Jan. 13, 2013 — This week in social media: Mark Zuckerberg wants $100, Chelsea and Pyongyang hot spots, and the first meme of 2013Posted: January 13, 2013
We’re only three weeks in and 2013 is already a mess. Yes, CES was a great success but I’m not even going to go there.* A ton of other news that will change our world took place.
*Ok, maybe just one thing. The iPotty, below, is perfect for lazy parents who don’t want to potty train their kids. (There are tons of apps for that.) CES next year will feature an upgraded version where the iPotty will have arms that wipe your kids’ butts for you…controlled by another app that you access from your iPhone 15. I hear competitors are already building the iPad attachments for adult-sized toilets.
And now, on to the real head-scratchers from this week…
1. Message Mark Zuckerberg for only $100, tax included
The Mashable team discovered this week that it costs $100 to send a message to Mark Zuckerberg. More specifically, the $100 fee will insure that a message gets delivered to Mark’s Facebook inbox rather than thrown into his “other folder.”
This week, Eduardo Ustaran, who heads the privacy and information law group at Field Fisher Waterhouse, warned that European regulators are proposing new rules that would restrict companies like Facebook from using personal data for advertising. He also said that they “wouldn’t be able to rely on consent” either. ZDNet’s story also quotes Facebook’s head of EU policy for Brussels, who said that Facebook is “concerned” that the new rules conflict with online business models.
If the proposals are approved, millions of European users will be relieved of “sponsored stories” in their News feeds, not to mention targeted adds for “Bridal Uggs” or becoming the spokesperson for personal lube. Everything is just so much better in Europe.
Thankfully the stock actually climbed above $30 this week, the first time since its IPO more than six months ago. So, maybe they’ll drop that pay-to-ping price down to $50.
How much would I pay to message Mark Zuckerberg? A hundred if I knew he would definitely read my message and respond. If not, I’m happy to take my chances in the “other folder.” (It’s like paying for VIP cover at a club where Kim Kardashian is hosting a party. You at least know that she knows you’re kinda in her vicinity.)
2. Chelsea and North Korea cheer for Google…
Cheers across the world for Google this week, who deployed their senior executives to the two most contrasting places on earth: the Meatpacking district and Pyongyang.
Jan. 6, 2013 – This week in social media: Google’s drastic measures, a tale of two Al’s, the French Minister of Women’s rights, and an Oscar or twoPosted: January 6, 2013
Week one of the New Year has already proven to be quite exciting.
1. Google forces public exposure, intensifying Google+ integration
Google+ gets about a third of the traffic that Facebook does on a monthly basis. This data, based on an October 2012 comScore report, is not acceptable news to Larry Page.
On January 2, the Wall Street Journal reported that as Chief Executive, Page has set a new, draconian measure forcing anyone who creates a Gmail, YouTube, Zagat restaurant review account, or any other account for a Google service, to be part of the Google+ network. At the time new users set up an account, Google also sets them up with a public Google+ page, which can be viewed by anyone online…
2. Current TV: From one Al to another
Al Gore inked a deal to sell Current TV to Al-Jazeera this week. The New York Times first broke this story on Wednesday.
Gore, co-founder and chairman of the online- and television-based network, said of the decision:
“We are proud and pleased that Al Jazeera, the award-winning international news organization, has bought Current TV… Current Media was built based on a few key goals: To give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling. Al Jazeera has the same goals and, like Current, believes that facts and truth lead to a better understanding of the world around us.”
Al Jazeera, a broadcast and multimedia outlet based in Doha, Qatar, is funded by the Qatari government. It launched its English-language channel in 2006, one year after Current TV was founded. Today, Al Jazzera purports that nearly 40% of its online views come from the United States. The company will receive entrance into an additional 40 million homes (at least) through the deal.
The news came as a surprise to most, although everyone knew Current TV has been struggling since its start.
In addition to Al Jazeera, interested buyers of Current TV included Glenn Beck’s online network TheBlaze. Gore reputedly rebuffed their offer “within 15 minutes.” Glenn Beck’s producer Stu Burguiere said of his surprise about the deal:
“The guy who was vice president of the United States and was 537 votes away from being president during 9/11 is ideologically aligned, by his own definition, with the network that Osama bin Laden went to every time he wanted to get a message out.”
Gore will have an unpaid seat on the board of the new Al Jazeera channel…
3. French Minister calls on Twitter to ban hate speech
Najat Belkacem-Vallaud is France’s Minister of Women’s rights. She wrote in Le Monde this week that Twitter should ban hate speech and that she would start working with the social media site starting January 7 to explore ways to do so.
Belkacem-Vallaud has become increasingly concerned about a slew of recently trending topics that are anti-semitic, racist and homophobic.
