AT&T, Verizon, And T-Mobile Are In Trouble For Being Shady

This week, government agencies went in on cellular carriers for being shady. Instagram: @joannethescammer Today, the Justice Department opened an investigation into AT&T, Verizon, and GSMA, a mobile networks trade standards organization, according to the New York Times. The three companies may have collaborated to make it harder for customers…

Sifting Through The Hype At The Blockchain Career Fair

Armed with stacks of resumes and sunny smiles, the students wandered through the Spanish-style auditorium at the University of California, Berkeley, on the hunt for a gig to launch them into the working world. But the companies manning the booths weren’t McKinsey or Goldman Sachs, firms that traditionally scoop up…

We Asked Some Of Elon Musk’s Biggest Fans Why They Donated To Buy A Billionaire A Couch

“Elon needs the best possible rest for the sake of bettering mankind!” one person, who donated $100 to the campaign, told BuzzFeed News. Earlier this month, Elon Musk told CBS This Morning he’d been so busy working on the Tesla Model 3 he was “sleeping on the factory floor.” Scott…

Is This Creepy Sculpture An Ad For Soylent?

Welcome to Is This an Ad? — a column in which we take a celebrity’s social media post about a brand or product and find out if they’re getting paid to post about it or what. Even though the FTC recently came out with rules on this, it’s not always…

Jeff Bezos Just Revealed How Many Prime Members Amazon Has

Ted S. Warren / AP For years, Amazon has refused to disclose the size of its Prime membership. But Wednesday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos finally revealed one of the company’s best-kept secrets. Bezos said in a shareholder letter that the company counts more than 100 million people globally as members…

Here’s What An Ad-Free Facebook Could Cost

Dado Ruvic / Reuters Amid an unprecedented data-privacy crisis, Facebook is considering offering something it’s long avoided: a paid, ad-free option. For Facebook, the paid option would add an intriguing new wrinkle, giving users a chance to opt out of advertising that’s targeted using their personal information, and it inspires…

Pornhub Banned Deepfake Celebrity Sex Videos, But The Site Is Still Full Of Them

Last February, Pornhub announced that it will no longer tolerate machine learning–powered deepfake videos on its platform. The site said the videos — which feature realistic celebrity faces swapped onto the bodies of adult film actors — were a form of nonconsensual content and would be purged from the site,…

Here’s What The Facebook Media Backlash Really Looks LIke

Mark Zuckerberg waits for a joint hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee, April 10, 2018. Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images It took just hours after the surprise result of the 2016 presidential election for the Facebook narrative to turn sour. Technologists,…

Perry Chen Says He Wants To Revitalize Kickstarter. Employees Say He’s Doing the Opposite.

Founders of successful startups hold mythical status in the tech industry. But while myths are often inspirational, they are also frequently meant to serve as cautionary tales. Case in point: Kickstarter principal founder Perry Chen — who took over the company from cofounder Yancey Strickler in July of last year,…

Facebook Has Finally Started Fact-Checking Fake News In Its Largest Market

Susana Bates / AFP / Getty Images Facebook is finally going to start fact-checking news on its platform in India, its largest market with more than 240 million users. On Tuesday, the social network announced a partnership with Boom, an independent, Mumbai-based fact-checking organization that’s certified by the International Fact-Checking…

Tesla Is Temporarily Shutting Down Model 3 Production. Again.

Getty Images Just a few days after Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he’s feeling optimistic about his ability to speed up production on the company’s vehicles, the assembly line for the Model 3 in the company’s Fremont, California, plant has been temporarily shut down — again. The announcement of the…

Instagram’s New “Focus” Feature Is Actually Really Good

It’s basically portrait mode but without a new fancy phone. Also, it’s only currently available for iPhones 6S and up, and Android phones from 2015 and newer. Instagram is working on adding the feature to more phones. So for now, if you have an older iPhone or a kind of…

YouTube’s Crackdown On Firearms Has Guntubers Launching Their Own Platforms

Facebook.com / Via Facebook: UtahGunExchange YouTube’s effort to limit the proliferation of gun videos on its platform has inspired firearms enthusiasts to create gun-friendly video platforms of their own. Back in March, the world’s largest video site, a division of Alphabet’s Google, said it would ban any content that promotes…

Here’s How Quiz Makers Are Still Targeting You On Facebook

Derek Cohen is a 32-year-old marketing consultant in Salt Lake City, Utah who today — four years after Cambridge Analytica used personality tests to glean Facebook users’ profile information and target ads to them — uses quizzes to obtain Facebook users’ personal details, and then uses those details to target…

Here’s How Facebook Tracks You When You’re Not On Facebook

During his two-day marathon testimony in Washington this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg looked particularly uncomfortable answering basic questions about how Facebook tracks people when they’re not using Facebook. In case you hadn’t already heard, yes, it’s true: Facebook can track your online activity even if you aren’t signed in…

