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Facebook & Instagram Drop Support For WordPress Embeds

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A change which is set to roll out on October 24 will break embedded Facebook and Instagram content on WordPress sites.

To be specific, an upcoming API update will remove support for unauthenticated Facebook and Instagram embeds.

That means, after October 24, embedded content will only be supported for publishers with a Facebook developer account and a registered Facebook app.

The change is retroactive, so all Facebook and Instagram embeds on the sites of unauthenticated publishers will soon become broken. This has the potential to affect millions of sites.

Meeting Facebook’s new requirements for embedded content is not an option for all publishers. Creating a Facebook developer account and registering a Facebook app is far from being a practical solution.

So what are publishers to do if they want to embed content from Facebook and Instagram on their web pages?

Here’s more about what’s changing, why it’s changing, and what publishers can do to prepare for it.

Changes to Facebook oEmbed Endpoints

In developer terms – the current oEmbed endpoints for embeddable Facebook content will be deprecated on October 24, 2020.

oEmbed is an open format designed to allow embedding content from a website into another page.

Facebook oEmbed endpoints allow you to get embed HTML and basic metadata for pages, posts, and videos in order to display them in another website or app.

There’s currently an oEmbed endpoint built into Facebook’s API, which has allowed publishers to easily embed content from Facebook and Instagram on their web pages.

Facebook’s API will soon be dropping support for that endpoint.

Further, in response to Facebook’s API change, WordPress is removing Facebook and Instagram as an oEmbed source.

What does this all mean for publishers?

In plain language – the combination of these changes from Facebook, Instagram, and WordPress means a whole lot of content will be broken.

If you have ever embedded content from Facebook and Instagram on your WordPress website, then this change affects you.

Facebook only offers one solution, which is to meet its stringent set of new requirements.

New requirements include:

  • A Facebook Developer account, which you can create at developers.facebook.com
  • A registered Facebook app
  • The oEmbed Product added to the app
  • An Access Token
  • The Facebook app must be in Live Mode

If that sounds at all like a realistic solution for you, then you can get more information on the Facebook developer blog.

Thankfully, there are more realistic solutions available though the use of WordPress plugins.

Fix Facebook & Instagram Embeds With Plugins

While this change hasn’t rolled out yet, plugin developers have been working hard to prepare simple solutions for site owners.

Here are a couple of options available so far.

oEmbed Plus

A new plugin called oEmbed Plus, by developer Ayesh Karunaratne, brings back support for Facebook and Instagram content embedding.

Even with this plugin installed, publishers will have to register a Facebook developer account and “create” an app.

Note that you will not have to actually create a real app, it will only exist on paper.

Check out the walkthrough here to see what’s involved.

Although there are a few hoops to jump through, this plugin does make the process easier than doing everything on your own.

Smash Balloon Plugins

A development company called Smash Balloon, whose plugins are used on over 1.4 million sites, offers an even easier solution.

The company has updated its existing plugins with fixes for broken Facebook and Instagram embeds.

With the plugins from Smash Balloon you will not have to go through the process of registering a Facebook developer account and creating an app.

That’s because Smash Balloon already has the API key required to create custom feeds for both Facebook and Instagram. There’s no additional authentication needed to restore embedded content.

Smash Balloon offers dedicated plugins Instagram and Facebook.

After installing the plugins go to the oEmbed navigation menu and then click on the Connect button.

All plugins mentioned in this article are free.

Sources: Facebook for Developers (1, 2), core.trac.wordpress.org, WordPress Tavern

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FTC finds GoodRx shared sensitive health data with Facebook, Google

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FTC finds GoodRx shared sensitive health data with Facebook, Google

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

The FTC on Wednesday filed a court order against GoodRx for failing to notify users that it shared their personal, identifiable health data with Facebook and Google and said it would permanently ban the company from sharing such information for ads, should the court order be federally approved.

Why it matters: The court order is the first FTC action under the Health Breach Notification Rule, which requires companies to notify users when their health data is infringed upon, and includes several safeguards aimed at protecting consumer data.

  • “We’re making clear that apps violating this rule need to come clean with consumers when they share sensitive data improperly,” an FTC official said during a press briefing about the order.
  • The order must be approved by the federal court to go into effect.

Zoom in: The health data GoodRx shared with tech companies includes individually identifiable data on users’ prescription medications and health conditions. Per the complaint:

  • In August 2019, GoodRx compiled lists of users who’d purchased medications for heart disease and high blood pressure and uploaded their email addresses, phone numbers and mobile advertising IDs to Facebook so it could identify their profiles.
  • GoodRx then used that information to target users with relevant ads.

