Scraped data of 1.5 BILLION Facebook users offered for sale on the dark web – reports

Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp are all down, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg has another headache: The personal data of 1.5 billion customers, scraped from his platform, is reportedly being offered for sale on the dark web.

User IDs, real names, email addresses, phone numbers, and locations are among the data of more than 1.5 billion Facebook customers that’s up for sale, according to a report on the cybersecurity news outlet Privacy Affairs on Monday. The going price has been quoted as $5,000 for a million names.

The data “appears to be authentic” and was obtained through “scraping” – getting the information that users set to ‘public’ or allow quizzes or other questionable apps or pages to access.

It’s the “biggest and most significant Facebook data dump to date,” according to the publication – about three times greater than the April leak of 533 million phone numbers. Facebook said at the time this was “old data” and the security vulnerability responsible had been patched back in 2019.

Privacy Affairs reported that one purported buyer was quoted the price of $5,000 for a million entries. Another user claimed they had paid the seller but had received nothing, and the seller had not yet responded. The samples of data provided to the unnamed “popular hacking-related forum” appeared to be real, the outlet said.

Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram, all owned by Zuckerberg’s social media behemoth, were struck by a serious global outage that began on Monday. However, the data dump doesn’t appear to be related to the outage itself.

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CNN Censors an Entire Continent: Restricts Australians from Accessing Facebook Pages

Following a recent Australian court ruling making new organizations legally liable for comments on their Facebook posts, CNN has restricted all Australians from accessing its Facebook page, in effect censoring not only a country but an entire continent.

The Wall Street Journal reports that CNN has restricted access to its Facebook pages in Australia following a recent Australian high court ruling that makes news organizations liable for comments made on their Facebook posts. Users in Australia can no longer access CNN’s primary Facebook page, International page, and pages for its shows.

Following a ruling from the High Court of Australia making news organizations liable for comments on their Facebook pages, CNN appears to be one of the first major U.S. media companies to restrict access to its Facebook pages in the country. According to the High Court of Australia, media companies encourage and facilitate comments from users by creating public Facebook pages and posting news content that encourages debate.

As a result, the court ruled that media companies are then responsible for defamatory content that appears on posts on their Facebook pages as it considers the organization’s publishers of the comments. CNN reportedly asked Facebook whether it could help news organizations to disable comments on all of their pages in Australia following the ruling.

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Facebook and Instagram delete Project Veritas vaccine video for “misinformation” that could cause “harm”

Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram have removed a new video from the undercover reporting operatives Project Veritas under its “misinformation” policy.

“We encourage free expression, but we don’t allow false information about COVID-19 that could contribute to physical harm,” the Facebook message shared with Project Veritas read.

Facebook didn’t specifically state which part of the video caused them to decide to delete it.

The video in question featured a whistleblower from the Health and Human Services Department (HHS), registered nurse Jodi O’Malley, making allegations that the federal government were underreporting the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines.

In the video, O’Malley was discussing with Dr. Maria Gonzales, an ER doctor, who alleges that not all patients suffering from heart inflammation after taking the vaccine are being reported. “But now, they [the government] are not going to blame the vaccine,” Dr. Gonzales said of a patient who had suspected myocarditis.

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Facebook won’t respond to accusations it “asked fact-checking partners to retroactively change their findings”

“The Facebook Files” is an in-depth series based on leaked internal documents that expose the way social media giant Facebook views its platform and its social impact. It was released earlier this week.

Several factors are raised in The Journal’s reporting, including Instagram’s negative impact on minors, the implications of algorithmic changes on political discourse, and Facebook’s protection of influential users. Facebook’s internal research opposes its public assertions, and the company has internalized its societal ills while publicizing its positives in the report.

The Journal also highlighted that their decisions may not be as impartial as they appear on the surface and that “Facebook has asked fact-checking partners to retroactively change their findings on posts from high-profile accounts.”

The outlet also accused Facebook of having “waived standard punishments for propagating what it classifies as misinformation and even altered planned changes to its algorithms to avoid political fallout.”

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Facebook Aided In Recruitment Of Modern Day Slaves, Cartel Hitmen Internal Documents Show

It seems like the WSJ’s entire San Francisco bureau has been preoccupied lately with churning out a series of stories sourced from “leaked” internal Facebook documents exposing embarrassing internal reports on everything from Instagram’s deleterious impact on the mental health of its twentysomething and teenage users to political divisiveness to – today’s entry – how Facebook’s products are abused to facilitated human trafficking and terror recruitment in parts of the emerging world.

The gist of the piece is this: Facebook has a small staff dedicated to combating human trafficking around the world, particularly in countries where the rule of law isn’t as robust as it is in the US and Europe. In the Middle East, Facebook is used to lure women into sex slavery (or some other form of exploitative labor).

In Ethiopia, armed groups use the site to recruit and to incite violence against other ethnic minorities.

Facebook’s monitors have also sent reports to their bosses on everything from human organ trafficking, pornography and child pornography, and government’s cracking down on political dissent.

The documents leaked to WSJ show that while Facebook removes some pages, many continue to operate openly.

While some might sympathize with Facebook’s inability to whack every mole (after all, they’re fighting a never-ending torrent of misconduct). But the sad truth is that Facebook could do more to stop its platform from being abused by traffickers, criminals and abusers – particularly in the emerging world (we all remember what happened in Myanmar).

The reason it doesn’t is because that would be bad for business”, according to a former chief executive who resigned from the company last year. Facebook treats harm in developing countries as “simply the cost of doing business” in those places, said Brian Boland, a former Facebook vice president who oversaw partnerships with internet providers in Africa and Asia before resigning at the end of last year.

