Monday January 27, 2020
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Social Media Giant Facebook Rejects ‘False’ Claim That Half of its Accounts are Fake

However, Facebook's most recent reporting shows otherwise

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Facebook, data, vietnam
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA
Facebook has as termed “unequivocally false” a report that claims the social networking platform hosts one billion fake accounts, a media report said.
According to a Daily Mail report, a former classmate of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that the social media giant hosts one billion fake accounts on its platform, or 50 per cent of its total users worldwide.
In a 70-page report titled “Reality Check”, Aaron Greenspan, who attended the Harvard University with Zuckerberg from 2002 to 2004, claimed that Facebook has been inflating its global user count since 2004.
He also alleged that he was the founder of the original Facebook and was paid an undisclosed settlement from Facebook in 2009 over his claims.
“Facebook has been lying to the public about the scale of its problem with fake accounts, which likely exceed 50 per cent of its network,” Greenspan said in the report.
Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay
“Its official metrics — many of which it has stopped reporting quarterly — are self-contradictory and even farcical.”
However, Facebook has denied the findings.
“This is unequivocally wrong and responsible reporting means reporting facts, even if it’s about fake accounts,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying to the Daily Mail.
Greenspan cited a rise in the number of duplicate and user-misclassified and undesirable accounts on Facebook which the company began reporting several years ago in its quarterly earnings results.
In the second quarter of 2017, Facebook reported that duplicate accounts or “an account that a user maintains in addition to his or her principal account”, comprised six per cent of its global monthly active users (MAUs).
Facebook, data,photos
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA
“User-misclassified and undesirable” accounts, which are those made for spamming or for a non-human entity such as a pet, made up one per cent of worldwide MAUs in the quarter.
Graphs from Facebook’s transparency portal show that fake accounts it took action against comprised 32.6 per cent of users in the last quarter of 2017. In the third quarter of 2018, that number rose to 33.2 per cent of monthly active users.
However, Facebook’s most recent reporting shows otherwise.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company estimates that between three to four per cent of accounts on the website are fake, which is a significantly lower percentage than Greenspan’s estimated 50 per cent, the report stated. (IANS)

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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)