Posts Tagged ‘social media’
Ever seen people announcing that family members have been killed or they’ve lost a limb to a pitbull attack, and Facebook friends awkwardly ‘like’ their statuses? Well, Facebook is looking at introducing a new button so you can sympathise.
Of course, Facebook could just give in and make a ‘dislike’ button, but they’re steadfast in their continual refusal.
Anyway, a developer introduced the sympathy idea at a Facebook hackathon, which will give users the ability to acknowledge a post without ‘liking’ it. The idea is that users would have the option of choosing your feelings from a drop down list of emotions and if you choose ‘depressed’, the ‘like’ button would be relabelled “sympathise.”
Of course, they could just write something, but as we all know, people don’t actually want to emote near anything when you can just click a button.
A Facebook engineer called Dan Muriello told The Huffington Post that the idea was “well-received by fellow Facebookers, but isn’t making its way to the site (for now).” Presumably, Facebook have already weaselled their way through your personal privacy and already know how you feel, so it is little wonder they’re in no rush to introduce some new buttons.
Over 2 million passwords have been swiped from a host of social media sites including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The hackers who took them have posted their bounty online too, which is nice of them.
The attack is “fairly global” with victims “scattered all over the world” although, for some reason, most of the users affected have IP addresses located in Holland.
Trustwave’s security researchers found a stash of data that had been stolen while they were looking at a botnet called ‘Pony’.
Previous Pony botnet attacks had been referred to as ‘hit and run’, however, this most recent attack was carried out over a number of weeks which enabled the hackers to amass a “fairly stable and consistent” amount of passwords each day.
Other sites were hit too, including Russian social media sites vk.com (the Russian Facebook) and odnoklassniki.ru. Google and Yahoo were also attacked, with Trustwave telling the sites involved before posting their findings about the breaches online. Facebook and Twitter have been getting in touch with people affected to change their passwords, but it might be worth resetting yours, just in case you were missed out of the security loop.
That said, passwords didn’t protect users in the first place. A number of passwords in the list included “123456”, “123456789”, “1234”, “password” and “1”. “And it all goes downhill from there,” wrote the researchers in a blog post. “There were more terrible passwords than excellent ones, more bad passwords than good, and the majority, as usual, is somewhere in between in the Medium category.”
If you need help in getting a secure password, click here.
The government are going to start hitting people with legal warnings on Facebook and Twitter in a bid to try and stop them posting things that could be contempt of court. It should be called Peaches’ Law, after the celebutante revealed the names of people involved in the Ian Watkins case.
Of course, there have been other incidents where people have Tweeted from court or leaked names involved in superinjunctions, and now, advisory notes will be sent from the account of the UK’s attorney general Dominic Grieve, @AGO_UK.
Grieve says that it is important that the government act now: “Blogs and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook mean that individuals can now reach thousands of people with a single tweet or post. This is an exciting prospect, but it can pose certain challenges to the criminal justice system.”
“In days gone by, it was only the mainstream media that had the opportunity to bring information relating to a court case to such a large group of people that it could put a court case at risk. That is no longer the case, and is why I have decided to publish the advisories that I have previously only issued to the media.”
So is this censorship? Grieve thinks not: “This is not about telling people what they can or cannot talk about on social media; quite the opposite in fact, it’s designed to help facilitate commentary in a lawful way. I hope that by making this information available to the public at large, we can help stop people from inadvertently breaking the law, and make sure that cases are tried on the evidence, not what people have found online.”
The Attorney General’s Office tweeted that they normally issue around five advisories a year, but that has doubled in 2013. Watch what you’re saying folks, this is the start of things getting serious.
Twitter is the social network that is always held up as being the first for breaking news. Facebook have noticed and they want to muscle in, rather than finding their own niche. So what’s their plan? They want to make the move toward becoming a news site, rather than one that deals with social engagement by giving priority to things with ‘more relevance’.
“We’ve noticed that people enjoy seeing articles on Facebook, and so we’re now paying closer attention to what makes for high-quality content and how often articles are clicked on from News Feed on mobile,” Varun Kacholia, Engineering Manager, and Minwen Ji, Software Engineer, said. “What this means is that you may start to notice links to articles a little more often.”
