“Can you imagine getting a package in the mail from this complete stranger that you know from Facebook because you joined a group, and say here, drink this purported spit from some other kid?” Martin told The Associated Press.
Isaac Thomsen, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, said it’s unlikely the items will succeed in giving other children chickenpox.
“If there’s a very high load on the virus and shipped very quickly, it’s theoretically possible,” he said. “But it’s probably not an effective way to transmit it. It typically has to be inhaled.”
But Thomsen warned the lollipops could carry more dangerous viruses, including hepatitis.
Martin said it is a federal crime to send diseases or viruses across state lines, whether through the U.S. Postal Service or private services like FedEx or UPS. Sending the lollipops would be illegal under the same law that makes it illegal to mail contagions like anthrax. He said a conviction could lead to a sentence from less than a year to 20 years in prison.
Martin said the items are sought by parents who don’t want to give their children vaccines. He said he could neither confirm nor deny that his office is investigating or seeking charges against anyone.
According to the TV reports, parents have turned to a Facebook group called “Find a Pox Party in Your Area” to link up people looking to share the virus.
One of the Facebook postings from Wendy Werkit of Nashville offered a “fresh batch of pox in Nashville shipping of suckers, spit and Q-tips available tomorrow 50 dollars via PayPal.”
Werkit told WSMV that the money was used to cover the shipping costs of the lollipops had been licked by her children.
“They can’t get (chickenpox) the normal way anymore of just naturally catching and just naturally getting the immunity for life,” Werkit said.
Thomsen, the Vanderbilt physician, said he was even more concerned by a person in the KPHO report seeking items tainted with measles to avoid a school-required vaccination. Measles has a significant mortality rate, causes more complications and is very infectious compared with chickenpox, he said.
And law enforcement won’t take any such cases lightly, Martin said.
“If you are engaged in this type of behavior, you’re not only potentially exposing innocent people to dangerous viruses and illnesses and diseases, you’re also exposing yourself potentially to federal criminal prosecution,” he said.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Article source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/prosecutor-warns-parents-wary-of-vaccines-mailing-chickenpox-so-kids-develop-immunity-illegal/2011/11/04/gIQAgje9mM_story.html
Hey Check-in readers, I wanted to tell you about an important change coming to our commenting system:
Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 9, the Travel section will replace our current system with commenting from Facebook (the rest of USATODAY.com will switch Nov. 28). Once the change takes effect, you will need an active Facebook account to submit comments on the site. We believe this change will simplify the process and enhance the conversation.
When visiting the site and logged into Facebook, you can easily comment on, and share, stories and blog posts. You’ll also be able to include your friends in the conversation and get instant notification when someone responds to your comments.
Once you log into your Facebook account and start commenting, there will be no need to maintain a separate login on USATODAY.com. And if you have an existing USA TODAY login, it will continue to work after this change; you just won’t need it for commenting. To see how the Facebook commenting procedure will work, go to our new romance-novel blog, Happy Ever After. If you don’t have a Facebook account to continue commenting on our stories and posts, you can sign up at facebook.com.
I’m on Facebook at facebook.com/barbara.delollis, and look forward to joining the conversation with you.
If you have questions or concerns, send us a Feedback form or e-mail us at email@example.com.
Article source: http://travel.usatoday.com/hotels/post/2011/11/facebook-comments-usatoday-travel/561485/1
On People.com, only Facebook users can comment. (The news story in question is about Justin Bieber going on a date to an R-rated movie with Selena Gomez, by the way.)
Your name might be a little more searchable these days, as Google now indexes comments you publish on Web sites using the Facebook Comments platform.
Matt Cutts, a Google team member, later confirmed this discovery, tweeting: “Googlebot keeps getting smarter. Now has the ability to execute AJAX/JS to index some dynamic comments.”
Web sites like DailyBeast, Patch, and Examiner, which use the Facebook Social Plugin, let readers leave comments using their Facebook profile instead of forcing them to create a new account.
Comments published using the platform are accompanied by the user’s name, profile picture, and a link to his or her Facebook profile.
