Technology StocksFacebook, Inc.

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From: JakeStraw8/11/2017 3:22:18 PM
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Facebook bought a small German startup that can add and remove objects in videos

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To: FUBHO who wrote (2722)8/28/2017 10:56:09 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
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Facebook has more people than any major religion except Christianity

Michael J. Coren
August 27, 2017

The number of Facebook monthly users has surpassed the followers of Islam, and is closing in on the most numerous religion, Christianity. The Pew Research Center reports that Christianity counts 2.3 billion people among its adherents, followed by Islam with about 1.8 billion. By comparison, Facebook reports it now has 1.32 billion daily active users and 2.01 billion monthly active users as of June 2017—all supported by a staff of just 20,658 people.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes his platform could fill the void left behind by the decline of religious and civil communities in the US. Americans are becoming less religious, join fewer community groups, and report record low levels of trust in their fellow citizens. “That’s a lot of people who now need to find a sense of purpose and support somewhere else,” he said this June at a Chicago rally for creators of Facebook groups.

Zuckerberg has even approvingly cited religions role in society, perhaps implying a similar goal for Facebook. “People who go to church are more likely to volunteer and give to charity—not just because they’re religious, but because they’re part of a community,” he said in June. “A church doesn’t just come together. It has a pastor who cares for the well-being of their congregation, makes sure they have food and shelter. A little league team has a coach who motivates the kids and helps them hit better. Leaders set the culture, inspire us, give us a safety net, and look out for us.”

Facebook is growing at an order of magnitude faster than any established denomination. No major religion is expected to grow faster than 1.4% per year (Islam) over the next two decades, predicts Pew. Yet Facebook, despite rivaling them in size, has steadily grown its global user base by about 22% each year. Of course, Facebook’s expansion will slow as it increases in size (see the “ law of large numbers“), but even a drastic drop in this pace means Facebook users will exceed the number of Christians before the decade is out.

As it grows, Facebook has gone so far as to change its mission statement from its focus on making “the world more open and connected” to “bring[ing] the world closer together,” Zuckerberg said in an interview with CNN Tech this June. The company’s CEO has ramped up his campaign to portray Facebook as a force for harmony, rather than division, in public life after an election season which saw the social network accelerate the spread of inaccurate news and conspiracy theories. The CEO not known for public outreach announced a 50-state US tour in January to “get out and talk to more people about how they’re living, working and thinking about the future.”

Facebook already owns three of the five largest online communities in the world: its own network, WhatsApp, and Instagram. The other two, Chinese services WeChat and TenCent, have about 2 billion users between them. To fuel this growth, Facebook has gone on a relentless acquisition spree of any platform where it sees its future audience heading next. For now, that means Facebook can sustain meteoric growth while counting about a quarter of the world’s population as its users. It shows no signs of stopping.

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From: Rob Phil8/29/2017 1:38:46 PM
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Facebook to reject ads from pages selling 'fake news'

Groups that repeatedly shares false stories as marked by the third party fact checkers, cannot buy ads on Facebook. This according to Facebook is 'move to disrupt the economic incentives'.

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From: Glenn Petersen9/1/2017 6:53:55 AM
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After Harvey, Small Social Networks Prove Their Might

Immediate, intimate, and local social networks such as Nextdoor and Zello are proving vital to Harvey rescue efforts.

Posted on August 31, 2017, at 3:38 p.m.
Alex Kantrowitz
BuzzFeed News Reporter

The North Houston Rescue Zello Channel

On Wednesday morning, with flood waters still rising in Houston, voices bubbled inside the relatively obscure walkie-talkie app Zello, coordinating a volunteer effort to get help to those in need.

“I have an 18-foot flat bottom aluminum boat, I need to know where to go this morning," one member of the app’s 500-plus person North Houston Rescue channel told the group.

”Is there any need for a couple of jet skis and four guys?” another asked. Almost instantly and with calm precision, group administrators directed them to areas that could use their help.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey — which has left thousands seeking shelter — small, locally oriented social networks like Zello are showing their strength as organizing tools. Though social networks are an imperfect substitute for rescue infrastructure, a listen into Zello, or a peek into Nextdoor (where neighbors are working to inform and help each other), or even a visit to Harvey-related Facebook groups shows why people are relying on these networks. They are focused, intensely local, and put critical information in front of the right audiences quickly with little distraction or noise.

“It’s not 911, but it’s pretty effective,” Zello CEO Bill Moore told BuzzFeed News. The app, used exactly like a Walkie Talkie, is filed with channels made up of dozens of members spread far apart, something the traditional devices cannot support.

Harvey related channels dominate Zello's Trending section

Houston volunteer organizations seem to think so too. Houston-area app opens on Zello are up 600% compared to last week, with an average session time of more than 22 minutes, Moore said. The app’s new user registration in the Houston area is up 20 times over last week.

