Tag Archives | Facebook

Senator Al Franken: ‘Privacy is a Casualty’ of Google and Facebook’s Success

Al Franken Official Senate PortraitNilay Patel reports on Senator Franken’s emergence as the congressional voice of the people against corporations, for The Verge:

Senator Al Franken gave a rousing speech to the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Section last night, calling for greater antitrust oversight of large media and tech companies as a way to ensure greater privacy protections for Americans. That’s not surprising by itself — Franken is the chair of the new Senate subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, after all — but the senator took the opportunity to blast Google for its controversial new privacy policy and suggest that Facebook would soon have every incentive to share private data in the absence of meaningful competition.

Franken opened by talking about his opposition to both the NBC / Comcast merger and the failed AT&T / T-Mobile deal, but he was most blunt about the privacy threat facing internet users every day.

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On Being Forced To Be ‘Your Real Self’ Online

tumblr_lvqvfsXiSU1qzll1yVia an interview with Pixel Union, head of Tumblr’s mobile division Buzz Andersen on the problem of being forced to be your real identity online — isn’t the internet supposed to free us from that?

One of the things that fascinates me is the way a lot of young people seem to use Tumblr, which is basically as a positive, aspirational alternative to the social networking institution they’re accustomed to: Facebook.

Rather than forcing them to represent themselves as they are, which I think is Facebook’s major goal, Tumblr allows them to represent the romantic self (or selves) they wish to be. I think this is a big part of the intense emotional attachment a lot of people seem to have to Tumblr.

Facebook is currently #1 in terms of time spent online, but Tumblr recently became #2. I think this is because they both appeal to intense human desires, but I would argue that off the two Tumblr appeals to the more positive …

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Americans Often Unfriend Over Politics on Social Media

Via PBS MediaShift:

As a teenager who was vocally opinionated about political issues, I often heard the cautionary refrain “Politics is not the topic of polite conversation.” That counsel must have been lost on me, since I find myself as an adult publicly airing my opinions as both the political correspondent for this blog and as a Democratic analyst periodically appearing on FoxNews.com. I understand the wisdom of that advice, however, and know that conversations about politics (like those about religion) often begin as well-intentioned contests of ideas but end as emotionally charged and intractable disputes.

A new study released today from the Pew Internet and American Life Project illustrates this point. It found that 18 percent of people who use social networking sites such as Facebook and Google+ have blocked, unfriended or hidden someone because of that person’s disagreeable political postings.

To determine whether this is simply a case of the online public steering clear of, um, impolite conversation or is broader evidence of political opinions abruptly ending meaningful relationships, one must dig a bit deeper into the data.

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Facebook Personal ID Cards

fb_id_tbx_740Created by German artist Tobias Leingruber and available via the hypothetical government agency the FB Bureau. Why wait until these become mandatory? Get yours now:

With more than 800 million users Facebook is the dominant identity system on the web. When signing-up for new services around the open web it’s quite common to use Facebook Connect instead of creating a new user account. People stop ranting on blog comments because they only allow comments connected to your “real name” aka “Facebook Identity” (till the end of time).

For the good or bad we are losing anonymity and Facebook Inc. is establishing order in this “world wild web” (for profit, not necessarily for the good of society). A future where a Facebook Identity becomes more important than any governments’ doesn’t seem unrealistic.

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9/11 Terrorist Featured in Facebook Ad

Mohamed Atta Facebook AdSajid Farooq reports on NBC Bay Area:

As Facebook gets ready to go public, the eyes of the world will become even more focused on the Menlo Park-based social network.

That’s just partly why Friday’s report of an insurance advertisement on Facebook featuring the face of 9/11 terrorist Mohamed Atta is not the type of publicity the site wants ahead of its initial public offering.

Atta’s face reportedly appeared on the site as part of an ad selling car insurance. The ad appeared on the right hand side of some users’ profiles and it read “Important: Drivers in Texas Who Drive Less than 35 Miles a Day Read This.”

The text was alongside a Texas driver’s license with Atta’s picture on it, which was actually originally taken from his Florida’s driver’s license.

