Category: Social Media

Apathetic Facebook Users Relinquish The Right To Vote On Facebook Privacy Changes

For the last few years, Facebook had a slightly odd nod toward corporate democracy. If a change to the agreements it made with its users sparked thousands of comments — indicating users were upset by the change — it would trigger a voting mechanism by which users could reject the change. The site, whose value is created by the personal information eagerly handed over by its hundreds of millions of users, wanted to maintain a sense that those users were in control of how that information was being used by Facebook. In order for the vote to be binding though, 30% of the site’s over one billion users had to participate.

The vote has been triggered three times now. Each time, the turn-out was worse than what you’d get at a state fair in the middle of a hurricane. While Facebook has previously lamented voter apathy, it did little to force users to vote. It sent out an email last week, and included a “share” button on the voting site so that people could tell their friends about it, but did not otherwise force it upon users when they signed onto the site. Facebookers were more likely to see that fake copyright notice than to encounter information about voting. “Ironically, as nonsensical as it is, that fake status update went viral because it was less confusing than Facebook’s actual site governance process,” writes Will Oremus at Slate.

Read the complete article at Forbes.

The YouTube Industry Has A Transparency Problem

YouTube, whose community is ironically stereotyped as oversharers, has business transparency issues. This transparency problem doesn’t come just from Google, it also manifests within the YouTube community’s top-earners and across the third-party businesses that have sprung up to leverage the giant video-sharing site. It’s hard to say who is worse, YouTube, or the video industry emerging on the site – known as “YouTube Networks.”

The YouTube industry, often compared to the Wild West due to its few rules and regulations and seemingly endless profits for the lucky few, has a controversial mantra: “Join a YouTube Network! That’s how you know you’ve made it!”

YouTube Networks Will Change Your Life, For Better Or Worse

To non-insiders, YouTube networks can be one or all of the following: an ad sales team, a promotional marketing service, a production studio, a talent management agency, and/or a laison between YouTube partners and the notoriously hard-to-get-ahold-of YouTube reps. Think of a third-party YouTube network as a type of Web video business incubator with millions in funding (depending on the network) and all the right (presumably) connections to make you a big Web star. In return for all these wonderful things, the YouTube network takes a cut of your profits. Sometimes that cut can be more than half of what you earn.

There are roughly 200 networks operating on YouTube right now, Steve Raymond, the CEO of Big Frame, told me in an interview last month. Big Frame is one of the newest – and in my opinion one of the cleanest – YouTube networks now operating.

Read the complete article at ReadWrite.

Confused by Facebook’s new privacy policy? You’re supposed to be

There’s a whole new reason to believe the vote over Facebook’s proposed policy changes is a farce: Some of the new language is purposefully written to confuse you.

As you may have heard by now, Facebook wants to make a bunch of changes to its site governance documents – the so-called Data Use Policy (its privacy policy) and its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (its terms of service). While there are quite a few changes on Facebook’s list, one in particular caught my eye.

Under the section covering Facebook Messages in the Data Use Policy (PDF), Facebook wants to take out this line: “You can control who can start a message thread with you through your ‘How You Connect’ settings. If they include others on that message, the others can reply too.” And it wants to replace it with, “Anyone on a message thread can reply to it.”

After re-reading this language a few times, I still couldn’t figure out what the heck “Anyone on a message thread can reply to it” means, in the context of the Data Use Policy. Having received an offer from a Facebook spokesman to “answer any questions” I might have about the proposed changes, I decided to reach out to him and ask: What, exactly, does this change mean for Facebook users?

This was the Facebook spokesman’s reply:

Read the complete article at Digital Trends.

Should Teenagers Have Racist Election Tweets In Their Google Results For Life? Jezebel Votes Yes.

