You are here
Every company is now a technology company. We're employing new digital technologies to gather data, to reach our customers, to manage the demands of a global marketplace, and to work more efficiently.
Meet the Three Foster Cats of @amazeballsgracie
Follow @amazeballsgracie to be a part of their daily shenanigans.
Hello, world! It’s time to meet today’s #WeeklyFluff: Gracie (@amazeballsgracie), a refined rescue cat who lives — and puts up with — two adorably feisty rescue kittens, Pippa and Pookie. These three fluffs spend their days lounging on an orange armchair, practicing paw swipes and looking for the next opportunity to sneak a bite from each other’s food dishes.
By Alex Stamos, Chief Security Officer
There have been a lot of questions since the 2016 US election about Russian interference in the electoral process. In April we published a white paper that outlined our understanding of organized attempts to misuse our platform. One question that has emerged is whether there’s a connection between the Russian efforts and ads purchased on Facebook. These are serious claims and we’ve been reviewing a range of activity on our platform to help understand what happened.
In reviewing the ads buys, we have found approximately $100,000 in ad spending from June of 2015 to May of 2017 — associated with roughly 3,000 ads — that was connected to about 470 inauthentic accounts and Pages in violation of our policies. Our analysis suggests these accounts and Pages were affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russia.
We don’t allow inauthentic accounts on Facebook, and as a result, we have since shut down the accounts and Pages we identified that were still active.
- The vast majority of ads run by these accounts didn’t specifically reference the US presidential election, voting or a particular candidate.
- Rather, the ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum — touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights.
- About one-quarter of these ads were geographically targeted, and of those, more ran in 2015 than 2016.
- The behavior displayed by these accounts to amplify divisive messages was consistent with the techniques mentioned in the white paper we released in April about information operations.
In this latest review, we also looked for ads that might have originated in Russia — even those with very weak signals of a connection and not associated with any known organized effort. This was a broad search, including, for instance, ads bought from accounts with US IP addresses but with the language set to Russian — even though they didn’t necessarily violate any policy or law. In this part of our review, we found approximately $50,000 in potentially politically related ad spending on roughly 2,200 ads.
We have shared our findings with US authorities investigating these issues, and we will continue to work with them as necessary.
Authentic Activity Matters
We know we have to stay vigilant to keep ahead of people who try to misuse our platform. We believe in protecting the integrity of civic discourse, and require advertisers on our platform to follow both our policies and all applicable laws. We also care deeply about the authenticity of the connections people make on our platform.
Earlier this year, as part of this effort, we announced technology improvements for detecting fake accounts and a series of actions to reduce misinformation and false news. Over the past few months, we have taken action against fake accounts in France, Germany, and other countries, and we recently stated that we will no longer allow Pages that repeatedly share false news to advertise on Facebook.
Along with these actions, we are exploring several new improvements to our systems for keeping inauthentic accounts and activity off our platform. For example, we are looking at how we can apply the techniques we developed for detecting fake accounts to better detect inauthentic Pages and the ads they may run. We are also experimenting with changes to help us more efficiently detect and stop inauthentic accounts at the time they are being created.
Our ongoing work on these automated systems will complement other planned projects to help keep activity on Facebook authentic. We’re constantly updating our efforts in this area, and have introduced a number of improvements, including:
- applying machine learning to help limit spam and reduce the posts people see that link to low-quality web pages;
- adopting new ways to fight against disguising the true destination of an ad or post, or the real content of the destination page, in order to bypass Facebook’s review processes;
- reducing the influence of spammers and deprioritizing the links they share more frequently than regular sharers;
- reducing stories from sources that consistently post clickbait headlines that withhold and exaggerate information;
- and blocking Pages from advertising if they repeatedly share stories marked as false.
We will continue to invest in our people and technology to help provide a safe place for civic discourse and meaningful connections on Facebook.
