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  • Geebo 9:01 am on May 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook, , , UK   

    Facebook turns to old media to fight fake news prior to UK election 

    Facebook turns to old media to fight fake news prior to UK election

    In the run up to Election Day in the UK, Facebook has turned to an unlikely ally in their continuing struggle against ‘fake news’. The social network behemoth has taken out several print ads in UK newspapers on how to recognize fake news.

    While the ads do contain helpful information on how to be a more discerning news consumer, it does indicate something Facebook probably won’t admit to itself. Facebook may feel some responsibility for the fake news that many think unduly affected the 2016 US Presidential Election. Thousands of dummy Facebook accounts have also been purged in anticipation of the election.

    However, the problem with the fake news argument is certain individuals have such a confirmation bias that they can’t be turned into more responsible content consumers. Take vaccinations for example. It was once claimed vaccinations caused autism, which caused many parents to forgo immunizations for their children. Even though that claim has been discredited many times over, there are still many people who cling to that fallacy.

    For many people, politics are their vaccinations. They blindly follow whatever dogma their chosen political party subscribes to no matter who the candidate may be. With those political leanings, many of these people will only read news from sources biased towards their own affiliation. It’s too late for Facebook users like that, they are lost to us.

    The only way to combat this kind of ignorance is for those of us who can discern fake news from fact to become more active in political matters and to get out and actually vote.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on May 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook, , propaganda   

    Facebook claims that foreign agents used propaganda to influence 2016 election 

    Facebook claims that foreign agents used propaganda to influence 2016 election

    Facebook recently released a report claiming that there were agents they believe were backed by foreign governments who tried using the social network to influence the 2016 presidential election. While not outright saying that it was the Russians, Facebook did say in its report that their findings did not contradict the US Director of National Intelligence’s claim that Russia was allegedly interfering.

    The propaganda was supposedly spread through the following ways. First, bad actors would create legitimate looking websites that would post false information, or as we commonly call it now, ‘fake news’. They would then set up fake Facebook accounts by the thousands and repost the false information. Then, actual people, who don’t know it’s false information, would repost these false stories. Surprisingly, this wasn’t done by using bots, or automated scripts, but were done by multitudes of human users.

    The social network has said that it’s taking steps to prevent these kinds of events from happening again, but don’t Facebook’s users bear some responsibility in this matter? It’s so much easier to just click share rather than researching a story. This is especially true for people who prefer to remain in their own echo chambers with their personal biases.

    While Facebook can take steps to try to prevent this spread of misinformation, it’s ultimately up to us to be more discerning with what content we post to our virtual walls.

     
  • Geebo 9:05 am on April 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook,   

    Facebook locks out Marketplace users in bid to fight fake news 

    Facebook locks out Marketplace users in bid to fight fake news

    Recently this blog posed the question “Is Facebook too big for its own good?” Another issue has arisen that requires that question to be asked again, as it seems the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. Users of Facebook’s classifieds section called Marketplace have been complaining about being locked out of their Facebook accounts after placing an ad.

    The problem stems from Facebook’s continuous promise to combat fake news among its pages. Users claim after posting an ad for the first time on Marketplace that they’ve been locked out of their accounts while the ad is being reviewed. However, it’s not the content of the ad that’s causing any red flags, but the ads often include pictures which for some reason is triggering Facebook’s review process for fake content. This is similar to the temporary ban some Facebook users have received for posting inappropriate content.

    Facebook has claimed the glitch in the Facebook Matrix has been corrected and only affected a small number of its users. No answer was given as to what caused the problem in the first place. While Facebook is far from infallible one would think they would test these features more thoroughly before implementing them site-wide. As has been stated before, when Facebook tries to be all things to all people it seems they lose a little bit more quality each time a new feature is implemented.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on April 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook, , Robert Godwin, Steve Stephens   

    With the latest controversy is Facebook too big for its own good? 

    With the latest controversy is Facebook too big for its own good?

    It happened again, another gruesome crime has been committed with the video being shown on Facebook. This seems to be an unfortunate recurrence for Facebook lately. Already, two violent crimes from Chicago had made national headlines after they were broadcast on Facebook live. Now, as I’m sure you’ve heard, a man from Cleveland was shot and killed randomly and a video of the murder was uploaded to Facebook. On Easter Sunday, 37-year-old Steve Stephens allegedly shot and killed 74-year-old Robert Godwin and recorded himself in the act before uploading the video to Facebook.

