Will Facebook “archive” the One Million Strong for Barack group?

This group is scheduled to be archived

With Facebook announcing an “upgrade or die” policy for old-style groups, it’s a stressful time for One Million Strong for Barack.  As the Erratic Synapse writes in Facebook Stands Poised to Take Our Group of Over 980,000 Obama Supporters… Back to 0 on Daily Kos,

Here’s the problem: our group may not be eligible for upgrade. Furthermore, any group that fails to upgrade is “archived”, where it is converted to the new format anyway, but we lose all of our members.

Bummer.

Continue Reading »

Uncategorized

Comments (2)

Permalink

The first Facebook skirmish of the 2012 election

ABC News, LA Times and other media reports show how ForAmerica FB fans crashed Obama's Facebook Townhall page today.

Not too shabby at all.  The Town Hall itself seems to have gone well (Ryan Singel’s Softball questions, familiar themes has the details in Wired, and Sharon Gaudin’s A Sign of Things to Come in Computerworld puts it in context), but there’s no question that ForAmerica showed a lot of strength on what used to be Obama’s home turf.

Linnie Rawlinson’s Will the 2008 USA election be won on Facebook? is a great portrait of where things were at this stage in the last presidential election.  Social networks played a huge role in Obama’s victory, and the One Million Strong for Barack group was the epicenter on Facebook.  There was plenty of trolling then too (like the time the Hillary Clinton group was overrun by troll mob), but most of the campaigning was positive.  Cognitive diversity and the 2008 US election discusses about some of the group’s successes — and has plenty of statistics showing how what a big advantage Obama had on social networks.

Since then, though, conservatives and tea partiers have been far more successful at organizing on social networks.  On Facebook, the energy and participation in the One Million Strong group has dwindled, and while Obama’s page has almost 20,000,000 followers it doesn’t allow for a lot of participation and discussion.  Byron Tau’s Obama Faces Brave New Web World in Politico sets the scene for the 2012 battle.*  Perhaps ForAmerica’s successful action will act as a wake-up call to the Democrats.

In the LA Times, Michael Memoli quotes ForAmerica’s chariman Brent Bozell as saying “We are only beginning to see the untapped power of this growing, formidable online army.”  It’s going to be an interesting 18 months …

jon

* and includes the mandatory reference to Get FISA Right 🙂

Personal
Tales from the Net

Comments (2)

Permalink

Save the Rave: Stop Surveillance in San Francisco

Save the Rave: Come down to City Hall TOMORROW night

Hot on the heels of last month’s joint San Francisco Youth and Entertainment Commission’s hearing on electronic dance music, we’re back with a sequel.   Now, in what Jim Harper of Cato calls a “jaw-dropping attack on privacy and free assembly“, the San Francisco Police Department has proposed onerous new conditions for permitting for all venues with more than 100 people.  For example:

3. All occupants of the premises shall be ID Scanned (including patrons, promoters, and performers, etc.). ID scanning data shall be maintained on a data storage system for no less than 15 days and shall be made available to local law enforcement upon request.

4. High visibility cameras shall be located at each entrance and exit point of the premises. Said cameras shall maintain a recorded data base for no less than fifteen (15 days) and made available to local law enforcement upon request.

Yikes!   As Deborah Pierce of Privacy Activism says, “We go to clubs to relax and spend time with friends. Knowing that all of your interactions are being recorded and that those images may be matched to your driver’s license information and handed over to the police at any time chills all manner of speech and association.” Yeah really.   And there are issues from the business perspective as well; on his Facebook profile, Save the Rave organizer Liam Shy summed it up as “Increased unnecessary burden/right to privacy conerns = fewer events, fewer folks attending events.”  Indeed.

Continue Reading »

Personal
privacy
Tales from the Net

Comments (5)

Permalink

Security alert: bots using Facebook chat

If somebody starts chatting with you and asks you to try a link, be wary …

2010-11-22_0905

No, I didn’t click on the link. I do my best to keep up with security patches, but why take the chance of visiting a site that’s likely to be filled with malware?

Uncategorized

Comments (2)

Permalink

Collective intelligence, diversity, and social networks

Originally published as “Hold that thought”
(Part 5 of “TechCrunch, disrupted”)

The day after TechCrunch Disrupt ended, a fascinating study on “collective intelligence” led by Anita Woolley of Carnegie Mellon University appeared in Science.   The researchers found that a group’s success in solving problems wasn’t correlated to the average intelligence of the group, or the IQ of the smartest person.  Instead, it was related to “social sensitivity”, whether everybody got to participate in the discussions, and the number of women in the group.

The article’s behind a paywall, but Malicia Rogue’s On savvy and groups discusses it in detail and provides a lot of background.  There’s an excellent discussion on GeekFeminism, a podcast on CBC, and good articles in National Geographic, NPR, Science Daily, and The Globe and Mail.

Nobody mentioned it in the press coverage, but these results also align with Scott Page’s underlying model of the value of cognitive diversity in problem solving. Diversity = Productivity summarizes Scott’s work showing why diverse teams perform better than individual experts or even teams of experts — if they can work together effectively, that is.*   So while there’s a lot more to discuss about this study, for now let’s just accept its results at face value and hypothesize that they apply to larger teams as well.

