QuickLinks - Social networking, user-generated content
QuickLinks - Social networking, user-generated content
Social networking, user-generated content
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Issue no. 413 - 20 February 2011
Alan Rusbridger: Why Twitter matters for media organisations
In an extract from his Andrew Olle lecture, the Guardian editor-in-chief sets out 15 things Twitter does effectively.
Issue no. 412 - 28 November 2010
Facebook alternative Diaspora goes live
An open source alternative to Facebook - called Diaspora - has gone live. The "privacy-aware" social network was founded earlier this year during a period when Facebook came under fire for its privacy settings. The community-funded project is currently only open to a small number of invited people. Analysts have questioned whether the network can ever challenge more established sites such as Facebook, which now boasts nearly 600m members.
Risk Reduction Strategies on Facebook
Mikalah uses Facebook but when she goes to log out, she deactivates her Facebook account. She knows that this doesn't delete the account – that's the point. She knows that when she logs back in, she'll be able to reactivate the account and have all of her friend connections back. But when she's not logged in, no one can post messages on her wall or send her messages privately or browse her content. But when she's logged in, they can do all of that. And she can delete anything that she doesn't like. Shamika doesn't deactivate her Facebook profile but she does delete every wall message, status update, and Like shortly after it's posted. She'll post a status update and leave it there until she's ready to post the next one or until she's done with it. Then she'll delete it from her profile. When she's done reading a friend's comment on her page, she'll delete it.
UK - Royal wedding: Facebook row bishop suspended
A Church of England bishop who made "deeply offensive" comments on Facebook about the royal engagement has been suspended from his public duties. The Bishop of Willesden, the Right Reverend Pete Broadbent, said the union between Prince William and Kate Middleton would last about seven years. He apologised for the remarks on Monday but has been asked by the Bishop of London to withdraw from public ministry "until further notice".
UK - Social media spread news about student protest
t's not often you can cover a story from your desk almost as well as you could if you were on the ground. But social media and networking sites meant the most powerful images from the student protest were broadcast online before they hit television screens. As students and onlookers filmed scenes on their mobile phones it was websites like Flickr and YouTube that provided some of the most memorable footage. Asif Khan, who was working in the 30 Millbank building, took his mobile phone to the reception and filmed the moment protesters smashed through the windows with batons. There were no other cameras inside the tower and his footage was used by broadcasters around the world.
Facebook and Skype deal to dial friends and family
Skype is integrating with Facebook to make it easier to call and video chat with friends and family on the social network. The new Skype for Windows will include a Facebook tab. This means that for the first time Skype users can keep up-to-date and interact with their Facebook news feed including posting status updates, commenting and liking directly from Skype. Added to that, the Facebook phonebook in Skype allows users to call and text Facebook friends directly on their mobile phones and landlines. And if your Facebook friend is also a Skype contact, then users can make free Skype-to-Skype calls.
MySpace deal looks to Facebook to gain and retain users
The once dominant MySpace has turned to the company that stole its crown, Facebook for help to drive users to its ailing site. The two launched Mashup with Facebook, to let MySpace users log into their Facebook accounts through their MySpace page. This means users can port over their likes and interests listed on Facebook. In turn users will get a stream of entertainment content based on these preferences.
Issue no. 411 - 3 October 2010
Pornographic videos flood YouTube
Video-sharing website YouTube has removed hundreds of pornographic videos which were uploaded in what is believed to be a planned attack. The material was uploaded under names of famous teenage celebrities such as Hannah Montana and Jonas Brothers. Many started with footage of children's videos before groups of adults performing graphic sex acts appeared on screen. YouTube owner Google said it was aware and addressing the problem.
UK - Girl, 14, fears 21,000 party guests after Facebook invite blunder
A teenager from Hertfordshire who mistakenly posted her address and phone number on Facebook to publicise a birthday party ended up with 21,000 promised guests.
University bans Facebook, Twitter for a week
Pennsylvania's Harrisburg University of Science and Technology will enact a week-long social media blackout for all students in residence. The students will be forbidden from using Twitter, Facebook, instant messaging and any other online communication except for e-mail.
reports that university Provost Eric Darr chose to enact the temporary ban because he wants students to think about how much they're using technology in their daily lives and what kind of impact it has.
