Facebook’s Days Are Numbered

Facebook Might Not Make its Own Pandemic

Cristal M Clark 

Facebook has always been known for not stopping hate speech, fake news and hammering down on users who didn’t really post anything offensive, just facebook bots flagged something, users get suspended for three days, but lately Facebook has allowed for hateful, racist content posted non-stop and fake news about BLM, while not paying much attention to it. The one group that has paid attention to it, advertisers. 

Facebook just so happens to be the world’s largest social media network and it is facing a massive, and by massive, I mean massive advertiser backlash over claims it’s failed to remove racist and hateful content from its platform.

Microsoft, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and Unilever are among the major corporates that have halted advertising on Facebook, wiping some $60 billion worth of value from the company’s stock and piling pressure on Facebook’s already scandal-weary investors.

The funny thing is Facebook even allows Trump to post hate speech, yet for instance today I posted a comment on a private group that I am part of we were joking about the gun toting St. Louis couple, the Karen and Ken couple, the post was something like “Name this Band” my comment was “White Trash?” Earned me a three day suspension but I am white, and two posts later I saw the word “nigger” used in someone’s post in very hurtful way towards blacks, a fake news story claiming BLM is plotting to destroy America, multiple posts referring to whites as “Cracker,” several with nudity, multiple with clearly graphic sexual content that depicts intercourse, blow jobs, oral sex on women and the like, the list goes on and on. 

But why flag the term white trash? It seems to me the platform has or should have far worse posts and words they need to and should be concerned with. What about calling mask wearers sheep? Or Words like Whore, Slut, cock eating monster? I find that not only stupid but also offensive and I keep seeing that bullshit on Facebook. I mean if you are going to have your nose in the air and be self righteous shouldn’t you be stopping all of the hateful or derogatory posts or is it just a race thing because last time I was flagged it was over a meme I found that was sexual in nature but did not depict nudity, copulation or oral sex? Facebook honestly has no idea what it’s doing. 

And Facebook has been under fire from everyone from Congress, to advertisers, to its users for flagging users who post to private groups and not content that is posted and shared outside of private groups and is seen by far more users on the more public side of the platform. Policing the right users rather than the harmful users is wrong and that is leaving users eager for a new platform to move on to.  

So, amid the growing Facebook ad boycott, Dfinity, a blockchain-based cloud computing platform that was valued at nearly $2 billion in 2018, has opened up its network to third party developers that it hopes will be able to “reboot the internet” and end big tech’s “monopolization.”

The idea is rather than a single tech giant owning the personal information of its users, platforms like Dfinity could be used to build apps where the users own their own information and can truly profit from it unlike with Facebook and Twitter.

And that is gaining support and interest. Dominic Williams, founder of Dfinity: “Open versions of the most popular mega-applications will replace the most popular applications of today.” 

Dfinity has also built an open alternative to video sharing app TikTok called CanCan that it claims has been built with less than 1,000 lines of code, compared to Facebook’s 62 million lines of code to highlight what it calls the “simplicity of building the next generation of mega-applications” on its blockchain-based network.

Dfinity, is aiming to make its network available to the public in the fourth quarter of 2020 and if you are like me, tired of FaceBook and looking for a new social media platform, keep your eyes open for Dfinity to roll out later this year. 

Cristal M Clark

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T-Mobile-Sprint Down, Verizon and AT&T Experiencing Issues Because of It

Facebook, Messenger and Instagram Also Having Issues 

Cristal M Clark 

If you are wondering why your call isn’t going through or why your friends are not texting you back, stop because all the major carriers are having issues today because the T-Mobile network is down. T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T customers are experiencing issues placing calls across the US, according to user reports on Downdetector and on social media, of course. And that isn’t the only issue we are seeing today, Facebook, Messenger and Instagram are also seeing outages. 

AT&T and Verizon are pointing the finger at T-Mobile but the reality is, all the major carriers are having issues today.  Sprint, now a subsidiary of T-Mobile and US Cellular are both caught up in the network outage. 

As of 6:02PM ET, T-Mobile appears to be resolving the issue, tweeting that “data services are now available” and that “some calls are completing,” but it doesn’t yet have a timeline for a full fix.

But for some more fun, since around 5AM local time, users started to report issues with Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. It appears the issues have not yet been fixed. 

