Tag: Facebook

US government can post your snaps on Facebook

thumb-mark-zuckerberg-facebook-pro-4566The US government claims it has the right to steal your photos and pretend to be you on social networking sites so that it can trick your friends into admitting illegal acts.

The Justice Department is claiming that a federal agent had the right to impersonate a young woman online by creating a Facebook page in her name without her knowledge. The agent managed to do this by stealing pictures from the woman’s seized mobile and sticking racy pictures of her and even one of her young son and niece to a fake social media account.

The woman, Sondra Arquiett, who then went by the name Sondra Prince, discovered that the spooks had stolen her ID in 2010 when a friend asked about the pictures she was posting on her Facebook page. There were risqué pictures of her posing on the hood of a BMW with her legs spread, and others with her in her underwear.

The account was actually set up by US Drug Enforcement Administration special agent Timothy Sinnigen who had arrested Arquiett, alleging she was part of a drug ring. A judge decided that that the single mom was a bit player who accepted responsibility and sentenced her to probation.

While she was awaiting trial, Sinnigen created the fake Facebook page using Arquiett’s real name, posted photos from her seized cell phone, and communicated with at least one wanted fugitive — all without her knowledge.

Facebook’s “Community Standards” say that “Claiming to be another person, creating a false presence for an organisation, or creating multiple accounts undermines community and violates Facebook’s terms” and there there is no exception for cops and spooks.

The bogus Facebook page is still there though.

The DEA’s actions might never have come to light if Arquiett, now 28, hadn’t sued Sinnigen, accusing him in federal district court in Syracuse, New York, of violating her privacy and placing her in danger.

The government’s response said that: “Defendants admit that Plaintiff did not give express permission for the use of photographs contained on her phone on an undercover Facebook page, but state the Plaintiff implicitly consented by granting access to the information stored in her mobile and by consenting to the use of that information to aid in an ongoing criminal investigations.”

In other words the US government can come into your house take your photographs and post them online if it thinks it can use them to arrest your friends.  When Arquiett gave permission for the FBI to look at her phone she cannot have imagined that she would have consented to her data being used in like that, but apparently the US Justice department thinks it is OK.

Zuckerburg buys a stately pleasure dome

Mark Zuckerberg - WikimedaIt seems that all empire builders at some point have a crack at building their personal Xanadu, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg is no different.

He has written a cheque for a 357-acre beachfront plantation on the island of Kauai in Hawaii — a space zoned for 80 well-appointed homes.

According to Pacific Business News, Zuckerberg dropped $66 million on Kahuaina Plantation on the northeast corner of Kauai. The estate is billed as one of the last large beachfront parcels on the rainforest-filled island, “a vast and pristine oceanfront property that offers the rare opportunity to create a stewardship to last for generations,” according to its brochure.

The property has all necessary permits, a wide variety of development options, and access to nearly 2,500 feet of white sand beach. Zuckerberg will have 27 acres to grow “organic crops including ginger, turmeric and papaya” if he should want it.

Of course this is not as good as Larry Ellison who bought pretty much all of the island of Lana’i in June 2012, but then Ellison has got pots more money than Zuckerburg.  On the other hand Ellison is 70 years old and Zuckerburg has more time to catch up.

Of course neither Ellison or Zuckerburg can match Bill Gates who never bothered creating Xanadu for him and his rich chums, but gave it all up to help humanity survive and Olivia Newton John is not involved.

Facebook feature stuffs up your phone bill

shockThe phone companies are rubbing their hands with glee thanks to Facebook’s decision to autorun movies on their news feeds.

Facebook introduced a system where your films of cute cats, guilty dogs, pigglets being thrown into sausage machines and people being beheaded play automatically as you scroll down.

While that is not a problem for those on home broadband, it has been a major killer for mobile users.  Reports are coming in from the US where smartphone users are maxing out their data plans because their phones are downloading movies they are probably not even looking at.

