Items tagged with Social Networks

Facebook has been catching heat over allegations that its news team frequently buries conservative news topics, allegations it denies. Nevertheless, the world's top social network is making some changes to its Trending topics feature that promotes certain news stories over others in an effort to make the process more automated and presumably less prone to human bias. It starts with news summaries. Going forward, Trending news articles will no longer require people to write descriptions of the content. Facebook skirts around the issue of bias by pitching the change as a necessary means to bring... Read more...
It might seem counterintuitive, but new research hailing from Australia is suggesting that teenagers who play video gamers actually score higher on academic tests than their non-gamer counterparts. The data was compiled from over 12,000 Australian high schoolers that took the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). PISA is an internationally-recognized test that is used in over 70 countries worldwide, and assesses the academic competency of 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics and science. Alberto Posso, an Associate Professor from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology,... Read more...
Starting soon Instagram users will be able to silence obnoxious trolls by turning off comments on their own posts. It's not the best solution in the world to dealing with Internet butt-hats who get their jollies by being jerks to others behind the relative anonymity that the Internet provides, but for those who are fed up with nasty comments, it will be an option. Social networking platforms like Instagram, which Facebook acquired in 2012 for $1 billion, have the unenviable task of finding a balance between letting a community organically grow and striking down users who cross a not always clearly... Read more...
Every so often, Facebook does something that sets off the alarm of privacy advocates—perhaps it's inevitable when you're the largest social network on the planet with over 1.65 billion users. Right now that something is tapping into your smartphone's location data to suggest friends based on where you're at or where you've been. Why is this unsettling? Getting past the theoretical situations and jumping straight into a real-world example that's a bit creepy on Facebook's part, Kashmir Hill at Fusion writes an anecdotal account of a man on Facebook who suspected it had tracked his location to figure... Read more...
If you haven't changed your LinkedIn password in several years, now would be a good time to get on that. Not only is it good practice to change passwords much more frequently than that, there's a chance that your login details were compromised four years ago and are just now being shopped around in an underground marketplace. A hacker who goes by the name "Peace" is shopping around account information of 117 million LinkedIn users. The data was stolen during a security breach at LinkedIn in 2012, at which time around 6.5 million encrypted passwords were posted to the web. LinkedIn never said how... Read more...
Part of Twitter's charm is that messages are short and to the point. The 140-character limit on tweets makes them easily and quickly digestible, negating the need for tl;dr summaries at the end. On the flip side, it can sometimes be tough getting an idea across in 140 characters. and it's even more challenging when links and photos take up part of the character count. That's going to changeAt present links take up 23 characters, and that's after Twitter automatically shortens the URL. That leaves users posting a link with 117 characters to get their message across, though not for long. Citing "a... Read more...
A million users isn't cool. You know what's cool? A billion users...in a single day! That's the milestone Mark Zuckerberg's social network passed for the first time ever on Monday, and not that it needs put into perspective, but that works out to one in seven people on this planet we call Earth using Facebook. Zuckerberg made the announcement on his personal Facebook page, though he didn't provide fine grain details such as how many of those visits were from fake profiles. Fake or incorrectly created profiles (personal profiles that should have been created as Pages) have been a nuisance for the... Read more...
Be careful what you post in jest on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and even YouTube, lest the U.S. government labels you as a potential terrorist threat. It's the online world we live in these days, and in an effort to thwart the bad guys (and gals) before they can do harm, a new bill would encourage social media sites to notify federal authorities of online "terrorist activity."According to Reuters, which claims to have seen a text of the bill that was approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee, social media sites would have the green light to tattle on posts that talk about... Read more...
Facebook gave the world a heads up earlier this month that it was planning to host full-length news articles as part of a new initiative called Instant Articles, and now just over a week later, the social network is ready to make good on that promise. What that means for you (assuming you use Facebook) is a better reading experience, versus clicking through to an external site that sometimes takes up to 8 seconds to load. In addition to speed, Instant Articles boasts a few interactive features that publishers can take advantage of. For example, you can zoom in and get a closer look at parts of... Read more...
Folks, there is no such thing as a deadly snow snake, even though someone may have posted a disturbing article on your Facebook feed warning of a white snake that hides in the snow and, once bitten by it, causes your blood to freeze. While these and other hoaxes may seem obviously fake to some, they often spread with reckless abandon across Facebook, and that's something the social networking site is actively working to reduce. To combat these false stories, the Facebook team rolled out an update to the News Feed that reduces the distribution of posts that people have reported... Read more...
Unless you happen to hail from north of the border or otherwise follow the digital design industry, you probably have never heard of Teehan+Lax, one of Toronto's most successful digital design agencies. And it's a name you may soon forget, though three of its top partners are headed to Facebook in what's being described as a talent acquisition, not a takeover. That means Facebook has hired the three partners in question -- Jon Lax, Geoff Teehan, and David Gillis -- as opposed to buying out the company, which will reportedly shut its doors. Some other members of the senior designers at the firm... Read more...
Like just about every social networking service, Twitter tries out new things every once in awhile. Unfortunately for Twitter, people are creatures of habit, so these changes don't always go over very well, particularly the most recent one -- now when you click on the star icon to favorite a tweet, it will get retweeted on the main timeline. According to The Next Web, this new functionality has been in place at least since the beginning of August for some users, though it appears that Twitter has begun expanding the feature to more users over the past several days. The problem users have with this... Read more...
In a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Twitter disclosed that around 23 million of its monthly active users are actually bots, or programs that automatically post updates "without any discernible additional user-initiated action." That works out to about 8.5 percent of of the microblogging service's total monthly active users. This is an important metric for advertisers to consider because those automated programs aren't going to generate any sales from ads. They do, however, serve different purposes -- some are nefarious, such as spamming nonsense that nobody... Read more...
A man in China has been arrested for writing on WeChat that three people carrying explosives were shot and killed by police outside a hospital in the eastern province of Jiangsu. Chinese authorities detained the individual just hours after government officials issued new rules on instant messaging tools, one of which bans spreading panic. This is the first time someone has been arrested in China for such a thing. According to Reuters, this is part of a broader state initiative to squash the spread of rumors and obscene material online, and also to censor political commentary. In this instance,... Read more...
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