The social network is tweaking its news feed algorithm to try to show more messages from your closest friends. To do this, however, the company takes a new approach: ask users to tell them directly who their best friends are.
Facebook has always tried to predict who your closest friends are by looking at signals like the ones you interact with most often. But with change, society will explicitly start asking people who are their best friends to incorporate this information into their rankings.
"We started interviewing people on Facebook to ask them to list their closest friends," wrote Facebook. A declaration. "We're looking at patterns that come out of the results, some of which include being tagged on the same pictures, reacting and commenting on the same messages and connecting to the same places – and then we use those templates to inform our algorithm. "
The company said the change was meant to improve the relevance and that did not mean you would see more friend content. "
But the update says a lot about how Facebook is thinking about News Feed's future. Last month, the company showed to rethink the application and the website This puts less emphasis on News Feed to display more content from groups and stories. And Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly stated that he believed that Facebook users were increasingly geared towards sharing private and ephemeral content.
This is a problem for News Feed, which was built around the idea of mass sharing. And even if the news feed is not going to disappear anytime soon, the fact that "close friends" have more content could help them to feel more relevant.
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At a news briefing on Friday, Facebook officials said that to protect "the integrity of elections", they would crack down on online advertising against foreign interference. All EU political advertisers now need to get permission in the country where the ads are shown.
To obtain this authorization, political groups in Europe will have to submit identity verification documents, said Richard Allan, vice president of global political solutions for Facebook. "We ask them to submit documents and we use technical controls to confirm their identity and location," Allan said.
"We recognize that some people may still try to work around any system, but we are confident that this will be a real barrier for anyone thinking of using our ads to interfere in a foreign election," he said. -he adds.
Allan said that one of the risks presented by the election would be "someone would create an organization in an EU country to direct advertising to influence an election. in another EU country ".
Facebook has also confirmed that banned groups and people without a platform will remain banned even if they run for office. This means that the rightmost figure Tommy Robinson, who stands as an MEP in elections, will remain banned from Facebook and Instagram.
The United Kingdom to hold elections to the European Parliament at the end of May after British Prime Minister Theresa May set at Brexit until 31 October 2019. During European elections, voters from EU Member States can elect members of the European Parliament (MEP).
Facebook also acknowledged being aware that the upcoming elections will be held in 28 countries and in 24 official languages, according to what Nick Clegg – the former British vice-premier and current vice-president of Global business and Facebook communication – described as an "increased atmosphere".
Also noted that political ads will now have to be clearly labeled on Facebook and Instagram. "To increase transparency, all advertising related to the policy and problems on Facebook and Instagram in the EU must now be clearly labeled, including a" paid by "advisor's top ad disclosure," said Allan. You will be able to see who is paying for the ad as well as any relevant contact information.
Hopefully, these measures will prevent the recurrence of the disaster caused by the elections in the United States in 2016. election
Facebook announced on Thursday in a blog article that he is suing a New Zealand company that sells preferences, followers and views on Instagram. The lawsuit, against a company colloquially known as "love the farm, "is part of Facebook's broader efforts to fight what it's calling"inauthentic behavior"on its platforms.
This decision is a show of force on the part of the company that takes seriously the fight against the false activity on the platform – more notoriously associated with Russian robots for example.
The lawsuit goes in addition to simply banning an agricultural business from tastes. Facebook alleges that the company has violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), "and other California laws," in its fake sale I love and follow. She also said that the company continued to operate as a "like me" farm even after Facebook ordered it to shut down.
In the past, governments were looking for click farms when they discovered their bases. In 2017, the Thai government burst a click farm Use thousands of workers, devices and SIM cards to create "likes" and follow-ups for paying customers.
At the end of Facebook, he has deleted thousands of pages in recent years for "inauthentic behavior". A large part of these accounts came from Russian entities and other foreign entities using Facebook to manipulate users politically, even if you used "fight against spam" as a less inflammatory explanation of these actions.
Fake accounts are also a huge problem on Facebook platforms. WhatsApp revealed that it forbade 2 million fake accounts per month. A recent report have discovered that half of the more than 2 billion Facebook accounts could be fake; Facebook refutes the findings of this report, but it also acknowledged in 2017 that 270 million accounts could be duplicates or fake.
The lawsuit is a way to show that Facebook is a profitable company for cleaning up its platform. This is a sign of much needed confidence, as the company faces prosecution and ends with the report. security failures, data gathering, and the Scandal Cambridge Analytica.
But do not worry, the whole legal drama has not affected Facebook too much: the news of a Fine of 3 to 5 billion dollars of the FTC for breach of privacy did not prevent Facebook's shares from rising after their publication in a report of positive results for the first quarter of 2019. Facebook scandal, schmadal schmadal!
Facebook has violated Canada's privacy laws, according to officials who say the company refuses to take responsibility for its actions.
"Facebook has spent more than a decade expressing its contrition for its actions and affirming its attachment to people's privacy, but when it comes to taking concrete steps to remedy transgressions they are showing contempt, "said Michael McEvoy, Information and Privacy Commissioner. A declaration published by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
As with the FTC's investigation, the Canadian investigation stems from the way Facebook handled Cambridge Analytica, the data company that had improperly accessed personal data from millions of dollars. Facebook users. More than 600,000 Canadians have been caught in the data leak, officials said.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Canadian officials said the company "refused to implement the recommendations to address deficiencies", and that it is considering prosecute Facebook, which could eventually lead to more ends.
But, again, it seems that these actions will be nothing more than a pat on Facebook's fingers. An expert say it New York Timesthese court – imposed purposes tend to be "in the order of tens of thousands of dollars".
But even if the extremities were exponentially higher, it seems that little can affect society. Facebook's FTC fine will be the heaviest ever imposed on a tech company. Yet Facebook, which announced the impending fine and a quarterly turnover of $ 15 billion, still saw its stock skyrocket immediately after the news. Facebook has added more than $ 30 billion to its day-to-day value.
The FTC could punish the company in several other ways, such as the detention of Mark Zuckerberg. responsibleor to impose new rules that would require the company to change the way it manages certain aspects of its business.
But until that happens, it is clear that the end will cause little damage.