You might think that adopting deep learning or machine learning (ML) techniques means hiring a fleet of cutting edge data scientists with PhDs, but this simply is not true. Creating new deep learning models and theories is hard, but using the existing, popular deep learning models is not rocket science. In fact, a typical IT engineer can learn the basics of ML, including how to integrate and use the well-known ML and deep learning algorithms and techniques, to build an ML solution. In short, a company’s IT engineers can be trained to become ML engineers.
In any discussion about big-picture topics such as cloud migration services, data centers, and microservices, the topic of enterprise logging can get relegated to an afterthought. But you do so at your peril, because without logging, you won't have critical visibility into your services in order to diagnose and debug efficiently. What's more, if you're a large enterprise, you may be violating compliance requirements.
It's almost mandatory now for conference organizers to live stream and/or post speakers' recorded presentations on the internet. The good news is that, as we learned in June at EclipseCon France 2017, open source software and affordable technology make it easy to publish videos on YouTube or other video-sharing services without doing any post-editing or rendering—both of which can take a lot of time.
Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPgreatoutdoors
Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes and hashtags. For a chance to be featured, follow @instagram and look for a post every week announcing the latest project.
The goal of #WHPgreatoutdoors was to head outside and capture moments celebrating the beauty of nature. Each week, we feature some of our favorite submissions from the project, but be sure to check out the rest here.
Rainbow-Hued Makeup with @sydn4sty
To see more vibrant looks, follow @sydn4sty on Instagram.
Sydney Szramowski (@sydn4sty) didn’t always wear such colorful makeup. “I did a thick black wing every day in high school,” she says. “I remember telling my best friend, ‘Cat eyes are definitely my best look.’” The cat eye lives on, but these days, Sydney — who lives in her hometown of Los Angeles — has added more vibrant, rainbow-hued designs, using her own eyelids, cheeks and lips as her canvas. “I sit in front of the mirror with some sort of look in mind and spend hours just playing around,” she says. “There’s a lot of Q-tips and cold cream involved.”
As a creative for a clothing brand, Sydney’s makeup is often inspired by what she’s wearing. “It’s easy to think of fun ideas when you have rainbows, checkers, glitter, graphics, plaid and other pretty things laying around,” says Sydney, who has gained confidence getting more experimental thanks to the support of her online community. “I’m always so grateful when I get positive feedback when I feel like I’ve created something really cool. It’s nice to have people cheer you on for something you enjoy doing.”
Cloud computing has dominated IT discussions for the last two decades, particularly since Amazon popularized the term in 2006 with the release of its Elastic Compute Cloud. In its simplest form, cloud computing is the centralization of computing services to take advantage of a shared data center infrastructure and the economy of scale to reduce costs.
In the summer of 1997, I was an avid gamer of the golden classics of the real-time strategy (RTS) and immersive 3D/sandbox role-playing games that defined those genres. After wasting many hours gaming, I wanted to do something more constructive. I had dreams of building my own video games.
In the first part of this series, I presented three challenges open organizations face when seeking strategic, external partners. To quickly recap, these challenges are:
- Competition with ongoing business for scarce resources in both companies,
- Divided time, energy, and attention of shared staff, and,
- Disharmony in partnership and building a new community
I also noted that company-to-company alliances typically form through three stages, namely:
When she was only two years old, my daughter was fascinated by the old Eee PC running Ubuntu Studio I was using as one of my main computers. She would climb on my lap to hammer away at the keyboard, so—even though she was a bit young—I decided to search for Linux distributions made for children. To my surprise, I found a few distros made for kids as young as two.
In developed countries, the ability to access and edit Wikipedia easily is taken for granted, but in many African countries, where access to reliable electricity and broadband are limited, that's not the case. I recently interviewed Florence Devouard, who is working on several open source projects to help close gaps caused by poor access to online information.
Documenting the Hajj Pilgrimage with Photojournalist @ahmadmousa
To see more of Ahmad’s work, follow @ahmadmousa on Instagram.
Photojournalist Ahmad Mousa (@ahmadmousa) works to tell the stories of people from different backgrounds. “My favorite subjects are people’s lives, how they are different from one community to another. What are the things that we don’t normally see or don’t know about?” he says.
