Category: Social Media

Fooling Facebook: Telling Lies To Protect Your Privacy

Some people feel that every time they go on the Internet, their digital selves are being hijacked and driven to a shady data broker’s garage, where they get sliced, diced, and mined for valuable intel. The people that feel like they’re getting info-jacked are starting to fight back. How? With a false-information security system.

Kevin Ludlow, a 33-year-old Texan software developer, calls it “Bayesian flooding” and the data miner he wants to protect against is Facebook. “The problem is that once information [about you] has been collected, it will always be stored and associated with you,” he writes. “I have therefore devised a slightly different method for dealing with this problem. Rather than trying to hide information from Facebook, it may be possible simply to overwhelm it with too much information.”

With a nod toward Bayes theorem, Ludlow basically wants to confuse the advertisers trying to profile him and the algorithmic machines that are trying to make predictions about him by throwing lots of false information about himself onto their radars. So he’s become a digital Scheherazade, weaving amazing tales about his life:

Read the complete article at Forbes.

Email Will Never Die – The Man Who Invented It Reveals Why

Texting, instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter – we have dozens of ways to pass a message from one user to the next, and yet we keep coming back to email. Why? According to the man who sent the first one, because there’s still nothing quite like it.

Possibly the most revealing statement that can be made about the power and perseverence of email is that – unlike almost everything else in the technology industry – how we use it has remained virtually unchanged for more than 40 years.

According to the Radicati Group, 144.8 billion emails are sent every day, and that number is projected to rise to 192.2 billion in 2016. There are about 3.4 billion email accounts worldwide, Radicati said, with three-quarters owned by individual consumers.

The youngest users of email, however, have an enormous number of different methods to choose from to communicate – and many of them prefer these methods for most communications.

This, in turn, has prompted to some to wonder whether email is a dinosaur, among them young people who say they actually mean “Facebook” when they say “email”. In 2010, comScore kicked off a fuss by noting that Web email use had dropped 59% among teens. So why would anyone continue to use email in the age of social media?

Read the complete article at ReadWriteWeb.

Facebook camera concept recognizes you by the photos you upload

What if you could automatically get discount deals on everything from bar drinks to event tickets just by showing your face at the venue? That’s the dream being promised as a possible reality by a new conceptual device called FaceDeals. Would you trade privacy for savings?

Read the complete article at DVice.

Old Media, stop stealing from us. Love, New Media

If you put content up online and that content is then used, without permission, by a media outlet, what kind of recompense should you expect? All those who said “nothing,” perhaps you’ll want to read about Audrey Ann Slade and Michael McKisson, both of whom managed to make old media pay up for taking advantage of new media sources.

If conventional wisdom is to be believed, something happening once may be a fluke, but when it’s happened three times, it’s officially a trend. In that case, old media should be very, very wary about where it sources its material from in the future after two separate cases where bloggers and citizen journalists have not only had their content stolen, but have managed to be reimbursed and credited with its creation after the fact.

Jim Romensko had the first of those two stories, with the tale of Michael McKisson. McKisson, who runs the Tuscon Velo site covering the bike community in Tuscon, AZ, was surprised to see footage he had shot and posted to YouTube in June show up in a news report on local station KOLD-TV – especially considering that he hadn’t known about it, or given his permission for the footage to be used, in advance

Read the complete article at Digital Trends.

Watching The Olympics on TV Is Still About Collective Participation

Image source: Washington Post

By Eduardo Navas

Note: This text appeared previously on Huffington post.  Since its original publication on August 8, 2012, NBC decided to at least make available live streaming of the closing ceremonies. Other than this, much of what is observed in the following commentary remains relevant.

Viewers well versed in media expect delivery-on-demand for major events. This has created a peculiar tension when viewing prime-time Olympic coverage consisting of competitions that previously took place throughout the day, but which were not broadcasted live on TV. After the first week of events, it appears that audiences are tuning-in to NBC’s evening broadcast in larger numbers than previous Olympics, and this has become the network’s main justification for holding out on selected events until prime-time.

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London 2012: The Games of the Memes

The London Olympics were supposed to be the “social media Olympics.” They were supposed to be the Olympics when viewers around the world, enabled by Twitter and Facebook and other free communications services, could come together to discuss the competition and pageantry playing out on their television sets. Or, if they were lucky enough, on their computer screens.

And these Olympics were, to an extent, exactly that: Facebook saw soaring numbers for the Facebook fan bases of Olympic athletes. Twitter, not to be outdone, logged over 150 million Olympic-related tweets over the past 16 days. But these Olympics ended up being something else, too. The drama playing out in London ended up bringing people together through a very particular kind of social media: memes. Visual memes, ridiculous memes, memes that took the imagery of the Games and augmented it.

Read the complete article and view a gallery of memes at The Atlantic.


States Ban Demands for Social Media Passwords

If you’re the type of person who enjoys posting potentially career-ending comments or photos on social media sites, you’ll be happy to know several states are angling to help enable your self-sabotage.

Illinois is now the third state to pass a law that prohibits companies from asking employees or job seekers for their social media user names and passwords. It’s an amendment to the state’s “Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act” and makes it unlawful to “request or require any employee or prospective employee to provide any password or other related account information” about their social media networks.

Read the complete article at Dice.