To many users, Facebook Comments is a convenience, eliminating the need to create a unique account, username, and password each time they comment on a different Web site or blog.
The Social Plugin also makes Web site managers happy, as the convenience to leave comments without creating a new account encourages user engagement. But until today, the benefit of Facebook Comments came at the expense of SEO (search engine optimization), as comments left via Facebook were not indexed by Google.
Now that Google Search indexes Facebook comments on third-party sites, we’ll likely see an increase in Web sites implementing the platform in an attempt to boost their searchability. But what does this mean for users?
Screenshot by Sharon Vaknin/CNET)
Also worth noting is that comments you leave on public Facebook Pages (like brands and celebrities) are also indexed by Google, but comments you leave on friends’ profiles are not.
Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57318871-93/say-what-google-is-now-indexing-facebook-comments/
LONDON (Reuters) – To have prolific British celebrity tweeter Stephen Fry on board a flight grounded by an engine fault less than a week after a labor dispute-related complete shutdown of services has to count as bad luck for an airline.
But Australian airline Qantas’s public-relations week from hell showed the dangers of treating social media like Facebook or Twitter as one-way marketing channels.
In the last year or two, many companies have come to understand the value of monitoring social media channels to gauge public sentiment about their brands and services.
But few have yet succeeded in establishing an effective two-way conversation with their followers and those who comment online on their activities — leaving themselves open to being the subject of discussion without taking part.
On Friday, Fry’s 3.3 million Twitter followers (@stephenfry) likely learned before the media team at Qantas’s Sydney headquarters that an engine fault had forced a London-bound A380 to divert to Dubai, when Fry tweeted: “Bugger. Forced to land in Dubai.”
As the hours passed and Fry’s language got more colorful, particularly when he discovered his wallet was still on the plane, traditional media from London to Sydney leapt on the story, with Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper describing the plane carrying 258 people as “Stephen Fry’s flight.”
“When you have got very influential people tweeting negatively about you, that is very unfortunate,” said Alex Clough, a digital strategist at global communications consultancy Lewis PR.
But Clough and others said such situations can only become more common, and organizations need to take account of Twitter evangelists like Fry in their social media strategies.
“He is one of these people who symbolizes Twitter really … so it makes sense for people to follow him around, see what he is up to, make sure he is happy,” said University of East London education professor John Preston, who is researching the use of Twitter in disaster situations.
Qantas was roundly condemned for a failure to communicate with customers when it grounded its entire fleet last weekend, even asking its 70,000 stranded passengers not to ring its contact center.
By Friday, it had recovered to the point of publicly engaging with Fry and other customers, tweeting: “Mr. Fry, your wallet has been found and is on its way back to you at the terminal” and “Thanks for keeping your sense of humor.”
However, as Clough pointed out: “If you have got tens of thousands of people grounded … you can’t physically go and tweet every single one of them.”
Paul Charles, founder and chief executive of London-based travel crisis communications consultancy Perowne Charles Communications, said: “Qantas have certainly upped their game — they have had to … but there is a lot further to go.”
The global travel industry has had to learn fast since an ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano shut airports across Europe a year and a half ago, causing chaos among stranded customers.
“That was a real warning to companies to get their act together before governments put into place legislation to force them to act,” says Charles.
Bernhard Warner, co-founder of consultancy Social Media Influence, said the event was as much of a wake-up call to passengers as it was to the airlines.
“Thanks to the Stephen Frys of the world, we suddenly did not have to live with the radio silence any more,” he said.
The industry had received a warning two months before the Icelandic volcano erupted, when U.S. budget airline Southwest Airlines ejected film maker Kevin Smith from a flight for being too large to fit in his seat.
Smith unleashed a barrage of complaints about his treatment on his Twitter feed — followed by 1-1/2 million people, some of whom shared their own experiences of rejection — and Southwest eventually apologized publicly.
Such incidents made the industry realize Twitter and other social media sites were not one-way channels for marketing messages, and could bite back.
“They realize now that they cannot just shove marketing messages down people’s throats when the sky is falling in,” Warner said.
