Showing posts with label FaceBook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FaceBook. Show all posts

October 19, 2016

FaceBook is Breeding Younger Users Unable to Get New Ones

Facebook has been struggling to bring in younger users for several years now and it looks like the problem is getting worse.
According to Piper Jaffray Companies, a recent survey of 10,000 U.S. teenagers showed that 52% used Facebook at least once a month this fall, compared to 60% who used it monthly in the spring.

"Factoring out shifts in the population surveyed, core Facebook usage likely declined by three basis points, which indicates Facebook is gradually becoming less relevant versus Instagram and Snapchat," Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote in a research note to investors.

The same survey, however, showed that teen use of Facebook-owned Instagram has gone from 70% to 74% in the same time frame -- and rose from 75% to 80% for rival Snapchat.

When asked what their favorite social network was this fall, 35% said Snapchat; 24% said Instagram; and 13% said Twitter and Facebook (which tied for third place).

While older users - say anywhere from 35 to 65 years old - have shown to be loyal Facebook users, the site isn't pulling in enough users 24 and younger to offset losses as older users die off.

"Well, think about it," said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research. "If Facebook just lost 8% of all teens, that's millions of users.... Over time, they need to keep the funnel of users coming in on the younger side. I think it creates a huge issue down the road. It's not likely they can add users that are of older generations. They probably have all they will get from anyone 30 and older."

Facebook certainly has been working to draw in younger users.
In April, the company beefed up Facebook Live, which enables users to stream their live videos - and better take on social rival YouTube.

And in August, Facebook unveiled its Lifestage stand-alone app. Designed for iOS devices, the app enables teen users to share videos with other people in their schools.

Lifestage was born as a rival to Snapchat and basically a video version of an early stage Facebook.

That wasn't the first time Facebook went after Snapchat's valuable younger users.

In March, the company bought face-swapping app Masquerade or MSQRD. The app enables users to dress up their photos and selfies with an Iron Man helmet or a panda outfit.

Facebook hoped that by being able to add special effects to their pics, teens and young adults would be pulled onto Facebook -- or at least one of the apps. But so far, at least, those efforts don't appear to be panning out.

Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategies, said the issue may not matter as much as some might think.

"I do not see it as a problem [for Facebook] as long as those younger users are going to Instagram," he said. "Facebook, the company, needs to do what it has been doing, which is to invest in the next big teen thing. I believe as those teens get older, go to college and have a family, they will come back."

According to Moorhead, as people get older, they'll give up their Instagram and Snapchat accounts and move to Facebook, no longer bothered that they'd be joining a social network where they'll friend their parents and grandparents.

Kerravala, however, isn't so sure that will really happen.

"People have either thought, 'Hey, I want to use Facebook' and are using it -- or they think Facebook is stupid and won't ever use it," he said. “Facebook needs to stop trying to chase what's already there and build something unique that teens don't already have."

Sharon Gaudin — Senior Reporter
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet, social media, cloud computing and emerging technologies for Computerworld.

March 11, 2016

Father’s Homophobic FB Rant about son’s “Gay Play”

Father reported for homophobia after complaint about 'gay play' at son's school
Julian Marsh wasn’t happy (Picture: MEN News)

A parent allegedly posted a homophobic rant on Facebook after his son’s school staged a play where two princes fell in love.
Julian Marsh wrote a public post on social media complaining his son came home ‘talking about gays, saying he had learned about gays.’
He accused the school of social engineering and claimed: ‘I think people who promote PC sex to kids below 11 border on paedophilia and are depraved. 

‘It has nothing to do with gay sex that upset us but the lack of parental consent, a bit like finding the school had decided it has the right to vaccinate your kids for you and did it without your consent because it knows best.’
Now the headteacher of Sacred Heart RC Primary in Atherton, near Wigan, has vowed to stand up to homophobia. Carrie Morrow said she was shocked the workshop aimed at teaching children about diversity was criticised by a ‘small minority’ of parents on Facebook.

