More Than Half Links Shared on Twitter Are Never Clicked: Study

More Than Half Links Shared on Twitter Are Never Clicked: StudyMore than half (59 per cent) links shared on micro-blogging website Twitter are never clicked including by the people who share them, a new study has found.

The researchers from Microsoft and Columbia University collected the data over a month and included 2.8 million shares on Twitter, encompassing shared links to the BBC, CNN, Fox News, The New York Times and the Huffington Post.

“It is the first of its kind study,” Fortune quoted the study’s authors as saying. “…there seems to be vastly more niche content that users are willing to mention in Twitter than… content that they are actually willing to click on,” they added.

The bulk of actual clicks on social media were generated by a small group of ‘blockbuster’ articles, with about nine percent of shared links capturing about 90 percent of Twitter clicks, the study added.

The study also found that despite Twitter’s reputation as a “live” platform, clicks have a consistent “long tail”, with tweets generating a steady drip of shares and clicks even after an initial 24 hour surge.

The findings suggested that exaggerated headlines could be self-defeating on social media.

“Sensational or misleading heads may be more useful for social sharers looking to make a point about themselves, than for actual readers trying to curate their information intake,” it said.

Facebook Details How It Handles User Data for Research

Facebook Details How It Handles User Data for ResearchIn an effort to allay concerns over collection of human data for corporate research, social networking giant Facebook has published details about how the website uses personal information of its subscribers for research purpose, a media report said.

The social network collects data on roughly 1.6 billion Facebook users, which is then used to determine behavioural patterns like voting habits, relationship status and effects of certain types of content on people, wsj.com reported on Tuesday.

Facebook published a psychological study involving 700,000 persons in 2014 that sparked controversy about the company’s ethics.

Because “the issues of how to deal with research in an industry setting aren’t unique to Facebook,” the company decided to release more details, said Molly Jackman, Facebook’s public-policy research manager and co-author of the 2014 study.

To assess the ethical impact of its research efforts, Facebook has set up a five-person panel that includes experts in law and ethics.

If a manager determines that a research project deals with sensitive topics such as mental health, the study gets a detailed review by the group to weigh risks and benefits, as well as to consider whether it is in line with consumers’ expectations of how their information is stored, wsj.com said.

Managers have been authorised to simply approve proposals that they see harmless. They will also have to decide which research gets a full review.

The review group is modelled on the institutional review boards (IRBs) that assess the ethics of human-subject research at academic institutions. Facebook has hired Stanford University’s IRB manager Lauri Kanerva to oversee its research review process.

Private Links Shared on Facebook Messenger Aren’t So Private: Report

Private Links Shared on Facebook Messenger Aren't So Private: ReportPrivacy and security has been a contentious issue with all social networks, and Facebook is no exception. We’ve suggested to our readers to perform a digital clean-up to ensure their account is safe. However, a recent report suggested that a new vulnerability related to Facebook’s Messenger app as well as online chat could allow an attacker to change or modify a conversation in the thread. The company however patched the bug fixing the issue.

Now, security researcher Inti De Ceukelaire in a Medium post has claimed that links shared privately on Messenger can be read by Facebook and developers with access to its API. Ceukelaire informed the company about the issue and was shocked to learn that Facebook had no problems with privately shared links being accessible.

Ceukelaire was able to access the links using Facebook’s crawler tool. The social giant describes the tool as, Content is most often shared to Facebook in the form of a webpage. The first time someone shares a link, the Facebook crawler will scrape the HTML at that URL to gather, cache and display info about the content on Facebook like a title, description, and thumbnail image.

During his testing, Ceukelaire discovered that all the objects saved on Facebook such as images, status, or even a link was given a unique, non-chronological identification number. He noticed Mark Zuckerberg was object number four on Facebook.

He noted that developers can request an object via Facebook API (an interface for developers) by its number which will return with the details only if they had permission to access. After some more searching, he decided to request a URL for the queried object and was given the link address. He then wrote a quick script that would take any identification number and increment it gradually to discover other links, and discovered he was returned a list of URLs shared by users.

[While] it’s not possible to get links for a specific user, you could easily run through results all day* until you find something interesting. *Yes, Facebook does block excessive requests but there are ways to bypass that, e.g., using multiple access tokens and if needed, VPN’s. Rate limiting won’t stop someone who is determined, he added.

He pointed out that the results didn’t confirm the user who shared the link but it was not hard considering the user ID was linked to the results shown. The researcher points out the shared links can sometimes carry personal details which the user doesn’t intend to share with others.

While you may only share links to funny cat videos with your friends, you should still be worried about this exploit. Sometimes, sensitive information (personal data, secret keys, …) are included in links without you even noticing, adds Ceukelaire.

