Items tagged with social-networking

Facebook catches flack frequently for poor privacy practices and questionable decisions, like not allowing people to opt out of phone number searches. The privacy violations could mean a massive fine in the billions of dollars for the social network. Despite all its criticisms, when the service goes down, people lose their minds. Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp were all down for users around the world yesterday. The massive outage is the largest that the social network has suffered since 2008. The big difference between the disruption in 2008 and the one yesterday is the massive amount of growth for Facebook. There were 2.3 billion users impacted this week compared to 150... Read more...
Google is ready to throw in the towel on its languid and long-abandoned Google+ social networking service. Google+ was created to counter the growing social media (and advertising) threat of Facebook, but has failed miserably in just about every measurable way. We’re now learning that Google+ was compromised by another bug, which resulted in the information of 52.5 million users being exposed to developers. The bug was found in the Google+ API, and Google says that there was a six-day window in which the data was readily accessible before it fixed the breach. While it was exploited, developers were able to access personal data even if a user’s profile was not set to be publicly... Read more...
Social media provides a lot of value to the world, but a new study suggests that we should start taking it in smaller doses - ideally no more than 30 minutes per day. The experimental study was conducted by Melissa G. Hunt and others at the University of Pennsylvania, and indications so far show that modest use of social media can directly improve our mental well-being. With the help of 143 participants, two groups were created. The first group was limited to 10 minutes of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat each day. The other group consisted of people who didn't have to change their habits at all. Before the study was kicked off, every participant filled out a "well-being survey" to gauge... Read more...
Facebook can’t seem to get out of its own way when it comes to security. The biggest security issue for the social network was the Cambridge Analytica fiasco that gave the company access to information on 87 million users. In June, Facebook had another security failure when private posts of 14 million users were shared publicly. Today we learn of yet another security breach that resulted in the theft of personal details on 50 million users. Facebook became aware of the breach on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 25 and said that the attack took advantage of the Facebook code for "View As". The feature lets people see their profile as other users would see it, but an exploit that the attackers... 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...
One of the most controversial things that Snapchat has done in its history was to move from the traditional reverse chronological order to a feed that was sorted using an algorithm. Many hated this change because they wanted to see the newest posts from friends at the top, not what Snapchat thought was most important to place at the top of their feed. Reports are coming in that for some users the algorithm has been tossed out and the stories are sorted in reverse chronological order with the newest posts at the top again. Users who are seeing the feed change report that the chronological Stories feed is seen in the design where there are just Stories and All tabs and the design with separate... Read more...
Facebook has been facing significant user backlash over the last few months mostly due to the Cambridge Analytica fiasco that saw data on millions of Facebook users stolen. That issue will see Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying in front of Congress. More recently, Facebook is facing another backlash after it deleted messages sent by Zuckerberg from users' inboxes. Facebook has now announced that the Unsend feature will be rolled out to all Facebook users. Some see this as a sort of cover-up where Facebook can say it was testing a feature and that it will now be given to all users. The social network has promised to not unsend any more of Zuckerberg's messages until the feature is available... Read more...
Facebook users have been asking for a way to downvote things they don't like on the social network for years now and it finally looks like the social network is taking steps to allow that to happen. The new feature is a downvote button that lives right underneath comments made on posts on the network that falls in line between the reply and thumbs up counter on the comments. The new feature began to appear on Thursday and as of now, only a few Facebook users are said to have access to it. However, the feature is available on any comment that is made on a public page post. However, those who are thinking the Facebook downvote option functions like the feature of the same name on reddit would... Read more...
Facebook is under constant scrutiny from various parties due to its sheer dominance of the social networking spaces. The company has been making some interesting decisions of late with the most recent change being an announcement this morning that the social network would begin favoring local news content over national news in news feeds. Facebook is now taking heat for targeting kids younger than 13 due to the rollout of the new Messenger Kids app. A group of child health advocates has penned an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg urging him to kill off the Messenger Kids app, which launched back in December. Despite the strict parental controls that the app features, health advocates... Read more...
Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been working hard to make some big changes to the way the social network operates. Facebook has promised to rethink the news feed users see and prioritize interactions with friends and family over news. Facebook has also made changes that will allow users to choose what news sources they trust, while ones that are untrustworthy will be purged. Zuckerberg has taken to the social network once again to talk about the next step in the revamping of the site.  The new change will be to promote news from local sources. Zuckerberg wrote, "People consistently tell us they want to see more local news on Facebook. Local news helps us understand the issues that... Read more...
Snapchat isn’t having any of it, when it comes to employees leaking confidential data. The parent company of the popular app, Snap Inc., has laid down the law with a new company-wide memo that tells employees that it could seek jail time against them and that they could be personally financially liable if they leak company information to the public. This comes in the wake of some leaked Snapchat user metrics that the company didn’t want the public to see. Snapchat takes its security very seriously, with employees in some positions not even allowed to talk about what they are working on among other employees. Employees in the company are left in the dark about new features that... Read more...
Facebook made an announcement about a week ago noting it was ready to make some big changes in how it handles the News Feed. These changes were welcome by most users, but the social network isn't stopping there. Facebook is now calling on users to help it ensure that the news you see in your feed is from quality sources. This is what Facebook says is the second major update it will embark on this year to ensure that you consume high-quality content. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote, "Last week I announced a major change to encourage meaningful social interactions with family and friends over passive consumption. As a result, you'll see less public content, including news, video, and posts from... Read more...