Moore said Zello is effective because it helps people convey a sizable amount of information, along with emotion and level of urgency, quickly — so responses come fast. “It’s a higher burden but because of that it’s pretty effective and it creates a level of trust.”

Zello is working so well that some people are using Facebook to direct people to the download the app. “I am overwhelmed and can't coordinate the amount of volume of requests for is a better way... Download the Zello App,” Tricia Bell Montalbano, a Houston resident helping with the relief effort, wrote on Facebook this Monday. “There are boats and rescuers responding thru this app to help people. Please share so people know how to get people on a rescue list!!”

Houston-area residents are also flocking to neighborhood-based social app Nextdoor, using it to share updates with their neighbors and offer help. On Sunday, Houston resident Joseph Graham tweeted a screenshot from a Nextdoor community where one resident’s home was filling up with water. “A rescue is desperately needed," the resident wrote. "Have been calling for help but can't get through." Within an hour, a fellow Nextdoor member got them on a boat and they were off to safety.

"That was one of several moments that made me tear up," Graham, who lives in Houston's Historic Heights neighborhood, told BuzzFeed News. "We live in a big city, so it’s not super neighborly. When you’re online and everyone’s in need, everybody drops that big city mentality. It’s a very Houston moment, everybody dropping everything to help each other."

Taylor Darnell, a resident of Houston’s East Downtown district, told BuzzFeed News that her Nextdoor community has featured running updates on flooded streets, volunteer requests, and places to give donations. She’s solicited donations inside Nextdoor herself, for a non-profit she runs that’s providing backpacks to students impacted by the storm. Darnell, an infrequent Nextdoor user before Harvey, said she regularly checks the app before other social platforms and the news. “Everyone that you’re connecting with is in a radius where the same thing that’s happening to you is most likely happening to them,” she said. “It helps a lot.”

Nextdoor has been proactive too. The company partnered with the National Weather Service months ago to distribute weather alerts. Before Harvey hit, he NWS used Nextdoor to notify Houston-area residents of the incoming storm, sending them information to prepare for it and take action when it arrived.

Requests for updates inside Taylor Darnell's Nexdoor community

Member activity in the affected areas is five times greater than normal, Nextdoor told BuzzFeed News, and its membership in those areas is up 650%. Close to 100 local agencies are using Nextdoor to connect with residents in the affected areas, the company said.

Though Facebook is a major social platform of more than 2 billion members, its groups form individual mini-social networks of their own, operating outside the usual broadcast-style method of sharing content on the platform. And these groups have been active too, used to coordinate everything from animal rescue to boat dispatch.

Though small social networks have proven indispensable to some, they also come with risks. The hype around their utility can cause people to view them as a savior, even though they don't employ the tried and true methods of a system like 911.

There is also a risk of vigilantism. In Zello’s North Houston Rescue channel, for instance, the discussion Wednesday turned to looters after one member of the group suggested shooting them on sight. "Where are the looters located? We do have weapons on board,” one group member volunteered. Eventually, a trickle of group members insisted looters be left alone. And the topic was dropped.

“Oh, it’s used for bad, yes. Cartels, gangs, ISIS and others. Like any communications tool, it’s used for good and evil both,” Zello’s Moore said. “It’s a net positive but it’s not without risk. It doesn’t replace law.”

Lam Thuy Vo and Blake Montgomery contributed reporting to this story.

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From: Sr K9/3/2017 8:41:19 AM
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Instagram Says It Fixed Bug That Revealed Emails, Phone Numbers

By Sarah Frier

September 1, 2017, 7:39 PM EDT

Facebook Inc.’s Instagram said it found a bug that exposed people’s email addresses and phone numbers, which it quickly fixed, according to Chief Technology Officer Mike Krieger.

No passwords were exposed, and the photo-sharing app is working with law enforcement to prevent further fallout, Krieger said in a blog post.

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From: hollyhunter9/4/2017 10:14:38 PM
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Bullish crossover in MACD and RSI(14) stands at 62.56.

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From: The Ox9/7/2017 11:35:30 AM
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Why Facebook Inc (FB) Stock May Continue To Outperform

Here are 5 reasons to buy Facebook stock.

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From: JakeStraw9/12/2017 12:07:45 PM
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Facebook pays millions for reality show on NFL's Marshawn Lynch

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From: JakeStraw9/12/2017 12:09:40 PM
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Brands can now advertise on Instagram Stories more easily. They can use a new uploading tool to convert their organic Instagram Stories into ads and can run ads on Instagram Stories existing Facebook ad products. These new offerings are designed to help brands reach newer audiences with existing content and give them more flexibility with how they create and buy ads on Instagram Stories. Facebook wants to turn Instagram Stories into the next big ad platform, and is trying to get brands of all sizes embrace it.

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From: JakeStraw9/13/2017 12:18:06 PM
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Facebook tests Bonfire group video chat as app and in Messenger

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