Facebook, Other Sites Oppose Lawsuit Targeting Modeling Website

Facebook, Other Sites Oppose Lawsuit Targeting Modeling WebsiteShe turned into a 22-yr vintage aspiring model from Brooklyn. trying to find a way to crack into the industry, she grew to become to ModelMayhem.com, a internet site that connects freelance models to casting retailers, photographers and others inside the enterprise. She flew right down to Miami to fulfill the agent she had met on line and, upon her arrival, he drugged and raped her. Her brutal attack turned into filmed and posted at the porn internet site Miami’s Nastiest Nymphos. She woke up bruised and disoriented in a inn room and not using a expertise of ways she were given there.

The horrific tale was not an isolated incident. Preceding instanceas showed that round one hundred ladies have been drugged, assaulted and filmed by the two rapists in the back of Miami’s Nastiest Nymphos. The men have been arrested and sentenced to twelve consecutive lifestyles phrases.

Now, the lady recognized most effective as Jane Doe No. 14 in her lawsuit is trying to sue ModelMayhem.com for failure to warn users of ability rapists on their website. A court docket ruling closing week granted her the right to move ahead with the trial, a decision which brings up questions of whether web sites can be held legally answerable for sexual assaults that take place to their users inside the offline global.

Websites like ModelMayhem.com are generally protected from instances like this by means of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), a regulation that protects web sites from liability for its customers. The idea is that those web sites are structures best: to sue a website like Craigslist for an assault that happened because of an actual-global assembly is like suing a cellphone e book writer if an assailant used the yellow pages to appearance up a person’s vicinity. The CDA has protected websites and apps like fb, Craigslist, Uber, Airbnb and OkCupid from prison repercussions, at the same time as, inside the case of some of those offerings, reports of attacks have endured to crop up.

Whilst Jane Doe first appealed the case remaining yr, it seemed unlikely that the judge could permit her to hold with the lawsuit because of the CDA, and greater in particular, segment 230 of the law, which frees websites from such liability. Big name websites eBay, fb and Tumblr urged the courtroom now not to allow Jane Doe’s lawsuit to go through on account for the chilling impact it’d have on other internet organizations.

fb declined to comment for this story however pointed a reporter to numerous passages in its felony quick.

The business enterprise and different websites have a enormous interest within the felony rules governing whether vendors of interactive computer services may be subjected to court cases for alleged harms on account of online exchanges of statistics, the quick stated. The fulfillment of these on line companies-and the vitality of online media and on-line free speech normally-relies upon on their being protected against the dangers, burdens, and uncertainty of court cases that could hold them liable for hosting or facilitating on-line exchanges of 1/3-birthday party facts that could result in harm.

The short also said that fb and other web sites condemn the violent acts perpetrated against [the victim] and applaud the crook justice system for placing the perpetrators in the back of bars. but, the submitting said, the contemptibility of these acts does no longer justify a stop-run around phase 230.

But the court stated that phase 230 does no longer allow web sites to be free of all obligation. Congress has not supplied an all purpose get-out-of-jail-loose card for corporations that publish user content material on the internet, although any claims would possibly have a marginal chilling effect on net publishing corporations, the court docket said in its choice.

A crucial piece to this case is that the two guys in the back of the rape operation were arrested and charged in 2010, but launched due to inadequate evidence. The pair went returned to ModelMayhem.com to hold their scheme after their first arrest. Due to this previous arrest, Jane Doe can be able to sue based on the failure to warn idea: that the internet site should have somehow notified its users approximately the criminal grievance.

The fact that the internet site knew approximately these rape charges is indeniable. In truth, whilst the website become sold to its contemporary proprietor, the agency internet manufacturers, the enterprise tried to sue the authentic builders for now not disclosing to them approximately the existence of this very case.

This ruling is a fresh departure from the deference judges normally display closer to on line carrier companies, however it is not a departure from the age antique criminal guiding principle of companion legal responsibility, stated legal professional Carrie Goldberg, who focuses on internet privacy and sexual assault rights. As a victims’ rights attorney a lot of my maximum terrible cases involve ‘I met him at the net.’ just as we’d preserve a owner of a house dependable if they knew their visitor turned into inviting anyone over every day to be murdered, the equal need to be proper of acts of exploitation going on web sites.

Eric Goldman, a law professor that makes a speciality of tech, told Vice that he feels that dating apps and sharing-financial system apps have the maximum to lose must the lawsuit successfully go through. He mentions that strengthening laws that required those websites to display capacity contributors can be burdensome to the offerings.

