Posts Tagged ‘social networking sites’

China Praises UK Internet Censorship Plan

August 15th, 2011 08:14 admin View Comments


mormop writes “The Chinese government has praised UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan for censoring social networking sites at times when the government feels threatened, believing it legitimizes China own behavior. Quoting Chinese state media website Global Times: ‘Britain’s new attitude will help appease the quarrels between East and West over the future management of the Internet. As for China, advocates of an unlimited development of the Internet should think twice about their original ideas.’”

Source: China Praises UK Internet Censorship Plan

Essex Police Arrest Man Over Blackberry Water Fight Plan

August 15th, 2011 08:19 admin View Comments


An anonymous reader writes “Under the banner headline ‘Police reassure residents they are working to keep county safe,’ Essex police proudly proclaimed that they arrested a 20-year-old man from Colchester who ‘allegedly sent messages from a Blackberry encouraging people to join in a water fight.’ Having also made a number of arrests of people sitting at home on Facebook, Acting Assistant Chief Constable Mason wrote: ‘Police will continue to monitor social networking sites for unlawful activity.’” That’s some good police work there, Lou.

Source: Essex Police Arrest Man Over Blackberry Water Fight Plan

Technology Blamed For Helping UK Rioters

August 9th, 2011 08:55 admin View Comments


Hugh Pickens writes “The WSJ reports that following three nights of rioting and looting in London, Blackberry’s messaging network and social networking sites are being blamed by police, politicians and media organizations for helping rioters in London spread word about the next hot spot . It’s an ‘encrypted, very secure, safe, fast, cheap, free, easy way for disaffected urban youth to spread messages for the next targets,’ says Mike Butcher, editor of TechCrunch Europe and digital advisor to the Mayor of London. But Ian Maude, an analyst at Enders Analysis, said it’s unfair to lay the blame on technology. ‘Certainly, it’s a lot easier for people to communicate with each other in real time via some of these services but that’s a fact of life. They’re not good or evil in themselves, its the purposes for which people use them.’ The Metropolitan Police, known as Scotland Yard, say they are monitoring social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM), the maker of Blackberry smartphones, says it has ‘engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can.’” An anonymous reader points out that the rioters aren’t the only ones using technology. London police have begun posting pictures on Flikr of people they’d like to interview following the riots over the last few days.

Source: Technology Blamed For Helping UK Rioters

Is It Okay to Friend Your Boss on Facebook? (66% Say No)

July 19th, 2011 07:30 admin View Comments

The increasingly digital world in which we now not only live, but also work, gives rise to a whole new set of questions about professional etiquette. When working from a public cafe, is it rude to jump on that conference call? Should you friend your boss on Facebook? Is using emoticons weird?

These are a few of the questions asked in a survey published recently by Harris Interactive and Intermedia. The survey found that 66% of respondents thought connecting with one’s boss via social networking sites like Facebook is inappropriate (presumably, LinkedIn is another story).

An even larger percentage (81%) thought that participating in a conference call in a public place was inappropriate, and the same percentage of respondents frowned upon the act of copying one’s boss on an email “to gain leverage.”

People are a little more tolerant of the idea of texting colleagues after business hours, as only 49% said doing so was not appropriate.


Source: Is It Okay to Friend Your Boss on Facebook? (66% Say No)

From Social Network Pioneer To Yet Another Gaming Site: Friendster Reboots

June 29th, 2011 06:25 admin View Comments

Remember back in April when we reported that Friendster, one of the first dedicated social networking sites, was to unequivocally delete all user profiles photos, blogs, messages, groups and whatnot by May 31?

The site’s owner, MOL Global, at the time said that Friendster would be repositioned as a social entertainment destination site where people could swing by to play games and enjoy music, and that it would leverage Facebook Connect.

This morning, Friendster relaunched as yet another social gaming portal, indeed powered by Facebook Connect (interesting comments over at Hacker News). I’m not seeing anything music-related at this point, but it’s always possible that those plans are still in the works.

If you still have your Friendster login credentials from back in the day, you should still be able to get in with your ancient user name and password.

The site lets you play a number of casual games (I counted about 20) and invite your Facebook, Gmail, Hotmail, AOL or Yahoo contacts to play together.

