A snail mail code will provide added security against ad fraud on Facebook

Facebook users can verify their ID using a two-factor authentication with a texted code, but to verify the identity of political advertisers in the U.S., Facebook will soon be resorting to a more old-school method: snail mail. Over the weekend, Facebook said that advertisers taking out an ad that mentions a candidate by name will be required to type in a code off a postcard sent in the mail to verify that they are located in the U.S.

Facebook’s Global Director of Policy Programs Katie Harbath said that the change “won’t solve everything” but will serve as one of the social network’s new political ad requirements in the wake of Russian-bought ads during the 2016 presidential election. By sending the postcard through the mail rather than electronically, Facebook is hoping the extra step will help confirm that the advertiser is, in fact, located in the U.S.

Facebook says the changes will roll out before the next midterm elections in the U.S., slated for November. The postcard verification will only be required for ads supporting a federal candidate, not ads related to a political issue, Facebook said.

According to Reuters, lawmakers, security experts, and others have criticized the platform’s failure to detect the fraud along with claiming the platform was slow to respond.

The announcement comes after official charges were brought against 13 Russian nationals and three businesses for conspiracy, identify theft, and other related charges. The charges say that the individuals and groups pretended to be Americans while sharing both native posts and ads across multiple social media networks. The latest announcement is designed to verify that the person paying for the ad lives in the U.S.

The postcard access code isn’t fail-proof but joins a list of measures Facebook is taking to reduce political ad fraud. The plans also include enhancing transparency by labeling political ads and showing users who paid for the ad. The “view ads” link will also show users the other ads taken out by the same Page and whether or not those ads were targeted toward a specific demographic. Facebook also says it is building machine-learning software designed to confirm an advertiser’s identity and location.

Movies & TV

Netflix testing ads in between some subscribers’ binge-watching sessions

Netflix is testing out a new feature that has some users upset. The streaming service has started playing advertisements between shows. Netflix says that its goal is to help users spend less time searching for something new to watch.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix in August, from ‘Dark Tourist’ to 'Disenchantment'

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.
Computing

These 30 apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find for the latest MacOS and how they can help out your…
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Social Media

Facebook wants to help you find a mentor with its latest Groups feature

Facebook is designed for connecting to other people -- so why not mentors? Today, Facebook launched a program inside Groups that allows for two users to go through a mentorship program together.
Social Media

Facebook’s less cluttered friend list feeds are no more

Facebook friend feeds created a more curated news feed -- but not anymore. Facebook discontinued the feature, saying it wasn't widely used. The move will help the network focus on improving the news feed, the company says.
Features

The numbers don’t lie: Facebook is faltering. So what will eventually replace it?

Facebook is faltering, and the data prove it. User growth is slowing, employee outlooks are dipping, and young people are looking elsewhere. But for Facebook to fail, an alternative must arise. Who will it be?
Photography

Starting a vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability.
Photography

For Monaris, it’s a photography career launched on an iPhone and Instagram

On Instagram, she's known just as Monaris. But street photographer Paola Franqui has built a following largely with an iPhone and a smile. We sat down with her to talk photography, style, and Instagram, of course.
Mobile

Marco? Polo! Let's explore the app known as the 'video walkie-talkie'

Marco Polo has been dubbed the "video walkie-talkie," but how does the video messaging app stack up against competitors like Snapchat and Instagram? From unique filters to personalized video messages, we explore the Marco Polo app.
Social Media

Kids can now initiate a friend request on Messenger Kids by using a password

Facebook's messaging app for the under-13 crowd required parents, not kids, to initiate the process of adding a friend. Now kids can start the process by using a unique passphrase -- a feature that still requires parental approval.
Photography

The Nixplay Iris might just make digital picture frames cool again

The digital picture frame's popularity has fizzled because of time-consuming updates and low quality -- but can a Wi-Fi connected frame change that? The Nixplay Iris is an 8-inch smart digital picture frame that wireless updates photos.
Social Media

Instagram hackers are changing account info into Russian email addresses

Have you logged in to your Instagram lately? A hack circulating this month has Instagram users locked out of their accounts because a hacker changed all the profile data, according to a report.
Social Media

New deal suggests Facebook is looking to add sweet interactive tools for Live

Facebook now owns a company that specializes in creating interactive live video experiences with polls, viewer comments, and more. Vidpresso says the change will help it bring the interactive tools to more users.