Think you're a Facebook pro? Think again. Sure, Facey-B might have dominated the past decade of your online activity, but there's a good chance you're still not getting the most out the world's biggest social network. So set your ego aside and listen up, it's lesson time.

Believe it or not, Facebook's no longer just that friendly little blue website you post drunken photos to. Squillions of development hours have been put into this thing, filling it with all manner of features you might not be aware of, including this lot.

1. STOP THE ENDLESS SEARCH FOR EMOJI WITH TEXT SHORTCUTS

Where would we be without our trusted friends, the "sexy aubergine" or "jolly poop"? Sometimes words just won't cut it, but searching for the exact emoji you want can be a pain. The category menus for emoji are far from intuitive, each contains such a mass of symbols that confusion often ensues.

Forget scanning fruitlessly; entering text shortcuts will insert the relevant emoji into your message when it's sent. For instance, typing :poop: will add the poop emoji. Unfortunately not all emoji get shortcuts, but the most popular ones are included.

Shark (^^^)

Middle Finger [[midfing]]

Not Bad [[notbaad]]

Horny 3:)

2. YOU CAN UNFRIEND SOMEONE WITHOUT LOSING ACCESS TO THEIR ACCOUNT

Facebook unfollow
  

When unfriending someone on Facebook classes as workplace bullying, we're all in trouble. You can cut people out without all the drama though. Simply unfollow them instead of unfriending them. This completely stops all of their nonsense from appearing on your wall, while still offering you full Facebook stalking rights to their accounts when the mood takes.

To do this, hit the 'Following' button on the pages of your Facebook foes. You'll see options to unfollow them as well as 'See First'. But that's for people who you want right at the top of your newsfeed, not those who make you want to put all your Facebook-connected devices in a tub of acid. Tap the unfollow option, stat.

3. THERE'S A HIDDEN BASKETBALL GAME IN MESSENGER

If you haven't heard about this already, what rock have you been living under? Seriously, it's Facebook's worst kept secret and it's an addictive time-sap of a game. Scurried away within Facebook Messenger, the basketball-based plaything lets you challenge your chums to shoot some hoops directly within the chat window.

It's not something you're likely to stumble across either. To play, you need to send your friend a basketball emoji then click on the sports-themed pictogram. This will launch the game over your chat, with both players' high scores being logged in the feed.

4. HOW TO FIND FACEBOOK'S SECRET MESSAGE INBOX

Facebook Messenger hidden inbox

We all know how to find Facebook's message inbox - heck, they put little red numbers over it every time you get a message - but did you know there's a second, secret message inbox? No? Didn't think so. This is the stomping ground of all the messages you're sent from people not inside your Facebook friends group.

There are probably far more messages than you're expecting, you just need to know where to look for it - it's secret, not signposted after all. To get there, open the Facebook Messenger app and click Settings >> People >> Message Requests >> See Filtered Requests and enjoy a list of four -year-old messages you lucky thing.

5. YOU CAN STILL POKE PEOPLE

Facebook generic
 

Facebook's original favourite feature - poking - still lives, really. Who knew, right? The social media equivalent of an office sexual harassment nightmare might not be the front-and-centre feature it once was, but it's still there if you know where to look.

That place isn't something you're likely to stumble across though. On a friend's profile page, click the "…" next to the 'Message' tab that sits over their cover photo. This will launch a drop-down menu that includes, amongst other things, the ability to have a good ol' poke. It's Facebook circa 2007 and we love it.

6. SEE MORE STUFF FROM YOUR FAVOURITE PEOPLE

Facebook tips and tricks

There's a point that comes in all of our lives: the day you realise your Facebook feed is full of inspirational quotes posted by people you wouldn't trust for directions to the nearest newsagent's. That and sponsored links. When that day arrives, it's time for a refresh.

One way to give Facebook's feed algorithms a kick up the arse is to start labelling your Facebook contacts as 'close friends' and 'acquaintances'. All the updates from your close friends will appear on your news feed, diluting the drivel your 'acquaintances' post. How? Well, in the 'Friends' tab you'll see a drop-down box next to each of your mates' entries. In this you can label them with these two all-important tags. Doing so will up the quality of your news feed dramatically.

7. GET FACEBOOK TO STOP SENDING YOU BIRTHDAY NOTIFICATIONS

Facebook Notifications

Facebook has become the best way to keep track of people's birthdays. However, it can get a bit much. When 90% of your smartphone alerts are Facebook's birthday reminders, or Domino's telling you they've a new offer, things need to change. It's no way to live.

You can switch off birthday notifications to your phone altogether though. If you go Settings >> Notifications >> Mobile, you can easily ditch the celebratory reminders. Huzzah, now we can go back to forgetting our best friend's special day, just as nature intended.