According to the story on Mashable, #SiMonFilsEstGay (“If my son is gay”), #unjuifmort (“a dead Jew”), #unbonjuif (“a good Jew”) and #SiMaFilleRamèneUnNoir (“If my daughter brings home a Black”) have trended in France over the past two months.
She argued that this sort of speech is illegal according to national law in the French newspaper Le Monde. Belkacem-Vallaud wrote:
“…I want, without prejudice to any legal action, to call upon Twitter’s sense of responsibility, so that it can contribute to the prevention and the avoidance of misbehavior like this…I want us to be able to work together, along with the most important associated agencies, to put in place alerts and security measures that will ensure that the unfortunate events that we have witnessed in recent weeks will not occur again.”
4. Oscar nominations delayed due to glitch in email voting system
Seems like the word “deadline” has lost all meaning to everyone — everyone in Washington, and now everyone in Hollywood. This week, the voting period for Oscar nominations was extended by a day. The reason? A glitch in the new email voting system.
Early last year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences moved voting for the Oscars to an online, e-voting system for the first time in its history. No more paper ballots, they said. However, due to a glitch that causes members to receive faulty passwords to log in with, paper ballots are being sent out once more.
E-voting sounds like a great idea, except when you consider that some voting members don’t even have internet access. Observers say that these “moves into the future” and glitches will have an impact on the types of films that get nominations (more progressive and contemporary) and take home the gold guy.
Winners of the Oscars will be voted on using the same “Everyone Counts” system. Let’s just hope that everyone’s vote does get counted on time.
The nominations will be announced on January 10. The Oscars will take place on February 24. You can bet Seth MacFarlane will do at least one joke about this during Oscar night.
Read Marketplace Technology’s story on why the Academy has been so resistant to online voting. A hint: security.
Let’s review what we’ve learned this week:
- Larry Page is still scared shitless of Mark Zuckerberg
- The only green thing Al Gore ever cared about is money
- Not all French are laissez-faire
- Ted is going to win best film at the Oscars this year
“For the fourth year running, online consumers searched for “Facebook” more than any other term in 2012, according to new data from Experian.”
How is this possible? Mark dropped “the” from its URL long, long ago. Are people that lazy and can’t type “Facebook” into their browsers? Or, does this represent the number of users who type “Facebook” into their Chrome address bar or Firefox Google Search bar? Like when I search for Yahoo Fantasy Football…
“New to the top 50 in 2012 backpage were search terms like ‘cool math games,’ ‘fox news,’ ‘pinterest,’ and ‘pof’ — apparently an acronym for Plenty of Fish, a fast-rising online dating site.
“Experian bases its findings on the top 1,000 unfiltered U.S. search terms across more than 60 search engines, including Google, Bing and Yahoo Search, along with all visits to top Web sites throughout the year.”
Christmas came early this year for Facebook and other social media sites. On December 19, the FTC announced that it had “adopted final amendments to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule.” In its press release the FTC states that these new amendments “strengthen kids’ privacy protections and give parents greater control over the personal information that websites and online services may collect from children under 13.”
In 1998, Congress passed the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, establishing with it a rule that requires operators of websites/online services directed to children under 13 (or have actual knowledge that they are collecting information from children under 13) give notice to parents and get their verifiable consent before collecting, using, or disclosing such personal information, and keep secure the information they collect from children. The rule also prohibits them from conditioning children’s participation in activities on the collection of more personal information than is reasonably necessary for them to participate. The rule contains a “safe harbor” provision that allows industry groups or others to seek FTC approval of self-regulatory guidelines.
Taken from the release, the final amendments are as follows:
- modify the list of “personal information” that cannot be collected without parental notice and consent, clarifying that this category includes geolocation information, photographs, and videos;
- offer companies a streamlined, voluntary and transparent approval process for new ways of getting parental consent;
- close a loophole that allowed kid-directed apps and websites to permit third parties to collect personal information from children through plug-ins without parental notice and consent;
- extend coverage in some of those cases so that the third parties doing the additional collection also have to comply with COPPA;
- extend the COPPA Rule to cover persistent identifiers that can recognize users over time and across different websites or online services, such as IP addresses and mobile device IDs;
- strengthen data security protections by requiring that covered website operators and online service providers take reasonable steps to release children’s personal information only to companies that are capable of keeping it secure and confidential;
- require that covered website operators adopt reasonable procedures for data retention and deletion; and
- strengthen the FTC’s oversight of self-regulatory safe harbor programs.
As reported by the NY Times, Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, wrote in an email of the decision: “We are pleased the Commission clarified the limited circumstances under which providers of social plugins would be subject to Coppa when those plugins are displayed on other websites.”
The new amendments use an “actual knowledge” standard for collecting information about children. “That means social networks and ad networks that collect information from children without knowing that their software is operating on a children’s site or app will not be liable.”
Read the full story at: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/20/childrens-online-privacy-rules-winners-and-losers/