This is the sort of thing that makes you wonder what real names policy is all about. Today on Twitter, Salman Rushdie detailed his adventures with Facebook’s name police.
“Amazing. 2 days ago FB deactivated my page saying they didn’t believe I
was me. I had to send a photo of my passport page. THEN… they said yes, I was me, but insisted I use the name Ahmed which appears
before Salman on my passport and which I have never used,” Rushdie wrote. “NOW… They have reactivated my FB page as ‘Ahmed Rushdie,’ in spite of the world knowing me as Salman. Morons.”
You know, Ahmed Rushdie, world-famous author of The Satanic Verses and Midnight’s Children.
Seriously, what is the point of forcing Salman Rushdie to go by Ahmed Rushdie? How does this benefit the social web?
Facebook users are inadvertently spreading a hoax on the social network, encouraging each other to share a fake story. This one claims a 14-year-old boy was beaten badly by his stepfather after protecting his little sister from being raped. It goes on to say the social networking giant will donate 45 cents for every time a user reposts or shares the message, which comes accompanied with an image of a young boy’s injured torso. While these people likely have good intentions, the truth is that this story is baseless.
The plea comes in the form of the following message:
A 14 years old boy got beaten half dead by his stepfather.He only tried to protect his little sister from being raped.Now he’s struggling for his life,but doctors say he won’t make it without a surgery.His mother doesn’t have money to pay it.Facebook donates 45cents for every sharing or reposting.Please help.
This hoax is spreading like wildfire on Facebook, despite there being any actual information. As Sophos points out, you should notice the message does not include a link to an official Facebook blog announcing the initiative, details on where in the world the boy might be, a date for when the supposed incident occurred, nor links to news stories that corroborate the claims. In other words, this hoax is designed to spread for many years after its first appearance.
Remember: Facebook, or any other company for that matter, will never donate money based on the number of times something is e-mailed, Facebooked, reposted, shared, tweeted, and so on. In this case, Facebook is not donating money for this boy because the story is a fake. If it was real, and Facebook was donating money, it would likely do so in one lump sum.
As a general word of caution, don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Also, don’t blindly copy and paste warnings just because your Facebook friend’s status tells you to do so. Although you probably mean well, you could be helping a hoax become more popular on the social network.
- Facebook releases official Guide to Facebook Security
- Experts: Facebook crime is on the rise
- Facebook con artist steals $366,000 from woman
- Fraudster jailed for stealing $57,000 by leveraging Facebook
- Facebook improves safety, security tools; experts not impressed
- Teenagers jailed for running “criminal equivalent of Facebook”
If you’re a Facebook user upset by the social networking site’s policy changes pertaining to default privacy settings (making more of your personal information available to the public), you are not alone. It seems that user complaints have reached the alert eyes and ears of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and they’re taking steps to rectify the situation. Their claim is that Facebook, Inc. violated the privacy of their users when they changed their setting without clear notification. And they’re looking to implement a plan that would make Facebook responsible for their actions and allow users more privacy where their sensitive personal information is concerned.
It started back in December of 2009 when an advocacy group called Electronic Privacy Information Center (based in Washington) filed a complaint. This filing stemmed from an incident the month prior in which Facebook “recommended” that users change their privacy settings to make personal information more visible, including their name, gender, and photos, as well as their geographic location and their friend lists (amongst other things). The idea was to prompt users to publish this information publicly so that third-party companies could take advantage of it for the purposes of targeted marketing (unsurprisingly, the scope of user information Facebook compiles is a serious commodity).
Since then, the world’s most popular social networking site has also come under attack for possible violations of privacy law in Europe because of the way they handle private information. And although individual users have some limited options when it comes to setting their own privacy preferences, it seems that the governing bodies in both the United States and the European Union feel that more stringent default settings are in order. In other words, they’ve made it their job to protect the privacy of users who agree to the default settings without actually reading the user agreement (that’s a lot of people, by the way).
