New York, Sept 28 (AP/UNB) - Facebook on Friday said it recently discovered a security breach affecting nearly 50 million user accounts.
The hack is the latest setback for Facebook during a year of tumult for the global social media service.
In a blog post , the company says hackers exploited its "View As" feature, which lets people see what their profiles look like to someone else. Facebook says it has taken steps to fix the security problem and alerted law enforcement.
To deal with the issue, Facebook reset some logins, so 90 million people have been logged out and will have to log in again. That includes anyone who has been subject to a "View As" lookup in the past year.
Facebook says it doesn't know who is behind the attacks or where they're based.
News broke early this year that data analytics firm that once worked for the Trump campaign, Cambridge Analytica, had gained access to personal data from millions of user profiles. Then a congressional investigation found that agents from Russia and other countries have been posting fake political ads since at least 2016. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared at a Congressional hearing over Facebook's privacy policies in April.
In a call with reporters on Friday, Zuckerberg said that the company doesn't know yet if any of the accounts that were hacked were misused.
Facebook has more than 2 billion users worldwide. The company said people do not need to change their Facebook passwords, but anyone having trouble logging on should visit the site's help center . Those who want to log out can visit the "Security and Login" section of their settings, which lists the places that people are logged into Facebook. It has a one-click option of logging out of all locations.
Ed Mierzwinski, the senior director of consumer advocacy group U.S. PIRG, said the breach was "very troubling."
"It's yet another warning that Congress must not enact any national data security or data breach legislation that weakens current state privacy laws, preempts the rights of states to pass new laws that protect their consumers better, or denies their attorneys general rights to investigate violations of or enforce those laws," he said in a statement.
Dhaka, Sept 25 (UNB) – Facebook authorities have selected Bangladeshi entrepreneur Razib Ahmed as fellow of its ‘Community Leadership Program’ for his group ‘Search English’ where members help each other to become more fluent in English.
Razib Ahmed, former president of the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB), will receive a grant of US$ 50,000 for further development of the project.
The tech giant on Monday said it has selected five people into its ‘Community Leadership Program’ as leaders in residence, and more than 100 people as fellows and youth participants from 6,000 applicants from around the world.
The social media giant is giving upto $1 million to each leader in residence to fund their community projects, and up to $50,000 to every fellow and youth participant.
The group was founded in June 2016 with the slogan “Learn English to Change Life” by Razib Ahmed along with Abul Khayer, Neyamot Ullah and SM Mehdi Hasan. At present the group has more than 1.6 million users.
“This recognition will not only motivates us but also will help us to reach more people to help learning English,” ‘Search English’ co-founder Abul Khayer told UNB while expressing their joy.
“We want to spread our programme to every village of the country will participation of more than 10 million users,” he added.
Using this platform hundreds of people not only secure jobs but also improve their English skills in both educational and personal grounds, he further said.
The programme has three main components: an educational curriculum designed around leadership development, strategic community engagement and technical skills, financial support for offline community building activities and help and guidance from community building experts, Facebook leaders and other participants.
Earlier in last year, Facebook Business, an official page of the social media giant, has released a video featuring the achievements of a Bangladeshi public group ‘Search English’.
In August 2017, a four-member team from Facebook’s Singapore headquarters had come to Dhaka to meet the founders of the group and its members. The video was made with the interviews of Razib and several other members.
The page published the nearly two-minute video on October 25, with a caption that said the founder of the “Search English” group is helping over 360,000 people in Bangladesh improve their English skills and confidence on Facebook.
Dhaka, Sep 6 (AP/UNB) -A chill, bearded and nose-ringed Jack Dorsey appeared unflappable as he faced hours of questioning from members of Congress Wednesday on issues as wide-ranging as political bias, hate speech, school safety and election manipulation.
At 9:30 a.m., he began at the Senate intelligence committee, alongside Facebook's practiced and polished chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and an empty chair in place of the absent Google co-founder Larry Page. In the afternoon, a 1:30 hearing featured a solo Dorsey before the 54-member House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Dorsey, who meditates regularly, live-tweeted his opening statement and answered questions in a low, measured tone. He repeatedly declined to rise to the bait offered by sometimes scathing legislators, instead holding forth as the nerdy and earnest CEO who just wants to improve his company and its role in the world.
When Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton pressed Dorsey on Twitter's allegiance to the U.S., Dorsey steered a serene middle course. Asked if he saw a difference between cooperating with the U.S. government and the Russian or Chinese governments, Dorsey demurred. "Not sure what you mean," he said.
"Are you an American company?" Cotton asked.
"We are an American company," answered Dorsey, who at 41 is the same age as Cotton.
"Do you prefer to see America remain the world's dominant global superpower?"
"I prefer that we continue to help everywhere to serve," Dorsey replied, going on to affirm the importance of adhering to Twitter's terms of service, protecting its users from 24/7 surveillance and, eventually, helping intelligence agencies when given a "proper legal order."
And so it unrolled, hour after hour, from one side of Capitol Hill to the other.
While Dorsey deferred some questions for follow-up, it wasn't the constant refrain for him that it was for Mark Zuckerberg during his own marathon congressional testimony back in April. That performance, in which the Facebook CEO skidded through the sometimes uninformed questions from members of Congress, helped Zuckerberg close the door on his company's privacy scandal — but also prompted an avalanche of online memes depicting him as an alien robot.
Dorsey, meanwhile, got high marks from Rep. Billy Long, a Missouri Republican and former auctioneer, who earlier in the hearing had drowned out a loud, conspiracy-minded protester with his old auction chant until security arrived.
"A lot of people come into these hearings and they practice and they coach them and they tell them how to act," Long said. "It's obvious that no one did that for you. You are who you are."
Though who knows. There are also people who spend hours picking out clothes and trying out hairstyles to appear effortlessly unkempt. Twitter did not respond to questions Wednesday about Dorsey's preparation for the hearings.
Compared to Zuckerberg, Dorsey "came across as more mature and more comfortable," said Richard Levick, founder and CEO of public-relations firm Levick. "His answers are thoughtful and you can see that he is really thinking about it."
Facebook's Sandberg also seemed to get a warmer reception than her boss had a few months earlier. A former Washington insider, Sandberg answered many questions directly and deflected others with little noticeable effort. But even she stumbled a bit, at one point telling senators that Facebook aims to present users with "alternative facts" when they come across fake news stories, inadvertently echoing an infamous formulation from Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.
Sandberg most likely meant that Facebook tries to present people with factual stories that provide more reliable information than disputed articles. And her overall performance earned points.
She no longer appeared dismissive, as Zuckerberg had been early on, about the prospect of foreign elections meddling. And she no longer insisted that Facebook was merely a neutral tech company that hires engineers and not journalists, as she did less than a year ago.
"They are realizing that they are (one of the) most powerful platforms of information," Levick said. "And they have more responsibility than the Wild West."
New York, Sep 4 (AP/UNB) — When Stephen Dennis was raising his two sons in the 1980s, he never heard the phrase "screen time," nor did he worry much about the hours his kids spent with technology. When he bought an Apple II Plus computer, he considered it an investment in their future and encouraged them to use it as much as possible.
Boy, have things changed with his grandkids and their phones and their Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter.
"It almost seems like an addiction," said Dennis, a retired homebuilder who lives in Bellevue, Washington. "In the old days you had a computer and you had a TV and you had a phone but none of them were linked to the outside world but the phone. You didn't have this omnipresence of technology."
Today's grandparents may have fond memories of the "good old days," but history tells us that adults have worried about their kids' fascination with new-fangled entertainment and technology since the days of dime novels, radio, the first comic books and rock n' roll.
"This whole idea that we even worry about what kids are doing is pretty much a 20th century thing," said Katie Foss, a media studies professor at Middle Tennessee State University. But when it comes to screen time, she added, "all we are doing is reinventing the same concern we were having back in the '50s."
True, the anxieties these days seem particularly acute — as, of course, they always have. Smartphones have a highly customized, 24/7 presence in our lives that feeds parental fears of antisocial behavior and stranger danger.
What hasn't changed, though, is a general parental dread of what kids are doing out of sight. In previous generations, this often meant kids wandering around on their own or sneaking out at night to drink. These days, it might mean hiding in their bedroom, chatting with strangers online.
