Sep 26, 2019

Facebook charts a path toward a more social virtual reality

Image: Facebook

Facebook has long talked about the social possibilities of virtual reality, even as the core market remains gamers looking to enjoy their own solitary fantasy world.

State of play: On Wednesday, the company offered more details on its long-term plan to transform VR into a social experience.

  • At Oculus Connect, Facebook unveiled Horizon, a more immersive multiplayer VR social experience that will launch in a closed beta early next year.
  • In an interview with CNET, CEO Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook wants "to help shape the next computing platform to be more about interacting with people and not just apps and tasks."

Why it matters: Facebook wants to make its $2 billion Oculus bet pay off; even more than that it wants to establish itself as a central player in what many see as computing's next frontier, rather than have to play catch-up as it did with mobile.

Go deeper: Paul Allen's legacy includes a virtual reality "Holodome"

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Warren-Zuckerberg feud intensifies ahead of 2020

Photos: Getty Images

The battle between Facebook’s chief executive and one of the top 2020 Democratic candidates for president is escalating as the election inches closer.

Our thought bubble: Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Mark Zuckerberg are convenient political targets for one another. Warren can paint Facebook as an example of capitalism gone wild, while Facebook can point to Warren as a misguided regulator who wants to break up its business because she doesn't understand how it works.

Go deeperArrowOct 13, 2019

Facebook takes down Russian and Iranian misinformation operations

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook announced Monday that it had removed a network of "coordinated inauthentic behavior" originating in Russia, as well as three others originating in Iran, bringing the total number of such "information operations" it has acted against in the last year to more than 50.

Why it matters: Some of the activity was linked to Russia's Internet Research Agency, the government-backed operation that flooded social media with propaganda during the 2016 election, creating networks of fake accounts and, per CNN, targeting Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's campaign.

Go deeperArrowOct 21, 2019

The costs of Facebook's free speech

Photo: Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg made an impassioned plea on behalf of free speech Thursday. Then a lot of free speech came back at him.

Driving the news: Speaking at Georgetown University, Facebook's CEO defended the company's decision to continue to post political ads — including some by President Trump's campaign — that make demonstrably false claims.

Go deeperArrowOct 18, 2019