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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

internet privacy

For A More Civilized Age

Facebook Creates Guide For Domestic Violence Victims

Facebook and the NNEDV (National Network To End Domestic Violence) teamed up to create a guide to Facebook security and privacy specifically tailored to people who are victims of domestic abuse and/or cyberstalking. The guide walks users through the details of changing security settings, what the various privacy mechanisms do, and generally giving an in-depth tutorial on social media safety. Not only is it a great resource for anyone trying to grapple with violence, it is also just a well-written, straightforward guide about Facebook safety for any user.

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And That's Terrible

Ironic: Facebook’s New Privacy Settings Cause Mark Zuckerberg’s Sister’s Private Photo To Go Public

I’m not sure anyone I know is truly happy with their privacy settings on Facebook. Either they don’t understand them or, if they do, they find them unsatisfactory. Yet we all keep using the free social networking website. But oddly enough, the site’s privacy settings recently caused some strife in founder Mark Zuckerberg’s family. One of his sister’s photos was posted publicly online even though she thought it was set to private. 

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the internet is serious business

Facebook Is Testing A Feature That Lets Complete Strangers Message You for a Dollar

Facebook Messages are a seemingly simple offering by the social media giant that the company still manages to make somehow complicated. Messages, mobile messages, Facebook email, the Other folder… You mean, you don’t know there’s an Other folder? I don’t blame you, it’s practically invisible.

So, the headline for this post that is way too long to actually use might look like this Facebook Is Still Overhauling Its Messaging System Like Every Six Months, Might Change it So Strangers Can Pay $1 to Send You a Noticeable Message.

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what is this I don't even

Bouncers In the UK Are Asking to See Facebook Profiles Before Letting People in Nightclubs

Here is an obnoxious new development in the Facebook privacy debate: Some of our friends across the pond might find themselves denied access to nightclubs in the UK — because they denied a bouncer access to their Facebook profile. No, really. The BBC reports that bouncers are asking people to log into their accounts on their phones outside of nightclubs to see if their profile names match their drivers license. Let’s talk about how little sense this makes!

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Meddling Kids

Legislation Banning Employer Requests For Facebook Passwords Reaches the House of Representatives

At the end of March, we learned that members of the United States Congress — meaning the House of Representatives and the Senate — were officially looking into drafting a bill that would disallow employers from asking potential hires for private login information for their Facebook accounts. States had been instituting laws on their own, but after more and more stories came out about people feeling pressured to hand over their private information by someone in the position of giving them a job, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal said that enough was enough — this is something that needs to be dealt with on a national level. And now, the Social Networking Online Protection Act has made it to the House of Representatives while the Senate continues to work on their own version. Important question: Do we get to call it SNOPA? I’m going to call it SNOPA.

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Rights of Passage

Don’t Worry, President Obama Will Veto CISPA — Unless the Senate Has a Different Version

Your “small government” lawmakers are at it again, passing laws in the U.S. House of Representatives that give the government — namely, agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency — the power to basically obliterate your privacy — in this case, via private businesses, namely large corporations. The good news is that President Obama has threatened to veto the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) if it made its way through Congress, due to its vastly overreaching provisions. However, while he has come out against the House bill, what if the Senate tones things down a bit?

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Things We Saw Today

Things We Saw Today: Texts From Hillary

So, we found Texts From Hillary today, and now you know about it, too. You’re welcome.

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what is this I don't even

Abandoned by Facebook and Foursquare; Creepy, Stalker-Enabling App Girls Around Me is Pulled by Developer

Gotta love those stories that you come across late in the day, and then by the time you get a moment to report on them, they’ve already sort of solved themselves. For about two months now, an app called Girls Around Me has be available on Apple’s App Store, and, for what it’s worth, it’s not that it’s explicitly intended to make it easy to pretend that you know a girl, or find a girl who may be susceptible to drunkenly going home with you…

Well, actually I take it back, it’s explicitly intended to do both of those things. As Cult of Mac expertly summarizes it: “Girls Around Me lets you identify women, find out where they are, look at pictures of them and then research their personal lives, all in pursuit of a ‘one-night stand.’” Its creators wanted to make the lives of “ballers and pick-up artists” easier, which, while not my cup of tea, doesn’t remove the fact that they’re also giving would-be stalkers and date-rapists a incredible convenience.

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Meanwhile...

The Facebook Privacy Issue Is Heading to Capitol Hill

The cherry blossoms are a-blooming, and that means it’s time for a Washington, D.C.-related post, following the inner workings of the sausage factory we call the government. And in this case, it finally doesn’t involve transvaginal probing! No, this is an update to a story we brought you yesterday, concerning the issue of employers asking potential hires for their Facebook usernames and passwords. We briefly mentioned that one U.S. senator was introducing federal legislation to stop that, and now another has joined him. Which leads us to ask: “So, what do you think Chuck Schumer is really trying to hide on his Facebook profile, you guys?”

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Assuming Direct Control

Dear Employers Asking For Facebook Passwords: Not Cool. Love, Facebook

Something that is actually happening in the world today is the act of employers asking the people they might employ for their Facebook passwords for the purpose of seeing what a person does in their private time when the company is not responsible for them. If that sounds like a blatant privacy violation to you, then you are not alone. Apparently, just looking for someone’s profile to see if they were apt to spend their off-hours drinking alcoholic beverages and other unbecoming things was not enough — they wanted to actually log in and read everything a person was doing, writing, and posting on Facebook. And now, Facebook is announcing that they are not okay with that and might file lawsuits against a company who did this to a potential hire. And now, this is one of those rare times I’m on Facebook’s side.

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