According to reports on DownDetector, users are reporting that both the Facebook website and Facebook Messenger were down. Instagram users also reported that direct messages were not working on the platform. WhatsApp did not seem to be having any issues. 

Facebook reports the issues have been resolved but some users are still reportedly having issues. 

Hopefully Twitter, Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime, AppleTV + and YouTube don’t go down. No one likes to deal with tech issues on a Monday, especially on a Monday so here’s to hoping things get resolved by morning. 

Cristal M Clark

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Facebook Users – Urge Fellow Users To Stop Using Facebook as a Dating Website

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Facebook to all Users – We Have a Dating Site for That!

Cristal M Clark 

Raise of hands, how many of you have been hit on via Facebook? It’s happened to all of us from time to time and it either resolves itself or we block said users. In some cases people have ended up developing long lasting relationships through a Facebook friendship, but that is rare. We all have friends who check in on us from time to time on Facebook, former lovers who want to say sorry or let us know they still care, long lost family reaches out to us.  

The newest trend seems to be that users are actually using Facebook as a dating app rather aggressively and not using the actual Facebook Dating platform while victims of the dating attempts are getting sick of it, rather collectively. 

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I’ve seen countless posts from users who are tired of the unsolicited attempts to date them or attempts to just have sex with them, men and women alike are sick of the unsolicited nudes that individuals IM us. Not to mention the IM’s from users right after we accept a friend request that are actual messages asking how we are or professing to be attracted to us. Those are way different from the IM’s where users thank us for accepting the friend request. 

It’s happened to me a few times from time to time, usually I either ignore and delete the messages and user or let the user know that I am not interested and the problem is solved but today, some idiot responded on my timeline to the meme below that I posted. 

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A friend called me whilst I was at work and asked me if I saw what this guy posted to my timeline. 

His response: “WELL, I TRIED!!!” 

Wait is he trying to tell me that because of what I post on social media that I am asking to be hit on? Isn’t that like saying because of what a woman or girl wears she was asking to be raped? It is if you look at it realistically.

TF? First, let’s get one thing straight, I like countless users of Facebook do not use the site as a dating website, we use it to share and steal meme’s, for funny stories, and sometimes we share life events and pictures of our lives. So if you or anyone is hitting on someone on Facebook, you can rest assured the feeling is more often than not, not mutual. 

I was honestly taken aback by this guys message on my timeline, yes he did try to hit on me multiple times, sending cute little emoji’s, but I speak adult so I ignored him. I mean come on, I’ve done my time paying the way of a 50 year man who can’t/won’t hold down a job, living off of the system and/or others, according to his Facebook. Besides, men who want to date a woman will just tell her, rather than behave like a love crazed 16 year old boy who send subtle hints via emoji.  

That being said, while I did delete the user and his comment after I did that I realized just how much I know about this guy and just how little he knows about me. I do not post where I live or work, I usually post funny highlights of my life, or memes, but I’ve had friends tell me that when they attempted to block someone who was overly interested in them, they’ve experienced issues where the individual started to try to contact them at their homes, send gifts to someone’s work, start hanging out where the victims hang out, all because users of the social media platform tend to way over share personal details of our lives. 

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It serves as a really good reminder to us all that we need to be careful about what we post on social media and what we keep personal, not to mention who we friend and just how close we become to them, remember people can seem relatively sane and well put together online and over the phone then something will set them off like my meme today which clearly pissed the guy off. Leading up to that, over a month ago, after I ignored his attempts he stopped liking anything I posted, yet just out of nowhere the last 3 days he started liking and commenting on everything I’ve posted which says a lot about his mental frame of mind. 

A former boss I worked for once taught me to never overshare anything on social media, where I lived, worked, shopped, vacationed, etc. Since I stopped working for him, I have tended to follow his advice.

So while the social media platform is usually taken in a very lighthearted fun way, it’s user beware of what we choose to share because some are seeking more than just friendship and are watching everything we post learning our habits and where we can be found. Keep in mind that your run of the mill scammers and thieves are also watching. 

