A “Privacy Checkup” From Facebook


Gigaom

Facebook has rolled out its long-awaited privacy “checkup” button. The checkup is exactly what it sounds like — a way to quickly scan your activity on the site and see who can view your activity.

“We know you come to Facebook to connect with friends, not with us,” Product Manager Paddy Underwood said in the blog post announcing the news. “But we also know how important it is to be in control of what you share and who you share with.”

You’ll be prompted by Facebook’s privacy dinosaur — yes the same little guy who popped up back in May to let you know if your posts were public — to run your checkup. That means users less tuned into tech news won’t have to go hunting down the feature; Facebook will flag it for them.

Facebook's privacy dinosaur pops up to prompt you to take the check-up. Facebook’s privacy dinosaur pops up to prompt you to take the check-up.

If you choose…

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Facebook and Other Websites Running Experiments on Human Beings


u

TIME

It was the Facebook study heard ’round the world. In June, the social network revealed that it had briefly tweaked its algorithm for a lucky (or unlucky) 698,003 users to make them feel happier (or sadder) based on what they see on their Newsfeed. The reaction to human experimentation—creepy emotional manipulation! mind control!—came out so strong, that Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) asked the FTC to investigate.

Christian Rudder, the co-founder of dating site OKCupid, was shocked by the internet’s shock. “It’s just a fact of life online,” he says. “There’s no website that doesn’t run experiments online.”

And so, Rudder posted OKTrends’ first blog post in three years Monday to announce to the world, “We experiment on human beings!”

Rudder relaunched the site with the revelation that “OkCupid doesn’t really know what it’s doing,” which is why it uses human guinea pigs. And to be honest, “If you use the…

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5 Lessons From The Celebrity Cloud Hack/Leak


Gigaom

With the dust starting to settle after the dreadful hacking and exposure of various female celebrities’ nude selfies, we’re finally in a position to consider the implications of what happened.

Most of this information isn’t new as such – the episode brought to the fore circumstances and activities that have been around for a while – but there are lessons in there, and it’s time we gave them serious consideration.

1. Some cloud security is unacceptably poor

[company]Apple[/company] uses two-factor authentication (2FA) as a protection for Apple ID management and iTunes and App Store purchases, but not for iCloud backups, which is where many of these pictures came from. Even where the company does employ 2FA, it doesn’t exactly make it easy. What’s more, as Nik Cubrilovic wrote in his excellent in-depth analysis of underground marketplaces and forums, Apple makes it far too easy to execute so-called brute force…

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Researchers Get Access to Behavioral Data from Google, Facebook, Reddit, etc.


Gigaom

Whatever outsiders may think of online communities like Reddit, Imgur or Twitch — the video-game streaming site Google is said to be acquiring for $1 billion — there’s no question they provide a fascinating window into the ways people behave online, like a massive human Petri dish. Now, the three sites have formed a partnership to provide internal data to researchers who want to understand those communities better. The consortium is known as the Digital Ecologies Research Partnership, and will offer its data to universities and other institutions free of charge.

It’s a serious effort, but it wouldn’t be faithful to the Reddit ethos if it didn’t involve some sort of nerdy in-joke — hence the fact that the group’s name is abbreviated as DERP, a term commonly used on Reddit and other online communities to refer to a mistake or screw-up. In addition to Reddit, Imgur and Twitch…

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Kindness and Cruelty on Social Network Sites


digiphile

This morning, I read an interesting reflection on dealing with online cruelty in the New York Times by Stephanie Rosenbloom:

In the virtual world, anonymity and invisibility help us feel uninhibited. Some people are inspired to behave with greater kindness; others unleash their dark side. Trolls, who some researchers think could be mentally unbalanced, say the kinds of things that do not warrant deep introspection; their singular goal is to elicit pain. But then there are those people whose comments, while nasty, present an opportunity to learn something about ourselves.

