BARACK Obama is planning a coup, fluoride is dulling my IQ and five US Presidents were members of the Ku Klux Klan — well, that’s if you believe the “facts” that Google delivers.

The search engine giant has joined Facebook as being a deliverer of fake news, thanks to the reliance of an algorithm which looks for popular results rather than true results.

Generally, Google escapes a lot of the bad press that other tech giants, quite fairly, cop.

Twitter is a place where nameless trolls say inexecutable things while Facebook is the place where ignorant people share their ignorant views in a way that is unreasonably popular. Just ask US President Donald Trump.


But now it’s Google’s term to cop some flak and it’s because the search engine, rather than just deliver results, also seeks to return what Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land calls the “one true answer”.

The reason Google is now a spreader of lies and falsehood comes down to the realisation that we Google things we want an answer to.

Google Inc. headquarters in Mountain View, California. Picture: AP

Google Inc. headquarters in Mountain View, California. Picture: APSource:News Limited 

Want to know “when did World War II” end, you type it into Google. And rather than just get a link to dozens of websites, we also get a box at the top of the screen with the dates of World War II.

You have a question and now you have an answer.

This way of delivering a fact is called a “featured snippet”. It’s been a feature that Google has delivered since 2014 and, generally, people have been happy. But they’re not happy now because Google’s one true answer, in some cases, is total rubbish.

The problem is particularly highlighted with the Google Home speaker, the smart speaker that in some cases has been delivering dumb answers.

Several people have shared videos on YouTube and Twitter of asking Google Home the question: Is Obama planning a coup?

The real answer would be something like “naw mate, he’s living the good life and glad to be doing so”. The answer, according to Google, is yep — he’s in league with the Chinese.

Likewise, according to Google Home, there have been five US presidents who were members of the Ku Klux Klan. Nope, according to more reliable sources, there is no evidence that any US presidents were members of the Klan although some were racists. (Eight US presidents, including George Washington, owned slaves.)


You can keep going down this rabbit hole of misinformation that is not all right-wing conspiracies. According to Google snippets, Obama’s birth certificate is forged, Donald Trump is paranoid and mentally ill and “republicans = Nazis”.


Not all of the false answers are political. There is medical misinformation, including the claim that fluoride will lower your IQ, and it took God six days to create the Earth.

Google has issued a statement blaming the misinformation on the algorithm and says people can click on a feedback button on each boxed fact to report it as incorrect.

The problem Google faces in all of this is the amount of misinformation out there.

The “facts” that it delivers comes from the top ten results for each query. Arguably, Google is the messenger and someone else has created the falsehood and spread it.

Sullivan crunched the numbers to work out how Google might fix it.

It could, for instance, assign a person to check each fact.

But given Google processes 5 billion queries a day and about 15 per cent of them have featured snippets, that would require someone to check nearly 1 billion facts a day.

Or it could drop the feature altogether, but the problem in the age of Apple Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, is that people are now used to asking a device a question and expecting an answer.

Other solutions would be to more obviously source the fact, so that it’s clear that it comes from something that is an unreliable source. Or only deliver snippets if they come from a list of vetted sites — but even that is problematic.

Here is the one real answer. Don’t believe everything you hear — even if the person talking is a smart speaker with artificial intelligence. They’ll say anything.

Source : http://www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/google-joins-facebook-in-fake-news-cycle-with-algorithm-delivering-false-facts/news-story/1d65166dc1a2ac947aa3c0d10c806721

Categorized in Search Engine

Earlier this year at Facebook's F8 conference, the company revealed three innovation pillars that make up the company's ten-year vision: connectivity, artificial intelligence (AI), and virtual reality (VR). Facebook's Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer is responsible for leading each of them. Despite the fact that the vision is ten-years in duration, the company has made significant progress in each.

Facebook's progress in AI can been seen in everything from the company's news feed to the way in which people are tagged. The virtual reality innovations are best demonstrated through the Oculus Rift, which I demo'd last Thursday. More recently, the company made a great flight forward on the connectivity pillar as Acquila, a long-endurance plane that will fly above commercial aircraft and the weather, took flight in Arizona. The goal is for this v-shaped aircraft that has a wingspan longer than a Boeing 737, but weighs under 1,o00 pounds to bring basic internet access to the developing world.


I met with Schroepfer at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, and we discussed these three pillars and a variety of other topics, including the company's recruiting methods, how the company maintains its innovative edge, and the logic behind its headquarters - one of the largest open-space offices in the world.

(This interview is excerpted from the 250th broadcast of the Forum on World Class IT. To listen to that unabridged interview, please visit this link. This is the 18th interview in the IT Influencers series. To listen to past interviews with the likes of former Mexican President Vicente Fox, Sal Khan, Sebastian Thrun, Steve Case, and Walt Mossberg, please visit this link.)

Peter High: Earlier this year at F8 2016, Facebook’s developer’s conference, you introduced three innovation pillars. Could you take a moment to highlight each of them?

Mike Schroepfer: We have been, I think pretty uniquely in the industry, very public about our ten-year vision and roadmap, and we have broken it down into three core areas:

  • connectivity, connecting the approximately four billion people in the world who do not have internet access today (the majority of the world);
  • artificial intelligence in solving some of the core problems and building truly intelligent computer systems; and
  • virtual reality and augmented reality, building the next generation of computing systems that have probably the best promise that I am aware of to give me the ability to feel like I am present with someone in the same room, even if they are thousands of miles away.

