Facebook doesn’t hate Tor (but it is blocking it)


A number of Tor network users recently reported problems reaching Facebook. These problems weren’t random; Facebook was and is blocking users coming through the Tor network. Does Mark Zuckerberg hate online anonymity? No (or rather, not in this case). One of Tor’s developers, Runa A. Sandvik, wrote a blog post and took to Twitter to emphasize that the blocking had nothing to do with bad blood between the social network giant and the Tor Network.

If you’re wondering what the Tor Network is, it’s worth checking out (especially if you’re interested in digital privacy, which is a pretty hot topic these days): the Tor network is a piece of free software that can substantially hide your online browsing habits. It was originally developed to protect the U.S. Navy’s communications, but now anyone can use it – it works by scrambling your information through a series of randomized relays. It’s an awesome tool for people who like to maintain more anonymity than a regular network connection affords, although it can make your Internet seem sluggish, since it has to send your information in so many directions. And now there’s another drawback: You may not be able to access Facebook using it.

This is what comes up when some people try to log on:

tor to facebook

This may trouble people concerned about Facebook’s targeted ads, since Tor makes it more difficult for these advertising campaigns to properly target you. As Sandvik noted, “Using Tor to access Facebook means that Facebook will not know where you are logging in from.” But Sandvik pointed out that Facebook still has plenty of information on you since you’ll be logged into your account. So even when the Tor-Facebook connection gets fixed, simply using the network won’t really throw them off your scent completely.

Sandvik’s blog post was optimistic about the situation, though. And it made sure to state explicitly that this was nothing nefarious on Facebook’s end. “Facebook is not blocking Tor deliberately. However, a high volume of malicious activity across Tor exit nodes triggered Facebook’s site integrity systems which are designed to protect people who use the service.” Sandvik wrote that Facebook and Tor will be working together to solve the problem, but she couldn’t elaborate beyond the blog post. “I hope to publish an update on this in the coming days.”

Sandvik said that the Tor users experiencing problems with Facebook were not limited to a specific geographic area, so no matter where you are, you might be having issues using Facebook through Tor – hopefully they’ll sort out the problem soon.

Social Media

Snapchat’s PR firm is suing an influencer for failing to influence

Snapchat's PR firm is suing a social media influencer for his alleged failure to promote Spectacles on Instagram. Actor Luka Sabbat was paid $45,000 upfront, but the suit claims he fell well short of the terms of the deal.

Protecting your PDF with a password isn't difficult. Just follow these steps

If you need to learn how to password protect a PDF, you have come to the right place. This guide will walk you through the process of protecting your documents step-by-step, whether you're running a MacOS or Windows machine.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.

Don't take your provider's word for it: Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.

Urban legends for the digital age: The best scary stories from the internet

In need of some simple scares this Halloween? We've combed the internet for the best creepypastas, urban legends, and scary stories. From found footage YouTube videos to a deceptively scary wiki, these stories are sure to spook.

WhatsApp finally gives in to the lure of cash-generating ads

WhatsApp's co-founders always said their messaging app would never show ads, but once the pair quit the company, it seemed inevitable that its owner, Facebook, would find a way to incorporate them.

Shazam hooks up with Instagram Stories for another way to share songs

The latest update for Apple-owned Shazam lets iPhone users share music tracks to Instagram Stories in a few quick taps. To enable the feature, just make sure you have the latest version of Shazam loaded on your handset.
Social Media

Dine and dash(board): Make a Yelp reservation from your car’s control panel

Already in the car, but can't decide where to eat? Yelp Reservations can now be added to some dashboard touchscreens. Yelp Reservations searches for restaurants within 25 miles of the vehicle's location.

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."
Social Media

Pinterest brings followed content front and center with full-width Pin format

Want to see Pinterest recommendations, or just Pins from followed users? Now Pinners can choose with a Pinterest Following feed update. The secondary feed eliminates recommendation and is (almost) chronological.