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    Facebook sued for overstating advertising reach - court expanded the pool of plaintiffs to include more than 2 million small ad buyers

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Wednesday, 30 March - 09:06 · 1 minute

Dismissing what he called a “blunderbuss of objections” by the company, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that the case can proceed as a class action on behalf of small business owners and individuals who bought ads on Facebook or Instagram since Aug. 15, 2014.

The decision is another setback for the social networking giant after court filings in 2021 revealed that its audience-measuring tool was known by high-ranking Facebook executives to be unreliable because it was skewed by fake and duplicate accounts.

LinkedIn is facing a suit accusing it of inflating video-viewing metrics to lure and overcharge advertisers. Snap Inc., the parent of the Snapchat social-media app, was sued in 2017 by a former employee who claimed the company was inflating growth metrics ahead of its initial public offering.

The moral of it seems to be that where the social network (business) is driven by profit, then those metrics are going to be maxed out. “For years, Facebook repeatedly confronted a choice between telling customers the truth or preserving its revenue: at every turn, Facebook chose its revenue,” lawyers for the ad buyers said in a court filing.

I logged into my mom's FB account this week to delete it this week (she has not used it in over two years), and a quick glance at the friends showed also no posts for months to a year plus, apart from one younger family member who seemed to still have posted a month ago.

MySpace at least died a lot quicker, but that death was driven by its users deserting it for a new, better platform. Our challenge in 2022 is we have too many alternatives, but better to choose a federated platform, than another walled garden like Facebook.


#technology #socialnetworks #deletefacebook #classaction

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    Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak: 'Of all Big Tech, Facebook is No. 1 that I don't like'

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Friday, 25 March - 08:47 · 1 minute

Steve Wozniak is officially done with Facebook.

On a March episode of the "Steve-O's Wild Ride!" podcast, hosted by entertainer Steve-O, Wozniak said that he and his wife both recently deactivated their Facebook accounts over data privacy concerns. When he "likes" a friend's post, the interaction isn't about connecting with someone he knows, the Apple co-founder said – it's about revealing his interests to advertisers.

That's enough to keep him off the platform for the foreseeable future, he said, noting that he's "scared a bit" about the amount of access Facebook had to his life: "Of all Big Tech, Facebook is probably No. 1 that I don't like."

Wozniak seems to have been aware of Facebook's privacy standards for some time, but the tipping point that led him to deactivate his account wasn't sparked by personalized ads on his feed. Instead, it came from months of habitual, mindless scrolling on social media.

Yes, I was also officially done with Facebook products at beginning 2020 when the straw broke the camel's back. So there went my FB, Instagram and WhatsApp accounts, as well as my planned purchase of an Oculus Rift headset. For me, it was the metadata being extracted from WhatsApp actually, as I had already deleted my FB account before that.


#technology #deletefacebook #stevewozniak #privacy #socialmedia

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    The Fediverse - It's about Protocols, not Platforms (Just pick any Social Network and Connect)

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Monday, 11 October, 2021 - 20:00

An interesting blog post below about someone being "forced off" Facebook (a centralised monolithic platform) and discovering the Fediverse of different social networks, all connected together by the ActivityPub protocol. Nothing even stops you self-hosting your own social network node and managing that yourself for family or friends.

Not only do the decentralised nodes of one social network all interconnect, but so do completely different social network platforms. So Mastodon connects with PixelFed, which connects with Bookwyrm, Friendica, Hubzilla, PeerTube, and more, and so it goes on.


#technology #activitypub #fediverse #deletefacebook #socialnetworks

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    The Largest Autocracy on Earth - Facebook is acting like a hostile foreign power without allegiance to any nation; it’s time we treated it that way

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Wednesday, 29 September, 2021 - 16:51 · 1 minute

In 1947, Albert Einstein, writing in this magazine, proposed the creation of a single world government to protect humanity from the threat of the atomic bomb. His utopian idea did not take hold, quite obviously, but today, another visionary is building the simulacrum of a cosmocracy.

Mark Zuckerberg, unlike Einstein, did not dream up Facebook out of a sense of moral duty, or a zeal for world peace. This summer, the population of Zuckerberg’s supranational regime reached 2.9 billion monthly active users, more humans than live in the world’s two most populous nations—China and India—combined.

To Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and CEO, they are citizens of Facebookland. Long ago he conspicuously started calling them “people” instead of “users,” but they are still cogs in an immense social matrix, fleshy morsels of data to satisfy the advertisers that poured $54 billion into Facebook in the first half of 2021 alone—a sum that surpasses the gross domestic products of most nations on Earth.