Sacred Heart RC primary school in Atherton (Picture: MEN)

Actors from a theatre company came in to perform the fairytale where two princes fall in love, to teach pupils there are many different kinds of relationships.
But not everyone was impressed. Mr Marsh was reported to police by another user for his comments, along with another man, and both have since been spoken to by officers.
‘I know for some schools it is not an easy aspect of the curriculum to teach, but our pupils handled it with maturity and sensitivity,’ Ms Morrow said, adding she was proud to be one of the first schools locally to publicly stand up to homophobia.

As well as watching the play, children were asked to design a logo for Wigan’s first Pride festival and were told when it was acceptable to use the word gay.
When Mr Marsh was approached by the Manchester Evening News, he said he was not homophobic and did not wish to comment further.

GMP Police

A police spokesman said: ‘Shortly after 10.25pm on Sunday February 28, police were called to reports that a number of homophobic comments had been made on Facebook.
‘This was investigated as a hate incident but it was determined that the comments did not amount to a criminal offence.
‘Local resolution officers spoke to all parties involved and advised two men of their future conduct on social media.’ 

February 12, 2016

FaceBook: 'More Australians are coming out with their Profiles than ever before’

 More Australians than ever are identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex on Facebook, a new data analysis has revealed.
The LGBTI community in Australia is building momentum on the social media platform and many users are proud to express their sexuality or support, Facebook said.

The social media giant released data on Wednesday which showed by the end of 2015, the number of people coming out on its platform each day was double what it was at the start of the year.

Researchers said social media was also gaining momentum as a platform for the LGBTI community to connect and share.

In 2015, the topic of marriage equality was the sixth most-talked-about topic on Facebook globally and the 11th most-talked-about topic in Australia, the company said in a statement.

The analysis did not reveal the daily number of Australians coming out or total number of LGBTI Australians, but Facebook said "the total number of Australians who have come out on Facebook has risen substantially".

Facebook measured the number of LGBTI Australians by monitoring which of its 14 million Australian users changed the "interested in" field to reflect a same-gender interest, an interest in both genders, entering into a same-sex relationship, or used a custom gender.

The study said the rise in people selecting their sexuality indicated more people than ever were comfortable with identifying themselves as LGBTI.

Last year saw a 20 per cent increase in people "liking" pages classed as LGBTI, including pages advocating for gay marriage or gay news services.

Growth in page likes spiked during significant events such as the 2015 Mardi Gras, the Irish referendum in favour of same-sex marriage in May, and US supreme court decision legalising same-sex marriage in June.

More than a quarter of all supporters of the high-profile Australian LGBTI pages are now international, from more 200 countries, the data also revealed.

April 29, 2015

Muting Friend’s political Views on Face Book is as simple as hitting a key

The arguments on Facebook regarding Hillary Rodham Clinton’s announcement that she was running for president began politely at first but slowly grew more vitriolic with each back and forth.
Eventually, Madison Payne, a 27-year-old from Tyler, Tex., had had enough. So she took revenge against the Clinton opponents, simply clicking “unfollow.”
“If I see somebody that is just so hateful, then of course I’m going to unfollow them,” said Ms. Payne, whose “friend” count on Facebook has dwindled since Mrs. Clinton’s announcement. “I’ve lost touch with many great childhood friends of mine due to social media providing a platform for political discussion.”
With the presidential race heating up, a torrent of politically charged commentary has flooded Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site, with some users deploying their “unfollow” buttons like a television remote to silence distasteful political views. Coupled with the algorithm now powering Facebook’s news feed, the unfollowing is creating a more homogenized political experience of like-minded users, resulting in the kind of polarization more often associated with MSNBC or Fox News. And it may ultimately deflate a central promise of the Internet: Instead of offering people a diverse marketplace of challenging ideas, the web is becoming just another self-perpetuating echo chamber.


As users slowly whittle angry and adverse viewpoints, Facebook’s news feed algorithm, designed to highlight content similar to what users engage with most, kicks in. Those who like puppies see more posts from their puppy-loving friends; those who like to debate climate change see more climate-change chatter.
Facebook does not track the reasons one user unfollows another. But in thousands of comments and emails that were shared with The New York Times, users admitted to muting acquaintances, friends and even family members as political postings grew too repugnant for their tastes.
Unfollowing is a polite way to shut out unappealing political opinions — under Facebook’s user interface, people technically remain friends with those they unfollow but are simply not subject to seeing their posts again.