Easier said than done. Social scientists say we tend to fixate on the negative. However, there are ways to game psychological realities. Doing so requires understanding that you are ultimately in charge. “Nobody makes you feel anything,” said Professor Suler, adding that you are responsible for how you interpret and react to negative comments. The key is managing what psychologists…

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The Future of Content Consumption


Gigaom

After years struggling through a public identity crisis it appears [company]Yahoo[/company] has decided, for better or worse, that it’s a content company. There will be no Yahoo smartphones or operating systems, no Yahoo Fiber, and no Yahoo drones, robots or satellites. But that doesn’t mean the company can’t innovate.

When it comes to the future of web content, in fact — how we’ll find it, consume it and monetize it — Yahoo might just have the inside track on innovation. I spoke recently with Ron Brachman, the head of Yahoo Labs, who’s now managing a team of 250 (and growing) researchers around the world. They’re experts in fields such as computational advertising, personalization and human-computer interaction, and they’re all focused on the company’s driving mission of putting the right content in front of the right people at the right time.

Really, it’s all about machine learning

However, Yahoo Labs’ biggest focus appears to…

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This Is Who/What Facebook Thinks You Are/Like


Last quarter, Facebook made $2.8 billion off our personal information. Starting this summer, the social network is letting us see exactly what pieces of our online identities it reveals to advertisers.

Learn how, find out why you’ve been targeted and check what else Facebook thinks you like

Facebook has spent years mining from your online activity, against which it sells hyper-targeted advertising. If you are one of Facebook’s 204 million users in the United States and Canada, the social network made about $5.79 in advertising revenue off you last quarter.

On some level, we all know that Facebook does this, and on some level we all accept it. But starting this summer, Facebook is letting us lift the curtain and see exactly what pieces of our online identities it reveals to advertisers. If you hover over the top, right-hand corner of any Facebook ad, you can access a dropdown menu that will let you hide certain ads, rate ads as helpful, or — this is the interesting part — see why a particular advertiser chose to target you.
Among the potential reasons: your age, your gender, your location, pages you’ve liked, pages your friends have liked, your propensity to click on similar ads, where you shop online, what kind of phone you have, your inferred hobbies … or “other reasons”.TIME

See also:

Original Source – TIME

Reasons Behind Mark Zuckerberg’s 99% CEO Approval Rating


The post was originally published on Quora, in response to “Why does Mark Zuckerberg have a 99% approval rating from his employees?“, apparently referring to a Glassdoor survey in 2013 that found 99% of Facebook’s employees approved of Zuckerberg. This year, that approval rating dropped to 93%, which still makes him one of America’s 10 highest rated CEOs. – Amir Memon, Quora

Amir Memon‘s (iOS software engineer at Facebook) answer:

Because he is just that awesome.

There are several reasons why we “approve” of him:
The story
The principles
The heart
The guts
The wisdom
The trust
The character
The business
The free food and perks

(More about them here: Business Insider)

And, no, having a lower approval rating is not a good thing. People don’t “approve” because they agree with everything, rather they know that they have a say, and that their opinion matters. It’s a good thing to like your boss.

Original Source

LinkedIn: The “Other” Social Network Makes its Move


Nones Notes

linkedinWe may be reading quite a few news reports these days about Facebook and Twitter facing a plateau in usage … but LinkedIn’s fortunes continue to be on the upswing (financial losses notwithstanding).

In late April, the social network reported that it now has more than 300 million active members throughout the world, which is up more than 35% since the beginning of the year.

Too, the gender gap in membership is narrowing, albeit more slowly:  Today, ~44% of LinkedIn members are women, up from ~39% in 2009.

Even more impressive for a network that has the lofty goal of “creating economic opportunity for every one of the 3.3 billion people in the global workforce,” is the fact that two-thirds of LinkedIn’s active members are located outside the United States.

This is underscored by the top three countries represented  in LinkedIn’s membership, which are the U.S. (#1), India…

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