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Facebook’s new birthday banner nixes forgetfulness excuses

Facebook’s new birthday banner nixes forgetfulness excuses

We’ve all got them — those acquaintances you know well enough that you shouldn't ignore their birthdays, but that you don't know well enough to make a phone call or send a card. Facebook presents the perfect medium for well wishes in that case, allowing you to peck out a quick happy message and then go on with your day. The one catch is that you have to notice when it is someone's birthday, and Facebook’s current design doesn’t make that easy.

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Facebook back in hot water after Safety Check ignores Mali

Facebook back in hot water after Safety Check ignores Mali

Facebook activated its Safety Check feature immediately following the attacks in Paris, representing the first time the social network's tool was used for something other than a natural disaster. The company was heavily criticized for doing so, not because the tool isn't useful, but because Facebook didn't activate it for previous similar attacks elsewhere, such as Lebanon. This highlighted a bias in the company, according to critics, which Facebook dismissed. However, as a harrowing attack took place in Mali, Safety Check remained inactive.

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Let Friends guide you through Facebook’s new “take a break” feature

Let Friends guide you through Facebook’s new “take a break” feature

The social network Facebook is testing a feature which would assist users in the present to see less of their significant others from the past. The feature is called "Take a Break", and, like taking a break in real life, it lists a number of "changes" you can make to the features on your Facebook account. One example of this is seeing less of the person who you've ended a relationship with. As Facebook Product Manager and someone we must assume is a Friends fan Kelly Winters suggests, "When people change their relationship status to indicate they are no longer in a relationship, they will be prompted to try these tools."

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Facebook is testing a fundraising tool for nonprofits

Facebook is testing a fundraising tool for nonprofits

Facebook has introduced a new fundraising tool for nonprofits, and it is working to improve its “donate” button, the combination of which will make the social network a little more attractive to charities. Says Facebook, “We hope these features help nonprofits reach new supports, engage their community and get the valuable funding they need to continue their good work." Facebook started testing tools for nonprofits back in 2013.

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Facebook’s dishing up public info in Google mobile searches

Facebook’s dishing up public info in Google mobile searches

On Friday, Facebook opened the doors for Google to crawl and index its mobile apps, making it possible for Google searches to present some publicly available information from Facebook mobile. The information comes from Google, which announced the news. Counted among the data indexed will be profile info available to the public (one’s age and name, for example), as well as data from Events, Pages, and Groups.

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Facebook on why Safety Check activated for Paris, but not others

Facebook on why Safety Check activated for Paris, but not others

In 2014, Facebook introduced a tool called Safety Check that makes it easier for those within a disaster region to notify others about their safety status. Safety Check was spawned from lessons Facebook learned during 2011's tragic tsunami in Japan, and it has continued to exist since then, but has been limited to natural disaster situations…that is, until the recent and tragic attacks that took place in Paris. Immediately after the attacks, Facebook made the quick decision to activate Safety Check for those in France, as well, generating ample controversy in doing so.

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Facebook activates Safety Check for human disasters

Facebook activates Safety Check for human disasters

The recent events that transpired in Paris left many, both in France and around the world, stunned and worried about the safety of their family and friends in affected areas. As before, when traditional media and governments are unable to provide information fast enough, people have taken to social media not just to air their condemnation of the inhumane actions and support for victims and their kin, they also use it to tell others that they are safe. That is why Facebook made an unprecedented, and unsurprisingly controversial, move to activate its Safety Check for Paris.

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Report: Facebook AI could alert parents when sharing kid pics

Report: Facebook AI could alert parents when sharing kid pics

Facebook could be working on a feature that would alert parents when they share a photo of their children on the social network. The feature seems to be geared toward safety, making parents aware, when applicable, that anyone can see the shared images of their children. This is part of Facebook’s larger work with deep learning and artificial intelligence, something that has been used to create other photo-centric features.

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Facebook’s latest report shows jump in government requests

Facebook’s latest report shows jump in government requests

On Wednesday, Facebook released its newest government requests report, revealing an increase in government requests of both the blocking and snitching sort. This latest report spans the first half of 2015, and covers data on both the number of content that governments wanted restricted and how much data requests governments submitted. As well, this report also details any info that can be revealed about National Security Requests received from the US government during that period.

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Facebook 360 videos enter virtual reality with Gear VR

Facebook 360 videos enter virtual reality with Gear VR

This week the social network is bringing Facebook 360 videos to the virtual reality realm, allowing early adopters of the Samsung Gear VR to partake in the 360-vision environment. This update will include a collection of videos that are already posted to Facebook in their 360-view modes, and will include all videos uploaded to the social network in 360-vision from here on out. This includes a number of publishers that've shared new 360 videos to Facebook just today: GoPro, LeBron James & Uninterrupted, New Orleans Saints, and Nickelodeon included.

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Facebook debuts Notify, an app that brings news headlines to notifications

Facebook debuts Notify, an app that brings news headlines to notifications

Just in case you weren't already getting enough notifications on your phone, Facebook is here to bring you more. The company has launched Notify, an iOS app that delivers the latest news headlines based on user preferences. Turns out the early peek at the app a few weeks ago was mostly accurate, with Notify clearly aimed at competing with Twitter when it comes to delivering news in real-time.

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