Ashlyn Knaur of Huntsville, Ala., recently unfollowed some friends after Mrs. Clinton’s announcement. She also removed the actress Anne Hathaway from her Instagram feed after Ms. Hathaway shared a posting supportive of Mrs. Clinton. Julie Ruby of Normal, Ill., is on the brink of unfollowing her daughter’s mother-in-law for negative comments regarding Mrs. Clinton. And John Thrasher of Cumberland, Md., lost touch with his father over his politics postings on Facebook.
“The regular contact between us has been cut because of politics and social media,” Mr. Thrasher said.
Mike Massaroli, from Staten Island, says that his postings are often ignored and that he is occasionally unfollower even by his fraternity brothers, who playfully cast him off as “the dude who is voting for Bernie Sanders” for his frequent praise of the Vermont senator. 
In theory, Facebook’s algorithm provides for an overall better experience on the site, ranking the number of posts likely to be ignored by the user lower in the news feed. But in the realm of politics, that sometimes has the unintended consequence of engineering the political discourse on Facebook toward the user’s political leanings.
Yesterdays posting on the same subject by different witnesses.  Click here please


Who Is Running for President (and Who’s Not)? 

“The fundamental principle underpinning news feed is the more you interact with specific types of content and content from specific places, the more likely you are to continue to see” that kind of content, said Andy Stone, a spokesman for Facebook.
For example, users who “like” Mrs. Clinton’s page will be presented with more posts about the candidate, probably generating more “likes” on posts and photographs and the chance to comment on new campaign memes. Conversely, these users would probably not also “like,” say, a Senator Ted Cruz page. Facebook’s algorithm would recognize that, and rank content regarding Mrs. Clinton higher on those users’ sites than content about Mr. Cruz.
“Everybody’s behavior is different, so that the content that they are eligible to see is rank-ordered differently for each of them,” Mr. Stone said.
Zac Moffatt, a founder of Targeted Victory, a digital strategy firm, said that Facebook’s organic reach, like candidate pages, was starting to be limited for campaigns, in part as more users self-selected an experience, and that could affect their news feed and the ads they saw during primary season.
“If you’re a known Democrat, if you publicly post that you’re a Democrat, you probably aren’t going to see” Republican ads as well, Mr. Moffatt said. “You could conceivably, in the primary, have that process where you’re completely bifurcated where liberals see things that are liberal and Republicans see things that are Republican.”
But an exception, he said, are the campaigns that target voters based more on issues than on party; their message will cut across the divide.
Facebook announced April 21 that it would be introducing changes to its news feed, including reducing the prevalence of content “liked” by others directly in a user’s feed. 

But at the same time, more partisan political videos may trickle into news feeds as campaigns deploy Facebook’s new video advertising platform to reach specific groups. A video by the Clinton campaign, for instance, would probably not be targeted toward those using Mr. Cruz’s campaign logo as their avatar. And Facebook is ready to tap these intensifying political passions as a revenue stream.
Some campaigns are proving particularly nimble at steering the conversation on Facebook. Vincent Harris, the chief digital strategist for Senator Rand Paul’s campaign, equipped the candidate’s many followers with avatars, photographs, videos, memes and links to post on their Facebook walls on the day Mr. Paul announced that he was running for president. Tagged correctly, the posts were intended to bombard others’ news feeds as well. 
New York Times

March 18, 2015

Today Facebook Fined Tuned Their Rules for You!


Facebook’s community standards are getting a facelift today: For the first time ever, the social media platform will be outright banning content that promotes sexual violence or exploitation  including “revenge porn” and posts that can be considered “violent, criminal or hateful.” 

