(Source: The Journal of Consumer Research)

Easy Public Displays Of Support For Charities Lead To Slacktivism

Scroll through your Facebook timeline and you’ll no doubt see any number of people passing on links, photos, stories, invites to groups… all for allegedly good causes. It’s become increasingly simple to say you support things like ending world hunger or providing shelter to victims of natural disaster, while at the same time doing absolutely nothing that actually helps to solve those problems. Such behavior has earned the name “slacktivism,” and a new study aims to show how many people can trick themselves into thinking they have done enough by simply putting on a ribbon or liking a Facebook page. [More]

This Christmas, Fend Off Bad Guys Disguised As Santa With Your New TASER

This Christmas, Fend Off Bad Guys Disguised As Santa With Your New TASER

If we posted every ridiculous or terrible ad that popped up on Facebook, we’d have no pixels left to post anything else. But Patrick encountered this ad for TASER flashlights that is simultaneously strange and scaremongering, and features a balaclava-clad man in a Santa hat meant to scare Facebookers into ordering a handy stun gun flashlight. [More]

Ginormous Hack Targets 2 Million Accounts Spread Over 93,000 Websites Worldwide

Ginormous Hack Targets 2 Million Accounts Spread Over 93,000 Websites Worldwide

About two million people should be checking your social media accounts and anything else one might have a login and password for: Hackers have snagged usernames and passwords for millions of Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo and other sites accounts, according to a new report. [More]

Google Mocks Opacity Of National Security Requests While Feds Try To Hide Court Action From Public

In a transparency report from last year, Google thumbed its nose at the federal laws that limit what can be said about national security requests.

For quite some time, Google and other Internet biggies have argued that they should be able to reveal relatively detailed data to the public about user-information requests from federal law enforcement agencies, and specifically those that fall under that black umbrella of national security. In its latest transparency report, Google uses a visual to show its distaste for this opacity. Meanwhile, the federal government is attempting to argue its case for the lack of transparency behind doors closed so tight that even the others involved in the request won’t be privy to what’s said. [More]

Facebook Wants To Track Where You Move Your Cursor While You Ignore Your Friends’ Posts

Facebook Wants To Track Where You Move Your Cursor While You Ignore Your Friends’ Posts

Because there is nothing that can’t be tracked, quantified, and turned into rad-looking chart/diagram/map, Facebook is now testing its ability to track where users move their cursors while browsing the site, presumably so it can visualize how frequently you click “hide” on all those game invites that never stop. [More]


Facebook Advertisers Rubbing Hands With Glee Now That Teens Can Post Publicly

While Facebook’s announcement yesterday that teens 13-17 will now be able to join the adult masses in sharing their posts publicly is touted by the company as a way to give youngsters more choices, it probably has a lot more to do with money. When advertisers see teens, after all, they’re basically seeing piles and piles of cash futzing around on social media all day with their pals, just waiting to be marketed to. [More]

This is the notice that users still employing the old search opt-out will receive.

You’ll Need To Change Your Settings To Avoid Showing Up In Facebook Search

Back when Facebook introduced its Graph Search functionality, it took away the old “Who can look up your Timeline by name?” setting for people who weren’t using it, but kept it on for users who still wanted to avoid showing up in search results. Now, that grandfathered option is going away for everyone. [More]

Examples of what Google's  "Shared Endorsements" look like.

Google Gives Itself The Right To Make Money Off Users’ Names & Photos

If you’re a Google user, be prepared to possibly have your name, photos, and any comments you might have made using that account used in ads that Google will make money from. The company quietly announced a change to its Terms of Service this morning, giving itself the ability to exploits user profiles in “Shared Endorsements.” [More]

Who Is To Blame For Creating Hashtags?

Who Is To Blame For Creating Hashtags?

