(Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s command center routinely monitors dozens of popular websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, WikiLeaks and news and gossip sites including the Huffington Post and Drudge Report, according to a government document.
A “privacy compliance review” issued by DHS last November says that since at least June 2010, its national operations center has been operating a “Social Networking/Media Capability” which involves regular monitoring of “publicly available online forums, blogs, public websites and message boards.”
The purpose of the monitoring, says the government document, is to “collect information used in providing situational awareness and establishing a common operating picture.”
The document adds, using more plain language, that such monitoring is designed to help DHS and its numerous agencies, which include the U.S. Secret Service and Federal Emergency Management Agency, to manage government responses to such events as the 2010 earthquake and aftermath in Haiti and security and border control related to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia.
A DHS official familiar with the monitoring program said that it was intended purely to enable command center officials to keep in touch with various Internet-era media so that they were aware of major, developing events to which the Department or its agencies might have to respond.
The document outlining the monitoring program says that all the websites which the command center will be monitoring were “publicly available and… all use of data published via social media sites was solely to provide more accurate situational awareness, a more complete common operating pictures, and more timely information for decision makers…”
The DHS official said that under the program’s rules, the department would not keep permanent copies of the internet traffic it monitors. However, the document outlining the program does say that the operations center “will retain information for no more than five years.”
The monitoring scheme also features a five-page list, attached to the privacy review document, of websites the Department’s command center expected to be monitoring.
These include social networking sites Facebook and My Space – though there is a parenthetical notice that My Space only affords a “limited search” capability – and more than a dozen sites that monitor, aggregate and enable searches of Twitter messages and exchanges.
Among blogs and aggregators on the list are ABC News’ investigative blog “The Blotter;” blogs that cover bird flu; several blogs related to news and activity along U.S. borders (DHS runs border and immigration agencies); blogs that cover drug trafficking and cybercrime; and websites that follow wildfires in Los Angeles and hurricanes.
News and gossip sites on the monitoring list include popular destinations such as the Drudge Report, Huffington Post and “NY Times Lede Blog”, as well as more focused techie fare such as the Wired blogs “Threat Level” and “Danger Room.” Numerous blogs related to terrorism and security are also on the list.
Some of the sites on the list are potentially controversial. WikiLeaks is listed for monitoring, even though officials in some other government agencies were warned against using their official computers to access WikiLeaks material because much of it is still legally classified under U.S. government rules.
Another blog on the list, Cryptome, also periodically posts leaked documents and was one of the first websites to post information related to the Homeland Security monitoring program.
Also on the list are JihadWatch and Informed Comment, blogs that cover issues related to Islam through sharp political prisms, which have sometimes led critics to accuse the sites of political bias.
Also on the list are various video and photo-sharing sites, including Hulu, Youtube and Flickr.
While a DHS official involved in the monitoring program confirmed the authenticity of the list, officials authorized to speak for the Department did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.
(Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Editing by Eric Walsh)
Article source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-usa-homelandsecurity-websitestre80a1rc-20120111,0,2777600.story
Updated / 6:20 p.m., adding Wells Fargo comment.
Updated / 3 p.m., adding Bank of America comment.
Javelin Strategy Research
Twitter is proving to be a vexing customer service tool for big banks, says a new report from Javelin Strategy Research on banks’ use of social media.
Customers seem to like the speed and directness of sending a question or complaint to their bank by Twitter, the report found. But banks must weigh the implications of responding quickly with the need to protect a customer’s personal and financial information, like bank account numbers. As a result, they’re “struggling” with how to best use the service, Javelin found.
Javelin examined nearly 5,500 Twitter messages sent by three big banks — Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup — in response to messages received during a crucial period late last year. (Chase, one of the top four banks, has a Twitter handle but isn’t actively using the service at this point, the report says.) Javelin analyzed the final message sent by the bank to the customer to determine if the issue had been resolved, or if the customer had been directed to another communications channel like a call center.
