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  • Geebo 10:06 am on January 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alphabet, , , , , Twitter   

    Facebook, Twitter, and Google to be called before Congress again 

    Facebook, Twitter, and Google to be called before Congress again

    Not too long ago, tech giants Facebook, Twitter, and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, were called to testify before Congress about their alleged roles in foreign meddling of the 2016 Presidential Election. Now those same companies are being asked to return to Washington to testify about their part in the dissemination of extremist propaganda. If you’ll recall, the tech companies did not do themselves any favors in their testimony over the Russian backed ads from the election.

    At that time, we asked if the CEOs of each respective company were afraid to appear before Congress themselves. It may appear that the answer to that question is yes, they are scared. Once again, instead of Larry Page, Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg testifying before congress about their platforms we’ll instead have the heads of each company’s public policy department. Even though they have the records of the disastrous performance of their companies’ last representatives, I doubt this new crop of underlings will fare any better.

    This also comes on the heels of Mark Zuckerberg himself stating that Facebook is ‘broken’ in his pledge to fix the platform. If he’s aware of the problems that have befallen his ubiquitous network then why is he uncomfortable to appear before Congress to make these same promises? As the saying goes, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Thee companies indeed have absolute power over most of our daily lives. To not be completely transparent shows that they probably have many things to hide.

     
  • Geebo 8:57 am on November 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Colin Stretch, , , , , , Twitter   

    Are cowardly CEOs afraid to face Congress over Russia probe? 

    Are cowardly CEOs afraid to face Congress over Russia probe?

    Not pictured: Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg, and Larry Page

    This week, Congress continued its probe into alleged Russian influencers purchasing ads on the internet’s three top platforms, Facebook, Google and Twitter. Rather than appearing themselves, the CEOs of each company sent their legal counsel in their stead. Yes, that’s not unheard of for businesses to send their legal representatives to Congress, but we’re talking about these companies taking money from foreign entities that might have influenced the outcome of the 2016 election.

    While Congress by and large can be tech-illiterate, at least one Senator seemed to hammer the point home that these companies probably knew who they were taking money from. Minnesota Senator Al Franken showed everyone just how unwilling these companies are to divulge the truth.

    Senator Franken put forth a poignant argument to Facebook’s legal Counsel, Colin Stretch…

    “People are buying ads on your platform with roubles. They’re political ads. You put billions of data points together all the time. That’s what I hear that these platforms do: they’re the most sophisticated things invented by man, ever. Google has all knowledge that man has ever developed. You can’t put together roubles with a political ad and go hmm, those two data points spell out something bad?”

    Stretch replied: “Senator, it’s a signal we should have been alert to and in hindsight–”

    But Franken cut him off, asking whether Facebook would pledge not to publish a political ad paid for in North Korean won. As Stretch demurred, Franken interjected fiercely: “Please answer yes or no, sir. You’re sophisticated. You’re the chief legal counsel for Facebook. Please answer yes or no.”

    Of course, Senator Franken did not get a straight answer out of Stretch. Instead the counselor hemmed and hawed his way through a non-committal answer.

    However, the question remains, why weren’t the CEOs there to answer questions directly? What exactly are they afraid of? Perjury perhaps? Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn’t comment on the hearings until the day after Stretch’s testimony on an earnings call.

    “I’m dead serious,” Zuckerberg said. “I’ve directed our team to invest so much in security on top of the other investments we’re making it will significantly impact our profitability going forward.” That investment will include hiring at least 10,000 new employees to focus on security and enforcement. CFO David Wehner later clarified that many of those new jobs won’t be full time but rather contract positions at partner companies.

    “Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits,” Zuckerberg said.

    Which doesn’t address the problem at hand at all. Zuckerberg was then said to have handed off the remainder of the call to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

    Facebook was the biggest offender in this story having served up alleged Russian ads to at least 125 million American users. Considering the entire population of the US is 323 million, that’s not a small percentage of potential voters who saw these misleading ads. That’s more than enough people to sway an election one way or the other. If protecting the community is more important than profits, why take the foreign money at all for American political ads? Facebook can claim hindsight is 20/20 all they want, but there were accusations of Russian political meddling even before these ads appeared on Facebook. So how could accepting Russian currency for American political ads not throw up a red flag?

    If you don’t think the CEOs of this company aren’t cowards, please think of this for a moment. Even Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer eventually appeared before Congress. So when the CEO of a company that reportedly makes money from the sexual slave trade in this country appears before Congress and these other CEOs don’t, it goes a long way in showing just how scared of Congress they probably are.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on May 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bloomberg, , Twitter   

    Twitter strikes deal with Bloomberg to provide real news 

    Twitter strikes deal with Bloomberg to provide real news

    Limited character count social network Twitter, announced yesterday they were entering into a partnership with one of the more trusted news organizations in the business. On Monday, at an event for advertisers, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey detailed plans for them to host a 24 hour live news stream produced by Bloomberg.

    Dorsey was quoted as saying…

    “We want to be the first place that anyone hears of anything that’s going on that matters to them, the first place where people hear of what matters. That is our focus, and that is what we will work so hard to deliver.”

    This is a great move for Twitter. Not only is Twitter usually the first place a lot of people go worldwide for details on breaking stories, now it could be the first place where a lot of these stories are confirmed. This is in direct contrast to what Facebook is doing by relying on themselves and users to try and combat the modern scourge that is fake news.

    Outside of the Bloomberg news stream, Twitter will also be entering into other entertainment streams as well. This could be beneficial for the financially questionable platform as the streams will be ad supported. In its history, Twitter has always had the spectre of profitability hanging over its head. Not only could this push Twitter past Facebook in legitimacy, but it could also bring them to new levels of financial stability.

