Facebook and Twitter introduce new tools regarding ad transparency

Social media websites, particularly Facebook, have faced recently came under fire in regards to their privacy and advertising policies. Facebook, in particular, was heavily scrutinized for the political ads it ran during the 2016 presidential election. Some commentators accused the company of not doing a good enough job of vetting the ads or providing users with accurate information regarding the ads they saw. With the 2016 midterm election season underway, it appears that Facebook is looking to address these issues.

At a press conference held on Thursday, Facebook COO  Sheryl Sandberg announced some major changes in regards to social network’s stance regarding advertisement transparency. With these new changes, users will be able to go to public pages, rather those belong to brands or public figures such as politicians, and find a wealth of information regarding the page and the ads found on it. This “Info and Ads” panel will include the page’s history and name changes as well as information pertaining to the ads running on the page. You’ll be able to find information on every ad on the page, the site the ads want users to visit and the ad copy.

In terms of political ads, Facebook will allow users to see how much various political organizations have spent on advertisements on Facebook as well as see what ads are being shown in particular countries. Facebook is likely hoping that these changes will protect them from accusations of foreign meddling which is something that has plagued the company, and social media in general, since the 2016 elections.

Speaking of the wider social media industry, Facebook isn’t the only one making such changes. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has announced that Twitter is rolling out an “Ads Transparency Center” which will allow users to find out who is advertising on Twitter and how much money they are spending on the platform. It will also make it easier for users to report suspicious ads. However, some users have argued that Twitter’s changes aren’t going far enough. Several users replied to Dorsey’s tweet with questions regarding fake bot accounts.

News

Fibaro smart devices are now compatible with the Samsung SmartThings hub

Samsung SmartThings now supports even more devices with the integration of Fibaro, a company known for its smart home sensors. Several Fibaro devices are already compatible, with more on the way.
Movies & TV

Disney completes its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox

Now that Walt Disney Company has closed its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox's movie and television assets, what does this future hold for franchises like X-Men, the Fantastic Four, The Simpsons, and the rest?
Smart Home

Traeger’s latest wood-pellet grills are smoky, smart, and spacious

Traeger is famous in the world of barbecue and heavy-duty grills for its signature pellet grills and now the company is expanding this year by adding three new brands of redesigned
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Home Theater

ESPN Plus scores the exclusive rights to UFC Pay-Per-View events

If MMA is your game, then ESPN Plus is now a very important player. The Disney-owned service locked up the exclusive rights to UFC Pay-Per-View events, a deal that will last through 2025 in the United States.
Gaming

A new hope is lost as Disney dismisses rumors of a revival of Lucasfilm Games

According to job listings on the Disney website, the company has plans to revive Lucasfilm Games. This comes as a surprise following the shuttering of LucasArts in 2013 and could potentially mean more Star Wars games.
Home Theater

Dish TV customers can access up to 13 NCAA March Madness games in 4K

If you're a basketball fan looking to get your fix of NCAA Championship action in 4K, Dish TV will be airing up to 13 of the tournament games in the ultra high-def format, starting on Tuesday.
Home Theater

Cheer for your favorite NCAA team and Xfinity will respond with matching lights

Screaming at your favorite team just became a lot more rewarding thanks to Comcast's Xfinity voice remote and some special NCAA commands that set your smart lightbulbs to your favorite team's colors.
Mobile

Amazon’s new Kindle has an adjustable light and costs less than $100

Amazon has taken the wraps off of a new Kindle model, which boasts a number of great features and comes at a very affordable price. Perhaps the best thing about the new Kindle is that the device has an adjustable.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on air fryers from Ninja, Farberware, and more

Walmart dropped prices on best-selling air fryers from Ninja, Farberware, and La Gourmet. Interest in air fryers took off when home cooks realized the possibility for guilt-free fried food when you cook with very little to zero oil.
Emerging Tech

Researchers gave alligators headphones and ketamine, and all for a good cause

Researchers in Germany and the United States recently gave ketamine and earphones to alligators to monitor how they process sounds. Here's what it reveals about alligator evolution.
Social Media

Facebook Messenger adds quoted replies to better organize group chats

Facebook is rolling out a feature that should help make group chats a whole lot more organized. The feature allows you to reply to specific messages within a group chat, so others will be able to tell what you're replying to.
Smart Home

Amazon cuts prices on Alexa-controlled Echo and Echo Dot bundles

Amazon cut prices on Alexa and Amazon Echo device bundles. The second-generation Amazon Echo and third-generation Echo Dot are bundled in discounted deals with the Amazon Smart Plug. The Echo and Echo Dot are also bundled together.
Computing

Oculus shows off the Rift S, plans to phase out its original VR headset

Oculus plans to phase out its flagship Rift VR headset for its newly created Rift S. The Rift S made its debut this week at the 2019 Game Developers Conference and is expected to be released in spring 2019.