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Inside Facebook (Mar 21st, 2017)

$FB (10:48 EST): $140.975 (↑ 0.935%) // 90-day high: $140.34 // 90-day low: $114.77 // More info

Facebook is creating a product that could allow people to share thoughts telepathically, according to a new report. The product, along with three others, a drone, virtual reality device, and a medical-related project are among the items that Facebook is planning to unveil, according to Business Insider. Facebook last year launched a futuristic hardware division called Building 8. The company reportedly plans to sell millions of units of the Building 8 products in the coming years. Facebook’s CEO in 2016 described a product that one day could “capture a thought, what you’re thinking or feeling in kind of its ideal and perfect form in your head, and be able to share that with the world." – BUSINESS INSIDER

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A cover song artist had her Facebook account suspended for three days after she posted a snippet of an Ed Sheeran song. London busker Charlotte Campbell in a video post described the pain she endured living through three days without her account. She said Facebook told her that if she posted another cover video her account would be deleted altogether. The social network doesn’t have licenses with music companies and has moved quickly to take down members' videos or suspend their accounts. Sheeran, singer of Grammy-winning song "Thinking Out Loud," heard about the suspension and apologized to the woman on her Facebook page. "I bloody love seeing people cover my songs," Sheeran wrote. – USA TODAY

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Facebook is looking to hire a retail manager to oversee the launch of consumer hardware projectsThe search is the latest example of the company's expansion beyond social media and into developing new hardware products to compete with Google and Alphabet. According to Business Insider, Facebook's Building 8 is experimenting with drones and augmented reality -- a term for superimposing computer-generated images on real-world camera images. Facebook's only other notable consumer hardware product is the Oculus Rift. – BUSINESS INSIDER

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Upset with the amount of anti-government information, Vietnam has called on companies to boycott Facebook and YouTube. "Today we call on all Vietnamese firms that are advertising not to abet them to take advertising money from firms to use against the Vietnamese government," Information and Communications Minister Truong Minh Tuan said. "We also call on all internet users to raise their voice to Google and Facebook to prevent toxic, fake content violating Vietnamese law in the online environment." In recent days, many Facebook pages popular in Vietnam disappeared, possibly as a result of the boycott. Foody, a Vietnam-based company that, like Yelp, provides restaurant reviews and helps customers find food and dining places,were blocked in the country.  At least 50 Facebook pages in Vietnam had been blocked as of March 19. Facebook, which has around 35 million users in Vietnam, has yet to comment on the matter so far. – REUTERS

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Some of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities are raising money to help defend the American Civil Liberties Union. Several stars, including Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Tom Hanks, Padma Lakshmi, Jon Hamm and Amy Poehler will participate in a Facebook telethon that will be streamed live. “Our work in the courts is essential right now to hold off the worst of the abuses,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero said in a statement. "By supporting our work through this telethon, we can fight even harder to defend the rights guaranteed by our Constitution.” The event takes place at 7 p.m. EST, Friday, March 31. – HUFFINGTON POST

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Facebook will reward advertisers at its annual awards event for entries in the categories of Laugh, Cry, Wow, Love and Act, similar to the react button options on Facebook posts. "The categories are inspired by the reactions on Facebook," said Andrew Keller, global creative director at Facebook Creative Shop. "And they are a proxy for the way people react to work." The advertising campaigns can employ any format from any of Facebook's platforms, like Instagram or Messenger. The winners are typically revealed in June, ahead of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. – AD AGE

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Now let's take a look at the role Facebook played in some recent alleged crime events:

The family of a teen says that the 15-year-old girl was sexually assaulted on Facebook Live. Chicago police are investigating the case. The teen's family said they saw her on a video being sexually assaulted by several boys. The high school freshman disappeared on Sunday afternoon, but was found on Monday. Facebook took down the video, but the teen's mother showed WGN News four screens grabs. Detectives are trying to find the owner of the Facebook page and identify the others in the video. – KTLA

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The mayor of Winston, Oregon was arrested for allegedly trying to have sex with a 14-year-old girl that he met on Facebook. Kenneth Lewis Barrett spent two weeks exchanging Facebook messages not with a teen, but with an online decoy created to target adults soliciting sex with children. He was arrested when he showed up to a designated meeting spot, police said. According to an affidavit, Barrett revealed in the online messages that he's the mayor of Winston, acknowledged the decoy was 14 and described himself as "71 with the mind of a 17-year-old and the energy of a 12-year-old." – OREGON LIVE

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