Facebook’s posting guidelines have been inconsistent in the past — the company has waffled on banning everything from breastfeeding photos to beheading videos — but the updated rules spell out what users can and cannot post more clearly than ever before. The following content categories were some of the most heavily impacted: 

Nudity. Porn has always been banned on Facebook, but the new guidelines are more nuanced about what kind of nudity is allowed. Don’t expect to see any “fully exposed buttocks” in your Newsfeed, “vivid” depictions of sexual acts, or genitals (in general). Photos of “paintings, sculptures, and other art that depicts nude figures” are still fair game, as are pics of women “actively engaged in breastfeeding or showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring.” The #FreeTheNipple war wages on, though: Facebook will continue to restrict “some images of female breasts” if nipples make an appearance. 

Sexual violence and exploitation. The new guidelines say that “photographs or videos depicting incidents of sexual violence” will be removed, as will images shared in the spirit of revenge or without permission. Sexual solicitations, any sexual content involving minors, “threats to share intimate images,” or offers of sexual services are also banned, and Facebook will turn things over to law enforcement when it seems appropriate.  

Self-injury. The new policy prohibits content that encourages users to self-harm through suicide, self-mutilation, and eating disorders. However, users can share this type of content if it’s meant to support others in distress. Additionally, posts that identify or target specific victims for attack will be removed. This section is also careful to clarify that body modification does not count as self-mutilation. 

Hate speech. Any content that directly attacks people based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disabilities, or illnesses will be removed. 

What, if any, impact these sweeping changes will have remains to be seen. Facebook says it still has no plans to automatically scan for and remove content that potentially violates the community standards. Monika Bickert, the company’s head of global policy management, told The New York Times that the platform will continue to rely on users to report when the rules are being broken. With 1.39 billion members across the world, the team responsible for responding to those flagged posts certainly has its work cut out. When the new standards have language patrolling the "spirit" of various posts, or whether the poster has permission to share a given piece of content, it's unclear how the site even guesses it will undertake this massive crackdown. Its standards, we’d have to guess, will continue to be a moving target.

February 13, 2015

Death is death but FB is Trying to Make it less Complicated


It’s now easier for your loved ones to access your profile after you’ve passed.

This post is in partnership with Time. The article below was originally published at
Jack Linshi, TIME
Facebook’s latest announcement was big — and no, it wasn’t a “Dislike” button. Starting Thursday, you can designate a friend to manage your account after you die.
This “legacy contact” feature posits a question we rarely think about: What happens to your Facebook profile when you die?
It’s the kind of question that’s outwardly funny: “You don’t get as many likes,” one user tweeted in reply to me earlier in the day. “My ghost will check it after that to see who misses me,” said another. One user even extended a kind offer: “I’m designating Chris Rock. But happy to be the man for any of you out there.”
And then there was one joke that wasn’t so funny if you kept thinking about it: “Who cares, you’re dead?”
It’s a morbid thought, but after your death, your Facebook profile  FB -0.37%  suddenly becomes more valuable to those you leave behind. Your friends or family might want to archive your photos, wall posts, friends list—your virtual ashes. They might want to change your photos to turn your profile into a kind of digital memorial. Or they could use your account to post funeral details. These are requests that, before the legacy contact feature, would have required lengthy, taxing court orders due to privacy laws in many jurisdictions.
While the legacy contact feature provides a solution to some of these problems, death in the Facebook era remains complicated. There are some painful instances that Facebook’s new policy can’t prevent—like your friends finding out about your demise in the least intimate of ways. As one writer described that experience in the ChicagoTribune: “[You] stare in disbelief as heartbreaking news is disseminated to an iPhone or laptop, usually when one is on the bus, in an inane meeting at the office or in some other prosaic and inapt setting.”
For some, such an event permanently attaches a sense of tragedy to Facebook: The mother who learned via Facebook of her son’s death at a football game; the friends who read a suicide note posted by their classmate; a man whose auto-generated Year-in-Reviewphotos featured his deceased daughter; a woman who rediscovered her chats with a friend who’d died and was overcome by guilt upon seeing each message she hadn’t answered.
But then there are ways Facebook can help us grieve, too. Just look at the classmates that started posting notes on the Facebook wall of a Rhode Island studentwho’d been killed in a car crash. And then there’s the story of Kimmy Kirkwood and her boyfriend, Sgt. Will Stacey, who left an “In Case I Die” letter on Facebook before his deployment. Months after Stacey was killed while serving in Afghanistan, Kirkwood visited his Facebook profile, rediscovered the letters and other forgotten love notes.“I sometimes go back and see if he wrote me something on this particular day or for holidays like Valentine’s Day or our birthdays,” she said.
And sometimes, there are moments when death in the age of Facebook is just as weird and funny as it sounds. Take, for example, that time when comedian Joan Rivers, two weeks after her death last September, “posted” on a rave review of the iPhone 6. The post was speculated to be a scheduled marketing deal that her publicist had forgotten to deactivate.
As one writer said of the blunder: “Something tells us Joan Rivers would laugh about this.”

