Reddit Raising $150M To $300M On $2.7B Valuation

Reddit raising $150M to $300M on $2.7B valuationDuncan Riley / SiliconANGLE - 1 month ago
  • According to an unconfirmed report published Tuesday by TechCrunch, the round will be led by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd., somewhat ironic given that Reddit was banned in China in August. Other investors in the round may include Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator.
  • Founded in 2005 by University of Virginia students Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, Reddit bills itself as the front page of the internet.
  • The site, a sort of amalgam between social networking a la Facebook and old-school online forums, was acquired by Conde Nast in 2006 before being spun off as a standalone company in 2011 on a $200 million valuation.
  • Despite being a private company that does not disclose figures, Reddit is believed to have 330 million monthly active users over 150,000 subreddits.

Embarrassing Message Begone: Facebook Messenger Now Lets You Turn Back Time

Embarrassing message begone: Facebook Messenger now lets you turn back timeJames Farrell / SiliconANGLE - 1 month ago
  • In the past, users could of course hit delete and the message would disappear from their own inbox, but that didn’t mean it was rubbed from the actual conversation for others.
  • There is a slight catch, however, in that users will only have ten minutes to make that decision.
  • The change is a consequence of a story broke by TechCrunch last year, which detailed how Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg had given himself the executive power to change his mind and delete his own messages from other people’s eyes.
  • At the time, people had come forward and said that they had noticed that messages sent by Zuckerberg had mysteriously disappeared, showing to those people that there were holes in some conversations.

Clearbanc Raises $70M To Loan Startups Ad Money For A Rev Share

Clearbanc raises $70M to loan startups ad money for a rev shareJosh Constine / TechCrunch - 4 months ago
  • Selling equity to buy Facebook and Google ads is a bad deal for startups.
  • “As a business successfully scales, we continue to provide them ongoing capital” co-founder and CEO Andrew D’Souza tells me.
  • After largely flying under the radar since being found in 2015, now Clearbanc has some big funding news of its own.
  • Clearbanc emerged from an angel investing alliance between two serial entrepreneurs.

Facebook Connects Russia To 100+ Accounts It Removed Ahead Of Mid-terms

Facebook connects Russia to 100+ accounts it removed ahead of mid-termsJosh Constine / TechCrunch - 4 months ago
  • The 115 accounts Facebook took down yesterday for inauthentic behavior ahead of the mid-term elections may indeed have been linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency, according to a new statement from the company.
  • Facebook’s head of cyber security policy Nathaniel Gleicher issued this statement to TechCrunch:
  • “Last night, following a tip off from law enforcement, we blocked over 100 Facebook and Instagram accounts due to concerns that they were linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) and engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior, which is banned from our services.
  • Yesterday, Facebook had published that it would provide an update on whether the removed accounts were connected to Russia, as some were in Russian languages:

Facebook Admits It Failed When It Came To Stopping Violence In Myanmar

Facebook admits it failed when it came to stopping violence in Myanmar MIT Technology Review - 4 months ago
  • An independent assessment commissioned by Facebook found that the company needs to be doing more to prevent the incitement of violence in the country.
  • Some background: The social network became the primary means of online communication in Myanmar around 2013.
  • The news: Facebook released a report Monday by the nonprofit Business for Social Responsibility on the role it has played in inciting hatred in Myanmar.
  •      —better enforce its community standards in Myanmar     —engage with local organizations     —share data on what has happened to evaluate human rights violations     —develop AI that can improve responsiveness     —start planning now for issues that could lead to further violence in the country down the road

Only Google And Facebook Rival Foursquare On Data Precision

Only Google and Facebook rival Foursquare on data precision CNBC - 5 months ago
  • Few companies have the capacity to take on Foursquare, a location discovery platform that leverages its massive database to provide users with personalized recommendations, Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck said Friday.
  • "Other than Google and Facebook, we are the Switzerland," Glueck said in an exclusive "Mad Money" interview with CNBC's Jim Cramer.
  • "We are the sort of platform that everyone who's not Google or Facebook want to use because we understand the whole world's places and we understand different floors of buildings, where you go in malls," he continued.
  • Since Foursquare broke into the big data space, the company has used its deep data to help other companies enhance their location-based technology.