They could be charged with expertise about everything they research within the screenings, but in concept they would be obligated to reveal every little of screening data approximately every member to make sure they happy a duty to warn different individuals approximately any potential trouble, no matter how faraway, he stated. I don’t quite know on line relationship services might manipulate that threat, to be honest with you.

But Jamie Lee Williams, a lawyer at the digital Frontier basis, thinks that this example can have little effect at the legal guidelines set up to protect these on-line offerings.

The court’s choice was truth specific and pressured that any legal responsibility for failure to warn right here could be based on records the internet site discovered from outside sources, including a criminal criticism, now not any statistics published on its website, she said. In other words, the court located that this isn’t a section 230 issue. Any liability right here does not arise from content published at the website, which the courtroom made clear. She says she feels that the scope of this situation is small and has little to do with larger problems of the right to maintain web sites answerable for its users.
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Whether
or know not the lawsuit will correctly undergo continues to be up inside the air. The case changed into despatched returned to the trials court, wherein it waits for a very last ruling.

Facebook Apologises for Banning ‘Undesirable’ Plus-Sized Model

Facebook Apologises for Banning 'Undesirable' Plus-Sized Model

Facebook has been forced to backtrack after it banned an Australian ad featuring a bikini-clad plus-sized model promoting positive body image, initially saying the photo’s depiction was “undesirable”.

The social networking giant blocked the ad for Melbourne’s “Cherchez La Femme: Feminism and Fat” gathering, saying the image violated its advertising guidelines.

When organisers questioned the decision, the Facebook Ads Team wrote back saying the ad did not comply with their health and fitness policy because “the image depicts a body or body parts in an undesirable manner”.

“Ads like these are not allowed since they make viewers feel bad about themselves,” said the letter to organiser Jessamy Gleeson, who posted a screen-shot of it online.

Gleeson said she was stunned that Facebook “seemingly has no idea that plus-sized, self-describing fat women can feel great about themselves”.

She urged followers on the platform to “rage hard at anyone who tries to tell us that some bodies are more ‘desirable’ than others”.

“Facebook has ignored the fact that our event is going to be discussing body positivity (which comes in all shapes and sizes, but in the particular case of our event, fat bodies),” she wrote.

Facebook “has instead come to the conclusion that we’ve set out to make women feel bad about themselves by posting an image of a wonderful plus-sized woman.”

Gleeson said Facebook later apologised for its actions, sending her a note admitting it had incorrectly reviewed the ad.

“Our policies are in place to help protect the community from offensive ads that can damage their experience on our platform,” it said in a screen-shot Gleeson posted on Twitter.

“This is not the case here and I’m sorry for our incorrect review. We evaluate millions of ads per week and there are instances that we incorrectly disapprove an image that does not violate our policies.”

Facebook Says Found No Political Bias in Trending Topics; Makes Changes Nonetheless

Facebook Says Found No Political Bias in Trending Topics; Makes Changes NonethelessFacebook on Monday said it was making changes aimed at keeping political bias out of its “trending” stories list even though an internal investigation revealed no evidence it was happening.

“Our investigation has revealed no evidence of systematic political bias in the selection or prominence of stories included in the Trending Topics feature,” Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch said in a letter responding to a query from Republican US Senator John Thune, who chairs the commerce committee.

“In fact, our analysis indicated that the rates of approval of conservative and liberal topics are virtually identical in Trending Topics.”

Facebook was unable to substantiate any specific accusations of bias made in media reports, which relied on anonymous sources, Stretch said in the letter, a copy of which was made available by the leading social network.

“At the same time, as you would expect with an inquiry of this nature, our investigation could not exclude the possibility of isolated improper actions or unintentional bias in the implementation of our guidelines or policies,” Stretch said.

“As part of our commitment to continually improve our products and to minimize risks where human judgment is involved, we are making a number of changes.”

Facebook updated terminology in its guidelines to be clearer and gave reviewers refresher training that emphasized content decisions may not be based on politics or ideology, the letter said.

The review team will be subject to more oversight and controls, and Facebook will no longer rely on lists of external websites and news outlets to assess the importance of topics in stories.

“We want people to be confident that our community welcomes all viewpoints,” Stretch said in the letter.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said last week that conservatives are an important part of the social network after a meeting aimed at defusing concerns it is politically biased.

“We’ve built Facebook to be a platform for all ideas,” Zuckerberg said on his Facebook page after a meeting at the company’s California headquarters to discuss the allegations about anti-conservative bias.

“It doesn’t make sense for our mission or our business to suppress political content or prevent anyone from seeing what matters most to them.”

