Posts tagged with ‘social networks’

On the Credibility & Potential of Citizen Journalism

The Guardian’s Kate Bulkley recently wrote a piece on the proliferation of citizen journalism, whether it can be trusted, how it might augment traditional documentary, and how it has unique marketing value on social networks. An excerpt

But current affairs is clearly benefiting from citizen journalism and video testimony from ordinary citizens. “Social networks are opening up whole new vistas for documentary filmmakers,” enthuses Chris Shaw, editorial director ITN Productions. “You can make the most amazing films using content from social networks, sometimes with the permission and sometimes without the permission of the people who shot them.”

Shaw says that ITN’s documentary, Syria’s Torture Machine, for Channel 4, drew on about 30,000 clips that have been uploaded on various social network sites, including “trophy videos” from Syrian military torturers and footage from local families and citizens caught up in demonstrations. “I think there is a sense that objective journalism is not the same as trawling social networks for citizen reportage and imagery, but there are two problems with that view,” says Shaw. “First there are places like Syria where journalists haven’t been able to go and second there is an extraordinary resource on social networks for current affairs, even though we have to take extraordinary caution to verify what we use.”

In Shaw’s view, the way forward is to mix “citizen video” with professionally shot footage to come up with a more rounded picture. “It’s a whole new force of amazing, raw and close-to-the action footage and there is a lot more of it,” says Shaw. “In the old days we would find one image of someone’s feet being beaten with a cable, but now we get 20 of them. Although it is disturbing, we can begin to see patterns and to build a better picture of the scale of abuse – and that has got to be a good thing for the film.”

FJP: Another byproduct of citizen journalism is the proliferation of tools and tutorials to help people get better equipped with the craft. We posted about one a few months ago. 

Bonus: For further reading, and a class on the matter, see this screencast from a course Michael taught at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He writes:

Are citizen journalists more agile than their professional counterparts, often breaking news before the big boys have had time to react?

The answer is quantitative and anecdotal rather than qualitative, and looks in part on how people use social tools such as Twitter and Facebook to report on the world around them. (Keep reading)

It's a Facebook World →

Via Experian Hitwise:

  1. Facebook.com received 9% of all US Internet visits in April 2012.
  2. Facebook.com received more than 1.6 billion visits a week and averaged more than 229 million US visits a day for the year-to-date.
  3. 1 in every 5 page views in the US occurred on Facebook.com.
  4. Facebook.com has received more than 400 billion page views this year in the US.
  5. The average visit time on Facebook.com is 20 minutes.
  6. The Facebook.com audience skews more female (56%) than male.

Read through for nine more Facebook stats.

Abraham Lincoln Filed a Patent for Facebook in 1845 →

dbreunig:

Nate St. Pierre writes:

Lincoln was requesting a patent for “The Gazette,” a system to “keep People aware of Others in the Town.” He laid out a plan where every town would have its own Gazette, named after the town itself. He listed the Springfield Gazette as his Visual Appendix, an example of the system he was talking about. Lincoln was proposing that each town build a centrally located collection of documents where “every Man may have his own page, where he might discuss his Family, his Work, and his Various Endeavors.”

He went on to propose that “each Man may decide if he shall make his page Available to the entire Town, or only to those with whom he has established Family or Friendship.” Evidently there was to be someone overseeing this collection of documents, and he would somehow know which pages anyone could look at, and which ones only certain people could see (it wasn’t quite clear in the application). Lincoln stated that these documents could be updated “at any time deemed Fit or Necessary,” so that anyone in town could know what was going on in their friends’ lives “without being Present in Body.”

A patent request for Facebook, filed by Abraham Lincoln in 1845.

I’ve long argued Facebook is working towards natural or timeless (for lack of better words) human interaction. That their central idea is relevant in any age should not be surprising.

(Though it is astounding Lincoln was imagining a nearly identical privacy system.)

(Via The Next Web)

FJP: Color me fascinated — Michael.