The period spanned the seven weeks from Sept. 20 to Nov. 10, a time of intense customer frustration with large banks. It encompassed media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement; outrage over Bank of America’s proposed $5 monthly debit card fee; and Bank Transfer day on Nov. 5. Twitter volume to the banks tripled during the period, Javelin found. (Tweets are typically public and searchable online, unless they are “direct messages” sent to an individual.)
The analysis found that over all, the banks did not do a great job of resolving complaints via Twitter during the study period. Citigroup appeared to do the best, resolving 36 percent of its Twitter-based complaints; Wells Fargo, 11 percent; and Bank of America, 3 percent. (That doesn’t necessarily mean the complaints weren’t ultimately addressed elsewhere, but they were not resolved via Twitter — the customer’s chosen means of communication.)
In a “vast majority” of cases, the report found, Bank of America and Wells Fargo responded with “repetitive, scripted” answers that, in effect, put the burden on the customer to take further action, leaving a “trail of evidence that Twitter would be a fruitless extra step, not a time saver.”
The report also found that customers tended to send inquiries and complaints to Twitter “handles,” or addresses, that they considered intuitive — like, @BankofAmerica, @Citi or @WellsFargo — rather than the handles that the banks have established specifically for customer service inquiries. That meant that in most cases, inquiries sent to imprecise handles never got answered. (Only WellsFargo responded to any misdirected messages, the report said.)
The report also looked at 300 full Twitter conversations on Nov. 28, or Cyber Monday, a busy day for online shopping, and found that it was “atypical” for the banks to answer questions on Twitter.
“At Citi we strive to provide excellent customer service through every outlet available to us, including social media and Twitter,” Andrew Brent, a bank spokesman, said in an e-mail. “We look forward to reviewing the report in detail.”
“We use Twitter to engage customers, listen to our customers and help them get to the right place for the answers they need,” said Kimarie Matthews, a vice president in the bank’s Internet Services Group. “Sometimes this means connecting a customer with someone from Wells Fargo who is not on Twitter to help. And, in some instances, to protect the privacy of the customer an issue is taken offline.”
“Our Twitter team is dedicated to identifying and resolving customer’s individual issues,” Bank of America spokeswoman Tara Burke said in an email. “After initial contact we take the issue off-line to protect the privacy of the customer. We never disclose or ask our customers to disclose any confidential information during our interactions using Twitter.”
When possible, banks should answer questions directly on Twitter, the Javelin report advises. But bank representatives must educate customers that they will need to switch to a private, direct message, or perhaps to another mode of communication, like phoning a call center, if account information or other details are needed to address the issue — or, if the problem requires more than Twitter’s 140-character limit.
Banks, however, should make “reasonable efforts” to avoid forcing the customer to explain the problem over again. “Twitter,” the report says, “should be seen as a time saver, not an extra step in a conventional service channel.”
Have you used Twitter to communicate with your bank? What was your experience?
Article source: http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/big-banks-struggle-to-help-customers-on-twitter/
Twitter and Google used to have an agreement that allowed Twitter messages to appear in real-time search, but that contract expired in July. The two companies have been tight-lipped about why that deal fell apart, but Google appears to place the blame on the micro-blogging company in its latest statement.
“We are a bit surprised by Twitter’s comments about Search plus Your World, because they chose not to renew their agreement with us last summer,(http://goo.gl/chKwi), and since then we have observed their rel=nofollow instructions,” wrote a Google representative with access to the company’s Google+ account.
“No follow” instructions, for those who aren’t familiar with the search world, is an instruction that sites put in their code to indicate to search engines not to count links to Web sites toward search engine rankings. In essence, Google was saying that it doesn’t index tweets because Twitter doesn’t want them to be indexed.
In an earlier statement, Google said that it would be willing to work with other social networks to enable their users’ personal information to show up in the personal search results. On his blog, Matt Cutts of Google’s Web spam team explained that open, public content that’s hosted on other sites, such as Flickr, also show up in Your World personal searches.