Friendster also offers an API to help developers deploy games on the network.

Coincidentally, the relaunch comes as Google just launched its answer to Facebook and Twitter, which have become the dominant social networking services after the demise of Friendster and MySpace.

Source: From Social Network Pioneer To Yet Another Gaming Site: Friendster Reboots

Study: You’ve Never Met 7% Of Your Facebook “Friends”

June 16th, 2011 06:02 admin View Comments

A just-released Pew study on the ways people use social networking sites has found, unsurprisingly, that the most popular social network is Facebook, with 92% of social networking users reporting that they have a Facebook account.

The study also found that on average Facebook users have about 229 Friends, with about 22% of their total Friends list being comprised of people they know from high school, 12% extended family, 10% coworkers, 9% college friends, 8% immediate family, 7% people from extracurricular groups and 2% being neighbors.

According to Pew, the average Facebook user has never met 7% of their Facebook “Friends” in real life, which means that on average about 16 people on a given Facebook Friends list are actually more like strangers. Users on average have only met 3% of their list (around 7 people) just once.

These numbers seem about right: A quick scroll down my Facebook Friends list reveals a smattering of people I’ve just added because I know “of” them and a few people I’ve added who I’ve met once at a conference. These not-quite friends Facebook Friends serve as reminders that Facebook should make it easier to mass “un-Friend.”

Either that or come up with a different word for the relationship.

Source: Study: You’ve Never Met 7% Of Your Facebook “Friends”

What Can’t You Say On China’s Social Networks?

June 10th, 2011 06:38 admin View Comments


An anonymous reader writes “China’s 450 million Internet users have taken to social networks in a big way. But these social networking sites, founded on the promise of free expression, have an uneasy existence under an authoritarian regime that punishes certain kinds of expression. This article from IEEE Spectrum tells the story of Sina Weibo, the white-hot social networking phenomenon that has taken over China in the past few years. Citizens have used the microblogging service to protest and rebel — but the Chinese government is getting more sophisticated in its handling of these online grumblings. Side note: an English-language version of Sina Weibo is reportedly on the way. Wonder if it will take off in the US?”

Source: What Can’t You Say On China’s Social Networks?

France Orders Broadcasters to Un-Like Facebook, Unfollow Twitter

June 8th, 2011 06:24 admin View Comments


What’s the News: Radio and television broadcasters in France must soon abandon self-promoting messages like, “Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.†The French equivalent of the FCC, the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), is banning the mention of specific social-networking sites on the radio or TV. While this rule applies to all online social networks, the ruling was directed at the juggernauts Facebook and Twitter.

“Why give preference to Facebook, which is worth billions of dollars, when there are other social networks that are struggling for recognition,†explains CSA spokeswoman Christine Kelly (via the Guardian).

The Criticisms:

  • Bloggers sounded off on the news, ridiculing the CSA and saying they failed to understand that millions of French people have a legitimate desire to share information on Facebook and Twitter. French blogger Benoît Raphael said that the CSA is “giving Americans yet another reason to laugh at France.â€
  • Blogger Matthew Fraser in Paris was quick to claim that this move is another example of France’s hostility towards Anglo-Saxon influences, like when the government outlawed the use of “e-mail†and institutionalized “courriel.â€
  • Surprisingly, there was hardly any reaction from the mainstream French media. It was “business at usual,†says Fraser. The move only became news after outrage from bloggers.

The Workarounds:

To skirt the new rule, bloggers like Raphael have sarcastically come up with phrases for broadcasters to use:

  1. Follow us on that site where your messages can only be 140 characters or less.
  2. Find us on that social network where you usually have “friends.”

What’s the Context:

  • The CSA says that specifically referencing social-networking sites on air violates a 1992 law banning the promotion of private businesses on radio or television programs. Networks in France already blur corporate logos on television to avoid product placement or even unintentional advertising.
  • The U.S. does not have any similar laws prohibiting the mention of brands or companies. Though television shows do sometimes blur corporate logos, this is mainly to avoid conflict with advertisers and lawsuits from companies trying to maintain control of their trademarks.

