Tag Archives | Facebook

How Misinformation Spreads on Facebook

RIAN archive 988824 Facebook social network's pageSarah Gray reports for Salon (via AlterNet) on research about how people on Facebook interacted with “trolls” posting false information; she says the results are depressing:

From the steady roll of theories on what happened to Malaysian Arlines Flight 370, to Sarah Palin’s “death panels” panic, to Donald Trump’s birther theories, misinformation spreads like wildfire in the age of Facebook.

In 2013, professor Walter Quattrociocchi of Northeastern University along with his team studied how more than 1 million Facebook users engaged with political information during the Italian election. During that election a post appeared titled: “Italian Senate voted and accepted (257 in favor and 165 abstentions) a law proposed by Senator Cirenga to provide policy makers with €134 billion Euros to find jobs in the event of electoral defeat.”

The post was from an Italian site that parodies the news. According to  MIT Technology Review it was filled with at least four major inaccuracies: “[T]he senator involved is fictitious, the total number of votes is higher than is possible in Italian politics, the amount of money involved is more than 10% of Italian GDP and the law itself is an invention.”

Despite the blatant falsehoods of this  parody news post, the story went viral — shared over 35,000 times in less than a month.

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On Facebook? Careful: You Can Catch a Bad Mood

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Pic: facebook log in (C)

Researchers claim that Facebook has the power to spread moods in a viral fashion. Here’s the good news, though: Positive moods spread more easily.

Via BBC News:

“What people feel and say in one place may spread to many parts of the globe on the very same day,” wrote the report’s authors.

They added the data suggests that “online social networks may magnify the intensity of global emotional synchrony”.

Positive spreads faster

Researchers have long known that emotions can be spread through people via face-to-face interaction, but the new frontier is to examine whether the effect translates to social media interactions.

The researchers – some of whom were Facebook employees at the time the research was carried out – analysed the emotional content of billions of updates posted to Facebook between January 2009 and March 2012.

To test whether emotions spread, they looked at how updates changed when it rained.

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Facebook Strike as Self-Awareness Course

Pic: Rishibando (CC)

Pic: DKalo (CC)

More than once I’ve been struck with the desire to abandon Facebook, and at least one of those times I actually deactivated my account. The reasons for my frustration have varied over the last six years or so, from their sudden formatting changes to prioritize business interests, to the way they mine user data regardless of privacy settings. Other reasons have been more personal, like not having a sufficient method for determining who gets to see the more eccentric or extreme parts of my personality, or simply feeling like I waste too much time on the site.

At the end of 2013, a new kind of Facebook frustration began creeping over me. My attempts to explain it to people only seemed to make it worse, especially because – as I realized – I was creating a paradox by using Facebook to denounce Facebook. Then in late December, I simply stopped posting.… Read the rest

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The Coming Backlash Against Silicon Valley

facebookVia the Economist, Adrian Wooldridge on seeing the giant tech corporations for what they really are:

Geeks have turned out to be some of the most ruthless capitalists around. A few years ago the new economy was a wide-open frontier. Today it is dominated by a handful of tightly held oligopolies. Google and Apple provide over 90% of the operating systems for smartphones. Facebook counts more than half of North Americans and Europeans as its customers.

The lords of cyberspace have done everything possible to reduce their earthly costs. They employ remarkably few people: with a market cap of $290 billion Google is about six times bigger than GM but employs only around a fifth as many workers.

At the same time the tech tycoons have displayed a banker-like enthusiasm for hoovering up public subsidies and then avoiding taxes. The American government laid the foundations of the tech revolution by investing heavily in the creation of everything from the internet to digital personal assistants.

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Facebook About to Lose 80% of Users

Facebook LikeFacebook users abandoning the ubiquitous sharing site in droves sounds unlikely but a serious academic study suggests it’s going to happen, reports TIME:

Facebook’s growth will eventually come to a quick end, much like an infectious disease that spreads rapidly and suddenly dies, say Princeton researchers who are using diseases to model the life cycles of social media.

Disease models can be used to understand the mass adoption and subsequent flight from online social networks, researchers at Princeton’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering say in a study released Jan. 17. The study has not been peer-reviewed. Updating traditional models on disease spread to assume that “recovery” requires contact with a nondiseased member — i.e., a nonuser of Facebook (“recovered” member of the population) — researchers predicted that Facebook would see a rapid decline, causing the site to lose 80% of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017.

Basically, Facebook users will lose interest in Facebook over time as their peers lose interest..

