Changes to Facebook scanner leaves online investigators in a lurch

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Facebook scanner launched six years ago, it was intended to help users discover content through public publications on the platform. Since then, the feature had remained at a relatively low profile for many users (his last major announcement released in 2014 when a mobile version launched). Fb scanner Also became a valuable tool for many online investigators who used it to gather evidence of human rights abuse: war crimes and human trafficking. Last week, however, discovered that facebook profile scanner features were suddenly disabled, Vice reports.

 

Other researchers also used Facebook Scanner to create tools such as StalkScan. But removing scan FB meant that they had to suspend their services or offer them in a minimal capacity. For example, the StalkScan website now has a message that says:

“From June 6, you can only scan your own profile with this tool. After two years and more than 28 StalkScan sessions, Facebook decided to make the scanner fb fewer transparent. The search for ghostly graphics still exists. But now it’s less accessible and harder to use, make sure you consult this tool because your data is still there!

What’s the Facebook profile scanner do?

The facebook profile scanner allows users to search in clear language (i.e., written prayers in the way people speak, not just keywords). But more importantly, it also allows them to filter results by precise search criteria. For example, users can find out who loved a page or photo, when someone visits a city was in the same place at the same time as another person. Despite the apparent potential privacy problems caused. The scan facebook was also an important source for organizations such as Bellingcat, a website investigative journalism. Which used to document Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes in Yemen to document its project?

Facebook may be trying to adopt a more cautious attitude. It is still struggling with the collapse of several major security flaws. Moreover, including the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. Also, The revelation earlier this year that it hundreds had saved millions of password in plain text.

In a statement to Vice, a Facebook spokesperson said that “The vast majority of people who search through Facebook using keywords, a factor that led us to stop some aspects of image search and focus more on it improve keyword search. We work closely with researchers to ensure they have the tools they need to use our platform. “But one of the sources of Vice, a current Facebook employee, said that within the company. There’s “a lot of internal and external struggles between giving access to information. That information who helpfull for people to find friends or investigating things (such as Bellingcat), and protecting.”

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