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...
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 a high-resolution photo by tilting your phone; watch auto-play videos spring to life as you scroll through... 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 as hoaxes, while also adding an annotation to posts that have received many of these types of reports... 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 have also joined the Facebook team, though the majority of employees will soon be looking for new work.A... 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 is that it's cluttering up their Twitter feeds with junk posts. Image Source: Flickr (Rosaura Ochoa)... 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 cares to read, while others can be useful, such as websites automatically posting interesting content... 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, Chinese media reports that the man's claim had been investigated by police and found to be untrue. It... Read more...
People have a tendency to get ticked off if you mess with their heads, especially without their permission. Facebook, the world's largest social network, found this out the hard way when it revealed that it had altered nearly 700,000 user feeds to study people's emotions. Not cool, but are these types of studies necessary in order to build a better online experience? Online dating site OkCupid seems to think so. "OkCupid doesn’t really know what it’s doing. Neither does any other website. It’s not like people have been building these things for very long, or you can go look up a blueprint or something. Most ideas are bad. Even good ideas could be better. Experiments are how... Read more...
Soccer might not be the most popular sport in the U.S., but it's certainly growing on Americans. Of course, soccer enjoys an enormous global audience, and if anyone needs reminding of that, just check out the World Cup activity on Facebook. At only halfway through the tournament, there are more than 1 billion related posts, likes, and comments on the world's most popular social playground. That makes this year's World Cup -- a tournament that's held every four years -- the most active topic ever on Facebook, according to data obtained by Reuters. Mighty impressive, especially since there are two more weeks of World Cup action, giving the tournament ample time to set new records. Image Source:... Read more...
1 2 Next