Social Networks

#FacebookDown: What Happened to Cause the Outage?

Social Networks
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On Wednesday March 13, Facebook and its popular group of apps including Instagram and WhatsApp were unavailable to many users across the globe. While the company struggled to address what was happening, people were turning to other social media outlets like Twitter to express their frustration with the hashtag #FacebookDown.

Ironically, Facebook also had to turn to rival Twitter for help in communicating the issues as the problem persisted.

Instead of being able to post status updates and selfies, users were getting error messages. Advertisers who spent large amounts of money on promotions via Facebook apps were especially concerned by the length of the outage.

Countries affected by the outage included users in the United States, Europe, and Central and South America. Outages in the U.K. were especially widespread. Reports of outages in Asia began several hours later.

Facebook Dating Will Let Users Share Their Live Location With Friends In Messenger

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Image: WongMJane

Details continue to surface about Facebook’s much talked about dating service. The latest news comes courtesy of tech tipster Jane Manchun Wong, who revealed that Facebook Dating will allow users to share information about their dates with friends and family on Messenger. The innovative feature is a precaution designed to keep singles safe as they use the dating platform.

Wong shared a screenshot from Facebook Dating on Twitter. “Share your plans in Messenger,” reads the screen’s headline. “Let your friends and family know when and where you’ll meet your date. Choose whether to share your live location and provide updates in Messenger.”

Meeting a stranger in person after you’ve matched on a dating app is an inherently risky proposition. Though most users are genuinely interested in making connections, the potential dangers shouldn’t be overlooked. Dating platforms have taken an interesting array of measures to increase safety for their users, including verified profiles, anonymous browsing, behavior pledges and strict punishments for terms of service violations.

Bombshell Investigation Reveals Facebook Pays Young Users For Their Data

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Another day, another privacy scandal for Facebook.

A new investigation by TechCrunch reveals that Facebook secretly paid a number of users, including teenagers as young as 13, to install an app that gave the tech giant extensive access to their personal data. Users ages 13 to 35 were paid up to $20 per month plus affiliate fees to install the iOS or Android “Facebook Research” VPN app that tracked their smartphone and web activity, a program referred to in some documentation as “Project Atlas.”

Photos Of 6.8 Million Users Exposed By Latest Facebook Bug

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Facebook is closing out a troubling year with even more bad news. On December 14, the company revealed that a software bug had exposed the photos of millions of users to outside developers. This latest privacy misstep reportedly involves up to 1500 apps by 876 developers and may have affected as many as 6.8 million users.

For an app to be affected by the bug, it had to have been approved by Facebook to access the photos API as well as authorized by users to access their photos. A spokeswoman declined to provide a list of developers who had access to the photos to The Guardian, saying only that Facebook does not think all of them took advantage of that access while it was available.

Tomer Bar, an engineering director at Facebook, explained the details of the bug in a post on the company’s developer blog.

Emails Indicate that Facebook Secretly Shared Personal Data with Dating Services and Others

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Facebook has reportedly given personal data of its users to an exclusive roster of preferred companies such as AirBnB, Netflix and Lyft, even after claiming it had limited this data-sharing practice. One of the companies Facebook shared information with was dating service Badoo.

According to The Daily Beast, the British Parliament released 250 pages of documents, including internal communications between Facebook employees, regarding the secret data sharing practice. This potential scandal comes in the wake of Facebook’s launch of a new dating platform. Critics have been skeptical of whether or not people will feel comfortable joining in light of the privacy issues, and the latest news doesn’t look good for Facebook.

Facebook changed its data sharing practices with third party apps back in 2014 to restrict access, which affected many small app development companies like Six4Three that mined Facebook user data. The developer claimed in a lawsuit against Facebook that the social media giant favored lucrative companies and was willing to share data with them.

Bumble and its Potential IPO, India Launch, and Becoming a Content Creator

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Bumble has a lot on its plate these days, including a potential IPO, expanding its service to India, and becoming a content creator as well as building a “kind social network.”

The Wall Street Journal interviewed Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd about the female-friendly dating app, which has recently styled itself as a social media platform that promotes safety and helping women build relationships.

Bumble has been in the news lately because it’s rumored to be eyeing an IPO before the end of the year, with a $1.5 billion valuation. This could mean big news for the app, which competes with behemoths Tinder and more recently Facebook. Still, Bumble has managed to grow to 40 million users, up from 12.5 million in February 2017, which is significant growth compared to its competitors.