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Facebook used user data to control competitors and rivals


Leaked documents from a lawsuit filed by a now-defunct startup Six4Three on Facebook shows some 700 pages revealing how Facebook leveraged user data against rivals and offered it up as a sop to friends.

NBC News reported how Facebook's executive team harnessed user data and used it as a bargaining chip to manipulate rivals. There are thousands of leaked documents to support that this was done under the supervision of the company's CEO Mark Zuckerberg.



NBC News has published an entire log of documents containing 7,000 pages including 4,000 internal communications such as emails, web chats, notes, presentations, spreadsheets on Facebook. These documents are dated between 2011 and 2015 that disclose the company's strategy of rewarding partners by giving them preferential data while denying the same to competitors.

The lawsuit that resulted in this major leak, was filed by Six4Three, a now inoperative startup which created the failed app Pikinis. The app allowed users to view pictures posted by people on Facebook and in order to work, the software required access to data on Facebook. The suit accuses Facebook of misusing and abusing data and uneven distribution of it. Other apps including Lulu, Beehive ID, and Rosa Bandet couldn't do business anymore after losing access to data.

The documents also revealed similar operations, for instance, the social network company gave extended access to user data to Amazon, as it partnered with Facebook and spent on Facebook advertising while denied data to MessageMe, a messaging app when it grew large enough to be a competition to Facebook.

Commenting on the documents, Facebook’s vice president and deputy general counsel, Paul Grewal, told NBC News, “As we’ve said many times, Six4Three — creators of the Bikinis app — cherry-picked these documents from years ago as part of a lawsuit to force Facebook to share information on friends of the app’s users.” However, no evidence has been provided by the company to support the "cherry-picked" claim.

In March, this year Zuckerberg said, that Facebook would focus more on its user's privacy as the social network's future. But for Facebook, privacy seems like a PR stunt and data more of a currency.

End of Facebook encrypted messaging?


The United States, United Kingdom and Australia, in an open letter, dated 4 October urged Facebook to create backdoors into its encrypted messaging apps to grant law enforcers faster access to private messages. This would help the government to tackle child abuse, terrorism and organized crimes.

The open letter was signed by UK home secretary Priti Patel, the US Attorney General William Barr, Acting US Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan and the Australian minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton on the grounds that cross-platform messaging encryption threatens public safety. It also aligns with UK and US’s agreement of “world-first” data access that will make cross border access to data easier and faster.

Earlier this process took from six months to a year however this agreement will speed up the process by weeks to even days as it will permit law enforcers to demand data directly from the company without asking the country’s government first.

Head of online child safety at the NSPCC Tony Stower said, “The landmark agreement between the US and UK on accessing data will radically reduce the time it takes for police to get hold of the data they need from tech giants to bring offenders to justice.
"It should be a hugely important step forward in tackling online child abuse - if tech giants play their part too."

What is End to End Encryption?

In End to End Encryption, the key to access the message is only with the sender and the recipient, even the platform can’t access the content. And, to access the content the platform needs to add backdoors that they themselves and government can access.

Facebook owned, WhatsApp already has end to end encryption and in March 2019, following the data scandal and Facebook's incompetence to protect its user’s data, Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to incorporate this encryption in messenger and Instagram.

With this open letter the governments of US, UK and Australia are pressuring Facebook to pause its plans of encrypting all messages. To which Facebook stand in opposition saying "people have the right to have a private conversation online." Facebook states that it is "consulting closely with child safety experts, governments and technology companies and devoting new teams and sophisticated technology" to keep people safe.

Privacy or Public Safety 

The letter chiefly focuses on child abuse and exploitation, considering the risk of easy access to offenders and criminals with encryption. In 2018, Facebook reported 16 million child-exploitation tips last year, Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said that Facebook’s proposal to encrypt its popular messaging program would turn the platform into a “dream come true for predators and child pornographers.” (Sc Reuters)

The letter supports encryption but with backdoors that grants government “a means for lawful access to the content of communications”

Facebook spokesperson said “We believe people have the right to have a private conversation online, wherever they are in the world. Ahead of our plans to bring more security and privacy to our messaging apps, we are consulting closely with child safety experts, governments and technology companies and devoting new teams and sophisticated technology so we can use all the information available to us to help keep people safe.”