UPDATE: Like most things too good to be true, so too is this. Yes, we reblogged before checking into it. Yes, lesson learned.

Facebook Social Reader Engagement is Cratering
Via Buzzfeed:

The Washington Post was the first publication to experiment with a “frictionless” social reader app, which launched last year. If you use Facebook you’ve probably come across it: it manifests as a clustered list of stories that are almost completely unrelated except for the fact that they all come from the same publication.
If you decide to click on a link it doesn’t take you to the story. Instead, it shunts you over to a signup screen for Social Reader, which you have to accept if you want to make it through to the site. This forceful behavior is how the Post’s reader app gained tens of millions of users in a few short months; it’s also how, as Jeff Bercovici at Forbes pointed out this morning, the Washington Post seems to have worn its readers — or Facebook — out. They’re annoyed, and they’re quitting in droves.

Via CNET:

Even worse, the tool had been getting more than 4 million daily users as recently as the second week of April, but ended up near zero for most of the rest of the month and is currently wallowing at around 220,000 daily. The publication’s social reader is advertised with this catchy plug: “News travels fast on Washington Post Social Reader. Get articles from the Web’s best sources, instantly share the stories you read with your friends, and see what your friends are reading. Start spreading the news!”
But what seems clear is that the only thing that’s spreading is a viral disgust with the application.
The same seems to hold true of other social readers. Dailymotion, which is a video site that features a social-reading app, also seems to be hemorrhaging users, dropping from a high of about 3.5 million in early April to about 670,000 today. And The Guardian, which topped out at nearly 6 million monthly average users and was still at 5.5 million last week, has now fallen to 3.9 million monthly average users.

FJP: Possible cause — interface design within Facebook is annoying. A user shares an article, you’re interested so select a link but instead of going to the article you’re brought to an interstitial page where you’re required to sign up for the app in order to access the content.
Second possible cause — as we share and share and share, we’re beginning to realize that a lot of what we read is a bit silly and it might be better not to share so much.
Third possible cause — as suggested by the Washington Post’s Engagement Producer Ryan Kellet, Facebook’s “Trending Articles” feature is superseding Social Reader stories by decreasing their prominence and bucketing “most important” stories all in one place. Again, an interface issue. — Michael

Facebook Social Reader Engagement is Cratering

Via Buzzfeed:

The Washington Post was the first publication to experiment with a “frictionless” social reader app, which launched last year. If you use Facebook you’ve probably come across it: it manifests as a clustered list of stories that are almost completely unrelated except for the fact that they all come from the same publication.

If you decide to click on a link it doesn’t take you to the story. Instead, it shunts you over to a signup screen for Social Reader, which you have to accept if you want to make it through to the site. This forceful behavior is how the Post’s reader app gained tens of millions of users in a few short months; it’s also how, as Jeff Bercovici at Forbes pointed out this morning, the Washington Post seems to have worn its readers — or Facebook — out. They’re annoyed, and they’re quitting in droves.

Via CNET:

Even worse, the tool had been getting more than 4 million daily users as recently as the second week of April, but ended up near zero for most of the rest of the month and is currently wallowing at around 220,000 daily. The publication’s social reader is advertised with this catchy plug: “News travels fast on Washington Post Social Reader. Get articles from the Web’s best sources, instantly share the stories you read with your friends, and see what your friends are reading. Start spreading the news!”

But what seems clear is that the only thing that’s spreading is a viral disgust with the application.

The same seems to hold true of other social readers. Dailymotion, which is a video site that features a social-reading app, also seems to be hemorrhaging users, dropping from a high of about 3.5 million in early April to about 670,000 today. And The Guardian, which topped out at nearly 6 million monthly average users and was still at 5.5 million last week, has now fallen to 3.9 million monthly average users.

FJP: Possible cause — interface design within Facebook is annoying. A user shares an article, you’re interested so select a link but instead of going to the article you’re brought to an interstitial page where you’re required to sign up for the app in order to access the content.

