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Month: January 2018

Facebook users decrease usage an average of 2 minutes per day

Facebook users decrease usage an average of 2 minutes per day

Much noise is being made over Facebook seeing a decline in usage of 50 million hours per day and a decline in number of daily users in North America. Source: Facebook stock falls 4 percent as user time dips, revenue growth slows Facebook is continually tweaking its algorithms for what information is presented in our FB news feed – sometimes to increase engagement, sometimes to increase ad sales, sometimes to apparently decrease engagement.

As long time users of Facebook reduce their minutes of usage, FB aggressively seeks to get them back

As long time users of Facebook reduce their minutes of usage, FB aggressively seeks to get them back

More and more people seem to be reducing their involvement with social media. Not necessarily eliminating social media but curtailing the amount of time they spend online and making fewer posts. In response, Facebook seems more aggressive about emailing users reminding them of updates from friends and urging them to log in. When I do not log in for a few days, I get pestered with emails from Facebook urging me to see what my friends are doing. If I…

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Highly successful propaganda operation concerning road and highway funding

Highly successful propaganda operation concerning road and highway funding

“Hundreds of bridges in Oregon and Southwest Washington are structurally deficient, according to a new report released Tuesday.” Source: Bridges in trouble: Report names hundreds of Ore., Wash. ‘structurally deficient’ bridges | KATU The organization that issued this report is a lobbying organization: “Established in 1902, Washington, D.C.-based ARTBA is the “consensus voice” of the U.S. transportation design and construction industry before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, news media and the general public.” Congress is about to consider legislation…

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Social media's surveillance-of-users business model may get regulation

Social media's surveillance-of-users business model may get regulation

Most people associate Facebook with cute family photos and think of Google like a semi-reliable encyclopedia. But these services have only a tangential relationship to the way either company actually makes money. The twin Silicon Valley titans rely on two closely intertwined technologies, customer surveillance and advertising, to maximize shareholder profits. Source: Facebook And Google’s Surveillance Capitalism Model Is In Trouble | HuffPost Social media’s surveillance of end users conflicts with European laws, and may conflict with the general public’s…

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Millions of fake Twitter followers, often based on stolen Twitter account identities

Millions of fake Twitter followers, often based on stolen Twitter account identities

Not surprisingly, everything about social media is mostly fake. “Devumi sells Twitter followers and retweets to celebrities, businesses and anyone who wants to appear more popular or exert influence online. Drawing on an estimated stock of at least 3.5 million automated accounts, each sold many times over, the company has provided customers with more than 200 million Twitter followers, a New York Times investigation found. The accounts that most resemble real people, like Ms. Rychly, reveal a kind of large-scale…

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Americans throw away 500 million plastic straws each day – or not

Americans throw away 500 million plastic straws each day – or not

Americans are said to use 500 million plastic straws each cay. Where did the 500 million estimate come from? Someone named Milo Cress who did a telephone survey – when he was nine years old in 2011. This is said to be the sole source of this estimate, now quoted by politicians, the media, the National Park Service and the National Restaurant Association. A lot of people accept this number without realizing it means roughly everyone in the U.S. uses…

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George Soros says social media companies should be regulated like utilities

George Soros says social media companies should be regulated like utilities

“They claim they are merely distributing information. But the fact that they are near- monopoly distributors makes them public utilities and should subject them to more stringent regulations, aimed at preserving competition, innovation, and fair and open universal access,” he said. …. “There could be an alliance between authoritarian states and these large, data-rich IT monopolies that would bring together nascent systems of corporate surveillance with an already developed system of state-sponsored surveillance,” he said. “This may well result in…

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Social media appears to be losing its "safe harbor" protection against liability for speech on their sites

Social media appears to be losing its "safe harbor" protection against liability for speech on their sites

Social media companies have argued they are immune from liability (say for libel) as they are carriers of the speech of others, and do not have editorial control over the content on their web sites. They are like a phone company that is not liable for the speech conducted over their phone lines. However, with an awareness now that social media, such as Twitter, throttles tweet exposure, edits trending tag lists, and shadow bans some content, that defense becomes untenable….

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Software industry CEO thinks Facebook should be regulated

Software industry CEO thinks Facebook should be regulated

With discussions about Russian interference in US elections and the addictiveness of consumer tech currently at the forefront of the national conversation, Benioff said, Facebook should be regulated “exactly the same way you regulated the cigarette industry,” with the safety of consumers coming before the financial health of the companies. Source: Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff: Facebook should be regulated like the cigarette industry – SFGate

To avoid fake news on Facebook, just avoid all news on Facebook?

To avoid fake news on Facebook, just avoid all news on Facebook?

According to the Pew Research Center, Americans are between two and three times more likely to trust the local news (82 percent) and the national news (76 percent) than they are to trust anything they see on social media (34 percent). Source: How to avoid fake news: Stop getting your news from Facebook, that’s how Corollary: To avoid spreading fake news, only share content that you create yourself or that which is created by people you personally know.

Facebook to ask "community" to rate trust worthiness of news sources

Facebook to ask "community" to rate trust worthiness of news sources

Facebooks says it will periodically survey users to rank the trustworthiness of news sources that may be seen on Facebook. This proposal by Facebook is loopy.  A few million followers of Occupy Democrats will rate it as super trustworthy while viewers of Fox News will rate it as the most trusted and unbiased source of news. Facebook is combating fake news by using a poll of the effectiveness of propaganda. A search online finds widespread condemnation of Facebook’s plan for…

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Does social media play a role in "wealth culture"?

Does social media play a role in "wealth culture"?

This problem pre-dates social media but it is likely that social media has amplified some of its effects: “We’ve gone from a culture that prized hard work, frugality and discretion as the central tenets of the American Dream to a culture that prized celebrity, bling and narcissism.” Source: Sundance film documents ‘wealth culture’ addiction spiralling out of control – MarketWatch Television has played a big role in promoting celebrities.  Social media, especially Instagram but also Facebook, creates an environment for…

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In spite of the propaganda spin, it really does take 60 votes, not 51, to approve the Federal budget

In spite of the propaganda spin, it really does take 60 votes, not 51, to approve the Federal budget

Online, social media-based, for profit, fake news publisher Occupy Democrats sent out another false meme for viral distribution on social media. This item was shared into my Facebook news feed. The Republicans have a 52 seat majority in the Senate, with one absent for medical treatment, giving them a 51 seat majority. The problem with this propaganda is that due to Senate rules and how the political parties work in real life, it takes 60 votes, not 51. CSPAN understood…

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Facebooks fosters "me versus you" interaction

Facebooks fosters "me versus you" interaction

Interesting essay. The most subtle and interesting conflict of interest at the heart of Facebook is user vs user. The promise of the net was originally positive network effects — the more people on a network, the better off each would be, not additively, but multiplicatively. Think Wikipedia in its early days, maybe. Only today, we’re finding out that didn’t turn out to be true. On Facebook, especially, heavy users face significant forms of mental and emotional harm: they end up sadder,…

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