Items tagged with social media

Wherever you go in this world, there are some idiotic laws on the books. For example, in Georgia, it is illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket if it is Sunday (seriously, look it up). Not to be outdone, there is a truly baffling law in Malaysia that, if strictly enforced, would require anyone who uploads video to the web (including social media sites) to obtain an expensive license. This applies to both professional outlets and just regular citizens, the both of which are supposed to pay 50,000 MYR (~$11,725 in US currency) for a film license, even if just uploading a video to TikTok or Facebook. Whether the law would actually be enforced on individuals is not clear, but strictly... Read more...
TikTok has taken the social media scene by storm with short-form videos from everyday users and celebrities alike. It's mostly lighthearted and fun, but there is also an ugly side to social media, and I'm not talking about the aesthetic appeal of users who participate. That is what TikTok is doing, quite literally, in a directive to its moderators to censor content by people who are "chubby" or "ugly," among other traits, according to The Intercept. In documents viewed by the site, TikTok's higher ups outlined rules for moderators in regards to which types of people should have their content suppressed. Those with an "abnormal body shape" or who have an "obvious beer belly" fell into the censored... Read more...
Could YouTube partly be responsible for the increase in “flat earthers”? Researchers have discovered that many flat earthers were persuaded by YouTube videos. Many of these videos had been recommended or promoted by YouTube’s algorithm. A “flat earther” is a person who believes that the earth is a flat plane or disc instead of a sphere. Many ancient civilizations including the Greeks, Egyptians, and Mesopotamians held this belief and incorporated the theory into their cosmology. Although modern scientists have concluded that the earth is a sphere, the flat earth theory never truly disappeared. The theory has recently gained popularity thanks to social media. Dr.... Read more...
When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently testified before Congress, one of the common criticisms by multiple elected officials is that the social network has a history of screwing up in various ways, and then later apologizing and promising to do better. That's also what happened with the Cambridge Analytica scandal that prompted the testimony. Now just weeks later, Facebook is apologizing once again, this time for a bug that changed the default settings for millions of users, causing them to publicly share posts that they may have thought were private. "We recently found a bug that automatically suggested posting publicly when some people were creating their Facebook posts. We’d like... Read more...
Many people are angry that details about their likes and dislikes are used to focus ads at them to sell things on Facebook. People are even angrier that such data is at times abused by advertisers and other companies for their own gain, which was the case in the Facebook Cambridge Analytica debacle. To address these concerns, Facebook has posted a new Hard Questions series that is penned by Rob Goldman, VP of Ads. In this post, Goldman talks about what it took for Facebook to build such a massive network and keep it free. He says that advertising is what allows Facebook to remain free. Goldman also notes that supporting the site with advertising requires a "steadfast commitment to privacy" which... Read more...
Facebook is in the midst the most ferocious user backlash it has ever faced after its data privacy policies (or lack there of) have come to light. Much of the user outrage focuses on Cambridge Analytica's capturing and use of data on a huge number of Facebook users. Facebook is also facing ire over allegedly harvesting Android call and SMS data for years, something Facebook denies. Because of all this negative reaction from users, people familiar with the matter claim that the social media giant has decided to skip the launch of any new home products at its developer conference in May. The new hardware products were to include connected speakers with digital-assistant and video chat capabilities.... Read more...
Maybe you already knew this, or at least had a hunch, but Facebook and other social networks are intentionally designed to trigger an emotional response to keep users coming back, according to Sean Parker, who amassed a fortune helping launch the world's largest social playground with Mark Zuckerberg. Now a philanthropist, Parker is at a point of reflection in his life, and he is not necessarily proud of what he helped create at Facebook. In an interview with Axios, Parker waxed candid on social networks and the psychological element that is at play. The way he describes it, the design behind Facebook is almost like brain hacking, in that the goal is to get into users' heads and give them a rush... Read more...