High: With the abundant resources and brain power at Facebook, how did you choose those three as opposed to others?

Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer

Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer


Schroepfer: A lot of this derives directly from [Facebook CEO] Mark [Zuckerberg], and comes from the mission, which is to make the world more open and connected. I think of this simply as using technology to connect people. We sit down and say, “OK, if that is our goal, the thing we are uniquely suited for, what are the big problems of the world?” As you start breaking it down, these fall out quite naturally. The first problem is if a bunch of the world does not even have basic connectivity to the internet, that is a fundamental problem. Then you break it down and realize there are technological solutions to problems; there are things that can happen to dramatically reduce the cost of deploying infrastructure, which is the big limiting factor. It is just an economics problem. Once people are connected, you run into the problem you and I have, which is almost information overload. There is so much information out there, but I have limited time and so I may not be getting the best information. Then there is the realization that the only way to scale that is to start building intelligent systems in AI that can be my real-time assistant all the time, making sure that I do not miss anything that is critical to me and that I do not spend my time on stuff that is less important. The only way we know how to do that at the scale we operate at is artificial intelligence.

So there is connectivity and I am getting the right information, but most of us have friends or family who are not physically next to us all the time, and we cannot always be there for the most important moments in life. The state of the art technology we have for that right now is the video camera. If I want to capture a moment with my kids and remember it forever, that is the best we can do right now. The question is, ‘What if I want to be there live and record those moments in a way that I can relive them twenty years from now as if I was there?’ That is where virtual reality comes in. It gives you the capability of putting a headset on and experiencing it today, and you feel like you are in a real world somewhere else, wherever you want to be.

High: How do you think about those longer term goals, the things that are going to take a lot of stair steps to get to, versus the near-term exhaust of ideas that are going to be commercialized and commercial-ready?

Schroepfer: The biggest thing that I try to emphasize when I talk about the ten-year plan is to be patient when it does not work because no great thing is just a straight linear shot. I have started companies in the past and it is never a straight shot. The time at Facebook is seen from the outside as maybe always things are going great, but there are always a lot of ups and downs along the way. The key thing is not to get discouraged in the times when it is not going well. The other thing is if you can have intermediate milestones along the way which help you understand that you are making progress, that is handy. AI is quite easy because the team has already deployed tons of stuff that dramatically improves the Facebook experience every day. This can be as simple as techniques to help us better rank photos, so you do not miss the important photos in your life, to more fundamental things like earlier this year we launched assistive technology so that if you have a visual impairment and cannot see the billions of images uploaded every day on Facebook we can generate and read you a caption. We could not ever do that at human scale.

These are happening every day and, at the same time, we are working on much harder problems. How do you teach a computer to ingest a bunch of unstructured data, like the contents of a Wikipedia article, and then answer questions about it? That seems straightforward, but that is the frontier of artificial intelligence where you can reason and understand about things that are not pre-digested and pre-optimized by a person who put it in a nice key value format for you. When you look at that, that stuff is farther reaching and rudimentary.

In VR we want to deliver products on the market today so you can go into your Best Buy today and buy an Oculus Rift headset. Realize that that is going to be a relatively small market in 2016. Compared to the billion people today who use Facebook, it is going to seem tiny, but we hope every year better content will occur. We will release updated systems every few years, and as the systems get better and cheaper, low and behold in ten years you will have hundreds of millions of people in VR, rather than a few million. You have to have patience for that ramp, and not get disappointed when it does not have that many users in the short term.

There are intermediate milestones on the connectivity side, like our first flight of Aquila a couple of weeks ago, which was awesome and mind-bending and people were literally in tears. But that was the first flight of our first vehicle. There are many steps between that and a vehicle which is fully ready to perform the end goal, which is providing internet access for people where it is too expensive to lay fiber lines across a large area. So you try to have a long term vision, be patient when things might fail, but then also have these intermediate steps where you can be making progress and adding value and see where things are going. At least that is the way I think of it.

High: To solve the problems you are going after requires not only brain power, but also people with a wide array of backgrounds, perhaps more so than when the company began. You need the whole swath of STEM topics, people with advanced neuroscience specialties, and so forth. Especially here in Silicon Valley, where there is such a war for talent, how do you think about talent acquisition?

Schroepfer: Honestly, this is the real joy of the job. Now we are in this place where certainly it is a challenge to find talent, but magic occurs when it is cross-disciplinary. Let’s talk about flying this aircraft. You have high end composite material, electrical systems and electrical engines. A key part is using latest generation battery technology using solar cells. Then we need a communication system that can beam internet up and down between this plane, which means we are doing free space optics and have laser communications and laser transmitters and receivers. You need a software system that can help control flight on this aircraft, an aircraft that has never been built before. We need to build simulations of what this thing is going to look like. You have your machine learning software, hardware, electrical, aeronautics, material science, and all of these things together. When you can get them into a small team—this is a few dozen people together—and you get them clearly oriented on this goal, a lot of great stuff happens. Our core strategy in the company, our technology, is about bringing people together.


High:  How much liberty do people have to explore ideas in areas of their own choosing?