Ahmad became interested in photography as a teenager, and at the age of 19 began his career as a photojournalist in his native country of Iraq. Now 26 years old, Ahmad recently traveled on assignment to document hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s largest annual gatherings of people. Despite the usual challenges of meeting deadlines for work, he says the experience of meeting the diverse people undertaking the five-day Islamic pilgrimage was incredible. “There were so many people there from different countries around the world,” says Ahmad. “Sometimes I’d try to talk to them, or they would try to talk to me, but we’d usually end up using hand signs because we didn’t speak each other’s language.”
Traveling Through Jakarta with @amandacerny and @prillylatuconsina96
To see more from Amanda’s travels, follow @amandacerny on Instagram.
A sense of adventure comes naturally to 26-year-old actress and director Amanda Cerny (@amandacerny). “The most important lesson I’ve learned from traveling so far is that no matter where you’re going, you should be open to new things,” says Amanda, who caught the travel bug early — and acted on it. At age 18, after working two jobs to save up enough money, she flew to London without a return flight and continued her solo journey to Pamplona, Paris and Stockholm before heading home. “I met so many new friends along the way that I’m still in contact with today,” she says.
Amanda’s interest in traveling to Indonesia was first piqued by her supportive fans in the country. “Now it’s my turn to go visit and show how much I appreciated them!” she says. Indonesian actress Prilly Latuconsina (@prillylatuconsina96) paired up with Amanda while she was in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city, for a few days of adventure. Amanda’s last tip from her travels: “Be spontaneous, and you’ll take more with you than just memories.”
The Week on Instagram | 300
- GQ: Why Instagram Is the Best Place to Find Rare Beers
- Allure: How One Petite Model With Alopecia Is Breaking Beauty Barriers in India
- The Atlantic: ‘Link in Bio’ Keeps Instagram Nice
Around the Community
In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at Oracle wanting to pass Java EE to an open source foundation, Schiphol airport turns to open source, Colorado investigating open source textbooks, and more.Open source news roundup for August 20-September 2, 2017
We care deeply about the safety and security of the Instagram community, so we want to let you know that we recently discovered a bug on Instagram that could be used to access some people’s email address and phone number even if they were not public. No passwords or other Instagram activity was revealed.
We quickly fixed the bug, and have been working with law enforcement on the matter. Although we cannot determine which specific accounts may have been impacted, we believe it was a low percentage of Instagram accounts.
Out of an abundance of caution, we encourage you to be vigilant about the security of your account, and exercise caution if you observe any suspicious activity such as unrecognized incoming calls, texts, or emails. Additionally, we’re encouraging you to report any unusual activity through our reporting tools. You can access those tools by tapping the “…” menu from your profile, selecting “Report a Problem” and then “Spam or Abuse.”
Protecting the community has been important at Instagram from day one, and we’re constantly working to make Instagram a safer place. We are very sorry this happened.
Co-Founder & CTO
Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPgreatoutdoors
Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes and hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post every week announcing the latest project.
Nothing inspires creation quite like the beauty of nature. This weekend, the goal is to head outside and capture moments celebrating the great outdoors, as in this featured photo by Austin MacKay (@austin.mackay). Here are some tips to get you started:
- Are you heading out this weekend for some camping, hiking or biking? No matter what hemisphere you live in, the seasons are hinting at change, making it the perfect time of year to get outside. Take photos of your favorite moments.
- The outdoors come in many shapes and sizes, from a backcountry trek to a small urban garden. Show us your own slice of nature, big or small.
- Getting outside can often require a fair amount of preparation and consideration — packing gear, studying maps and preparing food. Show us your process through videos and Boomerangs.
PROJECT RULES: Please add the #WHPgreatoutdoors hashtag only to photos and videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own visuals to the project. If you include music in your video submissions, please only use music to which you own the rights. Any tagged photo or video taken over the weekend is eligible to be featured next week.