Now You Can Edit Sent Messages In Viber

Mark Wycislik-Wilson / BetaNews - 5 months ago
  • Viber has rolled out a feature that users have been begging for for some time -- the ability to edit sent messages.
  • While Viber may not be quite as popular as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, it has millions of users around the world.
  • The message editing feature was actually added to Viber for Android a couple of weeks ago, but it seems that it is only now just starting to roll out to users.
  • Viber explains how the feature works:

Private Facebook Messages Being Sold On The Internet

Private Facebook messages being sold on the internetAndrew Griffin / The Independent - 5 months ago
  • People's private Facebook messages are being sold on the internet for anyone to read.
  • Tens of thousands of people's secret chats are being traded without their knowledge, according to a BBC report.
  • In all, at least 81,000 people's messages are being swapped online, the report claimed.
  • Annoyingly, changing this has no effect on who’s able to see your past Facebook posts.

Facebook Purges Misleading Accounts, Pages, And Groups Linked To Iran

Facebook purges misleading accounts, Pages, and Groups linked to IranBrittany A. Roston / SlashGear - 5 months ago
  • Facebook says it has eliminated a total of 82 Groups, Pages, and accounts that were linked to Iran and engaging in coordinated “inauthentic behavior.” These accounts were targeting users located in the US and UK, the company said in a statement today, and were meddling with political topics like immigration and race relations.
  • Platforms like Facebook have become an information battleground, spurring the rise of so-called fake news and the weaponization of trolling.
  • The issue came to mass attention following Facebook’s disclosure of 2016 election meddling on its platform.
  • In a blog post today, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher detailed the discovery, saying that Facebook has found no ties between these accounts and the Iranian government.

Twitter Suspends Accounts Linked To Mail Bomb Suspect

Twitter suspends accounts linked to mail bomb suspectTaylor Hatmaker / TechCrunch - 5 months ago
  • At least two Twitter accounts linked to the man suspected of sending explosive devices to more than a dozen prominent Democrats were suspended on Friday afternoon.
  • Cesar Sayoc Jr., 56, was apprehended by federal law enforcement officers in Florida on Friday morning.
  • Facebook moved fairly quickly to suspend Sayoc’s account on the platform, though two Twitter accounts that appeared to belong to Sayoc remained online and accessible until around 2:30 p.m.
  • TechCrunch was able to review the accounts extensively before they were removed.

Facebook Removes 82 Pages And Accounts Linked To Iran

Facebook removes 82 pages and accounts linked to IranKarissa Bell / Mashable - 5 months ago
  • The company has removed 82 Pages, accounts, and  groups for "coordinated inauthentic behavior" aimed at people in the United States and the UK.
  • The company was quick to point out that while the activity originated in Iran, they weren't able to attribute it to the Iranian government.

WhatsApp Stickers Are Here… Finally

WhatsApp stickers are here… finallyDamien Wilde / 9to5Google - 5 months ago
  • The world’s most popular messaging platform has finally added the ability to send stickers in conversations and group chats.
  • In an official blog post on their website today, WhatsApp finally confirmed support for third-party stickers on the platform, with cross compatibility support between iOS and Android.
  • To use the new stickers on Android, you simply have to access the built-in WhatsApp emoji menu and scroll to the far right option.
  • WhatApp has enlisted the help of artists to help bolster the sticker options, but if we had to guess, we have to think that many of the sticker packs found on Facebook Messenger will find a new home on WhatsApp in the near future.

Frontline’s Facebook Documentary Sheds New Light On Company’s Mistakes

Frontline’s Facebook documentary sheds new light on company’s mistakesKarissa Bell / Mashable - 5 months ago
  • "I realized that because I didn't have people's information I needed to make it interesting enough so people would want to use the site and want to, like, put their information up."
  • That's the explanation a very young Mark Zuckerberg, clutching a beer-filled Solo cup in one hand, gave in response to a question about the social network's beginnings.
  • Though perhaps not the most surprising thing Facebook's founder has ever uttered, it's an extremely telling statement that might make you question how you use Facebook.

Facebook Fined £500,000 For Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Facebook fined £500,000 for Cambridge Analytica scandalBBC Technology / BBC - 5 months ago
  • Facebook's chief executive has repeatedly declined to answer questions from UK MPs about the scandal
  • Facebook has been fined £500,000 by the UK's data protection watchdog for its role in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
  • The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said Facebook had let a "serious breach" of the law take place.The fine is the maximum allowed under the old data protection rules that applied before GDPR took effect in May.
  • Media captionJULY 2018: Ms Denham warns Facebook"Facebook also failed to keep the personal information secure because it failed to make suitable checks on apps and developers using its platform."Researcher Dr Aleksandr Kogan and his company GSR used a personality quiz to harvest the Facebook data of up to 87 million people.
  • The ICO found that more than one million people in the UK had their data harvested by the personality quiz.