Second possible cause — as we share and share and share, we’re beginning to realize that a lot of what we read is a bit silly and it might be better not to share so much.

Third possible cause — as suggested by the Washington Post’s Engagement Producer Ryan Kellet, Facebook’s “Trending Articles” feature is superseding Social Reader stories by decreasing their prominence and bucketing “most important” stories all in one place. Again, an interface issue. — Michael

U.S. Patent No. 8,171,128 — “Communicating a newsfeed of media content based on a member’s interactions in a social network environment” – Filed on August 11, 2006, and granted on May 1, 2012.

Facebook patents the News Feed, via ZDNet.

The question then becomes: will they use the patent offensively or defensively against other social networks that display news feeds in much the same way (eg., Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc.).

Via ZDNet:

Reading the patent more closely, you’ll see Facebook discusses how to let users see certain status updates, pictures, links to videos, and even actions friends take. The social networking giant describes keeping a profile of each person on the social network in a database, identifying relationships between said users, generating “stories” based on the connections, and then creating a News Feed for each user.

Last but certainly not least, Facebook watches what actions the viewer takes in response to the stories (such as Liking, Sharing, or commenting), and then uses that information to serve more stories. It’s also noted that content can come from outside the social network and that users can change preference settings to filter in or out what stories they see.

Tumblr Firehose Now Brought to you by Gnip
Gnip, a Colorado-based startup that provides data streams from sources such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, announced an exclusive deal to distribute the Tumblr firehose.
Gnip, and services like it, is used by companies to monitor conversation and activity across social networks.
Via Gnip CEO Chris Moody:

I’m thrilled to announce that the full firehose of public Tumblr posts is now available exclusively from Gnip. Tumblr is one of the fastest growing social networks in the world. Much of this growth is fueled by the enormous number of conversations that are unique to the Tumblr community. These conversations cover a huge range of subjects, from movies, TV shows and fashion to business, apparel and consumer products…
…It doesn’t take a large leap to see the impact this type of information can have on brand management and product development. The conversations on Tumblr are rich in images and discussion about brands and products, from simply sharing a picture about a favorite pair of shoes to reblogging news about favorite brand. And given the highly social nature of the Tumblr community, these discussions move quickly and broadly through the community. You often see posts that are shared tens of thousands of times. For brands, every conversation matters and access to the full firehose ensures they won’t miss a thing.

Moody notes that 50 million new posts appear on Tumblr each day and that the network had 300% traffic growth last year.

Tumblr Firehose Now Brought to you by Gnip

Gnip, a Colorado-based startup that provides data streams from sources such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, announced an exclusive deal to distribute the Tumblr firehose.

Gnip, and services like it, is used by companies to monitor conversation and activity across social networks.

Via Gnip CEO Chris Moody:

I’m thrilled to announce that the full firehose of public Tumblr posts is now available exclusively from Gnip. Tumblr is one of the fastest growing social networks in the world. Much of this growth is fueled by the enormous number of conversations that are unique to the Tumblr community. These conversations cover a huge range of subjects, from movies, TV shows and fashion to business, apparel and consumer products…

…It doesn’t take a large leap to see the impact this type of information can have on brand management and product development. The conversations on Tumblr are rich in images and discussion about brands and products, from simply sharing a picture about a favorite pair of shoes to reblogging news about favorite brand. And given the highly social nature of the Tumblr community, these discussions move quickly and broadly through the community. You often see posts that are shared tens of thousands of times. For brands, every conversation matters and access to the full firehose ensures they won’t miss a thing.

Moody notes that 50 million new posts appear on Tumblr each day and that the network had 300% traffic growth last year.

Paedophilia, necrophilia, beheadings, suicides, etc. I left [because] I value my sanity.

A Facebook moderator explaining why he quit his job monitoring content on the social network. Via The Daily Telegraph, The dark side of Facebook.

