Facebook urged to give users greater control over what they see

Academics at the universities of Oxford and Stanford think Facebook should give users greater transparency and control over the content they see on its platform. They also believe the social networking giant should radically reform its governance structures and processes to throw more light on content decisions, including by looping in more external experts to […]

Most Facebook users still in the dark about its creepy ad practices, Pew finds

A study by the Pew Research Center suggests most Facebook users are still in the dark about how the company tracks and profiles them for ad-targeting purposes. Pew found three-quarters (74%) of Facebook users did not know the social networking behemoth maintains a list of their interests and traits to target them with ads, only […]

Zuckerberg’s 2019 challenge is to hold public talks on tech & society

Rather than just focus on Facebook’s problems like his 2018 challenge, this year Mark Zuckerberg wants to give transparency to his deliberations and invite the views of others. Today he announced his 2019 challenge will be “to host a series of public discussions about the future of technology in society — the opportunities, the challenges, […]

What history could tell Mark Zuckerberg

Perhaps Mark Zuckerberg obsessed over the wrong bit of history. Or else didn’t study his preferred slice of classical antiquity carefully enough, faced, as he now is, with an existential crisis of ‘fake news’ simultaneously undermining trust in his own empire and in democracy itself. A recent New Yorker profile — questioning whether the Facebook founder can fix […]

Byju’s targets global expansion for its digital education service after raising $540M

India-based educational startup Byju’s was widely reported to have raised a massive $400 million round and now the company is making things official. The ten-year-old company revealed today it has pulled in a total of $540 million from investors to go after international opportunities. The round is led by Naspers, the investment firm famous for […]

Seized cache of Facebook docs raise competition and consent questions

A UK parliamentary committee has published the cache of Facebook documents it dramatically seized last week. The documents were obtained by a legal discovery process by a startup that’s suing the social network in a California court in a case related to Facebook changing data access permissions back in 2014/15. The court had sealed the documents […]

‘The problem is Facebook,’ lawmakers from nine countries tell Zuckerberg’s accountability stand-in

A grand committee of international parliamentarians empty-chaired Mark Zuckerberg at a hearing earlier today, after the Facebook founder snubbed repeat invitations to face questions about malicious, abusive and improper uses of his social media platform — including the democracy-denting impacts of so-called “fake news.” The U.K.’s DCMS committee has been leading the charge to hold Facebook […]

WhatsApp’s chief business officer is leaving

Roughly one year after WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton made his highly-publicized exit from Facebook, another executive and early employee of the messaging platform is doing the same. Neeraj Arora, WhatsApp’s chief business officer, announced today that he would be “taking some time off to recharge and spend time with family.” Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion […]

Tech giants offer empty apologies because users can’t quit

A true apology consists of a sincere acknowledgement of wrong-doing, a show of empathic remorse for why you wronged and the harm it caused, and a promise of restitution by improving ones actions to make things right. Without the follow-through, saying sorry isn’t an apology, it’s a hollow ploy for forgiveness. That’s the kind of […]

UK parliament seizes cache of internal Facebook documents to further privacy probe

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg may yet regret underestimating a UK parliamentary committee that’s been investigating the democracy-denting impact of online disinformation for the best part of this year — and whose repeat requests for facetime he’s just as repeatedly snubbed. In the latest high gear change, reported in yesterday’s Observer, the committee has used parliamentary powers […]