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Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is suing Facebook and Google for campaign finance violations. The lawsuits filed Monday allege the companies failed to keep records about who purchased political advertising from them.


The Democratic attorneys general of Washington and Oregon joined 35 of their colleagues Monday in sending a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The letter demands answers to several questions about Facebook’s privacy policies.

Social media companies are under pressure to block terrorist activity on their sites, and Facebook recently detailed new measures, including using artificial intelligence, to tackle the problem.

The measures are designed to identify terrorist content like recruitment and propaganda as early as possible in an effort to keep people safe, says Monika Bickert, the company's director of global policy management.

In a decision that could have global consequences, an Austrian court ruled on Friday that Facebook must delete postings deemed to be hate speech.

Faced with a recent spate of violent videos and hate speech posted by users on its network, Facebook has announced plans for a heap of hires: 3,000 new employees worldwide to review and react to reports of harm and harassment.

"Over the last few weeks, we've seen people hurting themselves and others on Facebook — either live or in video posted later. It's heartbreaking, and I've been reflecting on how we can do better for our community," CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Wednesday in a Facebook post.

Editor's Note: This story contains images and language that some readers may find disturbing.

Mark Zuckerberg — one of the most insightful, adept leaders in the business world — has a problem. It's a problem he has been slow to acknowledge, even though it's become more apparent by the day.

When Katlyn Burbidge's son was 6 years old, he was performing some silly antic typical of a first-grader. But after she snapped a photo and started using her phone, he asked her a serious question: "Are you going to post that to Facebook?"

She laughed and answered, "Yes, I think I will." What he said next stopped her.

"Can you not?"

That's when it dawned on her: She had been posting photos of him online without asking his permission.

Clearly, researchers love Facebook, even if some of the rest of us are ambivalent.

A 2012 survey of social science papers related to the social network turned up 412 separate studies, and there have been even more since. Among the most popular questions: What effect does Facebook have on emotional states?

Updated at 9:10 p.m. ET with detail on limiting spam

The messaging service WhatsApp is changing its privacy policy for the first time since being bought by Facebook in 2014. The app will begin sharing some of its data and phone numbers with the social network. It will also start testing how businesses, too, can talk to its users, for instance by offering flight or shipping or banking notifications.

northwestmilitary.com / Flkr Creative Commons

Top brass from Joint Base Lewis McChord took to Facebook this week to answer questions on everything from guns to traffic.

Baltimore County police shot and killed Korryn Gaines, a 23-year-old black woman, after an hours-long standoff on Monday — during which Facebook and Instagram, at police request, temporarily shut down Gaines' accounts.

Facebook just announced the first full-scale test flight of its unmanned, high-altitude airplane, Aquila. The plane isn't finished yet — the 90-minute test flight assessed only its takeoff and low-altitude flying capabilities — but its ultimate goal is to provide wireless Internet to the ground as it flies.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg shared a video of the test flight.

In the wake of last week's shootings, Facebook has seen a significant spike in flagged content, with users calling out each other's posts as racist, violent and offensive, according to Facebook employees, who say the company is having a very hard time deciding who is right or how to define hate speech.

Unpublished, and re-published

Facebook says it's changing its news feed, again. It says posts from friends and family will now come first, prioritized over posts from publishers and celebrities.

It's potentially worrisome news for media companies, whose traffic is heavily boosted by Facebook-driven clicks. But it's also only a small, vague peek into the black box that is Facebook's algorithm, which determines what version of the world is presented to the 1.65 billion people using the social network.

We've been in that awkward situation where you're not sure whether to "like" your friend's Facebook post about the death of a relative.

Thankfully, Facebook has heard our woes and decided to spare us that moment of frustration by rolling out five additional emojis globally Wednesday.

The ambiguity of a thumbs up is now resolved — we can also choose from "love," "haha," "wow," "sad" and "angry" emojis. The three most popular reactions will be shown on each post.

"Hello, Facebook! I finally got my very own page."

That's the top of the first post written by one of Facebook's newest users — a man who identifies himself as a "dad, husband," and, oh yeah, "44th President of the United States."

President Obama finally has his very own Facebook page: facebook.com/potus.

