Facebook blocks links to website detailing how users can get class action settlement payout from Facebook

Facebook is blocking links to the official class action claims page for a lawsuit settlement for users affected by privacy concerns. The page helps users receive their payout from Facebook and Facebook is marketing the page as “spam” or “abusive,” which prevents people from learning about how to claim.

“If you are a person who, between April 22, 2010, and September 26, 2011, inclusive, were a Facebook User in the United States who visited non-Facebook websites that displayed the Facebook Like button, you may be eligible for a payment from a Class Action Settlement,” the website reads.

Reclaim The Net was alerted to the censorship by a reader and was able to confirm with David Strait, a partner at the DiCello Levitt Gutzler law firm, a party litigating the case, that fbinternettrackingsettlement.com is the official page for users to see if they’re eligible for a claim.

When users on Facebook Messenger try to share the link with someone, they’re greeted with a message saying, “(#368) The action attempted has been deemed abusive or is otherwise disallowed,” hindering the sharing of the claim information.

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CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA REBORN? PRIVATE SPY AGENCY WEAPONIZES FACEBOOK AGAIN

On April 4, plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit brought against Facebook over its data-sharing practices following the eruption of the Cambridge Analytica scandal filed a fresh motion, charging that the social media giant deliberately obstructed discovery of information revealing the scale of its malfeasance.

It’s the latest development in a wide-ranging controversy that began in the first months of 2017 and shows little sign of abating. In brief, Cambridge Analytica exploited a Facebook loophole to harvest the personal data of up to 50 million Americans, in order to manipulate voters on behalf of a number of right-wing candidates — potentially including Donald Trump — and political campaigns in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Since then, the company and its parent, SCL Group, have folded, with official investigations into their activities conducted in several countries, while Facebook has been fined a record $5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission for egregious breaches of user confidentiality. The entire dispute raised serious public concerns about online privacy and the malign influence of behavioral advertising and microtargeting, which endure to this day.

In September 2020, Cambridge Analytica’s former CEO, Alexander Nix, was disqualified from serving as a U.K. company director for seven years for offering unethical services, including “bribery or honey-trap stings, voter disengagement campaigns, obtaining information to discredit political opponents and spreading information anonymously in political campaigns.”

By contrast, one senior SCL staffer seemingly pivotal to many of those unethical practices – although they deny it — has been unaffected by the scandal’s fallout. In fact, they have profited and prospered immensely in its wake.

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Apple and Meta Gave User Data to Hackers Who Used Forged Legal Requests

Apple and Meta provided basic subscriber details, such as a customer’s address, phone number and IP address, in mid-2021 in response to the forged “emergency data requests.” Normally, such requests are only provided with a search warrant or subpoena signed by a judge, according to the people. However, the emergency requests don’t require a court order.

Snap Inc. received a forged legal request from the same hackers, but it isn’t known whether the company provided data in response. It’s also not clear how many times the companies provided data prompted by forged legal requests.

Cybersecurity researchers suspect that some of the hackers sending the forged requests are minors located in the U.K. and the U.S. One of the minors is also believed to be the mastermind behind the cybercrime group Lapsus$, which hacked Microsoft Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and Nvidia Corp., among others, the people said. City of London Police recently arrested seven people in connection with an investigation into the Lapsus$ hacking group; the probe is ongoing.

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Meta paid GOP operatives to push negative stories about TikTok

Meta has hired a top GOP consulting firm to gin up rage against TikTok and deflect political scrutiny away from Facebook and Instagram, according to a report on Wednesday. 

The consulting firm, Targeted Victory, pushed to “get the message out that while Meta is the current punching bag, TikTok is the real threat especially as a foreign owned app that is #1 in sharing data that young teens are using,” according to an internal email from February reported by the Washington Post.  

Targeted Victory reportedly advanced Meta’s agenda by pushing news stories blaming dangerous online trends such as the “slap a teacher challenge” on TikTok — even though the trend actually originated on Facebook. 

The group also helped place op-eds and letters to the editor in local papers like the Denver Post and Des Moines Register, raising concerns about China “deliberately collecting behavioral data on our kids,” according to the report. 

