Companies like Google and Facebook know quite a bit about you. Their services, which we use for free, have to monetize somehow. Advertisements are typically how those companies make their money, but how much do they know about you? More to the point, can you control it?
The Facebook study conducted a few years back that has so many riled up has finally drawn a response from the company itself. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has spoken out about the “experiment”. Apologizing for the “poor communication” of the program, which lasted for one week in 2012.
Twitter, a very public forum for announcing all manner of things, has drawn the favor of one of the more secretive entities on earth. The CIA have taken to the micro-blogging platform, starting things off with a very familiar tone, putting the "CIA" in "social".
Late last year, Facebook changed their algorithm for News Feed. The news had many content providers calling foul, but Facebook didn’t relent. The change meant we’d see less in our stream, and the company has now explained why they went ahead with the alteration.
Social networks pose some interesting issues related to communication: tweets and statuses persist beyond the initial sentiment, are often exposed to large groups of people, and lack cues that help determine in what way a statement is meant. As such, certain statements said in jest could land the ones who shared them in hot water.
Twitter may be getting a lot more visual, and take up more of your time, with a new experiment. It seems as though the micro-blogging platform is toying with the option to suggest videos based on your tweets. By adding a hashtag, Twitter may end up suggesting you post a video of the occurrence you’re talking about.
It's very easy to forget that social media is not a charitable institution that wants you to connect to the world. The truth of the matter is that we humans love drama, and we thrive on gossip. The minute you score a new gig, you immediately share it on Facebook. Controversial news – let's spill it on Twitter! 'I'm the next best photographer with a new phone'; sure Instagram is there, and for the crafty-you – Pinterest is your best friend. Once you've been hooked to the platform, the monetization game begins.
Have you ever told a fable on Twitter, perhaps for humor's sake or as an accidental faux pas? Ever retweeted something, only to later discover it was false? Soon such tweets will be tested under the watchful eye of Pheme, a lie detector of sorts that aims to determine in real time whether a tweet contains the truth or is a lie.
A PR agency that handles CollegeHumor, OkCupid, the Daily Beast, Vimeo and other high-profile web properties has "parted ways with" a corporate communications officer over a tweet deemed offensive by the company and some of the grassroots public. The tweet came from one Justine Sacco's personal account, not a company account. It informed her followers that she was about to fly to Africa, commented on the AIDS epidemic on that continent -- and implied that she thought her being white inoculated her against the deadly disease.
Facebook has at last answered your cries for a "Dislike" button, sort of. You will not be able to thumbs-down statuses and other types of posts in news feeds and timelines, but you will be able to send a thumbs-down in private messages via the mobile app. And you will be able to send a whole lot more types of thumbs to express a range of sentiments.