Background: Facebook outsources much of its content moderation around the world. There are privacy concerns, of course, but here’s how it generally works:

Last month, 21-year-old Amine Derkaoui gave an interview to Gawker, an American media outlet. Derkaoui had spent three weeks working in Morocco for oDesk, one of the outsourcing companies used by Facebook. His job, for which he claimed he was paid around $1 an hour, involved moderating photos and posts flagged as unsuitable by other users.

“It must be the worst salary paid by Facebook,” he told The Daily Telegraph this week. “And the job itself was very upsetting – no one likes to see a human cut into pieces every day.”

Derkaoui is not exaggerating. An articulate man, he described images of animal abuse, butchered bodies and videos of fights. Other moderators, mainly young, well-educated people working in Asia, Africa and Central America, have similar stories…

…Of course, not all of the unsuitable material on the site is so graphic. Facebook operates a fascinatingly strict set of guidelines determining what should be deleted. Pictures of naked private parts, drugs (apart from marijuana) and sexual activity (apart from foreplay) are all banned. Male nipples are OK, but naked breastfeeding is not. Photographs of bodily fluids (except semen) are allowed, but not if a human being is also shown. Photoshopped images are fine, but not if they show someone in a negative light.

Once something is reported by a user, the moderator sitting at his computer in Morocco or Mexico has three options: delete it; ignore it; or escalate it, which refers it back to a Facebook employee in California (who will, if necessary, report it to the authorities).

Visualizing User activity on Google+

For network theory nerds, watch what happens with strong and weak links between community clusters.

By Artem Zubkov 

Is A Reblog The New Byline?

Interesting idea submitted by Alakananda Mookerjee (blog / Tumblr) — FJP.

My reloaded résumé quotes a quixotic statistic—the number of my original and curated posts. I mention the number of times I have reblogged others, and others, have reblogged me. 

No, I am quipping. But, stick around.

As nearly all of us know, today, the profession of news reporting is in a state of creative destruction. 

This is the Golden Age of Social Networks. It is the heyday of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Google+, among countless other networks. 

To borrow a phrase from David Brooks’ op-ed in The New York Times, “The Saga of Sister Kiki, “online, eyeballs and page-views are king.” 

But, regardless, a byline is what it is—a prestige. And the more venerable a publication it appears in, the greater its journalistic stock value. 

When reputable news organizations, everyone from The Economist to The New Yorker to the NPR have eagerly taken up social blogging, it is not terribly irrelevant to ask if getting reblogged on Tumblr, by a media heavyweight, is the digital equivalent of a byline in its print or online version.  

A narcissistic life-form, who believes in selfless self-promotion, may well put that on her or his résumé, stating that her or his post was reblogged by The Washington Post.

No? 

Social Media? That’s So 17th Century

Via Open Culture:

Before there was Twitter, Facebook and Google+, Europeans living in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had to deal with their own version of information overload. Emerging postal systems, the proliferation of short letters called billets, and the birth of newspapers and pamphlets all pumped unprecedented amounts of information — valuable information, gossip, chatter and the rest — through newly-emerging social networks, which eventually played a critical role in the French Revolution, much like Twitter and Facebook proved instrumental in organizing the Arab Spring.

Global Mood Swings, Measured With Tweets
Cornell University researchers analyzed Twitter posts from around the globe to study the collective mood of people across cultures.
What they found is that we’re mostly the same. Via the study:

We found that individuals awaken in a good mood that deteriorates as the day progresses—which is consistent with the effects of sleep and circadian rhythm—and that seasonal change in baseline positive affect varies with change in daylength.