Consumer finance site MoneySavingExpert.com, said it had “seen many complaints from people who have been stung with data bills after exceeding their monthly allowance and who believe it to be because of Facebook autoplaying videos”.

It is not that difficult to fix as the autoplay feature can be switched off but it is not as if Facebook, or anyone else is rushing to tell users.Tap your “Settings” button and then scroll down and click “Facebook.” From there, click “Settings,” “Auto-play,” and then choose “Wi-Fi only” or “Off.” On Android, bring up the Facebook app and go to your account settings. Click “App Settings,” and then choose ‘Auto-play only on Wi-Fi’ or ‘Off.’


Facebook kills off click-bait news you will not believe what happens next

no fishingThe days of social notworking sites supporting news sites which have introductions like “you will not believe what happened next” or “you will find this astounding” could be a thing of the past.

Facebook announced further plans to clean up the News Feed by reducing stories with click-bait headlines as well as stories that have links shared in the captions of photos or within status updates.

“Click-baiting” is the art of posting links with a headline without actually telling you much information. In other words, you click to see more, and you are not told enough about what to expect.

Posts get many clicks, which means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed. However, they are as popular as the Boston stranger and 80 per cent of the time people want headlines that helped them decide if they wanted to read the full article.

Facebook’s News Feed algorithm now considers how long people spend reading the given content and the ratio of people clicking on the content compared to people discussing and sharing it with their friends.

If users click on an article, reading it, and maybe even came back to interact with it on Facebook, they clicked through to something valuable, while if they came straight back to Facebook and didn’t engage with the story it was probably click bait.

Facebook will be making ongoing adjustments so it is not penalising stories unnecessarily. However the change is expected to cane a publishers who do this and few will mourn their passing.

Of course they could provide news stories with a decent headline, like the old days but that is too much like hard work.

Facebook warns about satire

facebokSocial notworking site Facebook is so worried that people have been posting bogus stories as truth that it is experimenting with a satire tag.

The problem is that – generally speaking – people in America can’t tell the difference between a news story with the headline “New Study Finds Humans Shouldn’t Spend More Than 5 Consecutive Hours Together” and a real scientific study.

To be fair it is tricky to spot the difference. The woman who posted a story which claimed that turmeric was the perfect cure for Ebola was being serious as were the posts which claimed vaccines were full of mercury and give kids autism.

It has not helped that some US publications cannot tell the difference between satire and just “making stuff up” so these very unfunny or dim stories are easily confused with fact.

All that could be outdated, however, as Facebook is currently testing the infamous “satire” tag that will distinguish fake news from the real deal. If you click on an Onion article, for example, Facebook would then automatically tag related articles with the aforementioned “satire” text in the headline.  Sadly, this does not apply to the Daily Mail articles which are still being presented as true.

Facebook said that it is all in the testing stage and the idea came from feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others in these units.

Enterprise social networking is a waste of time

crystalballBig companies which thought that it would be a wizard wheeze to set up social networking sites on their corporate nets are regretting the investment.

It is not because the social networking sites are being misused, but rather that they are not being used at all.

Enterprise social networking (ESN) software, designed to boost interaction and collaboration, is being completely ignored.

It sounds so good on paper. A successful ESN deployment means you get a Facebook- and Twitter-like system for your workplace, with employee profiles, activity streams, document sharing, groups, discussion forums and microblogging and employee’s that work together.

The managers thought that staff could use it for brainstorming ideas, answering each other’s questions, discovering colleagues with valuable expertise, co-editing marketing materials, sharing sales leads and collaborating on a new product design.

Carol Rozwell, a Gartner analyst, told IT World   that between 70 percent and 80 percent of companies are struggling with Enterprise Social Networking.

She said it is often rolled out by leaders who are thrilled with the technology, and they see how quickly consumer social networks like Facebook have grown. They think they’ll accomplish the same growth rate and participation if they buy the right tool and staff will use it.

However Gartner predicts that through 2015, 80 percent of social business efforts will not achieve their intended benefits due to inadequate leadership and an overemphasis on technology.

