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September 29, 2018

Facebook says a hack affecting 50 million users could also have given attackers access to other apps.

Facebook's vice president of product, Guy Rosen, says that attackers with access to a Facebook user's account could also have accessed other apps if they had logged into them using their Facebook username and password.

A feature called Facebook Login allows people to use their Facebook credentials to sign into certain other apps and services.

Rosen wouldn't say if there was any evidence that attackers misused access to those third party accounts. He says it could have affected apps tied to someone's Facebook account, including Facebook's own Instagram app — although not its WhatsApp messaging service.

He says affected users will now have to manually re-link those third party apps to their Facebook accounts. — AP

September 25, 2018

The co-founders of Instagram are resigning their positions with the social media company.

Chief Executive Kevin Systrom says in a statement that he and Mike Krieger plan to leave the company in the next few weeks. — AP

September 22, 2018

Facebook says a dating service it teased early this year is being rolled out in Colombia.

The social media giant chose the Latin American country as its test lab because Colombians are particularly avid fans of using social networks and websites to find partners. — AFP

September 15, 2018

Facebook and other companies routinely track your online surfing habits to better target ads at you. Two web browsers now want to help you fight back in what's becoming an escalating privacy arms race.

New protections in Apple's Safari and Mozilla's Firefox browsers aim to prevent companies from turning "cookie" data files used to store sign-in details and preferences into broader trackers that take note of what you read, watch and research on other sites. — AP

August 29, 2018

Facebook says it is rolling out worldwide its Watch video service, which has already been available in the United States for more than a year.

Facebook has been ramping up its video offerings with original shows and this week announced new formats including interactive game shows, quizzes and polls. — AFP

August 23, 2018

Facebook will pull Onavo Protect virtual private network application from the App Store after getting word that it violates Apple's data collection rules, The Wall Street Journal report says.

The free application creates an encrypted VPN connection that routes internet activity through computer servers managed and secured by Facebook. The app also alerts users when sites they visit might be malicious.

Facebook is able to gather information about how people use smartphones outside of the leading social network's services, potentially gleaning insights about rivals or internet trends. — AFP

August 22, 2018

Facebook has identified and banned hundreds of accounts, groups and pages engaged in misleading political behavior, a far larger discovery than a "sophisticated" effort it reported three weeks ago with great fanfare.

The social network says that it had removed 652 pages, groups, and accounts linked to Russia and, unexpectedly, Iran, for "coordinated inauthentic behavior" that included the sharing of political material. — AP

August 18, 2018

Federal regulators are alleging that Facebook's advertising tools allow landlords and real estate brokers to engage in housing discrimination.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says in an administrative complaint this week that Facebook violated the Fair Housing Act because its targeting systems allow advertisers to exclude certain audiences, such as families with young children or disabled people, from seeing housing ads. — AP

August 15, 2018

Twitter has suspended the personal account of far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for a week, US media have reported. 

The platform acted after Jones published a video in which he said, "Now is time to act on the enemy before they do a false flag," CNN reported. That was deemed as inciting violence.

The Twitter account for his Infowars show was not affected, the New York Times reported.

Apple, Facebook, Spotify and YouTube have all banned Jones on the grounds that he engages in hate speech. — AFP

August 4, 2018

The world's largest streaming service Spotify has removed podcast episodes of American far-right radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for breaching its policy against hate speech.

Jones, a Donald Trump supporter who runs the far-right website InfoWars, has been sued by the parents of the children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting for claiming the massacre was staged.

Spotify's move to remove some of his content came after complaints by users. — AFP

August 2, 2018

The music streaming service Spotify says it has removed some episodes of "The Alex Jones Show" podcast for violating its hate content policy.

The company said in a statement that it takes reports of hate content seriously and reviews any podcast or song reported by customers.

Jones is an Austin, Texas-based radio host and conspiracy theorist. He owns the media company "Infowars." Among other claims he has called the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting a hoax.

Jones says his shows, which are broadcast on radio, YouTube and other platforms, reach at least 70 million people a week. — AP

July 28, 2018

Facebook and Twitter lose nearly one-fifth of their market value after reporting disappointing user growth.

Twitter's stock plunged Friday after it reported a decline in its monthly users and warned that the number could fall further in the coming months. The 20.5 percent plunge came one day after Facebook lost 19 percent of its value in a single day.

Twitter says it's putting the long-term stability of its platform above user growth. — AP

July 4, 2018

India's government has asked WhatsApp to take immediate action to prevent the social media site from being misused to spread rumors and irresponsible statements like those blamed for recent deadly mob attacks.

At least 20 people have been killed in mostly rural villages in many Indian states by attacking mobs that were inflamed by social media. Victims were innocent people accused in the viral messages of belonging to gangs trying to abduct children. — AP

India asks WhatsApp to prevent misuse after mob killings
June 22, 2018

A popular Chinese social media site is blocking users from posting about "Last Week Tonight" and its HBO host John Oliver after the news satire program aired a segment this week making fun of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Attempts to send posts Friday with either the terms "John Oliver" or "Last Week Tonight" on the Sina Weibo microblog were met with failure messages saying "the content contains information that violates relevant laws and regulations."

Oliver's show on Sunday made satirical references to Xi and the way that Chinese internet users often joke that he resembles Winnie the Pooh. The show also referred to China's internment of hundreds of thousands of members of the Muslim minority groups in political indoctrination camps .

Weibo did not immediately respond to a request for comment. — AP

Facebook's Instagram service is loosening its restraints on video in an attempt to lure younger viewers away from YouTube when they're looking for something to watch on their smartphones.

The expansion, dubbed IGTV, will increase Instagram's video time limit from one minute to 10 minutes for most users. Accounts with large audiences will be able to go as long as an hour.

Video will be available through Instagram or a new app called IGTV. The video will eventually give Facebook more opportunities to sell advertising. — AP

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