Tag: social media

Fry batters social media

stephen_fry_mon_13.9.2010Apple fanboy and telly person Steven Fry has issued a stinging 2,600 word rebuff of social media.

Writing in his bog declared an exit from mainstream social network channels such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook equal to the heroic plight of the heroes of 1970s dystopian sci-fi movies such as Logan’s Run and Soylent Green.

Fry regarded flight from the social networks in the same light as ‘unplugging’ from the enemy artificial reality offered to a ‘sleeping’ populace in The Matrix:

‘Jacking out of the matrix would cast one as a hero of the kind of dystopian film that proved popular in the 70s, Logan’s Run, Zardoz, Soylent Green, Fahrenheit 451 … on the run from The Corporation, with the foot soldiers of The System hard on your heels. We really are starting to live in that kind of movie, mutatis mutandis, so surely it’s time to join the Rebels, the Outliers, the Others who live beyond the Wall and read forbidden books, sing forbidden songs and think forbidden thoughts in defiance of The One.’

He called for ‘Generation Z’ to rebel against the matrix:

‘Who most wants you to stay on the grid? The advertisers. Your boss. Human Resources. The advertisers. Your parents (irony of ironies – once they distrusted it, now they need to tag you electronically, share your Facebook photos and message you to death). The advertisers. The government. Your local authority. Your school. Advertisers. Well, if you’re young and have an ounce of pride, doesn’t that list say it all? So fuck you, I’m Going Off The Grid.”

Fry appears to believe that the current social media giants will fall as mightily as they have risen in the last ten years.

“Facebook is of course all powerful and finds itself busy eating the internet (thereby preparing its own extinction) and of course parents are on it. That’s how crap it is.”


Twitter changes its rules

TwitterSocial media chat company Twitter has revised its terms and conditions in a bid to stop what it describes as “abusive behaviour and hateful conduct”.

In a blog entry, the company said that it would not tolerate behaviour such as harassment, initimation, or people who use fear to stifle other peoples’ voices.

Twitter said it’s already taken steps to make life easier for people by providing tools to mute and block messages.

It has introduced actions for “suspected abusive behaviour” including email and phone verification.

Twitter added: “Keeping users safe requires a comprehensive and balanced approach where everyone plays a role. We will continue to build on these initiatives to empower our users and ensure that Twitter remains a platform for people to express themselves.”

European Union proposes Facebook shake up

European flagA committee in the European Parliament is considering changing existing legislation so children under the age of 16 would need parental permission to use Facebook, Twitter and the like. There’s a vote to include a late amendment to a bill  this coming Thursday.

The move is intended to protect a child’s personal data. The existing legislation applies to anyone under the age of 13.

But analysts have suggested that such a move would stop young people from learning stuff.

Facebook and other vendors are engaged in a frantic lobbying effort to throw out an amendment that could become law in just a few days.

The amendment has been proposed primarily to stop companies like Facebook from harvesting childrens’ data and using it to sell stuff to them.

Facebook doesn’t exactly saw how it uses peoples’ data but it seems pretty good at popping up ads based on the type of content a person uses.

Facebook readies business version

FacebookFacebook is close to launching its professional version of Facebook – Facebook at Work (FaW).

That’s according to Reuters, which spoke to a Facebook executive who said that the “professional” version will look very much like Facebook Ordinaire.

Which prompts the question of why Facebook wants to have a professional version, seeing as practically every company on the world has now got its own FB page.

Apparently FaW will have better security, and will have different profiles for “professionals”.

FaW will find itself competing against Linkedin but apparently a number of companies including the Royal Bank of Scotland and Heineken are beta testing it, Reuters added.

Twitter tells boffins how much you earn

TwitterScientists at the University of Pennsylvania claim that they can tell how much money people say they earn by looking at the words they use in their 140 letter tweets.

The scientists collaborated with other universities and Microsoft Research and reasoned that by assessing peoples’ social media posts, they can figure out where you stand in the economic pecking order.

In the UK they said they sorted occupations into nine classes and assessed 5,191 Twitter uses with over 10 million tweets.

They created a natural language processing algorithm that looked at words people in each of the nine classes use more than others.

One surprising result is that people who earn more are more angry and fearful, while optimists don’t earn very much.

Perhaps not surprisingly, people in lower income brackets use more swear words.

The researchers have yet to assess how the way people classify themselves matches the money they actually earn.

IBM claims Watson is the future

Sherlock Holmes and Dr WatsonBig Blue said that its Watson platform is an “entirely new” model of computing because it isn’t programmed and learns.

