What’s MGHappening in Social Media: Mar. 12, 2019

03.12.19 / Paul Didwall / Digital Trends

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Gizmodo – A researcher has discovered a now-fixed bug within Facebook Messenger that could have potentially allowed a hacker to see who a user had been chatting with. Researcher Ron Masas had initially reported this to Facebook, and once they deployed a fix, he was once again able to bypass its system. Facebook has continued to make changes to combat these sorts of hacks, which would require a user to click on a malicious link via Messenger first, but also pointed out browser issues that can affect security. (Full Story)

The Verge – A study by Edison Research has found that Facebook’s user base in the U.S. has declined by about 15 million users since 2017. The largest segment of people no longer using Facebook exists among the 12-34 demographic. Though Facebook has continued to report upticks in user growth (2.32 billion users as of last quarter), Edison warns that Facebook’s continued privacy issues and breaches of user trust may be driving people away from the platform. Fortunately for Facebook, however, many users aren’t leaving the company entirely, but are rather flocking to Instagram. Fifteen million users may seem small in the grand scheme of things, but it represents about 6 percent of the U.S. population. This is the second year in a row where Edison has observed this decline. (Full Story)

USA Today – Facebook has further expanded on talks to integrate messaging between Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Mark Zuckerberg recently posted a 3,500-word blog post on the subject of privacy and noted his expectation that privacy-focused, encrypted communication will be how we communicate in the future. Integration of the three apps is part of a multi-year plan that will allow each app to retain many of its own unique characteristics, with people having the option to respond from any of the three platforms. While WhatsApp already encrypts end-to-end communications, Instagram and Messenger will need this ability before anything is merged. (Full Story)

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Mashable – Twitter has announced plans to publish case studies explaining its decisions when deciding to suspend or ban a high-profile account. The company wants to make the reasoning behind the decision-making process more clear to the public. The company anticipated starting this process toward the end of this year and hopes it will help people better understand why decisions are being made, even if they are not necessarily agreed with. (Full Story)

Engadget – Twitter is expanding its reporting tool to make it easier to get sensitive personal information taken down sooner. Users will now have the option to select “includes personal information” after reporting a tweet for being “abusive of harmful,” and can then specify what kind of personal detail is being shared. This will allow Twitter to react to these kinds of reports quicker by not needing to internally send reports through multiple channels. (Full Story)

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BuzzFeed News – YouTube is testing “information panels” in search results when people search for topics that are “prone to misinformation.” These boxes of text will contain information from YouTube’s verified fact-checking partners in an attempt to better inform viewers. The test is currently taking place in India, but YouTube plans to expands throughout the rest of the world. (Full Story)

YouTube Info Panel Screenshot


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