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) called the letter “ an all-out attack on encryption” and the organization cautioned that such measures could pose a risk to journalist and activists and could be used by “authoritarian regimes... to spy on dissidents in the name of combating terrorism or civil unrest.” (Sc Forbes)

User Accounts and Phone Numbers Exposed; Confirms Instagram


Social Media Giant and Instagram senior, Facebook affirms that a newfound security vulnerability may have put the user data in danger, leaving many open to attack by 'threat actors'.

The vulnerability is said to be so strong to the point that through it the attacker would effectively access 'secure' user data like the users' real names, Instagram account numbers and handles, and full phone numbers.

An Israeli hacker known by the handle @ZHacker13 found the vulnerability with Instagram and said that misusing it would empower an attacker utilizing a multitude of bots and processors to manufacture an accessible/attackable database of users, bypassing protections protecting that information.

The attacker utilizes a simple algorithm against Instagram's login form, checking each phone number in turn for those linked to a live Instagram account, and since there is no restriction on the number of algorithms that can be kept running in parallel, the attacker can do it as many number of times as he wants.


After this while exploiting the advantages of Instagram's Sync Contacts feature he can figure out how to discover the account name and number linked to the phone number.


Anyway as of now, there is no proof that any user data has been misused or mishandled via utilizing this vulnerability—in any case; on the other hand, there is no proof that it hasn't.

Probably the fact that the endeavour required two separate procedures may imply that the attackers have chosen to withdraw.

Meanwhile, @ZHacker13 tested his Instagram exploit post Facebook's fix and affirmed that it no longer worked.

Facebook exposes 400 million user phone numbers


Security researchers have found a trove of more than 400 million Facebook users containing phone numbers on an unprotected server.

TechCrunch found a database on a server without any protection or encryption, meaning anyone could have found and accessed the database of users.

The database include 419 million records included unique Facebook IDs and the phone number listed on the account. Some also included the user's birth date, location and gender.

"This dataset is old and appears to have information obtained before we made changes last year to remove people's ability to find others using their phone numbers," the statement said.

"The dataset has been taken down and we have seen no evidence that Facebook accounts were compromised. The underlying issue was addressed as part of a Newsroom post on April 4th 2018 by Facebook's Chief Technology Officer."



Facebook Dating Service available in 20 countries


Facebook has launched one of its most awaiting features; Facebook dating service in the United States and other 19 countries for its users who are above 18 years or older.

Currently, dating feature would be available in countries including US, Bolivia, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Singapore, Suriname, Thailand, Laos, Guyana, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, Philippines, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Columbia,  Vietnam, and Malaysia.

Facebook said that they would launch a dating service in Europe in early 2020. While there is no word when they would launch the service in South East Asia.

"Today people are asked to make a decision as to whether or not they like someone immediately based on a static profile. To help you show, rather than tell, who you are, we're bringing Stories to Dating," Facebook blog post.

The user can create a dating profile, which will be entirely different and separate from the main profile.  People can integrate their Instagram posts in a dating profile, by the end of the year, and they would be able to add Instagram followers to their Secret Crush lists, in addition of their Facebook friends.

"By the end of the year, we'll make it possible to add Facebook and Instagram Stories to your Dating profile too,"  Facebook wrote in a blog post.

The dating service won't match you with your  Facebook friend until you choose to use Secret Crush and your crush too should have added you to their crush list.

"All of your Dating activity will stay in Facebook Dating. It won't be shared to the rest of Facebook," said the company.

"Finding a romantic partner is deeply personal, which is why we built Dating to be safe, inclusive and opt-in. Safety, security and privacy are at the forefront of this product," blog post.

US: Investigators can Use Fake Social Media Profiles to Monitor Potential Visa Seekers





US Citizenship and Immigration Services officers, who were previously banned from creating fake social media profiles, can now create such profiles for the purpose of monitoring social media information of foreigners attempting for visas, citizenship and green cards.

