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Status Updates

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Searching social. At long last, tweets will appear in Google search results as soon as they’re sent, as the result of a deal that the two Internet giants recently struck. As part of its efforts to increase user growth and attract more eyeballs to its social media platform, Twitter is finally giving Google immediate access… Continue Reading

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Bad ads. New research shows that 5% of the people visiting Google-related websites are using computers infected with programs that insert illegitimate ads onto web pages; as a result, these web surfers see ads that site operators haven’t been paid to run and that may even be promoting products or services that are objectionable to such… Continue Reading

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Dueling for ad dollars. U.S. companies will spend $52.8 billion on digital advertising this year, 2.5% more than they spent on it in 2014. And, while television advertising is still king—corporate marketers will invest almost $79 billion in TV commercials in 2015—researchers predict that spending on digital ads will outpace spending on TV commercials by… Continue Reading

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Out with the inbox? The overwhelming popularity of workplace-specific platforms that facilitate coworker communication—commonly referred to as “enterprise social media”—is undeniable. But are these platforms poised to someday supplant business email accounts altogether? New York Times technology columnist Farhad Manjoo thinks so. The one big advantage that enterprise social media platforms like Slack have over regular email is their potential for workplace transparency;… Continue Reading

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Forced friendship. A committee of the Arkansas Senate is expected to vote this week on a bill that would allow companies and other organizations responsible for supervising minors to require their employees to include a supervisor or manager in the employees’ list of social media contacts or friends. Specifically, the bill exempts employers at schools,… Continue Reading

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Blawg rules. The California State Bar has issued an opinion outlining the circumstances under which an attorney’s blog would be subject to the requirements of the California State Bar Act’s Rules of Professional Conduct regulating attorney advertising. According to the opinion, a legal blog qualifies as attorney advertising if it conveys the message that the… Continue Reading

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Social media for minimalists. These days, the information flooding the news feeds on some social media platforms can feel overwhelming and redundant. Take Twitter, for example—a medium whose popularity has resulted in a user experience that technology futurist Nova Spivack compares to “a crowded room where everyone is shouting.” Explaining his theory behind the decline… Continue Reading

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Social work. Enterprise social media platforms – i.e., Facebook-like platforms used by companies to facilitate communication and collaboration among their employees – are incredibly popular these days; by some estimates, it has grown into a $2.3 billion market. But why settle for a Facebook-like platform when you can get the real thing? Well, now you can…. Continue Reading

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Snap decision. The National Arbitration Forum has refused to transfer the domain name snapchatcheck.com to the company behind the popular messaging app Snapchat. The NAF panel decided that the respondent, Dreamhost, the company holding the domain name, was making “a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of” snapchatcheck.com by using it as the web address of a site that allows… Continue Reading

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Pupils, passwords and privacy. A law that went into effect on January1st has the parents of some Illinois school children asking themselves how much of their children’s privacy they’re willing to forgo to keep cyberbullying in check. The new Prairie State law requires students to surrender their social-media-site passwords to school officials if—according to a… Continue Reading

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Copyright crises averted. Until very recently, YouTube video creators had no way of knowing whether the music they included in their content was copyrighted until they’d uploaded their videos onto the site. Once uploaded onto YouTube, the music was (and still is) automatically scanned against the video-sharing site’s database of copyrighted material, known as Content… Continue Reading

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A Craigslist conviction. The highest court in Massachusetts upheld the conviction under the Bay State’s anti-harassment statute of a couple who posted fake Craigslist advertisements that caused a great deal of trouble for their neighbors. The convicted couple, William and Gail Johnson, had purchased a tract of land in 2003 with the intention to subdivide… Continue Reading

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Poster’s remorse. It’s official – as of January 1st, social media sites accessible in California had to begin allowing users younger than 18 “to remove, or to request and obtain removal of” posts they regret. The legislation, known as the “Eraser Button Law,” applies to all web sites that are directed at minors or that have… Continue Reading

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Fake-out stakeout. For several months now, we’ve been covering the increasingly prevalent use of social media by law enforcement agencies conducting criminal investigations. In one such instance, the FBI sent a link to a fabricated news story to the MySpace page of a high-school-bombing-threat suspect to lure him into downloading malware that revealed his whereabouts…. Continue Reading

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Facebook fit. It’s been said that a species’ evolutionary success depends more on its adaptability than any other trait. That apparently holds true for a social media platform’s staying power, too. Facebook continues to flourish despite two hugely disruptive developments that, at least in theory, should have had a negative impact on its standing in… Continue Reading

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An undercover app. Internet innovators have for some time been trying to cash in on the public’s mounting desire for anonymous messaging platforms, with varied success. As we recently noted, at least 11 students at colleges around the country have been tracked down and arrested for threatening violence on the purportedly anonymous messaging app Yik… Continue Reading

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Instagrowth. Instagram’s relationship with Facebook is turning out to be mutually beneficial. Since Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, the photo sharing platform has passed the 300-million-user mark, surpassing Twitter’s 284 million active-user base. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom attributes his social media company’s growth to its decision to translate its app into more… Continue Reading

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Block party. Twitter has revamped its anti-harassment policies to make it easier to report harassment on the network or to block another account. The change follows recent highly-publicized instances of “Twitter harassment,” such as the Gamergate controversy, in which certain prominent women in the videogame industry reportedly became targets of harassing tweets. Twitter users will… Continue Reading

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Yik Yak arrests.  For several months now we at Socially Aware have been writing about how college students have been using the purportedly anonymous messaging app Yik Yak to communicate deeply offensive remarks and threats of violence.  Now The Huffington Post reports that students at seven universities have been arrested for doing just that.  Since… Continue Reading

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Between a lock and a hard place. Should search engines be responsible for verifying the legitimacy of the companies they include in their search results? A locksmith in Lorton, Virginia, is claiming that they should. Mark Baldino of Baldino’s Lock & Key asserts that, despite having paid $1 million in advertising fees to search engines… Continue Reading

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Search stripped? European regulators have several beefs with Google—the digital giant has been accused of tax avoidance and violations of data protection laws—but right now they’re focused on whether the company, which reportedly controls 90% of the online search market in Europe, is wielding illegal monopolistic power. Based on allegations that Google is manipulating search… Continue Reading

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Forget me not. Twitter launched just eight years ago with this tweet from company co-founder, Jack Dorsey:               (Not nearly as dramatic as “Mr. Watson—come here—I want to see you”— but I digress.)  Since that inaugural tweet, hundreds of billions of tweets have flowed through Twitter’s network, with 500… Continue Reading

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Commercial free content. Would you pay to diminish the number of ads that appear on your screen while you surf the Web? Google is testing a service that will allow users to do just that. The service, called Contributor, will give visitors to ten web sites that Google has partnered with the opportunity to pay… Continue Reading

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A saving grace for search results. In the first case since 2007 to address the issue, a California state court judge recently held that Google’s search results are in fact protected by U.S. free speech laws, and that Google is therefore entitled to rank  the results it delivers in response to queries however it determines… Continue Reading