8. SEND A FACEBOOK UPDATE OVER SMS

Facebook tips and tricks

"PLEASE HELP, I'M STUCK IN A RAVINE, NEED ASSISTANCE #FML." A Facebook update like this could save your life. Maybe. And you could make it using the text function on your phone. That's right, you can text Facebook like it's 999.

There's a dedicated feature for this called Facebook Texts. All you need to do is link a phone to your account, which we imagine most of you have done by now, then send a message reading "F" to 32665. This will set you up, then you just text that number again with your status update. There's actually a whole bunch of other things you can do from your mobile too, like get texts every time a certain friend posts something - creepy.

9. HOW TO DOWNLOAD YOUR ENTIRE FACEBOOK HISTORY

Facebook app 3D Touch update

Find yourself living in constant fear of hackers stealing arty photos of your dinner? You can actually download your entire Facebook history, to savour every last drunken photo, over-sharing post and your 4,387 selfies for all eternity.

Why? Why not? We warn you, though, this could end up being a pretty big download if you're a real Facebook victim. It includes pictures and other media as well as text-based posts. To back it all up, go to Settings and click to "download a copy of your Facebook data" at the bottom of the page.

10. YOU CAN LOG OUT REMOTELY TO AVOID LIFE MELTDOWN

Facebook
 

Horror films have nothing on the fear of flogging your old phone on eBay, then sending it off still hooked up to your email and Facebook - arrrgh. You don't necessarily have to start changing your passwords right away though. Facebook lets you see every phone and browser that has been, or that is, accessing your Facebook account, and then put a stop to them with a click.

To get to this screen, use the web interface and tap the drop-down menu at the top-right of the display. Select Settings >> Security >> Where You're Logged In. Here you'll be able to see all your log-ins over the last few months. Safe again, phew.

11. HOW TO TURN OFF AUTO-PLAY VIDEOS ON FACEBOOK

Facebook tips and tricks

Whether you see auto-play videos as the scourge of the internet or just a quicker way to mainline funny cat clips says a lot about the kind of digital beast you are. To hate them is the classic old-school approach. And while Facebook embraces them as standard these days, you can turn them off.

On your browser you'll find it right down at the bottom of the Settings menu. Click the Videos tab, which is home to the Auto-play switcher. Job done, you've just saved your data plan a serious kicking.

12. PIRATE LINGO YOUR ACCOUNT

Facebook Pirate
 

Avast me 'arties, Facebook may be worth hundreds of billions of dollars, but it still knows how to have fun, honest. An example of classic Facey-B japes is the ability to change your language to 'pirate', turning the social network into 'Ye Olde Facebook' and 'posts' to 'anchors'.

Fancy trying it out? Go Settings >> Language and switch out English for the mother tongue of the high seas. Don't feel particularly piratey? There are dozens of languages to choose from including the Star Wars-sounding but utterly real Basa Jawa (the language of Java, if you're wondering) or Upside Down English.

13. GET LOGIN ALERTS IF YOU'RE WORRIED ABOUT HACKERS

Internet thief
 

Facebook account hacking is pretty common: you've probably seen someone appear to go a bit loopy in your Facebook tenure, only to find out their account was hacked - it wasn't them 'Liking' links to smutty websites, honest. Sure, there's no way to make you completely immune to hacking short of nuking your Facebook account, but you can nip it in the bud pretty quickly.

Login Alerts will drop you a notification whenever your Facebook account is accessed from a new device or browser. By going Settings >> Security, you can choose to receive an email, notification or both upon one of these new login attempts. Neat.

14. LINK FACEBOOK TO YOUR TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS

Instagram generic
 

Every social media pro seems to live on about a half-dozen social networks at once, hoovering up followers and friends like Morgan Freeman sauntering down a high street, flinging fivers with every step. You don't need to spend all day hooked to your computer to get this effect, though.

The trick is to link your other social networks to Facebook so that they automatically post to it, saving you the effort. This doesn't happen over at Facebook itself, but directly at places like Twitter and Instagram, the two most likely candidates for a Facebook hook-up.

15. CHOOSE WHO GETS THE FACEBOOK REINS AFTER YOU'RE GONE

Facebook Privacy
 

You're going to die. Sorry to be the bearers of bad news, but it's true. We're so certain, we'd bet on it. But, hey, we all are. Facebook might not, though, so if you want to make sure your account isn't going to fall into the wrong hands when the inevitable comes along, you can bequeath your account to someone trustworthy. Not that git who switched your language to Pirate.

How? Well, what you need to do is nominate a 'Legacy Contact', someone who gets control over your account when Facebook is advised of your passing. You'll find this in the 'Security' part of both the Facebook web interface and mobile app.