On Friday, the ban was overturned in the review of potential privacy issues conducted and posted online by the Homeland  Security Department.

Explaining the need for the reversal of the ban, a statement by USCIS said that locating evidence of fraud and cross verifying the information for security reasons will be made easier for officers and investigators while deciding whom to allow inside the US.

The concerned State Department took several other steps which included asking applicants applying for US visa to provide their social media handles. However, it is ambiguous how resorting to fake social media identities would be carried out successfully as the terms and conditions of major social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter would clearly be violated while impersonating.

Commenting on the matter, Twitter said in a statement, "It is against our policies to use fake personae and to use Twitter data for persistent surveillance of individuals. We look forward to understanding USCIS's proposed practices to determine whether they are consistent with our terms of service,"

As per the DHS document, the investigating officers are restricted from interacting or conversing with people on various social media platforms and are only allowed to review and verify information passively. Although a lot of social media activity can be viewed and hence reviewed without an account,  certain platforms still keep within bounds the access for the guest users.

Referencing from the remarks made by Dave Maass, a senior investigative researcher for the civil liberties advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation, use of fictitious accounts "undermines our trust in social media companies and our ability to communicate and organize and stay in touch with people."

"It can't be this double standard where police can do it, but members of the general public can't." He added.

Facebook to rename WhatsApp and Instagram






Facebook is planning to rename its two social media platform WhatsApp and Instagram as “WhatsApp from Facebook” and “Instagram from Facebook” respectively.

It came as a shock, as many users still doesn’t know that Facebook own these popular apps.

 Till now, the company allowed both the companies to operate as independent brands. They have their own managers, employess, and even sepearate work places. 

However, in recent times, Facebook has taken steps to make WhatsApp and Instagram less independent. 

“We want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook,” a spokeswoman, Bertie Thomson of the company said.

According to the report, the new name will be displayed only on the app store pages on both Android and iOS. The new names will also be visible on the login pages. 




FTC slaps Facebook with record $5 billion fine








The Federal Trade Commission has finally approved a hefty fine of $5 billion on Facebook over the company’s privacy policies.

The settlement has left Mark Zuckerberg on a very rocky position within the company and has immensely damaged it. 

The agreement says that the company should establish  an internal privacy oversight committee, "removing unfettered control by Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg over decisions affecting user privacy.” 

“The magnitude of the $5 billion penalty and sweeping conduct relief are unprecedented in the history of the FTC," said FTC Chairman Joe Simons when announcing the settlement. "The relief is designed not only to punish future violations but, more importantly, to change Facebook’s entire privacy culture to decrease the likelihood of continued violations."

Although, the settlement did not hold Facebook executives, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, personally responsible for the privacy violations. 

Zuckerberg welcomed and settlement in a blog post, and said that the structural change will help the company to grow more. 


"These changes go beyond anything required under US law today," he said. "The reason I support them is that I believe they will reduce the number of mistakes we make and help us deliver stronger privacy protections for everyone."

Google, Facebook tracking porn preferences of users








Researchers at Microsoft, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pennsylvania found out that Google and Facebook are tracking users porn consumption data, even in incognito mode. 

The experts analyzed 22,484 porn sites and 93 percent of them send data to several domains that are owned by third-party companies.

“[E]veryone is at risk when such data is accessible without users’ consent, and thus can potentially be leveraged against them,” write the authors. “These risks are heightened for vulnerable populations whose porn usage might be classified as non-normative or contrary to their public life.” 

According to the study, Google is the No.1 company who receives data from the third parties. The research found that Google or its subsidiaries had trackers on 74% of the pornography sites, while  Facebook had trackers on 10% of the sites. 

“[M]any sites and apps include code from other parties of which users are typically unaware,” the authors say. “Such ‘third-party’ code can allow companies to monitor the actions of users without their knowledge or consent and build detailed profiles of their habits and interests.”

Only 17 percent of all the analyzed sites in the research sample were encrypted. More ever, 49.97 percent of porn site URLs expose or strongly suggest the identities, sexual orientation, and intimate interests of visitors.