As the New York Times explains, using Twitter and other social networks for such analysis has its limitations.
“Tweets may tell us more about what the tweeter thinks the follower wants to hear than about what the tweeter is actually feeling,” Dan Gilbert, a Harvard psychologist, tells the Times. 
Also via the New York Times:

The study’s authors, Scott A. Golder and Michael W. Macy, acknowledge such limitations and worked to correct for them. In the study, they collected up to 400 messages from each of 2.4 million Twitter users writing in English, posted from February 2008 through January 2010. They performed text analysis on each message, using a standard computer program that associates certain words, like “awesome” and “agree,” with positive moods and others, like “annoy” and “afraid,” with negative states. They included so-called emoticons, the face symbols like “:)” that punctuate digital missives. The researchers gained access to the messages through Twitter, using an interface that allows scientists as well as software developers to work with the data.
The pair found that about 7 percent of the users qualified as “night owls,” showing peaks in upbeat-sounding messages around midnight and beyond, and about 16 percent were morning people, who showed such peaks very early in the day. After accounting for these differences, the researchers determined that for the average user in each country, positive posts crested around breakfast time, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.; they fell off gradually until hitting a trough between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., then drifted upward, rising more sharply after dinner.

Another global similarity: Weekend time is fun time.

Global Mood Swings, Measured With Tweets

Cornell University researchers analyzed Twitter posts from around the globe to study the collective mood of people across cultures.

What they found is that we’re mostly the same. Via the study:

We found that individuals awaken in a good mood that deteriorates as the day progresses—which is consistent with the effects of sleep and circadian rhythm—and that seasonal change in baseline positive affect varies with change in daylength.

As the New York Times explains, using Twitter and other social networks for such analysis has its limitations.

“Tweets may tell us more about what the tweeter thinks the follower wants to hear than about what the tweeter is actually feeling,” Dan Gilbert, a Harvard psychologist, tells the Times

Also via the New York Times:

The study’s authors, Scott A. Golder and Michael W. Macy, acknowledge such limitations and worked to correct for them. In the study, they collected up to 400 messages from each of 2.4 million Twitter users writing in English, posted from February 2008 through January 2010. They performed text analysis on each message, using a standard computer program that associates certain words, like “awesome” and “agree,” with positive moods and others, like “annoy” and “afraid,” with negative states. They included so-called emoticons, the face symbols like “:)” that punctuate digital missives. The researchers gained access to the messages through Twitter, using an interface that allows scientists as well as software developers to work with the data.

The pair found that about 7 percent of the users qualified as “night owls,” showing peaks in upbeat-sounding messages around midnight and beyond, and about 16 percent were morning people, who showed such peaks very early in the day. After accounting for these differences, the researchers determined that for the average user in each country, positive posts crested around breakfast time, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.; they fell off gradually until hitting a trough between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., then drifted upward, rising more sharply after dinner.

Another global similarity: Weekend time is fun time.

Who Wants Signal if You Can Amplify the Noise
In his recent keynote at Facebook’s F8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg talked about how the company is implementing “frictionless” sharing.  
By frictionless Zuckerberg means that we no longer need to proactively like something in order to share it on our walls. Instead, by merely visiting a site or using a service that integrates with Facebook (think, for example, of news sites and the music service Spotify), our actions are tracked and reported back to our friends via what’s being dubbed the Facebook Timeline.
If you use Last.fm and are familiar with Scrobbling, the concept should be fairly clear. If you don’t and aren’t, Last.fm’s desktop and mobile apps keep track of the songs you’ve listened to and sends that information back to your Last.fm profile so that your friends there can see what you’re listening to. They call this Scrobbling. It’s all passive. You don’t need to do anything except to listen.
Facebook Timeline is Scrobbling writ large across the Internet. Read an article at the Washington Post —  a site that integrates Facebook Connect — and your friends will know that you just read a specific article at the Washington Post. This is passive sharing, no active pressing of a Like button required.
Slate’s Farhad Manjoo had an article the other day that outlines why Timeline is a bad idea, and his reasoning should resonate with those of us on Tumblr. Simply: by recording and reporting everything, Facebook kills the art of curation:

For as much as he’s invested in sharing, though, Zuckerberg seems clueless about the motivation behind the act. Why do you share a story, video, or photo? Because you want your friends to see it. And why do you want your friends to see it? Because you think they’ll get a kick out of it. I know this sounds obvious, but it’s somehow eluded Zuckerberg that sharing is fundamentally about choosing. You experience a huge number of things every day, but you choose to tell your friends about only a fraction of them, because most of what you do isn’t worth mentioning.
Now Zuckerberg wants to lower the bar. “One thing that we’ve heard over and over again is that people have things that they want to share, but they don’t want to annoy their friends by putting boring stuff in their news feeds,” he said during his keynote. To me, this doesn’t sound like a problem that needs solving. If Facebook users aren’t sharing stuff because they worry it will bore their friends, good! Thank you, people of Facebook, for your restraint in choosing not to bore me.