Author : LUKE JOHNSON AND JUSTIN MAHBOUBIAN-JONES

Source : http://www.digitalspy.com/tech/internet/feature/a822986/secret-facebook-features-tips-tricks/

Published in Social

Because of the way the internet has changed the way we communicate and interact with one another on so many levels; it’s become necessary to explore the pros and cons of social media and its effects on our society.

The Pros

1-Increased criminal prosecution because of social media

The NYC police department began using Twitter back in 2011 to track criminals foolish enough to brag about their crimes online. When the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup in 2011, their Vancouver fans took to the streets and rioted, but local authorities used social media to track and tag the people involved, and they caught people who were stealing during the riot.

2-Social networking creates new social connections

Statistics show that 70% of adults have used social media sites to connect with relatives in other states, and 57% of teens have reported making new friendships on social media sites.

3-Students are doing better in school

This is an interesting statistic about the pros and cons of social media and its effect on students doing well in school. Students with internet access at a rate of 50% have reported using social networking sites to discuss school work, and another 59% talk about instructive topics.

4-Better quality of life

If you want to talk about the pros and cons of social media, take a close look at all the support groups on Facebook. Members of these groups discuss their health conditions, share important information, and resources relevant to their conditions while creating strong support networks.

5-Social media as a source of employment

Job sourcing has gone modern thanks to social media. Sites such as LinkedIn are a major resource that 89% of job recruiters take advantage of when looking to hire potential employees.

Now let’s take a look at the Cons of social media

1-Social media and the news

Much of the news information that people read about comes from social media websites, and that figure estimate is around 27.8 %. This figure ranks just under print newspapers at 28.8%, greater than radio’s figure of 18.8% and far outpaces the figure for other print publications at just 6%.

2-Too much misinformation

With the advent of the web, people started to create their own websites and blogs. While many of those blogs were just basic diaries, a few of them were about topics like health and politics while others were how to blogs.

Many blogs have turned into rumor mills, spreading misinformation that people tend to believe just because it’s on the web.

Rumors about hurricane Sandy and gunfights in other countries like Mexico have been picked up by reliable news services, and this misinformation has been shared without the proper vetting of the sources providing the information.

3-Pupils spending too much time on social media sites have lower academic grades

Here is another argument about the pros and cons of social media as it pertains to students. Statistics show that pupils using social media too often tend to have GPA’s of 3.06 compared to GPA’s of 3.82 for pupils who don’t use social media.

An even scarier fact is that students who use social media tend to score 20 % lower on their test scores then their counterparts.

4-Social media sites to blame for lost productivity

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are a direct cause for lost productivity at the workplace. In a survey 36 % of people said that social networking was the biggest waste of time in comparison to activities like fantasy football, shopping, and watching television.

5-Social media is the cause for less face to face communication

One last discussion about the pros and cons of social media is a lack of one on one communication. In a 2012 study families who reported spending less time with one another rose from a level of 8% in 2000 to 32% in 2011.

The study also reported that 32 % of the people in the survey either were texting or were on social media sites instead of communicating with each other during family gatherings.

Source : http://www.toptensocialmedia.com/social-media-social-buzz/10-pros-and-cons-of-social-media/

Published in Marketing Research

It’s no secret that social media is a global phenomenon. But, with so many of these online communication tools that do a variety of tasks, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

If you’re just starting out with social media and need some help in order to grow your personal presence, here is the best way to figure out which network is right for you and how to accomplish that goal.

Know your networks

There are a lot of social networks out there. Figuring which platform to use can get intimidating. So, the first place to start is to get a general understanding of the most popular social media sites.

  • Facebook shouldn’t need an introduction. With more than 1.59 billion monthly active users in the world, this is the social network. Since almost everyone has a Facebook account, it’s a great medium for anyone to connect and share information with others.YouTube has a billion users. Don't count this search engine out because you haven't figured out how to market on this site yet. Acquired by Google in 2006, and the fifth most popular social site, it focuses on video content of almost every type.Twitter is the second-most-popular social media site with around 320 million active monthly users. Twitter is unique because users can only use 140 characters for their posts. This makes it an excellent platform for breaking news and sharing links.LinkedIn is the most popular professional networking site in the world. If you want to advance your career or network with industry professionals, you have to create a LinkedIn profile. This is more business oriented and professional.Believe it or not, Google+ has over 418 active million users. Having a profile allows people to easily locate you if they conduct a search inquiry on the most popular search engine in the world.Pinterest allows users to create bulletin boards, so it’s perfect for creating and sharing visual content like crafts and recipes. This community is filled with passionate women (primarily) that are very crafty.
  • Instagram is another social network that focuses on visual content. It’s owned by Facebook, so it’s not surprising that 95% of its 400 million users share their content on Facebook as well. People spend a surprising amount of time on this platform.
  • Tumblr is essentially a microblog network where users share content ranging from quotes to videos. It's very popular.
  • Flickr is yet another platform where you can share photos and videos. It’s been found that 1 million images are shared daily. If you're a photographer, you need to be here as well as several other niche photography sites.
  • Reddit is a social and entertainment network where users can ask questions and share links. Users actually vote on submissions, so this determines the popularity of the precise content on the site.
  • Snapchat has become one of the most-buzzed about networks around. It’s simply an image messaging app where photos disappear seconds after opened by the recipient.
  • WhatsApp is an extremely popular messaging app, at present, that allows you to send texts, images and videos to other users.
  • Quora is a question-and-answer website with more than 80 million monthly unique visitors. This is great because you can get answers to questions that can't necessarily be found online.
  • Vine lets users share 6-second video clips with each other. Share it on Twitter and your views will skyrocket.
  • Periscope is a live-streaming app that was acquired by Twitter. Though there are not a ton of fans live daily, those that are live are very passionate.
  • StumbleUpon is a discovery engine that discovers and recommends content for its 25 million users.
  • Medium has been one that I've recently been working on. I was able to get over 55k followers to my personal brand in a matter of months by publishing good content.

