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Home / Technology / Apple's power over Facebook should worry the rest of us

Apple's power over Facebook should worry the rest of us



Programming Note: I'm on duty tomorrow and Friday. The interface will return on Monday.

On Wednesday at 2:30 pm ET Facebook sent me an update about the controversial market research program that was released on Tuesday by TechCrunch . From now on, the program would end on Apple devices. TechCrunch also included some of the language in TechCrunch :

"Key facts about this market research program are being ignored," the company said. "Despite earlier reports, there was nothing" secret ". It was literally called the Facebook Research App. It was not "espionage" because all the people who had applied to attend a clear entry process that asked for permission and was paid for it. After all, fewer than 5 percent of the people who chose to participate in this market research program were young people. All with signed parental consent forms. "

Some of them are fair in my opinion: It seems wrong to call a program that is publicly advertised in various apps and is known as Facebook Research. On the other hand, the percentage of young people participating seems to be less relevant than the fact that they were sought from the beginning, even though this was emphasized in the headlines (including my own). The "Parental Consent" was a screen that anyone could quickly pass.

What I did not know in the early hours of Wednesday morning was that Facebook had already lost the general argument to its supreme regulator in this case: Apple The company took steps last night to invalidate the root certificates, the enable both the market research program and every single app that Facebook uses for internal testing purposes for tens of thousands of employees around the world. Here are Tom Warren and Jake Kastrenakes:

Apple has discontinued the ability of Facebook to distribute internal iOS apps, from early releases of the Facebook app to basic tools such as a lunch menu. One person familiar with the situation reports The Verge that early versions of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and other "dogfood" (beta) applications have stopped prior to release, as have other employees -Apps, z transport. Internally, Facebook treats this problem as a critical issue because the affected apps simply stop working on employees' mobile phones.

As I noted yesterday, the tensions between Apple and Facebook have been high for some time now. For Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook and its advertising-supported tech giant Google are providing convenient punching bags. Last year, he described companies as "the data-industrial complex" in a speech on privacy. Cook wants to promote the idea that iOS devices are more valuable than others because they do not use advertising. based business model. (His rhetoric strongly escalated in 2016 after Apple's five-year quest to build its own advertising-based business model has been destroyed and collapsed.

Facebook has pushed back slightly: Mark Zuckerberg called Cook's comments on Facebook's business model But Zuckerberg can only go that far, and Cook can flip a switch that removes the Facebook app from any iOS user's devices – Facebook may be one of the most powerful companies in the world – but that way it seems pretty weak

By invalidating Facebook's company certificate, Cook has turned one of its smaller counters today, and the result on Facebook was chaos today, reports Rob Price. (Others pretty much told me the same thing.)

The movement has tensions between Facebook and Apple dramatically tightened, and the Facebook employees are not in the L to communicate with colleagues, access internal information and even use company communications.

The movement has dramatically escalated tensions between Facebook and Apple, and Facebook employees are unable to communicate with peers, access internal information and even use company traffic.

And that's how the entire day was wasted by Facebook. A cold conflict had suddenly escalated to a shooting war.

Facebook's argument against Facebook's research efforts goes something like this: at a time when there is growing concern about its data-gathering practices, the company has put an end to it. run around Apple Developer Guidelines to swallow some of a person's most sensitive data, including some that belong to teenagers.

This includes data from friends of people who volunteered – which, as Issie Lapowsky noted, was at the heart of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. And the legislature wondered if some of the people targeted by Facebook, including 13-year-olds, could even consent. "Listening to teens is not research, and it should never be allowed," said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) in a statement.

Also, Pro-Privacy Apple would likely scare off the prospect of more companies on Facebook taking steps and accessing cell phones at the root level, even though those companies pay individuals for the privilege. It's not hard to imagine what a single bad actor could do with this single device control.

But there is also an argument for Facebook's research, and I've heard it from some of you. One is that it's common – and at the end of the day, Google had to remove a similar app from the business development program. (The company has been able to evade Apple's punishment following the rejection of a vile apology.) Second, the Facebook program has obtained the approval of its subscribers and obtained the consent of the participants, claiming that people would not offer their consent can, is unusually patronizing. Third, by paying their volunteers, they essentially became contractors – and made fig leaves the decision to include Facebook Research in the company's app implementations.

For those who believe that Facebook should be forced to maintain and retain less consumer data, today probably felt like a win. In this view, Apple joined protected consumers. ("It's strange, but probably necessary / inevitable that Apple is now the de facto privacy officer of Facebook," New York Times . "Kevin Roose tweeted .)

If you look If you are more interested in the competition, today's news can give you a shiver.A huge platform declared the market research program of another platform inappropriate and then disappeared with a Thanos-style fingerprint. In the words of my boss, Nilay Patel :

Hello, I'm the nagging voice in the back of my mind, pointing out that it's pretty intense that Apple can just choose to block people from executing code on their phones.

Facebook is an enlightened dictatorship, but also Apple.Tim Cook and his lieutenants determine the conditions of a huge economy and can change this economy on a whim Today, Apple may not have adhered to its privacy policy, which benefits some consumers. (And to the detriment of anyone who pays for the $ 20 gift card!) But with Apple being more pressure to act as the de facto privacy officer, we may feel uncomfortable with its monopoly power.

