook cross the line of what they do with that information?

It’s no secret that advertisements will pop up on your Facebook, and they will be geared at something you’ve searched for recently. This may be anything from a type of product you bought to the browsing for car insurance that you may have been doing. That’s because Facebook works with advertisers and has been known to sell information to them. Surprisingly, that hasn’t been cause for concern. Now, there are some accusations that Facebook is taking technology too far, and it’s freaking people out.

According to Reddit, many people are coming forward to say that Facebook is listening in on conversations via a mobile microphone. People came to this conclusion after they remembered having conversations with friends or family and then seeing an advertisement pop up that they were just talking about. It’s enough to freak anyone out! Facebook has denied any form of spying. Recently, a worker for Facebook took to Twitter to deny using user’s microphones to come out with targeted advertisements. Many are then left to wonder if it’s just a weird coincidence or if technology really is that advanced and there’s something Facebook is not telling us.

Many believe that it’s just coincidental when they’re talking about something obscure, only to have it show up a few minutes later. Facebook has even confirmed that technically they have the technology to accompany this. That’s because Facebook has a feature that allows users to opt-in so that Facebook can listen to music and television playing in order to help a user create a better status. The company says this is never used for advertising.

At the end of the day, many are siding with Facebook. They say that it’s hard to imagine a company would just throw everything away to use this advanced form of advertising technology. Time will tell if Facebook will eventually utilize this technology in the future.

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