So what is the FTC doing about it? Their goal is to allow users more choices regarding how their personal information is displayed and disseminated, including the ability to opt out entirely and keep their account completely hidden from the prying eyes of third parties. And their plan is surprisingly comprehensive. First, it would call for action to retroactively allow users that signed up under previous, more stringent privacy settings the option to return to them (since they were virtually coerced into allowing more visibility of their account information). Plus, users would have the ability to select or change their settings. And there would also be a “Family Safety Center” to provide valuable information to parents and teens about the dangers involved with sharing personal information.
Last Thursday in Alexandria, Va., United States District Court Judge Liam O’Grady ruled that private information on the Twitter accounts of three users related to WikiLeaks must be turned over to the U.S. federal government because the data is hosted on U.S. servers.
At the same time, the judge blocked the users’ attempt to discover whether other Internet companies have been ordered to turn their data over as well, noting that the trio had no reasonable expectation of privacy when they used Twitter services, even if the information in question was known only to Twitter and not publicly disclosed.
The three users – Tor Project developer and spokesman Jacob Appelbaum, Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir and Dutch businessman and Internet activist Rop Gonggrijp – have not been charged in any wrongdoing, although Applebaum has been constantly detained for extra security screening when travelling into and out of the United States.
At the same time, the U.S. government has not charged WikiLeaks or its founder, Julian Assange, with any crimes, despite an ongoing investigation that began after WikiLeaks published U.S. diplomatic cables, documents relating to the war in Afghanistan and a video of a U.S. attack helicopter shooting at unarmed civilians (including Reuters reporters) in Baghdad in 2007.
Because of its still-strong First Amendment protections and mountains of case law protecting journalists and publishers from repercussion for publishing classified material, the U.S. government has yet to charge Assange or any WikiLeaks associates with a crime.
Only Pte. Bradley Manning, the young soldier accused of leaking the classified data to WikiLeaks, has been held in detention thus far.
Yet, the case is much bigger than just WikiLeaks and the fate of three Twitter accounts because of the dangerous precedent that it sets for the rest of us.
“With this decision, the court is telling all users of online tools hosted in the U.S. that the U.S. government will have secret access to their data,” Jonsdottir pointed out. “People around the world will take note, and since they can easily move their data to companies who host it in locations that better protect their privacy than the U.S. does, I expect that many will do so. I am very disappointed in today’s ruling because it is a huge backward step for the United States’ legacy of freedom of expression and the right to privacy.”
Why is this ruling such a big problem? Obviously, the idea that any government could secretly ask for computer records without a warrant is troubling, but it is made especially so by advances in data storage and data mining that can automate what once took multiple people to do.
Without legal checks and balances – such as warrants granted by a judge – to protect user data from prying eyes, there is no reason why the U.S. government (and any imitator) cannot begin to simply trawl through everyone’s computer data indiscriminately, effectively placing all of society under electronic surveillance.
Just last week, The Associated Press reported that the CIA monitors Twitter and Facebook as sources of intelligence and that the CIA has several hundred “ninja librarian” analysts in an industrial park at some unspecified location in Virginia.
Though this is hardly earth-shattering news, because both Facebook and especially Twitter posts are often in the public domain, the ability to match what is being said online to detailed user and location data means that a lot of Internet traffic is being placed under continuous surveillance, without legal protections for users. At the same time, users have been told that they cannot find out if the U.S. government is looking at their data.
Often, this is met with a shrug and an “I’ve got nothing to hide” attitude, but it has to be stressed that one of the defining traits of fascism, or any authoritarian system of government, is that government gets secrecy while citizens do not.
Kris Kotarski’s column appears every second Monday.
It turns out newspapers may be just as traditional with Twitter as they are in other fields.
It turns out newspapers may be just as traditional with Twitter as they are in other fields.
While users have discovered an array of unforeseen applications for the service, from fomenting social change to posting exhibitionist photos, newspapers still use it to market themselves.
Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has released a new study in which it reports on 13 different news organizations, all of which primarily “use Twitter in limited ways-primarily as an added means to disseminate their own material.”
Tracking everything from the New York Times and CNN to the Arizona Republic and the Daily Caller, Pew found that while the number of Tweets varied from outlet to outlet, 93 percent of the total Tweets linked back to an outlet’s website.
Also Read: #Occupy Wall Street: Susan Sarandon, Arrests Twitter Create a Movement
The leading tweeter is the Washington Post, which, by Pew’s count, has 98 employees on Twitter and tweeted 664 times in a week.
These figures pertain more to the outlets’ official Twitter accounts, rather than those of individual reporters. However, the study comes to similar conclusions about them. It found that a low percentage of tweets were for information gathering or re-tweets, but that “the idea that Twitter is the venue where professionals share details of their personal lives was true to some degree among the reporters studied.”
Perhaps none of this is particularly revelatory, though the closed-off nature of how news outlets use of Twitter is surprising.
It should be noted that the study is limited in application since it studied only 13 outlets over the course of a week. Twitter usage would seem to be variable, but it still produces some nuggets.
Like the fact that, by Pew’s count, the Washington Post has more reporters on Twitter than the New York Times and the USA Today has more on it than the Huffington Post.
Or that Fox News engages its readership far more than the New York Times.
“Although the main Fox News feed had light activity on Twitter, fully one-fifth of its limited tweets (10 of the 48 tweets in the period examined) directly solicited information from followers,” the study found.
Should the Times be more-Fox like? That would be an interesting conversation with new Times editor Jill Abramson.
Related Articles: #Occupy Wall Street: Susan Sarandon, Arrests Twitter Create a Movement At the Speed of Twitter: The Revolution Spreads to Libya, Bahrain, Yemen
Article source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/14/idUS320340313820111114
But the Mexican bloggers’ demands in the manifesto – many beyond the power of the Mexican government to enforce – highlight the vulnerability of social media users to drug cartel violence.
Elyssa Pachico, Guest blogger /
November 14, 2011
A team of social media users in Mexico have written a “Twitter Manifesto” in reaction to the latest killing of an alleged online chat forum administrator. Some of their demands are untenable, raising questions about what actions bloggers can really take to protect themselves.
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Speaking in the name of bloggers and Twitter users in violence-ridden states like Tamaulipas, the manifesto (read full pdf version here; Spanish pdf version here) gives voice to the apprehension and anger circulating through some online media networks in Mexico.
The criminal groups attempt to restrain our voice… to kidnap us and carry out criminal atrocities or to make direct threats against our companions. This constitutes a flagrant threat against the only freedom left to us, now that the local, state and federal governments are indifferent to our demands, and without even bothering to verify they ignore the facts that we report on our social networks. In summary, we have been abandoned to our fate in this unequal fight of free citizens against the drug traffickers.
The declaration comes a day after a decapitated man was found alongside a sign identifying him with the online alias “Rascatripas.” It was the fourth such killing this year in Nuevo Laredo.
Mexico’s most powerful drug cartels
“This is what happened to me for failing to understand I should not report things on social media websites,” the sign read, before making reference to the woman killed last September for activity on the Internet forum Nuevo Laredo En Vivo.
Since then there has been no official confirmation on the body’s identity, although, according to Vanguardia, users of the chat forum have confirmed a user known as “Rascatripas” was killed. His last comment, registered two days before the decapitated body was found, described a local highway as unsafe “all the time,” according to the report.
As happened with the September killing of the forum administrator “La Nena de Laredo,” users at Nuevo Laredo En Vivo pledged to continue their online activity following Rascatripas’ apparent death. On Wednesday, one user warned against using cell phones on the street: “These ZZZZ’s think you’re talking to the army and will pick you up. Be careful.”