Schroepfer: A lot. A fundamental principle from the beginning of when I was here was that you have smart, well-educated people who are at the top of their field and they can work anywhere. They are going to be best used if you have them working on the thing that they are excited about. If they wake up in the morning and run in to work because they cannot wait to solve the problem, then they are going to produce much better stuff. There are certainly times where we try to convince someone to try to work on something else, or explain to them what is important, but a lot of my job ends up being to get the right talent here, and then to clearly and crisply articulate our end goal: “This is what I want you to work on. There are lots of ways you can contribute. Figure out what part of this makes you the most excited and dive in and go.” Then we can start putting some of the pieces together and build some of this technology. So there is a lot of freedom in what we do.

High: How do you think about building an ecosystem to do this outside of the company, in addition to the team you have built inside the company?

Schroepfer: This is an area where we have tried to innovate a lot. If you go back even five or six years to the foundation of the Open Compute Project, this was like everyone has accepted that open source is a great way to develop software. I used to work at Mozilla and we built a browser in open source. Pretty much every company out there has Linux running somewhere—that has open source; we all contributed to the same Linux kernel, but did not do it for hardware. We said, “Let’s do that for hardware.” So our datacenter designed the buildings themselves, the racks, the servers—everything in there is open for people to collaborate. Now you have the whole industry collaborating, including, very recently, Google. We are running that same playbook now in connectivity, such as in telecom infrastructure. If we can get the industry together, it ends up benefitting everyone because you share in a bunch of the core IP, you build on the same components, you get economies of scale and production, stuff is cheaper, and it gets more proliferated out there.

When you look at things like AI research, we are aggressively publishing and open sourcing our work. We are at all the major conferences. I was just reviewing with the team recently the core advances they had developed. One they had developed a few years ago was called “memory networks” as a way to attach a sort of a short-term memory to a convolutional neural net, and that was a capability we had not had before. The work then was in 2014 and since then there have been citations to that work. Every month there is a new paper out which shows a new advancement and enhancement to that technique that improves on some basic question and answering benchmarks. You look at the aggregate rate of throughput of the entire industry, versus if we just did it ourselves, and it is great because we can fast forward by building on work that just happened and be two years ahead of where we would be if we had just tried to do it ourselves. Fundamental technology can benefit lots of things besides Facebook. Whenever we can do that, we are big fans.

High: How do you keep yourself abreast of new innovations that are happening both at your company and outside your company?

Schroepfer: This is where I think I might have the best job in the industry. First of all, I read everything I can see. But even better than that is I get to go sit down and talk with the teams doing the work and that is by far the best part of my day. Just a few weeks ago, I sat down with the Facebook research team and we did a day-long briefing on all of the work that they are doing. Here is Yann LeCun, who has written the seminal papers on convolutional neural nets in the 1990’s, taking the team through his vision of where we are going. The team is reviewing not just the work they are doing, but, because they publish and open source it, also the work other people have built on top of that to solve similar problems. Then I walk away from that and get to talk to some people here building some of the latest social apps with VR and look at what we are trying out there. I get a chance to talk to people in the industry at tech conferences or when I see people doing interesting work, and I get a chance to understand what is happening there. It is a lot of fun. It is honestly hard to keep up with because there is so much stuff happening all the time and it is all fun and fascinating.


High: Having had a chance to walk around headquarters here, I want to ask how you have thought about creating a space that fosters the collaboration necessary, not only within these four walls, but also beyond that, wherever Facebook is?

Schroepfer: You are sitting in a building which is one of the world’s largest single floor office buildings. It is 2,800 people on a single floor with no individualized offices—you see everyone sitting out in desks here. This was designed as an experiment to see how far we could push collaboration if we had literally thousands of people in the same room. There are VC systems in every room so people can VC between our major offices. Obviously, one of the secret weapons we have had, that we have now made available to others, is Facebook itself. Everyone is on Facebook all day, because we work here, and it turns into a great collaboration tool: you have Facebook groups, Facebook messenger, you have all these great ways which are fundamentally about aggregating a bunch of information and being able to keep up with it. It could be ‘let’s see what my friends are up to’, or it could be what sixteen different teams are working on at the same time. The tools work well for that, too.

The subtle thing that I think a lot of people miss is that the key to collaboration is when people can bring their perspective and their point of view and their expertise, and spend the time it takes to understand the other person and empathize with what problem they are working on. This could be across domains. Let’s say I am a machine learning person and I am trying to understand what a medical doctor is trying to do to look at patterns in drug discoveries. The more I can understand about their problem, the more I can help them with that. A lot of what our culture builds is that basic empathy because you are on Facebook and so not only are you seeing what is going on with colleagues at work, but you are seeing what is going on in their real life, too: kids going off to school next week or coming back from vacation. It brings this sense of cohesion I have not ever experienced in any other organization anywhere near our scale.

High: As the organization grows, as it becomes a technology behemoth, to what extent do you worry or think about maintaining that smaller company feel, and the entrepreneurial spirit? Obviously, there are many innovative companies that have come before you that had bright days in the sun and then experienced a lot of rainy days after that.

