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Facebook’s latest experiment is a meme creation app, Whale

Facebook’s NPE Team, a division inside the social networking giant that will build experimental consumer-facing social apps, has now added a third app to its lineup with the launch of meme creation app Whale. Currently, the app allows users to decorate photos with text and stickers in order to create memes that can be shared to social media or texted to friends. The app isn’t all that original, given the plethora of image-editing apps on the App Store today with similar feature sets. But it does have the advantage of being free to use without in-app purchases or subscriptions. In Whale, users can take a photo, select a picture from their camera roll, or browse the app’s library of stock images in order to create a meme. Blank, 2-grid, 3-grid, and 4-grid canvas layouts are...

Think of the children: FBI sought Interpol statement against end-to-end crypto

Enlarge / The Interpol HQ in France. (credit: Massimiliano Mariani, CC BY-SA 3.0) Justice Department officials have long pushed for some sort of backdoor to permit warranted surveillance and searches of encrypted communications. Recently, that push has been taken international with Attorney General William Barr and his counterparts from the United Kingdom and Australia making an open plea to Facebook to delay plans to use end-to-end encryption across all the company’s messaging tools. Now, the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigations are attempting to get an even larger international consensus on banning end-to-end encryption by way of a draft resolution authored by officials at the FBI for the International Criminal Police Organization’s 37th Meeting of the I...

Facebook Has Users Vote on What Song to Play Next With New Music App “AUX”

Facebook is putting AUX chord privileges to a vote. Facebook has unveiled an interesting way to decide who gets control of the coveted aux chord. Their new app, simply titled “AUX” gives users the power to propose tracks to play while other users vote on what should play next. The tracks are voted on with “claps” which can both raise and lower the placement of a track on the playlist. In a statement obtained by Your EDM, the Facebook team described the app in detail. In their own words:  The app is aimed at school-aged kids and teens who join a party in the app every day at 9 PM. They then choose the songs they want to play and compete for the ‘AUX’ to get theirs played first. At the end of the night, a winner is chosen based on how many claps are received...

The Source of Facebook’s Anti-Vaccine Ads

This is the web version of Brainstorm Health Daily, Fortune’s daily newsletter on the top health care news. To get it delivered daily to your in-box, sign up here. Happy Friday, readers! A new report finds that just two groups are responsible for the majority of anti-vaccine misinformation spread on Facebook. The study, published in the journal Vaccine, used Facebook’s Ad Archive feature to hunt down the offenders. It was a relatively simple query—search the keyword “vaccine” in the archive between December 2018 and February 2019, and then assess whether the content was promoting, discouraging, or generally discussing vaccine use. As it turns out, about 54% of the anti-vaccine ad content was funded by the World Mercury Project—a group chaired by noted anti-vaxxe...

Facebook’s Libra code chugs along ignoring regulatory deadlock

“5 months and growing strong” the Libra Association announced today in an post about its technical infrastructure that completely omits the fierce regulatory backlash to its cryptocurrency. 40 wallets, tools, and block explorers plus 1,700 Github commits have how now been built on its blockchain testnet that’s seen 51,000 mock transactions in the past two months. Libra nodes that process transactions are now being run by Coinbase, Uber, BisonTrails, Iliad, Xapo, Anchorage, and Facebook’s Calibra. Six more nodes are being established, plus there are 8 more getting set up from members who lack technical teams, meaning all 21 members have nodes running or in the works. But the update on the Libra backend doesn’t explain how the association plans to get all the wa...

John Carmack steps down at Oculus to pursue AI passion project ‘before I get too old’

Legendary coder John Carmack is leaving Facebook’s Oculus after 6 years to focus on a personal project — no less than the creation of Artificial General Intelligence, or “Strong AI.” He’ll remain attached to the company in a “Consulting CTO” position, but will be spending all his time working on, perhaps, the AI that finally surpasses and destroys humanity. AGI or strong AI is the concept of an AI that learns much the way humans do, and as such is not as limited as the extremely narrow machine learning algorithms we refer to as AI today. AGI is the science fiction version of AI — HAL 9000, Replicants, and of course the Terminator. There are some good ones out there, too — Data and R2D2, for instance. WTF is AI? So far AGI has yet to be even defined in an...

Big Tech Is Coming for Your Most Sensitive Data

This is the web version of Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily newsletter on the top tech news. To get it delivered daily to your in-box, sign up here. Welcome to the first edition of Cyber Wednesday. Robert Hackett here. The name admittedly doesn’t have quite the same ring as Cyber Saturday, a newsletter I have authored for four years. But the schedule change does absolute wonders, let me tell you, for my ability to enjoy the weekend. (Is this what two days off feels like??) So, let’s get to it. Big Tech is coming for the last bastions of people’s most sensitive data—including financial and medical histories. Now these data-hungry corporations must convince everyone they come in peace. Facebook is donning a banker’s pinstripes as it barrels into the world of finance—whethe...

Facebook wants you to pay people on Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp with Facebook Pay

  Square. Venmo. PayPal. Apple Pay. Google Pay. There’s really no shortage of ways to give people money via your phone, but that — nor growing calls that the company is already getting too damned big — isn’t stopping Facebook. Facebook has just announced Facebook Pay, a single payment system that ties into all of the things under the FB umbrella — Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, and, of course, Facebook proper (for sections like Marketplace). Add a payment method once, and it’ll work across any of the Facebook apps you enable it for. Facebook says that Pay should start rolling out this week, albeit only on Facebook/Messenger at first, and only for folks in the US. The company says it should work with most major credit/debit cards and PayPal, and they’re being c...

Dutch court orders Facebook to ban celebrity crypto scam ads after another lawsuit

A Dutch court has ruled that Facebook can be required to use filter technologies to identify and pre-emptively take down fake ads linked to crypto currency scams that carry the image of a media personality, John de Mol, and other well known celebrities. The Dutch celerity filed a lawsuit against Facebook in April over the misappropriation of his and other celebrities’ likeness to shill Bitcoin scams via fake ads run on its platform. In an immediately enforceable preliminary judgement today the court has ordered Facebook to remove all offending ads within five days, and provide data on the accounts running them within a week. Per the judgement, victims of the crypto scams had reported a total of €1.7 million (~$1.8M) in damages to the Dutch government at the time of the court summons....

Instagram Will Start Killing an Iconic Feature Next Week

Instagram will start killing off public “likes” in the U.S. next week, a step aimed at making the service less of a sport that destroys self-esteem.  “The idea is to try depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition,” Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said on Friday at a conference in San Francisco hosted by Wired magazine. “It’s really focused on young people.” Earlier this year, Instagram announced plans to hide the number of likes users get on their posts. Authors of the content will still be able to see the total, but the public won’t. In September, Facebook followed suit saying it also planned to hide likes. The test has already started in Australia. The moves represents an increased focus on users’ well-being, something Facebook, which owns Instagram, has been re...

Former Facebook Exec Criticizes Policies That Let Politicians Lie in Ads

A former top Facebook executive disagrees with the social media company’s policy of accepting political ads that include lies. Chris Cox, former chief product officer who left the company in March, said that he’s a big fan of fact checking. And while he generally agrees with Facebook continuing to run political ads, he believes those ads should be policed for accuracy, he said Friday at a conference in San Francisco hosted by Wired magazine. “Political ads are their own animal,” Cox said. “The place you want to get to is to find a way to do some sort of fact checking on these that’s not so partisan.” The problem is that political parties often have a difference in opinion on what exactly should be considered misinformation. Cox said one of the systems he worked on at Facebook, which ...