At the very least, you should start out with the big four - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Having a profile on these sites is crucial in establishing your personal presence.

After that, consider your niche. For example, if you enjoy cooking, then visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are recommended.

Also keep in mind that there are hundreds of other niche social networks. Do a little homework and find the sites that will tap into your interests and hobbies. Also, make sure you're using the right tools to help you best work with each network.

Figure out what you want to get out of social media

Next, you will want to ask yourself, “What do I want and expect to get out of my Social Media efforts?”

This will guide you in determining which social media networks you should join. If you merely want to stay in-touch with friends and family, then Facebook is essential. If you want to keep up with the latest news and trends then Twitter, Reddit, and StumbleUpon deserve your attention. If you want to network with like-minded individuals, then selecting a niche site based on your interests and activities is the way to go, such as the above cooking example.

Where are your connections hanging out?

After determining what you want to get out of social media, you also have to consider where your connections are spending their time.

In the business word, you probably would have to conduct a lot of research to determine this. For you personally, knowing where your audience spends most of their time is based on common sense and your interests.

For my personal invoicing company, I've found that the majority of my followers are on Twitter and Medium. When I was just a freelancer, it was very different.

Until you teach your elder family members the ins, outs, and benefits, of Snapchat - understand that it takes a little while for them to "get it." You, yourself, will probably have to sign them up for their Snapchat account, and it is not feasible for you to do this "setup" for the entire world. But, it’s a safe bet that this demographic is on Facebook. So if you’re goal was to keep in-touch with these family members, then it wouldn’t make sense to devote a whole lot of time on Snapchat until they catch on.

If you enjoy photography as a hobby, then the visual platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Flickr are the places where other photographers or fans are going to be spending most of their time.

What are your resources?

Updating your Facebook or Twitter account doesn’t take a whole of time or money. Creating a YouTube video, however, requires you to film a video, edit it, and post it to the site. While everyone has a camera on the phones these days, it requires more time and resources. If those are in limited supply, then it may be advisable that you stay away from those type of networks.

Grow your online presence

Now that you’ve narrowed down your list of social networks, it’s time to create your create and start growing your presence by following these types:

  • Optimize your account by including a real photo of yourself, writing a profile description that describes who you are, and include a link to your website or blog if you have one.
  • Get to know the community. Follow popular users so that you can learn the ropes and jargon. (note: influencers aren't made overnight)
  • Become an active member of the community by sharing awesome content and following others.
  • Learn to become an influencer in your newly found community.
  • Always be genuine, authentic, and positive.

Source : http://mashable.com/2016/08/26/which-social-network-is-right-for-your-personal-presence/#.FTt4Uo9Taq1

Published in Marketing Research

Big changes are coming to Facebook Live. The social network will let broadcasts run for up to four hours – or even continuously in some cases. Plus, you can now hide reactions and comments, view livestreams in full-screen, and restrict who sees your broadcast.

Here’s a quick roundup of all the changes coming to Facebook Live that marketers need to know.

1. 4 Hour Live Streams

Since Facebook Live launched, livestreams have been limited to 90 minutes. Now Facebook is more than doubling that.

Yes, broadcasters are now restricted to a mere four hours for users when broadcasting via the Facebook app or using the Live API.

2. Hide Reactions & Comments

Don’t want to see comments and reactions while you’re broadcasting or watching? Facebook will now let you hide both in a video-only mode.

All you have to do is swipe right to hide comments and reactions. Swipe left to bring them back.

In theory, this will help reduce distractions and help keep viewers focused on the broadcast.