Still, Google+ content appears to be clearly promoted over other social and sharing sites, as Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan has illustrated. His screen shot shows that Google+ results exclusively populate the “suggested People and Pages on Google+,” which provides a huge incentive to brands to rush to the social network and create pages on Google+ rather than on Facebook or Twitter.
Sullivan, who writes exclusively about search engine issues, tracked down Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt on Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show to ask him about the new search results. Schmidt said that Google would need to have a “conversation” with sites such as Twitter and Facebook to discuss having their content appear in the search results.
“The core question is, ‘Would we be willing to [include Facebook and Twitter],’” Schmidt told Sullivan, “and the answer is, ‘We’ll be happy to talk to them about it.’”
Google catches heat over social search
Google launches personal search tool linked with social media
CES 2012: Google TV devices coming from LG, Sony and Vizio
Article source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/google-to-twitter-you-asked-us-not-to-index-tweets/2012/01/11/gIQA89JdrP_story.html
“Why Facebook doesnt have or need testers”
Well, that explains everything.
“and that the social networking giant mainly relies on automated testing.”
Automated testing is good. In fact, I’m a big advocate for it.
However, it ignores the usability side of the equation. All the automated testing in the world won’t tell you how well humans can use it.
However, I don’t consider making other people test it to be “automated” – automated testing is more along the line of unit tests and such.
“If Facebook is broken, you keep coming back until it works again.”
Actually, no. I just go to Google+. Whether Facebook wants to admit it or not, they have competition, and the bar is lower than it used to be.
“The social networking alternatives are getting better, and Facebook cant just let them keep closing the gap.”
Agreed. This is one reason why I’m a big advocate for competition. We’ve seen how monopolies act: They almost never act in the best interests of their customers, and they get lazy. I think that Google+ is helping to keep Facebook on their toes, and that’s always a good thing.
Article source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/facebook/why-facebook-doesnt-have-or-need-testers/7191
Yesterday, Google rolled out some big changes to its search engine, attempting to more fully integrate results from social networks. Well, not network[s], but network. Google does not have the right to index most Facebook content, and Google search will integrate content from Google+ . It has three main tweaks. First, search will display, in your results, photos and post from Google+ where relevant, but only those posts in your own account and those shared with you. Other people will not see these results; they’re personalized. Second, Google+ profiles will show up in search and in Google’s usual autocomplete function. Third, Google will suggest relevant profiles and pages on Google+; if you search for music, you might see Sufjan Stevens’ profile.
There’s been a range of reactions and I figured I would write up a few thoughts from my perspective as a user and as a lawyer.
As a user, I am a creature of habit and don’t like change. Whenever Facebook changes its look, I get uncomfortable. Unlike my little cousins on the site, I don’t freak out and threaten to leave the site (and then decide to stay), but I adjust slowly. In fact, Gmail has rolled out a “new look,” and I keep switching back to the “old look” I know and love. I could even opt out of Google’s new personalized search, something that Eli Pariser has praised. But search and social are converging and have been for years. Last February, Microsoft and Facebook announced an initiative to make search “more social” on Bing. Google has had personalized search for 7 years and social search for about 2 years. Experts let us know that our social presence affects our search placement and vice versa.
Plus, I could see how these tweaks would be very useful to me as a user. It is useful to me because I might see relevant stories photos shared with me on Google+ but that, for some reason, I overlooked when posted. It would be far more useful if Facebook posts and Twitter posts showed up in my results, but Facebook doesn’t want its content integrated into Google search and Twitter’s deal with Google lapsed. I find personalized search convenient — I read stories on my Facebook feed, my Twitter feed, daily email services, and my iPhone’s Flipboard app, and would love to be able to focus my searches on just those particular services.