     
  • Geebo 8:58 am on April 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: egg, , Mastodon, Twitter   

    By dropping the egg, Twitter claims to combat harassment 

    By dropping the egg, Twitter claims to combat harassment

    Twitter recently announced that they were dropping the default egg avatar for new users, and replacing it with a generic silhouette. They say that the new avatar is a more pleasing aesthetic, but they also claim that it will curb harassment and bullying by trolls and anonymous users.

    In recent months, the Twitter egg has come to symbolize the hordes of anonymous users who sign up for multiple accounts used solely for the purpose of harassing others. One such infamous incident is when Saturday Night Live cast member Leslie Jones was harassed by racist and misogynist Twitter users who were using scores of anonymous accounts with the egg avatar. To put it bluntly, if Twitter thinks that by changing the default avatar from one generic one to another is going to curb harassment, it’s obvious that they are greatly mistaken. The trolls and their ilk will continue to just use the default avatar whether it’s an egg or a shadow because they’ll put minimal effort into opening new accounts used only for harassment.

    Since Twitter has largely failed to do anything about its harassment problem a different social network has seen a spike in users, possibly due to their policies that distance themselves from Twitter in this aspect. Mastodon has implemented a policy that specifically bans those who espouse the views of Nazis. Since the open-source service is based in Germany, German law specifically bans Nazi iconography and Holocaust denial. Mastodon has also implemented other features that are designed to discourage harassment by offering better privacy controls among other options.

    Is Mastodon or any other Twitter clone on the precipice of taking over the social network market? Not really. However, if Twitter continues to descend into a quagmire of persecution without any intervention on Twitter’s behalf, then its userbase could splinter off into other avenues, leaving it a more recent equivalent of MySpace.

     
  • Geebo 11:55 am on October 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Twitter, Vine   

    Will we see a world without Twitter? 

    Will we see a world without Twitter?

    When Twitter first started it was the hit of SXSW but only embraced by the technorati. It wasn’t until it was touted by users like Ashton Kutcher and Oprah Winfrey when it absolutely exploded into mainstream society. Since that time it’s been almost a necessity when it comes to breaking news and has even played a historical part in the Arab Spring. You would think that playing such a pivotal role in the media Twitter would be around forever, unfortunately it’s starting to look like the beginning of the end for Twitter.

    Yesterday, Twitter announced that they will be shuttering the 6 second video app Vine. Since the dawn of Snapchat you would think that Vine would be obsolete but it’s closing shows just yet another step in the downfall of Twitter.

    Not only has Twitter announced that they will be laying off 9 percent of its workforce, but they also shopped themselves around to companies like Disney and came away with no takers. All of these combined could make Twitter one of those memories we fondly look forward back to like a Rubik’s Cube or a pet rock. However, if Twitter were to go under it wouldn’t take long for another VC funded app to take its place. The question will be whether or not the new app will have a better business plan than Twitter’s.

     
  • Greg Collier 5:38 pm on April 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ERE Expo, , , Job Boards, , KODA, , Recruiting, , SilkRoad, , Twitter   

    Social Networks May Provide Connections But Job Boards Showcase Opportunities 

    It’s no secret that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have become the Internet’s go-to places for sharing news, milestones and – in this economy – leads on job openings. And certainly any professional who’s been searching for employment in recent years has put together a LinkedIn profile to showcase his or her skills.

    So where does that leave job boards, such as the one I host on Geebo? Are they destined to fall by the wayside as social networks become the new home for job listings?

    The short answer to that question is, quite simply, no.

    In fact, at the recent ERE Expo in San Diego – considered to be the premier conference for recruiting professionals – I noticed that the social networks were nowhere to be found. I saw no signs of Facebook or Twitter or even LinkedIn.

    It turns out that, when it comes to linking employers with prospective employees, social really isn’t the most effective route. Consider the points that a couple of recruiting and job board experts made during a recent Q&A in Forbes. Job boards, they said, offer faster signals to the market. They are good for driving lots of eyeballs to a single job listing that’s tied to a certain industry or location, which is especially good for reactive small businesses who tend to post a job as the need for help arrives.

    But recruiting over social networks has two primary problems associated with it (among others):

    1) The ability to apply online for something that a jobseeker may or may not be qualified for leads to what’s called “Resume Spam” by job seekers who cast the widest net possible by applying for everything – even if they’re not qualified or clearly didn’t read the job description.

    2) Friends tend to overvalue their ability to judge their friends abilities. Consider your out-of-work accountant neighbor. You know he’s out of work and you think of him when you hear about an opening out there – but what do you really know about his job skills, work ethic or professional background? He may be a nice guy and quick to lend a neighborly hand from time to time – but does that make him qualified for a particular job?

    When a job seeker comes to a site like Geebo to scan active listings, they can immediately filter down the choices by industry and location. Because these listings tend to be fresh, job seekers understand that there are opportunities out there.

    Sure, social is a great way for recruiters to identify people who might be good matches for their open positions. And as a means of learning more about potential candidates, social networks offer a greater insight that goes beyond the resume. But as a place to solicit and find the right matches, social is almost too big to be effective.

    Consider what happened to KODA a few years ago. The startup company rounded up millions in venture capital money to deliver a site that brought together the elements of social networks and job boards – a idea filled with challenges that eventually proved to be too much for the company, which has since headed into the sunset.

    Social has a role here but, by no means, should anyone start writing the job board’s obituary. In a recent blog post, SilkRoad, a company that focuses on “social talent management,” chimed in about the importance of job boards in finding talent and ranked sites that were the leading external sources for hiring.

    Not surprisingly, Facebook, Twitter and other social sites were nowhere on that list.

     
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