Schroepfer: That is something we think about all the time. There are pros and cons of growth. The “pro” is that we are working on all this exciting stuff and we have specialists in all these areas. If you are an engineer joining the company and you want to learn more about AI or more about aircraft or virtual reality, we have all of that for you to do today in house, which is awesome and a big plus. But it is challenging to get a larger group of people unified under a common mission. I think this boils down to a couple things that we work on all the time. The first is that you want people to have a real sense of alignment towards the end goal. What can happen in a large organization is it gets federated and everyone is working on different things and so their goals are not aligned. We are clear about our mission – connecting people using technology—and we are clear that if you are excited about that, great, come here, and if you are not, there are lots of other great places to work.


I like to think that a lot of our job is engineering the culture. If you think about engineering as building a system, the way in which we all work together is a system, and we can spend time engineering that—as simple as what is your experience onboarding as a new hire. For most companies, that is a day and a half filling out a bunch of paperwork. For us, it is an intensive, six-week, boot camp onboarding which is designed to get you as exposed to as much technology and people across the company as possible. At the end of those six weeks, no matter what you are working on, you have met hundreds of engineers across the company, and not just in a superficial way. You have written a piece of code and had someone review it, and you have poked around and talked to them and asked them about a bug. So when you exit boot camp, everyone gets to know each other well because whether you have been fifteen years in the industry or you are just out of college, we are both figuring out Facebook, and that builds a bond. That gets spread throughout the company and you build connections between those people in the class, and each one of those individuals met tons of people across the company, so when someone has a question about something a team is doing, it is like “Oh, I met Mary when I was working on this bug. I will go ask her. Maybe she knows who to talk to.” It builds those loose connections that are so critical to building that cohesion.

I could go on and on because we have program after program designed to solve this exact problem, which is building cohesion across the groups. After boot camp, it is hackamonth, where, eighteen months into your job, you take a month and completely rotate to another team. You can learn a new skill, work in a different area entirely, meet a whole new group of people, and just continue this cohesion across the company.

High: You did that yourself, as Sheryl Sandberg and you switched jobs for a week.

Schroepfer: Absolutely. I learned what it was like to be in her shoes, and vice versa. We are just trying to keep it mixed up wherever we can, which I think is helping. It is a hard problem, so there is a lot to work on, but it is something we focus on.

High: If I could take it one step further back in the chain to the recruiting process: how do you evaluate talent? Especially now that the company is shooting for long-term objectives, and given some of the uncertainty and value you are seeking, how do you think about talent acquisition?

Schroepfer: The first obvious thing you want to do is see whether they have the raw skills needed to accomplish the job—and that is a much broader palette than it used to be. It used to be mostly software engineering, but now it could be electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, a specialty in AI. For each of those roles, there are different ways, but basically it boils down to some form of technical verification that they are state of the art in that field. The second is that collaboration is important to us. Part of the interview process is collaborative problem solving. Half of it is did they get the answer right, and the other half is whether they able to work with the other person in the room towards that answer because that is the way the real world is. Hollywood has the person in the basement, solo, creating everything, but nothing interesting I have ever seen is made that way. It is always a team. We just want to make sure that this person can communicate clearly and collaborate well with the group, and that is what we look for.

Author : Peter High

Source : http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterhigh/2016/08/15/facebooks-10-year-plan-connectivity-artificial-intelligence-and-virtual-reality/3/#4e865773c3cd

Categorized in Social

Have you ever wondered how Facebook collects all the data it has to feed you with the content it presumes you’ll like and keep you coming back for more? Well, now there’s an app that can answer these questions.

Available for free, Data Selfie is an open-source Chrome extension that helps you discover how machine learning algorithms track and process your Facebook activity, and gain insights about your personality and habits.

“The most awesome stage”

Last year, Facebook's VP of Design thought the TNW Conference main stage was the best she'd ever been on.


To accomplish this, the nifty extension monitors your Facebook interactions for patterns and then crunches the collected data into insightful reports.

Data Selfie essentially tracks your activity – what you look at, how long you look at it, what you like, what you click and what you type – and then applies natural language processing and machine learning algorithms from IBM Watson and the University of Cambridge to turn this data into insight.

The extension comes with a handy dashboard that shows your aggregated Facebook activity in a timeline, conveniently broken down with color coding to highlight different aspects about your data usage.

In addition to this, the Data Selfie dashboard also includes insight into what posts you’ve spent most time on – both for friends and liked pages. In a creepily fascinating way, the extension also uses predictive analytics to guess stuff like your political affiliations as well as shopping and nutrition preferences.

To prevent ill-intended individuals from obtaining the information it collects about you, Data Selfie keeps your data locally – only on your own machine – and never stores anything on external servers.

As part of its initiative to promote internet transparency, creator Data X has made the code for Data Selfie available on GitHub for curious developers to peruse. Head to this repository for more details.

Start learning how Facebook’s algorithms collect and interpret your activity patterns, and get Data Selfie from the Chrome Web Store here.

Author : mix

Source : https://thenextweb.com/facebook/2017/02/17/facebook-chrome-track-data-selfie/#.tnw_eUGqdI0M

Categorized in Social

Social media gaint Facebook is aiming to go head-to-head with LinkedIn. The world’s largest social network announced today that it has launched several new features on its Web site to make it easier for employers to get in contact with job seekers.

Businesses will be able to post openings for positions on their Facebook pages, while job seekers will be able to browse through openings thanks to a new Jobs bookmark.

"We're focused on building new ways to help make it easier for businesses to interact with the over 1 billion people visiting Pages every month," the company said in a statement. "Businesses and people already use Facebook to fill and find jobs, so we're rolling out new features that allow job posting and application directly on Facebook."


Reaching Out to Enterprise Clients

Facebook's argument is that employers and potential employees are using their site constantly, making it a natural platform for people looking for qualified candidates. That argument sounds particularly pointed with regard to competing social network LinkedIn, which is used almost exclusively when people are searching for work or to network in their industries.

In the last several months, Facebook has been making a renewed effort to appeal to enterprise customers with new features designed with them in mind. In October, the social network unveiled several updates to its Pages service geared toward helping businesses interact more effectively with the more than 1 billion visitors the site receives every month.

"Beginning today, businesses in the US and Canada will be able to post job openings, and their future employees will be able to easily find those posts on their Page or in the new jobs bookmark," the company said. "This new experience will help businesses find qualified people where they're already spending their time -- on Facebook and on mobile."

Simple Functionality

Employers will be able to create job posts through the admins of their Pages. They can then use the new feature to track applications and communicate directly with applicants. After posting jobs, the admins will be able to review applications and contact applicants on Facebook Messenger.

The process is similar for job applicants, the company said. Job posts may appear in their News Feeds, in the new bookmark for jobs and alongside other posts on business Pages. When they click on the Apply Now button, a form will open that is pre-populated with information from their profiles on Facebook. Applicants will also be able to edit their information before submitting it.

None of this functionality may seem all that revolutionary, or provide job seekers with anything they cannot already find on LinkedIn or other job searching sites. What may be the differentiator, however, is Facebook’s status as one of the most frequently visited Web sites in the world. The sheer number of eyeballs Facebook is able to regularly attract may be sufficient to give LinkedIn a run for its money.

Author : Jef Cozza

Source : http://www.newsfactor.com/news/Facebook-Adds-Job-Search-Features/story.xhtml?story_id=1000096XPDCC

Categorized in Social

When Pew Research Center studied how Americans access and share local news in three cities, we naturally wanted to analyze the role that Facebook played as a means for people to hear about, discuss and share local news. But getting the data we needed proved challenging.

Facebook Activity by CityWhile seven-in-ten online American adults are on Facebook, most do not make the information they share fully public. Facebook allows users to adjust their privacy settings in a number of different ways, which, for researchers, means it’s harder to study the platform holistically.


We decided to focus on the information we could gather on public Facebook pages. But the question then became how to round up relevant public data from Facebook in these cities.

What we did:

Trying to contact and “friend” individual users in each city was impractical and also presented ethical challenges.

Instead, we started identifying public Facebook pages related to news providers in the three cities we selected: Denver, Macon, Ga., and Sioux City, Iowa. Generally these Facebook pages included local media organizations, local celebrities and politicians. The pages were identified as part of the “audit” of each city. Using the public Facebook Application Program Interface (API) – a way to automatically request public data from online services – we pulled all of the Facebook activity of each page during the time period studied.

This meant that the analysis ended up focusing on local news providers and the content they post, rather than what citizens shared or posted themselves – on their own, private Facebook walls – about local news. While not ideal, it seemed the most complete way to study the flow of news in each city – and to be as certain as possible that we were focusing in on that city’s news system.

The API allowed us to easily access how many Facebook posts each public page had during the 14-day time period we studied and how many “likes” and comments each one got. We also used “share” data, but with the caveat that any piece of share data available from the public API represents someone using the “Share” button on the post. It does not reflect someone sharing the post in some other way, such as copying and pasting the link in the post. Using current tools, we had no way of knowing what percentage of overall sharing on Facebook occurs using the Share button.

One way of bringing in some analysis of citizen activity was through the comments users left on public pages. The Facebook data allowed us to capture both the posted content from the managers of that page and comments made by outside users. In this case, it provided access to thousands of comments.


Analyzing comments on the public Facebook pages helped us better understand how users were interacting with these pages, but it posed an ethical question: Do regular Facebook users understand that these comments are truly public and can be accessed for this kind of research?

Since we were unable to truly answer that question, Pew Research Center chose not to publish the content of any of these comments or the names of any of the users who commented. Only the metadata was used: the time and date of the comment; whether it included a photo, video or only text; and if it included a URL. The analysis was then able to focus on the nature of the activity on these public Facebook pages.

What we learned:

In theory, Facebook opens up a space for news and information providers to experiment with new ways to get their message out, interact with the audience and enable the audience to participate.

There was some evidence of this in our analysis. For example, of the 100 most commented on posts in Denver, half included some sort of audience outreach, in which news organizations or newsmakers asked questions, made requests for photos or videos, or conducted online polls. The most commented on post in the time frame we examined, with 564 likes and 639 comments, was posted by Denver’s local CBS TV affiliate: “Would you like to see Hillary as president?”

Although the Hillary Clinton question fell into the category of national news, such instances were relatively rare among the most-commented posts we examined. In each city, at least half (58% Denver, 71% Macon, 54% Sioux City) of the most-commented posts on public Facebook pages we studied were about local news.

Our analysis found that stories that were “big” on Facebook – in other words, attracted a high number of likes and comments – were the same as those that were widely covered in the traditional local press. For example, a house explosion in Denver received the third-most attention on Facebook according to likes, comments and shares; it was also the fourth-most covered story by the mainstream press in the five days of our analysis.

In Facebook, Few Likes, Comments on Local NewsThe Facebook posts that drove the most attention did so right away, but attention dropped off quickly. Almost all comments posted by users were made within the first 24 hours.

But overall, most Facebook posts we examined received few if any comments. In Macon and Sioux City, only one-in-three posts had any comments at all (43% did in Denver), and no more than one-in-ten had over 10 comments. Nor were audience members engaging in robust debate on these public pages: The vast majority of users (85% Denver, 88% Macon, 91% Sioux City) made only one or two comments on the pages of local news and information providers during the two weeks we studied.

What worked:

We know Americans increasingly use Facebook to get information and news. Our other research has found that 29% of Americans report liking or following political parties, candidates or elected officials on Facebook, while 36% say the same about news organizations, reporters or commentators and 41% follow issue-based groups.

However, the nature of Facebook as a mostly private network limits what can be learned from it. We were able to learn how news organizations and newsmakers use Facebook to get their message out and how users interacted with those messages. But this is a small sliver of the overall activity on Facebook and represents only a facet of the use of Facebook for local news. The majority of Facebook activity is still private and available only to Facebook itself. Even with just publicly available data, researchers face ethical and privacy concerns when deciding what to publish.


Source : http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/03/26/the-challenges-of-using-facebook-for-research/

Categorized in Online Research

Remember that last time you posted a picture on Facebook and it automatically suggested to tag other people on the photo? Nothing unusual. You’ve tagged these people before, right? You’ve trained the machine learning face-recognition algorithm. And now Facebook can spot where they are on your picture.


Now, even if you refuse to tag anyone, this doesn’t mean Facebook never stores this information somewhere. Like, “person A is potentially present on picture B”. Actually, I’m almost 100% sure they do store it. Hell, I would if I was them.


I bet you already see where I’m going with this.

Now imagine you take a selfie in a crowded place. Like an airport or a train station. There are some people walking on the background. Hundreds of them. Some of them facing the camera. Guess what: the Facebook’s AI has just spotted them.

Even if you’re extremely cautious, even if you never post anything on Facebook, even if you have “location services” disabled on your phone at all times etc. etc. Facebook still knows where you are. You can’t stop other people from taking selfies in an airport.

Now all these Jason Bourne movies don’t look so ridiculous any more, do they? All the stupid scenes with people in a control room shouting “OK, we need to find this guy, quick, oh, there he is, Berlin Hauptbahnhof arrival hall just 20 minutes ago, send the asset!” or something like that.


This is not just me being paranoid. Various sources indicate that

Facebook uses a program it calls DeepFace to match other photos of a person. Alphabet Inc.’s cloud-based Google Photos service uses similar technology.

The efficiency is astonishing


According to the company’s research, DeepFace recognizes faces with an accuracy rate of 97.35 percent compared with 97.5 percent for humans — including mothers

Face recognition is being built into surveillance systems and law enforcement databases for a while now.

We could soon have security cameras in stores that identify people as they shop (source)

Even being in “readonly” mode doesn’t help

Every time you simply check Facebook without actually posting anything — the app generates a post draft for you, ever saw this? If you have a link or a picture saved in your clipboard, it even offers to attach that to your post. And of course, it has your location.

How can you be sure, it does not communicate that data to the servers?

Actually, I’m pretty sure it does since the app generates that “preview image” of the link stored in your clipboard (you know, that nicely formatted headline with the cover image).

There’s even more. Some evidence suggests that Facebook collects your keystrokes before you actually hit the “Post” button! If you then choose to backspace everything you’ve typed — too late…

Facebook has about 600 terabytes of data coming in on a daily basis (source, 2014).

If I was NSA I would definitely approach Facebook for this data.

UPDATE: a little privacy tip: use Facebook in mobile Safari, with an adblocker, and delete the iOS native app — helps a lot AND saves you from tons of ads and 3rd party cookie tracking. Not to mention wonders for the battery. I’m sure there’s a similar solution for Android.

On a desktop — use an extension like Disconnect to block 3rd party cookie tracking.

Author : Alex Yumashev

Source : https://medium.com/@jitbit/facebook-is-terrifying-8dc4a016b64b#.w0mdkcfp1

Categorized in Social


Facebook’s artificial intelligence (AI) team has built a visual search system that can recognize content that appears in photos and return relevant search results.

Called Lumos, Facebook originally created the platform so that its visually impaired users could understand the content of photos. But Facebook recognized that everyone could benefit from this type of visual search system.

Facebook’s image search system can detect and segment objects, scenes, animals, places, and clothes that appear in images or videos – and understand them.

For instance, let’s say you search for “black shirt photo.” Facebook said that Lumos will search for and see any photos that contain a black shirt – even if no tags have been added to the photo. Facebook will then return search results that are relevant to the query, as well as diverse.


“We’ve built a search system that leverages image understanding to sort through this vast amount of information and surface the most relevant photos quickly and easily,” according to a Facebook blog post published today. “Using Facebook’s automatic image classifiers … you can imagine a scenario where someone could search through all the photos that his or her friends have shared to look for a particular one based on the image content instead of relying on tags or surrounding text.”