Anupam Nath / AP Photo

Facebook: It’s the first thing I look at when I wake up, and the last thing I look at before going to bed.

Which begs the question: Am I addicted to Facebook? Or is it just a harmless pastime?

I went to talk to an expert, Dr. Megan Moreno at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She’s the principal investigator of the Social Media and Adolescent Research Team (SMART), which studies problematic Internet usage.

Do the little alerts from your phone make you twitch? Is Facebook leaving you more depressed than satisfied? If you’re feeling tired of being constantly connected to the Internet, you’re not alone.

University of Washington researchers say there’s a new phenomenon on the rise. Called “pushback", it refers to people who are choosing to unplug. 

Timur Emek / DAPD

Washington state senators are looking to safeguard the social media passwords of workers and job applicants.

Those Facebook likes? they may be reveal more about you than you realize.

A study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says Facebook likes "can be used to automatically and accurately predict a range of highly sensitive personal attributes including: sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious and political views, personality traits, intelligence, happiness, use of addictive substances, parental separation, age, and gender."

Update at 1:31 p.m. ET. Larger Images, Mobile Oriented:

Facebook announced today that it was overhauling its "news feed." This is significant on two fronts: First, this is truly the first big makeover for the feature since its inception. Second, its users — some 1 billion worldwide — are known to be very touchy about changes.

Reuters said the new news feed is "visually richer" and "mobile device-oriented." It means the feed will look the same on your computer as it does on your mobile device.

Users of Facebook will soon have a new search tool at their disposal, the leaders of the company announced Tuesday during a live event. The new Graph Search feature will let those on Facebook sift through photos, people, places, and business pages.

The new search ability will join Facebook users' newsfeed and timeline as "pillars" of their experience, said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who predicted Graph Search would become an "amazing resource."

The Associated Press

MENLO PARK, Calif. — If you've ever wanted to know the most popular TV shows among your Facebook friends who are doctors, or wanted to see all the photos any of your friends have taken in Paris, the world's biggest online social network has the answer.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new search feature on Tuesday in Facebook's first staged event at its Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters since its May initial public offering.

As early as next week, Washington residents will be able to register to vote on Facebook.

The idea started coming to life last fall: Create a web application for voter registration. Secretary of State Sam Reed worked with Facebook and Microsoft Corporation on the app.

IPO life ... after Facebook's kerflop

Jun 21, 2012
Poster Boy / Flickr

"It sucked the air out of the room."

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been a month since Facebook's IPO fell flat and in that time, the market for initial public offerings has collapsed.

No company has gone public since May 18, compared with 19 in the same period a year ago. Fourteen offerings have been withdrawn or delayed, according to Dealogic.

There are no public offerings scheduled this week. Of course, thanks to the European debt crisis, financial markets haven't been terribly conducive to IPOs. Still, venture capitalists say the fallout from Facebook's rocky IPO is making companies — especially those in the technology sector — cautious about going public.

SAN FRANCISCO — Fresh off a disappointing initial public offering, Facebook is getting a big boost from Apple, which is building the social network deep into its iPhone and iPad software.

I love this. Here is a headline today at The Wall Street Journal's online edition: "Days of Wild User Growth Appear Over at Facebook."

And over at The Next Web: "Facebook is eating the world, except for China and Russia."

And the best part is the two sites really are telling the same story.

Facebook's much-publicized first sale of stock to the public started with a bang late this morning as the price per share jumped. But though the volume of shares sold was a record for an initial public offering, the stock's price gave up its gains as the day continued.

By the end of trading in the U.S., Facebook had settled right at the $38 initial offering price that had been set before shares went on sale.

NEW YORK — Facebook has set a price range of $28 to $35 for its initial public offering of stock.

At the high end, this could raise as much as $11.8 billion. That's much higher than any other Internet IPO in the past, even Google Inc. in 2004.

Nate Bolt / flickr.com

Facebook filed for its initial public stock offering in February, and the IPO could take place at any time in the next several weeks.

Should you buy the stock? We ducked that question a month ago on Money Matters but now, financial commentator Greg Heberlein is willing to offer some advice. 

As with many financial issues, the answer is dependent on your personal circumstances.

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