Ireland’s data privacy regulator has agreed to levy a record fine of 405 million euros ($402 million) against social network Instagram following an investigation into its handling of children’s data, a spokesperson for the watchdog said.
Instagram plans to appeal against the fine, a spokesperson for its parent company, Meta, said in an emailed statement.
The investigation, which started in 2020, focused on child users between the ages of 13 and 17 who were allowed to operate business accounts, which facilitated the publication of the user’s phone number and/or email address.
“We adopted our final decision last Friday and it does contain a fine of 405 million euro,” said the spokesperson for Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner, the lead regulator of Instagram and Facebook’s (FB) parent company.
Instagram updated its settings over a year ago and has since released new features to keep teens safe and their information private, the Meta spokesperson said.
The DPC regulates Facebook, Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOGL) and other technology giants due to the location of their EU headquarters in Ireland. It has opened over a dozen investigations into Meta companies, including Facebook and WhatsApp.
WhatsApp was last year fined a record 225 million euros for failing to conform with EU data rules in 2018.
RadioShack, a bankrupt electronics retailer recast as a cryptocurrency platform, is getting unexpected attention online after its Twitter account took an abruptly explicit tone.
The former tech retail giant’s still active Twitter account began trending on Friday after it shifted from tweeting about cryptocurrencies to roasting other users on the social media platform. The reasons for the verified account’s apparent turn aren’t clear, but its profanity-laced tweets amused other users on the social media platform.
“[W]ho else high [as f**k] [right now],” the account tweeted Thursday morning.
Twitter user @ChrisWooleyAC tweeted a picture of an old remote control car at RadioShack, asking, “what’s y’all’s return policy? I got a remote control car for Christmas back in 03 that stopped working. I need a refund.”
“Got a receipt?” RadioShack tweeted in response. “Head over to our Antartica[sic] location for a *potential* refund.”
After tech mogul Elon Musk tweeted about a SpaceX Falcon 9 landing, the account tweeted, “congrats on the landing of your new giant metal c**k elon.”
“Any last words before we close the coffin?” Twitter user @Mare_Loch tweeted in response. “Radio Shack: Yes, a tweet. Please engrave it on our headstone.”
The RadioShack account replied, “we’ve prepared something special for you,” and included a photo of marquee lettering used to spell “d**krash” featuring the company’s trademark circle “R” logo.
RadioShack, once a household name in the 1990s, filed for bankruptcy in 2015, ending its then-ubiquitous retail presence. However, investors Alex Mehr and Tai Lopez purchased the company earlier this year and relaunched it as a cryptocurrency swap, keeping much of its retro branding, reports Fortune magazine.
The company’s website even appears to sell household electronics and has a store locator showing locations across the country.
As the brand’s Twitter account took on a new tenor, users took a swipe at RadioShack becoming a cryptocurrency platform. Other Twitter users seemed to enjoy interacting with a once-bankrupt brand.
Twitter user @snoopdoug44 tweeted, “Congrats on your bankruptcy!”
“Bankruptcy my a** dawg,” RadioShack said in a reply with a map of the U.S. covered in the company’s logo.
“F**k you! Lots of love, The Shack,” the crypto swap wrote in another tweet.
Twitter user @coffeebreak_YT responded, “the store I used to buy double AA batteries at is trying to start internet beef while running a crypto scam. 2022 is WILD [for real].”
RadioShack fired back.
“[H]i now that we finally got your attention, wanna dm us? we’ve got some double AA batteries for your vibrator you p**sy,” RadioShack said in a response.
Some photographers on TikTok are trying an unconventional technique for unusual results: taking a rock to the front of their lenses, scratching the glass, and destroying them in the process.
Photographer Illumitati posted a video of her using a rock to mortally wound her Canon 50mm f/1.8 in response to a viral video made by Andres Videography where he appeared to do the same to his lens.
However, Andres didn’t actually scratch his lens; eagle-eyed viewers will notice that he was actually scratching a lens filter placed on his Sony 85mm.
But in Illumitati’s case, she actually takes a rock to the front element of her 50mm. Speaking to PetaPixel she explains what happened.
“I saw another person do it with a filter, and my intrusive thoughts told me to try it on the lens for real,” she says.
“This came up on my ‘for your page’ and as a photographer, I’d never cringed harder in my life,” Illumitati says in her TikTok video.
“But then I was so curious to see what a photo from that camera would look like I actually destroyed one of my lenses,” she continues. “Then I set it down and got ready to take a couple of portraits and to my surprise, it actually gave it this glow. I don’t recommend doing this to your lenses but hey, it’s kind of cool.”
When asked by PetaPixel, the portrait and fashion photographer seemed to have no regrets over the video.
“I really did scratch it, and the photos were actually not bad at all. The lens is really not great in the first place so I don’t think I’d use it,” she says.
In this clip, Boosie reacted to Elon Musk buying Twitter and said he hopes that the tech billionaire will acquire Instagram as well. Boosie and Vlad talked about how much money Musk really has to have in order to buy a publicly traded company outright. Later, Boosie talked about his friendship with the Saudi prince and Vlad warned him about indulging his vices while over there.
The Federal Trade Commission levied a $150 million fine on Twitter, alleging that the social network let advertisers use private data to target specific users — without informing users of the practice.
According to the agency, Twitter violated a 2011 FTC order that “explicitly prohibited” the company from misrepresenting its privacy and security practices. In addition to the $150 million fine, Twitter is banned from “profiting from its deceptively collected data,” the FTC said.
In a blog post, Twitter chief privacy officer Damien Kieran wrote, “Keeping data secure and respecting privacy is something we take extremely seriously, and we have cooperated with the FTC every step of the way. In reaching this settlement, we have paid a $150M USD penalty, and we have aligned with the agency on operational updates and program enhancements to ensure that people’s personal data remains secure and their privacy protected.”
