posts

Thu
18
Jun
John Lister's picture

Facebook Users Can Opt Out of Political Ads

Facebook chief says the site will let users opt-out of seeing political advertising for this year's US presidential elections. But the site won't seek to block controversial content posted by politicians themselves unless it breaks the law. Writing ... in USA Today, company chief Mark Zuckerberg announced a voter registration drive. Facebook will have a dedicated section with information about how to register, cast a vote, or arrange mail-in or early votes. The section will include verified content from election officials. This section will be promoted at the top of user's news feeds and on ... (view more)

Wed
22
Apr
John Lister's picture

Fake News: Many Twitter 'Debates' are Actually Bots

Human tiredness could be the key to spotting automated fake posts online, according to researchers at the University of Southern California. They are developing systems to distinguish between posts by humans and those posted by automated programs, ... otherwise known as 'bots' - which is a short form for robots. Since most of the online world gets their news using smartphones these days, fake news is a serious problem. It's also an incredibly serious issue for social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, where news is often talked about, debated, and forwarded to others. Bots Designed To ... (view more)

Thu
28
Dec
John Lister's picture

Library Of Congress Abandons Twitter Archive

The Library of Congress has abandoned a project to archive every post made on Twitter. It blames the sheer number of "tweets" now being made, along with an increasing reliance on images and videos. The library is the world's largest and collects all ... manner of documents from newspapers to government forms. As a general rule it, doesn't aim to collect all possible data from a source but made an exception for Twitter in 2010. At that point it reached an agreement with Twitter to get a copy of its complete archive of posts, then dating back to 2006. The idea was to "document the emergence of ... (view more)

Tue
19
Dec
John Lister's picture

Facebook to Penalize 'Engagement Bait' Posts

Facebook says it's cracking down on posts that unreasonably encourage users to share content or tag friends. It's also offering a way to temporarily stop seeing posts from a particular user. The move is designed to deal with people and organizations ... who take unfair advantage of the way Facebook decides what most users see on the site (with the default settings). The order posts appear for a particular user is heavily influenced by how many other people the user knows have "liked", shared or commented on. Meanwhile tagging somebody in a post (which is done by writing their name in a reply to a ... (view more)

Tue
28
Nov
John Lister's picture

Facebook Automated System Scans for Suicidal Posts, Offers Help

Facebook is to use artificial intelligence to spot posts made by people who might be suicidal. However, it will continue using human moderators to decide how to act over such posts. The site already has a tool that moderators can activate to display ... special messages to people whose wellbeing may be in question. These messages include details of local professional support services and help lines. The messages also encourage the user to talk over their problems with a friend and even include suggested wordings for how to ask for help. Facebook says this tool was developed with the help of ... (view more)

Wed
05
Apr
John Lister's picture

Facebook 'Like' Lands Man in Court

A Swiss man is being sued for defamation for "liking" Facebook posts. But the court case looks set to concentrate on the individuals involved, rather than the technological principle. "The Local," a English-language Swiss news site, reports that the ... man had clicked the "like" button beside eight different posts by a range of animal rights groups. Each of the posts accused another man involved in the animal rights movement of anti-Semitism and racism. (Source: thelocal.ch ) It's an intriguing legal point as technically the man being sued for libel has not ... (view more)

Thu
02
Mar
John Lister's picture

Twitter Rethinks Abusive Comment Policing

Twitter is cracking down on abusive and personal attacks. It's giving users extra controls while introducing automated checks to pick up on potential abuse. The new rules aren't specifically about what people can post in a normal tweet. Instead, ... they cover posts where the writer deliberately includes somebody else's user name, meaning that other person will see the post as part of their notifications. That helps deal with a loophole in the way Twitter works. For the most part, people only see posts from accounts they've chosen to follow, but the notifications tool includes ... (view more)

Tue
08
Nov
John Lister's picture

Nearly 60% of Social Media Users Frustrated by Politics

One in five people say social media posts have changed their minds on political issues this year. But many of those changes have been to a negative position. The statistic comes from the Pew Research Center, which regularly surveys Internet users on ... their online activities. It found that 20 percent of the social media users it questioned in its latest study said they have changed their minds about a social or political issue because of something they saw on a social media service, while 17 percent said they have changed their minds about a specific candidate. (Source: washingtonpost.com ) In ... (view more)

Thu
03
Nov
John Lister's picture

Facebook Blocks Insurance App to Spy on Users, Set Premiums

Facebook has blocked plans by a British insurance company to use customer posts on Facebook to help determine motor premiums. Admiral Insurance claims no customers would have lost out from the policy. The plan was for customers to give the insurer ... automated access to their Facebook posts (but not photographs) to help decide whether to offer discounts. It would have been aimed mainly at young drivers who had no insurance history to show if they were safe or dangerous drivers. Language Could Indicate Risk Factors The precise details of the algorithm to figure out risk are confidential, but it ... (view more)

Thu
13
Oct
John Lister's picture

Social Media Monitoring Service Sold Data to Cops

A company accused of selling social media data to the police has been blocked from accessing some or all content from three major sites. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter made the move after complaints from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU.) ... According to the ACLU, Geofeedia markets its social media monitoring product to police forces as a way to monitor people who may be involved in protests. In one marketing message, a company representative specifically cited the use of the service during the high-profile unrest that followed the shooting of a man by police officers in Ferguson, ... (view more)

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