This means FB will be adding features that will enable you to read content you’re interested in, rather than the usual silage your old school chums come up with while they slowly reveal how right wing they are.
If you see an article, the new Facebook will add three more related pieces on the same subject or from the same publication. This will be bad news for memes and pictures of cats, which will be shunted backward, away from the main window of action.
“Starting soon, we’ll be doing a better job of distinguishing between a high quality article on a website versus a meme photo hosted somewhere other than Facebook when people click on those stories on mobile,” said Kacholia and Ji, adding: ”While trying to show more articles people want to read, we also don’t want people to miss the conversations among their friends. So we’re updating bumping to highlight stories with new comments.”
And why is this happening? Money, of course. Referral traffic is a lucrative business if you get it right so you can expect even more newspapers to ask you to login with Facebook if you want to leave a comment. Facebook want you to save articles to read later, like the Flipboard app.
Is this enough to get people interested in Facebook again?
However, for some time, Facebook has been losing relevance, with Twitter stealing a march on Zuckerberg’s company. You only have to look at the way companies use Twitter in their advertising or, indeed, current affairs sources insisting on having Twitter handles next to journalist’s names.
That all said, the network no-one talks about – WhatsApp – is actually making the biggest noise when it comes to mobile communications. According to a study conducted by On Device Research, 44% of those polled use WhatsApp at least once a week while only 35% use Facebook messenger.
In fact, WhatsApp is more popular than trad calls and texts and that it is closing the gap on emails. WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum claims that the service has more users than Twitter and sends 25 billion messages a day.
So why is Facebook losing traction? For starters, it is a complicated thing to navigate. Imagine if someone launched Facebook in 2013 – it would get laughed out of town. Not only that, Facebook is a huge, clunky drain on phone battery, complete with numerous and annoying notifications. More people are leaving it logged out of their phones and only using it on desktops.
There’s also the small issue of personal privacy and parents are much happier that their kids are using WhatsApp because it is much more private. There’s also no advertising on the service, which offers a respite when you’re looking at your phone.
It is little wonder than Google have tabled at $1 billion offer and Facebook have been sniffing around. It is time to start taking WhatsApp seriously.
Google tried their hand at social media by giving us G+. Sadly for them, no-one wanted to use it because it seemed a bit pointless. However, Google are not finished with you yet as they’re looking at sticking their fingers in all your social networks.
And they want to stick their fingers in YOU.
The internet giant are looking at developing something that allows you to manage multiple social networking accounts. If you’ve heard of Sprout, it’ll probably be like that, only free and will probably invade your personal privacy at some point.
Even weirder though, is that they have patented a robot that will post things on your behalf. The software, it is claimed, will learn how one reacts on social networks and mimics their usual responses to updates and messages.
Google software engineer Ashish Bhatia said: “It is often difficult for users to keep up with and reply to all the messages they are receiving and the software is intended to help them manage the data.”
One nice thing is that, should you end up tweeting something daft about an airport and you end up in court, now you can just say “GOOGLE DID IT.”
Do you fancy handing over the keys to all your social media to a Google robot? And what happens if it starts sending everyone n00dz?
Even if you’re just a regular @joebloggs, if you lift your head above the parapet on Twitter you’re inviting a tirade of abuse. But if you’re that famously despised architect of the recession JP Morgan, staging a quirky Q&A for your followers is bound to end in tears.
After some marketing bright spark invited Twitter to talk to senior banker Jimmy Lee, the JP Morgan account was inundated with thousands of tweets. And of the 80,000 tweets they received, two thirds were negative. The cleaner ones included such pithy gems as: ‘Quick! You’re in a room with no key, a chair, two paper clips, and a lightbulb. How do you defraud investors?’ and ‘Sorry we ruined your hashtag event, if you could just apologise for your plunder of the global economy, I think we’d be even. #askjpm’
A beleaguered JP Morgan cancelled the event, which was due to take place today. It tweeted:
‘Tomorrow’s Q&A is cancelled. Bad Idea. Back to the drawing board.’
Ha! Take that, JP Morgan! You can destroy the economy, you can repossess our homes, but you can’t take away our ability to be slightly sarcastic on Twitter.