3. Full-Screen Live

One significant change that is more geared toward viewers than broadcasters is that viewers can now watch broadcasts in full-screen mode, rather than as a square we’ve become used to over the past several months.

Although Android users will have to wait for full-screen mode until summer, iOS users can enjoy this new feature right away. Full-screen will work with both landscape and portrait viewing when fully rolled out.

4. Continuous Live

Want to go live indefinitely on Facebook? Now you can.

Continuous live video was actually added a couple months ago, but this one slipped under the radar of many marketers. “Some great use cases for continuous live include live feeds of aquariums, museums, and zoos,” according to Facebook.

The catch with continuous live? Your followers won’t receive a notification that you’re live. Also, once you end broadcasting, it’s gone forever. Your followers have to literally watch it when it’s live – there’s no rewinding or reliving it.

5. Geogating

Want only men to watch your livestream? Or people who are located in certain places?

New audience restrictions, what Facebook calls “geogating,” were added to the Live API at the same time as continuous streaming. Now you can target or exclude people by:

Location – country, state, city, or ZIP code.
Age – you can specify a minimum and maximum age.
Gender

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/facebook-live-update/169111/

Published in Marketing Research

In 2015, feminist writer Clementine Ford was subjected to a surge of online abuse, dubbed a "whore" and a "bitch who should kill herself." Trolls said she needed to die, to be "shot in the face" and gang-raped. What was her crime? She had reported a comment from an employee of Meriton Apartments calling her a "slut" on Facebook, and as a consequence he was fired.

 

That same year, Germany took a stand on anti-refugee Facebook hate speech, and top publications began to silence the haters by removing the comments sections beneath their articles. The BBC concluded that 2015 was "the year angry won the internet." As online hate speech spirals out of control, in contrast, 2016 could well be the year the internet fought back.

The biggest names in tech — Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft — have vowed to clean up community hate speech in less than 24 hours of it appearing in accordance with a new EU code of conduct. Some say this is censorship, but there is real danger attached to the facilitation of online trolling, and recent terrorist activities have shone a spotlight on this. So, what exactly does Facebook have on its hands, and how can it begin the mammoth task of cleaning this up?

The supposed demise of the comments section
A 2014 survey conducted by the Associated Press revealed that 70 percent of online publishers valued the comments sections that follow articles online. These tools ignite conversion; they allow for an exchange of ideas and deeper engagement, and they drive increased traffic to media sites.

Continued abuse of this privilege from those acting under the guise of anonymity has been seen in the torrent of racist or xenophobic language and personal attacks. This hate speech may be directed at writers, subjects or other members of the community.

 

U.K. news publication The Guardian analyzed more than 70 million comments from the last decade. It highlighted the positives online comments can provide: Providing instant feedback, "asking questions, pointing out errors, giving new leads," a tool that serves to "enrich the Guardian’s journalism." However, the "dark side of comments" revealed a huge amount of abuse, with 1.4 million comments blocked. Further exploration of this hate speech revealed that eight of the 10 most-abused writers were women, and the other two were black, despite these writers forming a minority of the editorial staff.

Chicago Sun Times managing editor Craig Newman described the issue as "a morass of negativity, racism, hate speech and general trollish behaviors that detract from the content," explaining his decision to temporarily remove the comments section from the publication.

Many others have followed suit, choosing to kill the comments in order to avoid moderating the growing mass of hate speech. Top publications that have rejected comments include Reuters, Recode, The Week, Bloomberg, The Verge, The Daily Dot, The Daily Beast and Vice’s Motherboard, to name just a few.

Reuters’ executive editor told readers that the news company was moving the discussion to social media: "Those communities offer vibrant conversation and, importantly, are self-policed by participants to keep on the fringes those who would abuse the privilege of commenting."

Social media giants battle hate speech
Unfortunately, any dreams of a self-moderated social media community free of online trolls, were not to be. On the contrary, these forums have become a breeding ground for racial slurs, misogynistic language and personal attacks.

Twitter sees an average of 480,000 racist tweets a month (compared to 10,000 only three years ago). "We suck at dealing with abuse," said Twitter’s former CEO Dick Costolo. Once again, however, Facebook leads the race, with a whopping 1 million user violation reports every day. So what type of threatening behavior are we seeing, and how is this connected to the news?

 

My company, BrandBastion, conducted a study measuring the amount and type of social media threats in 40,000 comments, from 10 of the most engaged news publishers on Facebook: ABC News, CBS News, Sky News, NBC News, CNN, Time, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

We found that one in 14 comments contained a social media threat. Some 31 percent of these threats were identified as extremely aggressive "defamatory language, profanity and online bullying." A further 20 percent were classified as "hate speech," attacking a person or group based on specific attributes.