Less than a century ago, the radio sparked similar fears.
"The radio seems to find parents more helpless than did the funnies, the automobile, the movies and other earlier invaders of the home, because it can not be locked out or the children locked in," Sidonie Matsner Gruenberg, director of the Child Study Association of America, told The Washington Post in 1931. She added that the biggest worry radio gave parents was how it interfered with other interests — conversation, music practice, group games and reading.
In the early 1930s a group of mothers from Scarsdale, New York, pushed radio broadcasters to change programs they thought were too "overstimulating, frightening and emotionally overwhelming" for kids, said Margaret Cassidy, a media historian at Adelphi University in New York who authored a chronicle of American kids and media.
Called the Scarsdale Moms, their activism led the National Association of Broadcasters to come up with a code of ethics around children's programming in which they pledged not to portray criminals as heroes and to refrain from glorifying greed, selfishness and disrespect for authority.
Then television burst into the public consciousness with unrivaled speed. By 1955, more than half of all U.S. homes had a black and white set, according to Mitchell Stephens, a media historian at New York University.
The hand-wringing started almost as quickly. A 1961 Stanford University study on 6,000 children, 2,000 parents and 100 teachers found that more than half of the kids studied watched "adult" programs such as Westerns, crime shows and shows that featured "emotional problems." Researchers were aghast at the TV violence present even in children's programming.
By the end of that decade, Congress had authorized $1 million (about $7 million today) to study the effects of TV violence, prompting "literally thousands of projects" in subsequent years, Cassidy said.
That eventually led the American Academy of Pediatrics to adopt, in 1984, its first recommendation that parents limit their kids' exposure to technology. The medical association argued that television sent unrealistic messages around drugs and alcohol, could lead to obesity and might fuel violence. Fifteen years later, in 1999, it issued its now-infamous edict that kids under 2 should not watch any television at all.
The spark for that decision was the British kids' show "Teletubbies," which featured cavorting humanoids with TVs embedded in their abdomens. But the odd TV-within-the-TV-beings conceit of the show wasn't the problem — it was the "gibberish" the Teletubbies directed at preverbal kids whom doctors thought should be learning to speak from their parents, said Donald Shifrin, a University of Washington pediatrician and former chair of the AAP committee that pushed for the recommendation.
Video games presented a different challenge. Decades of study have failed to validate the most prevalent fear, that violent games encourage violent behavior. But from the moment the games emerged as a cultural force in the early 1980s, parents fretted about the way kids could lose themselves in games as simple and repetitive as "Pac-Man," ''Asteroids" and "Space Invaders."
Some cities sought to restrict the spread of arcades; Mesquite, Texas, for instance, insisted that the under-17 set required parental supervision . Many parents imagined the arcades where many teenagers played video games "as dens of vice, of illicit trade in drugs and sex," Michael Z. Newman, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee media historian, wrote recently in Smithsonian .
This time, some experts were more sympathetic to kids. Games could relieve anxiety and fed the age-old desire of kids to "be totally absorbed in an activity where they are out on an edge and can't think of anything else," Robert Millman, an addiction specialist at the New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center, told the New York Times in 1981. He cast them as benign alternatives to gambling and "glue sniffing."
Initially, the internet — touted as an "information superhighway" that could connect kids to the world's knowledge — got a similar pass for helping with homework and research. Yet as the internet began linking people together, often in ways that connected previously isolated people, familiar concerns soon resurfaced.
Sheila Azzara, a grandmother of 12 in Fallbrook, California, remembers learning about AOL chatrooms in the early 1990s and finding them "kind of a hostile place." Teens with more permissive parents who came of age in the '90s might remember these chatrooms as places a 17-year-old girl could pretend to be a 40-year-old man (and vice versa), and talk about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll (or more mundane topics such as current events).
Azzara still didn't worry too much about technology's effects on her children. Cellphones weren't in common use, and computers — if families had them — were usually set up in the living room. But she, too, worries about her grandkids.
"They don't interact with you," she said. "They either have their head in a screen or in a game."
Anchorage, Sep 3 (AP/UNB) — Britt'Nee Brower grew up in a largely Inupiat Eskimo town in Alaska's far north, but English was the only language spoken at home.