The Problem with Olympic Spoilers is Selection

Image source: E News

By Eduardo Navas

Posted on August 1, 2012 on The Huffington Post

Social media spoilers are inevitable when the broadcasting network decides to block-out selected events and save them for primetime. This became evident to me as I experienced the Olympics during the first three days.

It began on Friday when I settled to watch the opening ceremony. At this time I briefly considered the fact that the broadcast was not live on the East Coast of the United States, where I live. I also realized that people on the West Coast would see the opening extravaganza three hours after me.

I said to myself that it did not matter because viewing a delayed broadcast of an opening event, sure to be considered historic, would not change my viewing experience. Such a situation is equivalent to one’s willingness to watch a television series knowing that it is a recorded production.

Things were different when I selectively viewed the first events on Saturday live on Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, and NBC Sports. The multiple broadcasts were also complemented with apps for mobile media, well supported with the website.

Throughout the day I checked twitter and Facebook for updates and comments. I soon learned that Michael Phelps took fourth place in the Men’s 400m Individual Medley, while Ryan Lochte took first, winning the gold. However, I was not able to experience the historic moment until primetime on NBC. At this point I was more interested in knowing how it happened, and was no longer invested in the event as I would have, had it been live.

The same thing happened again on Sunday when Lochte and Phelps participated in the men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay only to come second to France. Again, I learned about this in the late afternoon, but I waited to view it during primetime on NBC.

The decision by NBC to select certain events, from earlier in the day, and broadcast them during primetime began to be discussed as soon as Saturday, and by Sunday, stories were written on different online publications. Entertainment Weekly, in particular, ran two extensive stories. NBC apparently made its decision in order to attain higher ratings during its primetime broadcast. Understandably some people are quite unhappy about NBC’s decision, which is why, as I write this, the hash tag #nbcfail is still going strong with rants.

After viewing the events on Sunday night, however, I don’t think that the problem for NBC is that selected events are shown well after they take place. The problem, in my view, is that NBC appears to be selecting the wrong events for delayed broadcast at night.

To be specific, both on Saturday and Sunday during primetime, NBC went back and forth between gymnastics and swimming. When swimming came on, I could not help but think that I was about to see something which had already taken place. But with gymnastics, I did not mind the delayed broadcast at all. Why, I thought? I came to the conclusion that it has to do with the type of sport.

Swimming is an action sport, which deals with extreme physical performance dependent on time. It is defined by exciting moments such as when your favorite athlete does not even take third place. Add to this the possibility of breaking a world record, and you are sure to have a nail-biting experience as a viewer. Such thrill is unlikely to happen with a delayed broadcast of a major swimming competition such as Lochte’s and Phelps’ once it has been spoiled earlier in the day due to social media and online news sources.

Gymnastics, on the other hand, is a sport about physical strength, precision and gracefulness. Add to this the fact that it depends on points given by judges who, in large part, rely on aesthetics, and we have a dynamic that is closer to viewing a theatrical performance, and not so different from viewing the opening ceremony. Gymnastics is one of my favorite categories in the Olympics, and I don’t think I have ever experienced them live.

NBC’s situation actually makes apparent the fact that major networks need to better understand how to create a worthwhile experience for viewers who are likely to know already much about sporting events that took place early in the day (in this case the Olympics) which they decide to deliver during primetime.

If a network decides to hold out on a sport defined by its physical excitement, such as swimming, then an effort should be made in creating a viewing experience about how and why something happened and not “what will happen.” This approach would then make the juxtaposition of swimming and gymnastics a better fit given their differences as I explained. With this more realistic approach Bob Costas will not have to say “no spoilers” as he introduces the taped segment of Lochte winning gold while Phelps takes none, hoping that the viewers will have a thrilling experience. I did not.

YouTube attempts to vanquish awful comments by using real names

Would you be less likely to leave an embarrassingly awful comment on a YouTube video if you had to use your real name rather than an alias?

Well, maybe you’re not the type to leave an awful comment anyway, but a legion of YouTube users certainly are.

Now, Google-owned YouTube is nudging its users to switch from their often goofy-sounding user names to their real identities, an idea the site first pitched back in June. If you choose to switch, Google will use both the picture and name from your Google+ profile on YouTube.

Read the complete article at VentureBeat.

On social media the new religion is sharing. Some of that sharing may not be very nice

One of my birthday presents is a pair of rubber stamps, one with a thumbs up (“Like”) and one with a thumbs down (“Dislike”). So I can now rubber-stamp the world to rights. I wish Facebook and Twitter had Dislike buttons but they don’t. Disliking someone’s dog would, I suppose, ruin a perfectly good virtual friendship.

While we are told that social media makes the world incredibly complicated, much online discussion is very simplistic. I say this as an avid user of the technology that enables my narcissism as much as yours. There is joy to be had, but much online behaviour needs to be questioned.

Around the John Terry case, the default mode was to slag off Terry to prove one’s anti-racist credentials. Something about this is nauseating but then in many recent discussions about racism I find myself on the “wrong” side. I don’t think the Terry case should ever have gone to court. I don’t see why calling someone a cunt is perfectly acceptable when I keep being told off for swearing.

The question of context is missing. Again, I read Mehdi Hasan on being abused for being a Muslim. Of course I don’t think it’s right but he uses terms that not all of us accept in the first place, such as “Islamophobia”, which muddles faith, ethnicity and identity in unhelpful ways. Nor do I think Jonathan Freedland should be abused for being Jewish anymore than I should for being a woman.

Read the complete article at Guardian.