Items tagged with Social Networks

Facebook has policies in place that are intended to curb bad behavior, including hate speech. Yet horrible things get posted on the social network (and other places on the web, such as Twitter), sometimes seemingly faster than moderators can remove them. Part of the problem is that the battle never ends, but even so, there is room for improvement. Facebook knows this, and has admitted to (and apologized for) making mistakes when it comes to hate speech. "We’re sorry for the mistakes we have made—they do not reflect the community we want to help build," Facebook Vice President Justin Osofsky said in a statement. "We must do better." Osofsky's apology on behalf of Facebook came in response... Read more...
Have you read about the morgue employee who fell asleep on the job and was accidentally cremated? Or what about Denzel Washington referring to former President Barack Obama as the "criminal-in-chief?" These things did not happen, nor did an NFL team declare bankruptcy over player's taking a knee in protest. These are examples of what we now refer to as fake news, and it is an ongoing problem for Facebook. In an effort to promote factual stories over fictional ones, Facebook announced a couple of changes. The first and perhaps biggest one is that Facebook is moving away from the use of Disputed Flags to report fake news stories, and will instead push links to related articles to give news items... Read more...
Facebook is a mixed bag, isn't it? On one hand, Facebook is a wonderful platform for keeping in touch with old friends and family members when you're separated by distance. Through the wonders of social media, you can stay plugged into the lives of people who might otherwise be lost acquaintances. But in order to do that, you have to wade through a lot of...stuff (feel free to substitute a different "s" word). You know, annoying posts that plead for Likes and Shares. That's not the only problem with Facebook, though it is one with high visibility. The good news is, Facebook is tweaking its algorithm to suppress these types of "spammy" posts. "People have told us that they dislike spammy posts... Read more...
Facebook users often find themselves cruising the news feed looking for videos to check out during downtime. The videos we all watch right now are, for the most part, created by our friends or amateur content producers, but that is changing. Facebook has announced "Watch", which is described as a "new platform for shows on Facebook." Watch will be accessible from mobile, desktop, and laptop platforms as well as via Facebook TV apps. Shows that fans can check out on Watch can be live or recorded, and will follow a theme or storyline according to Facebook. Watch will feature a Watchlist to help you keep up with all the shows you enjoy. There are personalization options inside Watch that let users... Read more...
Policing the world's largest social playground in which there are nearly 2 billion monthly active users must be a rather daunting task. This is the Internet, after all, where many people feel empowered to say inappropriate things and act in a manner that is completely different than how they might act in real life. Underscoring this challenge is an in-depth company handbook that exists at Facebook, parts of which have been leaked to the web sparking a controversy. Through thousands of slides and pictures, Facebook illustrates to employees what should be done when encountering hate speech, violent content, and more. But there are inconsistencies in some of Facebook's examples that have made it... Read more...
Imagine for a moment if British forces never arrived at Lexington and Concord over 240 years ago. The colonial militia would have accused Paul Revere of spreading fake news after his infamous midnight ride to warn patriots of the advancing redcoats. It did not play out that way, of course, but had he lived in an era of fake news, who knows what might have happened. More than two centuries later, the proliferation of bogus news is fast becoming an epidemic, especially on Facebook, which is taking more steps to combat the problem. Through a new update that was rolled out yesterday, Facebook said its users should see fewer posts and ads in their News Feeds that link to "low-quality webpage experiences."... Read more...
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 Trending stories to as many people as possible, and apparently that's "hard to do" if relying on summarizing... 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, came to some rather interesting conclusions from the data he compiled. Analyzing the test results showed... 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 visible line with their comments. Through a set of rules dictating what can and can't be posted,... 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 out who he was meeting with. The man was a parent who recently attended a support group for suicidal... 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 people were affected by the data breach, and in this day and age where major hacks occur with frightening... 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 person familiar with the matter," Bloomberg says Twitter has decided to no longer count photos and... 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 world's largest social network. "When we talk about our financials, we use average numbers, but this... 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 "explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction." The bill has already been sent... Read more...
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