Facebook should honor those privacy notice hoaxes

I’ve seen several friends post the new variant of the notice saying that in order to have privacy, you have to post the note that does not give Facebook permission to use your photos or status updates.

Here is the thing. Taking away that permission makes Facebook unusable as no one can see them even people you want to see them. If Facebook cannot use them, then it cannot show them to others on your behalf.

I think Facebook should start:

  1. Programmatically look to see if these statuses are posted by a user.
  2. Disable access to photos and status updates for any user who has posted it and not allow them to make new ones.
  3. Let them see the posts of others who have not posted it.
  4. Highlight to the user that no one can see their stuff due to having that post. Give them the option of deleting the post to restore access.

My guess is if Facebook did this, then these posts would disappear from Facebook pretty quickly.

Check the date

TL;DR: If you see a story that compels you to share it in outrage, then check to see if this really is still an issue. It might be from years ago and no longer an issue.

Longer:

A few friends posted a news story about how the current Federal administration decided to pay $6 million of the almost $1 billion requested by North Carolina related to damage caused by Hurricane Matthew. Hurricane Michael hit Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina last week. So, I am sure this story is more noticeable because the two storms both start with M and are boy names unlike Maria last year. The story was published in 2017. It also wasn’t clear about the NC request and best I can tell, FEMA has allocated $500 million that is being very slowly spent, HUD $168M, SNAP $70M. There probably is other money like small business loans from Federal agencies, but I did not really find a clear single number.

Another story I noticed over the weekend that became popular was the governor of Maine claiming almost all the drug problem was Blacks and Latinos from out of state going there to deal. (And impregnate White women.) This one was from 2016 when LePage was attempting to support the Republican presidential candidate. It was disheartening to see people calling for a recall of someone term-limited and ineligible to run in the election next month, so he is going out the door anyway.

 

Fact Check: Akon Lighting Africa

Saw a friend posted a photo claiming Akon had provided solar power to 600 million Africans, but the media was not going to tell you about it. It also questioned what is it the NGOs are doing.

This was an amazing claim, so I went looking into it. “Akon solar power” led me to his company Akon Lighting Africa. The key figures on the home page look much more modest with 100K street lamps, 1,200 micro-grids, and 102K domestic kits. The initial claim was that there were 600M without access to electricity. It does not look like it has put a dent in that number, much less the goal of 80 million people. The company was founded in 2014.

In 2015 they claimed to have provided solar power to about 8 million people (using the average household size of 8.7 people in Senegal rounded down; used average household size for Senegal as that is where Akon is from and started).

As of 2016, they claimed to have helped 1.5M lives.

Source: Twitter search for “from:AkonLighting million

Hopefully 1 million households in the first one should have been lives to make it consistent. Otherwise, in 2016 there was a huge backslide.

Let’s unpack the current numbers on the website.

  • 102K domestic kits = 887.4K lives
  • It is not clear what the micro-grid means, but the website has photos of charging stations attached to a set of solar cells. That could mean about 600K additional people counted not with power in their home, but able to visit a charging station to charge up a device to bring home.
    • My interpretation of micro-grid would be a network of homes connected to a grid. It would also power the street lamps.