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Inside Facebook

Inside Facebook (Mar 28th, 2017)

$FB (2:09 EST): $141.53 (↑1.21%) // 90-day high: $142.34 // 90-day low: $114.77 // More info

Facebook on Tuesday unveiled three new features that very closely resemble Snapchat. The company has added Camera, Stories, and Direct. They will launch globally later this week. Camera imitates Snapchat's main interface, with a simple camera view and icons that can be clicked on in order to add various effects. Stories offers a way for users to collect and share photos and videos related to an event or a theme, similar to Snapchat's offering of the same name. Direct allows users to send videos or photos directly to a single friend or users, instead of their entire follower base. "For about 10 years the Facebook interface has been very text-centric," said product manager Connor Hayes. "But the ways that people create content has changed, and shared and that has changed the way people share as well. We are trying to upgrade the app to be more in tune with that." The company had previously tested the features in Ireland. The new features are the latest Facebook offerings that appear to imitate Snapchat. – FORTUNE

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Facebook has launched a new "Town Hall" feature that allows people to "follow" their elected representatives. The Town Hall tool lets users track state and federal representatives who use Facebook based on their location. The tool also encourages users to send an email, letter or make a telephone call. Facebook pulls only the info available on the politician's Facebook page, and doesn’t offer missing phone numbers or emails that are typically available on government web sites. "The more you engage with the political process, the more you can ensure it reflects your values," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. "This is an important part of feeling connected to your community and your democracy, and it's something we're increasingly focused on at Facebook." – CNET

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Facebook's first full-time employee has donated $75 million to the University of California, San Diego. The gift by Taner Halicioglu was the largest the university has ever received from one of its graduates. Halicioglu joined Facebook in 2004 and left the company in 2009. He became a lecturer in computer science in 2013. According to SDSU, the $75 million donation will be used to train students and support faculty at the newly created Halicioglu Institute of Data Science. The center will focus on cross-disciplinary studies involving computer science, cognitive science, math and other fields. – NBC

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A new app lets you track who deleted you as a "Friend" on Facebook. The Who Deleted Me app will send you a notification when someone unfriends, or friends you. Every time you login, the tool examines your current list of connections and the compares the list to previous logins. It will also inform you about whether someone has deactivated their account. Who Deleted Me is free on Chrome and Firefox internet browsers as a plug-in. It is also available on Android and Apple mobile devices. – HULL DAILY MAIL

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Tom Fitzsimons of Stuff imagines a world without Facebook. The fantasy piece takes a look at the world in 2018 after President Trump shuts down Facebook, and coaxed all of his friends and allies to do the same. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg challenged Trump but was then sent to a CIA black site. Riding the bus was also different. "I was no longer looking at the tops of everyone's heads as they lazily scrolled through their news feeds. Instead, I was trapped in their blank middle-distance gazes, just like I used to be in the 1990s," he wrote. But there were some benefits: "For instance, my children. Suddenly they were there, and not only in the ear-splitting ways that can break across a smartphone, like whining or yelping or wielding a carving knife at a block of butter I've left on the bench. Instead, I actually began to pick them up and look at their cherubic faces." – STUFF

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A Portland senior policy director will unexpectedly retire this week after he made several controversial Facebook posts during October 2016 street protests. Jim Blackwood Jr., Portland Commissioner Nick Fish's senior policy director, is leaving after an his controversial Facebook posts were widely circulated. One post called the shooting of a protester during an anti-Trump demonstration "inevitable." Two others highlighted cases where black men killed police officers. Another post said "it's only fair" to name the races of "cop killers." "Lawlessness and violence always begets more of the same," Blackwood wrote in a Facebook post about the shooting of an unarmed protester. "If you are 'protesting' in the middle of the night, you don't have a cause. You are merely doing it because it is fun." – OREGON LIVE

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Jen Doll of The Week laments all the "Happy Birthday!!" wishes she receives on Facebook and wonders how to respond to them. She was recently inundated with birthday wishes from people she knew in high school and college, from her array of previous jobs and "that person at a bar" that she made out with. "Everyone came forth to say 'Happy Birthday!!' (with two exclamation marks or more, or it doesn't count), or 'Happy!' (must have gotten cut off before he finished), or 'HBD,' which in terms of stylistic birthday wishing has to be the laziest version on the planet." She received more than 100 birthday wishes and had no clue how to respond to them. "What to do with this slew of Facebook birthday messages that may have only been posted out of that semblance of duty that strikes when we see that a friend or colleague we haven't spoken to in months and maybe don't speak to at all is up for their yearly aging ceremony — so we just throw out a convenient 'happy' to be done with it?" After considering the many possibilities, Doll decides on one definitive answer. – THE WEEK

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Here's a rundown of some recent crime stories that interacted with Facebook.

A man was arrested for pouring gasoline on a rat, setting the critter on fire and then watching it burn to death, while he broadcasted it on Facebook Live. Officers arrested 32-year-old George Reed earlier in March. Upon arrest, he asked, "If the city can poison rats, then why do they care about burning them?" Reed later said: "I understand if it was a cat or dog. Those are animals. This is a rodent. I didn't think it was a big deal." The Facebook video played for a reported 30 minutes. Reed faces a felony of animal torture. Reed has been convicted of animal neglect in the past. He was arrested after he left his pit bulls without food or water and to lie in their own feces, authorities said. Acts of animal cruelty on Facebook have gained attention in the past. – DNA INFO

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A Nebraska teenager who killed her newborn baby after throwing it out a second-floor window avoided jail time by deleting her Facebook account. Antonia Lopez, 16, was ordered to delete her Facebook account, live in a group home, start individual and family therapy and perform 50 hours of community service. She was also placed on probation. She faced 20 years to life in prison had she been convicted. The judge ordered the deletion of the Facebook account because since her arrest, "thousands of negative comments" from people around the country were left on her page. – NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

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