All Articles Tagged "facebook"

Is This A Good Idea? Facebook Wants To Host News Content On Its Site

March 25th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Facebook has approached a number of media outlets, including The New York Times and Buzzfeed, in order to explore options for hosting media content on their site.

Social networks have become increasingly popular places for breaking news and other content to pass from person to person around the globe. The New York Times says that with 1.4 billion users, Facebook has become a vital source of traffic for media sites who seek to engage with their readers.

Instead of allowing its users to click out of the Facebook site, Facebook is looking to partner with media outlets to provide the stories, videos and other content right in the social network. The deal would also include some ad sharing profits. By hosting content directly on its social media site, Facebook will change how content is delivered to users.

For instance, Facebook plans to feature articles on the newsfeeds of those who have the interest or in the age group of the media publication’s average consumer even if they’ve never heard or don’t follow a site’s content.

Edward Kim of SimpleReach, an analytics and distribution company says Facebook wants to increase the speed of how users receive news, which would drive up consumer satisfaction and traffic, making the offer more enticing to more outlets. Many media outlets, like Quartz and National Geographic, when asked by The Times for their intentions on the deal by, declined comment. 

A downside for publications would be losing consumer data. When readers click on articles or visit a site, tracking tools help companies outline its target readership numbers. There’s also concern about load time for stories, with Facebook likely working on speeding things up, according to the Times.

But for users, there’s the question of whether they want the social network, which also houses lots of personal connections and insight, to become a mass news feed as well. Are you interested in getting your news from Facebook?

Friend, Can You Spare Some Change? Facebook Letting Users Send Money To Friends Via Messenger

March 19th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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Facebook has debuted a new service through which users in the U.S. can send money to friends via its Messenger app.

While this sounds a lot more convenient than using a money transfer service like Western Union, for example, it opens the door for your  “friends” to hit you up for cash. But according the social network giant, the tool will allow people to “beam” money to their friends and family using smartphones linked to bank accounts or credit cards.

It seems pretty easy to use as well. All Messenger users have to do is to tap a new “$” icon that’s next to the photos and stickers buttons. Next they have to enter the amount to send, tap “pay” on the top right corner, and enter their debit card number, reports The Chicago Tribune. And to receive money for the first time, you just enter the card number.

To send or receive money is free and only works with debit cards.

Facebook says the system is secure as all the transactions and payment info are encrypted, reports Tech Crunch. Says Facebook, “These payment systems are kept in a secured environment that is separate from other parts of the Facebook network and that receive additional monitoring and control.”

UPDATE: Facebook Removes “Feeling Fat” Emoticon After Online Petition

March 11th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Update: After collecting thousands of signatures on an online petition, Facebook has agreed to remove the “feeling fat” emoticon in favor of one that indicates you’re “feeling stuffed.”

A statement from a company spokesperson says, “We’ve heard from our community that listing ‘feeling fat’ as an option for status updates could reinforce negative body image, particularly for people struggling with eating disorders.”

The decision has been well received by Catherine Weingarten, the Endangered Bodies head who launched the petition. “This success shows us that people together can challenge the cultural messages that are so damaging to our ability to love ourselves and live comfortably in our bodies,” she said in a statement.

Update by Tonya Garcia. Via The Verge


Original story posted March 5

If you’re a Facebook user, the platform allows for emoticons to describe how you feel in your status updates. Although the emoticons have been positively received by Facebook users, a group called Endangered Bodies is petitioning Facebook to remove the “feeling Fat” and “feeling Ugly” emoticons.

Created on, Endangered Bodies claims:

“Facebook is embedded in our culture, and we all know it is a tool to keep track of friends and family, but also to compare yourself and your life to theirs. It’s great then, that you can offer a direct and to the point serving of how you feel when you post an update. Your aunt can know how overjoyed you are about that exam result, and your old school friend can read about how frustrated you are about the customer service in that one restaurant. But also, now you can tell your entire friends list just how much you hate yourself. ‘Fat’ and ‘ugly’ are offered as feelings in the status updates list, and we think it’s wrong. We think it promotes and supports the endless torrent of judgment and pressure to be perfect felt by young people across the world. We do enough comparing as it is, we don’t need a status update to make it even easier to feel bad about ourselves. Please join us in asking Facebook to reconsider the “ugly” and “fat” emoticons & options from the status updates, in all languages.