Details: The court order, filed by the Department of Justice on behalf of the FTC in California’s Northern District, found GoodRx shared data with companies including Facebook, Google, Criteo, Branch and Twilio. The order found GoodRx:

  • Monetized users’ personal health data to target them with health- and medication-specific ads on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Let third parties it shared data with use the information for research, development or advertising purposes without getting consent.
  • Misrepresented its HIPAA compliance, displaying a seal at the bottom of its telehealth site falsely suggesting it complied with the law.
  • Failed to maintain sufficient policies or procedures to protect its users’ personal health information.

State of play: GoodRx, which offers prescription discount coupons and telehealth services, lets users track their personal health data to save, track and get alerts about prescriptions, refills, pricing and medication purchase history.

  • Per the complaint, the company collects data from users themselves and from pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) that confirm when someone buys a prescription drug using one of its coupons.
  • Since January 2017, more than 55 million consumers have visited or used GoodRx’s website or mobile apps, the complaint says.

What they’re saying: A spokesperson for GoodRx told Axios the company does not agree with the allegations, saying the order “focuses on an old issue that was proactively addressed almost three years ago.”

  • “We admit no wrongdoing,” the spokesperson said. “Entering into the settlement allows us to avoid the time and expense of protracted litigation.”

  • “Health data today isn’t just what your doctor keeps in a file behind a desk,” an FTC official said during the briefing. “And the way we’re enforcing this reflects that new reality.”
  • “We expect this to have a significant impact on the marketplace,” the official added.

Flashback: The FTC in 2021 issued a warning to health apps and others that collect or use consumers’ health information that they must comply with the Health Breach rule.

  • “We are now showing the market that we meant business when we issued that policy statement,” the FTC official said.

What’s next: In addition to charging GoodRx with a $1.5 million civil penalty and banning it from disclosing user health information for ads, the order requires that the company:

  • Direct third parties to delete the consumer health data shared with them and inform users about the breaches and the FTC’s enforcement action.
  • Get users’ consent before sharing health data with third parties for purposes other than ads and detail the types of health information it will disclose to those parties.
  • Limit how long it can retain personal health information.
  • Create a privacy program that includes safeguards to protect such data.

Of note: While the order only binds GoodRx, companies including Facebook who received the data “are on notice that they were in receipt of data that was illegally collected,” another FTC official said.

This story has been updated to include the company’s comment.

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Facebook and Google ad oligopoly is over, fund manager says

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Facebook and Google ad oligopoly is over, fund manager says

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Inge Heydorn, fund manager at GP Bullhound, discusses competition in the digital ad market, what investors will be looking for in Meta’s results, and why it’s “all about TikTok.”

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Mike Lindell Says Jimmy Kimmel Wants to Put Him in a Big Claw Machine

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Mike Lindell Says Jimmy Kimmel Wants to Put Him in a Big Claw Machine
  • Mike Lindell says Jimmy Kimmel is requesting to interview him on his show. 
  • But Kimmel had one request, Lindell said: The pillow CEO has to sit inside a giant claw machine.
  • Lindell said this is because he is unvaccinated. 

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell says late-night show host Jimmy Kimmel had one request of him: The pillow CEO must sit inside a giant claw machine during their interview.

“A lot of you have reached out to me: ‘Mike, don’t do it, he’s going to attack you. Why did you agree to go inside a claw game?'” Lindell said during a Facebook live stream on Tuesday. Lindell is scheduled to appear on Kimmel’s talk show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” on Tuesday.

“Which I did, because they, you can’t go inside the studio if you’re not vaccinated. And of course, I’m not vaccinated,” Lindell added. 

“Maybe I’ll find out that that claw game was rigged, huh, the one that picks up the stuffed animals,” Lindell quipped, seemingly referencing his own baseless claims of widespread election fraud.

The pillow CEO said his appearance on Kimmel “should be very, very interesting.” He also said he was only agreeing to the interview because he thinks it will help “save our country.”

Kimmel appeared to confirm Lindell’s account, tweeting: “MyPillow Mike from a claw machine tonight!” 

 

Kimmel said on Monday that Lindell has “repeatedly” asked to be on the show, and that he’s tried to invite Lindell back many times.

Lindell’s last appearance on Kimmel’s show was in April 2021. During their nearly 20-minute conversation, Kimmel pummeled Lindell with questions about his voter fraud claims.

“A lot of people didn’t want you to come on this show. Liberals and conservatives, told me not to have you on, and they told you don’t go on the show,” Kimmel told Lindell in 2021. “But I think it’s important that we talk to each other.”

Lindell is fresh off a big loss in his race for RNC chair, where he only secured four votes.

Lindell and representatives for Kimmel did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.



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