Concerns in this area have developed in recent years, as the iPhone has matured as a development platform. Apple is currently the subject of a lawsuit in the Supreme Court alleging that its App Store monopoly is overburdening customers. I suspect there will be more of this kind of test.

To put it in a nutshell: The Facebook team that built this market research program seems to have acted ruthlessly in the face of the missions for its peers. I hate to talk about the old motto of the company, which is to go fast and break things, more than most journalists who report on the company. In this case, Facebook has made the decision to enable its engineers to ship almost everything with a minimum of checks

I still believe that Facebook would be well advised to consider how less user data could be searched for and to develop new programs to clean up the data already collected. It could buy the company Goodwill at one time if this is in a dangerously tight situation . Or maybe it will simply look at today's report of the outstanding earnings to prove that once again a Media Dogpile has not identified the authentic affection of its 2 billion users for its products, no matter what missteps it makes along the way.

But for all The attention we're giving here on Facebook is hopefully less for Apple. If Tim Cook can cause so much chaos on Facebook's day, as justified, imagine what power Apple has over the rest of us.

Democracy

This is your Facebook mind

Benedict Carey reports on a new study by Stanford on the positive and negative consequences of a temporary withdrawal from Facebook:

Expect the consequences to be quite immediate: Personal time with friends and family. Less political knowledge, but also less partisan fever. A small impairment of the daily moods and life satisfaction. And for the average Facebook user, an extra hour of downtime per day. […]

The new study, a randomized study funded primarily by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, an impartial advocate of science, technology and business research, outlines a sophisticated, well-balanced portrait of daily use that neither critics nor advocates Satisfies supporters of the platform.

ACLU Sues a California Sheriff for Blocking Activists on Facebook

Following court rulings in cases where the President blocked his Twitter critics, the American Civil Liberties Union instituted a lawsuit against a Sacramento sheriff for unlawful blocking According to the ACLU, two Sacramento leaders of Black Lives Matter were blocked by Sheriff Scott Jones on Facebook after Jones killed the death of Mikel McIntyre, who sued Black Lives Matter activists from his official Facebook page.

Sailors did not want to investigate by Sacramento MPs in 2017. Last fall, Jones posted on his official Facebook page to seek support, but came across criticism. He then ordered him to join BLM leaders Tanya Faison and Sonia Lewis To block.

When a page blocks someone on social media platforms, the blocked user can no longer view or interact with posts on this page. Because the site in question was edited by the sheriff, a government official, the bloc raises unique constitutional issues.

Want to post fake news on Facebook? Just change your website domain.

Daniel Funke explores how fake news publishers can avoid punishments on Facebook by simply changing their web hosts:

Of the 45 tagged stories we identified at the time, 12 are still live in News Impact with the same headline. Of these, were marked as on Facebook at the time of publication.

That means – although fact checkers have already debunked these stories – old YourNewsWire stories can be shared with no links from NewsPunch links to get a warning that they're wrong. The fake news site itself could even re-release it and find a new audience. And some of the stories have this.

Updating our work to prevent pre-election abuse in the EU

Google is taking new steps to protect user accounts in the run-up to the European Union elections, including the registration of new advertiser requirements similar to Facebook. It also provides free, specialized tools for journalists.

Amazon funds computer science courses at more than 130 New York-based New York schools

Amazon seeks to create goodwill in New York City, where plans to build Regional Office 1 have led to widespread criticism. It will now finance dozens of computer science programs.

Elsewhere

Facebook grows despite scandals and disregard for privacy

Perhaps the most important result of Facebook's latest profit report from company's point of view is that usage is increasing:

In December 2018, more than 1 used daily, 52 billion people Facebook, an increase of 9 percent over the previous year. Monthly active users also rose 9 percent year-over-year, to $ 2.32 billion as of December 31.

Both numbers have risen 1.8 percent from the previous quarter and have improved after three months in the US and Europe. This quarter's growth is by no means the best that Facebook has had, but it is returning to the company's usual bullish trend, with signs of an early decline.

Mark Zuckerberg reports on Facebook's 2019 priorities

So Zuckerberg's Facebook has four priorities this year:

First, keep making progress on the major social issues facing the Internet and our business ,

Secondly, you should gain new experiences that make a meaningful difference to people's lives today, and create the conditions for even greater future improvements.

Third, build our business by supporting the millions of businesses – mostly small businesses – who rely on our services to create jobs and create jobs.

And fourth, communicate more transparently about what we do the role our services play in the world.

EFF attorney joins WhatsApp as privacy manager

Taylor Hatmaker reports that Facebook has tempted some privacy officers into coming from inside:

Next month, long-time lawyer of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Nate Cardozo, Join WhatsApp from Facebook's encrypted chat app. Cardozo was most recently Senior Information Security Counsel at the EFF, where he worked closely with the cybersecurity organization. As stated in his biography, Cardozo is an "expert on technology rights and civil liberties" and is already working with private companies on privacy policies that protect user rights.

Does Facebook really know how many fake accounts it has?

