Archive for the 'Facebook' Category

“Yellow journalism”

November 22, 2016

This alarming picture of political clickbait on Facebook from @terrence_mccoy in the Washington Post prompted me to have a quick look at the history of “yellow journalism”.

From Wikipedia:

Frank Luther Mott defines yellow journalism in terms of five characteristics:[4]

  1. scare headlines in huge print, often of minor news
  2. lavish use of pictures, or imaginary drawings
  3. use of faked interviews, misleading headlines, pseudoscience, and a parade of false learning from so-called experts
  4. emphasis on full-color Sunday supplements, usually with comic strips
  5. dramatic sympathy with the “underdog” against the system.”

My italics. A good definition of “clickbait”…

 

Advertisements

#Facebook / links

September 25, 2016

1. An entertaining summary of the story so far on Facebook’s news feed and algorithmic biases from the PBS ideas channel

2. “Facebook ‘overestimated’ video viewing time” from BBC News

3.  “Low-income families face eviction as building ‘rebrands’ for Facebook workers” from the Guardian

4. “Facebook and Israel to work to monitor posts that incite violence” from the Guardian

Gulp… so Facebook is going to get involved in policing one of the most contentious conflicts in the world… good luck with that one…

5. Interesting article from Tanya Kant which contains this paragraph:

In an in-depth qualitative study of 36 web users, upon seeing advertising for weight loss products on Facebook some female users reported that they assumed that Facebook had profiled them as overweight or fitness-oriented. In fact, these weight loss ads were delivered generically to women aged 24-30. However, because users can be unaware of the impersonal nature of some personalisation systems, such targeted ads can have a detrimental impact on how these users view themselves: to put it crudely, they must be overweight, because Facebook tells them they are.

So maybe Facebook has a lot of power… or maybe we think it has more power than it actually does…

Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook

September 13, 2016

So Facebook can censor a iconic photograph from the Vietnam war featuring a naked child

…then uncensor it

…and apologise (privately) to a head of state

…but it can’t stop another picture of a naked girl appearing on Facebook

…and it’s being used (among other social media platforms) by inmates in American prisons to co-ordinate prison strikes

(echoes of a blog post I wrote two years ago)…

So Facebook is now a platform, a network and a media company

“Norway is a big investor in Facebook. Its $891bn sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, had a stake of 0.52% in Facebook, worth $1.54bn at the start of 2016.”

So just to be clear to @Aelkus in case he’s reading…

Do I think Facebook has “undue power over information flow?

Possibly… that’s a question for regulators…

Do I think Facebook is in danger of becoming a totalitarian control system?

Obviously not, since if it did have that kind of power, it wouldn’t be making these kinds of mistakes in public..