October 2, 2014

Enforcement of FB"real-name policy" led to LGBT users being blocked from their accounts

While Facebook did acknowledge “the hardship that we’ve put [such users] through in dealing with your Facebook accounts over the past few weeks,” the company also said their policy was never to require legal names—simply “authentic ones.” In a post, Chief Product Officer Chris Cox affirmed that when it comes to members of the LGBT community, the company considers “authentic” names to be whatever those users go by in daily life, regardless of what is scrawled on their birth certificate.

 Cox blamed the suspensions on company protocol for dealing with profiles that are reported as fake. Many transgender users and well-known drag queens in the San Francisco community, such as local icon Sister Roma, were among “several hundred” people to have their accounts reported, he said. (He did not name the individual who did the reporting.) Their policy has been to suspend the profile until the user submits some form of identification that matches the name on the page.

David Campos, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, was the lead negotiator for those wanting a fix. He said that in correspondence with affected users, Facebook did in fact use the language “legal name” when asking for identification. But even if there is confusion over the details, Campos emphasized to TIME repeatedly that his group was very happy with outcome of Wednesday’s meeting.

“It was an extremely productive meeting. Drag queens spoke and Facebook listened,” Campos said while driving back from Menlo Park. “Both sides actually agreed on the idea that the objective was for people to use their real name, and that doesn’t always mean legal identity.”

Campos said the meeting started with Facebook apologizing (as the post put up after the meeting does), which is not how their first meeting with Facebook representatives went two weeks ago. “There wasn’t even an acknowledgment that the policy was flawed,” he said. The company’s slow reaction time gave users a chance to flock elsewhere for their online socializing, to places like new social network Ello. The inaction also appeared at odds with the great lengths the company has gone to prove that their site is an inclusive place, notably adding some 50 options for gender identity in February.

In a previous statement issued on Sept. 12, Campos explained why the name issue is such a big one for some LGBT users: “Facebook may not be aware that for many members of the LGBT community the ability to self-identify is a matter of health and safety. Not allowing drag performers, transgender people and other members of our community to go by their chosen names can result in violence, stalking, violations of privacy and repercussions at work.”

On Wednesday, Campos’ group expanded their argument, emphasizing that though “drag queens have become the face of the issue,” there are many demographics that might have a legitimate reason not to use their legal name on their profile, such as victims of violence, political dissidents or even high school teachers who don’t want students checking up on them.

Facebook promised that a “technical fix” would be coming, Campos said, though there was no exact timeline or decision about what a new process or feature might look like like. In his post, Cox emphasized that in “99 percent” cases, fake name reports signal “bad actors doing bad things,” such as bullying, trolling and espousing hate speech. He also said that the system needs a way to weed out the one percent.

“We see through this event that there’s lots of room for improvement in the reporting and enforcement mechanisms, tools for understanding who’s real and who’s not, and the customer service for anyone who’s affected,” he said. “We’re taking measures to provide much more deliberate customer service to those accounts that get flagged so that we can manage these in a less abrupt and more thoughtful way.”

