Cream cheese bagels make them angry

When I was in NYC in the summer of 2001, I stood at a Lower Manhattan bakery trying to order a cream cheese bagel for a friend of mine. The proprietor was busy making something. After close to five minutes’ waiting the counter, I asked if I could be served. His response: ‘You want to […]

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You can remove and turn off your off-Facebook activity

I chanced upon a mention of off-Facebook activity on this page, and here’s a good page explaining what it is. (That first link has a lot of advice on what you can do to improve your privacy if you have Facebook, much of which I’ve mentioned over the years. But it’s very handy to have […]

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Facebook allows ad preference editing again

I was surprised to find that I could access my Facebook advertising preferences again, after the section stopped working in January 2019. What was there was still way off, in June 2021, but it’s nice to be able to edit (read delete) them again after two-and-a-half years. Things move slowly in Menlo Park when it […]

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Remember, Facebook usually says one thing, then does the opposite

Don’t take what Facebook says about Trump seriously. As Christopher Wylie reminds us: When I reported Facebook to the US authorities, I received a permanent ban for whistleblowing. When Donald Trump incited a violent insurrection at Congress, he received a temporary two year ban that would let him back in time for the 2024 campaign. […]

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Facebook goes even more pro-bot with change in group policy

Why are there antitrust or monopoly laws? Why is the usual interpretation of the Chicago School really, really bad for the United States? Umair Haque’s latest post spells it out pretty well, in my opinion.    Just an idea: let’s not import any of their dangerous ideas into our society, or allow their ever-growing giants […]

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How to get your Facebook ad account shut down: do something honest

‘We can’t level, you crazy bastard, we’re in advertising!’—Paul Reiser as Stephen Bachman, in Crazy People (1990)   Signal   You can run ads with misinformation, and you can launch bot nets of thousands of accounts, but what can’t you do on Facebook? Buy ads that expose their tools with which you have bought their […]

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Facebook whistleblower gets fired; and a workaround for Meizu Music’s inability to find your SD card

This is a pretty typical story: find fault with Big Tech, try to alert the appropriate people in the firm, get fired.    Julia Carrie Wong’s excellent article for The Guardian shows a data scientist, Sophie Zhang, find blatant attempts by governments to abuse Facebook’s platform, misleading their own people, in multiple countries. Of course […]

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Despite being blatantly obvious, Facebook does nothing about thousands-strong bot nets

We already know that Facebook does nothing if you want to use scripts to join groups, even if the scripts all give roughly the same answers. Apparently that’s not enough to trigger the systems at this company that’s worth almost a billion dollars (that’s a proper billion, or what the Americans call a trillion). Unless, […]

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Computing in 2021: Gmail’s advertorial spammers, Facebook bots, and Twitter fatigue

I’m not entirely sure I need to block out the email addresses here since they’re likely to be burner Gmail accounts, but I’ll give these spammers the courtesy they don’t deserve.    As shown below, they’ve been coming for over a year; there’s a chance I may have even received them in 2019.     […]

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Reduced Facebook? Australia is the lucky country

Whichever side you are on with Facebook imposing a ban on Australians sharing news content, this says it all about the level of intelligence over at Menlo Park.    In Australia, Facebook has not only de-platformed legitimate governmental bodies and non-profits, it has de-platformed itself.    Maybe taxing these companies would have been easier, and […]

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