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We've all experienced the highs and lows of Facebook, but recently it seems like the lows are endless.

From controversy surrounding Mark Zuckerberg, reports of paying children for labour to eavesdrop on conversations and using our own data for the company's agenda, it seems like the drama ain't worth the effort.

Now, researchers at New York University and Stanford University are saying that deactivating Facebook for just FOUR WEEKS can lead to a big improvement in people's mental health.

The researchers focused their study on the impact of quitting the social network on their mental health and behaviour.

The Welfare Effects of Social Media took place in the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections in the US and 2,844 users took part in the study. The participants used the platform for over 15 minutes per day.

When the candidates deactivated their Facebook accounts, there was a noticeable increase in offline activities, like socialising with friends and family members.

Their well-being was also boosted, but the people involved were less informed about current events.

Image: Fossbytes

Researchers also discovered that anyone who deactivated their Facebook accounts were more likely to see a consistent reduction in their use of the social media app after the experiment concluded.

The authors wrote; "Our study offers the largest-scale experimental evidence available to date on the way Facebook affects a range of individual and social welfare measures,"

"Deactivation caused people to appreciate Facebook’s both positive and negative impacts on their lives," they said.

In a statement to The Washington Post a spokesperson for Facebook said its teams are working on creating meaningful connections across its platform. "This is one study of many on this topic and is should be considered that way," they said

Feature image; Gizbot

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If you've been on your social media accounts recently, you most likely can't avoid the new fad; the Ten Year Challenge.

Celebrities from Mariah Carey, Trevor Noah, Amy Schumer to Caitlyn Jenner participated in the glow up experiment, with most famous faces simply proving how freakishly ageless they are.

Some participants brought humour into the fray, paralleling their image with one of another look-alike celebrity, or in Jenner's case, changing gender over the last 10 years.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Now THAT is a #10YearChallenge Be authentic to yourself 

A post shared by Caitlyn Jenner (@caitlynjenner) on

The concept of then-and-now images isn't exactly new, but it's gained massive traction over the last week. What harm could it be?

Kate O'Neill of Wired magazine introduced a new notion which essentially blew our minds, and even forced Facebook to deny her semi-sarcastic suggestion.

Her idea? That the 10 Year Challenge could be useful to any entity that’s looking to develop facial recognition algorithms about ageing.

O'Neill flipped a metaphorical table by suggesting the tech giant had initiated a trend solely to contract facial recognition data from the social network's users.

In her article, Facebook's 10 Year Challenge Is Just A Harmless Meme- Right?, she claims;

"I knew the facial recognition scenario was broadly plausible and indicative of a trend that people should be aware of. It’s worth considering the depth and breadth of the personal data we share without reservations."

Allegedly, the conspiracy translates to Facebook needing to experiment with data, and the meme proving the perfect way to achieve it.

"Imagine that you wanted to train a facial recognition algorithm on age-related characteristics and, more specifically, on age progression (e.g., how people are likely to look as they get older)," she added. 

"Ideally, you'd want a broad and rigorous dataset with lots of people's pictures. It would help if you knew they were taken a fixed number of years apart—say, 10 years." WHAT.

O'Neill is saying that the powerful technology company could use the algorithm for advertising, insurance assessment, healthcare and finding missing children. Both positive but simultaneously dangerous consequences.

Of course, this is all total speculation, unsubstantiated evidence. Yet Facebook was forced to dispel the rumours:

Do we place too much trust in sites like Facebook? Even if the challenge isn't a case of social engineering, the website has come under fire following numerous controversial claims against them.

Examples of social games designed to extract data aren't far from reality, let's cast our minds back to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The mass data extraction of over 70 million American Facebook users was performed, and rocked the country so much that Mark Zuckerberg himself had to turn up to Congress.

Another aspect of the website which garners negative attention is their suspicious community guidelines which seem to apply more rigidly to certain types of people.

Let's face it, Facebook is already heavily involved in politics, such as the critical 2016 US Presidential election and Russian interference.

According to Kate O'Neill, major tech corporations acquiring data could be used for population control and law-and-order;

"After Amazon introduced real-time facial recognition services in late 2016, they began selling those services to law enforcement and government agencies, such as the police departments in Orlando and Washington County, Oregon."

"But the technology raises major privacy concerns; the police could use the technology not only to track people who are suspected of having committed crimes, but also people who are not committing crimes, such as protesters and others whom the police deem a nuisance," she continued.

Facebook's implication in various privacy concerns has created a tumultuous relationship between the tech giant and its users.

O'Neill is definitely right about one thing- data is one of the most powerful currencies, so don't spend it dangerously.

“Regardless of the origin or intent behind this meme, we must all become savvier about the data we create and share, the access we grant to it, and the implications for its use."