Cristal M Clark

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Drug Dealers Getting into the Online Shopping Game

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Instagram and Snapchat – A Drug Dealers New Turf

Cristal M Clark 

Let’s admit it, we all love the convenience of online shopping, not having to go to the store for everything from car parts, to booze and groceries, so is it really that hard to imagine that drug addicts would also appreciate the idea of being able to purchase their goods online as well?

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They are in luck because Instagram and Snapchat just to name a couple of social media platforms that do cater to drug dealers and customers with just a simple DM. Dealers have finally stopped hanging out in seedy alleyways to sell their drugs and are now treating the sales of drugs as an actual business. 

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Yes an actual business with sales goals, advertising and investing in selling. 

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According to Voltface, 1 in 4 individuals is selling drugs on social media, using creative advertising gimmicks such as but not limited to, high quality professional images of said product, giveaways, cold contacting. The majority of listings seen were for cannabis however, cocaine, MDMA, Xanax and nitrous oxide were also high up on the list. That is sadly naming just a few of the drugs you can buy through social media, not surprisingly users can score a lot more than just that. 

Nice, very comforting for parents. 

NHS reports that Class A drug use among 11 to 15-year-olds is in fact on the rise, not to mention that there have been a number of high-profile cases of children fatally overdosing. The truth of the matter is kids are not using drugs at younger ages, they are just using more deadly drugs these days and the number of adults looking for a way to cope has also more than tripled over the last decade, so the ability to obtain drugs online outside of the heavily policed dark web where it’s easier to hide from law enforcement is highly appealing to both users and dealers alike.  

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Users who sell drugs via social media are reporting that it’s easy to set up an account and locate potential customers to approach and sell their goods to. 

That of course is problematic to law enforcement because the social media platforms continually do things so as to shut the prying eyes of the system out, in fact the majority of social media platforms do everything that they can to protect the identities of their users and the account’s of their users. With the exception of Facebook, law enforcement can pretend to be some type of company that wants to “purchase” user information unbeknownst to the users and Facebook will just sell it to them. 

Now that dealers are treating the sales of drugs as a business and moving it to social media it’s only a matter of time before the cartels catch on to the game leaving the war on drugs standing on losing playing ground. 

Cristal M Clark

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Your Images Stolen to Create Facial Recognition Database Unbeknownst to You

Close Up Of Beautiful Woman Face With Face Recognition Technolog

Law Enforcement Using Startup’s Facial Recognition Database 

Cristal M Clark 

That selfie you took for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like is not as private as you might you think. A startup company, Clearview AI is a collaboration between Hoan Ton-That, an Australian native who moved to the US in 2007, and Richard Schwartz, a former aide to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

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It’s a  facial-recognition startup that is being used by hundreds of law enforcement agencies in the US to solve crimes, but little is known about the software, not even law enforcement agencies know much about it. 

When law enforcement uploads a photo to the application, which by the way has been used by more than 600 law-enforcement agencies, Clearview AI scans for matches across its catalog of billions of photos it scraped from social media websites, typically in violation of those sites’ terms of service. It then shows the results to whomever made the search, typically law enforcement however since so little is known about the software and who all is using it you can pretty much guess that law enforcement is not the only ones using the software.

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Clearview did not share which law-enforcement agencies have used its tool, they did indicate that hundreds of law-enforcement agencies have in fact utilized the software. 

The app’s founders reportedly began marketing the service to law-enforcement agencies for as little as $2,000 and interestingly, the founders reportedly relied on former and current Republican officials to approach law-enforcement agencies about using the low-priced service, or in some cases, a free trial of the software.

Alarmingly in a careful look at the software it was discovered that an underlying code in the application also revealed the software had been designed to work with augmented reality technology, meaning someone wearing special goggles or glasses could potentially use Clearview AI to instantly determine details, including a person’s identity and address.

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And these details, well that’s pissed Facebook off according to a spokesperson: “Scraping Facebook information or adding it to a directory are prohibited by our policies, so we are reviewing the claims about this company and will take appropriate action if we find they are violating our rules.”

Clearview however goes beyond just letting law enforcement use it’s software, it tracks whomever law enforcement is searching for and it sees everything law enforcement is searching for. 

Facial recognition technology has been centered around privacy issues and claims of racial bias in the technology. A study released in December by the National Institute of Standards and Technology found facial recognition technology had a racial-bias, typically having a a more difficult time identifying non-white people and women.

