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Opinion: Facebook voice assistant is a joke, it can barely protect its users

Opinion: Facebook voice assistant is a joke, it can barely protect its users

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me thrice, you're probably Facebook. The social media giant has rapidly overtaken Google as the poster child for privacy violations and it seems that the there is no end yet in sight to the revelations of either the company's ineptitude to practice good security or its talent at skirting around policies and laws. Yet in the midst of all the accusations that rock its massive ship, Facebook is eyeing launching its own voice assistant, as if it wasn't enough to make users "unintentionally" give it the data it needs.

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Facebook Clear History tool: One button, no show

Facebook Clear History tool: One button, no show

It's been 352 days since the Facebook Clear History button was announced, and still we have no such button. What's the holdup? Why would Facebook announce a button that could wipe out an individual's files and history on the social network's servers, then not deliver? The answer is clear: They probably never intended on delivering such a button.

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Surprise! Facebook screwed up on even more Instagram passwords

Surprise! Facebook screwed up on even more Instagram passwords

Back in March, Facebook revealed that it had been storing passwords from a number of its products in plain text. Though it didn't give a precise amount, Facebook said that hundreds of millions of passwords were stored improperly across Facebook Lite, Facebook proper, and Instagram. At the time, it said that only "tens of thousands of Instagram users," were affected by this mishap (Facebook said it intended for its login system to make user passwords unreadable), but today, we're finding out that the damage as it concerns Instagram is much worse.

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Facebook has been uploading users’ email contacts since 2016

Facebook has been uploading users’ email contacts since 2016

One of Britney Spears' earliest hit is almost comically appropriate here with some modification. Oops, Facebook did it again and, this time, it probably wouldn't have admitted to it if it weren't caught red-handed. Apparently, the social networking titan has been asking new users to enter not only their email address but also the password to said email address for the sake of verification. What it did, however, was actually getting the user's email contacts and uploading them to its own servers without warning them or asking their permission.

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Facebook voice assistant project tipped to take on Amazon Alexa

Facebook voice assistant project tipped to take on Amazon Alexa

Facebook is working on its own personal assistant to take on Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, a new leak claims. This project has been in the pipeline since early last year, sources allege, with Facebook reportedly also having been in contact with vendors to supply the hardware. The voice assistant would, presumably, be paired with the company's Portal device, but wider plans are unclear.

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Facebook Messenger dark mode now available for all users

Facebook Messenger dark mode now available for all users

Last month, Facebook released a dark mode for Messenger, but users had to unlock it through an Easter Egg involving the crescent moon emoji. Anyone who missed the news wouldn't have known the dark interface was an option, but that changes today with the universal launch of this frequently requested feature. Facebook Messenger users can now directly enable dark mode, no emojis necessary.

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Facebook may overhaul News Feed to force Stories upon users

Facebook may overhaul News Feed to force Stories upon users

Facebook's News Feed has been around for years, and though it's gone through many changes since it was first introduced, its overall function has remained mostly the same. The News Feed might be the next feature in line for a big shake up, if new reports are to be believed. Apparently, Facebook is testing a new News Feed layout that would merge it with Stories and change the way users navigate through it.

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Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger are down: Here’s what we know

Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger are down: Here’s what we know

Brace yourself, social media addicts: Facebook is facing a massive outage across its main Facebook product, as well as Instagram and WhatsApp. Users around the world report difficulty accessing these platforms, with many reporting that they are completely down. The problem started around 6:30AM ET, at least based on reports from users. The issue impacts Facebook's mobile apps and websites.

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Facebook and Messenger may backtrack on controversial unified app

Facebook and Messenger may backtrack on controversial unified app

Way back in 2011, Facebook rolled out a standalone app for Messenger, though it still continued letting people chat in the main Facebook app for some time after that. Then, in 2014, it removed messaging functionality from the main Facebook app, prompting people looking to chat it up to install Messenger and use that instead. Now, all these years later, it looks like Facebook is getting ready to integrate the two once more.

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Facebook will reduce the reach of Groups spreading misinformation

Facebook will reduce the reach of Groups spreading misinformation

Facebook has announced some new steps it is taking to address 'problematic content' on its platform, including reducing the reach of Groups that spread misinformation. This restriction will apply to Groups that 'repeatedly' share the content, according to Facebook, which also plans to reduce the amount of low-quality content its users see in their News Feed.

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Facebook deactivated accounts reportedly still being tracked

Facebook deactivated accounts reportedly still being tracked

The biggest social network has been mired in so many controversies and scandals that some have already abandoned the Facebook ship. Others, however, are less convinced, sometimes to keep connected with family and friends, others to take part in activities that only happen there.

If you're on the fence about ditching the network, however, don't bother deactivating your account while you take your time to decide. While it does effectively hide you from everyone else, there is really no escaping the Eye of Sauron that is Facebook's tracking.

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Another huge Facebook security blunder exposes data of millions

Another huge Facebook security blunder exposes data of millions

Though we're now a year out from the massive Cambridge Analytica Facebook scandal, we're being reminded of it today with two more instances of third-party Facebook apps mishandling user data. Both of these apps stored data collected from Facebook users in publicly accessible Amazon S3 libraries, and though it's difficult to get a handle on how many users had their data exposed, it's likely that the number stretches well into the millions.

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