“[T]hese porn domains contain words or phrases that would likely be generally understood as an indicator of a particular sexual preference or interest inherent in the site’s content,” the researchers say. [T]hese might also likely be assumed to be tied to the user accessing that content.”

The study found that only 17 percent of porn sites have a privacy policy and encrypted data transfer. 


“The policies were written such that one might need a two-year college education to understand them,” the authors note. 

Israeli spyware firm NSO can mine data from social media accounts









An Israeli spyware firm has claimed that they can scoop  user data from the world’s top social media, the Financial Times report. 

The powerful malware Pegasus from NSO Group is the same spyware that breached WhatsApp data earlier this year. 

The firm said that this time their malware can scrap data from the servers of Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft. 

According to the reports of the Times, the NSO group had “told buyers its technology can surreptitiously scrape all of an individual’s data from the servers of Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, according to people familiar with its sales pitch”.

However, the companies spokesperson denied the allegation in a in written statement to AFP’s request for comment. 
“There is a fundamental misunderstanding of NSO, its services and technology,” it said.

“NSO’s products do not provide the type of collection capabilities and access to cloud applications, services, or infrastructure as listed and suggested in today’s FT article.”

In the mean time, Amazon and Google told AFP that they have started an investigation on the basis of report, but so far found no evidence that the software had breached their systems or customer accounts.




Facebook fined $5bn over Cambridge Analytica scandal










US regulators the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved a fine of $5 billion on Facebook to settle an investigation into Cambridge Analytica scandal, reports in US media. 

The commission was investigating the data breach that that affected more than 87 million Facebook users. 

The main focus of the investigation was to find out whether Facebook had violated a 2011 agreement which prohibits companies from obtaining users data without notifying them. 

"With the FTC either unable or unwilling to put in place reasonable guardrails to ensure that user privacy and data are protected, it's time for Congress to act," US Senator Mark Warner said.

The fine of $5bn was sanctioned by the FTC in a 3-2 vote with Republican commissioners in favor and Democrats opposed.

According to the New York Times report the Democrats wanted to take stricter action against the firm,  while other Democrats criticized that the fine is too less. 







Fake Messages on WhatsApp Asks the Users to Pay Money in Order to Continue Using the App




WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram suffered a social media outage on 3rd July which affected the users all across the world. As a consequence of the outage, users were not able to access the platforms properly and certain features became dysfunctional. During the outage, a lot of people in India got messages on their WhatsApp telling that the app is down due to over usage and it would be off from 11:30 PM to 6:00 AM every day. The message also asked users to forward the text message to their contacts in order to continue using the app service otherwise their account would be made inaccessible and the app services will no longer be free of charge for them.

The fake message which was circulated on WhatsApp is as follows:

“What's app will b off From 11.30pm to 6:00 am daily Declared by central govt. Message from Narendra Modi (PM) we have had an over usage of user names on WhatsApp Messenger. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list. If you do not forward this message, we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within the next 48 hours. DO NOT ignore my words or whatsapp will no longer recognise your activation. If you wish to re-activate your account after it has been deleted, a charge of 499.00 will be added to your monthly bill. We are also aware of the issue involving the pictures updates not showing. We are working diligently at fixing this problem and it will be up and running as soon as possible. Thank you for your cooperation from the modi team. WhatsApp is going to cost you money soon. The only way that it will stay free is if you are a frequent user i.e. you have at least 50 people you are chatting with. To become a frequent user send this message to 10 people who receive it (2 ticks) and your WhatsApp logo will change color. send this to 8 people to activate the new whatsapp..
Saturday morning whatsapp will become chargeable. If you have at least 10 contacts send them this message. In this way, we will see that you are an avid user and your logo will become blue and will remain free. (As discussed in the paper today. Whatsapp will cost 0.01€ per message. Send this message to 10 people. When you do the light will turn blue otherwise whatsapp will activate billing. ITS TRUE ...... U get blue TICKS"

Likewise, another fake message claimed that WhatsApp has been sold off to Mukesh Ambani and asks users to forward the message to 10 people in order to activate the new WhatsApp along with Facebook services.

