Items tagged with Facebook

Facebook is doing something unheard of, announcing at a press conference on Thursday that it is giving its users the right to weigh in on changes to its policies and Terms of Service (ToS), in effect creating what some have called a virtual "Bill of Rights." You probably remember the massive explosion that happened when Facebook modified its Terms of Service (ToS) such that it implied Facebook owned all your content, forever. They eventually backed down, reverting to the prior ToS, but the damage was done. Out of that fiasco has come a new initiative, though, one never before seen. In their press release, Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook said: "As people share more information on... Read more...
Facebook's Terms of Service (TOS) changed a couple of weeks ago, but wasn't noticed until brought to people's attention by the site Consumerist. Despite some fast tap-dancing by Facebook, the cat's out of the bag, and it's not going back in. In fact, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is preparing a formal complaint to be sent to the FTC. EPIC Executive Director Marc Rotenberg said: "We think that Facebook should go back to its original terms of service"Facebook made changes to their TOS which seemed to imply they owned you information in perpetuity. While denying it in a blog post and explaining it in a way that made sense:One of the questions about our new terms of use is whether... Read more...
There's a big kerfuffle brewing over on Facebook over the posting of photos showing moms breastfeeding their babies. Apparently, Facebook has not only pulled some of these photos, but it has also sent warnings to some users who posted the photos; and even terminated the account of at least one user. Facebook claims that the pictures it pulled were obscene. The ensuing response has been both a growing virtual protest and well as a physical protest that took place just this last weekend. On Saturday a "handful" of protesters showed up outside of the Facebook headquarters in downtown Palo Alto, California, to "sing, chant and breast-feed," to protest Facebook's actions. But what has drawn far more... Read more...
Following the 2006 suicide of Megan Meier over a MySpace hoax, Missouri revised the the state's already existing harassment law to include telephone and electronic communication, effectively outlawing cyberbullying. And now they are starting to prosecute violators of that law. The law has only been in effect for three months, and according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, seven individuals have been charged in cyberbullying cases.' Nicole Williams, 21, is charged with misdemeanor harassment, accused of sending harassing text messages to a 16-year-old girl and letting friends use her cell phone to leave threatening voice messages, including threats of rape. The heart of the disagreement? Jealousy... Read more...
As a company, Google has never really been one to sit back and just watch what the other guys are doing; instead, the company is continuously venturing into new areas. Now, they’re looking to get in on the social networking action by going head-to-head with Facebook’s newly launched Connect. Similarly named, Google’s new Friend Connect makes it possible for website owners to embed review forms, comments, photo-sharing widgets, and other social tools that pull content from established communities such as Flickr. The goal of Google Friend Connect is to make secure, distributed social networking easy. Behind the scenes, Friend Connect uses standards like OAuth and OpenID.  OAuth facilitates... Read more...
Social-networking giant Facebook is continuing to grow like mad. In fact, the company grew its active membership total from 90 million users in early July to 120 million now, according to Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer. While speaking at Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference, Sandberg also noted, “We got more (members) in the last three months than in the first three years of our existence.”If you consider the current population of the world is estimated to be about 6.7 billion, then almost 2% of the world’s population has a Facebook account. Facebook isn’t calling it quits, either. The company is hoping to continue to grow, and is adding partnerships in the process.Facebook... Read more...
Before you post photos of your night of drunken debauchery to your Facebook profile, you might want to consider what kind of impression it might make on prospective employers. And lest you think that baby-boomer-generation hiring managers wouldn't know Facebook if they tripped over it, think again: 22 percent of hiring managers say they research job candidates on social networking sites. It might seem like common sense for job hunters to keep their social networking profiles "clean," but hiring managers must not like what they are seeing, because 34 percent of those who research candidates on social networking sites "found content that caused them to dismiss the candidate from consideration."... Read more...
Triple word score! Hasbro can now stop worry about a server overload on its Facebook Scrabble application: only two days after disappearing from Facebook, Scrabulous is back, but with a new name (Wordscraper), and minor tweaks to hopefully eliminate any copyright issues. Obviously the name is a good start in terms of deflecting lawsuits. Besides that, the cosmetic changes to the board should help as well: the board now features circular tiles. But you might think that those seemingly minor changes wouldn't be enough to deflect a lawsuit. But there are other changes as well. You design or use a randomly designed board. This includes placing the multiple score bonus tiles ... and the multiples... Read more...
Don't worry, Rupert (Murdoch); MySpace still outdraws Facebook in terms of unique U.S. visitors. But in terms of worldwide visitors: second place.comScore statistics indicate that Facebook drew even with MySpace in April.  At that point, the networks interested about 115 million users each.  If we're allowed mentally to extend the growth lines through today, Facebook's likely closer to 120 million, and MySpace has almost undoubtedly been left behind.Keep an eye out for official global "nail in the coffin" reports, then.  Since different research firms come up with varying figures, they'll trickle in for a while, making MySpace's position look quite bad.Why the trend?  Many... Read more...
Facebook has 70 million members, so if the owners change something about it the users don't like, the angry virtual mob that appears outside the window with digital pitchforks and torches is something to behold. Facebook's attempt to share information about user's purchases through a utility they called Beacon didn't go down too well,  for instance, and the ensuing outcry included just about everything except calls for a guillotine outside Facebook's office. So Facebook is cautious now, and even though they've announced they're going to dramatically change the appearance of their website in June, they're quick to point out that it's only on a test basis. We'll go slow. Very beta. Nothing... Read more...