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has blamed TikTok for Facebook’s slowing user growth, which has contributed to its stock tanking 32.5% so far this year

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Orwell’s ‘Two Minutes Hate’ Becomes Reality as Facebook Now Allows Violence & Hate Directed at Russians

Over the last 6 years, Facebook, now Meta, has clamped down on any and all calls for violence by users on its platform. Users who advocated for violence were banned and some of them were reported to authorities in the company’s attempt to make its platform a more peaceful place. But all that has changed now as the world slips into a scene from George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984.

On Thursday night, Reuters reported that Meta Platforms will now allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians in what they refer to as a “temporary change to its hate speech policy.”

Users can now openly advocate for the assassination of world leaders, so long as they are considered political enemies of the West. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko are fair game in Meta’s new world.

“As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders.’ We still won’t allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians,” Meta spokesperson Andy Stone said in a statement.

If the user gets too detailed about how and where they are going to kill these Russians, only then will Facebook and Instagram draw the line.

Citing the Reuters story, Russia’s US embassy demanded that Washington stop the “extremist activities” of Meta allowing its users to call for violence.

“Users of Facebook & Instagram did not give the owners of these platforms the right to determine the criteria of truth and pit nations against each other,” the embassy said on Twitter Thursday night in response to the change.

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Meta changes policy, says Facebook and Instagram users may call for violence against Russians, Putin’s assassination

Users of Facebook and Instagram in certain countries will be temporarily allowed to call for and threaten violence against Russian citizens and Russian troops, according to a new report.

In a change to Meta‘s hate speech policy, users in these countries will be able to make such posts only in the context of Russia’s war in Ukraine, according to Reuters, citing internal emails.

“The social media company is also temporarily allowing some posts that call for death to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in countries including Russia, Ukraine and Poland,” the report from Reuters says. “These calls for the leaders’ deaths will be allowed unless they contain other targets or have two indicators of credibility, such as the location or method.”

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Facebook Announces ‘Narrow Exception’ for Previously Censored Neo-Nazi ‘Azov Battalion’.

Facebook is reversing a ban on users praising Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, previously included in the platform’s Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy, amidst Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Internal memos from the social media platform, which has routinely censored mainstream conservative content, reveal it will “allow praise of the Azov Battalion when explicitly and exclusively praising their role in defending Ukraine OR their role as part of the Ukraine’s National Guard.”

“Internally published examples of speech that Facebook now deems acceptable include “Azov movement volunteers are real heroes, they are a much needed support to our national guard”; “We are under attack. Azov has been courageously defending our town for the last 6 hours”; and “I think Azov is playing a patriotic role during this crisis,” added The Intercept, which first obtained the company memos.

“For the time being, we are making a narrow exception for praise of the Azov Regiment strictly in the context of defending Ukraine, or in their role as part of the Ukraine National Guard,” clarified a spokesperson from Facebook’s parent company Meta.

“But we are continuing to ban all hate speech, hate symbolism, praise of violence, generic praise,  support, or representation of the Azov Regiment, and any other content that violates our community standards,” they added in a statement to Business Insider.

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FACEBOOK ALLOWS PRAISE OF NEO-NAZI UKRAINIAN BATTALION IF IT FIGHTS RUSSIAN INVASION

FACEBOOK WILL TEMPORARILY allow its billions of users to praise the Azov Battalion, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi military unit previously banned from being freely discussed under the company’s Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy, The Intercept has learned.

The policy shift, made this week, is pegged to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and preceding military escalations. The Azov Battalion, which functions as an armed wing of the broader Ukrainian white nationalist Azov movement, began as a volunteer anti-Russia militia before formally joining the Ukrainian National Guard in 2014; the regiment is known for its hardcore right-wing ultranationalism and the neo-Nazi ideology pervasive among its members. Though it has in recent years downplayed its neo-Nazi sympathiesthe group’s affinities are not subtle: Azov soldiers march and train wearing uniforms bearing icons of the Third Reich; its leadership has reportedly courted American alt-right and neo-Nazi elements; and in 2010, the battalion’s first commander and a former Ukrainian parliamentarian, Andriy Biletsky, stated that Ukraine’s national purpose was to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade … against Semite-led Untermenschen [subhumans].” With Russian forces reportedly moving rapidly against targets throughout Ukraine, Facebook’s blunt, list-based approach to moderation puts the company in a bind: What happens when a group you’ve deemed too dangerous to freely discuss is defending its country against a full-scale assault?

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