In a statement about the FTC’s fine against Twitter, FTC Chair Lina Khan said, “Twitter obtained data from users on the pretext of harnessing it for security purposes but then ended up also using the data to target users with ads. This practice affected more than 140 million Twitter users, while boosting Twitter’s primary source of revenue.”
According to a complaint filed by the Department of Justice on behalf of the FTC, Twitter in 2013 began asking users to provide either a phone number or email address to enable two-factor authentication, an enhanced form of security (beyond just a password).
From 2014 to 2019, more than 140 million Twitter users provided their phone numbers or email addresses after the company asked for the info, according to the complaint. Twitter, however, “failed to mention that it also would be used for targeted advertising,” allowing marketers to target specific ads to users by matching the information with data they already possessed or obtained from third-party data brokers, the FTC alleged.
On the web, TruthSocial.com now lets you search for “truths” and participate in the online discourse without a phone, even if it’s all quite basic. Other than calling tweets “truths” instead, there’s nothing particularly novel or interesting about the platform.
You can also configure alerts, view your profile, and adjust a few settings. For example, you can change whether GIFs play automatically in your feed and hide sensitive material. The web interface allows you to mute and block other users, or tag them easily when you post. The web version doesn’t appear to offer a way to see direct messages, though.
Overall, it’s clean enough and simple to use, but also not at all innovative. John mentioned this before, but Truth Social looks exactly like something a developer would make if they were asked to build an app that does only the Twitter basics and nothing more.
Let’s be clear about something when it comes to Truth Social: John Brandon is not analyzing it as a political venture alone. It is definitely part of an elaborate re-election campaign. He has issues with that, not in terms of his own political views but due to the sketchy nature of having a dedicated social media platform meant only for one candidate. If it’s a campaign app, then great. If it isn’t, why does it exist?
Apart from using the word “truths” the real issue is that this is a clone, and that means there’s no real reason to switch from Twitter to this app.
Now that it works on the web, it makes it a bit easier to check your feed, but with 500.000 users, it makes me wonder why anyone would bother. With that smaller group of users, it’s less likely your post will catch on and reach a wider audience, unless you are related by blood to Donald Trump or you’re a celebrity.
Curiously, the only reason John discovered to use Truth Social is because you can see posts from The Babylon Bee, a satire site that was banned from Twitter.
At least Trump himself is posting now, typically with the same outrageous flare he used when he was active on Twitter. Many of his posts are about Hillary Clinton for some reason.
Just last week, Instagram users noticed that the app icon had randomly become a lot brighter. Well, now we know why – it’s all part of Instagram’s biggest rebrand in years. But it seems the internet is torn over the platform’s new look.
Meta-owned Instagram has revealed a new visual identity comprising of a brand new bespoke typeface, and the aforementioned brighter logo. Perhaps the most notable change is the new wordmark, now rendered in the ‘Instagram Sans’ typeface.
Instagram says the refresh is designed to help the platform “create more immersive and inclusive experiences.” In a blog post, the company breaks the rebrand down into three core areas:
The gradient is reimagined with “vibrant colours to make it feel illuminated and alive, and to signal moments of discovery”.
The new typeface, Instagram Sans, is “designed with Instagram’s heritage in mind and includes multiple global scripts.”
The new layout and design system is “content-forward and celebrates creativity, simplicity and self-expression.”
We’ve already seen the tweaked icon (designed by Rose Pilkington), which appears to be blinding some users. But now we’ve been given a much more comprehensive look at the new brand identity. ‘Instagram Sans‘ is a fun new typeface based around what Instagram “lovingly” calls the “squircle” – the rounded square of its logo. The typeface is also available to use in Stories and Reels.
But the most noticeable use of the typeface is in the brand new wordmark (above). Replacing the ‘handwritten’ style that’s been around for as long as Instagram, the new wordmark is a much more contemporary affair – and considering how long we’ve had to look at the last one, Daniel Piper’s a fan.
But over on that other social media platform, reactions are mixed. Yes, Twitter is, as Twitter does, making its feelings known about the new look, and the responses range from really loving it to really not loving it.
And responses to the new icon have been doing the rounds for a few days now. “I’m going to have to reduce my screen brightness for that,” one Twitter user complains, while another adds, “New Instagram icon is way over-saturated. Gross.” And lots have users have shared screen recordings of iOS seeming to struggle with the new icon – when closing the app, the icon appears to judder between the old and new design.
A nonprofit blockchain developer sued Meta Platforms Inc in California federal court Friday, alleging a new logo adopted by the company formerly known as Facebook will cause consumer confusion with its own infinity-symbol logo.
Switzerland-based Dfinity said being associated with Meta’s “sordid” history with user privacy could hurt the non-profit’s efforts to attract people to its blockchain platform, which it wants to use to “take on Big Tech and its growing control over user data.”
Dfinity was founded in 2016. Its Internet Computer is an “infinite” public blockchain network designed to host authenticated smart contracts. It registered a federal trademark for its infinity-symbol logo in 2018.
Meta, Dfinity, and Dfinity’s attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Facebook Inc rebranded as Meta last October to reflect its plans to focus on the virtual-reality “metaverse.” Meta has described its new logo as a “continuous loop” that resembles both the letter ‘M’ and an infinity sign, “symbolizing infinite horizons in the metaverse.”
Dfinity’s lawsuit said Meta’s logo is confusingly similar to its logo. It also said that a Meta executive outlined plans to adopt blockchain technologies in an internal memo, which would add to the likelihood of confusion between the companies.
Dfinity asked the court to stop Meta from using the logo and for an unspecified amount of money damages.
The case is Dfinity Foundation v. Meta Platforms Inc, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 3:22-cv-02632.