When exploring the topics that generated the largest proportion of hate speech, we found articles around the elections incited the most anger. Highly offensive attacks on Melania Trump, calling her "ugly," "fake" and "nasty" rapidly escalated to graphically lewd comments and racial battles between commenters. Overall, the hate speech we discovered focused on nationality (33 percent), religion (31 percent), race (18 percent), sexual orientation (9 percent), gender (6 percent) and political views (4 percent).

As the elections heat up, sites like Facebook are going to have their hands full monitoring and controlling this spread of offensive commenting. With his latest pledge to quash the hatred, all eyes are on Mark Zuckerberg to manage this torrent of abusive behavior.

Community solutions to counter the offensive
Where status updates and selfies once dominated, Facebook today has become a portal for the news. According to traffic-analytics service Parse.ly, social media drives 43 percent of traffic to media sites. Facebook is unquestionably the largest source and has overtaken Google referral traffic, which accounts for just 38 percent.

What’s more, with advanced tools such as Facebook’s Instant Articles — now officially rolled out to all publishers — article consumption is likely to stay within the Facebook domain. This means Facebook has a huge power over how we consume the news and its connected comments, making its next steps all the more crucial.

Gigaom writer Mathew Ingram claims the move of news discussion onto sites like Facebook knowingly hands off the responsibility of moderating content to social media platforms. But it also means digital publications pass up on the "value of engagement" that comments bring.

 

So how does the social networking Goliath intend to remove all hate speech within 24 hours, in line with the latest EU code of conduct? The IT companies have all agreed to put in place notification processes, reviewing these against community guidelines removing or disabling content within 24 hours. They have pledged to educate users, training staff and sharing procedural information with authorities and intensifying cooperation between the giants of tech.

This year Facebook has been involved with a number of initiatives, backing a campaign against misogyny and launching the Online Civil Courage Initiative in January to empower users to fight extremist abuse.

Some media platforms rely wholly on user moderation, self-censorship or a members-only commenting model. After feminist site Jezebel suffered an epidemic of rape GIFs filling the comments section, it brought back the "pending comment system," meaning only comments from approved commenters are visible; all others go into a pending queue, which only shows up if readers choose to allow it.

Former Reddit product executive Dan McComas cofounded Imzy, a social platform set on eliminating hate speech by only allowing registered members to comment in the forums. SolidOpinion.com has another strategy, limiting commenting ability only to paying members. This approach has attracted customers such as Tribune Publishing, owner of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, controversially putting a price on freedom of speech. Another startup, Civil Comments, works on the basis that users rate randomly chosen comments to classify acceptable material and flag offensive content.

Artificial intelligence to aid moderation
Google CEO Eric Schmidt has called on the tech community to create "spell-checkers, but for hate and harassment," to counter online terrorism. Applying this intelligence to article comments would be a natural progression of this. The Guardian recently reported tactics to "weed out the trolls," concluding that moderation is necessary, through human decisions backed by "smart tools." However, this all requires an internationally agreed-upon definition of hate speech and a system that is able to decipher context and also links to external sites.

 

Facebook has already turned to the use of AI to report offensive visual content. Currently this technology reports more offensive photos than humans on the network pick-up. Last year, Twitter followed this example, investing in visual intelligence startup MadBits to identify and flag harmful images.

The Huffington Post uses a machine learning algorithm called JuLiA — "Just a Linguistic Algorithm" — to sort through comments, identifying abusive language to aid moderators in providing a healthy interaction. Others have turned to third-party technologies that can customize tools based on media sites’ preferences and needs, their target audiences and geographical locations and laws. These steps are an alternative to censorship by removing comments entirely, instead protecting the facilities that enable others to speak more freely.

Will more news sites bring back the comments? This all depends on how successfully Facebook and co. rid them of hatred. As the trolls become the internet norm, the media world is pulling out the big guns to overthrow them, arming AI with contextual understanding and advanced intelligence and empowering communities to fight back.

Sources:  http://www.recode.net/2016/7/11/12123318/facebook-media-trolls-hate-speech-online-abuse-comments

 

 

 

 

 

Published in Others

 

Two years ago, Messenger, a photo and text messaging service, appeared to be almost an afterthought at Facebook, the social networking giant.

Messenger often took a back seat to the limelight enjoyed by WhatsApp, the messaging app that Facebook had bought for $US19 billion. And Messenger's capabilities were so limited that you could not send friends an animated GIF, as you could with many other messaging services.

But since mid-2014, Facebook has been playing a furious game of catch-up with Messenger. That June, Facebook's chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, hired a PayPal executive, David Marcus, to take over Messenger and build it into a world-class competitor. The company has added a string of features to the service, including letting people send money to friends through the app, pull up a voice or video call, or order a private car from inside the app.