Zuckerberg called the meeting after technology news outlet Gizmodo a week earlier reportedallegations that Facebook was deliberately omitting articles with conservative viewpoints from the sidebar that lists popular stories.

“Very productive meeting at @Facebook with Mark and team,” CNN conservative commentator S.E. Cupp tweeted after attending the gathering. “Strong commitments to address issues, as well as to work together on common goals.”

Reddit Introduces a New Tool for Embedding Posts

Reddit Introduces a New Tool for Embedding PostsYou may soon be seeing more conversations from Reddit popping up in your news feeds.

The company unveiled a new tool for embedding Reddit comments on outside sites, announcing the feature to media outlets Friday. Reddit worked with a number of outlets, including The Washington Post, AOL and CNET for months to get the embedding features right.

Why the change? Mark Luckie, Reddit’s head of newsroom outreach, said that the company wants to forge a closer relationship with news organizations that are already writing their fair share of Reddit content.

Being able to embed the posts directly from the site gives news organizations an easier way to cite Reddit content and point readers back to discussions on the site, he said. While many journalists do link back to Reddit or grab screenshots of interesting threads comments, Luckie said that it was time to take the next step. The firm hopes this embed tool will help show off the breadth of discussions that happen among the site’s 36 million users, on everything from politics and news to .gifs that end too soon.

“It’s grown organically to this point,” he said. “But this is better for Reddit and brings readers closer to the content itself.”

Other new media and social media companies already allow posts and updates to be embedded on others’ websites and blogs. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Vine, to name a few, encourage the practice. After all, if someone is posting something newsworthy on Facebook, that’s good publicity for the company.

Reddit’s branching and conversational set-up, however, offers some challenges that other companies don’t face. The new embed tool address some of those difficulties. For example, it offers users the option to either post a stand-alone comment, or to include what a user is responding to along with his or her response.

If a comment is edited after a news site embeds it, that will be noted on the embedded post. That, in some ways, protects news sites against potentially embarrassing situations where something that’s been posted online is edited after-the-fact to say something else.

The new feature comes as Reddit continues to grow and take a firmer hand in the way that posts, stories and photos posted by its users spread throughout the Web. The company last year launched its own news site, Upvoted, with its own staff of professional writers charged with scanning the site for the best and most interesting conversations and stories on Reddit.

The firm has also been working to present a better image to the general public, perhaps to combat a slew of stories that have pointed out harassment on the site. In addition to collaborating with newsrooms more closely, the site has also worked to create new guidelines and tools for users to make the site more welcoming to everyone.

Facebook Live Video Gets an Interactive Map

Facebook Live Video Gets an Interactive MapThe social networking giant Facebook on Thursday launched an interactive map for its Live Video feature, giving users a window into what’s happening in the world right now from friends or on topics you’re interested in. The feature is rolling out slowly.

To access the interactive map, users need to visit the new Live Video app is available on the left navigation bar in your Facebook timeline, reports Engadget, or directly visit the dedicated page.

Users can either check out the highly-ranked clips on the left side of the page, or click on one of the blue dots on the digital globe.

In addition to showing where a stream has come from, when you click on a video, it also shows where it’s being viewed.

Before Thursday, the only way to know if an account is live streaming was by following that person or brand and waiting for a notification to pop up in your timeline.

Facebook has recently been in the news for reported bias against US Conservative news on its Trending topics section. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with a dozen leading US Conservative representatives on Wednesday, to talk about how Facebook continues to be a platform for all ideas across the political spectrum.

“We have built Facebook to be a platform for all ideas. Our community’s success depends on everyone feeling comfortable sharing anything they want. It doesn’t make sense for our mission or our business to suppress political content or prevent anyone from seeing what matters most to them,” the 32-year-old Facebook founder posted after the interaction.

Facebook a ‘Platform for All Ideas’, Says Zuckerberg After Conservative Meet

Facebook a 'Platform for All Ideas', Says Zuckerberg After Conservative MeetFacebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday that conservatives are an important part of the social networkafter a meeting aimed at defusing concerns it is politically biased.

“We’ve built Facebook to be a platform for all ideas,” Zuckerberg said on his Facebook page after a meeting at the company’s California headquarters to discuss allegations in a news article that Facebook was suppressing conservative voices in its “trending” news stories.

“Our community’s success depends on everyone feeling comfortable sharing anything they want. It doesn’t make sense for our mission or our business to suppress political content or prevent anyone from seeing what matters most to them.”

Zuckerberg called the meeting after technology news outlet Gizmodo last week reported allegations that Facebook was deliberately omitting articles with conservative viewpoints from a sidebar that lists popular stories.

