Break ups happen. Relationships come to an end. It might be an amicable termination, but the chances are that it's not. You probably never want to hear from your ex partner again. Unfortunately, over the years, you have built up a shared circle of friends, and you're both connected to them on Facebook.
Depending on the circumstances of the break up, you might want to go as far as ditching the online friendship and blocking your former beau. But you might not want to take things quite that far. With this in mind, Facebook is now rolling out new features that kick in when you indicate that you're no longer in a relationship, so you won’t be constantly reminded of what you have lost.
There are many problems with the censoring of online content, not least that it can limit free speech. But there is also the question of transparency. By the very nature of censorship, unless you have been kept in the loop you would simply not know that anything had been censored.
This is something the Electronic Frontier Foundation wants to change, and today the digital rights organization launches Onlinecensorship.org to blow the lid off online censorship. The site, run by EFF and Visualizing Impact, aims to reveal the content that is censored on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and YouTube -- not just the 'what' but the 'why'. If you find yourself the subject of censorship, the site also explains how to lodge an appeal.
The shootings and suicide bombings in France this week grabbed the attention of the global media. To help those caught up in the aftermath to let loved ones know that they were OK -- and to enable others to check on friends and relatives in France -- Facebook enabled its Safety Check feature for the disaster.
While this was welcomed, it also raised questions. Why had this not been done for other such disasters? Why were shootings in other countries treated differently? What was so special about France that it warranted extra attention from Facebook? Were the lives lost in other atrocities seen as less important? Facebook's Alex Schultz has stepped up to the plate to answer these concerns.
The time has rolled around once again for Facebook to release its twice-yearly report about government data requests. It will perhaps come as little surprise that in the current atmosphere of surveillance and privacy concerns that in the first half of 2015 Facebook received more government data requests than ever before.
The latest figures show that the number of data requests has jumped by 18 percent to 41,214. There was also a massive increase in the number of pieces of content that were taken down or 'restricted' for violating local laws -- a rise of 112 percent. Facebook reiterated previous assertions that it does not provide backdoor access to governments, and reveals that the US is by far the leading requester of data.
An app that enables iPhone users to keep an eye on who has been looking at their Instagram account has been pulled from the App Store after it was found to be stealing usernames and passwords.
Apple took the decision to kill "Who Viewed Your Profile -- InstaAgent" when the app was found scraping login details and sending them back to the developer's server. This in itself is worrying for users, but it gets worse: the usernames and passwords were sent in unencrypted format.
Anyone who tries to post links to Tsu.co on Facebook, Facebook Messenger, or Instagram will find that they are unable to do so. If you've not heard of Tsu.co, it's another social network, and your initial thought may be that Facebook is trying to censor people from talking about rivals.
Facebook blocks any messages containing the URL from being posted, warning that the site is 'unsafe'. Tsu.co different from other social networks in that it is invite-only and promises to share ad-revenue with users. This has resulted in huge levels of Tsu.co-related spam appearing on Facebook and the susequent ban.
It has been all change at Twitter recently. After increasing the number of accounts users are able to follow, and switching the Favorite star for a Like heart, Twitter today takes the wraps off a new Public Policy and Transparency page.
This is a central hub for information about Twitter's policies relating to freedom of speech, privacy, security, and corporate responsibility, as well as being a home for transparency-related information. It's also the place to go to find out how Twitter is handling government surveillance and online legal issues.
Artificial intelligence researchers at Facebook are set to unveil a new system that can identify objects in photographs. While this is not an entirely new idea, Facebook's AI Research (FAIR) team says that it has reached a new milestone, meaning that recognition is now much faster and requires less training.
Any AI-driven recognition system is built on sample data which can be used as a reference point. FAIR's new system needs just a tenth of the amount of training data than other systems, and operates 30 percent faster. But the team's progress doesn’t end there -- great strides have also been made in natural language understanding and predictive learning.
The idea of 'liking' something is synonymous with Facebook. Or at least it was. Now Twitter is trying to get in on the action, renaming Favorites to Likes. As well as a name change, there's also a new icon. Gone is the Favorite Star, replaced with the Like heart.
The move comes just as Facebook is talking about introducing reaction emoji, with a view to giving users of the social network new ways to express how they feel about the content they see. Twitter, however, is moving in the other direction. While 'favoriting' a tweet was fairly non-partisan, 'liking' is an action that is loaded with meaning.
Unlike many other social networks, Facebook has long required its users to display their real names. Over the last couple of years there have been many vocal complaints from various types of user who feel victimized by this: drag queens, transgender and LGBT communities, and Native American users, for instance.
As well as users directly affected by the policy, privacy groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation have campaigned for Facebook to have a rethink. And it seems that the social network has listened. Facebook's Alex Schultz has written an open letter which, while not announcing the end of the real names policy, introduces a couple of key changes that will please many people.
Zuckerberg: we have a moral responsibility to those without internet access (and to kill game invites)
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg took part in a Q&A session at the Indian Institute of Technology in Dehli, responding to queries ranging from the Internet.org project to Candy Crush notifications. Not for the first time, he found himself jumping to the defence of the program which aims to connect millions of people to the internet. He denied that the walled-garden of Internet.org went against the idea of net neutrality, but conceded that people had to "follow the basic rules of what Internet.org is".
He pointed out that existing net neutrality laws made exceptions for free services, but these loopholes have been described by critics as 'fatal'. In a wide-ranging talk, Zuckerberg also announced plans to kill one of the biggest irritants of the social network -- game invites for the likes of FarmVille and Candy Crush.
If you're a fan of information overload, Twitter has some great news for you. It is now possible to follow up to 5,000 accounts, up from the previous limit of 2,000.
There are still no limits on the number of followers you can amass, but putting a cap on users' ability to follow others helps to "alleviate some of the strain on the invisible part of Twitter". But what if you have a genuine need, or desire, to follow more than 5,000 accounts? It is actually possible...
Facebook is pretty much all about communication, so the existence of the Other Inbox has always seemed a bit weird. Receive a message from someone you don't know, and it will disappear to this message dungeon, most likely never to be seen again. The lack of notifications meant that such messages would tend to go unnoticed for months.
Now Facebook is addressing the problem. The Other Inbox is now dead, replaced by Message Requests. Now if you are contacted by someone you are not already friends with, rather than vanishing into the void, the message will generate an alert on the Messages tab on the web, and in Messenger on mobile devices.
Facebook at Work, the social network’s business version, has signed an agreement with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), bringing the service to 100,000 of its staff.
The deal, dubbed "ground breaking partnership" by RBS will "allow employees to communicate faster and more efficiently", the bank said.
Android and iOS users are about to find that Facebook is much more useful. A new update that is rolling out across the US brings personalized notifications to the app that extend far beyond details of status updates and birthdays.
To help you keep on top of your schedule, Facebook now also displays information about friends' life events, reminders about TV shows, details about events you've joined, and sports scores. There are also a number of optional components that are tailored to where you are.