As explained by Meta:
“Our goal with this update is to be more clear about our data practices; one way we’ve done this is through additional details and examples throughout. At Meta, we’ve always set out to build personalized experiences that provide value without compromising your privacy. So, it’s on us to have strong protections for the data we use and be transparent about how we use it.”
But Meta’s last major data breach was now several years back, and since the Cambridge Analytica scandal in particular, the company has implemented many new restrictions and control options to stamp out misuse.
The more illustrative examples will help users contextualize the various scenarios in which their data can be used, which should help to improve understanding, and better enable people to take action if they choose.
In other words, Meta’s doing all that it can to alert people to the update, but history would suggest that, even with these prompts, only a small percentage of users will bother to check, and even fewer will update their settings as a result.
But the info is there, and it’s now presented in a way that makes it much easier to understand.
In addition to this, Meta’s also updating its Terms of Service ‘to better explain what is expected from us and those who use our platforms’.
Finally, Meta’s also rolling out new post-level default settings, making it easier to control who can view your content on Facebook.
“Now, when someone selects a default audience, that audience selection will apply to new posts created in Facebook that they share to their timeline unless they select a different audience for a particular post. Previously, your default audience for posts matched whichever audience you chose most recently. So if you had just made a post that was available to the public, your subsequent posts would be as well. This new setting will help make sure you’re sharing with the right people in your community.”
These are good updates, reflective of the evolving privacy landscape, and each will ensure that Meta’s legal team is more covered, in the case of issues, if nothing else.
And I would urge people to tap through on these new notifications to check out the updated language – because again, most people won’t, and there may be elements that get overlooked as a result.
That’s an important distinction, for legal purposes, but also for general use, particularly given the rising interest in VR and the eventual metaverse shift.
You can check out Meta’s updated policy documents here.
Elon Musk’s Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots
Okay, let’s just check in on the latest with the Twitter/Elon Musk takeover saga, and where things are placed to close out the week.
According to the latest reports, Musk’s team recently asked Twitter for more tweet info, in order to help it make an accurate assessment of bot activity in the app. This comes after Musk questioned Twitter’s claim that bots and fake accounts make up only 5% of its active user base, and said that his Twitter takeover deal could not go ahead unless Twitter could produce more evidence to support this figure.
Which Twitter did, by providing Musk with access to its ‘full firehose’ of tweets over a given period, which it shared with Musk’s team back on June 8th. Musk’s group has now had that data for a couple of weeks, but this week, it said that this info is not enough to go on, and that it needs even more insight from Twitter to make its judgment.
And after initially resisting calls for more data access, Twitter has now reportedly relented and handed over more tweet data access to Musk’s team.
Which may or may not be a concern, depending on how you see it.
In its initial data dump, Twitter reportedly gave Musk’s team info on:
- Total user tweets (within a given time period)
- Data on which devices were used
As noted, Musk’s team says that this has not provided it with the insight that it needs to conduct an accurate analysis of potential bot activity, so Twitter has now provided Musk with more ‘real-time API data’.
It’s not clear whether that means that Twitter has provided everything that its API systems can provide, but that could mean that Musk’s team can now access:
- Real-time info on tweet text and visual elements/attachments
- Data on retweets, replies, and quote Tweets for each
- Data on tweet author, mentioned users, tagged locations, hashtag and cashtag symbols, etc
- Date, time, location, device info
That should satisfy any analytical needs to uncover potential bot trends, and get a better handle on Twitter’s bot problem, though it also means that Musk has all your tweet info – which, again, it’s worth noting, Twitter up till now had been hesitant to provide.
I’m sure it’s fine. Musk’s team is beholden to disclosure laws around such, so it’s not like they can do anything much with that info anyway, in a legal sense. But the idea that the sometimes erratic Elon Musk now has all the tweets could be a little concerning for some.
But Twitter likely had to provide what it can, and if Musk is going to become CEO of the app soon anyway, he’s going to have access to all of that data either way.
Should be fine. No problems – no need to go deleting all your DMs (which are likely not included in the data that Twitter has provided at this stage).
According to reports, Musk’s team says that it now has the info it needs to make its assessment of bot activity, which should see the deal move forward (or not) sometime soon.
Of course, no one knows what exactly is going to happen next, and whether Musk’s team will look to renegotiate, or even back out of the deal entirely as a result of its bot analysis. But it does seem like, one way or another, Musk will be forced to go ahead with the $44 billion transaction, with Twitter’s past bot reporting methodology already accepted by the SEC, giving it legal grounding to argue that it’s acted in good faith, regardless of what Musk’s team finds.
The next steps then, according to Musk, would be securing debt financing and gaining Twitter shareholder approval, clearing the last hurdles for Musk to change the app’s name to ‘Telsla Social’, and add a million references to ‘420’ into the platforms various terms and conditions.
Because of the memes, because weed jokes are still funny to the richest man in the world – because he vacillates between inspired genius and a massive nerd who now gets to play out some fantasy of being cool.
Or something. Who knows what goes on in Elon Musk’s head – which is also why most are hesitant to bet against him, as nobody knows if and how he might be able to fix Twitter, and whether this is a great investment or a massive disaster.
It seems like we may soon find out. Maybe. Who knows. Either way, the memes should be great.
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