The Zetas also squared off in recent weeks with members of the online hack-activist group Anonymous. Anonymous members posted a video threatening the Zetas with retribution if they did not release a kidnapped member of their group. The member was reportedly released and Anonymous backed away from its threat.
Within the buzzing community of social media users along the Mexico-U.S. border, comes the “Twitter Manifesto.” But when the document asks the government to better guarantee “cybersecurity” and “freedom of speech” online, it only highlights the difficulty of enforcing these requests.
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The 55-year-old Roebuck had jumped from the sixth floor of his Southern Sun Hotel in the suburb of Newlands after reportedly being questioned on sexual assault charges. “It is alleged Roebuck, 55, met a man, 26, at the hotel with plans to discuss a possible university sponsorship. “Roebuck is alleged to have tried to seduce the Facebook friend and have sex with him against his will, The New Age website said,” the Herald Sun reported on Monday. According to reports in South Africa, Roebuck was being investigated over allegations of indecently assaulting a young man. Police had told Roebuck that a complaint of a sexual nature had been made against him by a friend he met on Facebook, media reports said. The newspaper also reported that “Police sources said Roebuck was either going to be formally questioned in the Southern Sun Newlands Hotel on Saturday night, or arrested and taken to a station for questioning over the allegations.” “Apparently police had gone to the hotel to take him to the police station to question him and then he died,” Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) spokesman Moses Dlamini was quoted as saying by the paper. ICD is a body that reviews deaths that occur in police custody or as a result of police action – was also investigating the death of Roebuck. PTI
Melbourne: Renowned sports journalist Peter Roebuck, who committed suicide in a Cape Town hotel under mysterious circumstances, allegedly wanted to have sex with a facebook friend against his will, a report claimed on Monday.
The 55-year-old Roebuck had jumped from the sixth floor of his Southern Sun Hotel in the suburb of Newlands after reportedly being questioned on sexual assault charges.
“It is alleged Roebuck, 55, met a man, 26, at the hotel with plans to discuss a possible university sponsorship.
“Roebuck is alleged to have tried to seduce the Facebook friend and have sex with him against his will, The New Age website said,” the Herald Sun reported on Monday.
According to reports in South Africa, Roebuck was being investigated over allegations of indecently assaulting a young man.
Police had told Roebuck that a complaint of a sexual nature had been made against him by a friend he met on Facebook, media reports said.
The newspaper also reported that “Police sources said Roebuck was either going to be formally questioned in the Southern Sun Newlands Hotel on Saturday night, or arrested and taken to a station for questioning over the allegations.”
“Apparently police had gone to the hotel to take him to the police station to question him and then he died,” Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) spokesman Moses Dlamini was quoted as saying by the paper.
ICD is a body that reviews deaths that occur in police custody or as a result of police action – was also investigating the death of Roebuck.
Another day, another social network to get excited about. This week it isn’t a new site as such, but a new function. Google+ recently released branded pages, allowing organisations to engage with users on the site.
A lot of people have jumped in head first with Google+, myself included. Some social-media gurus have even decreed that Facebook is dead and Google+ is social-media Utopia; “The King is dead, long live the King” comes to mind.
But Google+ shouldn’t take up too much of our (limited) time, because our audience simply isn’t there yet, especially in the UK. This may sound short sighted because Google+, while still relatively young, is allegedly breaking records for social network growth. However, given Gmail’s large user base, this initial quick growth is unsurprising.
As someone who manages social media and online communities at a UK charity, I know that my time is limited. That means we need to be effective in how we choose to engage and give the best service we can to our supporters.
At the moment that means focusing on the British Heart Foundation Facebook page, Twitter and our online community, as well as targeted and tight blogger outreach. Google+ just hasn’t got our audience yet, and evidence suggests that users aren’t engaging like they were – it’s one to watch out for, no doubt, but this feels very similar to the stampede we saw to join Quora (or Google Buzz and Wave).
