Facebook Hack: Massive Breach Affects 50 Million Accounts

Facebook Hack: Massive Breach Affects 50 Million Accounts

Is Facebook really safe? Well, these days we came across with tons of news related to Facebook account hacks and all.

The biggest social media company in the world is really struggling very hard to keep its user’s data safe and sound. But there are some notorious hackers who swiped the sleep of Facebook’s security researchers team.

Also Read- Top 10 Ways That Hackers Use To Hack Facebook Accounts

Recently Facebook said that over 50 million of its users’ data is left exposed by a security flaw. The company also said that by taking the advantage of this flaw, hackers somehow managed to exploit a vulnerability in a feature known as “View as” to get an access over people’s accounts.

The breach was discovered on Tuesday and Facebook immediately informed the police after that.

Now, as a result, the users who got affected by this attack were bound to re-log-in on Friday.

What is ‘View as’

It’s a feature from Facebook which allows people to see, how their profile looks to others. In short how their information is displayed to friends or friends of friends or to anyone.

Hackers discovered so many bugs in this feature which ultimately allowed them to steal Facebook access tokens. These Facebook access tokens could be used to take over people’s accounts and they did exactly this. Facebook has temporarily disabled this feature to investigate more on it.

According to Mr. Ronsen “Access tokens are the equivalent of digital keys that keep people logged in to Facebook so they don’t need to re-enter their password every time they use the app.” He then said that the breach comes into the picture when the firm is struggling to convince lawmakers in the US and beyond, that it is capable of protecting user data.

In the face of constant attacks. Mark Zuckerberg (CEO or co-founder of Facebook) at the conference call on Friday said that company is taking security seriously.

He also posted about this attack on his Facebook account

Who got affected?

Offcourse facebook won’t be ever admitting who were those 50 million users. But they have informed Irish data regulators where Facebook’s European subsidiary is based.

The users who are affected were prompted to re-log-in on Friday as they don’t have any other option. The company also said that users need not worry about the password change.

Facebook team has just started their investigation process. They are not sure if the accounts are misused or not. They also don’t know who did that? and from where they belong from.

At last, the flaw is fixed. Confirmed by the head security of the firm Guy Rosen. He also said that all the affected accounts had been reset. Plus they even did the same for another 40 million as a precautionary step.

By this news, Facebook which has more than two billion monthly active users saw its share price drop by more than 3% on Friday.

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Facebook Dating feature starts rolling out in Columbia

Facebook officially launches its dating service in Columbia

Facebook has started rolling out a countrywide test of its new online ‘Dating’ feature in Colombia that aims to take on major dating apps, such as Tinder, Bumble and Match.

For those unaware, Facebook had originally announced the feature at the F8 developer conference in May this year. The online Facebook Dating feature will allow people able to create a dating profile that is separate from their Facebook profile – and potential matches will be recommended based on dating preferences, things in common, and mutual friends. The dating feature has been built keeping privacy and security in mind.

Also, back then Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg had mentioned at the F8 developer conference that the new feature is “not just for hookups” but to build “meaningful, long-term relationships.”

“We wanted to make it apparent these are people you’re considering. It’s not just a profile,” Nathan Sharp, product manager for Facebook dating, said in an interview last week. “This should be about relationships, not one-night stands.”

How Does Facebook Dating Works?

Based on an algorithm powered home screen, the all-new Facebook Dating feature of the app basically helps users to select romantic matches from Facebook’s wide pool of single users.

Since, the Facebook Dating feature is optional and is supported through the app, the users will have to select it to use the service. The users will then have to fill out basic information about themselves, such as age, gender, occupation, education, religion, etc. Facebook also offers non-binary genders and sexual orientations.

Users are allowed to upload up to 12 photos on their profile and can respond to as many as 20 questions, such as “What does your perfect day look like?” or “What song always makes you sing along? How loud?”. These will not only help the user’s match to know him/her better but also make it easier for them to strike a conversation with the user.

Also, there is no swiping left or right to like or reject potential matches unlike competitors Tinder or Bumble. Instead, the user will need to scroll down through a person’s profile and tap if he/she is interested.

Those opting for the service will have to verify their location and will be able to find matches within 100 kilometers. It will suggest matches to users that they aren’t already friends with.

Additionally, the users will have the option to discover others with similar interests through their Groups or Events so that users can find even more prospective matches. However, what people do within the Facebook Dating feature will not be shown to their friends.

The Facebook Dating feature is limited to text and emoji-only, which means photos, links, or other media cannot be exchanged, as Facebook is aiming to foster meaningful relationships through the app.

Facebook Dating feature now rolling out in Columbia

The Facebook Dating feature is free and currently active in Columbia. Users aged 18 and above can avail the online dating service by signing up for it. However, Facebook will let users start matching their profiles with each other only when it thinks it has collected enough profiles, which could be days or weeks, the company added. For now, Facebook Dating is mobile-only, and is a part of the main app.

If Facebook’s Dating feature is able to make an impact on its users, then it could pose a great threat to major dating apps, such as Tinder, Bumble and Match.

What do you think of Facebook’s Dating feature? Would you give Tinder, Match, Bumble, or Hinge amiss to use this feature, do let us know in the comments section below.

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Facebook Watch is now rolling out globally to rival Youtube

Facebook Watch is now rolling out globally to rival Youtube

YouTube alternative ‘Facebook Watch’ launches worldwide

Facebook on Wednesday announced via an official blog post that ‘Facebook Watch’ will now be “available everywhere.”

Considered as an answer to YouTube, Facebook Watch, the video-on-demand (VOD) platform, allows users to view video on different genres like sports, news, entertainment along with videos from content creators in their personalized Watch Feed. It also allows users to comment and react to videos on real time on Facebook Watch. For those unaware, Facebook Watch was only launched in the U.S. in August 2017.

By breaking loose from its limited availability in the States, Facebook is looking to attract more people to its VOD platform through its global reach and also increase its advertisement revenue.

“Every month, more than 50 million people in the U.S. come to watch videos for at least a minute in Watch — and total time spent watching videos in Watch has increased by 14X since the start of 2018,” said Facebook’s Head of Video Fidji Simo in the official blog post.

“Taking Watch global also means new opportunities for creators and publishers around the world. We’re expanding our Ad Breaks program so more partners can make money from their videos, and we’re offering new insights, tools and best practices for Pages in Creator Studio,” Simo added.

Ad revenue will be divided into two parts, 55% for the content creator and 45% for Facebook, which was also the same ratio in the United States.

“We’re building new video experiences that put people at the center, giving them the ability to shape the direction of the content. Over time you’ll be able to find new video experiences in your Watch feed, like Watch Parties, Premieres and videos focused on audience participation,” Simo said.

“We’re excited to bring Watch to everyone around the world, and invite you to join in the action in our new video destination,” Simo added.

According to Facebook, Watch has the following things to offer:

A place to discover new videos: Find the latest videos spanning entertainment, sports, news and more — all in your personalized Watch feed.

A way to catch up with creators and publishers you love: At the top of your Watch feed you’ll see your Watchlist, a collection of recent videos from Pages you follow. Customize this section by following more Pages or removing Pages from your follow list within Watch.

A home for your saved videos: If you see a video in News Feed but don’t have time to watch it right away, you can save it to watch later in Watch.

Videos you can participate in: We’re building new video experiences that put people at the center, giving them the ability to shape the direction of the content. Over time you’ll be able to find new video experiences in your Watch feed, like Watch Parties, Premieres, and videos focused on audience participation — like the new trivia game show, Confetti. And we’ll make it easier to find live videos so you can discuss the big moments as they’re happening.

Facebook has reportedly signed on Buzzfeed, Vox Media, ATTN, Group Nine Media and others to produce original content for Watch. The social media giant is also rumored to be in talks with news agencies including the likes of CNN and Fox News to soon launch a news-centric section in the Watch section.

To access Watch on iOS and Android, check out the Watch icon in your shortcuts bar or the “More” bookmark. Watch is also available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Oculus TV.

Also Read– 10 Best Free YouTube Alternative Sites

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Facebook launches AR games for Messenger app

Facebook launches AR games for Messenger app

Facebook adds augmented reality (AR) games to its Messenger app

Facebook is known for copying Snapchat’s features for its social media platforms. And, the social media giant has done it yet again!!! Facebook in a blog post yesterday announced a new feature in Messenger app for its users that makes connecting with friends in video chat even more fun and competitive. Facebook has added augmented reality (AR) games in video chats of its Messenger app. This feature allows up to six people to play the AR games at a time via video chat.

“For the moments when we can’t be together IRL, Messenger video chat helps you connect in real-time with the people you care about most. Today we’re excited to make connecting with your friends in video chat even more fun – and competitive! – with multiplayer video chat AR games,” Facebook said in the announcement on Wednesday.