The entire message read:
"Dont ignore please read it carefully" Hello, I. Am VARUN PULYANI director of whatsapp, this message is to inform all of our users that we have sold whatsapp to Mukesh Ambani . Reliance for 19 billion $. WhatsApp is now controlled by mukesh Ambani . If you have at least 10 contacts send this sms and logo of your whatsapp will change to a new icon with facebook's "f" within 24 hours.Forward this message to more than 10 people to activate your new whatsapp with Facebook services or else your account will be deleted from new servers.
This is the final notice! Hello everyone, it seems that all the warnings were real, the use of WhatsApp cost money from November 2017. If you send this string to 18 different on your list, your icon will be blue and will be free for you. If you do not believe me see tomorrow at 6 pm ending WhatsApp and have to pay to open it, this is by law This message is to inform all of our users, our servers have recently been very congested, so we are asking you to help us solve this problem. We require our active users to forward this message to each of the people in your contact list to confirm our active users using WhatsApp, if you do not send this message to all your contacts WhatsApp will then start to charge you. Your account will remain inactive with the consequence of losing all your contacts. Message from Jim Balsamic (CEO of Whatsapp ) we have had an over usage of user names on whatsapp Messenger. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list. If you do not forward this message, we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within the next 48 hours. Please DO NOT ignore this message or whatsapp will no longer recognise your activation. If you wish to re-activate your account after it has been deleted, a charge of 25.00 will be added to your monthly bill. We are also aware of the issue involving the pictures updates not showing. We are working diligently at fixing this problem and it will be up and running as soon as possible. Thank you for your cooperation from the Whatsapp team”

Users are advised to not believe such fake messages and avoid spreading the misinformation further by forwarding it to other users.



Global outage affecting Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp around the world







Social media services owned by Facebook were down for several hours for users around the world. The outage was affecting the entire ‘family of apps.’
Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp faced the outage from the early Morning on Wednesday, some users reported issues in uploading and downloading the images, video and audio files, while some of them faced difficulties in the News Feed. 

Facebook acknowledged the technical glitch and tweeted from their global Twitter handle stating that “We're aware that some people are having trouble uploading or sending images, videos or other files on our apps. We're sorry for the trouble and are working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible." 

The outage affected users across Asia, Europe, USA, and Africa. 

Users vented out their frustration against the three social media website on their Twitter accounts with the hashtags #instagramdown, #facebookdown and #whatsappdown, all of these hashtags were top trends on the site across the world. 

Instagram was forced to issue its own statement on Twitter. "We're sorry for the trouble and are working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible" Instagram tweeted.


Facebook to launch a new digital cryptocurrency





Social media giant Facebook is set to roll out a new digital cryptocurrency, Libra, next year, which would let users’ buy things as well as send money to people without any process fees. 

People would be able to make payments with the currency via    third-party wallet apps or Facebook’s own Calibra wallet that will be built into WhatsApp, Messenger and its own app. 

It is said that firms such as Uber and Visa will accept it in future.

From next year, Facebook users’ will be able to buy Libra from its platforms and then it will be stored in a digital wallet called Calibra.

The user can make payments and send money to other  users, and this whole process would instant and as easy as texting. 

"In time, we hope to offer additional services for people and businesses, such as paying bills with the push of a button, buying a cup of coffee with the scan of a code, or riding your local public transit without needing to carry cash or a metro pass,” it said. 

However, there is a big concern over how users’ money and data will be protected. 

The firm stressed that Libra would not be managed solely by the Facebook, but it would be independent, and run by a group of companies and charities- called the Libra Association.

Group of companies that are likely to accept Libra, includes
  • Payments firms such as Mastercard and PayPal
  • Digital businesses including eBay, Spotify and Uber
  • Telecoms firms such as Vodafone
  • And charities such as the microfinance group Women's World Banking.


Facebook Monitors Users' Offline Behaviour





Facebook is now tracking its user's offline activity to keep a log of suspected 'hate agents’.

