social network

OkCupid forcing people to use real names on their profile over usernames

OkCupid forcing people to use real names on their profile over usernames

Online dating service OkCupid has announced that it will be requiring users to start putting their real names on dating profiles, doing away with the pseudonyms and usernames that have been allowed for years. The company explains that the change in policy is in part to "keep up with the times" as well as to have profiles reflect a real person, and not a monicker like "pancake_king58." Unfortunately, a significant number of users are upset about the loss of privacy due to the change.

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Instagram Direct now supports Live Videos

Instagram Direct now supports Live Videos

Things are about to get more confusing in Instagram land. Earlier this month, the social network more popular for posting photos and short videos has revealed a new Direct app that takes private messaging into its own, independent turf. While that separation hasn’t happened yet, Instagram seems to be heading in that direction with the features it has been rolling out, the latest of which lets you start or even share live videos through private messages.

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Twitter two-factor authentication can now use 3rd party apps

Twitter two-factor authentication can now use 3rd party apps

Two-factor, sometimes called two-step, authentication has become one of the favored methods of strengthening logins. Especially considering how humans seem to have an innate tendency to use incredibly weak passwords. But not all 2FAs, as it is abbreviated, are created equal and some, like SMS, are only just a little bit secure than regular passwords. That’s why some sites that use 2FA also allow third-party authenticator apps to provide the second factor. And, finally, Twitter now does as well.

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Facebook face recognition finds you in untagged photos: How to turn it off

Facebook face recognition finds you in untagged photos: How to turn it off

Facebook will use facial recognition to spot you in photos you haven't already been tagged in, as the social network attempts to fend off concerns about user privacy being overlooked. However, to get in ahead of complaints about the new feature, there's also a way to turn it all off.

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Instagram wants you to stop endangering animals for selfies

Instagram wants you to stop endangering animals for selfies

While the world has begrudgingly accepted selfies as something that isn’t completely going away, that doesn’t mean it has become an acceptable behavior in all circumstances. People have done so many things in the name of selfies, resulting in the destruction of irreplaceable objects, harm to living creatures, and sometimes even death. Instagram, one of the biggest havens for selfies, wants to put a stop to at least one of those by discouraging selfies that encourage putting animals in danger.

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Facebook suicide prevention tool uses AI to detect users at risk

Facebook suicide prevention tool uses AI to detect users at risk

Facebook's latest suicide prevention tool update doesn't rely on user reports to detect suicidal users, instead using artificial intelligence to detect when a user may be experiencing suicidal thoughts. This ability also includes Facebook Live; the company plans to roll it out to users around the world with the exception of Europe. This is part of what Facebook calls proactive detection.

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Facebook does a Snapchat with messaging Streaks

Facebook does a Snapchat with messaging Streaks

The old saying goes “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”. Facebook, naturally, has put a different twist to that: if you can’t beat ‘em, copy ‘em. That does seem to be the between the social networking titan and Snapchat, perceived to be its biggest threat, bigger than even Twitter. Following a long list of new features that have a not so vague resemblance to Snapchat’s, Facebook is now testing “streaks” in Messenger, turning conversations into a potential game and, of course, profitable user engagement for Facebook.

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Twitter now doubling display name length as well

Twitter now doubling display name length as well

Some people’s solution to problems, especially business problems, is to throw more money at the problem. Twitter’s solution to its declining numbers? Throw more letters. It has just recently doubled the amount of characters you can type into a tweet, which isn’t exactly doing it any favors. Now it is doubling the number of characters you can use in your display name, which will potentially open things up to further abuse and, therefore, more criticism.

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Facebook, Google and Twitter given furious ad ultimatum

Facebook, Google and Twitter given furious ad ultimatum

Facebook, Google, and Twitter have been given a stark ultimatum by US lawmakers, as the role each played in Russian gaming of the US election goes under the microscope. The three firms have faced challenging questioning at this week's Senate and House Intel Committee meetings, though arguably nothing so blunt as the deadline laid down by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein this morning. Speaking as part of the Senate Intel Committee, Sen. Feinstein told legal representatives of the trio that if they wouldn't fix things, the government would be forced to step in and do it for them.

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Facebook adds food ordering to fuel your social addiction

Facebook adds food ordering to fuel your social addiction

Hungry and have a Facebook addiction? Mark Zuckerberg can help, with the addition of take out ordering directly within the social network. It's part of Facebook's attempt to get you to stay within the clutches of its app empire, rather than allowing you loose to do something as mundane as feed yourself.

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Facebook is making it impossible to avoid VR

Facebook is making it impossible to avoid VR

Bad news if you're a Facebook user who hasn't been swayed by the magic that is virtual reality yet. The social network may not have had its name on above of the door of the fourth annual Oculus Connect conference, but ways to squirt increasing amounts of VR into your Facebook experience were a frequent topic during the opening keynote. Indeed, Mark Zuckerberg himself made the intention clear.

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Whatsapp exploit can give a glimpse of your sleep, chatting habits

Whatsapp exploit can give a glimpse of your sleep, chatting habits

WhatsApp, despite its claims to privacy and end-to-end encryption, has never really recovered from the scandals that plagued it, especially after its acquisition by Facebook. This recently discovered vulnerability doesn't help it either, especially when it can, amusingly or not, be used to establish infidelity. All that from an exploit that allows others to see your online and last seen status, which can eventually be correlated to your sleeping patterns and who you might be chatting with.

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