On a more practical note, Google+ doesn’t give “admins” data into who their fans are, and only one person can own and post to a Google+ page. All in all, it’s a much poorer experience, especially when most Facebook admins I know want more community management controls and insights, not less.
That’s not to say that we shouldn’t experiment and try new things – we’ve experimented a lot in social spaces with character takeovers, competitions and lots more. But they have all had a clear objective that we were aiming for, while Google+ seems to be social for the sake of social.
I have made sure we’ve signed up for Google+, but only so that we can save our page from falling into the wrong hands. We’ll continue to keep an eye on Google+’s progress and how our audiences use the site as well as how Google+ integrates with Adwords. Until then, we’ll be concentrating on Facebook, Twitter and our other channels, as well as experimenting as much as we can in between.
SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook Inc.’s expected settlement with the Federal Trade Commission is sending a strong message to Internet companies that regulators are getting serious about protecting the privacy of consumers.
The social networking giant could announce a deal with the FTC as early as today over charges that it violated users’ privacy when it changed default settings to make more of their information public.
The settlement taps into growing public concern over online privacy and signals more aggressive enforcement from regulators.
And it appears the message is coming through loud and clear in the corner offices of Silicon Valley and beyond — especially as Internet companies prepare for potentially lucrative initial public offerings.
“Privacy now has the potential to affect the bottom line, which has gotten the attention of CEOs,” said Lisa Sotto, head of the global privacy and information practice at the law firm of Hunton Williams.
For years online privacy was a sleepy issue hashed out by anonymous lawyers in back rooms. But the explosion of Web usage — and the speed and volume with which data can be transmitted around the globe — has moved the public debate over online privacy to the forefront.
Lawmakers and regulators have responded with pledges to address how Internet companies collect personal information and what they do with it.
The FTC has called for a “do not track” system to make it easier for Internet surfers to keep companies from snooping on their Web activities. The Obama administration has asked for an online privacy bill of rights, while Congress has introduced more than a dozen privacy bills so far this year.
In the cross hairs is Facebook, the wildly popular social network with more than 800 million users that is preparing for a possible IPO that could value the company at up to $100 billion.
Changes to its privacy policies over the years have led to a flood of complaints from consumers concerned over how Facebook handles their personal information. Facebook is also under scrutiny in the European Union for possible breaches of personal data.
“Facebook has to expand its data collection practices to satisfy its largest advertisers to boost the IPO share price. But it also has to appease privacy regulators in the U.S. and the European Union, whose actions could derail Facebook’s pending financial bonanza,” said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, one of the consumer groups that complained to the FTC. “It appears Facebook is poised to neutralize any threats to its future coming from U.S. regulators.”
The proposed settlement with the FTC would prohibit Facebook from making public information that a user originally shared privately without his or her explicit permission. It does not require Facebook to get consent from its users on new sharing features. As part of the settlement, Facebook would have to agree to 20 years of privacy audits.
The settlement stems from a complaint filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center in December 2009, which asked the FTC to investigate whether consumers were harmed when Facebook changed its privacy settings to disclose more personal information without first getting their permission.
Ben reports tonight on a bit of a Twitter fail from the Michele Bachmann campaign as her advisers try to make hay of John Dickerson’s email about interviewing her and how much time she would get.
Per Ben, the email from Bachmann campaign manager Keith Nahigian, went out to the campaign’s list earlier today saying this:
Please show your support by tweeting your outrage to CBSNEWS and John Dickerson or posting on Facebook to give them a piece of your mind. Afterwards, I hope you will make a donation to Michele’s campaign to ensure she has the funds necessary to fight back against the liberal media.
The full email is in Ben’s post. But as he notes, the Twitter campaign against Dickerson got little traction – and the campaign email failed to include his Twitter handle.
That said, what Bachmann’s campaign is going for is as much about creating actual noise on Twitter as it is about showing her supporters that she’s fighting what her team has termed “the liberal media.”
Article source: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/68276.html