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Hanna Kozlowska

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Facebook Knows Exactly How Many Times You’ve Searched For Your Ex

June 13, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Facebook knows a lot about you—including every time you’ve searched for an ex, a crush, or any other person on the platform. This little tidbit is part of a 225-page document which includes more than 2,000 questions for Facebook from senators from the U.S. Senate Commerce and Judiciary committees, and...

Facebook Says It Will Kick Off Scammy Advertisers If Enough Users Report Them

June 12, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow An ad for pants pops up on your Facebook feed. You’ve never heard of the brand, but you like the style, so you click the ad. It takes you to a website filled with typos. The fabric is a mysterious blend. You hesitate, but you buy them anyway. Sometimes, these...

Your Smartphone Was Probably Sharing Your Friends’ Facebook Data Behind Your Back

June 4, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook promised its users they would have full control over their data, noting that it cut off third-party access to detailed friend information back in 2015. But according to a New York Times story, Facebook hasn’t been counting mobile devices as third parties, leaving companies...

Facebook Is Killing its “Trending” Feature, Proving Algorithms Aren’t Always the Answer

June 2, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Facebook says it’s removing its controversial “Trending” section because no one was actually using it. Over the past few years, the feature, which displays news stories popular on the platform, has become a case study for why algorithms can’t always do the job of a human, and why they can’t...

If You Want Facebook to Stop Targeting You For Ads, Follow These Instructions

May 10, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Much of the controversy surrounding Facebook comes from to the company’s ability to very precisely target its users for the purpose of serving ads. Users often find the ads creepy and intrusive, even wondering if Facebook is listening to their phone conversations because they’re so accurate. Citizens Against Monopoly, a...

200,000 Volunteers Have Become the Fact Checkers of the Internet

April 29, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Founded in 2001, Wikipedia is on the verge of adulthood. It’s the world’s fifth-most popular website, with 46 million articles in 300 languages, while having less than 300 full-time employees. What makes it successful is the 200,000 volunteers who create it, said Katherine Maher, the executive director of the Wikimedia...

Despite #deleteFacebook, U.S. Users Are Logging In As Much As Ever

April 27, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In the last quarter of 2017, Facebook reported that daily active users in the U.S. and Canada fell by about 1 million people—the first such decline in the company’s history. At the time that drop looked ominous—the region is by far Facebook’s most lucrative market. But the social network’s executives...

Facebook Has Revealed the Hyper-Specific Internal Rules It Uses to Police Content

April 24, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Deciding what content is allowed on Facebook and what is not is one of the company’s biggest headaches. The platform is constantly being criticized over either censoring content or leaving up harmful material. After every backlash it has to clarify, for example, in which cases it bans nudity (generally, female...

“Why Am I Seeing This Ad” Explanations on Facebook Are Incomplete and Misleading, a Study Says

April 6, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Cambridge Analytica, the shadowy data firm at the center of the largest online privacy scandal in years, obtained data on up to 87 million Facebook users in order to “microtarget” political advertisements. Using precise information on the consumer—or in this case, voter—Facebook lets advertisers find the perfect audience, the optimal...

The Cambridge Analytica Scandal Affected Nearly 40 million More People Than We Thought

April 4, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Up to 87 million Facebook users’ personal data may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica—nearly 40 million more users than previously reported. The revelation was buried deep in a lengthy update from Facebook today about about its plans to restrict data access for third-party apps, like the one that...