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Backlash against Facebook widens with announcement of new changes

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Facebook is currently in the throes of one of its recurring seasons of user discontent. The social network has made changes before that left many subscribers vowing to find another source for their networking fix, and every time it has blown over, But the outrage this time may have a bit more momentum.

The upheaval began on Wednesday with complaints that changes in the News Feed designed to make Facebook more competitive with Google+ and Twitter were actually making it harder to use. A survey reported by PCMag indicated that 86% of all users — and 91% of teens — wanted to see the site revert to its old format.

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The confusion increased by several orders of magnitude on Thursday, however, when CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined additional changes, including the upcoming introduction of a new Timeline format that will replace the Profile and Wall, along with a scrolling ticker. The updated format will also integrate media such as Spotify and Netflix into users’ pages.

“The recent update with the news feed and ticker, we’ve actually been testing that with people for months,” Zuckerberg insisted to reporters. “We brought a lot of people into the office, to get their feedback.” Facebook executives also emphasized, according to PCMag, that “users will be able to maintain granular privacy settings for each piece of content, essentially showing different Timelines to different groups of users.”

These promises of privacy, however, were almost immediately thrown into doubt when it was reported by ology.com that the new design will make it far easier to tell when someone has unfriended you. Once the Timeline layout is activated, it will be possible to call up a list of everyone you’ve ever friended — with those who have cut you off their own lists being specifically indicated.

By Friday, even @AnonyOps — one of the Twitter accounts representing the hactivist group Anonymous — was chiming in on the changes, asking, “Is a trend emerging? Is it becoming hip to ditch facebook? Methinks yes.”

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And once you’ve lost the hackers and the hipsters, what do the other 800 million matter?


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EU ambassador Sondland criticized Trump over Ukraine efforts: ‘Inviting a foreign government to interfere US election would be wrong’

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Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, will tell Congress that he criticized President Donald Trump over his efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating a political rival.

The Trump megadonor-turned-diplomat appeared Thursday before three House committees to discuss his role in a White House scheme to enlist a foreign government to dig up campaign dirt against Joe Biden as Ukraine awaited congressionally approved military aid.

According to his prepared statement, Sondland will tell lawmakers that Ukraine was expected to announce "anti-corruption" investigations against the former vice president and his son Hunter Biden as a "one of the pre-conditions for securing a White House meeting" for its president Volodymyr Zelensky.

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Giuliani’s Ukraine henchman once held a gun to man’s head and threatened to kill him if he told police: report

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Lev Parnas, one of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani's henchmen who tried to help him pressure the Ukrainian government, has a long history of making death threats and associating with fraudsters, according to a new report from Politico.

According to Politico, a restraining order filed by a man who was once Parnas's landlord back in 2008 claimed that Parnas threatened to kill him after he asked him to vacate the apartment that he was renting.

"If you call the cops, they are not going to find you ever," Parnas told the man, according to the complaint.

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‘Increasingly likely’ Bolton will be hauled before House investigators over Trump’s Ukraine fiasco: report

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According to The Daily Beast, President Donald Trump's former National Security Adviser John Bolton is "increasingly likely" to be subpoenaed by Democratic investigators in the House as part of the impeachment proceedings into Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

Bolton, a longtime neoconservative war hawk, served in the role after Trump fired Gen. H. R. McMaster, but often clashed with the president on matters of national security and left the administration on bitter terms.

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