Currently, there are two AR games, ‘Don’t Smile and ‘Asteroid Attack that are available to play. These games test each player’s ability to steer a spaceship using their face.

“With this feature starting to roll out today, you can challenge your friends around the world to two games: see who can hold a serious face the longest with “Don’t Smile”, or see who can better navigate their spaceship with “Asteroids Attack”, the social media giant said.

Facebook also plans to roll out more games in the coming weeks and months. One of them is called Beach Bump, where players get to pass a beach ball back and forth, while another one is a matching cat game called Kitten Kraze.

If you wish to try out the new feature, ensure that your device is running the latest version of Messenger app. Open a new or existing video conversation or find the person or group of people you would like to chat with and tap the video icon on the upper right corner of the screen. Click the star button and select one of the AR games from the list. The app will then notify the person or group in the video chat that the game is starting.

Facebook’s new feature is very much like one of Messenger’s chief competitor, Snapchat’s Snappables – the lens-based games inside the Snapchat camera, that was launched in April this year. Snappables allows the user to use touch, motion, and facial expressions to compete for high scores or in literal head-to-head multiplayer match-ups. Some of the first Snappables previewed by Snapchat include an Asteroids-style space shooter, a weightlifting one you play by straining your forehead, a bubble gum popping contest, an egg-catching competition, a kiss-blowing game, and a dance party.

What do you think about Facebook’s new AR games feature in Messenger app? Do let us know in the comment sections below.

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Facebook accidentally releases airplane reaction emoji

Facebook accidentally releases airplane reaction emoji

Facebook introduced an airplane reaction button but quickly deleted it too

If you are a regular Facebook user, you would have come across something strange this Tuesday morning on the social media platform. Besides the app’s standard post reactions—Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry—some users also noticed an emoji reaction button to posts with a plane.

Soon after, users began to report that they were able to react to posts with a new airplane emoji. Apparently, the new plane emoji was only available on Facebook’s Android app and that too after clearing the app’s cache.

According to some users, the new emoji appeared only if they updated the Android app and flushed the cache in the app. Then they had to hold down the ‘like’ button in the comments section of a post, which would then show two angry face reaction icons. By clicking the second one, an airplane emoji would appear as your reaction instead. Also, everyone was able to see the reaction emoji, if someone else posted it.

It seems that the plane appears to have been designed as part of hackathon event at Facebook’s headquarters. The plane emoji was a bug and not an actual feature, Facebook said.

“This was created as part of an employee hackathon and wasn’t cleared for takeoff,” said a Facebook representative. “Our apologies.”

While Facebook has removed the plane reaction and we may never come across it unless it is officially revealed by the social media giant, it did disclose its most popular reactions back in 2017.

According to Facebook, over half of the reactions people used that year was that of the heart emoji, which was also the most used emoji on Christmas Day 2016.

The World Emoji Day 2018 that was celebrated on July 17, saw the heart emoji used twice as much as in 2017, Facebook said.

Source: Dailymail

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Facebook launches ‘Watch Party’ to all groups around the world

Facebook launches ‘Watch Party’ to all groups around the world

Facebook’s Watch Party Lets Users Stream Videos With Friends

Facebook has launched a new feature called ‘Watch Party’ to all Facebook Groups around the globe and will be available across mobile and desktop platform. This new feature allows members of the Facebook groups to join in and watch videos on the social network platform together in real time, and comment.

Facebook had been testing the ‘Watch Party’ feature for almost six months now and the company has plans to release the feature sometime in the future, which could see it compete against Google’s YouTube in the video streaming sector.

“Watch Party is a new way for people to watch videos on Facebook together in real time. Once a Watch Party is started, participants can watch videos, live or recorded, and interact with one another around them in the same moment. We’ve been focused on building new ways to bring people together around video, create connections, and ignite conversations; Watch Party is the next step in bringing this vision to life,” Erin Connolly, Product Manager at Facebook, said in a blog post.

Facebook says Watch Parties are great for both small groups of friends and family members, as well as large organizations hosting Q&A sessions and more.

Watch Party will not be limited to Facebook groups alone, Facebook revealed. The company is now planning to roll out the feature for Pages, which normally refer to profiles of public figures and other organizations.

“We are now starting to test the ability for people to start to Watch Parties with friends outside of groups, too, and we’ll explore Watch Parties for Pages in the future,” Connolly said.

“We believe that if people can start a Watch Party directly from their profile or from a video they’re watching, the experience of watching video on Facebook can become even more fun and social,” Connolly added.

