Facebook may have just found its next social experiment, or rather public service venue. Anonymous sources close to the matter have revealed that the social networking giant is now interested in entering into the Internet healthcare business. What that means for your privacy and your actual offline health will depend on how Facebook will be able to implement and spin this new outlet.
Users are known to ignore a few warnings, skip a few steps, and other sometimes cringe-worthy actions for the sake of convenience. However, that isn't an excuse for app developers to ignore common sense (which, apparently, isn't really that common) just to provide users that convenience. Unfortunately, that might be the case on iOS, where several popular apps have allegedly skimmed over Apple's developer documentation, leaving users vulnerable to, in the worst case scenario, making an automatic phone call to a premium-rate phone number.
Facebook is cutting chat support from its main mobile app on iOS and Android, following up on its promise to split the Messenger functionality out and drive users to the standalone app. Facebook users are being notified from today with an in-app message warning them that, as of around two weeks time, they'll no longer be able to rely on the chat tab in the regular Facebook app.
OkCupid is bravely - or foolhardily - wading into the furore over social sites experimenting on users, defending Facebook in the process as it reveals some of the discoveries its own testing has come up with. The stat sifting turns up several insights around the value of pictures on profiles, as well as how suggestible users are, though the fall-out seems less intensive than Facebook's mood-altering trials.
One of the former Facebook data scientists at the heart of the recent controversy over mood manipulation and tests run on unwitting users has spoken out, claiming his quotes were taken out of context, and defending the social network's experimentation. Data scientist Andrew Ledvina, who left Facebook in April, was one of the originally quoted sources when the psychological research carried out by the site surfaced late last month, used to illustrate how Facebook lacked safe review processes for tests performed on its users. Now, Ledvina says that the reporter he spoke to mis-represented the facts.
Facebook is, unsurprisingly, embroiled in yet another scandal. Surprisingly, it isn't directly related to privacy but comes quite close. The social networking giant has been revealed to have manipulated their news feed ever so slightly in order to see the effects on the moods of its users. Sounds almost harmless until you learn that the findings were recently published in a Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) paper.