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Facebook Uses AI to Find Profiles of Dead Friends so that People don’t Receive Birthday Reminders

The company made the changes in response to users' experiences with seeing their loved ones' profiles pop up on Facebook after they had died

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FILE- The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square, In this March 29, 2018. A report says Facebook and the FTC are negotiating a "multibillion dollar" fine for the social network's privacy lapses. VOA

Facebook says it will use artificial intelligence to help find profiles of people who have died so their friends and family members won’t get, for instance, painful reminders about their birthdays.

The social network said Tuesday that it is also adding a “tributes” section to accounts that have been memorialized, that is, designated as belonging to someone who has died. Friends and family members will be able to write posts and share photos in this section to remember their loved one.

Facebook is also tightening its rules around who can memorialize an account. Until now, anyone could do this by sending the company proof that someone had died, such an obituary. Now, it will have to be a friend or family member.

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Friends and family members will be able to write posts and share photos in this section to remember their loved one. Pixabay

The company made the changes in response to users’ experiences with seeing their loved ones’ profiles pop up on Facebook after they had died. Sometimes, the company said people might not be ready to memorialize a person’s profile immediately after their death — it can feel like a big step they are not ready to take. Facebook says it will use AI to prevent that profile from showing up in places it might cause distress, such as in birthday reminders.

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Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, whose husband died unexpectedly in 2015, is one of those users. She said seeing tributes to her late husband on Facebook have helped her cope with her grief.

“I want his memory to stay alive,” she said. “Remember specific and wonderful things.” (VOA)

Next Story

Facebook ‘Unintentionally’ Uploaded Emails of Nearly 1.5 mn Users

The social network said the contacts weren’t shared with anyone and are being deleted

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Facebook, data, vietnam
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

In a latest privacy goof up, Facebook “unintentionally” uploaded the emails of nearly 1.5 million of its users during the past three years.

A Facebook spokesperson admitted on late Wednesday that emails of 1.5 million people were harvested since May 2016 to help build Facebook’s web of social connections and recommend other users to add as friends.

First reported by Business Insider, the revelation came to light after a security researcher noticed that “Facebook was asking some users to enter their email passwords when they signed up for new accounts to verify their identities”.

“Last month we stopped offering email password verification as an option for people verifying their account when signing up for Facebook for the first time,” the Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying.

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FILE – A 3D printed Facebook logo is seen in front of a displayed Russian flag in this photo illustration, Aug. 3, 2018. VOA

“We’ve fixed the underlying issue and are notifying people whose contacts were imported,” Facebook said.

The social network said the contacts weren’t shared with anyone and are being deleted, reports CNET.

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“People can also review and manage the contacts they share with Facebook in their settings,” said the company.

Facebook is facing the heat over several data scandals, including the massive Cambridge Analytica scandal where personal information of up to 87 million users was leaked. (IANS)