Two Senators Make Up a Group & Buy a Facebook Ad

Even as social media companies explained in Congressional hearings how they are developing ways to identify fraudulent and spurious political advertisements, two United States Senators conducted an experiment, creating a group, developing an ad, paying Facebook $20 each, and targeting groups of people who they hoped would view it. The two senators, Mark Warner of Virginia and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota wondered whether they could get people to notice their advertisement, and lots did. The ad also included a disclaimer.

They explain what they did in the video below, which appeared on ABC.

 

In the comments section some individuals spent time bashing the two senators, noting they made up something that wasn’t true. What did not have much to do with their jobs as senators, some commenters wondered?

However, the two senators clearly aimed to made a point about the relative ease of creating and uploading fraudulent political content, and they demonstrated that the current steps that social media companies are taking to identify false political ads is still not enough.

Triple-Check For Fake News on Social Media — Learning Resources

Watch the embedded CNN video below.

Watch the embedded CNN video below.

It happens to me all the time on social media. I see something interesting that connects with what I like or want to believe, start to read it, and then I immediately start to share it with my friends. I’m learning, however, to think more about it first. Now I’m spending more time considering whether what I see and read comes from a reputable news source or if some of the details in the article can survive a fact check.

Anyone can set up a catchy name on Facebook and send out news, but these authors don’t necessarily check or even care about the facts. Here’s an what Brian Stelter on CNN has to say on the subject on his Oct 30, 2016 broadcast.                  Continue reading

Quizzes? Fun, but Each Quiz Wants Your Information

If like me you get a kick out of taking Facebook quizzes and sharing your results with friends, it’s time to think a bit more about caution and privacy. Have you ever wondered why these quizzes pop up on your account? Parents, teachers, and students all need to understand that these quizzes have little to do with entertainment and lots to do with getting people to part with personal information.

What is an IP Address?

What is an IP Address?

If you do not know much about online quizzes, and you take them or are tempted by many of them, spend a few minutes  reading What You Need to Know About Online Quizzes and Surveys over at the Webroot website and Facebook Quizzes: What Happens to Your Data at the BBC. Essentially, when you take a quiz you freely give out your personal information — and it’s not just the answers you provide, but also the data you allow the quiz creator to access. You also give up a bit more of your personal privacy and may have a small app installed on your Facebook page.

Continue reading

Google+ vs. Facebook

Google Facebook privacy

This clip is from the info graphic.

Please check out my post comparing Facebook and Google+  over at Discover Your Child’s Digital World another blog that I maintain.

My content addresses issues of interest for parents whose kids use either or both of the sites and focuses on interesting facts, some of the differences between Google+ and Facebook, and privacy issues.

I  illustrate with a terrific infographic from Veracode Application Security.

Facebook Scammers Continue to Lure Users – Successfully

danger fB scamsI sometimes observe a Facebook friend sharing or unknowingly posting a scam as often as once a day.

According to a post on Techlicious, scammers continue to find victims on Facebook. While Facebook continues to work against these scams, the sheer number of users on Facebook (one billion) encourages unscrupulous people to continue to seek victims.

The December 4, 2012 post by Techlicious writer, Christina DesMarais, lists six of the most prevalent scams — which often masquerade as apps — that Facebook users may encounter, all offering services that may catch a users’ fancy (or conscience).

I’ve listed the six types below, but check the post, The 6 Biggest Facebook Scams, for lots more information.

  1. Changing the color of profiles.
  2. Offering free things — cards, vouchers, prizes, etc.
  3. Begging for cards to send to wounded soldiers or warriors.
  4. Offering pictures of things or videos — often alerting a person via e-mail or message.
  5. Encouraging users to find out who is viewing your Facebook profile.
  6. Making the case for privacy options that are really hoaxes.

The post also explains how Facebook users can disconnect themselves from Facebook hoaxes or questionable apps.          Continue reading

Facebook and Younger Kids: Will They or Won’t They?

Earlier this month a spate of articles (see links below) reported that Facebook is testing features to help it decide whether to expand its social networking access to children under the age of 13.

Now a group of child advocacy organizations sent a June 18, 2012, letter to Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, strongly urging the company to avoid advertising for kids as well as to offer a guarantee of no tracking of children’s online activity. Read the entire letter at the bottom of this Consumer’s Union page.

The following organizations signed the letter:

Consumers Union, Center for Digital Democracy, Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Center for Media Justice, Center for Science in the Public Interest, ChangeLab Solutions/Public Health Law & Policy, Children Now, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Watchdog, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Privacy Times, Public Citizen, and World Privacy Forum.

Articles to Read                         Continue reading

Are Teens Moving Away from Facebook?

Take a few minutes to read Some Teens Aren’t Liking Facebook as Much as Older Users, a May 30, 2012 business article in the Los Angeles Times. Facebook’s growth is slowing, and many teens, after  absorbing lessons about privacy and the need to share less personal information, now seek to socialize online in smaller community groups with people they know.

Reporters Jessica Guynn and Ryan Faughnder point out that students are also far more eager to use mobile services designed for their smartphones. Interestingly, parents are still avid Facebook users.

Best Quotes from the Article

  • Teens… can also be more selective about what they share and with whom, and feel less social pressure to “friend”everyone in their school or friends or friends.
  • Teens who belong to the first truly mobile generation — their most common form of communication is text messaging — are increasingly gravitating to services made for their smartphones and tablets.