If you’ve been using Facebook recently, you may have noticed everyone who can’t draw making cartoons of themselves, thanks to an app called Bitstrips. If you have seen these faux-comics, then there’s a high probability that you’ve looked into ways of ending your life.
The app has been downloaded more than 11 million times since its launch and thanks to the new iPhone and Android updates, pictures from it are becoming more rampant than the Farmville requests of yore.
In fact, nearly as ubiquitous as the strips themselves, is people sharing tips about how to block the images. Some people are just complaining about it constantly.
Bitstrips CEO Jacob Blackstock blathered on about it, saying: “Bitstrips is hard to categorise because it’s not a game. It’s a new way to express yourself and interact with your friends. Instead of posting the same things as everyone else, you can create something that relates to your life.”
Either way, there are ways of blocking the app. In the drop-down menu next to an image, you can block-all. Click here and you’ll see how easy it is. If that doesn’t work, visit the app itself and block it there.
Teenagers really do prefer to do their bitching, griping and monosyllabic droning on Twitter instead of Facebook. Last year, Facebook was rated the most important social network by 42% of teenagers – this year that number has slipped to 23%. They said they didn’t like Facebook because of ‘drama’, ‘too many adults’ and ‘oversharing’. (Isn’t that what they LOVE?)
But although teens prefer Twitter and Instagram, they admit that Facebook is a social necessity, like standing around shiftily outside chip shops and asking people to go to the offy for them. According to the study by investment company Piper Jaffray, who creepily study the online and buying behaviour of adolescents, teenagers still have on average 300 Facebook friends and only 79 Twitter followers.
Mark Zuckerberg, sitting in a room full of money, was unconcerned at the news. ‘People assume that we’re trying to be cool. It’s never been my goal. I’m the least cool person there is! We’re almost 10 years old so we’re definitely not a niche thing any more so that kind of angle for coolness is done for us.’
Fickle teens are also getting really into Snapchat and Vine, so they can sext each other and make videos of themselves picking their spots.
And that is the end of the junior edition of the social networking news.
In other teenager-related stories, that girl over there is PROPER BUTTERS OMG what a skank (etc.)
Pew Research said that in the ‘Internet and American Life Project’, 54% of online daters have “seriously misrepresented” themselves on dating websites, telling whoppers about their height, income and age.
Naturally, people tell porkies in a bid to get a more attractive date, but there’s another angle – seems that some people don’t actually realise that they’re lying. These people are those that think they still look the same as they did from the photo they took ten years ago.
The study also show that people who use online dating sites are often disappointed, because sometimes they create “a fantasy” about another person that doesn’t pan out in real life.
Women are more likely than men to have had a bad experience dating online with roughly 42% of female online daters claiming they were unsatisfied. Just like offline dating, no doubt.
That all taken into account, 59% of people surveyed still think that online dating is a good way to meet people, which is nice. If you’re going to live your life fibbing to your partner, you may as well start it on a lie too, eh?
All day, there has been errors across the site with users unable to update their status, or post comments, or send messages or post photos. And you can’t ‘Like’ anything.
Huge amounts of users have found that trying to do basic things have resulted in a pop-up box which says: “There was a problem updating your status. Please try again in a few minutes.”
Of course, these glitches aren’t uncommon, but this one seems to be worldwide, with all users facing the same technical errors. Testing it on different IP addresses, you’ll get the same response.
A quick test on Downrightnow seems to back up the notion that this is a huge service disruption.
So if you thought your account was down or you were locked out, don’t fret – everyone else is in the same boat. We’ll be back to muttering swear words at people’s baby photos in no time at all.
BANG BANG BANG. What’s that noise? It’s the sweet sound of people everywhere hitting the new Twitter ‘Report Tweet’ button. It’s now live across all platforms, including iOS, desktop and Android.
The action follows a high profile campaign spearheaded by Caroline Criado-Perez, who was subjected to an avalanche of rape threats by impotent men with computers – all for suggesting Jane Austen should be on a bank note. After that, rape trolls famously gathered to target female Guardian journalists, historian Mary Beard, and basically anyone with a fanny and an opinion.