US - Journalist suspended after Twitter hoax
A Washington Post sports columnist was suspended for a month after the newspaper concluded that he was too cavalier with the publication's reputation when he intentionally used his Twitter account to plant a false story. Mike Wise, a well-known columnist at The New York Times before moving to the Post, was out to illustrate how sloppy sports journalism has become in the age of shoot-first blogging and social networking.
Microsoft gives up on Live Spaces: blogs to be shifted to Wordpress.com
The software giant appears to have decided that hosting blogs isn't the way to get ahead - and is passing its 7m users (and ad revenues) to the blogging company .
Virtual farm games absorb real money, real lives
People spend not just real time but also real money growing these crops in virtual farming games that combine the allure of both games and social networking in what is usually a cute and deceptively simple package. They can be addictive: many users come back at least once a day to micromanage their farms and deal with other users' requests. On average, the users of these types of games are spending anywhere from a few minutes a game to the greater part of an hour. The companies behind these titles are raking in millions of dollars from people who toil on land that doesn't even exist, and that number continues to grow. A research report from eMarketer in June said social games generated more than $725 million last year in the U.S. alone and projected three times that revenue in 2011.
Issue no. 410 - 6 August 2010
Growing trend of social networking sites for children
A social networking site aimed at 6 to 8 year-olds is the latest indication that children are spending increasing time on computers. Critics say youngsters are missing out on 'human connections', whilst participating parents hope an early start will teach children online etiquette and safety under parental supervision.
UK - Facebook to promote new safety app
Though it has successfully resisted pressure to install a mandatory "panic button" on users' home pages, Facebook has permitted the U.K.'s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) to build an app for its platform that members of the social-networking site can use to report online abuse directly to CEOP or seek advice about potential dangers of the Web. Called ClickCEOP, the app has been released following negotiations and eventually a partnership with Facebook. U.K.-based Facebook members between the ages of 13 and 18 will see an ad on the site that encourages them to install it - the same way that they would install any other third-party Facebook app. CEOP also has a new "fan page" with resources geared toward young Facebook users in the U.K. see also
Facebook: Let's not call it a 'panic button'
So-called Facebook "Panic button" is about engagement, not panic
(Huffington Post) by Larry Magid and
Facebook's Panic Button: Who's panicking? And who's listening?
Yahoo and Facebook announce site tie-up
Yahoo and Facebook are to tie their services closer together. The tie-up means people with a presence on both sites can have updates to one service mirrored to the other. It also means that it will get easier for users of Yahoo's other services, such as Flickr, to share what they do with friends on Facebook.
Issue no. 409 - 6 June 2010
Antisocial Networking? How Does Technology Affect Kids' Friendships
(New York Times)
Children used to actually talk to their friends. Those hours spent on the family princess phone or hanging out with pals in the neighborhood after school vanished long ago. But now, even chatting on cellphones or via e-mail (through which you can at least converse in paragraphs) is passé. For today’s teenagers and preteens, the give and take of friendship seems to be conducted increasingly in the abbreviated snatches of cellphone texts and instant messages, or through the very public forum of Facebook walls and MySpace bulletins.
EU / US - TACD Resolution on Social Networking
Millions of social network users are being exposed to privacy risks and lack adequate control over their personal information, according to the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD), a coalition of U.S. and European consumer advocacy groups. The TACD has adopted a new resolution criticizing the U.S. and European governments for failing to protect social network users from privacy and marketing abuses. Recent changes to Facebook’s policies reclassify user information that was previously protected, such as lists of friends, employment information, gender, geographic region, and film and literary preferences, as “publicly available.” Furthermore, the groups expressed concern about Facebook’s “instant personalization” feature and asserted that it is becoming increasingly difficult for Facebook users to exercise meaningful control over their data. TACD members are especially concerned about young people who use social network sites. The resolution calls for the U.S. and EU governments to prohibit social networks from targeting advertisements to children under 16 and to bar them from using online marketing practices that studies show can have a negative impact on individuals, particularly children - for instance, digital marketing of products that contribute to childhood obesity.
FR - Pas d'interdiction générale des apéros Facebook
Une réunion interministérielle s'est penchée sur le problème des rassemblements organisés par l'intermédiaire de Facebook. Rien n'est interdit mais les organisateurs ont des responsabilités.
UK - Student fined for bringing UCL into disrepute with FitFinder
The founder of a student flirting website has been fined £300 for bringing his university into disrepute. The FitFinder, set up last month, combines Twitter and Facebook to allow students to exchange saucy messages on campus. The site received four million hits in its first month and has rapidly expanded to universities across the country.