GDP makes for a telling comparison, not just because it gestures at Facebook’s extraordinary power, but because it helps us see Facebook for what it really is. Facebook is not merely a website, or a platform, or a publisher, or a social network, or an online directory, or a corporation, or a utility. It is all of these things. But Facebook is also, effectively, a hostile foreign power.


#technology #deletefacebook #socialnetworks

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    Facebook Internal Research: People tended to comment on and share controversial content, and in the process they apparently made Facebook in general angrier

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Wednesday, 15 September, 2021 - 17:51

Today, The Wall Street Journal posted leaked reports from Facebook after it boosted “meaningful social interactions” on the platform. While Facebook framed the move as helping friends connect, internal reports said it had “unhealthy side effects on important slices of public content, such as politics and news,” calling these effects an “increasing liability.”

Today’s report delves into the fallout of a 2018 decision to prioritize posts with lots of comments and reactions. Facebook allegedly made the change after noticing that comments, likes, and reshares had declined throughout 2017.

The issue that many people have with Facebook, apart from selling access to personal and usage information, is the tweaking of algorithms to favour Facebook's business interests. It's probably why so many people who left Facebook have rather opted for networks with straight chronological algorithms which show only the profiles they are following.


#technology #deletefacebook #socialnetworks #polarisation #misinformation

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    Project Liberty – the plan to replace Facebook by using blockchain to construct a new internet infrastructure called the Decentralized Social Networking Protocol

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Monday, 21 June, 2021 - 09:21 · 1 minute

Project Liberty would use blockchain to construct a new internet infrastructure called the Decentralized Social Networking Protocol. With cryptocurrencies, blockchain stores information about the tokens in everyone’s digital wallets; the DSNP would do the same for social connections. Facebook owns the data about the social connections between its users, giving it an enormous advantage over competitors. If all social media companies drew from a common social graph, the theory goes, they’d have to compete by offering better services, and the chance of any single company becoming so dominant would plummet.

We have numerous open social media protocols (eg. ActivityPub, XMPP) already, but none have really risen to the top as the go-to alternative that everyone was going to adopt. Maybe throwing real money as a new protocol could help, with the remainder of the money being the incentive for existing networks to adopt it. Facebook won't as it did use open protocols before and then removed them. But if the impetus for this is enough, and enough other networks adopt it, then maybe the "critical mass" on Facebook will switch to one of the alternative networks. We've certainly seen with Friendica, Diaspora, Hubzilla, etc that you can have two or more protocols running and keeping different networks seamlessly connected. So this is fully possible. It just needs to be an open standard, not controlled by any single company or entity.


#technology #walledgardens #projectliberty #socialnetwork #deletefacebook

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    IRL (In Real Life) is a new social network taking on Facebook groups - The SoftBank-backed social network already has 12 million users

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Tuesday, 15 June, 2021 - 16:38 · 1 minute

Do people want an app specifically for discovering events and messaging as a group? That’s the bet behind IRL, a young social network that has been quietly growing over the past year and just attracted an eye-popping amount of money to take on Facebook.

The two-year-old startup is betting that a post-pandemic world will fuel its mission to help people “do more together,” usually by meeting up in real life — you know, IRL. The idea has attracted the deep pockets of the Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank, which is the biggest investor in a new $170 million round of funding that values IRL at roughly $1 billion.

It is a much simpler interface without all the clutter that Facebook has. It seems to revolve around posting to Events and Groups (not Profile walls), with Groups just have a simplistic chronological chat stream with text, photos, polls and emojis (a bit like a modern IRC). But I get that most people will want to focus on the actual chat with their friends, so really a hundred 3rd party add-ons is not what most people are after.

So a lot will depend on what their monetisation vs privacy there finally is. We actually don't lack options for alternatives to Facebook but it's more about what ends up going really viral with traction as all the existing alternatives are actually going well in their own rights already.


#technology #socialnetwork #alternativeto #IRL #deletefacebook

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    Facebook comienza a censurar a plataformas "competidoras" que ofrecen servicios de redes libres como Mastodon, Pixelfed, e.t.c

    Juan Roberto · Wednesday, 19 May, 2021 - 15:01 edit

Facebook begins to censor "competing" platforms that offer free networking services such as Mastodon, Pixelfed, e.t.c.

Con esta técnica que muestro a continuación, Facebook margina a sus "competidores" para dejarlos fuera de la escena. Censurando a plataformas de servicios libres que no trafican con tus datos, en este caso Las grandes corporaciones no quieren que el rebaño se despierte y afecte a su negocio de tráfico de datos, ya que a menos usuarios, menos datos con los que obtener beneficios. #CensuraFalsa #DeleteFacebook