Today, she knows a smattering of Inupiaq from childhood language classes at school in the community of Utqiagvik. Brower even published an Inupiaq coloring book last year featuring the names of common animals of the region. But she hopes to someday speak fluently by practicing her ancestral language in a daily, modern setting.
The 29-year-old Anchorage woman has started to do just that with a new Inupiaq language option that recently went live on Facebook for those who employ the social media giant's community translation tool. Launched a decade ago, the tool has allowed users to translate bookmarks, action buttons and other functions in more than 100 languages around the globe.
For now, Facebook is being translated into Inupiaq only on its website, not its app.
"I was excited," Brower says of her first time trying the feature, still a work in progress as Inupiaq words are slowly added. "I was thinking, 'I'm going to have to bring out my Inupiaq dictionary so I can learn.' So I did."
Facebook users can submit requests to translate the site's vast interface workings — the buttons that allow users to like, comment and navigate the site — into any language through crowdsourcing. With the interface tool, it's the Facebook users who do the translating of words and short phrases. Words are confirmed through crowd up-and-down voting.
Besides the Inupiaq option, Cherokee and Canada's Inuktut are other indigenous languages in the process of being translated, according to Facebook spokeswoman Arielle Argyres.
"It's important to have these indigenous languages on the internet. Oftentimes they're nowhere to be found," she said. "So much is carried through language — tradition, culture — and so in the digital world, being able to translate from that environment is really important."
The Inupiaq language is spoken in northern Alaska and the Seward Peninsula. According to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, about 13,500 Inupiat live in the state, with about 3,000 speaking the language.
Myles Creed, who grew up in the Inupiat community of Kotzebue, was the driving force in getting Inupiaq added. After researching ways to possibly link an external translation app with Facebook, he reached out to Grant Magdanz, a hometown friend who works as a software engineer in San Francisco. Neither one of them knew about the translation tool when Magdanz contacted Facebook in late 2016 about setting up an Inupiatun option.
Facebook opened a translation portal for the language in March 2017. It was then up to users to provide the translations through crowdsourcing.
Creed, 29, a linguistics graduate student at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, is not Inupiat, and neither is Magdanz, 24. But they grew up around the language and its people, and wanted to promote its use for today's world.
"I've been given so much by the community I grew up in, and I want to be able to give back in some way," said Creed, who is learning Inupiaq.
Both see the Facebook option as a small step against predictions that Alaska's Native languages are heading toward extinction under their present rate of decline.
"It has to be part of everyone's daily life. It can't be this separate thing," Magdanz said. "People need the ability to speak it in any medium that they use, like they would English or Spanish."
Initially, Creed relied on volunteer translators, but that didn't go fast enough. In January, he won a $2,000 mini grant from the Alaska Humanities Forum to hire two fluent Inupiat translators. While a language is in the process of being translated, only those who use the translation tool are able to see it.
Creed changed his translation settings last year. But it was only weeks ago that his home button finally said "Aimaagvik," Inupiaq for home.
"I was really ecstatic," he said.
So far, only a fraction of the vast interface is in Inupiaq. Part of the holdup is the complexity of finding exact translations, according to the Inupiaq translators who were hired with the grant money.
Take the comment button, which is still in English. There's no one-word-fits-all in Inupiaq for "comment," according to translator Pausauraq Jana Harcharek, who heads Inupiaq education for Alaska's North Slope Borough. Is the word being presented in the form of a question, or a statement or an exclamatory sentence?
"Sometimes it's so difficult to go from concepts that don't exist in the language to arriving at a translation that communicates what that particular English word might mean," Harcharek said.
Translator Muriel Hopson said finding the right translation ultimately could require two or three Inupiaq words.
The 58-year-old Anchorage woman grew up in the village of Wainwright, where she was raised by her grandparents. Inupiaq was spoken in the home, but it was strictly prohibited at the village school run by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, Hopson said.
She wonders if she's among the last generation of Inupiaq speakers. But she welcomes the new Facebook option as a promising way for young people to see the value Inupiaq brings as a living language.
"Who doesn't have a Facebook account when you're a millennial?" she said. "It can only help."