Facebook has denied the allegations, reportedly made by a former employee, while promising to investigate.

“The reality is, conservatives and Republicans have always been an important part of Facebook,” Zuckerberg wrote after Wednesday’s meeting.

“Donald Trump has more fans on Facebook than any other presidential candidate. And Fox News drives more interactions on its Facebook page than any other news outlet in the world. It’s not even close.”

He added that he recognizes that “many conservatives don’t trust that our platform surfaces content without a political bias” and noted that “I wanted to hear their concerns personally and have an open conversation about how we can build trust. I want to do everything I can to make sure our teams uphold the integrity of our products.”

The meeting was scheduled to include political commentator Glenn Beck and talk show host Dana Perino.

Others invited included Zac Moffatt, a political consultant who worked for former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney; Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute; and Barry Bennett, an advisor to presumptive Republican presidential candidate Trump.

CNN conservative commentator S.E. Cupp, another attendee, tweeted after the gathering, “Very productive meeting at @Facebook with Mark and team. Strong commitments to address issues, as well as to work together on common goals.”

Zuckerberg’s post elicited more than 17,000 “likes” shortly after the message appeared but some questioned the allegations.

“Frankly, I do not know where they got this perception” of bias, wrote Loni Reeder.

“I have more Republican/Trump nauseating propaganda floating across my page (unwanted propaganda, I might add!) than I do of nominees Clinton and Sanders. It’s MY perception that they simply wanted to find a way to further inflate their pathetic agenda and to get some additional undeserved press.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Meets US Conservatives Over Bias Controversy

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Meets US Conservatives Over Bias ControversyFacebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg heard from more than a dozen US conservative leaders on Wednesday and said he will work to build trust with users who believe the social network displays politically biased news content.

After a closed-door meeting at the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters, Zuckerberg defended his company’s practices but acknowledged that many conservatives believe Facebook is politically liberal.

“It doesn’t make sense for our mission or our business to suppress political content,” Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook after the meeting.

“I know many conservatives don’t trust that our platform surfaces content without a political bias,” he added. “I wanted to hear their concerns personally and have an open conversation about how we can build trust. “

The editorial practices at the world’s largest social network came under scrutiny after a former Facebook contractor anonymously accused editors there of deliberately suppressing conservative news. The allegations were reported by technology news website Gizmodo, which did not identify the ex-contractor.

Facebook has denied the allegations and said it would conduct a full investigation.

A Facebook spokeswoman said the meeting produced “a constructive discussion” and some attendees called it productive.

“I think Facebook is very sincere in wanting to resolve outstanding issues with conservatives,” Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, said after the meeting.

Attendees were frank about their concerns, but the tone was cordial, Bozell said. “Facebook invited that frank talk. People didn’t hold back too much,” he said.

On her Facebook page, conservative CNN commentator S.E. Cupp said the meeting had produced “strong commitments to address issues, as well as to work together on common goals.”

Other attendees included former White House press secretary Dana Perino, media personality Glenn Beck and former Republican Senator Jim DeMint.

Zuckerberg said that while Silicon Valley has a reputation for being liberal, Facebook’s 1.6 billion users span every background and ideology.

“The reality is, conservatives and Republicans have always been an important part of Facebook,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has more Facebook fans than any other presidential candidate, he said. Fox News “drives more interactions on its Facebook page than any other news outlet in the world,” Zuckerberg added. “It’s not even close.”

Fox News is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.

Facebook employees who donate to presidential candidates lean Democratic. Seventy-nine percent of employee contributions to 2016 contenders went to Democrats, according to a Reuters analysis of campaign finance data, and 21 percent to Republicans.

Zuckerberg has contributed to candidates in both parties. Sixty-percent of his donations during the 2014 midterm elections went to Republicans and 40 percent to Democrats. He has not supported a presidential candidate this cycle.

Although a US Senate committee is investigating whether there is liberal bias in selection of trending topics, there is little chance the government will try to regulate Facebook’s practices, said Republican Senator John Thune, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.

“I don’t have any reason to believe that would be necessary,” Thune told reporters on Tuesday.

Thune sent a letter to Facebook last week to demand that it explain its editorial decision-making and how stories are chosen for the “trending topics” feature. He said his primary concern was that Facebook was potentially being deceptive about how its news feed curation algorithms work.

Facebook last week released its guidelines for choosing trending topics, but the operations of the news feed algorithm remain closely guarded.

Legal experts said the government has few tools to dictate how a private company makes news decisions.

“As a legal matter, Facebook is not required to be even-handed,” said Eugene Volokh, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Congress can’t introduce something that tries to prohibit Facebook from making these kinds of choices.”