Facebook has focused its safety efforts on wealthier markets (like the US) where powerful government and media institutions can help keep it accountable. But in smaller countries, Facebook answers many problems with a shrug.

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Revealed: Facebook allows select elites to bypass censorship rules

Facebook is accused of building a two-tier system of rules and standards around allowed content and speech: one for ordinary people, and another for the elites.

At the same time, the company is under fire for misleading the public and its Oversight Board about the program that makes this possible.

That’s according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, which said it had a chance to see documents detailing how the scheme, dubbed XCheck (cross check) works.

The idea behind it was to protect high profile politicians, celebrities and journalists on the network that is now said to have reached 3 billion users globally. But this very small group of privileged users has overtime become protected from Facebook itself and some of its own rules, said the report.

Using a variety of tools, including whitelisting which means complete exclusion from review, and delayed review of content by human moderators, XCheck reportedly openly favors VIP users to the point of allowing them, unlike the rest of those on the social media site, behavior that violates the giant’s standards, and “without any consequences.” That’s according to an internal confidential document looking into the program.

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Twitter, Facebook, President Biden, and Surgeon General sued for alleged censorship collusion

US data analyst Justin Hart is one of the recent victims of COVID-related censorship on social networks, but he’s also one of those joining to fight back in the legal arena.

The Liberty Justice Center, a non-profit focused on constitutional rights, is suing on his behalf, with Facebook, Twitter, US President Joe Biden and the Surgeon General Vivek Murthy all named as defendants.

We obtained a copy of the complaint for you here.

Hart is alleging that his First Amendment free speech rights had been violated when his social media accounts got suspended for posting what is said to be a scientifically-based graphic under the title, “Masking Children is Impractical and Not Backed by Research or Real World Data.”

News outlets like the New York Post – who recall that their own factually correct, and occasionally bombshell stories (like the “Hunter Biden files“) got suppressed by Big Tech – suggest this claim should by now not be particularly contentious, let alone a reason for censorship.

“Study after study repeatedly shows that children are safer than vaccinated adults and that the masks people actually wear don’t do much good,” writes the Post.

But when Hart posted the infographic, Facebook reacted by locking his personal account, created in 2007, for three days. The filing indicates that the same happened to this data analyst and digital strategist on Twitter as well – but what’s particularly interesting is why top government officials, including the president himself, have been named in the lawsuit.

Namely, Hart alleges collusion between these privately owned giants and the US government, with the purpose of monitoring, flagging, suspending and deleting content that it chooses to label as misinformation.

Under current rules in the US dictated by its Constitution, the government would not be able to do this directly; but recent statements coming from Biden and some of his top collaborators have added fuel to the fire of suspicion that a form of collusion to suppress free expression on the internet might actually be taking place.

Biden recently went as far – to then be forced to walk back – as to publicly accuse Facebook of “killing people” by not getting rid of COVID content unwanted by the current administration fast enough.

This happened just after White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “We are regularly making sure social media platforms are aware of the latest narratives dangerous to public health that we and many other Americans are seeing across all of social and traditional media,” adding, “You shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others.”

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Facebook apologizes after its AI software labels Black men ‘primates’ in a video featured on the platform

Facebook on Friday issued an apology after its AI software labeled Black men “primates” in a video featured on the social media network.

The New York Times first reported the story. A Facebook spokesperson told the publication that it was a “clearly unacceptable error,” and said the recommendation software involved had been disabled. 

“We disabled the entire topic recommendation feature as soon as we realised this was happening so we could investigate the cause and prevent this from happening again,” the spokesperson said.

In a statement to the publication, Facebook said: “We apologize to anyone who may have seen these offensive recommendations.”

The offensive terminology related to a video, dated June 27, 2020, which was posted by The Daily Mail. The clip was titled “white man calls cops on black men at marina,” and featured Black men in disputes with white police officers and civilians. 

Facebook users who watched the video received an automated prompt asking if they would like to “keep seeing videos about Primates,” according to The New York Times. 

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Facebook and Google Partner Compiles Report On How to Manipulate People To Get The Vaccine Using Their Reputation, Public Image, Shopping Habits, Religion

A Facebook and Google partner that uses artificial intelligence to compile data from tracking people’s web history has put together a report that outlines ways to mentally program people to get the Coronavirus vaccine. NATIONAL FILE has obtained a copy of the cynical report from Resonate, a company based in Reston, Virginia in the Washington, D.C. area that goes out of its way to denounce “racism” and employs executives who previously worked for the Washington Post, AOL and other corporations. The report is called Moving The Needle: How To Reach The Vaccine-Hesitant And Resistant. The report gives tips on how to manipulate people’s values of “safety,” “reputation and public image,” “social clout,” and even their religion and shopping habits to coerce them to get the vaccine. The report explicitly states, “DRAW THEM TO VACCINATION SITES BASED ON THEIR SHOPPING PREFERENCES.” The report also compiles information on the children of vaccine-hesitant people and vaccine resisters.
Resonate’s listed partners include Facebook and Google. Resonate acknowledges that its data collection allows its clients to “gain a deeper understanding of every consumer who engages with your digital media presence across all platforms including Facebook, Linkedin, etc.” This Facebook and Google partner has used people’s personal information to build an extremely creepy profile of the “Vaccine-Hesitant” community. And Resonate makes it clear that they are tracking people’s “web traffic” in order to build their research. Here are some screenshots from Resonate’s website describing how they get their information from “web traffic” and how they partner with Facebook, Google, Oracle, and others.

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