Facebook sues Turkish software developer who ran 20+ Instagram clone sites

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Social media giant Facebook filed a civil lawsuit today against a Turkish national for operating a network of at least 20 Instagram clones.

According to court documents obtained by ZDNet, Facebook claims that defendant Ensar Sahinturk, a software developer based in Istanbul, used automation software running from thousands of Instagram accounts to scrape data from more than 100,000 Instagram profiles, which he later republished on his own sites.

Described as “Instagram viewers,” Sahinturk operated at least 20 clone sites where he listed Instagram photos and made a profit by showing his own ads.

Domains operated by Sahinturk included jolygram.com, imggram.com, imggram.net, finalgram.com, pikdo.net, and ingram.ws, according to court filings.

The earliest domains were created in August 2017, and many of the sites are still active today.

Facebook said it tried to avoid litigation by sending multiple cease & desist letters to Sahinturk in early 2019, but to no avail.

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Conservative censorship goes beyond Twitter and Facebook after WordPress deplatforms popular website

The conservative site the Conservative Treehouse claimed it was deplatformed by hosting provider WordPress.

“Most CTH readers are likely aware of the term ‘deplatforming.’ Unfortunately, the big tech control mechanism to shut down speech & assembly has now arrived on our doorstep,” a post on Conservative Treehouse reads.

The site said it received a message from WordPress reading, “Given the incompatibility between your site’s content and our terms, you need to find a new hosting provider and must migrate the site by Wednesday, December 2nd.”

The Conservative Treehouse describes itself as the “last refuge” for conservative readers, saying, “Whatever trail through the woods brought us here, we have shared the turmoil of storms as we have been finding our voices as individuals in this growing community.”

The reported deplatforming caught the attention of Rep. Devin Nunes, who posted on Parler, “IMPORTANT! Please share with all your friends. This is what’s

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Going deep: is the internet breaking our grasp on reality? The 20 November Guardian Weekly | Facebook

One of the many worrying aspects of 2020 has been a rise in online conspiracy theories, with supporters of some of the wildest – such as QAnon – even rising to elected office. Others have documented losing their loved ones down the conspiracy rabbit hole. In the first of a new Guardian series on how big tech has thrived during the pandemic, Alex Hern investigates why people are losing their grip on reality online and what Facebook, and others, are doing to stem the flow.

The spread of online disinformation may even be influencing the man still sitting in the Oval Office in his refusal to concede. More than two weeks after election day in the US, Donald Trump has continued to proclaim his “victory” on social media and to delay the transition to the incoming Biden administration. As Simon Tisdall writes, this mess doesn’t just have implications for Americans

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Mark Zuckerberg admits Facebook uses secret tool to track users across internet



Mark Zuckerberg wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a curtain


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly admitted that a tool is used to keep track of user behaviour online during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday. Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley confronted Zuckerberg where he questioned him about two internal tools, brought to his attention by a Facebook whistleblower. The tools called Tasks and Centra are used to coordinate censorship with Twitter and Google and monitor Facebook user activity across the internet, respectively.

After the questioning of the hearing titled, Breaking the News: Censorship, Suppression, and the 2020 Election on Facebook and Twitter’s content moderation practices, Hawley on Twitter wrote, “Zuckerberg admits @Facebook DOES have ‘tools’ to track its users across the internet, across platforms, across accounts – all without user knowledge. I ask how many times this tool has been used domestically against Americans. Zuck won’t say.” He then attached a screenshot of the internal tool.

Zuckerberg, however,

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Facebook, Twitter CEOs express support for changes to key law governing internet speech

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies virtually Tuesday about social media’s responsibilities in fighting hatred while promoting free speech.


Screenshot by CNET

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey agreed Tuesday to support changes to a key federal internet law even as they pushed back at allegations that their companies are biased against conservative views.

In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, the pair of executives answered a range of questions that strayed from the original topic: how the companies handled the 2020 US election. The four-and-a-half-hour hearing touched on tech addiction, encryption and antitrust, in addition to content moderation.