Feature image credit: Mamamia

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When The Social Network was released back in 2010, it became one of the most talked about films of the decade.

A movie about Facebook seemed ridiculous at the time, but then major writers, producers and actors were signed on, and it essentially exploded.

David Fincher was roped in to direct the movie, and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross found fame as bona fide Oscar-winning soundtrack maestros.

AP Entertainment recently interviewed screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who began writing the film back in 2005 and went on to win the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for his efforts.

According to Sorkin, the world is ready for a sequel considering the sheer amount of controversy the website has caused over the last nine years.

"First of all, I know a lot more about Facebook in 2005 than I do in 2018," began Sorkin when questioned about the idea of revisiting the infamous film.

"But I know enough to know that there should be a sequel," he joked.

"A lot of very interesting dramatic stuff has happened since the movie ends with settling the lawsuit of the Winklevoss twins and Eduardo Saverin." 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Poltrona Nerd  (@poltronanerd) on

We're pretty sure you could write a dozen films about all the Facebook drama- Mark Zuckerberg ended up testifying data protection in front of CONGRESS, for God's sake.

The scandals featuring leaked user data, interference in the US Presidential election in 2016 and Russia's cyber-hacking has plagued the CEO since 2016.

As well as hate groups being allowed to stay on the website, many are arguing that content restriction is not strict enough, or else discriminates against minority groups. 

Aaron Sorkin claims that Scott Rudin, producer of The Social Network, is vying for a follow-up film, and we're SO on board.

"I've gotten more than one email from him with an article attached saying; 'Isn't it time for a sequel?'"

Um, YAS. PLEASE. Zuckerberg needs to be dragged, all day.

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Popular diet and fitness tracking app MyFitnessPal experienced an unauthorised data breach in February, which they became aware of on March 25.

While they do not know who the unauthorised party is, an investigation is underway.

The information affected by the data breach includes usernames, email addresses, and hashed passwords.

Payment card data is collected and processed separately, though, so it was not affected.

Under Armour, who own the widely-used app, wrote in an email: 'Once we became aware, we quickly took steps to determine the nature and scope of the issue.'

'We are working with leading data security firms to assist in our investigation. We have also notified and are coordinating with law enforcement authorities.'

It is believed that about 150 million accounts have been affected by the breach, BreakingNews.ie reports.

They are taking steps to protect users, including notifying the app's users on how they can protect their data, requiring users to change passwords, continuing to monitor for suspicious activity, and enhancing their systems 'to detect and prevent unauthorised access to user information'.

Paul Fipps, the chief digital officer at MyFitnessPal, stated: 'We continue to make enhancements to our systems to detect and prevent unauthorised access to user information.'

'We take our obligation to safeguard your personal data very seriously and are alerting you about this issue so you can take steps to help protect your information.'

Under Armour recommended that those who have the app change their password for any other account in which they used the same or similar information they used for MyFitnessPal. 

As well, they said that users should review their accounts for suspicious activity, be wary of unsolicited communications that ask for personal data or send them to a site asking for personal data, and avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails.

Well, at least the hackers just know my name and not exactly how many biscuits I scoffed last week…

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Let's be real, we'd be totally lost without our phones. And in this day and age, the odds of someone not having a phone are pretty much zero. 

But if there's anything you've noticed in the recent mobile phone years, it's that everyone has a different type of phone personality. 

From the early adopters to the peeps who are ALWAYS plugged in, here are the six types of phone users in your girl gang:

1. The early adopter

Now, we're not talking about a baby bitten by the technological bug, we're talking about those people who always have the latest and greatest from the technology world.

They probably had your phone three years ago when it first hit the shelves in China and have since moved onto the next best thing.

 

2. The one who NEVER has data/credit

There's always one in the group, isn't there? At the start of the month they eat through their data plan and by day four it's all used up.

They spend the rest of the month trying to send 'call me' texts and scramble onto Facebook to see what the hell in the world is going on. 

 

3. The one that's ALWAYS plugged in 

We all know this type. No matter what's happening or where they are, they always have their phone attached to their hand.

Whether it's dinner, a movie, in class or in work, they will always be plugged in. Just who are they talking to?! 

 

4. The technophobe

This lady is almost afraid of her phone and uses it to the absolute bare minimum. They can manage the odd text or phonecall but don't even think about Whatsapp or Twitter. 

They also always wonder why they never hear about the group's plans… Ahem, if you looked at your phone every once in a while…

 

5. The constant texter

This person just hates talking on the phone. The second their phone flashes and a call is coming through, complete panic washes over them.

Even if it is just their mam asking what time they'll be home at. They will also pretend to text if an awkward situation arises. 

 

6. The one who never has battery

This is probably the most annoying type of all, both for you and your friend.

Having to lug around a charger everywhere is not fun, but not being able to get a hold of someone constantly, is not fun either. 

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