Based on the feedback collected from Facebook groups, the social media giant has added the following two new features on the global launch, which were not included during the test phase:

Co-hosting – This feature allows the host of a Watch Party designate other co-hosts who can add videos and keep the party going.

Crowdsourcing – This feature lets anyone in a Watch Party suggest videos for the host to add to the Watch Party.

Check out the demo below to know how to start a Watch Party on Facebook.

Further, Facebook has lined up a selection of Watch Parties to celebrate its launch. To check the latest Weekend of Watch Party happenings, click here.

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Facebook flags Declaration of Independence as a ‘hate speech’

Facebook flags Declaration of Independence as a ‘hate speech’

Facebook apologizes for flagging Declaration of Independence section as a ‘hate speech’

Facebook has apologized after flagging a part of the US Declaration of Independence as a “hate speech”.

Leading up to the Independence Day (4th of July), the Liberty County Vindicator, a local newspaper, in Liberty, Texas had been posting daily bits of the Declaration of Independence in 12 excerpts – one posted each morning from June 24 to July 4.

However, the 10th excerpt, containing paragraphs 27-31, was blocked after Facebook determined it “goes against our standards on hate speech,” according to The Vindicator. Apparently, the excerpt, from paragraphs 27 to 31 of the Declaration was a list of the people’s grievances against the king.

Casey Stinnett, the editor of the Liberty County Vindicator, said on the paper’s website, “Somewhere in paragraphs 27-31 of the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson wrote something that Facebook find offensive.”

He added, “The first nine parts posted as scheduled, but part 10, consisting of paragraphs 27-31 of the Declaration, did not appear. Instead, The Vindicator received a notice from Facebook saying that the post ‘goes against our standards on hate speech.”

“Unfortunately, [Thomas] Jefferson, like most British colonists of his day, did not hold an entirely friendly view of Native Americans,” Stinnett, commented after the text was removed.

The paper was then asked by Facebook to “review the contents of its page and remove anything that does not comply with Facebook’s policies.”

While the newspaper said it is unclear what keywords triggered Facebook’s filter, the editor suspected that the content was flagged after it posted an excerpt from the “Bill of Particulars’ against Britain’s King George III that included speech calling Native Americans ‘merciless Indian Savages”.

However, Facebook realized its mistake and restored the post on July 3 after The Vindicator raised an alarm.

“It looks like we made a mistake and removed something you posted on Facebook that didn’t go against our Community Standards. We want to apologize and let you know that we’ve restored your content and removed any blocks on your account related to this incorrect action,” Facebook was quoted as saying in a statement sent to The Vindicator.

The local newspaper thanked Facebook for reinstating the post. “We never doubted Facebook would fix it, but neither did we doubt the usefulness of our fussing about it a little,” Stinnett said.

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Facebook is testing ‘paid subscriptions’ for private groups

Facebook is testing 'paid subscriptions' for private groups

Facebook admins could charge you monthly subscription fee for access to your favorite groups

If all goes well, you could soon have to pay a monthly subscription fee for being a member of user-created groups in order to access the content within. Apparently, Facebook, the social media giant, is rolling out a pilot program that will allow Group Admins to charge monthly subscription fees for exclusive access to their content.

Facebook says the new feature will help Group Admins, who invest their time and energy to maintain their groups, and also help them earn money at the same time. 

In an announcement made in a blog post, Alex Deve, Facebook’s Product Director of Groups said that, “We hear from group admins that they’re looking for ways to help them earn money to deepen engagement with their members and continue to support their communities. Many admins do this today by creating an additional subscribers-only group that sits alongside their existing group, and rely on additional tools to track and collect payments. Subscription groups were created to make it easier for admins to provide these experiences with built-in tools, and to save them time so they can focus on offering members-only content. For members, they’re now able to sign-up and manage their subscription through the Facebook app for iOS and Android.”

The subscription service will allow Group admins to offer paid, members-only content. Parenting, cooking, and home cleaning groups are the first ones to receive the new feature as a part of an early test.

For instance, the pilot subscription model with the new feature has been rolled out to Meal Planning Central Premium, a meal preparation community, Organize My Home group, which helps members with tips on how to keep their homes tidy, and Grown and Flown Parents: College Admissions and Affordability, a dedicated college preparation group that helps prepare parents of high schoolers for the college application process. If the pilot subscription model is successful and financially viable, the feature will be further enhanced and expanded to additional groups.