Over at the Gawker properties, lady blog Jezebel came up with a creative post-election social media story: Tracie Egan Morrissey decided to make members of the high school set accountable for racist tweets that they sent out after Barack Obama was re-elected. Morrissey writes:

There was an abundance of hate speech on Twitter after Obama’s reelection, with people hurling violent and racial epithets. Many of those tweeters were teenagers whose public Twitter accounts feature their real names and advertise their participation in the sports programs at their respective high schools. Calls were placed to the principals and superintendents of those schools to find out how calling the president—or any person of color, for that matter—a “n*****” and a “monkey” jibes with their student conduct code of ethics. We contacted their school’s administrators with the hope that, if their educators were made aware of their students’ ignorance, perhaps they could teach them about racial sensitivity. Or they could let them know that while the First Amendment protects their freedom of speech, it doesn’t protect them from the consequences that might result from expressing their opinions.

Read the complete article at Forbes.

George Takei vs. Facebook!

“Shields up, Captain!”

George Takei is a man after my own heart.  As Wired’s Ryan Tate reports in “Family Feud: Tense Thanksgiving for Facebook and George Takei,” the iconic Star Trek actor and political activist is about to publish a new book and apparently he’s preparing a chapter about his frustrations with social network Facebook:

Takei, whose page has nearly 3 million followers on the social network, says in a Facebook post that his forthcoming book Oh Myyy will include an entire chapter devoted to Facebook’s filtering of page posts using an algorithm called EdgeRank and its parallel practice of charging page owners to reduce EdgeRank filtering. Takei made the announcement while replying to another Facebook user who wrote a jeremiad against the filtering. Takei has been outspoken about his frustration with the filtering, which essentially forces him to pay Facebook if he wants to reach all of his own fans.

Read the complete article at Dangerous Minds.

PAY FACEBOOK TO PROMOTE THIS POST OR THIS DOG WILL DIE!

It stands to reason that if Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm is turning down the volume on everyone who uses it by 85%, then it would be organizations like animal shelters that would suffer the most from Facebook’s policy changes. Think about it, the more dogs they have to find homes for, the bigger their bill to Facebook. Their problems scale financially. With Facebook’s ubiquity, they have nowhere else to go. An animal shelter simply doesn’t have ten bucks to throw at Mark Zuckerberg’s godlike bronze feet every time they’re trying to prevent a puppy from being exterminated!

See what I mean? It’s not a trivial example, and it’s one that almost EVERYONE can relate to. Last year my wife Tara found a home for an absolutely gorgeous puppy—she had taken up residence in our neighbor’s backyard and refused to leave—in under three hours using Facebook and Twitter. But that was then and this is now.

If Facebook’s greedy shakedown of their user base can be demonstrated to cause the word getting out about everything to be reduced by 85% (this is by their own admission, I remind you), unless you’re willing to pay up for their insane fees, it follows logically that this has had a very, very negative effect on getting dogs and cats adopted in EVERY COMMUNITY ACROSS THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, because every animal shelter uses Facebook to spread the word about dogs and cats with their time literally running out.

Facebook put us in an untenable financial position, but they also put themselves in a position where editorials such as this one are going to become more and more frequent. You will start to see stories on local news shows about how dog shelters are having no choice but to put down more dogs and cats because they’ve got no way of getting the word out unless they pay because Facebook is hiding their posts. Think about how many family pets are lost during a time when a wide-scale natural disaster strikes. Ask yourself WHY the American Humane Society should be forced to give THEIR DONATIONS to Facebook? They’ve got better things to do with their money than making Mark Zuckerberg even more obscenely wealthy paying his info toll—like actually putting that money towards saving animals’ lives!

And again, the flipside of this is that Facebook are still unwisely ruining their newsfeed, the only reason most people care about Facebook to begin with, the crown jewel of their product. My wife told me yesterday afternoon that in a several hour period she’d only seen posts from people she’d never met, Doritos, and George Takei in her Facebook feed. Draw your own conclusions about how long you personally plan to stick around for those updates from Axe deodorant, Mountain Dew, Arby’s and people you don’t even know!

Read the complete article at Dangerous Minds.

FACEBOOK: I WANT MY FRIENDS BACK

Comment:  Could this be the beginning of the end of Facebook’s dominance, the butterfly that leads to the hurricane, or will Zuckerberg get away with it like he has everything else?  You decide.  Please be sure to read the whole article at Dangerous Minds.

THE BIGGEST ‘BAIT N’ SWITCH’ IN HISTORY?