Dave Winer and Nik Cubrilovic have more technical issues with where Facebook is going, and they revolve around privacy.
Winer, a technologist and more or less the godfather of RSS, writes, Facebook is Scaring Me:

People joke that privacy is over, but I don’t think they imagined that the disclosures would be so proactive. [Facebook is] seeking out information to report about you. That’s different from showing people a picture that you posted yourself. If this were the government we’d be talking about the Fourth Amendment. 

Winer’s recommendation is to make sure you log out of Facebook when you’re done visiting the site. 
But Cubrilovic, a software developer and Techcrunch alum, says that’s not enough. Facebook, it seems, maintains relatively persistent cookies in your browser. All the better to track you with:

The privacy concern here is that because you no longer have to explicitly opt-in to share an item, you may accidentally share a page or an event that you did not intend others to see.
The advice is to log out of Facebook. But logging out of Facebook only de-authorizes your browser from the web application, a number of cookies (including your account number) are still sent along to all requests to facebook.com. Even if you are logged out, Facebook still knows and can track every page [that integrates with Facebook] you visit. The only solution is to delete every Facebook cookie in your browser, or to use a separate browser for Facebook interactions.

If you’re technically inclined, visit Cubrilovic’s post for a walkthrough on how Facebook cookies work. If you’re privacy inclined, visit the post to read about past experiences he’s had exploring Facebook privacy issues. 
And if you do visit, hit the comments section. It begins with a Facebook engineer explaining that the cookies are more benign than they might appear. However, many comments afterwards suggest otherwise.

Who Wants Signal if You Can Amplify the Noise

In his recent keynote at Facebook’s F8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg talked about how the company is implementing “frictionless” sharing.  

By frictionless Zuckerberg means that we no longer need to proactively like something in order to share it on our walls. Instead, by merely visiting a site or using a service that integrates with Facebook (think, for example, of news sites and the music service Spotify), our actions are tracked and reported back to our friends via what’s being dubbed the Facebook Timeline.

If you use Last.fm and are familiar with Scrobbling, the concept should be fairly clear. If you don’t and aren’t, Last.fm’s desktop and mobile apps keep track of the songs you’ve listened to and sends that information back to your Last.fm profile so that your friends there can see what you’re listening to. They call this Scrobbling. It’s all passive. You don’t need to do anything except to listen.

Facebook Timeline is Scrobbling writ large across the Internet. Read an article at the Washington Post —  a site that integrates Facebook Connect — and your friends will know that you just read a specific article at the Washington Post. This is passive sharing, no active pressing of a Like button required.

Slate’s Farhad Manjoo had an article the other day that outlines why Timeline is a bad idea, and his reasoning should resonate with those of us on Tumblr. Simply: by recording and reporting everything, Facebook kills the art of curation:

For as much as he’s invested in sharing, though, Zuckerberg seems clueless about the motivation behind the act. Why do you share a story, video, or photo? Because you want your friends to see it. And why do you want your friends to see it? Because you think they’ll get a kick out of it. I know this sounds obvious, but it’s somehow eluded Zuckerberg that sharing is fundamentally about choosing. You experience a huge number of things every day, but you choose to tell your friends about only a fraction of them, because most of what you do isn’t worth mentioning.

