‘Oops,’ Said Faceberg, Part Infinity

So lifelike.

It keeps happening:

Facebook Leaked the Data of 533 Million Users and Didn’t Tell Anyone

“A massive data set that includes the personal information of 533 million global Facebook users has been leaked and is widely circulating online. The data, which includes user phone numbers, email addresses, physical addresses, account creation dates, relationship status, and more, was being freely traded in hacker forums over the weekend.

“…Facebook has been quick to downplay the leak; on Twitter, various Facebook executives have said that the data is from 2019 and is therefore “old.” What they don’t grapple with is the fact that phone numbers and email addresses don’t change that often.

Yes, that’s a world wide-number, but in stark terms, that number is greater than the population of the United States, or as Vice puts it, “if the number of people affected by this breach were a country, it would be the third most populous in the world, behind China and India.”

But you know, no big deal, amirite?

While Facebook says the company fixed the vulnerability in 2019, the company didn’t inform its subscribers that the data was circulating in the wild. Security researchers also note that Facebook engaged in misleading behavior to gain access to subscriber phone numbers in the first place.

And in related Facebook news:

In a Pennsylvania town, a Facebook group fills the local news void

And boy, do they eff it up royally, like the Possum Hollar production of War of the Worlds:

The day after Thanksgiving 2019, residents of Chippewa Township, Pennsylvania, watched from their windows as state and local police combed through their backyards looking for Kyle Michael Jones.

Jones, 26, had a long rap sheet for offenses like reckless driving and disorderly conduct. He had responded to an officer’s attempted traffic stop by jumping out of his car and making a run for it.

Information about Jones wouldn’t be public for days, so as helicopters flew overhead and police dogs searched the surrounding woods, residents logged on to Facebook. And that’s when the fear, and the exaggerations, and the falsehoods begin to circulate and multiply.

“…The comments came in faster than the group’s administrator could moderate them – hundreds of them in an hour. Just as many panicked phone calls were placed to 911 operators and the local police precinct, according to police and the director of emergency management services.

And it cascades from there.

It’s more a tale of a moral failing than Facebook itself, but it illustrates what happens when two large societal changes  converge: the death of local journalism and the rise of Facebook, and frankly those changes are related. I mean, where do most people get their (local) news now? Who killed local media by taking away the advertising?

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7 Responses to ‘Oops,’ Said Faceberg, Part Infinity

  1. Who killed local media by taking away the advertising?

    The internet, in particular, Craigslist and to a lesser extent Amazon. As much as we rag on them, Facebook is way WAY back in the list.

    the single most profitable and reliable ad revenue source for newspapers used to be the classfied ads. That’s gone 15-20 years now.

    Amazon killed the Mall; remember the days when your Sunday paper was stuffed with print ads for stores anchoring the malls? yeah. Amazon doesn’t have to advertise, unless they want to appear to be a friendly company that treats it’s employees like dogshit for the enrichment of it’s grotesquely and obscenely wealthy owner.

    The front section of our local daily newspaper (down from two papers back in the day) aka ‘The News’ used to be 20+ pages. This morning’s: 5.

    Stories in the front section with a local byline? 0.

    Stories in the Tucson Metro section with a local byline? 0.

    In the entire newspaper there are 4 local bylines, all in the Sports section, and all about the UA Wildcats women’s basketball teams run to the NCAA finals.

    The entire paper is smaller than the front section used to be; and subscription prices have just kept going up. We get it out of inertia and a stubborn resistance to letting it die, but I’m thinking about what I get from it any more, it’s up to $470 a year…

    But that pays for Dave Fitzsimmons, who is a gorram national treasure of editorial cartooning, a couple of really good local reporters and not least, the people who deliver it every morning.

    And this is a metro area of nearly a million people. It is a moral quandary to me, because the death of the free press is a massive blow to American Democracy.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Dennis Cole says:

    Nuthin yummier than free-range data that’s just roaming around loose out there, once you capture it, and treat it properly…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wesley Sandel says:

    Facebook permanently banned me for saying the Israel is an apartheid state – even though polls show that most Israeli Jews think that Israel is an apartheid state. F-ck facebook and its owner.


  4. pagan in repose says:

    Yes, corporate America really likes all the expenses it saved by the creation of the internet. They just don’t want to pay for its upkeep or care if it fucks us all up. Hell, right now their are playing both sides in that they are saying they agree that citizens should have the right (not the privilege) to vote. While for the last 4 years corporate America have given ~1 million dollars to the republican legislator’s who in states across these United States have and are trying to pass the most sweeping restrictive voting laws ever. “NO WATER FOR YOU!” (Sienfeld soup nazi quote)

    The are and remain god awful hypocrites and the worst at everything ever.


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