Author: Danny Goodwin
Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/facebook-search-lumos/184919

Categorized in News & Politics


  • New Discover People feature rolling out to apps
  • Feature to be available on both Android and iOS apps
  • New feature encourages users to be friends with strangers

Facebook has started rolling out a new feature dubbed Discover People that will essentially try to connect you with those working at the same company, or are interested in the same event.

The feature will require users to update their profile before diving into a list of upcoming events to see who are likely to attend with focus on people who share the same city or employer. One of the biggest things about the new Discover People is it strictly recommends Facebook users who you are not friends with.


TechCrunch reports that the new Discover People feature could be used by the company to introduce business networking or even for dating aspects to the social network. The report says that the feature has started rolling out to users on Android and iOS but is yet to be rolled out to all users.

The report further adds that the new Discover People feature will be available under navigation section below options such as Friends, Events, Groups, and Nearby Places among other. It points that the section is regularly used by Facebook for testing various features. Last year, Facebook tested a feature on its app that pointed nearest free Wi-Fi on a map and it was listed under the navigation section. The feature was reportedly available to a very small number of mobile app users.

facebook discover people facebook

Photo Credit: TechCrunch

In the Discover People section, users are shown a list of events for which they've shown interest, been invited, or plan to attend. Here, users are shown a list of events with the headings "People going to [Event Name]", and tapping on these shows profiles of people instead of showing the event details. Users will be also allowed to scroll though already elapsed events which are also listed in the section.

The report points out that "none of the sections will show you the profiles of those you've already friended on Facebook" further stressing that the feature is intended to find new friends on the social platform. Facebook has confirmed that the profiles will only show public information in the Discover People section.


A Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch, "Too often, it's hard to learn more about people around you, whether it is upon starting a new job, joining a new group, deciding if you want to attend an event, or moving to a new place. To make it easier, we're starting to roll out a new bookmark in the More menu called 'Discover People' that can help you discover more about people you have things in common with by browsing through profile cards of people in your community."

Author : Ketan Pratap

Source : http://gadgets.ndtv.com/social-networking/news/facebooks-new-discover-people-feature-aims-to-connect-people-who-arent-already-friends-1655295

Categorized in Social

We’ve become a world of over sharers. Whether it’s endless tweets of your lunch, overdoing the Instagram selfies or those Snapchats we’d rather didn’t fall into the wrong hands, we’re all guilty. Facebook, though, remains the biggest culprit in our social sharing addiction. 

While simply overdoing the humble brags, inspiring quotes and fitness session posts that scream ‘I want attention’ are annoying, they’re not going to do any worse than costing you a couple of friends. 

There’s plenty on your Facebook page just waiting to stab you in the back though. Those forgotten posts and profile additions that, in the wrong hands could not only damage your reputation but cost you big. Worried? Don’t be, just make sure you’ve deleted this lot from your Facebook profile before relaxing. 


1. Your phone number


This isn’t the days of MSN messenger when you hoped that guy/girl you were crushing on would see your digits and drop you a text. The Facebook world is a less innocent place. Yes, putting your phone number on your profile might have seemed a good idea six years ago when Facebook told you it needed it for improved security, but it’s really not. 

No, Facebook won’t sell your data, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe. People can skim your account for personal details or simply use it like a bored teen for prank calls. Even if nothing bad comes from it, no good will arise either, so better to play it safe. 

2. Those drunk photos


You might want the world to know that your recent night out was “#epicbants”, but unless you’ve got your Facebook privacy settings cranked up to 11, it’s not just your online friends who can see them. As well as disappointing your now internet-savvy parents, these photos could come back to haunt you, and even cost you that dream job you’ve just applied for. 

Social media checks are now becoming a staple of employers' pre-job offer hit list. Stumbling across 42 snaps of your slumped outside a club in a vomit-stained shirt isn’t going to impress them. Either delete them now - you’re better than that anyway - or improve your privacy. You can do this by heading to Settings > Privacy and toggling the settings under both the ‘Who can see my stuff?’ and ‘Who can look me up?’ menus. 

 3. Your date of birth


It’s nice when people you’ve not heard from since your last birthday drop you a “Happy b’day, mate” message on the big day. It’s a little ego rub that makes you feel liked and important. Your date of birth can be pinched for less wholesome uses than an annual greeting though. 

Along with your name and address, your date of birth is one of the few pieces of information identity thieves need to imitate you and do no good, so why give it up so freely? Surely not having your identity compromised is more important than your Facebook ‘friends’ knowing when to copy and paste their generic birthday wishes, right? With your name already displayed and your date of birth on show, all that stands between you and your identity being assumed is… 

4. Your location


Tagging your location on Facebook tells everyone what a well travelled, worldly person you are. If you’re not getting your fill at the latest hipster eatery or painting the town red, you’re tagging yourself at more mundane places like your home. Don’t though, seriously. All you’re doing is giving away your address and, as we’ve already seen, that’s just one of the bits needed to give away your identity.


There are plenty of other places you shouldn’t be tagging yourself either. Dropping the kids off at school? Don’t let the world know, that’s just not smart. Nor is letting the world know when you’re out of the country. 