    The video of the murder stayed on Facebook for two hours before it was pulled. Facebook claims that they didn’t receive a report about the video until 23 minutes prior to them not only removing the video, but also shutting down Stephens’ Facebook. With Facebook’s desire to keep all their users in their walled garden do they have some responsibility to bear with the crimes that are broadcast on their platform?

    Facebook is trying to be all things to all people with photo sharing, video sharing and now live streaming alongside the regular features they’ve promoted over their long history. However, is Facebook scaling their workforce at the same pace as they keep releasing new features? As was mentioned in the video above, YouTube, which also offers live streaming, states that they employ an army to moderate content and so far have seemed to escape the criminal controversy that Facebook continues to court. There are many livestreaming services available to users that have had their own similar controversies, just not on the level of tragedy that Facebook has. Those other services also don’t have the gigantic userbase that Facebook does. Had they done their homework correctly, Facebook may have implemented better safeguards from keeping these horrific acts from being shared on their pages.

     
  • Geebo 8:59 am on April 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: community policing, Facebook, revenge porn   

    Facebook’s new plan to fight revenge photos has one major flaw 

    Facebook's new plan to fight revenge photos has one major flaw

    The omnipresent Facebook announced that they will be taking new steps to try to prevent what’s known as ‘revenge porn’. These are usually pictures, mostly of women, that were either taken during romantic moments, or taken without their permission that are then posted on social media as a way of the spurned getting back at the ex. Facebook being the top dog in the social network hierarchy sees a lot of this being posted on their site.

    Now, Facebook says that they’ll be implementing photo recognition software to keep such images off their pages. That sounds great in theory, but there’s a major flaw in their approach to this problem: someone needs to report the picture first. It will then be added to a database where Facebook says it will be blocked from being posted across all its properties, including Instagram and WhatsApp.

    The problem with this approach is in most cases these photos are posted to private groups, like the infamous Marines United, where the victims, or anyone with a conscience, won’t have access to the photos to report them.

    If this process sounds a little familiar it’s because it’s very similar to craigslist’s ‘community policing’ where they expect the users to report ads for illegal content. Instead the flagging option in craigslist is abused in so many ways it’s become virtually pointless.

    With Facebook’s and craigslist’s recent joint effort to combat fake news, it seems like they’re putting their heads together on how to make it look like they’re solving a problem without really doing anything about it.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on April 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook,   

    Facebook and craigslist team up to fight fake news, not notice irony 

    Facebook and craigslist team up to fight fake news, not notice irony

    Since the 2016 Presidential Election, ‘fake news’ has been the story that’s refused to die with Facebook being ground zero for most fake stories that are perpetrated on the internet. In the past Facebook has taken steps to combat this problem without really fixing anything in our opinion. Now Facebook must be absolutely serious about the problem because they’ve teamed up with that bastion of truth and integrity, craigslist. Sarcasm fully intended, by the way.

    While we’ve been over this before, but it bears repeating. With Facebook, anyone can post just about anything no matter how libelous it may be, pay to get the story boosted, then when the story turns out to be blatantly false, it takes nothing short than an act of God to get the story removed. As for craigslist, you can post an ad for just about anything including, but not limited to, revenge ads soliciting the sexual assault of just about any person you feel has wronged you. That’s not including the paranoid, racist and otherwise hate-filled scribes that inhabit the rants and raves section.

    Both sites, and their founders by extension, are acting like they’re standing on some kind of moral high ground. In reality the high ground their standing on is the mountain of lies perpetrated by their users and encouraged by the sites themselves.

     
  • Geebo 10:57 am on March 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook, Marines United, objectionable content   

    Marine scandal highlights Facebook’s hypocrisy about moderating objectionable content 

    Marine scandal highlights Facebook's hypocrisy about moderating objectionable content

    Facebook has been criticized in the past when it has removed pictures of mother’s breast feeding or breast cancer survivors showing their mastectomy scars as objectionable content. Yet Facebook let a closed Facebook group where Marines and Marine veterans traded explicit pictures of female Marines taken without their consent remain active for months.

    The group called ‘Marines United’ not only posted these pictures on Facebook, but they often included personal information of the women portrayed in these pictures. The group was first exposed by a website called War Horse which is a nonprofit news organization run by a Marine veteran. War Horse requested that the images be removed but the group wasn’t shut down until Facebook received a request from the Marine Corps itself and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Both the Corps and the NCIS are conducting investigations into the matter.