Full disclosure: I despise hashtags. They’re visually distracting and over-deployed, to the point where many Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook posts now look like someone got drunk and passed out on his keyboard’s number pad. Even worse, the jerks in marketing have grabbed hold of the hashtag, desperately slapping a “#” before their brand names, all for the purpose of tracking public sentiment and creating really neat-looking graphs and charts to justify spending more money on hashtag-based marketing. To misappropriate a quote from The Thin Red Line, “This great evil. Where does it come from? How’d it steal into the world? What seed, what root did it grow from?” [More]


Court: Facebook “Likes” Are Protected Speech, Shouldn’t Get You Fired From Your Job

If your boss doesn’t like that you “like” a competitor on Facebook, can you be fired from your job? According to a federal appeals court, the answer is no, as hitting a “like” button on Facebook is Constitutionally protected speech under the First Amendment. [More]

FTC Looking Into Recent Change To Facebook Privacy Policy

FTC Looking Into Recent Change To Facebook Privacy Policy

Back in 2011, Facebook settled charges with the Federal Trade Commission that the website deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information private, only to repeatedly allow that information to be shared and made public. The settlement requires that Facebook get explicit permission from users before sharing such information, but the FTC wants to know if the website’s latest privacy update violates that agreement. [More]


Facebook’s Policy Changes Will Mean Your Content Can Be Used In Ads If You Use Facebook

Facebook has learned its lesson about not explaining what content it will use in ads, after that whole Sponsored Stories legal saga that finally concluded recently, but that doesn’t mean the social media company doesn’t still want to use your pretty mug to market products and services to your pals. It’s just explaining ahead of time that it’ll happen, and if you want to use the site at all you’ll have to be cool with that . Oh, and you won’t be compensated. Facebook is free, after all. [More]

(Daniel Funtebeula P.)

Facebook Provided User Info In 79% Of Requests From U.S. Government

Earlier today, Facebook released a report on governmental data requests made during the last six months, showing that there were between 11,000 and 12,000 requests made by the U.S. government during that short period of time, and that the website shared at least some information in nearly 4 out of 5 requests. [More]


Can’t Get Approved For A Loan? Blame Your Facebook Friends

Maybe it’s time you finally accept your great-uncle Aloysius’ Facebook friend request — if not out of familial love, perhaps if he happens to be particularly credit-worthy. Because if a new report is to be believed, not only do you have to worry about how that one lost video rental dinged your credit score, but you could miss out on a loan if your social media contacts are deemed to be financially unsavory. [More]

The Zuck, a man with a plan.

Mark Zuckerberg Wants World’s 5 Billion Without Internet To Get Connected (And On Facebook?)

Forget trying to buy the world a Coke — Mark Zuckerberg would like to connect the five billion people on the planet who don’t have Internet with the rest of the online world. And while yes, of course, since he’s the founder and CEO of Facebook, one might assume that the more of those people who have access to the World Wide Web, the more there’ll be on Facebook. But he says it’s really about connecting people. On Facebook. Okay, really — just about connecting. [More]

Domino’s Pizza Is So Used To Complaints, It Can’t Take A Compliment

Domino’s Pizza Is So Used To Complaints, It Can’t Take A Compliment

You know how some people are conditioned to believe that any statement directed at them must be a complaint, so they don’t know how to react when someone says something nice? That’s apparently the mindset of whatever robot responds to customers on the Domino’s Pizza Facebook page. [More]


Cafe Owner Learns That Attempts At Snark Will Not Go Over Well With Customers On Facebook

It is totally okay to be a sarcastic person, as we live in a world where each and every human is unique snowflake. But there comes a time when perhaps it’s not a bad idea to curb that snarky nature, like when dealing with messy customers. A cafe owner in Washington learned that lesson after she posted about a group of crumb-spewing people who had frequented her business. [More]

Dear Facebook: Please Do Not Start Running Video Ads

Dear Facebook: Please Do Not Start Running Video Ads

Ever since Facebook went public in 2012, the pressure has been on for the social networking site (if one considers posting baby photos and Buzzfeed links to be “social networking”) to start leveraging its massive audience for ad revenue. And back when its stock price was around the cost of lunch at a diner, auto-play video ads seemed inevitable. And even after recent upticks in Facebook’s value, it looks like the company wants to drive y’all away with these ads that consumers avoid like the plague. [More]