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Socially Aware Blog The Law and Business of Social Media

Twitter World Records, Social Widgets as Data Tools, and More

Posted in Status Updates

10 Million Monsters!
Marking a truly historic social media milestone, Lady Gaga became the first Twitter user with more than 10 million followers.  According to reports, the entertainer noted this achievement with a Tweet saying “10MillionMonsters!  I’m speechless, we did it!  Its an illness how I love you.  Leaving London smiling.”

Netflix Traffic
Reports are that Netflix is now the single largest source of downstream Internet traffic, accounting for more than 20% of such traffic during peak times.  In comparison, YouTube accounts for approximately 10% of downstream traffic.

Google’s Contribution to Economic Activity
According to Google, the search giant’s programs, including AdWords and AdSense, provided $64 billion in economic activity for American companies and non -profits in 2010.  This represents an 15% increase over 2009.  Google’s home state of California is said to have benefitted the most—to the tune of $15 billion.

Facebook.com’s Integration with Microsoft’s Bing
The integration of the Facebook.com site with Microsoft’s Bing search engine, first announced in 2010, has been expanded.  Among other features, Bing will now display more data regarding search results that your Facebook friends have liked and a greater ability to share Bing search results with Facebook friends.

Facebook’s New Photo-Tagging Feature
On a somewhat related note, Facebook announced a new photo-tagging feature that allows users to tag businesses, brands, celebrities and musicians that have their own Facebook pages.  Previously, users could only tag themselves and their friends in photos.

Facebook Planting Negative Stories About Google?
Many have noted that the Facebook/ Bing integration presents a challenge to Google’s own search and social networking efforts.  In another indication of the increasingly heated competition between the Internet giants, controversy arose over allegations that Facebook hired a public relations firm to plant negative stories about Google.

Bin Laden’s Death Sets Twitter Records
Osama Bin Laden’s death set new Twitter records, becoming one of the most tweeted events ever.  According to Mashable, Twitter reached more than 5,000 Tweets per second at the beginning and end of President Obama’s speech announcing Bin Laden’s death, with a total of 27,900, 000 Tweets over a period of about two and a half hours.

Facebook Class Action
A Brooklyn man has filed a class action lawsuit against Facebook, alleging that the company’s “social ads”—which display the names and images of a user’s friends who have liked a particular brand or ad—use minors’ names and likenesses without the parental consent required under a section of New York’s civil rights law.

Social Widgets as Data Tools
“Social widgets,” those ubiquitous website buttons that allow users to “like” or “share” online articles and other content, also let their makers collect data about the websites people are visiting, potentially raising privacy concerns, according to a study prepared for The Wall Street Journal.

Google News Archive No More?
It has been reported that Google has ceased adding content to its Google News Archives, which provide free access to scanned archives of newspapers.  The existing archive remains accessible, however.

Social Networking for Children
Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, announced recently that he would like to make the social networking site available to children, but also recognized the challenges presented by current law, particularly the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which imposes strict rules regarding the collection of personal information from users under the age of thirteen.

Bad Yelp Reviews Barred from Anti-SLAPP Statute
A California court recently ordered a dentist who sued Yelp users for defamation over negative reviews to pay $80,000 in attorneys’ fees, after ruling that the dentist’s suit was barred by California’s anti-SLAPP statute.

Facebook and the ADA
A recent Ninth Circuit decision held that Facebook was not liable under the Americans with Disabilities Act when it terminated a user with bipolar disorder for terms of service violations because Facebook’s services do not have a nexus to a physical place of public accommodation that would be necessary to subject it to the ADA.

Morgan Stanley Employees on Twitter
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney has reportedly become the first major brokerage firm to allow its brokers to use Twitter.

“SB 242″ Rejected
California’s Senate has rejected a bill (“SB 242”) that would require social networking sites to hide personal information about users unless they give their permission to share it.  A coalition of Web companies, including Facebook, Google, Skype, Twitter and Yahoo, had voiced opposition to the bill, arguing in a letter to Senator Ellen Corbett (D., San Leandro), who proposed SB 242, that the proposed statute “gratuitously singles out social networking sites without demonstration of any harm,” and would result in users making uninformed choices by requiring that they select privacy settings ahead of using the sites.