Social media is a driving force that makes the average person compare their health, relationship or career to the next person, so Endangered Bodies founders Charlotte and Vicky believe the “feeling fat” and “feeling ugly” emoticons will also become a contributing factor to bullying.

Although those particular feelings don’t appear when you’re looking for a feeling to choose for your Facebook status, if you type in “fat” or “ugly” in the create your own section, emoticons will appear. The “fat” emoticon has a double chin and if you type in “ugly,” the emoticon has Mr. Potato Head’s facial features (glasses, exaggerated nose and mustache). Here are examples:





So far the petition has received 12,798 signatures. Do you think Facebook should remove the “fat” and “ugly” emoticons?

Here a video by Endangered Bodies about their cause.

Facebook Debuts Suicide Prevention Tool For Users

March 9th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Suicide Prevention tool


Together with Forefront, Save.Org and the University of Washington, Facebook has launched a suicide prevention tool.

Initially, the site debuted a similar tool in 2011 where users had to upload screenshots and links of content that concerned them to the suicide prevention page. Now, the process allows users to flag alarming posts they see on their Facebook newsfeed. It is often noted people who are suicidal give those around them hints that they will inflict self-harm upon themselves in conversations or online messages and by flagging these posts, users can message the individual, contact a mutual Facebook friend for support ,or be connected to an expert for guidance in hopes of preventing suicide before it’s too late. Once Facebook reviews the flagged content and believes the user is suicidal, the next time he/she logs into Facebook, there will be notifications and pop up windows to offer help that will include the number and links to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Now Matters Now.

Facebook  said in a statement:“We have teams working around the world, 24/7, who review any report that comes in. They prioritize the most serious reports, like self-injury, and send help and resources to those in distress.”

Currently, Facebook’s suicide prevention feature is only available in the United States but will become available to other countries later in this year.

“I Had A Feeling My Baby Wasn’t Coming Home”: 14-Year-Old Shot, Killed After Meeting Up To Fight Girls Over Facebook Feud

March 2nd, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Facebook/Birmingham Police Department

Facebook/Birmingham Police Department

We told you earlier this year about a young girl who was beaten, shot and killed after meeting up with a guy she was introduced to on Facebook. Just last month, a 13-year-old boy in Chicago was shot and killed after following his two sisters to a fight they were going to engage in with a rival gang after feuding escalated on Facebook. Now, according to, a 14-year-old girl was shot and killed late last week while taking part in a brawl with her friends against another group of girls they were squabbling with for a few years now on Facebook.

According to reports, Kiera’Onna Rice of Birmingham, Alabama had planned to meet up with her friends so that they could fight another group of girls that they all had issues with on Friday. The freshman was specifically going to fight a girl she had been rivals with since sixth grade. Everyone met up at a park and some people came to record the fight so that it could be posted to social media. When the fight began, things got out of control almost immediately, with someone pulling out a taser, and two young men pulling out guns and shooting into the crowd of teens.

Rice was hit in the melee, along with two other individuals. As people fled the scene, witnesses claim that she was run over by a car, allegedly on accident. Rice was rushed to the hospital by her friends in one of their cars. She died there.

After talking to witnesses and questioning suspects, police arrested and charged two young men with murder and both first-degree and second-degree assault. Antonio King, 17, and Jason Wade, 19, are in jail with a bond of $1.5 million each.

Rice’s mother, Alicia, had heard Kiera’Onna talking about meeting up to settle a score with a girl she had problems with, but Alicia says that she encouraged her to walk away from such drama. On Friday night, Alicia called her daughter from work to find out where she was and Kiera’Onna told her that she was going to head home. However, the teen would go on to text her mom later and tell her she was sorry, but that she needed to “fight this girl and get it over with.”

“I said, ‘Keke, I’m going to beat your (expletive) when I get home. If they don’t kill you before I get there, I’m going to beat your (expletive.)’ I knew. I had a feeling my baby wasn’t coming home.”

That was the last time Alicia Rice was able to communicate with her child.

“I just went to praying real hard. I’d never prayed that hard a day in my life. I said ‘My baby ain’t coming home.'”

Kiera’Onna’s cousin, Destiny, 15, was present for the brawl and said that no one imagined things would spiral out of control in such a way.