However despite the fact that no one is using them, it seems that management still think they are a brilliant idea. MarketsandMarkets claims that spending on this type of software is expected to grow from $4.77 billion this year to $8.14 billion in 2019.  It sounds like it would be money better spend on a horse.

Facebook falls foul of ICO

George OrwellYesterday Facebook announced the results of a psychological experiment into human behaviour to find if Facebook could alter the emotional state of its users and prompt them to post either more positive or negative content.

It was all fairly tame stuff, but it did raise the eyebrows of the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

It is concerned that Facebook might have broken data protection laws when it allowed researchers to conduct a psychological experiment on 700,000 unwitting users in 2012 users of the social network.

The ICO monitors how personal data is used and has the power to force organizations to change their policies and levy fines of up to £500,000 pounds ($839,500).

Facebook said that it could do what it liked with the 700,000 because they had signed an terms of use agreement when they joined.  Of course they had not read it, but they had signed it.
It is not clear what part of UK data protection laws Facebook might have broken, but it does seem that if there is not a clause which says you cannot submit the personal data of your customers to scientific experimentation, there should be.

Quanta pins hopes on servers

server-racksTaiwanese ODM firm Quanta is hoping that demand for servers will help boost its profits.

That’s according to Digitimes, which claimed that Quanta’s direct customers include Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, NTT, KDDI, Korea Telecom and Singapore Telecom. NEC uses Quanta to build its units.

The wire reports that server shipments this wire will grow by 20 percent in volume and 40 percent in value.

Quanta, known primarily for its position as a notebook ODM, has decided to create a subsidiary aimed at growing direct sales.

It now has marketing units in the US, China, Japan, Singapore and Germany and hopes to increase sales by opening another European office.

You’re hired! By social networking

crowdsA survey of over 7,000 HR managers, recruiters, and recruitment companies has revealed that social networking is playing an important role in hiring.

According to oilandgaspeople.com, which is a jobs board for the oil and gas industry, 82 percent of employers check out candidates on their social networking sites. And, be careful what you stick on Facebook or Linkedin, because 64 percent rejected applications after examining people’s profiles.

A staggering 88 percent of recruiters use Linkedin, while 25 percent used Twitter and 33 percent industry based boards.

The reason for using social media, according to 77 percent of those surveyed, is that it gives better access to more candidates.  But cost comes into the equation too – 33 percent said using social networking was cost effective, and 41 percent it gave them better insight into job candidates.

Over 63 percent said social media is more effective than print ads for advertising jobs.

Facebook marketing works after all

visa-epayIt appears that Facebook is finally starting to make sense for marketers. For years Facebook users complained about every single redesign and the inclusion of more ads, especially intrusive ones that appear in newsfeeds.

However, it appears that they are working. The Drum reports that 12 percent of Facebook users in Britain have already made a purchase after seeing a product in their newsfeed. So for all the talk of hating Facebook ads, the same people who are complaining seem to be falling for the ads.

What’s more, Faceboom EMEA veep Nicola Mendelsohn said mums spend three times as much time on Facebook during the holiday season and they account for the vast majority of Christmas gift purchases.

Facebook has recently announced the launch of a new SMB content hub that should help small businesses promote goods and services on the social network.

Social media rants bad for businesses

visa-epayNot that long ago dissatisfied customers used to ring up companies or show up at their door. Neither option was something businesses looked forward to, but they had to deal with it anyway. Then the social networking revolution came about and for a while it seemed like the internet would help improve customer service and lessen the hassle at the same time.

It did, but it also created another problem. People don’t tend to call customer service anymore, they just head to Facebook and start posting bile ridden posts about companies.

Dr. Donald Patrick Lim, chief digital officer of ABS-CBN and managing director of McCann’s digital arm, said companies must converge technology, performance and creativity, but they also need to address the social media threat, reports SunStar.

“Consumers today are very wired. They don’t call. They just go on Facebook and rant there,” said Lim.