Issue no. 408 - 25 April 2010
Facebook: Why a Safety Center, not a 'panic button'
The Facebook news in the US was its new expanded Safety Center. The news in Britain was that Facebook "STILL refuses to install [a] 'panic button'" on its pages. However, Facebook also announced that its UK users will "now be able to report unwanted or suspicious contact directly to CEOP [the UK's Child Exploitation & Online Protection Center] and other leading safety and child protection organizations via its own reporting system," so CEOP has come very close to getting its wish. But this "panic button" concept is really problematic – and not just because of the word "panic," which suggests brains in crisis mode, with all rational thought switched off. Here's why it's problematic: A single reporting mechanism doesn't cut it. If you consider the really negative behavior that might lead to an abuse report, research shows that it's bullying, not predation, that would get reported far more often. Is law enforcement designed to deal with noncriminal but bad adolescent behavior? Fortunately, the new system Facebook put in place sends only reports of criminal behavior to CEOP. see also
Facebook rejects suggested 'Panic Button' for pages
(CNET) by Larry Magid and
Police tell Facebook: your efforts to combat paedophiles are not enough
AOL plans to sell or shut down Bebo
Internet company AOL has announced plans to sell or shut down the social networking site Bebo. The company said it was unable to provide the "significant investment" Bebo needed to compete with its social networking rivals. see
Bebo faces closure or sale by AOL as members log off
Facebook's bid to rule the web as it goes social
Facebook set out its stall to unseat Google and be at the heart of the web experience as it becomes more social. The world's largest social network unveiled a series of products at its developer conference F8 aimed at helping the company achieve that goal. These tools will make it easier for users to take their friends with them as they browse the web. The most significant was an open graph protocol to let publishers tag their content by type along with a "Like" button that partner sites put on their webpage. This allows users to indicate what they like on a website, be it from photographs to news items and from clothes to music. That information will then be stored by Facebook the way it already stores connections between people. At the same time any website will be able to take those individual preferences and use them to tailor a more "personalised online experience" for the user and their friends. See also
Facebook Open Graph: The Definitive Guide For Publishers, Users and Competitors
Is Facebook becoming the new Bebo?
Once it was pretty clear. Bebo was for the teens. Facebook was for the 20 or 30 somethings and LinkedIn was for the professional types. But now seems Facebook has inherited many of the teen-related problems that dogged Bebo in its heyday.
Issue no. 407 - 28 March 2010
AU - Internet Industry Association calls social network companies for summit on online safety
Social networking companies including YouTube, Facebook and MySpace are likely to announce new education initiatives to help users protect themselves online. Representatives from Australia's top social networking sites were called to a crisis meeting after the defacing of Facebook tribute pages for two murdered Australian children. The meeting was hastily convened by the Internet Industry Association. Internet safety issues stemming from the events concerning Facebook are also understood to have been canvassed at a government and industry working group meeting in Canberra.
by Sarita Yardi. ChatRoulette is a new website that connects you face to face with Internet users around the world. When you go to the site and hit Play your webcam turns on and you're connected to another person. Most times you'll hit Next within a few seconds and be connected to someone else. Sometimes people stop to chat. Basically, instead of surfing the web, you’re surfing people. See also
ChatRoulette, from my perspective
by danah boyd,
The Surreal World of Chatroulette
(New York Times) and
ChatRoulette: Heads up, parents!
(Net Family News).
UK - Facebook rules out installing 'panic button'
Facebook says it will not install a "panic button" on its main pages for users to report suspected paedophiles, but will develop its existing system. The company says it will have links to organisations including the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) centre on its reporting pages. Earlier, the Home Secretary said Facebook executives had told him they had "no objection in principle" to installing the safety button. Alan Johnson said he and the site's executives had had a "frank exchange of views" during the meeting. But Richard Allan, director of policy for Facebook Europe, made clear the company was not considering including the button on its main site. He said the Ceop button might be effective in principle, but only "for other sites", and not Facebook. Jim Gamble, head of CEOP, said the button needed to be on the front page of every Facebook profile page.
Links to news items about legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, particularly those relating to information content, and market and technology.
QuickLinks consists of
a free newsletter appearing approximately every two to three weeks. The newsletter is distributed by electronic mail through an "announcement only" mailing list.
a Web site with frequent updates, an events page, news items organised by category as well as chronologically by issue and full text search.
QuickLinks is edited by Richard Swetenham
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Licence