“I lost my cousin over a fight. It’s definitely a wake-up call.”

According to Destiny, Kiera’Onna had considered her mother’s warning and didn’t really want to meet up to fight. However, “they had said if she didn’t come out there, they were coming to her house.”

As she deals with her grief, Alicia encourages other teenagers to leave social media alone because it is turning out to be more and more dangerous.

“They need to stop entertaining this stuff. Facebook. It just needs to go away. They don’t need it.”


Declare A Facebook Heir Before You Die

February 12th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Facebook Heir Before You Die


With technology constantly evolving, Facebook has announced you can still keep your online persona after you die, reports USA Today. Even better, before you pass away you can declare who will become your Facebook heir. Your heir will be your Facebook estate executor and manage your account after you die. Users can decide who will be their heir or “legacy contact.” That particular person will be able to respond to new friend requests, update your cover photos and profile. They can also archive your Facebook posts and photos.

If you are not interested a Facebook heir, Facebook can also memorialize your account. It can only be viewed but not edited or managed; Facebook’s product manager Vanessa Callison-Burch also said: “We heard from family members who wanted to post funeral information or download and preserve photos. We realized there was more we could do.”

Since an increase of social media accounts, few states have created laws that give authority over digital assets. Virginia decreed in 2013 for parents or guardians to take control of their child’s online accounts after the child becomes deceased. In January, a Zogby poll examined adults who were concerned about what will happen to their social media pages after they die. The poll uncovered, 71 percent of 1,012 adults who wanted their online communications to remain private, unless they gave consent prior to their death. 43 percent of that same polled group desired their online accounts to be deleted, unless they not someone can access it until after they are dead.

In order to set up your Legacy contact, go to your profile icon and click on “Settings.” Then choose “security” and click on the “Legacy Contact” option at the bottom of the page. To see how Facebook’s feature works, I choose my cousin and if I die she will be able to download what I have shared on Facebook (which includes statuses, photos, videos and about section info). Since I’m an active Facebook user, that would be a lot of information. However, she would not be able to download my private messages.

Personally, I think once I am no longer here I would want my profile to be deleted. I watched the “Be Right Back” episode of the British series Black Mirrors where a woman used a company that “brought” her dead partner back from the dead via phone calls and even eventually mailed her a clone-like replica of him. What intrigued me about the episode was, her partner only responding to her with the phrases he used online. Although she received a chance to still be connected to the love of her life, things were different.

Would you want your social media page to be active after you die? Chime in the conversation and check out the Black Mirror’s episode below.

Facebook & LinkedIn Partner To Boost The Number Of Women In Tech

February 11th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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The lack of diversity is glaring in the tech sector. Not only are people of color sorely missing but women as well.

Now Facebook and LinkedIn, both of which have shockingly low diversity numbers, have teamed up to boost the number of women in tech. They plan to do so by getting more women to study engineering and computer science via a collaborative initiative.
The number of women studying tech in undergraduate computer science programs is extremely low. At their peak in 1985 these programs were 35 percent women. It’s now at a low of about 17 percent.

The Associated Press conducted an exclusive interview with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and LinkedIn CEO Jeffrey Weiner and they announced that they’re launching mentoring and support programs at colleges to encourage more women to get involved in technology in general. The opportunity also has the potential to turn some of the participants into future employees for their companies.

They could both use an injection of women in the male-dominated firms. Over at Facebook, even though they have a high-powered and high-profile female COO, only 15 percent of its employees working in tech jobs and 31 percent of all employees are women, according to diversity data released last year. It’s about the same at LinkedIn, where women comprise 17 percent of the firm’s tech employees and 39 percent of total employees, reports The Chicago Tribune.

“A lot of our consumers, at least half, sometimes more, are women. We build a product that gives people a voice. We know we can’t build a product for the world unless our teams reflect the diversity of the people who use the product,” admitted Sandberg.

Now it would be great if tech firms like Facebook and LinkedIn created similar initiatives to boost the number of Blacks and Hispanics in their ranks.

“Protect Your Children”: 14-Year-Old Girl Shot, Killed By Three Teen Boys After Agreeing To Meet One On Facebook

February 2nd, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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You never know who your children are talking to on social media, but after hearing stories like this, you might need to go out of your way to find out.