Facebook has been garnering all sorts of bad press lately about the iffy security and privacy of their users' information. Today's version of Whoops! for Facebook is a security lapse that allowed unauthorized strangers to see personal photographs posted in areas on Facebook that were supposed to be private. And I wasn't just making a cheap Paris Hilton joke in the headline; Paris Hilton has a Facebook page, and even she has pages labeled private that were exposed. Short of X-Rays, I can't imagine there's any more of Paris Hilton that we haven't seen, but Facebook users should be able to expect things labeled "private" to be private, shouldn't they?The Associated Press verified the loophole Monday... Read more...
You may recall that Chris Avenir, a first-year chemical engineering student at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, faced expulsion after it came to light that he had created a Facebook-based chemistry study group.  The horror, the horror!Chris Avenir's apparent exhortation to fellow Ryerson University engineering students to "input solutions" to assignment problems on the social networking site raised the ire of a professor.On Tuesday, the 18-year-old was told that while he wouldn't be expelled he would receive a zero on the assignment section of the chemistry course, which was worth 10 percent of his final grade.Despite that, Avenir still passed the course.He still passed the course... Read more...
Lance Ulanoff can't help noticing that the social networking site Facebook has more than a passing resemblance to AOL just before it went down like the Titanic: disgruntled users, ill-advised and unsuccessful attempts to monetize traffic, and inflated user rolls kept artificially high by the difficulty of removing your account from the service. Facebook has finally succumbed to pressure from users to allow them to remove their information from the service, so now all they have to do now is to start flooding the world with disks with installation hardware and the transformation will be complete.A recent report from The New York Times stated that the company is going to try to make it easier for... Read more...
Well, although there's likely a security hole there somewhere, the WSJ Online has accepted Facebook's friend request with the "Seen This?" feature.Hoping to tap into the growing buzz of online social networks, the Journal is adding a feature to its Web site that will allow readers to see which Journal stories are popular among that user's Facebook friends. The feature, which goes live early Wednesday morning, is called "SeenThis?" and is powered by a company called Loomia Inc. Financial terms weren't disclosed.This is the WSJ's Online second foray into friendship.  Remember they teamed with Digg earlier?... Read more...
Everyone keeps telling me how smart Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook is, but I'm beginning to have my doubts. Fresh on the heels of his disastrous foray into datamining with Facebook's Beacon service, he seems to be unclear on the concept of copyright infringement. Hasbro and Mattel, owners of the copyright for the Scrabble word game, is directing Facebook to remove Scrabulous, an online application that is one of the ten most popular on Facebook.The Scrabulous add-on was not created by Facebook but was built for the site by Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla - software developers based in Kolkata. [India]According to the Scrabulous website it has 594,924 daily active users - about a quarter... Read more...
Phishing scams grow more sophisticated every day. And as sites like banks and credit card companies become hardened against attack, crafty information thieves find ways to steal information further out in the digital landscape. Facebook users reported a phishing attack on Wednesday that is disguised as a message left for them from a trusted friend on their Facebook "wall," promising juicy pics, of course. The link looks like a standard Facebook link --if you don't notice the slashes have been replaced with periods.But the link leads to a fake Facebook login page hosted on a Chinese .cn domain. The fake page actually logs the victims into Facebook, but also keeps a copy of their user names and... Read more...
Facebook has gotten all the bad publicity anybody could ever want over their intrusive "Beacon"  marketing/advertising/information gathering widget. On top of everything else, researchers have discovered that despite Facebook's modification of their permission settings, Facebook is still collecting information about all your  purchases at retailers participating in the program, even if you are not logged on to Facebook. "When a Facebook user takes a Beacon-enabled action on a participating site, information is sent to Facebook in order for Facebook to operate Beacon technologically. If a Facebook user clicks "No, thanks" on the partner site notification, Facebook does not use the data... Read more...
Some users of online community Facebook are complaining that  Facebook's latest marketing widget, called Beacon,  allows other users to see what you're buying online from vendors participating in the program. They feel it's an invasion of their privacy. You're allowed to opt out of the process,  and given two opportunities to do so for each automatic listing, but there doesn't seem to be any way to opt out of the program entirely. The idea is that if users see a friend buy or do something, they'd take that action as an endorsement for a movie, a band or a soft drink.But it also raises privacy concerns.Mike Mayer, for instance, saw a feed item saying his boyfriend, Adam Sofen, just... Read more...
Just about everybody has heard some sort of interesting search-related fact that has to do with pornography on the Internet.  First it was that searches for Jesus Christ came up with less results than the word porn on Google.  Then it became a big deal to be 'bigger than porn' when it came to Google hits.But the number of search results doesn't accurately depict the number of searches on a subject, just the volume of related material.  So who's 'bigger than porn' this week?  According to Hitwise it's none other than Facebook, at least with one of its key demographics:"Perhaps a more interesting — and more accurate — way to figure out where college students are going online... Read more...
Microsoft actually managed to beat Google at an acquisition, or rather, in this case, a partial stake in a company.  Google had also been rumored to have been pursuing a minority stake in Facebook.The final deal resulted in a 1.6 percent stake in the social-networking company, notably smaller than the 5 to 10 percent that had been talked about in recent weeks. "We are pleased to take our Microsoft partnership to the next level," Owen Van Natta, vice president of operations and chief revenue officer at Facebook, said in a statement. "We think this expanded relationship will allow Facebook to continue to innovate and grow as a technology leader and major player in social computing, as well... Read more...
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