Facebook has rolled out a new tool that allows you to see if you liked any information that was linked to the Russian accounts accused of having been influential during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. According to U.S. intelligence agencies, the Russian government exploited social media, particularly targeting Facebook,to influence the outcome of the election.  The Facebook tool is a page on their Help Center that the user must log into using their credentials or with their Instagram account. Once logged in, the user can then see if they were influenced by the Internet Research Agency (IRA), which is a Russian agency that is associated with spreading false information and inflammatory... Read more...
Facebook is always making tweaks and introducing new features to lure in the handful of people out there who aren't already on the social network, and to keep those who frequently use Facebook happily posting pictures of food, dogs and kids. The social giant recently announced that it was bringing a new streaming video service to the network with a new Watch tab set to debut with some shows that Facebook has paid for itself. Facebook is now back with an announcement that it has made the News Feed easier to navigate. Facebook's Shali Nguyen, Product Design Manager and Ryan Freitas, Design Director, wrote, "Every person’s News Feed is different and populated with a unique set of stories — from... Read more...
Your Tinder profile may be getting some unwelcome attention, since a machine learning platform recently uploaded facial data from roughly 40,000 Tinder profiles. The data is available on GitHub and has been uploaded under a CC0: Public Domain License. The data set “People of Tinder” was released with six downloadable zip file, four of which contained around 10,000 profile images apiece and two files with sample sets of 500 images per gender. Some users have scrapped multiple photos, so it is possible that there are less than 40,000 images. The profile pictures are from Tinder users around the Bay Area of northern California.Stuart Colianni, the developer of the data set, stated that he released... Read more...
For some folks, Facebook's Messenger mobile app has felt like a stick in the mud. Prior to a couple of years ago, messaging people through Facebook was very easy - you could either load up the Facebook app, the Facebook website in a browser, or, if you were so inclined, use the dedicated Facebook Messenger app. Today, your options have become "optional". When Facebook forced us all to transition over to the Messenger app if we wanted the ability to keep in contact with people while on-the-go, a second option for desperate people remained: just load Facebook up in a mobile Web browser, and chat to people that way, in effect mimicking the experience on the desktop. Well, if you've been using this... Read more...
You may have hundreds or even thousands of Facebook friends, but chances are that the vast majority of them would turn their backs on you in a flash if you were truly in need, or at least that's what a recent study suggests. Research from Oxford University’s Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary psychology, found that most people are terrible at maintaining relationships with their Facebook friends. In addition, the actual number of Facebook friends that a person can rely on or have a true "emotional connection" with is similar in number to the friends that you have in the real world face-to-face interactions. This should really shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone reading this, as many Facebook... Read more...
Although--or actually because--LinkedIn is a professional social network, the inability to block other users was problematic, allowing stalkers, bullies, and toxic former coworkers or bosses to keep tabs on you. LinkedIn has now added a Member Blocking features that allows you to block anyone on the site. In a blog post, head of LinkedIn Trust & Safety Paul Rockwell, the company said that “We built this feature not only because it was a feature our members requested, but because we also knew it was the right thing to do.” LinkedIn HQ To block a user, you just have to go to their profile, click an arrow, and select Block or Report; that user, incidentally, will not be notified... Read more...
Facebook’s new Trending feature is rolling out, and it’s pretty much exactly what you think it is--a sidebar in your NewsFeed that shows you the hottest topics trending on Facebook, with the ones Facebook’s algorithms think you’d be interested in featured most prominently. If you want to know more about a given headline, just click the subject and you’ll be taken to a new page where you can see all the content related to that story, including which of your friends has posted it or commented on it as well as any random posts related to the topic. Trending topics on Facebook has been happening in a de facto manner for a long time, just because of the nature of social... Read more...
A study from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University examining the factors that cause people to be more susceptible to phishing attacks found strong correlations between gender, certain personality traits, and openness orientation to social networking and being more vulnerable to such an attack. The three authors of the study, which include individuals from computer science; electrical and computer engineering; and technology, culture, and society areas, used the Big Five personality framework as a reference point in determining the traits that might contribute to a greater vulnerability to a phishing attack. The five dimensions are Neuroticism, Extroversion, Openness, Agreeableness,... Read more...
After nine years of rolling out new features and performing rather frequent facelifts, Facebook is getting what until now was one of the most glaringly absent features: comment threads. Or as Facebook is calling them, “Replies”. At its core, there’s little to say about Replies: on Pages and for public figures, users can comment on someone else’s comment. However, Facebook added another element, which is that the “most active and engaging” conversations will float to the top so visitors will see them first. In a blog post, Facebook’s Vadim Lavrusik said that different users will see the threads differently based on their own connections, and in general... Read more...
Mark Zuckerberg has every reason to smile; according to analyst Gregory Lyons of iCrossing, Facebook will reach 1 billion users in a matter of months. Facebook has already cruised past 800 million users worldwide, a mark it just hit about 10 seconds ago, and membership continues to increase as users in nations such as India and Brazil join the party. Said Lyons in the iCrossing post, “Using a process of linear regression on the data from the end of 2008 onwards we expect Facebook to hit a billion active users around August 2012. Looking at the data from 2006-mid 2008 it looks like Facebook was growing at an exponential rate, however more recent data suggests it’s growing in a linear... Read more...