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Keep the spoilers at bay — how to survive Game of Thrones season 8

'Tis the time to be vigilant, because many a foe on the interwebs will try to spoil each weekly instalment of the last season of Game of Thrones.

Leaked unencrypted passwords and the Christchurch massacre show Facebook’s problems aren’t going away

The good news is Facebook has shut down white supremacists and hate speech. The bad news was that it happened after the live streaming of the horror Christchurch massacre in March. The even worse news is that Facebook's notoriously lax policies around data privacy were confirmed when it was revealed that hundreds of millions of its users' passwords were stored in an unencrypted plain text format.

Zuckerberg’s ‘new rules’ for the internet must move from words to actions

After years of rejecting calls for increased regulatory oversight of Facebook, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has now called for more cooperation with government in dealing with problems posed by internet platforms and emergent internet technologies.

The dying art of conversation – has technology killed our ability to talk face-to-face?

Research into digital technologies indicates that phrases such as “word of mouth” or “keeping in touch” point to the importance of face-to-face conversation. Indeed, face-to-face conversation can strengthen social ties: with our neighbours, friends, work colleagues and other people we encounter during our day.

Change your password right now, because Facebook stored millions of them in plaintext

Facebook's found a flaw in its systems that stored user passwords in plaintext. Which means you should change your password immediately.

Facebook’s ‘pivot’ is less about privacy and more about profits

Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s latest promise is that his social media conglomerate will become a “privacy-focused” one. By turns lauded and lambasted, this move does not quite address users’ primary problems with the company.

Becoming more like WhatsApp won’t solve Facebook’s woes – here’s why

Zuckerberg aims to make private messages private and ephemeral – meaning Facebook can’t read our messages, and the data doesn’t stick around on the company’s servers for longer than necessary. His vision involves merging Facebook and the company’s other digital platforms – Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger – into a super app, similar to China’s WeChat.

Mark Zuckerburg promises a “privacy-focused” future for Facebook

We've gotten used to Facebook being rather terrible at anything like protecting user privacy, being transparent about ... most things, or keeping its promises. So we could be forgiven for being skeptical of Mark Zuckerburg's newest note to the internet, which claims that Facebook is looking towards a "privacy-focused" future for the social network. 

Don’t be fooled by fake images and videos online

Advances in artificial intelligence have made it easier to create compelling and sophisticated fake images, videos and audio recordings. Meanwhile, misinformation proliferates on social media, and a polarized public may have become accustomed to being fed news that conforms to their worldview.

Facebook is a teenager tone deaf to its self-centred destructiveness. Also, happy birthday

Turning 15 is a drag. Just ask any teenager about this most awkward age of life and the pain of living through it. Imagine then that you’re Facebook. Last week as the largest social media network reached this milestone it seemed every bit the gangly kid trying to look cool while being beset by angst and self-doubt. And being hated by the rest of the class.

Fairy-tale social media fantasies can demolish your confidence, but it’s not all bad

If social media was a person, you’d probably avoid them. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are loaded with pictures of people going to exotic places, looking like they are about to be on the cover of Vogue, and otherwise living a fairy-tale existence. And, like all fairy tales, these narratives feel a lot like fiction. When you compare the “projected reality” to your lived experience, it would be ea...[Read More]

How Facebook went from friend to frenemy

As Facebook celebrates 15 years of virtual friendship, social science has compiled an expansive body of research that documents the public’s love-hate relationship with its best frenemy. What many once viewed as a confidant has devolved into a messy codependence, mired by ambiguity and mistrust. It’s a relationship that’s both taken for granted, yet extremely high-maintenance, leaving users to won...[Read More]

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