    To further show Facebook’s lack of consistency in these matters the BBC conducted their own investigation into Facebook when it was claimed in England that there were private pedophile groups on Facebook sharing questionable material. In their investigation the BBC posted several questionable but not illegal images to Facebook. According to the BBC the photos were in direct violation of Facebook’s terms of service in regards to the posting pictures of children, however, the pictures were not removed. When the BBC sent the pictures to Facebook’s office in the UK rather than discussing the matter with the BBC, Facebook reported the BBC to the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).

    How can Facebook not only portray itself as family friendly, let alone advertiser friendly, when it continues to host objectionable, and possibly dangerous, content like this. Just because Facebook may consider itself the only game in town doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be held to certain standards of decency let alone its own terms of service barring such material.

     
  • Geebo 11:00 am on February 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook, ,   

    Will Facebook Jobs ever catch up to LinkedIn? 

    Will Facebook Jobs ever catch up to LinkedIn?

    As has been posted at this blog recently, you can now apply for jobs on Facebook. However, as was also posted, applying for jobs through Facebook can pose its own set of problems. With those problems it may be more beneficial to use a more professional appearing platform like LinkedIn.

    Now that Facebook Jobs is now online it’s already starting to experience growing pains compared to the more established LinkedIn. Reports are coming in from employers who say that paying for boosted posts on Facebook do not generate nearly as many candidates as they would on LinkedIn, and that it’s more expensive to boost employment posts on Facebook as well.

    Facebook does have a few advantages though. The first of course is sheer numbers. Facebook deals in billions of users while LinkedIn deals in millions. Facebook is also the definition of ubiquitous. It’s everywhere and just about everyone uses it and it shows no signs of slowing down. Due to its sheer size, it could only take Facebook a few tweaks of Facebook Jobs to make it a serious competitor to the more established LinkedIn.

     
  • Geebo 11:00 am on February 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook,   

    You can now apply to jobs on Facebook, but should you? 

    You can now apply to jobs on Facebook, but should you?

    Facebook recently added a new feature to their already jam-packed social platform. After you click on the jobs tab then find a job you like you can click on the apply button. Once you do that, some of the information for the application is already filled out with the information you’ve already provided to Facebook. Considering that on a lot of job websites not only do you have to upload your resume, but then you have to retype everything that was already on your resume. So on paper, this sounds like a great idea, but is it really?

    Remember, this is Facebook after all, the platform where most people post just about every thought they have and every action that they’ve made. In the news there are constantly stories about people being suspended from their jobs for incendiary posts that they’ve made on Facebook. If employers are even more integrated with your Facebook this could mean that could potentially scour every detail of your personal life that you’ve shared on Facebook. Even if your Facebook is relatively free of controversy, there could be something that a prospective employer could possibly find objectionable, after all hiring managers are human too.

    If this becomes a more accepted trend by employers we may all want to consider creating a second Facebook account that we use for professional purposes only. The question is will Facebook allow that since they seem to crackdown on duplicate accounts or any account they find that may be deemed as a ‘fake’ account? If that would be the case then Facebook could lose its appeal since its most coveted feature is that its users feel free to share just about anything on the website.

     
  • Geebo 10:58 am on February 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook,   

    Is a politics free Facebook worth it? 

    Is a politics free Facebook worth it?

    Ever since the start of 2016 presidential campaign, which feels like it started in 1988, it seems like Facebook has been a never-ending series of political memes and rants. Maybe you long for the days for when Facebook was nothing but pictures of cats, what people had for dinner, and baby pictures? Well, today is your lucky day.

    Fox News recently posted an article that shows you several different options on how you can sanitize your Facebook feed from politics.

    From following, but not unfriending, friends, to browser extensions, you have several different options to turn your Facebook back to the days before alternative facts and deleted emails. The question is though, should you?

    If you eliminate all the politics from your Facebook you could be just enforcing your own confirmation bias. While you may find political opinions different from your own distasteful, to turn off those opinions outright is akin to sticking your head in the proverbial sand. No matter how right or wrong some of the Facebook political rants are they do expose you to the lives of others whose experiences are different from your own. So maybe in the midst of those rants you can find a kernel of thought-provoking information.

     
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