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Facebook’s Blockchain Division Has a New Director of Engineering

Blockchain, a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies are recorded, is the next big thing

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Facebook expands security tools to protect elections globally. Pixabay
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Facebook has promoted one of its senior engineers Evan Cheng as the Director of Engineering at its recently launched Blockchain division, signalling the importance of the project, the media reported.

Cheng is also listed as an advisor to blockchain startups and projects Zilliqa and ChainLink, the TechCrunch reported.

Earlier in May, Facebook had set up a group within the company to explore blockchain technology and its potential use for the platform, headed by long time Messenger chief David Marcus.

However, the latest executive reshuffle appears to point to the social networking giant getting more serious about developing on top of blockchain technology.

Besides Cheng, the tech giant has also promoted Kevin Weil, former vice president of product at Instagram, as the vice president of product at their Blockchain division, the report said.

Facebook mobile app
Facebook mobile app. Pixabay

“It means it’s not just an exploratory project”, is how one source who tracks the blockchain space speculatively, described Cheng’s move to Facebook’s blockchain team, the report said.

Recruiting Cheng to the blockchain group signals the importance of the project, the source said.

According to his LinkedIn page, Cheng has been employed at Facebook since November 2015 and has been working at their Programming Languages and Runtimes, a position he held for nearly three years.

He also worked at Apple for over 10 years and is credited as one of the inventors of LLVM — a compiler that generates the low-level machine code for Apple devices.

Also Read: Facebook Shuts Down Three of its Apps

Blockchain, a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies are recorded, is the next big thing.

Although Facebook has not announced any plans about how they would use blockchain technology on their platform, it is clear they are pursuing this technology with interest. In the light of the data crises faced by Facebook, it is going to be interesting to see how they utilize this technology to improve their services, the CCN reported. (IANS)

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Facebook Introduces New Tools to Protect Elections Globally

In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the US Senate, saying they were too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference

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Facebook
Facebook expands security tools to protect elections globally. Pixabay

In order to further secure candidates and campaign staff vulnerable to hackers and nation-state actors during the elections, Facebook has introduced additional tools to protect political campaigns in the US and around the world.

The social media giant has launched a pilot programme to expand its existing protections for users associated with US political campaigns ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections.

“Candidates for federal or statewide office, as well as staff members and representatives from federal and state political party committees, can add additional security protections to their Pages and accounts,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, wrote in a blog post late on Monday.

“We’ll help officials adopt our strongest account security protections, like two-factor authentication, and monitor for potential hacking threats,” Gleicher added.

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Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

Over the past year, the company has invested in new technology and more people to stay ahead of bad actors who are determined to use Facebook to disrupt elections.

“This pilot programme is an addition to our existing security tools and procedures, and we will apply what we learn to other elections in the US and around the world,” said Facebook.

“As we detect abuse, we will continue to share relevant information with law enforcement and other companies so we can maximise our effectiveness,” it added.

According to a report in Download, a working paper released last week revealed a significant drop-off in the engagements 570 fake news sites received on Facebook since the 2016 US presidential elections.

“At its peak, there were 200 million monthly engagements with the sites. As of July 2018, that’s dropped to 70 million,” the report added.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the US Senate, saying they were too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference.

“Our sophistication in handling these threats is growing and improving quickly. We now have about 15,000 people working on security and content review. We’ll have more than 20,000 by the end of this year,” he told the lawmakers.

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The Facebook CEO apologised for what happened and took responsibility for everything. He also said that there is an online propaganda “arms race” with Russia and it was important to make sure no one interferes in any more elections, including in India.

“The most important thing I care about right now is making sure no one interferes in the various 2018 elections around the world,” he testified before a 44-Senator panel. (IANS)