The Future Holds:

  • The CSA is yet to outline how the new ruling will be enforced or how violators will be punished.
  • The regulators also need to work out how far down the rabbit hole they want to go. Will broadcasters be unable to ask viewers to check out their iPad or iPhone apps?
  • Kelly says that referencing Facebook or Twitter on air will be alright if they someday become generic terms for social networking. For now, specific sites may only be used if they are “pivotal to the story,†says Kelly (via the Guardian).

Image credit: marcopako/flikr

Source: France Orders Broadcasters to Un-Like Facebook, Unfollow Twitter

The Internet Makes You Declare Winners, Unless You’re On French TV

June 3rd, 2011 06:21 admin View Comments

In an extremely absurd move by French TV regulatory agency CSA, the French can no longer say the words ”Facebook” or “Twitter” on television unless they are in the context of a news story. While France has an interesting history of regulating the adoption of commonplace English words through its Toubon Laws the move isn’t Toubon-related.

Rather it’s about the fact that the usage of these words on television constitutes an ad for these specific social networking services according to the CSA’s logic, showing preferential treatment to them and not others like the French-based Skyrock.

Instead of referring to specific social networking pages, like saying “Find us at,” or follow us on “” brands will have to skirt around the issue, saying things like “Find us on social networking sites!,” or directing viewers to their community pages and hoping that viewers will just pick up on where to go.

Now this is just shortsighted. The Internet forces you to pick winners, even if those winners are constantly in flux (years ago news stories about this rule would have had the words “Myspace” and “Friendster” in their headlines).

Right now people Google things and don’t Bing them, despite Bing’s best efforts. Like everybody else, governments need to accept that that it’s okay to acknowledge that some online services are just more popular; Remember when people got all huffy about the US government putting its videos on YouTube? They shouldn’t have.

Because there are clear winners online (and off) you sometimes you just have to work with them, instead of creating archaic go-arounds. There’s also the argument that politics and the CSA are the current winners in this case, being able to cite a law that went into effect in 1992, before the public availability of the Internet in France. But not for long.

Judging by the ongoing popularity of these social networks (see the Facebook-focused music video above) the CSA won’t be #winning for very much longer. There’s a Bob Dylan lyric that sums this dynamic up nicely, “The first one now will later be last … Oh the times there are a changing.”

And until those times change, here are some of French blogger Benoit Raphael’s ways to circumvent the regulation (translated from the French):

Funny: “Find the live coverage of the trial on our thread on the platform to spread messages of 140 characters.

Confused: “You can send your testimonials page on our social network where you usually have” friends.” Caution, don’t get it confused with the other social where you don’t have friends but followers.

Jaded: “Find us where you know …”

Source: The Internet Makes You Declare Winners, Unless You’re On French TV

comScore: Apple Assumes #2 Spot Among Smartphone Platforms In The U.S.

June 3rd, 2011 06:39 admin View Comments

comScore this morning released some interesting data from its MobiLens service, reporting key trends in the U.S. mobile phone industry during the three-month average period ending April 2011.

According to the measurement specialist, 74.6 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during that period, up 13 percent from the three-month period ending in January 2011. Roughly 234 million Americans ages 13 and older used mobile devices.

Google’s Android ranked as the top mobile platform, with 36.4 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers, up 5.2 percentage points. Apple also gained share, assuming the #2 position with 26 percent of the smartphone market. RIM ranked third with a 25.7 percent share, followed by Microsoft (6.7 percent) and Palm (2.6 percent).

The comScore study surveyed more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers and found Samsung to be the top handset manufacturer overall with 24.5 percent market share, followed by LG with 20.9 percent share and Motorola with 15.6 percent share.

On that front, comScore says Apple jumped to the #4 position with 8.3 percent share of mobile subscribers, while RIM rounded out the top five with a 8.2 percent share.

ComScore further reports that 68.8 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device in April 2011. Browsers were reportedly used by 39.1 percent of subscribers (up 2.1 percentage points), while downloaded applications were used by 37.8 percent (up 2.4 percentage points).

Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 2.7 percentage points, representing 28 percent of mobile subscribers. Playing games comprised 26.2 percent of the mobile audience (up 2.5 percentage points), while listening to music represented 18 percent.

Source: comScore: Apple Assumes #2 Spot Among Smartphone Platforms In The U.S.