But some of the criticism has focused on antitrust concerns. The New York Times quoted Professor Mark Lemley, of Stanford, saying that antitrust law just doesn’t apply here. Google has wanted to index and present results from a huge portion of the web that is invisible to Google: Facebook. So now Google is presenting its own social content, and antitrust, in his words, simply cannot restrain this practice. Lemley, like me, is a lawyer who has done some work for Google, and my law firm continues to do some work for Google, though not on this product.
I also don’t see the antitrust problem, but I haven’t seen an actual antitrust theory proposed. I assume the argument is one that the courts call “monopoly leveraging,” where a dominant company extends its monopoly from one market into another market. People argue Google is a monopoly in search because it handles over 60% of queries. But being a monopoly is not enough — that is the natural result of having better search results. To be illegal, under leveraging theory as I understand it, Google would also have to have a “dangerous probability” of monopolization of the new market–social. (Trinko, note 4) No offense to Google, but I just don’t see how Google has a dangerous probability of knocking off Facebook in social.
In fact, if the critics are right, and again they haven’t been clear on their theory, I am not sure how Facebook’s tactics shouldn’t be condemned by the same critics. It would also be considered monopoly leveraging. Facebook is probably dominant in social, with 800 million users and has far higher engagement than Google+, which only has 40 million users. Nobody else comes close to those new networks, meaning Facebook could be a monopoly in social (depending on how you define the market). Facebook refuses to let Google index or display content from its site. Facebook has partnered with Bing to make its results more social. Is Facebook acting to leverage its dominance in social towards a dominance in search? I don’t really think so and antitrust law generally encourages aggressive competition that hurts competitors. These moves look like competition, hopefully making Google better at social (and search) and Facebook better at both as well.
Beyond antitrust, Twitter slammed the changes as bad for the Internet and for undermining the ability of users to find real-time news. Those looking for real-time news usually search Twitter and will probably continue to do that. (A CNET writer called the claim “a bit of a stretch.”) I discover real-time news far more often on Facebook than on Google News or a regular Google search. The change may encourage people to post breaking news on Google+ so that the results show up in Google search, but it’s not clear that people posting breaking news will do so only on one service. News seems to travel far more quickly on Twitter and Facebook than through search. I can see why Twitter would oppose the move, but their response hasn’t suggested that Google has done anything illegal or improper, and I’m not yet convinced of its real-time argument. Professor Eric Goldman came to a similar conclusion–that the legal argument is missing.
These are really just quick thoughts. I hope my search results get better but don’t yet see an actual legal theory suggesting Google can’t incorporate social results into search.
Follow Marvin Ammori on Twitter:
Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marvin-ammori/some-thoughts-on-google-s_b_1200009.html
Paul Ceglia, the New York man
claiming to own a stake in Facebook Inc., was fined $5,000 for
failing to provide access to his e-mail accounts in his lawsuit
against the company.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Foschio in Buffalo, New York,
ruled yesterday that Ceglia showed “a plain lack of respect”
for a court order requiring him to turn over to Facebook the
addresses and passwords for all e-mail accounts he has used
Foschio ordered Ceglia to pay the fine and reimburse
Facebook for its legal fees connected to the e-mail dispute.
Foschio said Ceglia disregarded his lawyers’ advice to comply
with the order.
“Plaintiff, fully advised by his attorneys not to do so,
chose to knowingly ignore the unambiguous orders of the court,”
Ceglia’s attorney, Dean Boland of Lakewood, Ohio, said his
client won’t seek to appeal the ruling. The failure to follow
the e-mail order occurred before Boland took over as Ceglia’s
lead counsel in October, he said. Three other legal teams have
left the case since Ceglia sued in June 2010.
“When a judge orders you to do something, you’ve got to do
it,” Boland said in a phone interview.
Orin Snyder, a lawyer who represents Palo Alto, California-
based Facebook in the suit, didn’t immediately return a call
seeking comment on the ruling.
Ceglia claims a 2003 contract entitles him to half the
Facebook holdings of the social-networking company’s co-founder
and chief executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg.