IBM claimed that in less than in two years the Watson platform now has over 25 application programming interfaces (APIs) available for over 50 technologies, as it introduced new features yesterday.

Those new features include language, speech and vision services as well as more developer tools.

The company claimed its natural language classifier lets developers build application that understand meaning by using its dialogue function.

In addition, Watson visual insights lets developers build apps that will get meaning from social media images and video.

The company also said it has added to its speech to text and text to speech services by adding Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese.

IBM has also put into beta its “knowledge studio” which it hopes will combine machine learning and text analytics in a single tool.

Meanwhile, the company opened a Watson Hub in San Francisco aimed at collaborating with local and Silicon Valley companies.

People spend 20 hours online a week

FacebookResearch from Ofcom said that an average UK adult spends 20 hours online.

That’s twice as much time as 10 years ago, and Ofcom said the trend is due to more people using tablets and smartphones.

And if you’re between 16 and 24, the average internet use is 27 hours and 36 minutes a week.

Only five percent of people used a tablet to go online in 2010, but that figure was 39 percent in 2014. And people with internet ready smartphones amounted to 66 percent last year.

Nearly nine in 10 British people use the internet compared to 10 years ago.

Many people now use the internet to watch TV and video with 27 percent doing so regularly, compared to one in 10 in 2007.

Facebook, WhatsApp, and BBM are now popular ways of people keeping in touch and 90 percent of people use their mobile phones to send text messages.

Facebook and other social media are also more popular, with 72 percent saying they use it – compared to 22 percent in 2007.

Ofcom interviewed 1,890 people aged 16 or over to come up with its findings.

Social media advertising pointless

A Gallup poll has proved that spending money on Social Media advertising is a complete waste of time.

Americans say that social media does not influence their purchasing decisions, even if it is something to do with cats.

Huge numbers of companies are running extensive marketing campaigns based on social media but more than 62 percent of US respondents said Facebook, Twitter and other social networking site, do not have any influence on their product purchasing decisions.

Gallop’s State of the American Consumer report said that only five percent of survey respondents said social media have “a great deal of influence” on their purchasing decisions. Just over 30 percent admitted that social media did have “some influence” on their buying habits.

This suggests that most people consider social media as a networking tool and not something they use to follow trends or look for product reviews.

Around 75 percent of pre-Baby Boomers say SM has no impact their buying decisions; 67 percent of Baby Boomers make the same claim, as do 57 percent of Generation X and 48 percent of Millennials. So in otherwords the younger you are the more likely you are to form an opinion based on social notworking.

The Gallup report did point out that it was quite possible that social media may have more influence than many people “realise or will admit”, but highlighted that the data make it very clear that few consumers consciously consider input from social media when making purchases. 

Researchers can tell when you are lying

The days of people telling porkies on social media forums could be outdated after EU researchers have come up with a tool which can tell if people are lying.

Software called Pheme can tell if you are fibbing on Facebook or Twitter. The idea is to quell the spread of dangerous misinformation, citing the quickly spread false rumour during the 2011 London riots that the London Eye was on fire.

Pheme was names after the Greek goddess of fame and rumours. This project is EU-funded research being carried out at the University of Sheffield. Initially it will assess large quantities of social media data and test stories classifying each one.

It uses lexical, semantic and syntactic information in the material which is cross-referenced with data sources that are assessed as particularly trustworthy. Finally, the diffusion of a piece of information is analysed and it is assessed to see who receives what information and how, and when is it transmitted. ATOS – Spain will be building the computational platform to do the job. 

Man arrested for tweeting name of Corrie star alleged sex victim

A 43 year old man was arrested on suspicion of tweeting the name of a girl who accused Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell of rape.

Phil Davies, from the Greater Manchester Police, said public identification of sex abuse victims – in particular child victims during court proceedings – can “cause both immediate and long term distress and harm, especially in cases as serious as this”.

Michael Le Vell, real name Michael Turner, denies 12 charges, including five of rape, the BBC reports. The actor played car mechanic Kevin Webster on Britain’s longest running TV soap.

Davies said disclosing names on social media is effectively the same as through the mainstream media.

“People may not understand that when they use social media they are required by the law to keep victims anonymous in exactly the same way as people who work in mainstream media,” Davies said.

The point about social media has surfaced again and again – Twitter is essentially a public domain, even if you have privacy restricted your account – and posting online can provide more unwanted exposure than shouting on the street.