That being said, it’s just yet another intrusion or is it? I’ve long said that whatever you share on social media regardless of whether or not you make it private will in fact, eventually be fair game to some money hungry organization. 

Cristal M Clark

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WhatsApp Hacked

Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp : Illustration

Facebooks Woes Just Won’t Go Away

Cristal M Clark

Love it or hate it the reality is with every Facebook product these days, you are dealing with a liability in terms of your information being sold, stolen and your device hacked in some fashion.

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The increased issues with all of Facebook’s products has left users vowing to leave Facebook. WhatApp, Instagram and any other social media app owned by Facebook altogether, some are in fact boycotting Facebook, and all of its products altogether.

Politically, they are looking at fine after fine from a multitude of countries including the US which has done nothing to slow hacks, info being leaked, shared, and stolen. Even more, some want the company broken up.

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The problem is that users do not have another option so Facebook and all of her other social media apps are going to continue on and continue to lose your information as well as leave you vulnerable to being hacked and your information stolen.

It was recently discovered that WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook was hacked in a targeted attack, so naturally yesterday WhatsApp urged it’s 1.5 billion users to update their apps as an added precaution.

Facebook says that they discovered the vulnerability and attack earlier in May, and the attack targeted a “select number” of users and that it was orchestrated by “an advanced cyber-actor.” Then why have all 1.5 billion users update their apps? Some suspect the reason for urging all of WhatsApp users to update the app is simply because Facebook does not in fact, really know just how many users were caught up in this latest mess.

Hackers were able to remotely install surveillance software on phones and other devices using a major vulnerability, the surveillance software that was suspected to have been used was developed by the Israeli firm NSO Group- a cyber-arms dealer basically.

The attackers used WhatsApp’s voice calling function to ring a target’s device. Even if the call was not picked up, the surveillance software could be installed. According to Facebook, the call would often disappear from the device’s call log.

WhatsApp markets itself as a “secure” communications app because messages are end-to-end encrypted.

I guess that is not an accurate way to market itself any longer now is it?

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A fix was rolled out yesterday however, the app store notes associated with the latest update are not explicit about the fix. Furthermore, no one knows for sure if simply updating the App is going to actually fix the issue or not.

Social media is a choice, you can choose to use it and assume you can control every aspect of that, the reality is as long as a tech giant is running it and not you, you will never be in control of your information being lost, stolen, sold, shared or of being hacked.

Cristal M Clark

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Facebook “LOL League” Encouraged Harassment of Women

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Facebook – French Journalists Harassing Women

By: Cristal M Clark

Facebook’s “Lol League” which was made up of men, several of which just so happened to be some very prominent French journalists was founded in 2009 according to the French newspaper Liberation.

Sadly several French journalists have been suspended and another could lose his job over their participation in a secret Facebook group that sadly encouraged the online harassment of women.

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Victims have accused the “LOL League” of orchestrating targeted harassment campaigns that would result in savage and vicious messages posted on social media platforms like Twitter about a targeted woman. One victim described the experience as “running away from a sniper.”

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Members of the group have in fact, admitted that it was used to harass women. French culture magazines Les Inrockuptibles said it would fire web editor David Doucet after David took responsibility for setting up a phone call in which a woman was offered a fake job and then shared the recording publicly.

Victims however are not buying some of the apologies and have taken to social media to speak out:

Capucine Piot, a former journalist, tweeted that she was targeted with a mocking video montage and repeatedly attacked online for years.

“They humiliated us in public, without thinking of our pain, of what we could feel. It was a descent into hell for me”

Tech reporter Lea Lejeune told CNN she had received apologies from five members of the group who had bullied her online. She described messages received on social media as a “torrent of abuse.”

Activist Daria Marx wrote in a blog post “With each tweet, with each photo that was shared, I feared I was going to be taken down, I knew that I was going to pay the price of my freedom of expression.”

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Marlene Schiappa, France’s minister for gender equality, tweeted a message of support to victims on Monday.

“All my support and solidarity to bloggers and journalists who have had to suffer the sexist harassment of #LigueDuLol especially @FlorencePorcel.”

Florence Porcel by the way is the woman who had been offered the fake job. She described that experience as both heartbreaking and humiliating.