August 26, 2014

Facebook tired of Free iPhones and other trick headlines


Click-bait articles are rife online. Countless websites ply a trade in leading headlines designed to lure readers in, giving as little away as possible as an encouragement to click through. A virtual prick-tease, if you will. Sometimes the click is worth it, but all too often the article -- particularly on tabloid-style newspapers, magazine websites and sites peddling listicles -- is pointless or misleading. A suggestive question, the promise of sex, inappropriate references to the iPhone 6, the implication of free money... the possibilities for click-bait are virtually endless. It -- understandably -- annoys a lot of people, and it has annoyed Facebook enough for the social network to take a stand.
You've no doubt noticed that your Facebook newsfeed has become clogged up with countless "one weird trick", "ten ways to give her the best orgasm ever", and "you'll never guess what!" headlines. Now Facebook is taking steps to limit the appearance of such articles so that what users see is more interesting and relevant. In a post on the Facebook blog, it has been announced that two key updates are to be made: "the first to reduce click-baiting headlines, and the second to help people see links shared on Facebook in the best format".
There are several problems with click-bait articles, not least of which is that they tend to be rather disappointing. But the problem is exacerbated by the very fact that they have been made to encourage clicking -- hence helping to draw in ad revenue from page views for the site in question. As more people click the links as they appear in their Facebook news feeds, Facebook's algorithms take this to mean that the articles are genuinely popular, and pushes them to the top of even more people's feeds.
Without visiting every single link that is getting posted to the social network, or conducting a poll after a link has been clicked, it is quite difficult to determine whether a link is to a genuinely interesting or useful article, or is just click-bait linking to spam. Now Facebook is going to start monitoring how long people spend on a site after clicking a link. If the visit is short, it's safe to assume the link was useless. Also factored in is the number of shares an article gets to help determine its real worth.
Another update to the way posts are handled means that articles that have linked embedded titles or images -- rather in clear, easily decipherable URLs -- will float to the top more readily. Facebook hopes that this will also help users to more easily access articles that they are genuinely interested in rather than having to click a link just to find out what something is.

July 5, 2014

Facebook’s failure to communicate about its mood experiment and 10 of the biggest Issues