Three teens from Kansas City, Mo. have been charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Alexis Kane. The 14-year-old eighth grader was beaten by the young men before they took turns shooting her. According to reports, Kane’s body was found not too far away from her middle school on Jan. 11.

Friends of the student say that she met Isaac M. “Malik” Carter, 17, via Facebook, and the two hit it off. She had agreed to meet up with him through the social media website. With her friends by her side at first, she met up with Carter at a 7-11 in the city, and he was with two other friends, Dominic “Nick” McDaniel, 18, and Ce-Antonyo D. Kennedy, 17. And although her friends told her not to go anywhere with Carter, Kennedy and McDaniel, she got in a car with them and did so anyway.

According to the CBS affiliate, the young men took her to an apartment, and afterwards, headed towards a nearby water park. According to court documents, surveillance nearby caught Kane being hit in the face with a handgun by one of the suspects, and then shot multiple times after the other two teens passed a gun around to take turns firing at her.

All three young men were arrested last week after more than 100 local and federal officers searched for them. They have since been charged and are being held on $500,000 bond.

Kane’s mother, LoShonda Kane, is thankful that the young men have been arrested, but hurt that in early court proceedings, none of them showed any type of remorse for their crimes.

“In fact, one of them kind of smiled at me so that was, so that was pretty hard to deal with. I don’t see how he thought it was funny.”

She told CBS News that other mothers should learn from her loss of Alexis.

“She didn’t deserve it, and we all know that. She will be missed so much by many.

I ask all mothers, please protect your children.”

Hackers Not Behind Facebook, Instagram Outage, Says Facebook

January 27th, 2015 - By Janel Martinez
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via Twitter

via Twitter

Social media users were in for a surprise on Monday evening when social networking giant Facebook and its photo-sharing platform Instagram experienced a temporary outage that left millions of users unable to access their accounts.

For roughly 40 minutes, users across the globe had issues accessing Facebook and Instagram. Instagram said it was aware of the outage in a tweet, which was later deleted:

“We’re aware of an outage affecting Instagram and are working on a fix. Thank you for your patience.”

Other sites reportedly affected during the outage include dating app Tinder and instant messaging app HipChat.

If you were attempting to refresh your favorite platforms and didn’t have much luck, this was the reason. Of course, there was no shortage of commentary on the outage since many took to Twitter to weigh in on the issue.

So, what was behind the service breach? While hacker group Lizard Squad, which has been connected with other high-profile attacks, tweeted messages implying they’d been behind the outages, Facebook denies those claims.

“This was not the result of a third-party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems,” Facebook said in a statement. “We moved quickly to fix the problem, and both services are back to 100 per cent for everyone.”


Based in New York City, Janel Martinez is a multimedia journalist who covers technology and entrepreneurship. She is the founder of “Ain’t I Latina?” an online destination geared toward Afro-Latinas. You can follow her up-to-the-minute musings on Twitter @janelmwrites.

Facebook Cleaning Up Fake News Stories From Your Newsfeed – Finally

January 22nd, 2015 - By Rhonesha Byng
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Sukharevskyy Dmytro (nevodka) /

Sukharevskyy Dmytro (nevodka) /

We’ve all fallen for clickbait stories that turned out to be completely false at one time or another. We’re scrolling through our Facebook news feed and see an outrageous headline that seems almost too crazy to be true. But it has a headline, a summary and  looks super official. On top of that, one of your good friends shared it so it must be true right?

Well it turns out that far too often fake news stories published on hoax/fake news sites spread far and wide through Facebook’s news feed and Facebook is finally taking action against these posts.

You can report these stories similar to the way you report spam Facebook announced in a Newsroom post by one of their software engineers:

“Hoaxes are a form of News Feed spam that includes scams (“Click here to win a lifetime supply of coffee”), or deliberately false or misleading news stories (“Man sees dinosaur on hike in Utah”). People often share these hoaxes and later decide to delete their original posts after they realize they have been tricked. These types of posts also tend to receive lots of comments from friends letting people know this is a hoax, and comments containing links to hoax-busting websites. In fact, our testing found people are two times more likely to delete these types of posts after receiving such a comment from a friend.”


The update relies on users to report the story as a hoax and after a certain amount of users do so, a message will appear on top of the story to warn users before they click it. The change will not have an impact on satirical news sites that are clearly identified as satire.