It is truly gut wrenching to learn of men once again attempting to cause the female species humiliation and pain just for a laugh or just simply just to inflict emotional pain because why not?

Sexism is not a winning game anymore gentlemen of the world, women have learned we have power in our numbers and we outnumber you, so maybe start being more respectful towards all of the women you encounter because you never know when you’ll have to pay for your actions.

It is nice to see how the French are dealing with it though, swiftly and they are not letting the men who were involved get away with it unscathed.

Cristal M Clark

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Facebook Heads into Christmas With New Leak

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Facebook – Issues Crappie Apology to Users

Cristal M Clark

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On Friday, Facebook announced a new data leak. One that is a wee bit frightening in that a bug that made photos of 6.8 million users accessible to third-party developers, before users even hit publish.

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The company offered its typical shitty apology regarding the new data breach, explaining that up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to user photos between September 13 to September 25 and that many of these photos were not even published to the website, just uploaded for a post users never decided to actually publish.

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Yes, round of applause for Facebook!

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To add insult to injury here, in all fairness, Facebook still insists that users ultimately control their own data; “anything that you upload, you can also delete.”

This has consistently been proven to be absolutely misleading, in fact it is simply just a lie a ruse in an attempt to quell user distrust.

However, this does prove a point. your user data is gone quite literally long before you even hit publish.

Quite a few websites are equipped with code that extracts your personal info as quickly as you enter it in an online forum and sold to the highest bidder or those willing to pay the most for it.  Mortgage companies, healthcare firms, credit card companies, retail websites, customer service chats, yes even your favorite porn sites are riddled with such code, malware and viruses used to steal user data, in real time these days.

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As for Facebook, well this latest data breach is simply more proof of the company’s reluctance to share how it really treats user data, not to mention it’s unwillingness to make it clear when our data irrevocably falls into the hands of others.

Cristal M Clark

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Tim Cook – Apple

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Tim Cook Calls Out Big Tech

 

Normally as most of you know, I do an idiot of the week on Wednesday, today I want to personally thank Tim Cook and Apple.

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Tim Cook called out big tech over sharing user data, the equivalent for anyone who does not understand marketing 101 or advertising, as basically selling out ones customer.

For anyone who is not an Apple customer, we Apple customers will find a way to get our beloved tech from Apple, and only Apple for a multitude of reasons.

The media tells us that Apple is attempting to only sell to the elite. For many of us who happen to own Apple products, that is the furthest from the truth that any story can be.

We pay for up to date tech, and we also expect that tech to protect us. Be for the most part, hacker proof, not sell our data because what a lot people do not realize, hackers are so easily able to hack us because our user data is sold like one might drink water on a minute, by minute basis. Or in my case, coffee.

Apple, for those of us who have been loyal to Apple, does not subscribe to the selling of user data to anyone.

I love that.

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Tim Cook went public and countered claims that firms need to siphon user data to improve product.

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And any Apple product is a testament to that.

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While the tech might be more expensive, it also understands its customers on a level, Google, FaceBook, Oracle, AdSence, Target, Walmart, Amazon, etc or any other company simply do not. 

Don’t sell us out by selling out user data.

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Tim Cook:

‘The narrative that some companies will try to get you to believe is: ‘I’ve got to take all of your data to make any service better…’ ‘Well, I don’t believe them. Whoever’s telling you that, it’s a bunch of bunk.”

Earlier this year, Apple began requiring developers to clearly communicate how their users’ personal data would be used in apps, while Facebook and Google have repeatedly come under fire for how they treat customer data, Facebook being at the forefront of that delima recently.

Just last week, Facebook  begrudgingly revealed that it had been hit by a data breach that gave hackers complete access to 50 million users’ profiles.

In addition to that, Facebook logged an additional 40 million users out of their accounts as a security measure, which brought the total number of users who were possibly affected to 90 million.

And that kind of breach would never hit Apple because they know what customers want, and are very protective of that.

Advertisers and marketing is all about stealing user data, Apple clearly gets that customers are actually not okay with that and are quite frankly tired of it.

Maybe it’s time for the door to door salesman again because tech and AI are allowing me, with the help of Apple to stop advertisers and marketers from obtaining my user data.

So this week, instead of a loser, I present a winner.

Apple and Tim Cook.

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Thank you.

 

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

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