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Can Facebook Status Updates Indicate Psychopathy?

newsAnyone could certainly compose a valid argument that Facebook is a key indicator of narcissism, but it’s hard to say that liking the musical works of Phil Collins more than Huey Lewis and the News is genuinely indicative of psychopathy. Of course, for those who do not have a Facebook page, you can rest assured that you are just as likely to be psychopaths as well!

VIA Daily Mail

For most people, most of the time, Facebook is a bright and breezy place where they share holiday and baby photos and brag about great parties they’ve been to.

But the social media site has a darker side, because a new study reveals that status updates can reveal a range of personality traits, including if someone has psychopathic tendencies.

Researchers from Sahlgrenska Academy and Lund University in Sweden found that status updates that indicated psychopathy could concern prostitutes, decapitation, pornography and butchers.

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Channeled Ideas for Internet Activism: Bully Corporations Off Social Media

channeledimagesThose familiar with my work probably know by now that by putting my own spin on sigil magick in conjunction with a background dabbling in hemi-sync astral projection has turned my consciousness into a constant beacon for otherworldly informational downloads. Those even more familiar know that I started writing about this stuff continually on Facebook last January (friend me). I’d been meaning to keep a dream/magick journal for ages and the prospect of doing that in quite close to real time was too weird to pass up. Unprecedented really. The fact that people actually read and comment on this madness is beyond mind blowing to me and probably the greatest thing I’ve achieved thusfar as a person. One of the more unexpected aspects of this endeavor has to do with the fact that this divine conversation with what classic Occultists would call my Holy Guardian Angel bears far more information than I’m willing to write about publically.… Read the rest

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Why We Should Socialize Social Media

internetVia n+1, Benjamin Kunkle argues that social media mega-sites need to be turned into public utilities so as to save us all:

On November 6, Twitter went public, in the private sense. Twitter shares appear ludicrously overpriced. As John Cassidy of the New Yorker calculated, “Investors were paying forty-nine dollars per dollar of revenues, and five hundred and forty-one dollars per dollar of cash flow.” But large for-profit social-media services are contradictory entities at any price, because they attempt to profit from activity that, precisely because it is social, is basically non-economic and non-productive.

The IPOs of Facebook and Twitter should therefore be reversed, through the socialization of both companies and other social-media services that attain a similar scale. The time has come, in other words, to socialize social media.

Social media should be socialized because services tend to be or become monopolies.
Large social media companies—Facebook, Twitter—tend to lack competitors, for the simple reason that their platforms are not compatible.

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What Witchcraft Is Facebook? Social Media and Hysterical Illness

800px-hysteria-e1287956169986Laura Dimon (demon?) writes at the Atlantic:

“Eerie and remarkable.”

Those are the words that Robert Bartholomew used to describe this past winter’s outbreak of mass hysteria in Danvers, Massachusetts, a town also known as “Old Salem” and “Salem Village.”

Bartholomew, a sociologist in New Zealand who has been studying cases of mass hysteria for more than 20 years, was referring to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692-1693, the most widely recognized episode of mass hysteria in history, which ultimately saw the hanging deaths of 20 people.

Fast-forward about 300 years to January 2013, when a bizarre case of mass hysteria again struck Danvers. About two dozen teenagers at the Essex Agricultural and Technical School began having “mysterious” hiccups and vocal tics.

“The Massachusetts State Health Department refuses to say publicly,” Bartholomew wrote in an email in late August, “but I have heard from some of the parents privately who say that the symptoms are still persisting.”

The location might be eerie, but Bartholomew is not surprised by the outbreak in the slightest.

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Beheadings For Breakfast?

18xx Richtblock und Richtbeil anagoriaFacebook struck what it thought was a blow for freedom of expression: It is now going to allow beheadings to be seen in its news feeds.

Said the house of the billionaire Zuckerberg,

“since some people object to graphic video of this nature, we are working to give people additional control over the content they see. This may include warning them in advance that the image they are about to see contains graphic content.”

I am sure this oh-so-reasonable distinction without a difference is being celebrated at this very moment in some cave in Afghanistan by the crazies who delight in chopping off heads as acts of terror.

They do it so that their handywork will be seen. Facebook is ready to oblige them in the name of giving their members more control over the means of shocking others.

How nice.

Earlier, when their decision was roundly condemned, they qualified their pro-gore fatwa in this age of Zombie lovers everywhere, and just in time for Halloween, to put a liberal face on decision that makes chopping off faces more visible.… Read the rest

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