As well as a sympathetic attitude, speed is essential when dealing with distressed passengers — companies have about a four-hour window to win or lose the PR battle, London professor Preston said. “If a company says a plane is stuck at an airport, that is too late. People are already sharing opinions about that by then.
“You have got a really short window in which to source what is happening on the ground before people start emoting about it. People are looking for stuff then, their emotions going one way and another.”
Most of the industry is still operating at a far lower level of sophistication, said PCC’s Charles, giving Lufthansa’s loss-making airline bmi, being sold to British Airways owner IAG, as an example.
“At six o’clock in the evening on a Friday, they will actually tweet out: ‘That is all from us, have a good weekend. See you on Monday,’” he said.
(Editing by Dan Lalor)
Article source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/04/us-qantas-twitter-idUSTRE7A36BA20111104
As the jury deliberates the fate of Dr. Conrad Murray, the cardiologist facing involuntary manslaughter in the death of pop superstar Michael Jackson, fans of the late singer are taking to Twitter to express their hopes for a guilty verdict.
- Court Cases
“Justice for Michael Jackson” was one of the top trending topics on the site today.
“This is not just justice for Michael Jackson,” tweeted jayenere. “This is justice for anyone who loved him. Including the fans… we are without b/c of Conrad!”
User omgakeem wrote, “Parents lost their son, children lost their father, siblings lost their brother, millions lost their hero. ♥ JUSTICE FOR MICHAEL JACKSON.”
After six weeks of testimony from police, crime scene investigators, medical experts, former employees of Jackson and former patients and girlfriends of Murray, the trial culminated in closing arguments yesterday from Prosecutor David Walgren and Defense Attorney Ed Chernoff.
Murray was hired as Jackson’s personal physician to oversee his care during what was to be his last world tour. The doctor allegedly injected Jackson with 100mg of Propofol, four times the amount that a person may ingest safely, in order to help the pop star sleep. The prosecution contends that not only was Conrad wrong to administer the anesthetic drug, which is only meant to be used in a hospital setting, but also that he is responsible for Jackson’s death because he was not properly monitoring the star’s condition and delayed making a 911 call for 20 minutes after realizing Jackson was not breathing
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In addition, Dr. Alon Steinberg testified for the prosecution that the methods Murray used to try to revive Jackson during that time, such as CPR and chest compressions, were completely inappropriate for the situation.
The prosecution contended Murray was trying to cover up his mistakes and only thinking about himself, not what was best for his patient.
However, the defense claimed that not only was the evidence in the crime scene collected in a shoddy manner, but that Jackson administered the fatal dose of propofol to himself.
Fans on Twitter also expressed their anger at Murray.
“IF MJ was merely an addict then what does that make Conrad Murray?” asked DrJCBenjamin. “Answer: A drug dealer with a medical license that caused his death.”
Article source: http://global.christianpost.com/news/twitter-fans-want-justice-for-michael-jackson-seek-guilty-verdict-in-dr-conrad-murray-trial-60564/
Just as Twitter reached 50 million daily users, it’s testing new “Top News” and “Top People” features. When you perform a search on Twitter, it shows those items related to your search appearing above your results. Twitter hasn’t rolled this out on all accounts yet (including my own), but it’s something to watch for; both features will increase the relevance of Twitter searches.
Top People Makes it Easier to Find Real Accounts
Have you tried to find a certain celebrity on Twitter who either isn’t quite famous enough to warrant the blue “verified” tag or is so famous that the real account gets buried in mentions of their name? If so, you’ve probably wasted some time hunting up real Twitteraccounts. Now, Twitter puts the verified account at the top of searches in a “Top People” box.
‘Top News’ Makes Relevant Stories Easier to Find
“Top News” returns news articles relevant to your search. If it isn’t limited to certain media organizations when it rolls out, this feature could really level the playing field for bloggers. It’s all speculation until it gets out of the test phase, but niche bloggers could see a real traffic boost if this feature is implemented without restrictions.