Over the weekend, Facebook said it will also begin testing "secret conversations" inside Messenger, a feature that offers end-to-end encryption on some messages to be read only on the two mobile devices that users are communicating with. While it stops short of the full encryption that other messaging services like WhatsApp have adopted, it gives Messenger a heightened mode of security that Facebook hopes will attract global audiences to download the app.

 

"The fact that we have 1.65 billion people on Facebook already makes Messenger the best live, self-updating address book in the world," Marcus said in an interview. "Because of the scale of our network, I feel like we really have a shot at this."

The new security feature highlights Facebook's ambitions for Messenger, which now sees more than 900 million regular monthly users, up from 200 million in early 2014. Roughly half of all American smartphone owners use the Messenger app, according to industry estimates, and Facebook is aiming to capture greater numbers in international markets. Most of Messenger's success has been in English-speaking areas like North America and much of Europe, the company said, as well as Australia and large parts of Southeast Asia.

The moves put Facebook Messenger increasingly into competition with messaging apps that have risen to prominence in their particular regions or countries. WeChat, the mobile messaging app owned by the Chinese internet giant Tencent, dominates China. Kakao, another app, is widely used throughout South Korea, while the Line smartphone app is popular in Japan.

"Just look at how successful WeChat has become for Tencent," said Debra Aho Williamson, an internet analyst with eMarketer. "That's the kind of ubiquity Facebook wants to achieve with Messenger."

And when combined with WhatsApp, which has more than 1 billion users, Facebook has now become a juggernaut in messaging worldwide. While WhatsApp and Messenger are run separately, both provide a window into how people communicate and their habits in payments, digital entertainment and more.

Facebook started Messenger in 2011. The app emulated some of the capabilities that could be done within Facebook's social network, where people could press a message button to exchange communications with one another. That message feature within the main social networking app was disabled in April 2014, pushing people to turn to Messenger. Two months later, Zuckerberg hired Marcus to run Messenger.

Marcus soon quickened the pace of product releases at Messenger, adding peer-to-peer money transfers, the ability to hire an Uber car through the app and support for GIFs. By late 2015, Messenger had more than 700 million monthly regular users.

Adding more encryption with secret conversations, which Facebook plans to roll out widely by the end of the summer, is aimed at coaxing people to use the service for more communication. Someone could set a message to disappear after a period of time, which may make them more willing to exchange personal information with a company's customer service representative on Messenger. People have to opt in to use secret conversations, the company said.

To keep Messenger's momentum going, Marcus said he expected the fast pace of product releases for the app to continue.

"To make Messenger your preferred and primary communication platform, we have to build capabilities different from anyone else," he said.

Source:  http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/facebook-to-add-encrypted-secret-conversations-to-messenger-app-20160711-gq2ybk.html

 

 

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Facebook Messenger is launching new security features to better protect user messages from prying eyes (like those of, say, the FBI).

The company announced Friday that it built a new feature inside Messenger called “secret” messages, or private conversations that are end-to-end encrypted. These messages will be stored only on the sender’s and recipient’s devices, not on Facebook’s servers like regular Messenger messages.

Facebook is also rolling out what amounts to a self-destruct timer for these messages, which means you can set them to disappear automatically after a set period of time (from five seconds to 24 hours).

Messenger is the latest in a string of private messaging services to bust out some kind of end-to-end encryption in the last six months. Others include Viber, which launched end-to-end encryption in April, and Facebook’s other messaging app, WhatsApp.

The timing of all this doesn’t feel coincidental. The move comes just a few months after government agencies and tech companies battled over user privacy. Government agencies like the FBI don’t like end-to-end encryption because it provides a security risk when it’s used by criminals. Users (and tech companies), on the other hand, seem to love the idea, as they like to know their private messages are actually private.

Facebook says that you’ll have to turn on a secret chat manually for it to work, because Messenger is cross-device (meaning people can carry their conversations from their phones to their laptops to their tablets). Since messages that are end-to-end encrypted only live on the devices they are delivered to, a secret chat on your smartphone won’t be accessible via Messenger on your tablet, for example.

Secret messages will roll out to a limited test group to start, but Facebook “fully expects this to be available to everyone by end of the summer,” a spokesperson said.

Source:  http://www.recode.net/2016/7/8/12126764/facebook-messenger-encryption-disappearing-messages-security-update

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Private messages that can disappear are being trialled by Facebook as it experiments with a new option for those using its Messenger app.

They become hidden after a certain period of time chosen by the author, the firm said.
It is part of a new "secret message" service having a limited trial, Facebook announced.
Senders must choose one device to use it on, as messages sent this way are stored on the device itself.
Those flagged to "disappear" will be deleted from the device as well.

"Starting a secret conversation with someone is optional," it said.
"Secret conversations can only be read on one device and we recognise that experience may not be right for everyone."

