The Justice Department told U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon in Washington, D.C. that AT&T's proposed merger with Time Warner will harm consumers as well as rivals.
Per a recent change, Facebook no longer lets businesses target their ads to users based on their sexual orientation, BuzzFeed reports. “The move has left organizations offering services to the LGBT community unable to directly target their audiences,” it writes. Yet "Facebook made an exception for dating apps to continue using the targeting options,” according to BuzzFeed.
With a new “Explore feature, Snap Maps users can now check in on their friend’s whereabouts more easily. Now, “Your status might update itself based on where your friends are and what Snapchat predicts you're doing,” Mashable reports. “And maps can populate your status when you appear to be taking a road trip, flying to a new destination, or using a particular geofilter.”
Facebook’s head of news partnerships, Campbell Brown, says it was a mistake for Facebook to threaten legal action against The Guardian ahead of the publication’s Cambridge Analytica exposé. “Not probably our wisest move,” Browns tells Variety. Now, “We are in a position now where we have to be judged by our actions,” Brown said of the social giant.
From last fall to early this year, Breitbart’s Web traffic has been cut in half, Politico reports, citing comScore data. “The site dropped from 15 million unique visitors in October, per comScore, to 13.7 million in November, 9.9 million in December, 8.5 million in January and 7.8 million in February,” Politico writes. “There are several potential causes for Breitbart’s troubles, including changes to Facebook’s news-feed algorithm, amped up investment in digital by Fox News, and the shifting status of [ex-executive chairman Steve] Bannon.”
Vox co-founder and senior correspondent Matthew Yglesias has come to the conclusion that Facebook is “bad,” broken, and should therefore be completely shut down. “Rumors, misinformation, and bad reporting can and do exist in any medium,” Yglesias admits. “But Facebook created a medium that is optimized for fakeness, not as an algorithmic quirk but due to the core conception of the platform.”
Facebook is rolling out some new features for its Messenger app. “The first of the tools is aimed at group admins, allowing them to essentially vet new members of group chats before they can join in,” Venture Beat reports. “So if any non-admin decides to invite someone into the group, the group admin will have the final say.”
The Guardian has a revealing interview with Christopher Wylie, the former Cambridge Analytica employee who is now telling all about the company’s controversial data harvesting practices. “We are still only just starting to understand the maelstrom of forces that came together to create the conditions for what [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller confirmed last month was ‘information warfare,’” The Guardian writes. “But Wylie offers a unique, worm’s-eye view of the events of 2016.”
Facebook is adding some new features for live streamers and their followers. “The social network is announcing direct livestreaming from PC games to Facebook and in-game rewards for livestream spectators,” Venture Beat writes. “This push for more streaming features falls under Facebook’s ongoing focus to make it easier for developers to integrate video sharing features directly into their games.”
Google just expanded its Instant Apps program, which TechCrunch calls “a way for developers to give users a native app experience that didn’t involve having to install anything.” Now, the search giant is adding games to the mix. As such, “You can now see what playing a level or two of Clash Royale, Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire or Panda Pop is like without having to go through the usual install procedure.”