What The New ‘Tops’ Mean for Business
If your company is in a niche industry and you have the resources devoted to starting a blog, watch “Top News” closely to see if it is implemented only for mainstream media. If it isn’t, a niche blog now has even more potential to drive traffic to your site.
In the business of soy milk?For example, if your company makes fasteners, a blog about fasteners may seem dry. But if you post industry news and your own opinions to it, someone searching on Twitter for anything related to fasteners may see your blog at the top with a news piece.
The same goes for existing niche blogs. You could pay more attention to news from your industry. Do more blog posts based on news, and you may stand a chance of winning the Twitter lottery by having your story posted in the “Top News” spot when users search for relevant keywords.
The option to sort your search to include top tweets, or only tweets that include links, would add a lot of value for people like me who blog regularly about many topics. If I’m doing a story on soy milk, I don’t have to sort through a bunch of blather about “soy milk”; instead I can move straight to the tweets with links to more substantive information.
This extends past bloggers to public relations professionals, paralegals, and anyone who needs to do research daily. that’s not to mention that this is a game-changer for how public relations people should tweet; now you have to include links when talking about a product, preferably yours.
Angela West dreams of opening a Fallout-themed pub featuring wait staff with Pip-Boys. She’s written for big insurance companies, small wildlife control businesses, gourmet food chains, and more. Follow her on Twitter at @angelawest and Facebook.
Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/243239/top_news_and_people_make_twitter_search_more_useful.html
Stores ignore Facebook complaints
Google pulls app hours after launch
Internet Explorer’s share drops below 50 percent
Piracy war may hit ‘easy shots’
Microsoft software bug linked to ‘Duqu’ virus
Alleged nude pic hacker pleads not guilty
Talk of double standards at cyber meet
App discovers what’s happening nearby
Cyber attack on chemical firms
YouTube launches entertainment venture
A woman accused of impersonating her ex-boyfriend on a fake Facebook page and posting inflammatory comments can be prosecuted for identity theft, a US judge ruled, in a case that could have wider implications for cyber-speech.
Dana Thornton was indicted last year on one count of fourth-degree identity theft, a crime punishable by a maximum 18-month prison term upon conviction. Assistant Prosecutor Robert Schwartz said she created the Facebook page using photos and personal information about her ex-boyfriend, a police detective in northern New Jersey, and posted comments purported to be from him.
According to grand jury testimony recited in court, among the comments posted on the page were that the ex-boyfriend, a narcotics detective, was “high all the time”, had herpes and frequented prostitutes and escort services.
“I’m a sick piece of scum with a gun,” Thornton allegedly wrote.
At issue is a New Jersey law that makes it illegal to impersonate someone “for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself or another or to injure or defraud another”.
Lawyer Richard Roberts, representing Thornton, attempted to have the case dismissed on the grounds that the law makes no mention of electronic communications. New Jersey’s legislature is reviewing an amendment that would add that provision to the law.
Roberts argued that the mere fact that the law could be amended amounts to a tacit admission that the current one doesn’t cover his client’s alleged actions.
“How do you quantify the harm?” he asked. “There was no money involved. We live in the real world where words are thrown around all the time. How does that rise to the level of what is in this statute?”
State Superior Court Judge David Ironson disagreed and said the law was “clear and unambiguous”.
“The fact that the means of committing the crime are not set forth in the statute doesn’t lead to the conclusion that the defendant didn’t commit the crime,” he said.
Thornton didn’t comment on the decision after the hearing. She is next due in court for a pretrial conference on December 7.
The issue of online impersonation and cyber-bullying came to the forefront after a 13-year-old girl committed suicide in a St Louis suburb in 2006. It was later revealed that she had been targeted online by a fictitious 13-year-old boy whose MySpace page had been created by the mother of a teenage girl. Prosecutors contended Lori Drew sought to humiliate the 13-year-old because she suspected the girl had spread rumours about Drew’s teenage daughter.
Drew was convicted on three misdemeanour counts of accessing computers without authorisation, but a federal judge threw out the convictions in 2009.
There are no criminal cases in New Jersey that offer any precedents, Roberts said.