In an amended complaint filed in the case, Ceglia quoted
e-mails between him and Zuckerberg that he says support his
suit. Facebook has said that the e-mails were fabricated and
that the two-page contract produced by Ceglia is a forgery.
The requirement that Ceglia turn over his e-mail accounts
was part of an expedited discovery process in which the parties
exchange evidence to determine whether Ceglia’s contract and
e-mails are genuine.
Both sides agree that Zuckerberg signed a contract with
Ceglia in 2003, when Zuckerberg was a freshman at Harvard
University, to do computer coding for StreetFax.com, a company
Ceglia was trying to start. Ceglia claims the contract included
a provision giving him a partnership stake in Facebook, now the
world’s biggest social-networking site.
The company said its computer experts have found the
genuine contract between Ceglia and Zuckerberg, which concerns
only the StreetFax work, on one of Ceglia’s computers. The
contract makes no mention of Facebook, according to the company.
In a separate decision yesterday, Foschio denied Ceglia’s
request that the judge sanction Facebook for failing to disclose
the existence of five computers, used by Zuckerberg when he was
a student at Harvard, which were part of an earlier suit. In
that case, former Harvard students Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss
and Divya Narendra claimed Zuckerberg stole the idea for
Facebook from them.
The Winklevosses and Narendra settled in 2008 for
$65 million, then tried to reopen the case, claiming Facebook
may have improperly withheld instant messages and other
information in the suit.
Foschio said Facebook didn’t mislead the court about
Zuckerberg’s Harvard computers and didn’t improperly try to
destroy forensic copies of the computers created for the earlier
case, as Ceglia claimed.
“We will eventually get those computers in discovery,”
said Boland. “And that will be an interesting day, to see
what’s on those.”
The case is Ceglia v. Zuckerberg, 1:10-cv-00569, U.S.
District Court, Western District of New York (Buffalo).
To contact the reporter on this story:
Bob Van Voris in New York at
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Michael Hytha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-11/facebook-claimant-ceglia-fined-5-000-for-failure-to-produce-e-mail-data.html
Jan 11 2012
By Georgi Lindsey
Beyonce and Jay Z
POP star sensation Beyonce and her international entrepreneur husband, Jay-Z, have got the Twitterati in full flow over the speculation of their new-born baby.
It was announced recently that mother and baby, named Blue Ivy Carter, are able to go home.
But that hasn’t stopped the rumour mill from pumping.
One conspiracy theory is the recent photo published of the singer, holding Blue Ivy, is a fake and some allegations have accused them of hiring a surrogate mother.
Twitter is rife with gossip over the authenticity of the photo: ” @Pierre_Gerard: Beyonce tried to fake her pregnancy bulge stomach folded up. Then she has a baby after 4 months of “pregnancy” -____- WE DONT BELIEVE YOU”, was one tweet.
Beyonce, whose current album ’4′ sits at number 6 in the UK album charts and rapper and producer Jay-Z, originally kept the pregnancy under close wraps, sending the gossip circuit wild with allegations she was wearing a fake bump, which her representatives quickly slammed as “ridiculous”.
The couple released a statement gushing how happy they were over the birth of their 7lb bundle, born on 7 January.
“Her birth was emotional and extremely peaceful; we are in heaven,” they said.
Blue Ivy is said to have been spoiled rotten with around £1m worth of gifts waiting for her when she arrives home.
These include a handmade, golden rocking horse, from Japanese jeweler Ginza Tanaka costing around £390,000, according to the New York Post.
Other gifts include a crib, estimated to be £12,000 and her high chair has set the pair back around £10,000, which is covered in Swarovski crystals.
Pop singer and close personal friend to Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, decided not to reach quite so deep in her pocket and has reportedly bought the wee one a green onesie from kids’ boutique, Lucky Wang, which sports an image of famous Reggae singer, Bob Marley, on the front.
Rapper 50 Cent however, has not been so kind.
