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Inside Facebook

Inside Facebook (Mar 31st, 2017)

$FB (3:28 EST): $142.345 (↓ 0.065%) // 90-day high: $140.95 // 90-day low: $114.77 // More info

Palmer Luckey, the man who co-founded Oculus, has departed from Facebook. Luckey and his company helped spur the virtual reality craze with a headset he built out of his parents’ garage. Luckey became involved in numerous scandals - including accusations that Oculus stole proprietary technology, and reports that he backed conservative groups dedicated to posting anti-Hillary Clinton content online - that raised concerns among the company's management. "Palmer will be dearly missed," according to a statement sent to TechCrunch by Oculus. "Palmer’s legacy extends far beyond Oculus. His inventive spirit helped kickstart the modern VR revolution and build an industry. We’re thankful for everything he did for Oculus and VR, and we wish him all the best." Facebook acquired Oculus in March of 2014 for $2 billion. Luckey's net worth is $730 million, according to Forbes - TECH CRUNCH

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The Guardian takes a close look at some of the people who live under tents in scrubland, across the street from Facebook's Silicon Valley headquarters. Celma Aguilar lives just a few hundred yards from where tourists take photos next to Facebook's iconic “Like” symbol at the posh main Facebook entrance. The campsite is one of about 10 in the area, a visual reminder of the Silicon Valley's wealth gap. “Their employees are very well taken care of," said Harold Schapelhouman, a fire chief whose department has dealt with conflagrations on the land. They have on-site medical facilities, dry cleaning, bicycle repair, they feed them and there are restaurants that are there. It’s amazing what Facebook does for its employees. And yet within eyeshot – it really isn’t that far – there are people literally living in the bushes.” – THE GUARDIAN

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Facebook has launched a rocket ship icon that serves as the platform's second news feed. Clicking on the icon will take you to stories recommended based on your recent likes, as well as posts popular with your friends. The second news feed is being tested on the Facebook mobile app for iOS and Android users. “We are testing a complementary feed of popular articles, videos, and photos, customized for each person based on the content that might be interesting to them,” a Facebook spokesperson said. – TECH CRUNCH

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East Palo Alto, California residents are protesting Amazon and Facebook, claiming that the tech giants are contributing to rising housing costs. About 50 members of the Real Community Coalition held a candlelight vigil Thursday night at 2100 University Avenue, where Amazon recently leased space for a large office complex. The group also claims that Facebook and Amazon aren't doing enough to hire locally or help low-income people. “There’s a dark cloud that’s being cast by this abuse and oppression," said JT Faraji, an East Palo Alto artist. "We’re just trying to bring light to it and make people aware about what’s going on and have a peaceful resolution." – MERCURY NEWS

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Facebook is challenging GoFundMe with a new charity feature that lets users create personal fundraisers. The new tool is designed to raise money for medical treatments, classroom support, personal emergencies, pet assistance and other needs. Fundraisers will get their own page similar to a Facebook Group and visitors will see a donate button, and an indicator showing how much money was raised. Facebook will take a 6.9 percent cut plus a fee of 30 cents. Verified Facebook Pages can also add donate buttons to their live streams. – PC WORLD

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The Motley Fool takes a close look at Facebook by the numbers. The company is on pace to hit 2 billion active users, the largest social network in the world, in 2017. Among the other Facebook facts: 94 percent or 1.74 billion – are also monthly active users on mobile devices; 1.15 billion monthly active users only use Facebook on mobile devices. That number soared 40 percent between 2015 and 2016. And 66 percent of of Facebook's users, referred to as Facebook's "engagement rate," use the service every single day. – MOTLEY FOOL

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Facebook and its business model are having an impact on World Wrestling Entertainment. Like Facebook, the WWE has been gathering customer data to tailor its marketing campaigns and boost engagement and subscribers. Barrons reports that some other legacy media companies have been too slow to make direct connections with their customers, allowing big tech firms like Facebook, Netflix and Amazon to step in, but not the WWE. WWE, which will present Wrestlemania on April 2, is targeting subscribers based on metrics such as time inactive and previous consumption. WWE is resisting partnerships with big tech players, instead preferring to retain its own customer data. The company’s WWE Network -- a streaming channel -- has 1.41 million subscribers, up 14 percent from a year ago. – BARRONS

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Facebook is a marketplace for the sale of counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco, according to an investigation by the BBC. People are using fake profiles to disguise consignments as genuine brands. The BBC found that the cheap tobacco contained double the lead content and a third more cadmium than genuine products. The tobacco and cigarettes are being sold through the Marketplace pages, and also offer hand delivery. Manufacturer JTI, which makes the real Mayfair and Amber Leaf products said: "Over the past year, JTI's actions have led to the removal of just under 3,000 listings relating to the illegal sale of its brands on [the social media site]." – BBC

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A 23-year-old Arizona State junior and illegal immigrant named Belen Sisa posted a photo of herself and her tax filing on Facebook, with the note stating: "just filed my taxes and PAID $300 to the state of Arizona." The post attracted 3,000 shares and 5,000 reactions. Sisa is an undocumented immigrant and has been living in the United States since arriving from Argentina at the age of 6, when her family came and overstayed their visa, according to the Arizona Republic. "I was hoping to kind of make a statement and educate people," Sisa said. "I decided to post it basically to bust the myth that immigrants don’t contribute and they don’t pay taxes to this country." She also said: "there are MILLIONS just like me who pay into a system they will never receive anything from." She also called on President Trump to reveal his taxes. – MONEY

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A teacher was suspended after she posted "sultry" photos of herself on Facebook. Lydia Ferguson was escorted off the premises of Ousedale School in Buckinghamshire, England, after the photos were spotted on social media. In one photo, the 39-year-old is sitting on the edge of a bed wearing high heels and a short white playsuit. In others she is wearing low-cut tops. Students at the middle and high school where she teaches have rallied to her defense and have called the administration "prudish." One student said: "Mrs Ferguson was saying she didn’t think there was anything wrong with the photo. All it was showing was a bit of leg." Students have launched a campaign called "Get Miss Ferguson Back." It received more than 250 signatures within 24 hours. – HEAT STREET

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