Now Zuckerberg wants to lower the bar. “One thing that we’ve heard over and over again is that people have things that they want to share, but they don’t want to annoy their friends by putting boring stuff in their news feeds,” he said during his keynote. To me, this doesn’t sound like a problem that needs solving. If Facebook users aren’t sharing stuff because they worry it will bore their friends, good! Thank you, people of Facebook, for your restraint in choosing not to bore me.

Dave Winer and Nik Cubrilovic have more technical issues with where Facebook is going, and they revolve around privacy.

Winer, a technologist and more or less the godfather of RSS, writes, Facebook is Scaring Me:

People joke that privacy is over, but I don’t think they imagined that the disclosures would be so proactive. [Facebook is] seeking out information to report about you. That’s different from showing people a picture that you posted yourself. If this were the government we’d be talking about the Fourth Amendment. 

Winer’s recommendation is to make sure you log out of Facebook when you’re done visiting the site. 

But Cubrilovic, a software developer and Techcrunch alum, says that’s not enough. Facebook, it seems, maintains relatively persistent cookies in your browser. All the better to track you with:

The privacy concern here is that because you no longer have to explicitly opt-in to share an item, you may accidentally share a page or an event that you did not intend others to see.

The advice is to log out of Facebook. But logging out of Facebook only de-authorizes your browser from the web application, a number of cookies (including your account number) are still sent along to all requests to facebook.com. Even if you are logged out, Facebook still knows and can track every page [that integrates with Facebook] you visit. The only solution is to delete every Facebook cookie in your browser, or to use a separate browser for Facebook interactions.

If you’re technically inclined, visit Cubrilovic’s post for a walkthrough on how Facebook cookies work. If you’re privacy inclined, visit the post to read about past experiences he’s had exploring Facebook privacy issues. 

And if you do visit, hit the comments section. It begins with a Facebook engineer explaining that the cookies are more benign than they might appear. However, many comments afterwards suggest otherwise.

British Government Wants Social Network Meeting →

Via the BBC:

The major social networks have been called to the home office next Thursday to discuss the English riots.

So far only Facebook has confirmed its attendance, although Blackberry has suggested it will also be there.

Facebook, Twitter and Blackberry have all been criticised after it emerged that some rioters may have used them to plan trouble or encourage others.

David Cameron has said the government would look at limiting access to such services during any future disorder.

Is Facebook Sharing Your Phone Number
Like many other services, FB asks you for your mobile number so that they can send you a text response should you lose your login. 
However, if you give your number to them, Facebook exposes that information to all your friends. ie, Go to Account in the upper right, select Edit Friends, go left on that screen and click on Contacts. All phone numbers are published, which is the image I’ve posted here.
To prevent this, go into privacy settings, select customize, scroll all the way to the bottom and select “only me” next to your contact information… or remove your number entirely.
Filed Under: More reasons I don’t like Facebook.
UPDATE: Vadim Lavrusik, Facebook’s Journalist Program Manager, takes us to task in a repost writing, “Rumors claiming that your phone contacts are visible to everyone on Facebook are false.” (Emphasis ours).
We never wrote that they are visible to everyone though. Reread the above, we write, “Facebook exposes that information to all your friends,” and then explain how to opt out if you’d like.

Is Facebook Sharing Your Phone Number

Like many other services, FB asks you for your mobile number so that they can send you a text response should you lose your login. 

However, if you give your number to them, Facebook exposes that information to all your friends. ie, Go to Account in the upper right, select Edit Friends, go left on that screen and click on Contacts. All phone numbers are published, which is the image I’ve posted here.

To prevent this, go into privacy settings, select customize, scroll all the way to the bottom and select “only me” next to your contact information… or remove your number entirely.

Filed Under: More reasons I don’t like Facebook.

UPDATE: Vadim Lavrusik, Facebook’s Journalist Program Manager, takes us to task in a repost writing, “Rumors claiming that your phone contacts are visible to everyone on Facebook are false.” (Emphasis ours).

We never wrote that they are visible to everyone though. Reread the above, we write, “Facebook exposes that information to all your friends,” and then explain how to opt out if you’d like.