This has been brewing since around May. At least that’s when we first started noticing it here at Dangerous Minds and we certainly weren’t the only ones.

Spring of 2012 was when bloggers, non-profits, indie bands, George Takei, community theaters, photographers, caterers, artists, mega-churches, high schools, tee-shirt vendors, campus coffee shops, art galleries, museums, charities, food trucks, and a near infinite variety of organizations; individuals from all walks of life; and businesses, both large and small, began to detect—for it was almost imperceptible at first—that the volume was getting turned down on their Facebook reach. Each post was now being seen only by a fraction of their total “fans” who would previously have seen them.

But it wasn’t just the so-called “fan pages,” individual Facebook users were also starting to notice that they weren’t seeing much in their newsfeeds anymore from the various entities they “liked”—or even updates from their closest friends and family members. Something was amiss, but unless you had a larger “data set” to look at—or a formerly thriving online business that was now getting creamed—it probably wasn’t something that you noticed or paid that much attention to.

When we first noticed the problem, our blog had about 29,000 Facebook “likes.” Our traffic was growing 20% month over month, but our Facebook fans grew at a far faster pace. We were getting hundreds of new ‘likes” every day. Still do. As I write this, our Facebook fans now number over 53,000, not quite double what it was then, but give it another month or so and it will be.

53,000 is a more than respectable number of Facebook fans for a blog that’s only been around for a little over three years. So why is it that our pageviews—our actual inventory, what we sell to advertisers—coming from Facebook shares are off by half to two thirds when the number of new “likes” has risen so dramatically during this same time period?!?!

Read the complete article at Dangerous Minds.

Facebook Is Rigged: Why Personal Promoted Posts Are Bad for Users

Promoted posts are not new. People can buy trending topics on Twitter and users can pin Tumblr posts to the tops of followers’ dashboards for $5. Even Facebook’s promoted posts for brands make a ton of sense for marketers.

That’s because these are ways for content creators to insert themselves prominently into a known social quantity — that is, a chronological feed of updates. Everyone’s updates are seen, but you can pay to make your update more visible.

The reason Facebook’s promoted user posts are an affront is because the average user’s News Feed is not chronological. It is determined by an algorithm called EdgeRank, which selects things that are, theoretically, most relevant to you.

That’s all well and good for Facebook — from what we’ve read and seen, it drives more engagement and clicks than a chronological feed. But what ends up happening is that Facebook users see the same people every time they log in. It creates what Eli Pariser calls “the filter bubble” — a social world limited only to those people whom you “like,” interact with, and probably agree with.

Read the complete article at Mashable.

What to Make of Google’s Decision to Block the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ Movie

Wednesday morning must have been a nightmare for the people who work at YouTube. Late the night before, angry demonstrators had attacked the U.S. missions in Cairo and Egypt, killing four Americans, purportedly provoked by an American-made video that villified and mocked Muhammad. That video, like pretty much all videos these days, was available on YouTube, a site where Google (which owns YouTube) has the power to block access to content on a country-by-country basis. By midday Wednesday, the company had decided that that was just what it was going to do.

A YouTube spokesperson explained via email:

We work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions. This can be a challenge because what’s OK in one country can be offensive elsewhere. This video — which is widely available on the Web — is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube. However, given the very difficult situation in Libya and Egypt we have temporarily restricted access in both countries. Our hearts are with the families of the people murdered in Tuesday’s attack in Libya.

YouTube is in a tough spot here. It certainly doesn’t want to play any part, even an indirect one, in fueling violence that has already resulted in four American deaths. But censoring the video also cuts against Google’s stated ideology, which has a “bias in favor of free expression — not just because it’s a key tenet of free societies, but also because more information generally means more choice, more power, more economic opportunity and more freedom for people.” Google’s top leaders have championed the power of the Internet to make society more free by making the Internet more free, and the company has been a vocal and constant critic of China’s efforts to control what people do and say online. In certain instances, Google has prominently defied a government’s request to remove content, such as when it protected videos documenting police brutality here in the United States.

Read the complete article at The Atlantic.

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Read the complete article at QR Code Press.