Facebook secret message screenshots

 

Facebook listed health and financial issues as examples of messages that people may wish to keep more private - while others have mentioned love affairs.The idea is being trialled on a "limited basis", Facebook said, but added that it would be more widely available over the summer.Video and GIFs cannot be shared secretly at the moment.

The service will also have extra features for reporting abuse - and once this is introduced, there will be a delay in the deletion of messages to enable flagging.

"Facebook will never have access to plain text messages unless one participant in a secret conversation voluntarily reports the conversation," it explained in a technical document.

Tech spec

The service is built on the Signal protocol by Open Whisper Systems, which is widely used by messaging apps, said cybersecurity expert Professor Alan Woodward from Surrey University.

"Signal is well tested and those who developed it are well regarded in the cryptography community," he said.

"But the problem with something effectively becoming an open standard in this way is that if ever a problem were found it could have widespread impact."

Prof Woodward added that the technical report released by Facebook was "not as complete as many would like" in terms of assessing the service's security.

"If I were to choose any messaging system I would look for it to be based on Signal at present.
"However, I'd like to know more about exactly how it is implemented, or at least know that those who can analyse such systems have scrutinised the code."

Source:  http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36744470

 

 

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Earlier this week, Twitter announced a new feature called ‘Stickers’. Essentially, theses are a mash-up of hashtags, emoticons, and Snapchat filters all in one easy-to-use photo features.

Like hashtags, stickers are also searchable. After you use one you can then click on the sticker to view a newsfeed of other users who have used the same sticker. Because of the search feature, Twitter stickers could be more useful to brands than Snapchat’s filters.

Similar to Snapchat filters, Twitter’s stickers are a fun way to personalize pictures.

Connect your photos to the world with a visual spin on hashtags: tap #Stickers to peel back a fun new way to search. pic.twitter.com/YVy7r53Nja

— Twitter (@twitter) June 27, 2016

How Could Brands Use Twitter Stickers?

While they might seem like nothing more than another silly way to personalize photos, the search feature makes Twitter stickers extremely interesting for brands, particularly if Twitter offers sponsored stickers, similar to Snapchats sponsored filters.

Image if Finding Dory sponsored a fish or aquarium sticker. Pixar could then easily engage with users who use the sticker by retweeting and sharing GIF collections of their favorites. They could then retarget those users with ads to purchase a DVD of the movie or collectibles. They could even add a photo backdrop that interacts with the sticker in the theater to encourage users to share what are essentially branded photos.

Currently, Stickers are rolling out to a limited number of users. Sadly, I am not one of them. This tweet from Linda Jiang, Strategy and Operations Program Manager at Twitter, shows how much fun we could be having:

Tuesday Mornings at SF Media! pic.twitter.com/2NUwmKzXQf

— Linda Jiang (@lindaj) June 28, 2016

Source:  https://www.searchenginejournal.com/twitter-announces-stickers-emoticons-snapchat-filters/167117/

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Venture capitalist Jim Breyer knows a bit about the next big tech revolution. He backed Facebook when it was just a baby in 2005. The social network is now worth over $326 billion.

So where should you be putting your money next? Into artificial intelligence, according to Breyer, an area which will create more wealth than that made for internet and social network investors.

Breyer expects artificial intelligence to transform content and the film entertainment business."

"Ten years from now, it will have even more significant wealth creation, stockholder appreciation opportunities, than what I believe we saw in social networks in 2005 and internet investing in 1995," Breyer told an audience at the Viva Technology conference in Paris on Thursday.

Breyer was a former board member of Facebook and is still a significant shareholder. Through his firm Breyer Capital, he has also invested in a number of other companies including music streaming service Spotify and movie production start-up Legendary Entertainment, which was recently acquired by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda for $3.5 billion.

At Legendary Entertainment, Breyer said he saw the use of artificial intelligence which has the potential to revolutionize the industry. Legendary Entertainment was behind the blockbuster movie "Interstellar" and Breyer explained how artificial intelligence was used to get the trailer right.

"We applied statistics, machine learning, and a small group of data developers to analyze how that first trailer of Interstellar was received on Facebook, Instagram and other social networks. We then used that data to inform us on how that second trailer should look and the final trailer," Breyer said.

"What really mattered for us, how many theaters should we open in, where should we open, how should we market, and where a 150 million (dollars) might be used typically for a marketing budget for a film, narrowing that down to perhaps 100 million (dollars), and using advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, human-assisted learning, with the data...it's far less costly, fare more effective."

The technology will also be used to inform casting decisions, budgets, and other aspects of making a movie Breyer said, who predicted that the movie industry will be "revolutionized by artificial intelligence".

Source:  http://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/01/ai-will-be-a-bigger-than-social-networks-internet-early-facebook-backer.html

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