5. Those airport and holiday photos


It’s OK to share your sausage or legs poolside holiday photos in a bid to make your mates jealous - that’s pretty much what Facebook is for. Your humble Bragbook posts can wait until you’re back though. 

As well as coming across as a bit of a moron whose idea of a great getaway is sat on Facebook in a new location, all these photos do is broadcast to the world that ‘hey, my home’s going to be empty for the next week, have at it burglars’. 

Even if you’ve got your privacy levels up and all those likes and shares you covet aren’t going to display your absence to wider Facebook, how many of those 643 Facebook ‘friends’ you chalked up when you were at uni do you still really know and trust now? 

6. Your boss


Managed to secure that dream job despite your less than glittering social presence? Then whatever you do, don’t add your boss on Facebook thinking it will win you day-one brownie points. Twitter, sure, LinkedIn, definitely, but not Facebook. It’s just asking for trouble, and not only when you ignore our advice and get those drunk photos flowing again. 

There have been multiple instances of Facebook users losing their jobs for views and opinions expressed on the social networking site. Even if you’re not slagging off your employer all too publicly, there are still pitfalls waiting to capture you. When your friends tag you in photos of that day out at the beach when you called in sick, you’re going to get rumbled.

It works both ways too. Do you really need to see images of your boss lounging by the pool, scantily clad and lobster red on their next holiday? It will make Monday’s meeting all sorts of uncomfortable. 

7. Pictures of your ex


It might sound petty and small, but hear us out, it’s time to delete those pictures of your ex. Not only could it cause issues with future spouses - like the job hire thing, potential partners now take a thorough scan of your social feeds before agreeing to that second date - Facebook’s not always the most courteous and caring with its memory reminders.


Services like Time Hop regularly drag up long-forgotten pictures and posts in a bid to make you all happy and nostalgic. Basing much of this on how popular the original post was, it doesn’t always work out positively for your memory glands.

If you were on the receiving end of serious heartbreak and still struggling with the loss, the last thing you want to see is “We thought you’d like to see this picture from one year ago” messages only to be confronted by a snap of you and the former other half all loved up. Keep the pictures in some form, sure, but do your future self a favor and take them off Facebook. 

8. Anything that firecracker mate of tags you in


We’ve all got that one friend. The one that didn’t quite grow up at the same rate as the rest of the group. The one that isn’t looking to advance their career, doesn’t have new friends in new places and who still thinks it’s hilarious to tag you in questionable memes and straight up inappropriate images. It’s the friend that puts your new life in jeopardy every time you see their name mentioned in your notifications tab.

Not only should you delete anything dodgy they’ve tagged you in in the past, you should prevent it ever happening again. To do that you’ll need to set up ‘Timeline Review’. Thankfully, it’s an easy task. On either the Facebook mobile app or through the desktop service head to Settings > Timeline and Tagging > Who can add things to my timeline and switch the ‘review posts’ option to ‘on’.

Now, you’ll need to approve all posts you’re tagged in before they make it onto your timeline and are visible to the wider world. Yes, it’s a bit more hassle for the 95% of innocence that makes it to your page, but it will catch the bad ones before they become serious problems. 

Author : Luke Johnson

Source : http://www.techradar.com/news/8-things-you-need-to-delete-from-your-facebook-page-right-now

Categorized in Social

Now you can use this search engine to find which streaming service has your favorite movies or series.

So much to see and so little time. Streaming services have drastically changed the way we consume content, although there are still a lot of people who watch traditional TV and those of us who use Netflix and so on, we hardly know about anything new series of movie coming to the platform.

Although at the moment Netflix is the king, but it to face more and more competition. There are many services that start shining in this field, such as HBO or Amazon.


This is good for us, that if we do not find some series or movie in the first, maybe it’s in the second. This is where sites such as JustWatch, a search engine for streaming content come in.

In JustWatch you can search any movie or series and find all the legal streaming sites that are available in your country. Currently it can be chosen from more than 20 countries around the world.
You can search content available on Netflix, Amazon, Filmin, Flimin Plus, Wuaki, Atres Player, iTunes, Google Play Movies, HBO, PlayStation, Microsoft Store and Mubi. JustWatch searches the catalogs of all those services and tells you which are the ones where you can see the series or movie you are looking for.


In addition to the search options and the different filters with which you count, JustWatch also has sections with the most popular series and movies of the moment. In addition to this, there is a section of news that you can filter by service, something quite useful considering that the catalogs change constantly and sometimes we do not even find out when something we wanted to see reaches a platform.

Finally you have a WatchList that you can access if you register with your Google or Facebook account. This way you can create a synchronized list with all the movies and series you want to see and you will be able to access each service instantly from JustWatch, either on the desktop or from your mobile applications for iOS and Android.

Author : Jessy Martin

Source : http://hitechgazette.com/2017/01/23/this-search-engine-allows-you-to-find-the-streaming-service-of-your-favorite-movies-or-series/

Categorized in Search Engine

airs logo

Association of Internet Research Specialists is the world's leading community for the Internet Research Specialist and provide a Unified Platform that delivers, Education, Training and Certification for Online Research.

Get Exclusive Research Tips in Your Inbox

Receive Great tips via email, enter your email to Subscribe.

Follow Us on Social Media

Finance your Training & Certification with us - Find out how?      Learn more