Now consider a group that we’ll call “TechCrunch and friends”.  How effective would we expect them to be at problem solving?
Continue Reading »

Uncategorized

Comments (7)

Permalink

Is Facebook subject to breach notification laws for revealing phone numbers?

Security warning: If you don’t intend to share your phone number on Facebook, ask a friend to check their Phonebookand see if it’s there.  And it’s a good time to check to your privacy settings — my brother Greg has instructions on The Happy Accident.

Update, October 7: See the Twitter discussion in the first comment.

Continue Reading »

Uncategorized

Comments (1)

Permalink

Iran, censorship, social networks — and hundreds of thousands of people risking their lives

new photos from today in Tehran from @mousavi1388

“I think the filters and the restrictions have been going on for so long in Iran that the experienced people are already prepared for this,” said Jon Pincus, a former Microsoft project manager and digital activist who works on projects promoting online freedom.

Iranians dodging internet censorship , Doug Gross, CNN

The OpenNet Initiative’s Cracking down on digital communication and political organizing in Iran is a good summary of the situation there, and their research report has a lot more details.  Thus far, at least, the internet is largely routing around censorship: despite severe filtering by the government, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube have played huge roles in the protests.

The Mir Hossein Mousavi میر حسین موسوی Facebook page is one important example, updated regularly with instructions and requests for help and information.  Tuesday, when the sites hosting the “guide to cyber-warfare in Iran” were going down under DDoS attacks, they sent a link to a text version of this to all the supporters.  This is a very efficient way to get credible information distributed broadly internationally, in easy-to-forward form — and even when Facebook is blocked in Iran, information can flow back into the country through whatever other channels are open.

Continue Reading »

Uncategorized

Comments (4)

Permalink

Facebook reverts to previous TOS. A win for social network activism!

With over 90,000 members in the protest group on Facebook, EPIC (the Electronic Privacy Information Center) and other privacy organizations filing a complaint readying a complaint to file with the FTC, over 750 articles, and headlines like Facebook seems to have a trust problem, it’s not too surprising that Facebook decided to rethink their stance on the Terms of Service changes.

And sure enough, from Mark Zuckerberg’s Update on terms late last night:

Going forward, we’ve decided to take a new approach towards developing our terms. We concluded that returning to our previous terms was the right thing for now….

Continue Reading »

privacy
social computing
Tales from the Net

Comments (7)

Permalink

Zuckerberg: “we wouldn’t share your information in a way you wouldn’t want.” Oh really?

Mark Zuckerberg has a comment up on the Facebook blog in response to the firestorm about their new terms of service:

Our philosophy is that people own their information and control who they share it with. When a person shares information on Facebook, they first need to grant Facebook a license to use that information so that we can show it to the other people they’ve asked us to share it with. Without this license, we couldn’t help people share that information.

He then goes through the simple scenario of a user sending messages and then deleting his or her account.  Should the messages disappear?  Mark says no, and notes that this is also how email works.   Of course this doesn’t have much to do with the reasons why people are upset — what about photos, for example?  What about Facebook reserving the right to sub-license, i.e. profit from, the content that’s been deleted?  Hmm.

Continue Reading »

privacy
social computing

Comments (11)

Permalink

Facebook: all your content are belong to us. FOREVER! Protests ensue.

Facebook’s terms of service (TOS) used to say that when you closed an account on their network, any rights they claimed to the original content you uploaded would expire. Not anymore.

Chris Walters in The Consumerist

And people aren’t happy about it.  Anne Kathrine Yojana Petterøe’s People Against the new Terms of Service (TOS) protest group had about 900 members when I joined at 7:30.  By the time I posted this at 9:30 it was over 1650, which puts the growth rate at an astonishing 35%+ per hour.  After inviting another 50+ people on Facebook and retweeting, I sent mail to some colleagues encouraging them to check it out:

If you haven’t been tracking social network activism campaigns, this could be an intersting one.  The “call to action” in the protest group is very crisp; and it’s a great example of a campaign crossing social networks.

A Twitter search for “TOS” is a good way to follow the discussion; the Twitter #facebook hashtag is hopping as well.  Both have been in the top 10 trending topics on Twitter all morning, with TOS currently at #2.

Continue Reading »

privacy
social computing

Comments (12)

Permalink

“Dailyish updates” (draft post for The Seminal)

Draft.  Work in progress — feedback welcome!

The revised version will (hopefully) be posted on The Seminal

Continue Reading »

political
social computing
Tales from the Net

Comments (2)

Permalink

Zuckerberg: Facebook to ratchet up exploitation, only bans “outliers”

Richard Wray, in Facebook aims to market its user data bank to businesses on guardian.co.uk:

Facebook intends to capitalise on the wealth of information it has about its users by offering its 150 million-strong customer base to corporations as a market research tool. The appearance, later this year, of corporate polls targeted at certain parts of the Facebook audience because of the information they have posted on their pages, is likely to infuriate privacy campaigners.

No, ya think?

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg, sporting a tie, demoed it at Davos.  (No report on whether any attendees brought up privacy issues.)  Mark also shmoozed with Robert Scoble about Facebook’s “intense” year, and defended Facebook’s arbitrary and secretive banning policy:

He also said that his system looks for “outlying” behavior. He said if you behave like an average user you should never trigger the algorithms that will get you kicked off.

Continue Reading »

Uncategorized

Comments (4)

Permalink