Amending New Jersey’s identity theft law could prompt a review of numerous other laws, said Megan Erickson, an Iowa-based lawyer who blogs about social media and the law.
“If the legislature specifically references online conduct in one statute, should it take an inventory of how all others laws may apply in the context of the internet and amend them as well?” she said.
Bradley Shear, a lawyer who works on online issues, said he expects to see more cases like this one in the near future. The New Jersey case could be a difficult prosecution, he said, because of the way the state’s law is written.
“This specific situation sounds like it may be better handled in civil rather than criminal court,” he said. “It’s very tough to say this is a violation of the law.” It is, however, a violation of Facebook’s terms of service, he said.
So far, only California and New York in the US have laws specifically banning online identity theft. Shear said those states are leading the way largely because of the large number of celebrities who live in them. But he said such laws can get tricky to enforce because it’s legally thorny when the alleged offender is out of state.
“There may need to be some national conversation in the future about the internet,” Shear said. “The internet knows no jurisdictional boundaries.”
Impersonating a police officer?
my exs partner an her daughter an his daughter created a false FB page an started harassing me pretty nasty stuff an they used a complete strangers identity saying you cant catch us an i still dont no wot 2 do an im a solo mum with 4 kids i was with their father 4 17yrs an 2 think he would let them do this 2 me hurts.i think any1 who dose this should no just how serious it is an there should be a law.Its no good
She looks a little bit like Paula Bennett!?!?!?
@ Mel #4 That’s what I think of Facebook too.
Pure twoddle entertainment value tool, for meaningless people with meaningless lives.
This is more that plain stupid. In court for Facebook ? – Facebook is just something fun for pure entertainment. It’s like charging a actor for a murder on a TV show like Shortland St. Courts should only be for serious meaningful problems.
DFB #2 Hahahahahaha
Oprah Winfrey has stolen that woman’s identity!
My partner had one of his staff make a page under his name. Even had a photo. Funny thing was that he could even spell his name correctly…..LOL
I would of loved to see more justice like this for the guy but it was handled internally.
Article source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/5910223/Fake-Facebook-page-identity-theft
Of all the social networks, Facebook is the only one that knows no generational limits. From grandparents to teenagers, Facebook — the largest of the social networks — attracts users of all ages. A recent study by Forrester found that of U.S. adults who use social networking sites, 96% of them are on Facebook.
Ninety-eight percent of both the members of the Golden Generation (ages 67 and up) and Gen Z’ers (ages 18 to 22) who use social networking sites are on Facebook. And no age group dipped below the 95% mark.
Facebook beats the other social networking sites by a long-shot, too. LinkedIn, the next most popular site, claims only 28% of the U.S. adult online population. Its membership follows more of a bell curve, with the working-age population more likely to be on the site — not surprisingly, since it’s designed for networking and employment.
Twitter, the third most used social network, is most popular among younger users, and membership drops off incrementally for older audiences. Thirty-eight percent of Gen Z’ers, the youngest category, use Twitter — while less than half of that uses LinkedIn.
The youngest members are also likely to be the most active users of any of the social networks. They visit social sites the most, update and maintain their profiles more, and comment more, the study found. More than 80% of Gen Z’ers check social networking sites at least weekly. The average for all age groups is closer to 60%, and less than 40% of the oldest members are likely to check a social networking site at least weekly.
Forrester’s survey was conducted online in July — shortly after Google+ launched, so Google’s social network is absent from the findings — and included 60,000 participants. Check out the slideshow below for more findings, including data related to mobile usage and online shopping. Do any of the findings surprise you? Or do they confirm what you would expect?
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Article source: http://mashable.com/2011/11/04/facebook-most-popular-forrester/
Some people who friend you on Facebook aren’t very friendly.