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Facebook Accused Of Reading Users’ Text Messages

DislikeMike Butcher writes on TechCrunch:

Ahead of Mobile World Congress and an appearance by Facebook to explain its next moves in mobile, the social networking giant is coming under increasing strain over its use of users’ personal information. Mobile startups and operators are both fretting over the issue this week, as smartphones and the apps that come with them increasingly eclipse the feature phones of old. We’ve already seen how Path ignited the debate around privacy by uploading iPhone address books to its servers without explicit permission, just as many other apps have done without anyone realizing for some time. Path was by no means the only offender.

The latest accusation is being leveled at Facebook. In today’s Sunday Times newspaper, published out of London, a story (behind a paywall) alleges that Facebook has “admitted” to “reading text messages” during a trial to launch its own messaging service.

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Women Leading the Facebook De-Friending Trend

FacebookChris Matyszczyk reports on cNet News:

A Pew study suggests that finally, finally human beings — and especially women — have begun to prune their alleged friends on Facebook. Could there be rational, even venal, reasons for this?

It’s Friday and therefore time to muse about friendship. Here’s one thought: If the enemy of my enemy is my friend, then my friend may, in fact, be more troubling and irrelevant than Ann Taylor separates. Here’s another: People appear to suddenly be realizing that their Facebook friends are not — and will never be — real friends. Oddly, though, they are finally doing something about it.

I am grateful to my nonfriends at ReadWriteWeb, who have unearthed a new Pew study that says defriending is trending on Facebook. People are finally wandering around their Facebook garden and, perhaps stimulated by FarmVille, are taking shears to their peers …

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Facebook’s Internal Acceptable-Content Guidelines Leaked

Gawker obtained a copy of Facebook’s incredibly specific (“Deep flesh wounds and crushed heads are OK as long as no insides are showing”; no “comparison” photos likening people to animals, no female “nipple bulges”) internal rules for policing user content:

Amine Derkaoui, a 21-year-old Moroccan man, spent a few weeks training to screen illicit Facebook content through an outsourcing firm, for which he was paid a measly $1 an hour. He’s still fuming over it: “It’s humiliating. They are just exploiting the third world.” Well, now we know Facebook’s exact standards. Derkaoui provided us with a copy of the astonishingly specific guidelines Facebook dictates to content moderators.

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The Wrong Facebook Friends Can Sink Your Credit Rating

File:Social_Web_Share_ButtonsAdrianne Jeffries explains the downside of maintaining a social media presence for Betabeat:

Let’s take a trip with the Ghost of Christmas Future. The year is 2016, and George Bailey, a former banker, now a part-time consultant, is looking for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for a co-op in the super-hot neighborhood of Bedford Falls (BeFa). He has never missed a loan payment and has zero credit card debt. He submits his information to the online-only PotterBank.com, but halfway through the application process, the website asks for his Facebook login. Then his Twitter. Then LinkedIn. The cartoon loan officer avatar begins to frown as the algorithm discovers Mr. Bailey’s taxi-driving buddy Ernie was once turned down by PotterBank for a loan; then it starts browsing his daughter Zuzu’s photo album, “Saturday Nite!” And what was this tweet from a few years back: “FML, about to jump off a goddamn bridge”?

A new wave of startups is working on algorithms gathering data for banks from the web of associations on the internet known as “the social graph,” in which people are “nodes” connected to each other by “edges.” Banks are already using social media to befriend their customers, and increasingly, their customers’ friends.

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Facebook, Google, And YouTube In 1997 Format

Miss that classic feeling of using the internet back when it was fresh? Now you can feel it once again — via Once Upon by Olia Lialina & Dragan Espenschied:

Three important contemporary web sites, recreated with technology and spirit of late 1997, according to our memories.

Best viewed with Netscape Navigator 4.03 and a screen resolution of 1024×768 pixels, running under Windows 95. We recommend using a Virtual Machine or appropriate hardware, connected to a CRT monitor. If such an environment unachievable, it should be possible to experience the piece with any browser that still supports HTML Frames. The transfer speed of our server is limited to 8 kB/s («dial-up» speed).

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