Many argue that we are now connected more than ever. Human beings can have conversations with one another in an instant regardless of location or time zone thanks to social media. American psychologists recently determined, however, that social media sites have only intensified experiences of social isolation. Psychologists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine examined the use of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr. The team questioned 2,000 adults between the ages of nineteen and thirty-two. The study concluded that adults who spend more than two hours a day on social media were more than twice as likely to have feelings of loneliness. Dr. Brian Primack... Read more...
People have been holding Facebook's feet to the fire over what is perceived as a fake news problem, which is a pretty big deal when you consider the number of eyeballs the world's largest social playground attracts on a daily basis. However, Facebook is not alone in this regard. It is being reported that Reddit, "the front page of the Internet," can be manipulated with fake news with the collective effort of just a few people and less than $200. Reddit is the 24th most popular website in the world and ranks 7th in the United States. It uses a system of upvotes and downvotes to regulate content and fend off erosion from the inside—posts that are deemed newsworthy, authentic, or otherwise worth... Read more...
The spread of misinformation and fake news via the internet is running rampant. As both a news writer and teaching assistant/college professor, I am in the unique position of not only battling misinformation online, but also in a university classroom. A Stanford University study recently discovered that many preteens and teenagers are unable to detect fake news, despite having tools at their disposal to to determine the validity of content. These future voters and leaders were unable to tell whether or not the articles they read were legitimate, accurate, or unbiased. Social media does not appear to be helping the issue. Facebook, as well as many other sites, have been accused of interfering... Read more...
The grim reaper made a surprise visit to Facebook heading into the weekend and collected a bunch of souls, including that of Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of the world's largest social network turned graveyard due to a glitch. Many users logged into Facebook only to find that the site was reporting them as deceased, turning their once lively profile into an online memorial. Creepy, right? Rest assured, Zuckerberg and many others are still alive and kicking despite their bugged out profiles suggesting the contrary. I'm guessing Zuckerberg isn't dead either... pic.twitter.com/9M9uaVsvjR — Peter Stringer (@peterstringer) November 11, 2016 "Remembering Mark Zuckerberg," the whiz kid's profile... Read more...
Posting so-called stories to social media is one of the hottest trends right now, though it also means there exists some overlap. That's especially true with Instagram stories and Snapchat stories, two very similar things, though the former is introducing some nifty new tricks that will help it stand apart from the latter. One of those tricks is the use of links.Instagram is testing the ability to add links at the bottom of stories. Verified account holders can access the feature and add clickable URLs to their stories, which appear viewers can access by clicking on "See More" at the bottom or by swiping up. It's a clever and cleaner looking alternative to posting the actual link, some of which... Read more...
Scoot your booty, LinkedIn, and make room for Facebook. The latter is encroaching on the former's territory by testing a new feature that allows administrators of business Pages to post job listings in search of new hires.  Admins can also receive applications from potential job candidates, giving business even more incentive to concentrate their social media efforts on the largest social playground on the planet."Based on behavior we've seen on Facebook, where many small businesses post about their job openings on their Page, we're running a test for Page admins to create job posts and receive applications from candidates," a Facebook spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch after it noticed... Read more...
Mark Zuckerberg is a big picture person. Being that way should not conflict with how investors buy and sell stock, though it often does in an era where knee jerk reactions in the stock market are commonplace. Case in point, Facebook tore it up in the third quarter, bringing in $7.01 billion in revenue, up a massive 56 percent from the $4.5 billion it collected in the same quarter a year ago. And it more than doubled its profit for the quarter, coming out ahead $2.38 billion after paying the bills, up 166 percent from $896 million year-over-year. So why is Facebook's share price down more than 5 percent this morning? Today's investors are fickle, that's why, especially in the technology sector.... Read more...
How do you pass on a social media account to another user? The White House recently released its plan to preserve President Obama’s social media contributions, while still giving their hand-me-down social media accounts to the next president of the United States. First, the president’s Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, and YouTube accounts will all be passed along to the 45th president on January 20th, 2017. These accounts will retain their number of followers, but will otherwise start off as a blank slate. President Obama’s White House content will be preserved and made available through the National Archive and Record Administration (NARA). He will remain active on social media through... Read more...