A document, titled “Hate Agent Policy Review,” was obtained by Breitbart News, from a source inside Facebook. It outlines a series of rules and regulations that would determine if someone is a  ‘hate agent’ or not.

The social media giant will monitor users activity on other websites and even their private lives, such as whether they have a 'hate symbol' tattoo or not. 

According to this memo ex-UKIP MEP candidate Carl Benjamin among Facebook's hate agents.

Facebook’s spokesperson said to MailOnline, ’As our Community Standards make clear, we’ve always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of their ideology or motivation. 

'The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and we consider a number of different signals.' 


However, Facebook has pledged to bans all individuals and organizations engaging in violence or hate, regardless of ideological motivations.

Facebook's Defunct Research Program Collects 'Untargeted' Data That May Be Sensitive On Almost 200K Users



Facebook's recently launched research program came down with a huge crash as it 'harvested the potential sensitive personal data' of approximately 187,000 people around the globe, including a large number of teenagers of the US.

Apple had already prohibited the use of the application practically about a year back and correspondences among Facebook and Sen. Richard Blumenthal's office detail the breadth of the organization's data collection program for the first time since then.

As indicated by those emails, of the about 190,000 individuals participating, 31,000 were US residents and 4,300 of those natives were between the ages of 13 to 17-years of old. The remaining users were located in India, says the report.

The now-banned research program named Project Atlas and the Research application were although terminated not long ago after reports came of the abuse of a special developer's certificate that enabled the organization to sidestep Apple's App Store.

In the program, the participants were paid $20 every month to download an altered VPN, in which the organization sucked up an enormous sum of personal data, including web browsing histories, encrypted messages, application activity, and much more.

Apple repudiated the enterprise privileges of both Facebook and Google which was likewise observed to manhandle its developers certificate.

Facebook said it decided not to decrypt the majority of the data collected by the program and didn't expand on what the 'non-targeted' content was cleared up in the process.

The contention though hasn't halted Facebook from proceeding to seek after mobile users data through broad market program.



Regardless in another 'iteration announced' only the earlier week called 'Facebook Study,' only accessible through Google Pay, the company says it will compensate users in return for a variety of data points about precisely how and when they use apps on their phones.

Manipur Engineer Enters Facebook’s “Hall Of Fame 2019” By Discovering a Privacy Breach Bug



Zonel Sougaijam, a 22-year-old civil engineer, was recently honoured by Facebook for discovering a WhatsApp bug that violated the privacy of a user.

Mr. Sougaijam told PTI, in the wake of discovering the bug, that he had reported the issue to the Bug Bounty Program of the Facebook, which manages infringement of privacy matters, in March.

“During a voice call through WhatsApp, the bug used to allow the caller to upgrade it to a video call without the authorisation and knowledge of the receiver. The caller was then able to see what the other person was doing, violating the privacy of the receiver,” he said.

Zonel Sougaijam, the 22-year-old civil engineer

His report was hence acknowledged by the Facebook Security Team the immediate next day and its technical department fixed the bug under 15-20 days. The social media giant then proceeded to award him with a bounty of $5000 at the same time incorporating him in the 'Facebook Hall of Fame 2019', for detecting the WhatsApp bug.

Sougaijam's name is right now at the 16th position in a rundown of 94 people, in the 'Facebook Hall of Fame' for the current year.

Facebook had obtained Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. The organization has been entangled in data privacy concerns and political ramifications of its calculations throughout the most recent couple of years.


Facebook Publishes Its Latest "Enforcement Report”; Removes More Than Three Billion Fake Accounts and Seven Million "Hate Speech" Posts




Facebook has sought to expel more than three billion fake accounts alongside more than approximately seven million "hate speech" posts as it distributed its most recent "enforcement report", which subtleties what number of posts and records it made a move on between October 2018 and March 2019.

The Social Networking company's Chief Executive Zuckerberg clarifies when he hit back against various calls to break Facebook, “I don't think that the remedy of breaking up the company is going to address [the problem]," he said.

He displayed his contention defending Facebook's size made it conceivable to protect against the network's problems.