Report: Facebook Looking To Buy A ‘major’ Cybersecurity Firm

Report: Facebook looking to buy a ‘major’ cybersecurity firmDuncan Riley / SiliconANGLE - 5 months ago
  • The Information, quoting “four people familiar with the matter,” claims that the social networking giant has already approached several firms with acquisition offers.
  • Where the news gets odd is that the report claims that Facebook is trying to buy a cybersecurity company as part of an effort to counter negative news in relation to a hack that may have resulted in the details of as many as 50 million users being exposed.
  • Which company isn’t detailed but there is no shortage of security startups Facebook could acquire.
  • The Facebook hack in September, which is now believed to have affected 29 million users versus 50 million, may result in the company being fined by the European Union under the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679.

Minds, The Blockchain-based Social Network, Grabs A $6M Series A

Minds, the blockchain-based social network, grabs a $6M Series AJohn Biggs / TechCrunch - 5 months ago
  • Minds, a decentralized social network, has raised $6 million in Series A funding from Medici Ventures, Overstock.com’s venture arm.
  • “In June 2018, Minds saw an enormous uptick in new Vietnamese of hundreds of thousands users as a direct response to new laws in the country implementing an invasive ‘cybersecurity’ law which included uninhibited access to user data on social networks like Facebook and Google (who are complying so far) and the ability to censor user content,” said Minds founder Bill Ottman.
  • “There has been increasing excitement in recent years over the power of blockchain technology to liberate individuals and organizations,” said Byrne.
  • Interestingly, Minds is a model for the future of hybrid investing, a process of raising some cash via token and raising further cash via VC.

The Khashoggi Crisis Exposed An Online Intimidation Campaign Ordered By The Saudi Crown Prince

Anonymous Facebook Ads Urge Voters ‘to Bin Chequers’

Anonymous Facebook ads urge voters ‘to bin Chequers’BBC Technology / BBC - 5 months ago
  • Political groups have been spending increasing amounts of money on Facebook adverts
  • An anonymous website has been using Facebook adverts to encourage British voters to email their MP and urge them "to bin Chequers" and back Brexit.Evidence given to the government's fake news inquiry found that a site called Mainstream Network had spent more than £250,000 on the pro-Brexit campaign.
  • No information is available to say who owns or funds Mainstream Network.It comes as Facebook announced new rules around political advertising - and its funding - earlier this week.The site now requires political advertisers to prove their identity and that they are based in the UK, before they can run political adverts.
  • Facebook faces its first testAnalysis by Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC technology correspondentLast week, Facebook launched its new transparency code for political advertising in the UK.Now that code, which is meant to show just how ads are targeted and who is paying for them, faces its first test.

Facebook Launches ‘Hunt For False News’ Debunk Blog As Fakery Drops 50%

Facebook launches ‘Hunt for False News’ debunk blog as fakery drops 50%Josh Constine / TechCrunch - 5 months ago
  • Facebook hopes detailing concrete examples of fake news it’s caught — or missed — could improve news literacy, or at least prove it’s attacking the misinformation problem.
  • The blog’s launch comes after three recent studies showed the volume of misinformation on Facebook has dropped by half since the 2016 election, while Twitter’s volume hasn’t declined as drastically.
  • In one of The Hunt’s first examples, it debunks that a man who posed for a photo with one of Brazil’s senators had stabbed the presidential candidate.
  • While the educational “Hunt” series is useful, it merely cherry-picks random false news stories from over a wide time period.

Facebook Enlists ‘war Room’ To Combat Fake Election News

Facebook enlists ‘war room’ to combat fake election newsQueenie Wong / CNET - 5 months ago
  • Facebook election stewards with titles like "integrity software engineer," "elections software engineer," "core data scientist" and "escalations" operate from the Facebook election war room.
  • As the clock winds down before the run-off elections in Brazil and the midterm elections in the US, Facebook is trying to prove to both the public and lawmakers it's more prepared to combat election interference on its network.
  • The Honeymoon Is Over: Everything you need to know about why tech is under Washington's microscope.Infowars and Silicon Valley: Everything you need to know about the tech industry's free speech debate.