 This is the least of the things Internet companies do to us.
Facebook Privacy: 10 Settings To Check
Facebook Privacy: 10 Settings To Check
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg apologized on Wednesday for the company's undisclosed psychological experimentation on Facebook users and acknowledged that the research effort was "poorly" communicated, a word which here means "not."
According to the Wall Street Journal, Sandberg, while in New Delhi, remarked, "We never meant to upset you," echoing Facebook researcher Adam Kramer's claim that "our goal was never to upset anyone."
In fact, the study at issue, published recently by researchers from Facebook, the University of California, and Cornell University, looks a lot like it was designed to test t social network's ability to upset (and excite) people. In January 2012, it exposed some 700,000 people to News Feeds weighted with either positive or negative posts and images to test whether users' emotions could be swayed.
[Protect your data. See 4 Facebook Privacy Intrusion Fixes.]
The researchers concluded that emotional states can indeed be influenced by what people see and read. This is more or less what marketers, artists, and politicians have known since forever. But Facebook users were upset, evidently because this is different from Facebook's publicly disclosed manipulation of users' News Feeds.
Beyond Cornell's curious repudiation of a previous statement that the Army Research Office contributed funding to the research -- let's test Facebook as a tool for regime change! -- the controversy surrounding the study consists of debates about ethics and informed consent.
The study certainly looks to be ethically dubious, but social media itself is ethically dubious. It's based on an asymmetrical exchange: something of known value -- a communications service -- for something of unknown value -- personal data, privacy, and user-generated content. The asymmetry is magnified because Facebook has some idea of the value each user brings to its network.
Yet those seeking to complain about Facebook's failure to disclose its experiment without doing the obvious -- quitting Facebook -- would do better to protest more substantive issues. Here's a 10-course tasting menu of more worthy concerns.
1. Technical paternalism
Technology companies make choices that limit how you can use their software, hardware, and services. Facebook insists on filtering users' News Feeds when it could put users in control of the filter. Apple insists on judging apps by different standards than books, in terms of what kind of content is allowed. Google won't allow ad blocking software in Google Play. Technology companies treat customers like children.
(Source: Kevin Trotman)
(Source: Kevin Trotman)
2. Changeable contracts
Technology companies, along with banks, utilities, and a host of companies in other industries, frequently claim the right to unilaterally change terms-of-service agreements at their discretion, sometimes with and sometimes without notice. Imagine that in the context of a landlord renting to a tenant. After signing a lease for $1,000 a month, the landlord could say the contract has changed and the rent is now $10,000 a month. Simply put, unilateral contractual changes should not be allowed.
3. Corporations are more than people
The Supreme Court's decision to treat corporations as people in the context of political funding elicited a fair amount of resentment among those who believe America is a nation governed by people rather than companies. But corporations can do things people cannot, like create shell companies to conceal information and to shift revenue abroad. Firms like Apple, Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn have been criticized for their ostensibly lawful tax mitigation schemes, which can move money away from regions where the companies actually consume considerable resources. Taxes that don't get paid matter more than consent that hasn't been obtained.
4. Farcical privacy policies
You would think that companies with privacy policies would provide privacy. But you would be wrong. Facebook at least has the decency to offer a Data Use Policy. Right up front, you know you will be used. But such documents are really a farce because so few people read them and truly understand them.
5. Cloud insecurity
Between 446 and 662 data breaches have occurred every year since 2007, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. Meanwhile, law enforcement organizations and intelligence services like the NSA have the power to grab just about any data from anywhere. Online security is a pipe dream, yet companies insist, "We take security very seriously." They'll take your money, but can't take care of your data with any certainty. Trust no one; store your own data encrypted on a local machine.
6. Cloud impermanence
Google may be the poster child for capricious termination of cloud services, but it's far from the only company to withdraw offerings from the market in a way that inconveniences consumers. Back when software ran on local machines, this was less of a problem; today, with so many server-resident applications, important services can simply vanish. The cloud erodes the power that comes with ownership. Welcome to the cloud, serf.
7. Cloud filth
How many shared links does it take to sink an island country beneath the rising sea? Stay tuned for the viral video about the impact of
Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful 
Facebook's failure to communicate about its mood experiment is the least of the things Internet companies do to us.
carbon emissions from the data centers serving our social sharing obsession. According to Greenpeace, 2% of all global carbon emissions come from the IT industry. The cloud looks clean and pristine in IT-industry graphics, but it's still partially powered by coal. While many leading Internet companies have committed to powering their data centers with renewable energy, only Apple has made good on its promise to rely exclusively on clean power.
8. Labor exploitation
That's another term for crowdsourcing. People don't feel that they're working for Google or Facebook when they create or share links. But they are. Google, Facebook, and other social media services capture atomic units of creative work and derive value from them, usually without paying royalties for the work. And if virtual labor exploitation doesn't pique your ire, there's always the more traditional variety in Amazon warehouses and on Apple assembly lines.
9. Software patents
Several notable economists have called for the abolition of software patents. The late University of Chicago economist Gary Becker last year wrote, "Disputes over software patents are among the most common, expensive, and counterproductive. Their exclusion from the patent system would discourage some software innovations, but the saving from litigation costs over disputed patent rights would more than compensate the economy for that cost." Software patent litigation cost is estimated to cost over $11 billion annually. Though some technology companies have complained about software patents, they also file a lot of patents and participate in patent lawsuits against one another. They could effect change if they made it a priority. Meanwhile, we all bear the cost.
10. Executive compensation
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt received compensation amounting tomore than $100 million in January. Former Yahoo executive Henrique de Castro received a severance package estimated to be more than $58 million after a mere 15 months of work at the company. Just another day in Silicon Valley, unless you happen to be a rank-and-file employee, in which case you might have had your wages suppressed while companies like Apple, Google, and Intel agreed not to recruit from one another. Corporate governance today exhibits the heedless excess that left Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette headless in 18th century France.
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of the Internet of Things. Find out the way in which an aging workforce will drive progress on the Internet of Things, why the IoT isn't as scary as some folks seem to think, how connected machines will change the supply chain, and more. (Free registration required.)
Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

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