The public outcry has caused Twitter to admit it has a misogynist troll problem, and that it needed to do something about it, rather than shrugging its tweety shoulders and mumbling something about free speech.
Criado-Perez says she’s happy that Twitter has done something about it at last.
‘But there are still issues: users have to agree for the report to be potentially shared with the harasser, and there are some boxes that could be auto-populated that aren’t. But overall, this is a fantastic first step.’
Who knows? Maybe one day there’ll be a report button for comments sections of blogs.
*pointedly looks downwards*
Unlike real social interaction, which is proven to lift moods and create feelings of positivity, the study, led by Professor Ethan Kross at the University of Michigan found that its 83 participants actually felt worse after using Facebook.
After an initial survey, which asked about their Facebook habits and levels of self esteem, the participants were tracked for 14 days. They were sent 5 text messages a day asking how they felt, and how recently they’d logged in to FB. The more they used Facebook, ‘the more their life satisfaction levels declined’, said Professor Kross.
So what is it about Facebook that sucks so much? George Takei’s latest ‘only comment if you got it in 10 seconds’ posts featuring pictures of cassettes and pencils in bed together? Babies? Kittens? Click ‘like’ if you don’t want this kid to die of cancer?
Nope, it’s good old-fashioned negative comparison.
‘Other people tend to post information-pictures, announcements, etc-that make their lives appear to be great.’ said Prof Kross. ‘Frequent exposure to such information could lead people to feel worse about their own lives. There are likely to be other factors too- for example, lack of interaction with other people directly.’
This is, admittedly, a small study. But if the negative effects on the 83 participants were magnified to include FB’s 1 billion users, that might explain why we’re all depressed and confused about twerking.
Twitter has many uses: it’s a place to vent your spleen, meet people, threaten people, and post unread links to blogs about that thing that just happened.
Now, though, it’s being put to fiendishly clever use to stop…food poisoning. The nEmsis system, which has been developed by scientists at the University of Rochester, New York, crowdsources tweets from customers who have eaten at restaurants, analyses them and then ranks the restaurants in order of food safety.
Since its launch four months ago, NEmsis has collected 3.8 million tweets and traced 23000 New York restaurant visitors. The system works by finding tweets that have been sent from a restaurant, based on their GPS location. It then follows their tweets for the next 72 hours, in case they tweet ‘Urrrrgh, I am foaming at the mouth’ or ‘The world just fell out of my bottom.’ So far, it’s located and highlighted 480 cases of food poisoning.
Henry Kautz from the University of Rochester said: ‘The Twitter reports are not an exact indicator – any individual case could well be due to factors unrelated to the restaurant meal – but in aggregate the numbers are revealing.’
If you’ve ever eaten from a street food cart labelled ‘New York’s Best Pretzels And Unidentified Fried Objects’ you’ll know that good food hygiene is a particular problem in NYC, but nEmsis could soon be available in other countries too – with a few minor tweaks.
So if you’re staring down the barrel of a dodgy kebab, all you’ll have to do is tweet before you eat – and it’ll save you a lot of toilet-related heartache later on.
In their latest bid to take over the Internet, Facebook is about to begin testing a mobile payment product, which they describe as a ‘Paypal Killer.’
If you give your credit card details to Facebook (haha as if!), then you’ll be able to pay for things via Facebook on your mobile using partnering e-commerce mobile apps. And because your card is already registered, you don’t have to input any details, making it a speedy way to pay.
Oh, and of course, it’ll give Facebook all the consumer information it needs to target you to the grave with ads about belly fat and promoted posts about ugly shoes.
However, Paypal, who have the Internet payment business sewn up on Facebook and elsewhere, don’t seem too worried just yet. ‘We’ve been investing in mobile payments since 2006, and last year 10 percent of our total payment volume — $14 billion — was from mobile devices,’ said a spokesman. ‘However, we always welcome competition and are looking forward to seeing what Facebook will announce.’
(Translation: ‘Yeah, whatever. Just try to take us on, SUCKERBERG.’)
So will the social network managed to beat Paypal at their own game? Personally, with Facebook’s track record for privacy not being tooooooo brilliant, I think I would rather give my cashcard to a bloke called Nobby and ask him to go to the shops for me instead.