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Facebook to Now Allow Users to See all Active Ads on Pages and Flag Suspicious Ones

Facebook said it will also soon launch its political ads labeling and archive in Brazil, ahead of October's general election

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Facebook
Facebook releases Messenger redesign on Android, iOS. Pixabay

After coming under the scanner for alleged Russian meddling in 2016 US Presidential election through Facebook, the social networking giant has now decided to allow users to see the active ads a Page is running and flag suspicious ones.

“The hope of the announcement today is that it will hold us accountable, it will hold advertisers accountable — but it will also give people a lot more ability to find things that maybe shouldn’t be up. Or find things that might be misleading so that we can take actions,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said on Thursday.

“Our ultimate goal is very simple: we want to reduce bad ads, we want to make sure that people understand what they’re seeing, who paid for it, and the fullness of what other people might see,” Sandberg said while addressing the media at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters in California.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

As part of the new transparency initiatives, Facebook said users will be able to see the ads a Page is running across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and its partner network, even if those ads are not targeted at them.

The Pages will now have an “Info and Ads” section which will have information about the ads and allow users to flag anything suspicious by clicking on “Report Ad.”

Also Read: Facebook Still Evasive Over Cambridge Analytica And Fake News: UK Lawmakers

“You can also learn more about Pages, even if they don’t advertise. For example, you can see any recent name changes and the date the Page was created. We’ll be adding more Page information in the coming weeks,” Rob Leathern, Facebook’s Director of Product Management and the company’s Product Marketing Director Emma Rodgers said in a statement.

Facebook said it will also soon launch its political ads labeling and archive in Brazil, ahead of October’s general election.

Facebook launched this initiative in the US in May. (IANS)

Next Story

Social Networking Giant Facebook Blames Apple iOS for Bezos’ Phone Hacking

WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

Facebook has blamed Apple’s operating system for the hacking of Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone, saying WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is unhackable.

Investigators believe that Bezos’s iPhone was compromised after he received a 4.4MB video file containing malware via WhatsApp – in the same way when phones of 1,400 select journalists and human rights activists were broken into by Pegasus software from Israel-based NSO Group last year.

In an interview to the BBC last week, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications, Nick Clegg, said it wasn’t WhatsApp’s fault because end-to-end encryption is unhackable and blamed Apple’s operating system for Bezos’ episode.

“It sounds like something on the, you know, what they call the operate, operated on the phone itself. It can’t have been anything on the, when the message was sent, in transit, because that’s end-to-end encrypted on WhatsApp,” Clegg told the show host.

Clegg compared the hack to opening a malicious email, saying that “it only comes to life when you open it”.

According to a report from FTI Consulting, a firm that has investigated Bezos’ phone, after that the video file was received, Bezos’ phone started sending unusually large amounts of outbound data, including his intimate messages with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and owner of Blue Origin. (Wikimedia commons)

According to Clegg, “something” must have affected the phone’s operating system.

“As sure as you can be that the technology of end-to-end encryption cannot, other than unless you have handset, or you have the message at either end, cannot be hacked into,” he was quoted as saying.

Apple was yet to comment on Facebook’s statement.

The NSO Group has denied it was part of Bezos’ hacking.

Also Read: Here Are Some Life Lessons That We Can Learn From Freedom Fighters this Republic Day

WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages. But the piece of NSO Group software exploited WhatsApp’s video calling system by installing the spyware via missed calls to snoop on the selected users.

According to leading tech policy and media consultant Prasanto K. Roy, end-to-end encrypted apps (E2EE) do provide security, and messages or calls cannot be intercepted and decrypted en route without enormous computing resources.

“But once anyone can get to your handset, whether a human or a piece of software, the encryption doesn’t matter anymore. Because on your handset, it’s all decrypted,” Roy told IANS recently. (IANS)