The monthly subscription that a user might have to pay to be a member of a subscription group could range from $4.99 to $29.99. Apple and Google will be getting a percentage of user subscriptions fees via iOS and Android, as part of standard App Store and Play Store policies. However, Facebook won’t be taking a share of the revenue during the program’s pilot phase; but this could likely change if the program expands to more groups in the future.

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Facebook shared its users’ data with 60 Companies

Facebook data abuse bounty

Facebook shared users’ personal data with 60 companies including Apple, Samsung, and Amazon

While Facebook is still reeling under the heat of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a new report in The New York Times has raised fresh concerns about Facebook’s privacy protection policies. The Times has claimed that the social networking giant has been sharing users’ personal information with at least 60 device makers including Apple, Samsung, Amazon, Blackberry, and Microsoft based on the data-sharing partnerships between them.

According to The Times, bigwigs like Apple, Amazon, Samsung, and Microsoft are said to have a data-sharing partnership with Facebook over the last 10 years, many of which are still in effect. Under the data-sharing agreement, while the device makers are allowed to offer popular Facebook features, such as messaging, address books and the like button to their customers, it helped Facebook to expand its reach. Further, the agreement allowed outside companies to access user data like relationship status, religious and political affiliations, work history and birthdays. It also allowed outside companies access to information of users’ Facebook friends without their explicit consent, despite data sharing being turned off.

Apparently, the data sharing was allegedly an issue as early as 2012.

“This was flagged internally as a privacy issue,” Sandy Parakilas, who then led Facebook’s privacy compliance, told The Times. “It is shocking that this practice may still continue six years later, and it appears to contradict Facebook’s testimony to Congress that all friend permissions were disabled.”

However, Ime Archibong, Facebook’s vice president of product partnerships, responded to The Times’ article with a blog post titled, “Why We Disagree with The New York Times” and stated that these data agreements were a matter of necessity.

“In the early days of mobile, the demand for Facebook outpaced our ability to build versions of the product that worked on every phone or operating system. It’s hard to remember now but back then there were no app stores. So companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter and YouTube had to work directly with the operating system and device manufacturers to get their products into people’s hands. This took a lot of time — and Facebook was not able to get to everyone.

“To bridge this gap, we built a set of device-integrated APIs that allowed companies to recreate Facebook-like experiences for their individual devices or operating systems. Over the last decade, around 60 companies have used them — including many household names such as Amazon, Apple, Blackberry, HTC, Microsoft, and Samsung.

“These partners signed agreements that prevented people’s Facebook information from being used for any other purpose than to recreate Facebook-like experiences. Partners could not integrate the user’s Facebook features with their devices without the user’s permission. And our partnership and engineering teams approved the Facebook experiences these companies built. Contrary to claims by the New York Times, friends’ information, like photos, was only accessible on devices when people made a decision to share their information with those friends. We are not aware of any abuse by these companies.”

Archibong also said that with the rise of iOS and Android, only very few people depend on these APIs to create bespoke Facebook experiences. As a result, Facebook started “winding down” the partnerships in April, and has ended 22 of them until now.

Source: Business Insider

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Facebook is working on an ad-free subscription-based version

facebook ad free

Are you ready for an ad-free Facebook experience?

Facebook has been conducting a market research among its consumers for an ad-free subscription version of the social network to see if they’d be interested in paying for their privacy, according to Bloomberg.

As per rumors in the past, Facebook has considered the idea of paid- subscription before as well, however, this time there’s more internal momentum to pursue it, which is mainly because the company is facing a crisis of public trust after the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.

It is a known fact that Facebook has been the leading platform for social media advertising and marketing due to its enormous online audience and high user engagement rates. The majority of the social network’s revenues are generated through advertising targeted with this user data.

Now, that consumer sentiment is changing and with mounting evidence that its huge user base is reaching saturation due to this insecurity about their privacy, Zuckerberg & Co. merely might be looking to diversify beyond its one-trick revenue policy. And that includes an ad-free iteration.

Though Facebook declined to comment on subscription-based ad-free service. Yet in recent weeks, one of the company’s highest-ranking executive has left open the possibility of a subscription option. During the company’s first-quarter earnings call last week, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said the company has “certainly thought about lots of other forms of monetization including subscriptions, and we’ll always continue to consider everything.”

Also, during his testimony to Congress, The chief executive Mark Zuckerberg told the lawmakers that there would “always be a version of Facebook that is free,” as the site says, “it’s free and always will be.”

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