Facebook Crossed The Creepy Line And Can’t Go Back

Getty Images / BuzzFeed News Facebook’s current crisis is unprecedented for many reasons. It’s a bipartisan political scandal. It’s also conjured up the threat of possible government regulation. But worst of all for Facebook, it’s dragged into the public consciousness a crucial and, for the company, existential question: Facebook has…

Theranos’ Letter To Shareholders Shows The Company Is On Its Deathbed

Carlo Allegri / Reuters Theranos, the disgraced blood testing company, is in dire financial straits and may have to default on a $100 million loan, according to a letter to shareholders from its CEO Elizabeth Holmes that was obtained by BuzzFeed News. In the note, sent to investors Tuesday, the…

Mark Zuckerberg Said Facebook Made An Error In Determining That Pro-Trump Bloggers Diamond And Silk’s Page Was “Unsafe”

Republican members of Congress have grilled Zuckerberg on “censoring” the Facebook page after the conservative bloggers publicly ranted against the company. Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook made an error in determining that the Facebook page of pro-Trump bloggers Diamond and Silk was “unsafe to the community.” Alex Brandon / AP…

Why Facebook Will Never Fully Solve Its Problems With AI

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies in a Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees joint hearing regarding the company’s use and protection of user data. Aaron P. Bernstein / Reuters Mark Zuckerberg offered AI as a panacea for Facebook’s massive content problem during Tuesday’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees…

Trump Just Signed A Law That Helped Create A New Twitter For Sex Workers

US President Donald Trump speaks before signing the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 11, 2018. Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images With his signature on a new law cracking…

Rebekah Mercer Asked Facebook For An Independent Investigation Into Cambridge Analytica

A well-connected tech investor met with Facebook senior management late last month on behalf of billionaire Republican donor Rebekah Mercer to suggest an independent investigation into Cambridge Analytica, data collection, and the 2016 election, BuzzFeed News has learned. The investor, Matt Michelsen, and a Facebook source confirmed to BuzzFeed News…

Mark Zuckerberg Hints Facebook Is Considering An Ad-Free Version

Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images In testimony to the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees on Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg indicated Facebook might one day offer a paid version. Zuckerberg seemed to reveal that a paid version of Facebook is under consideration in response to a question from…

Uber Is Courting Drivers With Its New App

Uber Uber is rolling out a new app for drivers today. Most Uber passengers are unlikely to notice the change, but the app, and the fanfare with which Uber is announcing it, is meant to be yet another step toward repairing the relationship between Uber and the millions of people…

Is Mark Zuckerberg Sorry?

Facebook has had lots of scandals. See if you can guess when its CEO actually apologized. In a statement to Congress released yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg apologized for Facebook’s role in the large-scale misuse of customer data by Cambridge Analytica. He wrote, “We didn’t take a broad enough view of our…

Here’s How To Check If Your Facebook Data Was Shared With Cambridge Analytica

As many as 87 million people had their Facebook data inappropriately accessed. Here’s how to check if you’re one of them. Last week, Facebook said that 87 million of its users may have had their data inappropriately accessed by Cambridge Analytica, the British political data firm that worked on President…

Hackers Just Deleted The “Despacito” Music Video From YouTube

Hackers targeted more than a dozen high-profile artists’ videos on YouTube Tuesday, including temporarily deleting the video for the hit Luis Fonsi song “Despacito.” BuzzFeed News Vevo, which posted the original clips, said in a statement: “Vevo can confirm that a number of videos in its catalogue were subject to…

The Biggest Black Lives Matter Facebook Page Was A Scam With Links To A White Australian Man

A general branch vice president with the Australian National Union of Workers (NUW) has been suspended pending an investigation into allegations linking him to an unverified Black Lives Matter Facebook page which solicited over $100,000 in donations from followers, at least some of which was deposited into Australian bank accounts.…

Uber Has Acquired Jump And Officially Joined The Dockless Bike Wars

Jump / Via jumpbikes.com Uber is expanding beyond four wheels and is jumping right into the dockless bike wars. Uber announced Monday morning it will acquire the electric bike-share company Jump, which currently operates in San Francisco and Washington, DC. A company spokesperson told BuzzFeed News Uber was not disclosing…

Palantir Had No Policy On Social Media Data Collection Prior To 2015

Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir. Scott Olson / Getty Images The Silicon Valley data analysis firm Palantir Technologies lacked a comprehensive policy for handling social media data in 2014, when one of its employees helped Cambridge Analytica acquire private information on as many as 87 million Facebook users, BuzzFeed News…

“We Had To Stop Facebook”: When Anti-Muslim Violence Goes Viral

DIGANA, Sri Lanka — When the Sri Lankan government temporarily blocked access to Facebook last month amid a wave of violence against Muslims, it seemed like a radical move against new technology. But in fact, government officials saw it as a last resort. It came after Facebook ignored years of…