As more and more people get tech savvy and dependent on social media for information, the rants can have a very disruptive effect and shouldn’t be ignored.

Many companies now offer online message boards and real time support, which is very convenient indeed. However it also poses a risk, as every unsatisfactory, inappropriate or downright daft chat from support staff can end up on social media in a matter of seconds, thanks to ye olde clipboard.

Cost and pressure of uni work placements could put students off

bbc 330Work placements at degree stage help prepare  IT students for full time work, yet the cost and pressure of finding them can put many off, a work experience professional has said.

The comments follow a survey of 320 graduates from CWJobs, which found that those who had completed a placement year had been better prepared to enter the world of work when they had finished their degree.

A quarter of those asked said they had completed a placement while studying for their degrees. Of these, 81 percent said they felt the experience had helped them when it came to their IT career.

Just under half of students who had not completed a placement year admitted that they did not feel that just having a degree better placed them for the world of work.

According to recruitment firm Experis, and IT jobs site CWJobs.com, which jointly conducted the research, employers often look for students who had completed relevant work experience.

However, they pointed out that of the 2,048 computing courses offered in the UK, only 470 offer a placement year.

According to a work experience expert,  many students who don’t have the option of a sandwich course will fail to find a placement during their time at university.

“At university level things change slightly from school age where it is down to each borough to place a 16 year old in a work experience placement”, she told ChannelEye. “At degree level, it’s no longer down to the government to place students, which in some ways, considering the tuition fee hike is unfair.

“It means that on top of their workload students are put under pressure- with probably minimal help from their tutors, to find placements to accompany their course. There may be companies who are signed up with the course but the competition is rife.”

There are financial costs involved too.

An article in the Guardian last year suggested that some universities can charge up to around £4,500 for sandwich years, while businesses are also reluctant to become a part of this scheme as they don’t have the time to supervise these students.

“Placements are very important, but for some, the time and effort associated with these put students off and, as we’ve seen from this research could prove detrimental in the future,” the work experience expert added.

Meanwhile, the Chartered Institute for IT announced that it is launching a teacher training scholarship aimed at creating the next generation of computer science teachers.

The organisation wants secondary schools to “have outstanding computer science teachers” and it hopes the scholarships will help towards achieving this.

The scheme also aims to help students receive a good grounding in computer science education so they are suitably equipped for progression into further education and a professional career.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We need to bring computational thinking into our schools. Having Computer Science in the EBacc (English Baccalaureate) will have a big impact on schools over the next decade.

“It will mean millions of children learning to write computer code so they are active creators and controllers of technology instead of just being passive users. It will be great for education, great for the economy, and will help restore the spirit of Alan Turing and make Britain a world leader again.”

Fifty scholarships per year, each worth £20,000, will be awarded for those engaged in an initial teacher training course, with the funding supplied by the Department for Education.

The scheme will also be backed by the likes of Microsoft, Google, IBM, BT, Facebook, Meta Switch Networks and Ocado.

Half of businesses to get Facebook style not working by 2016

gartnerHalf of large enterprises will have an internal social network, similar to Facebook, by 2016, Gartner has claimed.

Although 30 percent of these firms will consider this medium as essential as email and telephones, Gartner also claims that through 2015, 80 percent of social business efforts will not hit the high levels required to make this a reality, as a result of inadequate leadership and an overemphasis on technology

According to Gartner, using Facebook-like enterprise social not-working software for communication has several advantages over email and traditional collaboration methods. The analyst house said this is because software enabled information and events that are traditionally sent in emails can instead be turned into conversations and logged onto one system that everyone can see.

To ensure that businesses made the most of this, Gartner said head honchos must shift their thoughts away from deciding what the best communication technology is and instead focus on how to implement and understand how social networks work – and how they can be integrated into companies.

Currently, businesses are stifled because there is too much focus on content and technology, and not enough focus on leadership and relationships.

By 2017, Gartner expects to see companies offering social networking with gamified features – possibly rewarding employees through the social networking on a mobile or PC platform with work incentives.