The testimony marked the second congressional appearance for both men in less than a month. Though the exchanges were more cordial than last month’s, it was clear from the outset that lawmakers are intent on reining in the two popular social networks. One frequently raised possibility: revising Section 230, a

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Facebook, Twitter CEOs say they would support changes to key internet law

jack-dorsey-nov-17-2020-senate-hearing.png

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies virtually Tuesday about social media’s responsibilities in fighting hatred while promoting free speech.


Screenshot by CNET

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey agreed Tuesday to support changes to a key federal internet law even as they pushed against allegations their companies are biased against conservative views.

In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, the pair of executives answered a range of questions that strayed from the original topic: how the companies handled the 2020 US election. The four-and-half-hour hearing touched on tech addiction, encryption and antitrust, in addition to content moderation. 

The testimony marked the second Congressional appearance for both men in less than a month. While the exchanges were more cordial than last month’s, it was clear from the outset that lawmakers are intent on reining in the two popular social networks. One frequently raised possibility: revising Section 230, a key federal

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Facebook & Twitter Return To Capitol Hill; Internet Rules Among Issues “Piling Up” For Media Regulators In Biden Era

Click here to read the full article.

With the White House set to shift parties in January, powerful regulatory agencies the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission face sweeping issues with big implications for tech and entertainment, from antitrust and privacy to net neutrality, legal immunity for Internet platforms and media-cross ownership.

“They are piling up. Many issues that we were working on a decade ago are still around — the digital divide, net neutrality, copyright — and now we have others, like looking at big tech antitrust and Section 230. We need to see policymakers step up and take action,” said Christopher Lewis, president and CEO of policy nonprofit Public Knowledge, which promotes free expression and an open Internet.

Curating Internet content, or not, is by far the noisiest issue and the most political. The right and left both have concerns about how social media platforms operate,

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Facebook link preview feature used as a proxy in website-scraping scheme

Facebook

Image: Facebook

Multiple data-scraping groups have abused the Facebook link preview feature to scrape data from internet sites disguised as Facebook’s content crawler.

The technique consisted of using Facebook developer accounts to place calls to Facebook or Facebook Messenger API servers, requesting a link preview for pages a group wanted to scrape.

Facebook would fetch the data, assemble it in a link preview, and return it to the data scrappers as an API response, ready to be ingested into the scrapper’s database.

The technique was successful because most website operators allow Facebook servers to crawl their sites, knowing the data Facebook collects from their pages is usually used for legitimate purposes, as part of link previews on the social network, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Instagram.

Multiple groups abused the technique

But in a report published last week by DataDome, a security firm that provides bot detection capabilities for online sites,

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Facebook Groups that spread misinfo will now face probation and forced moderation

While the election may have now been called for Joe Biden, our misinformation nightmare is far from over.



graphical user interface, application: Facebook Groups that spread misinfo will now face probation and forced moderation


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Facebook Groups that spread misinfo will now face probation and forced moderation

As unsubstantiated pro-Trump conspiracies about election fraud continue to spread on the internet, Facebook is taking further action with Facebook Groups, a feature that is often weaponized by misinformation spreaders.

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According to Facebook, the social networking company will now put certain problematic Facebook Groups in “probation” periods. During this 60-day timeframe, all posts to these groups must be manually approved by a group’s administrators or moderators.

A group will be placed in this probationary state if the company finds that many of its posts are violating its community standards policies. There will be no appeals process for the probation period. All groups, whether public or private, are subject to probation.

If policy violation problems

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Facebook to Put Groups That Violate Its Standards on Probation

Demonstrators celebrate after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election on November 7, 2020, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Demonstrators celebrate after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election on November 7, 2020, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Photo: Tami Chappell / AFP (Getty Images)

Although millions of Americans—and really, the world—breathed a sigh of relief today when it was announced that former Vice President Joe Biden had given current President Donald Trump the worst news of his life (also known as, you’re fired), election season isn’t over yet. This means that Facebook still has a lot of work to do to keep its platform from becoming a toxic swamp of misinformation.

The company apparently has a new idea to tackle this problem: group probation. According to a Saturday report in the Washington Post, if Facebook detects that groups have too many posts that violate its community standards, it will place these groups under probation, which will require administrators or moderators to

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