There are many ways Facebook can get you into trouble. Here are the latest ones, culled from this week’s news:
- Beware friend requests from unknown hotties who have lots of friends in common with you. This person could be someone in your social circle that you haven’t met yet. But it might also be a spammer or spambot trying to infiltrate your circle of friends, steal information from you, and perhaps even download your Facebook profile for later creepy social engineering projects. University researchers created 102 “hot social bots” — fake, automated Facebook accounts (with attractive profile photos) — and sent them out into the Facebook ecosystem to start friending people. They were able to friend thousands, and steal 250 GB worth of information, such as email addresses and phone numbers. Their ability to friend strangers increased as they infiltrated a given circle of friends. (“Oh, we have three friends in common, and you’re smoking hot? Sure, I’ll accept that friend request, random stranger.”) Facebook’s security system flagged just 20 of the bots as fake accounts. While it would suck to have your email and phone number handed over to (even more) spammers, a worse case scenario is that someone who friended you would download your account and use it to impersonate you and smear your reputation. Yeah, people do that.
Jennifer Christine Harris
Be wary of friending crazy types on Facebook, but be more wary of defriending them. Jennifer Christine Harris, a 30-year-old Iowan teacher, got upset with a friend with whom she was co-planning a birthday party (forwhich they had created a Facebook event, of course). After Harris began talking smack about the friend, the friend blocked and de-friended her, according to ABC News. That got Harris fired up. Literally. She is now accused of arson for going to the friends’ home and setting fire to the garage. The friend and her husband escaped from the house unharmed, and now have quite a story about being “fired” for their Facebook use.
Beware all the kiddies under foot! As previously noted, there are millions of underage users on Facebook, despite the site’s requirement that you be 13 to sign up for an account. Facebook is basically like a dance club that underage users are sneaking into, and it turns out that most parents are totally fine with supplying their kids with fake ids. When researchers, including danah boyd, surveyed parents with tween-age kids with Facebook accounts, the majority said they helped their kids lie about their age in order to sign up for an account.
- Beware Google’s spiders! Google is going to start indexing public Facebook comments. This doesn’t involve anything private becoming public, but does mean that your comments may become more discoverable.
Feel like this all too much to deal with? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. “Almost half of Facebook’s 30 million British users can’t keep up with the frequent changes to its privacy and security settings, according to a new survey,” reports the Telegraph. Good luck!
Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2011/11/04/facebook-warnings/
HSBC customers across the UK have had problems withdrawing money from ATMs
HSBC customers in the UK are experiencing major problems using cash points and online banking after the company suffered a service failure, it has been reported.
Hundreds have taken to complain on Twitter that they are unable to use their bank cards to pay for transactions or withdraw cash.
And customers who called the HSBC internet banking helpline this afternoon have been told the service was unavailable.
While HSBC have been unavailable for comment over the phone, their press office has been issuing brief statements via their Twitter account.
“We are aware of some problems and are looking into them as a matter of priority,” they tweeted.
HSBC’s press Twitter account
“Sorry for the inconvenience, especially on a Friday. Will update ASAP #HSBC,” the bank continued, with the presence of the hashtag seemingly acknowledging the scale of the problems.
Opinion online has been divided as to how the bank have handled communicating the situation,
Twitter user @caity_robbs tweeted: #HSBC- an example of terrible crisis comms!! Takes them 3 hours to even acknowledge the problem. @hsbc_uk_press you are a joke
And user @edent agreed, saying: “You’ll notice that @hsbc_uk_press’s tweet contains neither the #HSBC hashtag, nor the word “sorry”. Both of these facts depress me.”
@bmbm however thought that the element of addressing the issue through Twitter was a “good use of social”.
HSBC spokesman Mark Hemingway said: “We have identified some problems with our services. Internet banking is currently down and some of the ATMs are not working.
The HSBC homepage contains no indication anything is wrong
“We are aware of the issues and we are working to get the services up again as soon as possible.”
Mr Hemingway said the problems began at 2.45pm and only affect customers in the UK.
He said he was confident there was no security risk to customers’ accounts as a result of the glitch.
HSBC is the world’s second largest bank.
Article source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology/2011/11/04/hsbc-customers-take-to-twitter-to-vent-anger-over-atm-online-banking-and-card-transaction-problems-115875-23538250/
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