Techmeme
October 8, 2017, 1:40 PM

Top News

Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Facebook CSO Alex Stamos, who is leading the company's Russia investigation, complains via tweetstorm about a misguided media backlash over “The Algorithm”  —  “I am seeing a ton of coverage of our recent issues driven by stereotypes of our employees and attacks against fantasy …
Axios:
In email to advertisers, Facebook says it'll manually review ads that target users based on politics, religion, ethnicity, or social issues before they go live  —  Facebook is going to require ads that are targeted to people based on “politics, religion, ethnicity or social issues” …
Paul Lewis / The Guardian:
Former Facebook, Google, Twitter employees on how they fear the unintended and negative consequences of the attention economy-driven tech they helped develop  —  Paul Lewis reports on the Silicon Valley refuseniks who worry the race for human attention has created a world of perpetual distraction that could ultimately end in disaster
Mark Harris / Wired:
Alphabet gets approval from FCC to fly 30 Project Loon balloons over Puerto Rico for 6 months, after Irma and Maria left 90% of the island without cell service  —  LAST FRIDAY, ENGINEERS on Google parent Alphabet's internet-by-balloon Project Loon tweeted that they hoped to bring emergency connectivity …
CBS News:
On 60 Minutes, Trump campaign digital director Brad Parscale describes how he handpicked Facebook employee “embeds” who assisted the campaign with its ad buys  —  Trump campaign digital director Brad Parscale says Donald Trump won election on Facebook with highly targeted ads — and infrastructure was a key issue
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
AOL is shutting down Instant Messenger (AIM) on December 15 after 20 years  —  The pioneering chat app that taught us to text is pulling the plug.  On December 15th, AOL Instant Messenger will shut down after running since 1997.  AIM dominated online chat in North America at the turn of the century.
Jemima Kiss / The Guardian:
Interview with Sundar Pichai on his early life in India, the pace of technological change, Google's tax issues, taking down terrorist content, and diversity  —  From artificial intelligence to cheap smartphones, Google is on the frontline of technological development.  But is it growing too big and moving too fast?
Jason Yan / The Disqus Blog:
Comment hosting service Disqus says hackers stole email addresses and other data for 17.5M users in a 2012 breach; stolen passwords were hashed and salted  —  Yesterday, on October 5th, we were alerted to a security breach that impacted a database from 2012.
Ivan Nechepurenko / New York Times:
A look at the growing tech industry in Minsk, capital of Belarus, which is now home to more than 30,000 tech workers  —  MINSK, Belarus — On Friday nights, Zybitskaya street — or simply Zyba, as locals call it — turns into a vast party scene, filled with hipsters in bright shirts …
Heather Timmons / Quartz:
Sources: Facebook plans to sign up conservative US magazine The Weekly Standard as a fact-checking partner  —  In its newest attempt to stem the flood of fake news and conspiracy theories online, Facebook plans to sign up a conservative US magazine, the Weekly Standard, as a fact-checking partner …

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Andrés Arrieta / Electronic Frontier Foundation: