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Also, fallout from the “right to be forgotten,” Yahoo kills several services you have never heard of, Google launches the Project Ara beta, Lindsay Lohan sues Rockstar over GTA V character, and Tetris gets played on a T-shirt.

Facebook Accused Over More Experiments

Facebook rightly received much criticism over conducting a social experiment to influence the mood of its users Facebook Experiments On Users, Having Sex With Your iPad, And More... [Tech News Digest] Facebook Experiments On Users, Having Sex With Your iPad, And More... [Tech News Digest] Also, The Internet's Own Boy is worth watching, BlackBerry invites us to check our facts, Photoshop Express lands on Windows Phone, binge-watching is bad, and Apple paints the iPhone as an extra parent. Read More , but it turns out the practice is much wider than first thought. According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook has “run hundreds of tests” since 2007.

This revelation comes courtesy of Andrew Ledvina, a former member of Facebook’s Data Science group. This little-known group comprises dozens of researchers who, according to Ledvina, are “always trying to alter people’s behavior.

Experiments conducted on Facebook’s userbase of 1.3 billion people include a test to see how families communicate, a study of the causes of loneliness, and even a look at how “political mobilization messages” led people to vote in the 2010 elections for the U.S. Congress.

This isn’t quite as serious as the video above would have you believe, but it is still extremely worrying. Read all about Facebook using us as human guinea pigs How Do You Feel About Being In Facebook's Psych Experiment? [Weekly Facebook Tips] How Do You Feel About Being In Facebook's Psych Experiment? [Weekly Facebook Tips] You've probably heard about the latest scandal from the Facebook world: Facebook has been experimenting on users and playing with their emotions. Yes, really. Read More before letting us know what you think of the new revelations.

Google Bans Porn Advertising

Google has banned porn ads from its service. The company had already cracked down on adult material, but this latest move suggests a concerted effort to clean up its advertising arm.

In its email to those affected by the change Google says it will no longer accept ads which “promote graphic depictions of sexual acts including, but not limited to, hardcore pornography; graphic sexual acts including sex acts such as masturbation; genital, anal, and oral sexual activity.” Which covers pretty much everything any purveyor of porn could offer.

Serial onanists Pornography Addiction: The Hidden Struggle & How to Break Free [Feature] Pornography Addiction: The Hidden Struggle & How to Break Free [Feature] Anon22 discovered Internet porn when he was just 12 years old. For around 10 years, Anon22 has enjoyed pornography using his computer once or twice a day, a compulsion that he claims ruined his social... Read More need not worry though, as pornographic websites are still showing up in search results. At least for the time being.

‘The Right To Be Forgotten’ In Action

The “right to be forgotten” in Europe has started to bleed through to Google search results. Marketing Land has pulled together various reports of stories disappearing from Google, with the accusation that this has resulted in nothing less than censorship of the press.

The stories which have been removed from Google search results range from a Scottish football manager who allegedly lied, to French workers decorating their office windows with Post-It notes. This is all serious stuff, obviously and at all now subject to the Streisand effect as a direct result of the “right to be forgotten,.” /sarcasm

Yahoo Does a Little Spring Cleaning

Following hot on the heels of Google’s brief spring cleaning Google Kills Orkut & Quickoffice, Yahoo Saves Community, And More... [Tech News Digest] Google Kills Orkut & Quickoffice, Yahoo Saves Community, And More... [Tech News Digest] UK cinemas preemptively ban Google Glass, Reading Rainbow breaks Kickstarter popularity contest, Emojli chat app made for emoji masters, 'Yo, Hodor' adds Hodor to Yo, and Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare gets an honest trailer. Read More comes Yahoo’s culling of unpopular properties. Most likely to cause upset is Yahoo closing Xobni Xobni : Excellent Contact Manager for Microsoft Outlook Xobni : Excellent Contact Manager for Microsoft Outlook Read More , a smart email service Yahoo only acquired this time last year. Most of its functions will now be added to Yahoo Mail.

Other Yahoo products being killed off include virtual makeover tool Newlook, financial report generator Research Reports, and bookmarking tool Yahoo Bookmarks. Also going are Yahoo People Search, Yahoo Shine, and Contributors Network, the latter allowing people to contribute content to Yahoo. All will be sorely missed, we’re sure. Or not.

Google Launches Project Ara Beta

Google has moved Project Ara Project Ara Arrives, Apple Hates Snow Leopard, Nintendo Kills Multiplayer [Tech News Digest] Project Ara Arrives, Apple Hates Snow Leopard, Nintendo Kills Multiplayer [Tech News Digest] Project Ara is happening, Apple ends support for Snow Leopard, Nintendo ends support for online multiplayer on Wii and DS, Sony to close most stores, Facebook retires email service, and retro games invading Adam Sandler. Read More into the beta testing phase, with 100 lucky people chosen from the Ara Scouts program to get prototype handsets. Project Ara is a Google-led effort to create a modular smartphone comprising individual components that can be replaced as and when needed. Google hopes to launch Project Ara Amazon's 3D Smartphone, Project Ara Release, Cortana Easter Eggs [Tech News Digest] Amazon's 3D Smartphone, Project Ara Release, Cortana Easter Eggs [Tech News Digest] Amazon's 3D smartphone, Google's modular Project Ara, preventing smartphone thefts, texting while driving, making your own 2048 game, and Clippy compromises Cortana on Windows Phone 8.1. Read More sometime in early 2015. Unless, of course, the beta proves to be a complete disaster.

Lindsay Lohan Sues Over GTA V

Lindsay Lohan is suing Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive over what she claims is a video game character based on her. The GTA V character, called Lacey Jonas, is a whiny actress trying to avoid being photographed by the paparazzi.

Lohan claims Jonas is an “unequivocal” representation of Lindsay Lohan, with her image, voice, and clothing depicted. Most gamers who have actually played Grand Theft Auto V will have assumed the character is merely a generic portrayal of all untalented Hollywood starlets. After all, lots of different things inspired elements of GTA V The Games, TV Shows, Movies, & Technology That Influenced GTA V The Games, TV Shows, Movies, & Technology That Influenced GTA V As with every medium, video games are heavily influenced by other things, and there are plenty of examples of this in GTA V. Read More .

Tetris On A T-Shirt

And finally, Tetris has boldly gone where no other video game has gone before… some guy’s T-shirt. In honor of the 30th anniversary of Tetris, Mark Kerger used 128 LEDs, 4 AA batteries, and an Arduino Uno to create a playable Tetris T-shirt. Now, that is dedication. It’s much easier, but perhaps not quite as impressive, to play Tetris clones on the Web Fall Head Over Heels With The Best Tetris Clones To Play Online [MUO Gaming] Fall Head Over Heels With The Best Tetris Clones To Play Online [MUO Gaming] Tetris is fast approaching its 30th birthday, having originally been released in the USSR in 1984. What's absolutely amazing is that Tetris has lost none of its appeal in those three decades, gaining new fans... Read More .

Your Views On Today’s Tech News

Do the Facebook experiments have you worried and/or livid? Have you ever used any of the services Yahoo is culling? Do you think Lindsay Lohan has a case against Rockstar over the Lacey Jonas character in Grand Theft Auto V?

Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Image Credit: David Blackwell via Flickr

  1. dragonmouth
    July 3, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Is Lindsay Lohan hoping for the Streisand Effect to revitalize/restart her career???

    • Dave P
      July 3, 2014 at 9:34 pm

      Solved!

  2. Koshy G
    July 3, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    The Right To Be Forgotten is a really horrible policy. I can’t believe people aren't freaking about this.

    • Dave P
      July 3, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      A lot of people did at the time it came in. I must admit I saw it as mostly positive, but I'm now realizing the full consequences of the ruling. The European Court of Justice may want to reconsider their stance on this. Fat chance, I know, but this could spiral out of control.

    • dragonmouth
      July 3, 2014 at 11:20 pm

      Beware of the Law of Unintended Consequences!

  3. Tom W
    July 3, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I don't particularly care about the ethics or privacy points that people are raising about Facebook, but I haven't yet seen anyone say this: if Facebook's manipulation is really that wide-spread, then that means that millions of statuses, messages, etc. have gone unseen because Facebook wanted to see what would happen. I've been noticing the effects for years, with statuses not appearing in a timeline set to show "most recent", nor appearing as notifications when requested. I've even had Facebook messages show up months after they were actually sent. I assumed this was some sort of glitch, a result of a site that grew to support 1bn active users in a few short years, but now I'm beginning to suspect that there may be another, far more deliberate, reason for it. If Facebook's experiments continue, people may leave simply because they can't trust Facebook to function reliably.

    • Koshy G
      July 3, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      The Right To Be Forgotten is a really horrible policy. I can't believe people aren't freaking about this.

    • Dave P
      July 3, 2014 at 9:32 pm

      That's an extremely good point, Tom. With only around 80 friends I'm pretty sure I see everything posted by everyone. But if you have more than a couple of hundred friends you'll never see a lot of what gets posted.

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