In light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has continued apologizing for allowing user data breaches that violated people's privacy. The problem though, according to Leo, is that he's been apologizing for the same thing since college. He's really learned nothing.
Mike is going to China and wants to know how he can use Gmail, Facebook or Twitter. Leo says that it changes all the time depending on the social unrest that's going on. There is a Wikipedia page that will show him. One thing he can do is create a Yahoo Mail account, have Gmail fetch it, and then use that. It's a workaround but it can work. He may be able to go to the .CN versions of websites, though.
Tired of the intrusion into his privacy, Leo decided to quit Facebook last night. Leo says that when Facebook users take quizes on Facebook, the quiz maker gets access to all of your personal information, as well as the information of your friends — without their consent. Leo says Facebook refuses to do anything about it.
Pew Research Center on Internet and Technology did a study on social media and the stats for early 2018 were surprising. 78% of 18-24 year olds use Snapchat, and most of them visit the platform many times a day. 71% of 18-24 year olds also use Instagram, and only 45% Twitter. Roughly 2/3rds of US adults say they use Facebook, and 3/4 of that number on a daily basis. Facebook is easily used by the majority of Americans every single day. YouTube's numbers were even higher. 73% of adults say they use YouTube.
Sending unsolicited text messages is bad form, and Facebook got caught using their 2 Factor Authentication database to send out ads and other notifications.
Facebook admitted their faux pas and apologized. Leo says that's become the modus operandi of Facebook: move fast and break things, then apologize. In other words, better to ask forgiveness than ask permission.
The New York Times recently ran a story about a company that's been selling fake social media accounts to celebrities and businesses. It's called Devumi, and it has millions of fake Twitter accounts. Some of them are based on stolen social identities. They may have pictures, backgrounds, and bios that are real but are part of a fake account that is then sold off. This is very widespread because in Hollywood, the amount of money actors make in a movie is often tied to the number of followers they have. This is what happens when follower counts are an important measure of success.
Brad wants to know how to recover his brother's Facebook account without using his email. Leo says that there's an extreme account recovery system that involves sending a picture, and then Facebook will reset it. Here's how to recover his account on Facebook.
The big story today is news that back when Twitter was launched, Facebook decided to change it's feed to include more news stories, thereby addicting its users and keeping them online longer. Leo says that Facebook discovered that they could sell more advertising and make more money if they could hook users to spend more time. Leo says that Facebook prefers to call it more "engaging." But he also says that strategy may have backfired, as engagement has been declining over the last two years.
Ivan wants to know what he's giving away when he logs into a site using his Facebook ID. Leo says that's called Single Sign-on, which makes it easier to sign in. Many services, including Google and Twitter also offer it as a convenience. It's a user verification system that doesn't require him to create an account, nor does it give them access to his account. But it gives Facebook, Google, and Twitter access to more information about where he visits. It's safe to use it, but if he's concerned, he can create a dummy account that he'll only use for that purpose.
Facebook released a study on whether or not spending time on social media is bad for us. The report comes from the director of research at Facebook, David Ginsberg, and a research scientist at Facebook, Moira Burke. It's good to ask this question, and it's surprising Facebook would even ask it — until you read their conclusions. They determined it is bad for you if you're passively consuming it. They say in the study that the people who just read Facebook would feel worse, but those who interacted with others felt better. These findings seem a little self-serving, according to Leo.