Being no stranger to offensive tweeting, his reaction to the birth of his rival’s daughter was to post a picture of a baby with Jay-Z’s head superimposed.
He added the comment: “Yal play to much congratulations to JAYZ and Beyonce BABY #BlueIvyCarter IS GEORGOUS”(SIC).
Followers of the artist commented with much amusement.
He later tweeted: “You bull s******g they will pay a million dollars for a picture of that baby lol trust me.”
In March 2011, 50 Cent was criticised after poking fun at the devastating tsunami in Japan via his Twitter page.
Article source: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/showbiz/celebrity-news/2012/01/11/twitter-sparks-further-accusations-on-beyonce-s-new-baby-86908-23694626/
(AP) Floyd Mayweather Jr. has taken his quest for a fight with Manny Pacquiao to Twitter.
The unbeaten Mayweather publicly challenged and taunted the Filipino superstar on Tuesday, daring Pacquiao to meet him May 5 in Las Vegas.
“Manny Pacquiao I’m calling you out let’s fight May 5th and give the world what they want to see,” Mayweather tweeted.
Moments later, Mayweather tweeted: “My Jail Sentence was pushed back because the date was locked in. Step up Punk.”
Mayweather is available for a fight in May at the MGM Grand Garden after a judge agreed last week to postpone his jail sentence in a domestic violence case until June. Mayweather was sentenced to 87 days in jail, but likely will serve less time.
Mayweather and Pacquiao are boxing’s top two stars, and they have circled each other warily for more than two years. Both have said they’re eager to fight, yet still haven’t reached a deal for what’s likely to be the most lucrative bout in boxing history.
While Pacquiao appeared to be more eager for the fight when the two first began verbally sparring in 2009, Mayweather has taken the lead in recent months, stepping up his campaign since Pacquiao’s narrow win over Juan Manuel Marquez last November.
Mayweather’s tweets appear to put the megafight’s future in Pacquiao’s hands — and a decision likely will be made soon.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum traveled to the Philippines this week to meet with Pacquiao, planning to choose the eight-division champion’s next opponent. Arum, who has repeatedly said Mayweather won’t actually agree to fight Pacquiao because he fears losing, has a list of candidates including Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Lamont Peterson and Timothy Bradley Jr. for Pacquiao’s next bout.
Arum also has suggested Pacquiao might not be ready to prepare for a fight in May because of a facial cut from his win over Marquez. Mayweather’s camp has dismissed that notion as subterfuge, saying cuts rarely require several months to heal.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, whose company has promoted Mayweather’s last five fights, has suggested Mayweather’s Cinco de Mayo fight could be against popular 154-pound Mexican champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez or lightweight champion Robert Guerrero, a Mexican-American from the Bay Area, if he can’t make a deal with Pacquiao.
But if Mayweather and Pacquiao intend to make their long-awaited fight, both sides know they must do it quickly, since a promotion of that size would require several months of preparation.
Mayweather controls his own Twitter feed, which is often filled with pictures of his fiancée and braggadocio about his gambling exploits. On Monday night, he tweeted a photo of a betting slip, claiming he won $400,000 on the BCS title game.
Article source: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-57356886/mayweather-calls-out-pacquiao-on-twitter/
11 January 2012
Last updated at 10:05 ET
Google wants to make search more social
Twitter has complained about changes made by Google to integrate its social network Google+ into search results.
The new feature, called Search plus Your World, will automatically push results from Google+ up the search rankings.
Tweeting on the news, Twitter’s lawyer Alex Macgillivray described it as a “bad day for the internet”.
Google is determined to push its social network in the face of continued rivalry with Facebook.
The current changes were about even greater personalisation, it said. It already includes personal search history in its search algorithms.
The three changes are:
- Personal Results – which enable users to find information such as Google+ photos and posts, both their own and those shared specifically with them, that only they will be able to see on their results pages
- Profiles in Search – both in autocomplete and results, users will be able to find people they are close to or might be interested in following
- People and Pages – helps users find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable people to follow them with just a few clicks.