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has accused the election of being rigged with the participation of a biased media, and if the largest social network in the world started deleting his posts, he'd have more ammunition to fire off those claims. Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg isn't going to let that happen, though his underlings continue to put pressure on the site's co-founder to do exactly that, claiming that some of Trump's posts on banning Muslims run afoul of the site's rules on hate speech. Citing unnamed sources with familiarity on the subject, The Wall Street Journal says the topic of whether or not to delete some of Trump's post is a heated one. It's a point of contention among... Read more...
In case bumper stickers, yard signs, and witty (or sometimes offensive) t-shirts aren't getting your point across, you can now let the world know who you're planning to vote for in the upcoming U.S. presidential election by endorsing a candidate on Facebook. And if you're lucky (or unlucky?), your candidate of choice might even feature your endorsement on his or her Facebook page. This is a new feature that Facebook is rolling out. To endorse a candidate for political office, head over to that person's Facebook page, select the Endorsement tab, and choose Endorse. You can attach a message to your post and then decide whether to make your endorsement public, in which case the candidate may choose... Read more...
You can expect to see more canned content and less of the interesting stuff from the professional football teams you follow on social media. That's because the NFL, or No Fun League National Football League, has issued new rules to teams that prevent them from posting certain content such as animated GIFs, lest they be hit with a fine of up to $100,000. Image Source: Flickr (Josh Hallett) All 32 NFL teams received a pair of memos outlining the new policies. Starting on Wednesday, teams will no longer be allowed to record video inside the stadium during the game and post it to Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media account. They're also barred from streaming live video within the stadium,... Read more...
It looks as though Facebook still has some work to do with its Trending topics feature that's supposed to promote popular and relevant news stories from around the web. That's how it works in theory, anyway. In practice, Facebook's algorithm has struggled to discern between real and fake news articles, a point that was underscored when it recently directed users to a hoax tabloid article surrounding the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Conspiracy theories abound on the events of 9/11. This particular piece by The Daily Star feeds into the most popular among them, claiming there exists video evidence that "proves bombs were planted in Twin Towers" and that engineers and a "growing community... Read more...
Fans of animated GIFs (pronounced with a soft "G," according to Steve Wilhite, inventor of the Graphics Interchange Format) have reason to rejoice. Twitter has silently bumped up the file size limit for posting GIFs to 15MB on the web, which is triple the amount of the original 5MB limit. Expect to see more animated GIFs as a result of the change. Posting GIFs on Twitter is already a popular thing to do. According to Twitter, its users shared over 100 million GIFs in 2015, which prompted the microblogging site to add a GIF search function in early 2016. "Whenever you’re composing a Tweet or Direct Message, you can search and browse the GIF library. So if you’re looking for the perfect cat yawn... Read more...
As much as we sometimes complain about our Facebook feeds being cluttered with political drivel, annoying rants, and all sorts of nonsense, that's more a reflection of our friends and family than the social media service itself. As a company, Facebook has taken the idea that with great power comes great responsibility to heart, whether it's attempting to connect all corners of the planet to the Internet or, as announced on Tuesday, updating its resources to help people with suicidal thoughts. Facebook developed a set of tools in collaboration with mental health organizations to help people who might be injuring themselves on purpose or thinking about suicide. The tools were initially launched... Read more...
You wouldn't know it by the way people with smartphones tend to ignore their physical surroundings in favor of whatever is on their digital screens, but use of social media apps is down. That's according to market research firm SimilarWeb, which compared data on Android apps over a yearlong period. What the study found was that in almost all countries, Android users are spending less time on all four major social media apps, including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. In some territories, the drop was significant. That was the case for Twitter usage in France, which dropped from an average of 19.8 minutes per day in the first quarter of 2015 to 13.12 minutes in the first quarter of... Read more...
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