Jack Nicas explores the challenge of accurately measuring fake accounts on Facebook. (As Rob Horning points out, the existence of counterfeit accounts can also be seen as a hopeful sign that a perfect global panopticon that exists only to exploit the weakest among us has not yet been completed!)

Facebook has its estimate of cut off counterfeits in 2016 significantly. A year later, the estimate was more than quadrupled. And on Wednesday, Facebook had increased the estimate by a minus at the bottom of a slide slide by 36 percent to 116 million. So what happens?

Facebook comes to its estimates by analyzing a sample of accounts "looking for names that appear to be fake, or for some other behavior that appears spurious," the company said in its filing. "We use considerable judgment to make this decision."

Stalker streamer drops Twitch's Solutions Fall Short

Nathan Grayson reports a woman plagued by Teps on Twitch – and the Amazon-owned company , this may not seem to do anything about it. Her Crime: Pleading for Diversity in Video Games:

Whenever she streams, she can rest assured that people in her community are getting scary DMs, either from a person who calls herself "Mosheddy" or his friends, in part devotes reports that explicitly mention Mosheddy to mock her. Other channels that DePass hosted sent their community to use Twitch's "Raid" feature, or even decided to watch for themselves as Mosheddy and his sympathizers tripped it.

All this happens despite a suite of twitch tools and service conditions that should theoretically allow streamers to curate their communities and experiences – and, above all, protect themselves from users who threaten or anger them. The troll of DePass has discovered a number of easily exploitable loopholes. Sure, now that DePass has banned him, he can no longer speak in the chat of their channel, but he can still follow him, see who is in his community, DM, and whenever DePass decides to reach another channel. [19659066] Takes

How Technologists Can Help Counteract Misinformation and Other Social Injuries

Brendan Nyhan and Patrick Ball claim that the success of Google Walkout is that employees of large tech companies should exert internal pressure on their superiors Reforming:

Encouraging tech giants to do more to limit the spread of misinformation is perhaps the least vicious solution to the problem we are now facing. The effectiveness of these efforts and their consistency with our values ​​is difficult to monitor outside of these massive and powerful companies.

In this sense, employees of Facebook, Google and other platforms have been given a great deal of responsibility. We must encourage them to act as proponents of socially responsible arithmetic and to protect and reward those who occur when these principles are violated.

Netflix documentary The Great Hack turns the Cambridge Analytica scandal into a drama

Adi Robertson is unimpressed with a new documentary about Cambridge Analytica, which will be directed to Netflix later this year:

The Great Hack

is sometimes fascinating, especially when it comes to the shady interior of Cambridge Analytica. And it covers current and important topics. But for a film about the resistance to propaganda, it is surprisingly credible.

Cambridge Analytica has clearly hurt the trust of Facebook users. There is much less evidence that his "psychographic" tactics work better than traditional ads and broad-based ads. In some reports, the company is described as a limping snake oil trader, suggesting that Mercer forced the candidates to engage him as a condition for his donations. While The Great Hacks hammering Cambridge Analytica for all sorts of deceptions, they seem to accept their selling point at face value – as well as the filmmakers who present the company's marketing materials and promotions as the undisputed fact.

The BuzzFeed Layoffs as a Democratic Emergency

If BuzzFeed – with an audience of 690 million people per month – can not create online advertising, who can? Farhad Manjoo worries what it means to us all. (Me too.)

More than anyone else in the media, Jonas Peretti, founder of BuzzFeed, has been symbiosis with the tech platforms. He understood that the technology giants were getting bigger, but for him that was a feature and not a mistake. By creating content that fits into their algorithms, he introduced himself to Buzzfeed as it grew bigger and would make money.

At least the dismissals point to the tragic folly of Peretti's thinking. Google and Facebook have no economic incentive for a symbiosis. Anything BuzzFeed can do for them can also be done by online hordes who create content without pay.

Where are the media? Bereft.

An Anti-Facebook Manifest by an Early Facebook Investor

If you like your Facebook review peppered with their author's spit, you'll probably like Zucked's Tom Bissell's review of Roger McNamee's . ( I have not done.)

There is no reason to suggest that because human neurotransmitters respond to the iconic use of a particular blue tone level of the platform and generate sparks upon receipt of a similar dopamine. "Or "day" notice, desperate children now live in cages and a maddened madman occupy the Oval Office Not even Orwell could have predicted this dystopia after a feast of Psilocybin This is all of us.

And finally ..

This guy accidentally fell asleep and woke up to hundreds of spectators

.Jesse Daugherty likes to play himself and play video games for a small number of fans, then he fell asleep during the broadcast and became his biggest audience he'd ever seen: "

" In a pretty gorgeous clip in his channel, Daugherty is slow to see and notice ken, how big his audience had become. The clip titled "The Awakening" now has more than 2.6 million views.

"I've seen a total of 200 and thought that was wrong," he said. "Then I saw how fast the chat moved, and I thought, okay, that's not wrong."

I've told people this year that they do not sleep on Twitch as a fast-growing social network, but it seems to be so

Talk to me

Send me tips, comments, questions and $ 20 Gift Cards: casey@theverge.com


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