“Search is pretty amazing at finding that one needle in a haystack of billions of webpages, images, videos, news and much more,” said Amit Singhal in the firm’s official blog.
“But clearly, that isn’t enough. You should also be able to find your own stuff on the web, the people you know and things they’ve shared with you, as well as the people you don’t know but might want to… all from one search box,” he added.
Twitter’s general counsel Alex Macgillivray tweeted in response to the changes: “Bad day for the internet. Having been there, I can imagine the dissension @Google to search being warped this way.”
Mr Macgillivray had previously been employed at Google.
Twitter expanded his point in an official statement.
“For years, people have relied on Google to deliver the most relevant results any time they wanted to find something on the internet.
“Often, they want to know more about world events and breaking news. Twitter has emerged as a vital source of this real-time information, with more than 100 million users sending 250 million tweets every day on virtually every topic. As we’ve seen time and time again, news breaks first on Twitter; as a result, Twitter accounts and tweets are often the most relevant results.
“We’re concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone. We think that’s bad for people, publishers, news organisations and Twitter users.”
Google hit back at the criticisms.
”We are a bit surprised by Twitter’s comments about Search plus Your World, because they chose not to renew their agreement with us last summer and since then we have observed their rel=nofollow instructions,” it said in a statement.
This refers to a technical barrier which makes it difficult for Google to rank Twitter information, a spokeswoman explained.
There is also little sharing between Google and its other big rival Facebook.
Stepping into the growing row between the three firms, Google chief executive Eric Schmidt told MarketingLand magazine that his company was not favouring its own social network over Facebook and Twitter. He said that all would be treated equally if the two rivals granted the search giant the right permissions to access their content.
Search expert John Battelle said in his blog post that social search would mean little until Facebook and Google settled their differences and offered consumers what they really wanted – Facebook data integrated with Google’s search.
“The unwillingness of Facebook and Google to share a public commons when it comes to the intersection of search and social is corrosive to the connective tissue of our shared culture,” he said.
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16511794
Facebook today began rolling out advertisements to users’ news feeds, marking the paid posts as “Featured.”
The News Feed posts for which an advertiser has paid to have displayed will be labeled as “Featured,” instead of “Sponsored,” as was originally planned. Facebook said it is using the term “Featured” to differentiate the paid News Feed posts from the “Sponsored” ads on the sidebar that can be bought by any advertiser.
“Since people can see marketing messages from both pages they have and have not Liked elsewhere on Facebook, we want to make it clear that marketers can only pay for stories to be featured in your news feed if you have explicitly liked the page,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement. “And because you are always connected to your friends, we are also labeling stories from your friends that have been paid to be featured in your news feed as ‘Featured’ to keep things consistent.”
TechCrunch noted that the change from “Sponsored” to “Featured” may cause confusion and lead some to believe the paid posts are simply important stories since most users do not associate the word “featured” with ads.
While these stories are paid advertisements, they’ll appear as the activity of a friend or as Pages people have Liked.
Users who Like the Ben Jerrys page, for example, may see Featured Stories like the one below. It appears exactly like a typical post might be displayed on the News Feed—with a note from the brand and a photo of a waffle cone. But there is a subtle “Featured” link on the bottom right. Hover the mouse over it and a note will say: “You are seeing this because you like Ben Jerry’s. A sponsor paid to feature it here.”
Facebook is slowly introducing the paid stories to users’ News Feeds starting Wednesday. Users should only see one paid item in their News Feed per day, but may see more if they visit their News Feed often. The ads will not be displayed on mobile devices.
Facebook last January introduced Sponsored Stories, a feature that let advertisers promote status update mentions of their brands in a special promoted section of the Web site. Then in November, the social media giant started rolling out such ads in the ticker, the real-time menu located at the top right of your news feed. Going forward, all Sponsored Stories are being re-named Featured Stories.
For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.
Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2398762,00.asp
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