Facebook overhauls messaging as it pivots to privacy

Robie de Guzman   •   May 1, 2019   •   1730

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has revealed a series of changes to the firm’s portfolio of social platforms, including Instagram and Whatsapp.

The new designs and features for its apps are a direct response to widespread criticism of how the firm protects user data.

Zuckerberg said the company plans to put privacy first.

He acknowledged that there was much to do to rebuild trust.

In a speech to developers, Zuckerberg described the firm’s new focus on privacy as “a major shift” in how the company is run.

“As the world gets bigger and more connected, we need that sense of intimacy more than ever, so that’s why I believe that the future is private. This is the next chapter for our services,” Zuckerberg said.

Some of the more visible changes to those who use the firm’s products will include:

Messages sent via messenger will be end-to-end encrypted by default, meaning Facebook itself won’t see the contents, and the platform will be fully integrated with Whatsapp.

Instagram is trialing a “private like counts” feature which would hide the “likes” a post attracts from viewers, but not the account owner.

A whatsapp secure payment service trialled in India is set to be rolled out to other countries later this year.

“It’s going to take time, I’m sure we are going to keep unearthing old issues for a while, so it may feel like we are not making progress at first but I think that we have shown time and time again as a company that we can do what it takes to evolve and build the products that people want,” Zuckerberg said.

Other Facebook executives introduced changes within the Messenger and Instagram apps aimed at helping businesses connect with customers, including appointment booking and enhanced shopping features, as well as a tool to lure customers into direct conversations with companies via ads. (REUTERS)

Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram back online after outage

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 5, 2021

Social media giant Facebook has apologized for the outage users experienced on Monday night (October 4).

Social media services Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are back online after a global outage that lasted for hours. Users reported not being able to access the said social media apps.

Facebook’s chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer announced that Facebook and other social media services are back online but it is still not at 100%. He also apologized for the inconvenience caused by the outage.

“Facebook services coming back online now – may take some time to get to 100%. To every small and large business, family, and individual who depends on us, I’m sorry,” he said in his Twitter account.

Schroepfer reported that Facebook experienced networking issues. AAC

BI cautions public against online scammers offering fake entry permits to foreigners

Marje Pelayo   •   September 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) warned the public against scammers victimizing foreign nationals by offering them fake entry permits on Facebook.

The warning comes after a complaint that alerted the BI about an individual offering entry permits.

According to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, one victim was asked to contact an alleged immigration officer who would supposedly ensure the smooth entry of foreigners in exchange for grease money.

But based on BI records, the alleged immigration officer is not an employee of the agency.

“There is no such service. We believe that these scammers prey on the people they see on Facebook,” Morente said.

“It is disconcerting to know that there are still those who can take advantage of the vulnerable even during a pandemic,” he added.

At present, only Filipinos, foreign spouses and children of Filipinos, foreign parents of Filipino minors, and foreigners holding immigrant and non-immigrant visas are allowed entry in the Philippines.

The entry of tourists to the country remains restricted.

Entry exemption documents (EED) are issued by foreign posts abroad to foreigners who wish to enter the country with tourist visas.

DOLE warns against FB pages promising cash, jobs

Marje Pelayo   •   January 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has warned the public against bogus Facebook pages promising cash or prizes in exchange for likes and shares as well as those purportedly hiring for employment.

“Verify the registration of such companies with appropriate government agencies before engaging with them, especially in providing information,” DOLE warned on Wednesday (January 7).

The alert came after DOLE acted on a complaint against a certain company named ‘Eternal Investment’ alleging that it is gathering people on Facebook and assigning them to job positions on a voluntary or commission basis. 

Recruits are allegedly assigned to positions such as executives, managers, and graphic artists.

The complaint also claimed that Eternal Investment is reportedly “manipulating people and not paying proper dues based on the output of the volunteers.” 

Upon coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), it was found out that ‘Eternal Investment’ is not registered with the DTI nor with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

To protect the public, the labor department’s Bureau of Local Employment brought the complaint to the SEC’s Enforcement and Investor Protection Department for further investigation.

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