While move was made on more than one million posts selling weapons in the sixth month time frame covered by the report. The social network will now also report what numbers of posts were evacuated for selling "regulated goods”, for example, drugs and guns.

For certain sorts of content, like child sex abuse imagery, violence and terrorist propaganda, the report evaluates how frequently such a content was 'actually seen' by individuals on Facebook.

For the first time though, the report reveals that between January and March 2019 more than one million appeals were made after posts were erased for "hate speech". Also, moreover around 150,000 posts that were found not to have broken the hate speech policy were re - established amid that period.

Facebook said the report featured, "areas where we could be more open in order to build more accountability and responsiveness to the people who use our platform".

Zuckerberg however assured any doubts the reporters might have saying that, “The success of the company has allowed us to fund these efforts at a massive level. I think the amount of our budget that goes toward our safety systems...”



Targeted Surveillance Attack on Whatsapp





The Facebook owned entity was recently a target of the hackers who had the option to remotely install surveillance softwares on phones and different devices utilizing a rather major vulnerability in the messaging app.

The attack incorporated of attackers utilizing WhatsApp's voice calling function to ring a target's device and regardless of whether the call was not received or not, the surveillance software could be installed. As per the Financial Times report which also speculates that the surveillance software included was created by an Israeli firm NSO Group, the call would frequently disappear from the device’s call log.

WhatsApp told the BBC its security team was the first to recognize the flaw. It imparted that info with human rights groups, chose the security vendors and the US Department of Justice prior this month.

"The attack has all the hallmarks of a private company reportedly that works with governments to deliver spyware that takes over the functions of mobile phone operating systems,” the company said on Monday in a briefing document note for journalists.

WhatsApp said it was too soon to realize what number of users had been affected by the vulnerability, in spite of the fact that it included that the suspected attacks were exceptionally focused on. As indicated by the New York Times, one of the general populations targeted on was a London-based lawyer associated with a claim against the NSO Group.

Although a fix was “rolled out “on Friday, on Monday, WhatsApp requested the majority of its 1.5 billion users to update their applications as an additional precautionary measure.

How to update WhatsApp?

Android
  1. Open the Google Play store
  2. Tap the menu at the top left of the screen
  3. Tap My Apps & Games
  4. If WhatsApp has recently been updated, it will appear in the list of apps with a button that says Open
  5. If WhatsApp has not been automatically updated, the button will say Update. Tap Update to install the new version
  6. The latest version of WhatsApp on Android is 2.19.134

iOS
  1. Open the App Store
  2. At the bottom of the screen, tap Updates
  3. If WhatsApp has recently been updated, it will appear in the list of apps with a button that says Open
  4. If WhatsApp has not been automatically updated, the button will say Update. Tap Update to install the new version
  5. The latest version of WhatsApp on iOS is 2.19.51


Facebook to redesign Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram



Facebook is coming up with a series of changes to all its social media networks including Instagram and Whatsapp.

According to its boss Mark Zuckerberg the new designs and features will focus on privacy first. The company decided to change its apps after facing widespread criticism for handling users data.

"We don’t exactly have the strongest reputation on privacy right now, to put it lightly," Zuckerberg said.

Here is list of changes in the app:

  • All the messages sent via Messenger will be end-to-end encrypted by default, and the platform will be fully integrated with WhatsApp
  • Instagram will hide like counts, but not the account owner
  • A WhatsApp secure payment service would be introduced in other countries later this year.
  • The Facebook app is being redesigned to make community groups central to the newsfeed - and the distinctive blue branding is going. The redesign is rolling out in the US and then more widely straight away.
  • Users will be able to post text, stickers or drawings on their Instagram post rather than starting it with a photo or a video. 

Other than this, Facebook has introduced a new feature called Secret Crush, which is a part of Facebook Dating. This feature will let Facebook members to tag up to nine of their crushes. 

If the recipient of the crush is also using the feature and nominates them as well, then both parties will receive a message to say they have matched.

Facebook Dating will roll out in 14 new countries, but will not be available in Europe or the US.