Friday, January 21News That Matters

Tag: WhatsApp Inc

States Appeal Decision to Throw Out Their Facebook Antitrust Case

Technology
WASHINGTON — Nearly four dozen states on Friday asked a federal appeals court to reconsider an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook that a judge threw out last year.In June, Judge James E. Boasberg of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia said the states had waited too long after some of the deals under scrutiny were made to file their suit.The plaintiffs, which are led by Attorney General Letitia James of New York and include the District of Columbia and Guam, argued in their appeal that states have more latitude than private plaintiffs for when they file lawsuits. They also argued that it was in the public’s interest for the attorneys general to pursue the antitrust complaints against Meta, the parent company of Facebook.The states’ central claim is that Facebook acquired com...

Facebook Profits Jump 17 Percent

Technology
Facebook said on Monday that revenue rose 35 percent to $29 billion in the three months ending in September compared with the same period last year, while profit rose 17 percent to $9.2 billion, a sign of the social network’s financial strength as it faces a public relations crisis over troubling disclosures made by a former employee.Advertising revenue, which is responsible for the vast majority of Facebook’s income, rose 33 percent to $28.3 billion. “Other” revenue, which consists largely of sales of Facebook’s virtual-reality Oculus hardware, rose 195 percent to $734 million.Some 3.6 billion people now use one of Facebook’s apps every month, up 12 percent from a year earlier.“We made good progress this quarter and our community continues to grow,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founde...

Key Takeaways From the Facebook Papers and Their Fallout

Technology
For weeks, Facebook has been shaken by revelations that have ignited a firestorm of criticism from lawmakers, regulators and the public.Reports by The Wall Street Journal from research documents provided by a whistle-blower put Facebook under a microscope. Those reports showed how Facebook knew Instagram was worsening body image issues among teenagers, among other issues.The whistle-blower goes public.The whistle-blower, Frances Haugen, went public during an interview on “60 Minutes” in early October. On Oct. 5, Ms. Haugen testified before a Senate subcommittee for more than three hours. She said Facebook had purposely hidden disturbing research about how teenagers felt worse about themselves after using its products and how it was willing to use hateful content on its site to keep users c...
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp Go Down Again for Some Users

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp Go Down Again for Some Users

Technology
SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook and its family of apps were inaccessible for about two hours on Friday afternoon, the second time in a week that the social network experienced widespread problems with its services.The site DownDetector.com, a service that relies on reports from users to determine whether websites are having problems, showed that all of Facebook’s main products — Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and the “big blue app” of Facebook — suffered downtime at around 3 p.m. Eastern time.Just after 5 p.m. Eastern time, Facebook said it had fixed the issue, which had affected people around the world. The social network said the outage was caused by a “configuration” change, which typically refers to adjustments in the company’s underlying technical infrastructure, but it did not provide furth...
Facebook Outage Caused by a Cascade of Errors, It Says

Facebook Outage Caused by a Cascade of Errors, It Says

Technology
A cascade of mistakes made during maintenance on Facebook’s network caused the outage that took its services offline Monday, the company said in a blog post published on Tuesday.Facebook’s family of apps, which includes Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, were offline for more than five hours as employees scrambled to repair the damage. More than 3.5 billion people around the world use Facebook’s services to communicate with friends and family, distribute political messaging, and expand their businesses through advertising and outreach.The initial problem occurred in a network Facebook calls its “backbone,” which connects its data centers around the world, Santosh Janardhan, a vice president of infrastructure at Facebook, wrote in the blog post.During maintenance of the network, a command w...

Facebook’s Apps Went Down. The World Saw How Much It Runs on Them.

Technology
But Monday suggested to Mr. Chambers that Facebook promotion may not be all that important.“As the day went on, we actually found more people coming in and saying that it was good to be disconnected,” he said. “It was their most productive day in a long time, and we closed the day 30 percent above our normal Monday sale.”Jan Böhmermann, a German comedian, tweeted that he wished Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp would remain offline forever. His post received nearly 30,000 likes.Drogasmil, a pharmacy chain in Brazil, now takes many of its prescription orders via WhatsApp, said Rafael Silva, a Drogasmil pharmacist in Rio de Janeiro.On Monday, there were none, Mr. Silva said from behind the counter that night. But because he and his colleagues also couldn’t chat on WhatsApp, the day felt “more...

Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp Were Down: Here’s What to Know

Business
“With Facebook being down we’re losing thousands in sales,” said Mark Donnelly, a start-up founder in Ireland who runs HUH Clothing, a fashion brand focused on mental health that uses Facebook and Instagram to reach customers. “It may not sound like a lot to others, but missing out on four or five hours of sales could be the difference between paying the electricity bill or rent for the month.”Samir Munir, who owns a food-delivery service in Delhi, said he was unable to reach clients or fulfill orders because he runs the business through his Facebook page and takes orders via WhatsApp.“Everything is down, my whole business is down,” he said.Douglas Veney, a gamer in Cleveland who goes by GoodGameBro and who is paid by viewers and subscribers on Facebook Gaming, said, “It’s hard when your p...

Facebook urges court to dismiss latest F.T.C. antitrust suit.

Technology
Facebook filed a motion on Monday to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s revised antitrust lawsuit against the company, saying the agency’s complaint still lacked evidence that the company had violated antitrust laws.In a filing to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Facebook said the agency failed to provide adequate evidence and analysis that the company had a monopoly and harmed rivals through its dominant position. The judge overseeing the case, James E. Boasberg, said in June that the agency had not established Facebook as a monopoly in its original lawsuit but gave the agency a chance to amend its complaint with a stronger analysis.“This court gave the agency a second chance to make a valid claim,” the company said in its filing. “But the same deficiency that was...
Facebook Said to Consider Forming an Election Commission

Facebook Said to Consider Forming an Election Commission

Technology
Facebook has approached academics and policy experts about forming a commission to advise it on global election-related matters, said five people with knowledge of the discussions, a move that would allow the social network to shift some of its political decision-making to an advisory body.The proposed commission could decide on matters such as the viability of political ads and what to do about election-related misinformation, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussions were confidential. Facebook is expected to announce the commission this fall in preparation for the 2022 midterm elections, they said, though the effort is preliminary and could still fall apart.Outsourcing election matters to a panel of experts could help Facebook sidestep criticism of...
Are Apple’s Tools Against Child Abuse Bad for Your Privacy?

Are Apple’s Tools Against Child Abuse Bad for Your Privacy?

Technology
Law enforcement officials, child-safety groups, abuse survivors and some computer scientists praised the moves. In statements provided by Apple, the president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children called it a “game changer,” while David Forsyth, chairman of computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said that the technology would catch child abusers and that “harmless users should experience minimal to no loss of privacy.”But other computer scientists, as well as privacy groups and civil-liberty lawyers, immediately condemned the approach.Other tech companies, like Facebook, Google and Microsoft, also scan users’ photos to look for child sexual abuse, but they do so only on images that are on the companies’ computer servers. In Apple’s case, muc...